Epiphone Wildkat Review: The Semi Hollow Gem

This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read More

It’s no secret that I’m always on a quest for the perfect budget-friendly, yet superior-quality semi-hollowbody electric guitar. You know, the one that doesn’t just look sleek but also delivers an authentic sound. Guess what caught my attention? The Epiphone Wildkat.

This piece boasts of a funky retro feel and standout features making it quite alluring. In this critique, we’re going to dissect every aspect of it – from its construction materials to how comfortable it feels when you grip it; down to the hidden machinery and electronics working their magic behind those strings; nothing escapes our scrutiny.

So let’s dive right in and find out if this Epiphone Wildkat is worth more than just superficial admiration or if it’s simply another overrated hunk of timber.

Build and Design

The Wildkat’s rock-solid, exceptional design is what truly sets it apart. This stunner comes with a solid mahogany body – partially hollowed for that unique yet authentic feel. The touch of flamed maple veneer on top pays homage to the classic style we all adore. The Epiphone Wildkat is on par with some of the best classical guitars for beginners out there, and it comes at a fairly reasonable price.

Fascinatingly enough, when you stack up the Wildkat against Epiphone ES 335, its compact size gives off more of those legendary Gibson Les Paul vibes. Discovering this kind of vintage charm in semi-hollow body guitars at this price point isn’t typical – no wonder musicians hunting for that old-school sound gravitate towards it.

Of course, visually speaking it might not go toe-to-toe with Gretsch 5120 Electromatic but where Wildkat really steals the show is through its blend of exclusive features. It boasts an unyielding framework meticulously fashioned and primed to endure any musical genre over time.

Playability and Performance

Going pickguard-free while jamming on the Wildkat calls for some fine technique, but you know what, it’s a total game-changer in levelling up my skills. And let’s talk about the sound for a sec; it’s got that high-quality oomph and tonal flexibility that opens doors to a whole range of music genres.

The real clincher though, is its killer playability and comfort. Thanks to its compact size and well-crafted neck, you can play for hours without cramping your style. And the best part? The factory set-up gets you playing straight out of the box, with a smooth feel and low action.

For sound enthusiasts, the Wildkat’s P90 pickups are sure to give you an earful of genuine, resonant tunes. Ideal for blues, rock or even jazz, this guitar is a certain showstopper whether you’re riffing with your band or laying down a track in the studio.

Hardware and Electronics

The Epiphone Wildkat guitar is a real powerhouse when it comes to hardware and electronics, offering versatile setups for any music genre. You’ve got two options here – stick with the classic tremolo bridge or opt for a Bigsby tailpiece.

If you’re into rock or blues genres and love that dramatic pitch-shift vibe, then the tremolo bridge will be right up your alley. However, if jazz or country tunes are more your thing and you dig those gentle vibrato effects, then the Bigsby tailpiece wins hands down.

Let’s talk about pickups now – this bad boy ditches the humbuckers we often see in its sibling model Epiphone ES 339 and goes rogue with P90 pickups instead. These gems deliver an unmistakably distinctive tone packing quite a punch; they offer that raw grittiness that perfectly suits bluesy rock vibes.

On the flip side though, humbuckers are famous for delivering warm mellow tones making them ideal choices for jazz melodies as well as classic rock tracks. So really whether you choose to go all-in on P90 pickups or play it safe with humbuckers depends entirely on what kind of sound aesthetics match your preferred genre better. You might even consider single-coil, the topic of single-coil pickups vs humbuckers has been quite a buzz for many years now.

Overall Assessment and Versatility

All things considered, the Epiphone Wildkat has really carved out a special place in my heart. As a versatile and dependable semi-hollow body guitar, it’s practically perfect for all music genres and settings. The P90 pickups combined with the semi-hollow body design sends out some phenomenal sound quality and tonal flexibility.

When put side by side with similar semi-hollow guitars out there in the same price bracket, the Wildkat truly holds its ground. It scores big time with its unique features and that nostalgic sound. And aesthetics? Oh, it’s a beauty alright. Its solid mahogany body with a maple cap topped with flame maple veneer brings out that vintage charm.

The small size also makes it incredibly easy to play. Whether you’re jamming with a small band, recording in a studio, or performing out in the open streets, it’s a perfect fit. Granted, it might need a little tuning love now and then, but for its price, it really is a solid choice.

So, if you’re looking for an affordable semi-hollow body guitar that doesn’t skimp on quality and versatility, you might wanna bookmark the Epiphone Wildkat. It’s a crowd pleaser for sure.

Durability and Craftsmanship

Now, let’s talk about the build of this semi-hollow body guitar. The Epiphone Wildkat definitely stands the test of time with its robust structure and weighty feel. You can tell it’s made to endure a hefty amount of wear and tear.

Visually, it’s quite a stunning piece. The maple grain finish just enhances its natural allure. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows because it does have a few issues on the craftsmanship front that could be a bit of a bummer. There are instances of finish cracks near the pickup screws reported by some users, not to mention a design flaw where the Bigsby is too close to the bridge, causing tuning issues.

Also, the work inside the body and beneath the pickup covers leaves a bit to be desired. Apparently, a router bit used to carve the body cavities wasn’t sharp enough, leading to wood splitting. But, despite these kinks, the Wildkat still holds its ground as a trusty pick in its price range.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does the Epiphone Wildkat Compare to Other Semi-Hollow Body Guitars in Its Price Range?

The Epiphone Wildkat certainly holds its weight when pitted against similar-priced semi-hollow body guitars. If you pit it against a giant like the Gibson ES 335, the Wildkat offers a compact size and an old-school vibe to your sound. But when you look at aesthetics and dimensions, it doesn’t quite match up to something like Gretsch Electromatic.

What Are Some Common Modifications That Players Make to the Epiphone Wildkat to Improve Its Performance?

Epiphone Wildkat owners often swap out pickups or upgrade bridges as common modifications for enhancing performance. These changes not only elevate the guitar’s tone but also increase its versatility allowing it to give stiff competition to other similarly priced semi-hollow body guitars.

Is the Epiphone Wildkat Suitable for Professional Musicians or Is It More Geared Towards Beginners?

Don’t let yourself be fooled by its price tag – The versatile nature of the Epiphone Wildcat makes this model highly suitable for both newbie strummers and seasoned pros alike! While matching up with a titan like the Gibson ES-335 might seem far-fetched, rest assured that this beauty packs value worth every penny along with delivering authentic sounds across genres.

Are There Any Notable Artists Who Use the Epiphone Wildkat in Their Performances or Recordings?

Artists such as Brian Setzer, Nels Cline, and Lee Ranaldo have used their trusty Wildcats on stage – adding credibility to this model’s unique sound signature and robust build quality compared with others within similar budget constraints.

How DoES the Epiphone Wildkat Compare to Other Epiphone Models, Such as the ES 339 or the Dot Studio, in Terms of Sound and Playability?

When comparing the playability factor coupled with the diverse tonal range offered by each model, our Wildkat doesn’t disappoint against other Epiphone siblings like ES 339 and Dot studio. Not to mention that you get a solidly built guitar within an affordable price range, not too shabby eh?


Finishing off, the Epiphone Wildkat stands out as a distinct and budget-friendly semi-hollow body electric guitar delivering an authentic sound.

Crafted with a robust mahogany body, fiery maple veneer, and classic tremolo bridge – it brings to you an old-school design along with functional hardware.

The unique tonal character from its Epiphone P90 pickups makes it adaptable across various music genres.

While there might be occasional tuning hiccups requiring fine-tuning adjustments, the value-for-money aspect of this Wildkat is hard to beat at its price point.

An intriguing fact worth mentioning – the Wildkat has climbed up the ladder becoming one of Epiphone’s top-selling semi-hollowbody guitars.

Whether you want to learn about guitars, guitar equipment or other instruments, Guitarsquid has all the answers.