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Ultimate Modded Epiphone Wildkat

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by thecakeguru, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. thecakeguru

    thecakeguru TDPRI Member

    35
    Aug 18, 2014
    outside atlanta, ga
    Hey!! First let me say, im not extremely active on this forum, and havent posted in years. I constantly lurk though, and have always loved this forum. I also hope this is the right place to put this thread, if not admins, please move it to the appropriate thread. Now on to the good stuff.

    Im dubbing this the ultimate modded Epiphone Wildkat thread. I know a bunch of you all have this guitar, and thought it would be cool to document this build and answer any questions someone may have, or even learn something else myself. Heres the current plan.
    The following mods that will be done are:
    -Filling in the f holes
    -Removing a volume and tone pot, and relocating the other two
    -Adding a pickgaurd
    -Locking machine heads
    -Graphtech nut and saddles
    -Replacing the inlays with abalone
    -Gretsch style knobs and switch
    -Taking out the P90s, and fitting Gretsch Filtertrons in
    -Metal flake paint job
    -Routing a rear access cavity
    -May add a tone switch ala Gretsch, but unsure

    Essentially, im turning this guitar into a Sparkle Jet.

    Now, im sure many of you are wondering, why not buy a gretsch? Simple, the Epiphone plays better, imo, to any Gretsch ive played under a grand, and I'll end up getting this whole project done for about 2000 less then what a sparkle jet costs. Plus, it'll be fun! So stay tuned, and hopefully this interest you all. I'll post pictures as the work gets done throughout the weeks. Step one, the guitar is on route, and needs to get here first ;-)
     

  2. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    52
    Dec 18, 2016
    Camden Point, MO
    Very ambitious, I wish you the best of luck !
     
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  3. thecakeguru

    thecakeguru TDPRI Member

    35
    Aug 18, 2014
    outside atlanta, ga
    Here's a crude mockup. Color hasnt been decided yet
     

    Attached Files:


  4. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    Seems a solid plan actually. Have you figured out what your cost/budget justification is/will be?

    Color for me would be gold, YMMV.


    BTW, not sure closing the F-holes will net you much considering the construction is more like a Thin-line Tele than a 335/Dot etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
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  5. thecakeguru

    thecakeguru TDPRI Member

    35
    Aug 18, 2014
    outside atlanta, ga
    I got the guitar for 299 with hardshell case. A buddy of mine is a luthier and is going to help me with all the work for free, so im saving a ton of money there. I estimate I should have about $600 total, including the guitar.
     

  6. allen082

    allen082 Friend of Leo's

    Jul 16, 2009
    fort worth
    Very cool. I took on a similar project last year with a Dearmond I found in a pawn shop. Good luck!

    Before:
    [​IMG]

    After:
    [​IMG]
     

  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Cool!
    I've had a few Wildkats and Alleykats.
    I'm more of an Alleykat cat.
    Anyways, I'm subscribed!
     
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  8. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    Damn you!


    After:
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. thecakeguru

    thecakeguru TDPRI Member

    35
    Aug 18, 2014
    outside atlanta, ga
    After:
    [​IMG][/QUOTE]


    Very cool!!! Love it!! similar shape to a wildkat as well :)
     

  10. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Meister

    Age:
    47
    151
    Dec 19, 2017
    Chattanooga
    Love my wildkat. Subscribed.
     
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  11. allen082

    allen082 Friend of Leo's

    Jul 16, 2009
    fort worth
    Definitely. Now that I think about it, I remember reading that if you wanted a hardshell case for this model, you had to buy a wildkat case. I actually have plans to route some chambers in it this spring making them even more similar.
     

  12. thecakeguru

    thecakeguru TDPRI Member

    35
    Aug 18, 2014
    outside atlanta, ga
    Yes, you have to have a special wildkat case for them, which is what mine has :) Also, I dont think you can chamber them anymore then they already are?? [​IMG]
     
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  13. thecakeguru

    thecakeguru TDPRI Member

    35
    Aug 18, 2014
    outside atlanta, ga
    Allen, im curious what size metal flake you used? .008, or .015??
     

  14. allen082

    allen082 Friend of Leo's

    Jul 16, 2009
    fort worth

  15. Barncaster

    Barncaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Not quite DPP but not bad.
     

  16. thecakeguru

    thecakeguru TDPRI Member

    35
    Aug 18, 2014
    outside atlanta, ga
    Guitar arrived today, though, they forgot to ship the case :-/ plugged it in and played for a bit. Electrical issue of some sort, and very dark sounding. Ive read this is due to the wiring. At any rate, if I intended on keeping this guitar stock, id rewire it, and put plastic covers on the p90s. Tomorrow I guess i'll start stripping the hardware from it. Here we go!
     

    Attached Files:


  17. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Meister

    255
    Oct 31, 2016
    .
    I had one of these but only for a short time. The changes I made before it was sold were adding a roller bridge. This made a large improvement and helped to keep the guitar in tune very well when using the tremolo. Also I changed the tremolo spring for a soft-touch spring sold by Reverend Guitars. $10 and this was a really good move too.

    Maybe you have already discovered this thread on another forum. It discusses the high capacitance cables and why it is sounding dark.

    http://www.gretsch-talk.com/threads/anyone-mod-a-epiphone-wildkat.15256/

    I think adding plastic dog-ear covers could be a good idea to hopefully open up the sound of those stock pickups.

    Good luck :)
     

  18. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Aren't the Wildcat pickups the same pickups used in the Casino/Casino Coupe guitars?
    I haven't heard a lot of complaints of dark pickups in the Casino/Casino Coupe guitars, mostly it's been the Wildcats. That leads to me to thinking that the Wildcats have wiring issues instead of pickup issues if they use the same pickups.
     

  19. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Meister

    255
    Oct 31, 2016
    .
    I do not know if they are the same pickups to be honest. I am not a lover of P90 pickups anyway. To me they can sound great with overdrive but I usually go for clean sounds and in this case they do not work for me. This guitar sounded very bad to me. It was difficult not to laugh when I was trying it at the sellers house. I only bought it because it was really cheap and in mint condition. It was so cheap it would be mad not to. I did not like the guitar at all. I was going to rewire it but I lost interest in trying to make it better so I sold it for more then double what I did pay. My buyer he did collected it on the Saturday full of enthuse and had it for sale on the same local website on Monday!

    I do not wish to discourage the OP at all. We all like different things :)
     
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  20. thecakeguru

    thecakeguru TDPRI Member

    35
    Aug 18, 2014
    outside atlanta, ga
    No, I agree with you guys. Its not good sounding at all. My JA90 tele blows this one away in sound. But no worries, those electronics will be gutted soon!! It does play well though. I'll look up that soft touch spring! Thank you!
     

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