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Opinions regarding a Gretsch Electromatic vs Epiphone Wildkat

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Tele-Monster, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Tele-Monster

    Tele-Monster Friend of Leo's

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    Hey everybody!

    Long time since I've posted here, let me brush the dust off the keyboard. Thought I'd pick your brains regarding some GAS I've been having. I owned a Gretsch 5120 for about a year and really liked it. At the time I was playing in a Rockabilly band and obviously it worked really well for that. Due to some financial strain I had about a year ago, I had to sell that and my J. Mascis Jazzmaster :(. Well I'm back in the high life again and am looking to fill the Gretsch spot again.

    I loved my Gretsch, but I really like the look and price of the Wildkat. Added bonus: I love P90's.

    Anybody have experience with both? I play mostly rock and country but will probably do some Rockabilly gigs in the future, plus I just want to have a Semi/Full Hollowbody with a Bigsby again.
     
  2. Big Burly

    Big Burly Tele-Meister

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    The new Gretsch 5420 has much better pickups than the old 5120. No need to upgrade them. They are fantastic!

    I had a 5120, and loved it. I regret getting rid of it. It was stock except for the Compton bridge that I added.

    I also had a WildKat. It was very heavy. The P90s in it needed help. They didn't sound as great as P90s should sound. They were very muddy and dull sounding. I sold it and have no regrets. I would love another P90 guitar, but would not get a WildKat.

    I am building myself a parts Stratocaster with humbucker-sized P90s. That will scratch my P90 itch!
     
  3. Tele-Monster

    Tele-Monster Friend of Leo's

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    Interesting, thank you. I've been curious about the new 5420 pickups, wondering if they were an improvement on the old 5120 pickups or just a fancy new suit.
     
    Randy Ito likes this.
  4. Big Burly

    Big Burly Tele-Meister

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    The 5420 pickups are called BlackTop FilterTrons. They are based on the Baldwin-era FilterTrons from the 1970s. They have ceramic magnets, and sound very much like a Gretsch pickup should sound.

    The 5120 pickups, aka "GretschBuckers" aren't bad pickups, and with some adjustment of the polepieces and an aluminum Compton or Tru-Arc bridge can get pretty close to the Gretsch sound. These pickups are fairly bright humbuckers, but are closer to Gibson-sounding PAFs than FilterTrons.
     
  5. Modernhorse

    Modernhorse TDPRI Member

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    Hi - I have the Wildkat and it is an excellent guitar in finish and build. The P90s do need help from the get go IMO and the ton of wire inside is no help. I had mine rewired and it just lifted the wool blanket from the P90s. I love this guitar and don't find the weight a problem - enough to be substantial but not enough to be a problem. YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  6. Lunchie

    Lunchie Poster Extraordinaire

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    I am another Pro Wildcat. I bought one around christmas time dirt cheap that had a defect. The fingerboard was coming away from the neck but a couple weeks at the luthier and it was good as new. For $350 they are a great buy and they look gorgeous.
     

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