"Really good double-coil solid body guitar"
This reviewer purchased this item from Same Day Music.
I didn't want to spend the 1.7 kilobuck for a firebird. Also, I've always loved the Epi's since I started playing in the '60's. This Wilshire reissue has the smaller "New York" Humbuckers, and they sound flat out fine. This Epiphone doesn't require me to explain anything. As received, the neck had a slight back bow, and the strings ('nines) were crap. I replaced the strings with Ernie Ball 'nines and put a very, very slight forward bow on the neck. The hex wrench I used is one size smaller than the Fender wrench (I have a bag full of hex wrenches - be careful here). The fret ends are not right, but so close as to be ignored. The guitar is so in tune with itself it is scary. Once I got it all set up it is amazingly almost like twelve string in some chord positions. The sound is everything a 2 X double-coil should be. The pickups are hot yet clean. Very nice.
Classic twin-pickup humbucking solid-body configuration. The jack is between the pairs of volume/tone controls. I find this to be a good setup. The tuners are first rate as is the the bridge. This is the basic Gibson solid body geometry and it works fine.
Ease of Use:
It took a bit of effort to get the axe to play good, and I'm thinking a less-experienced player might need to obtain the services of a professional tech. Remember, I'm reviewing the one instrument I received. Your experience will differ. Other than getting the neck right, everything was fine. The intonation of my Wilshire was perfect right out of the box. You will need to purchase a case or a gig bag. This guitar plays as well as any.
As noted above, I needed to tweek the action rather substantially, and the fret ends, although not bad, could be better. The mahogany wood is excellent, and the build quality is also excellent. There are no sharp edges or anything non-ergonomic like that. A really close visual inspection reveals no faults. It's good the instrument's adjustments function properly. The "worn Cherry" finish is a rather thin stain, and the neck has a fast flat feel. The chrome is perfect, as are the tuners. The instrument is very well put together. The quality meets the price.
I have never needed to use Epiphone's alleged customer service.
I'll admit I really like the old Epi designs. Out of the box it is a fine axe; with about thirty minutes fussing it is absolutely tits. This instrument is easily worth the price.
The Wow Factor:
Depends upon your date. I am very much more inclined to use this instrument than a Gibson SG or Les Paul. The sound is flashy while the instrument itself is rather subdued. I like it like that. It is a classic design from Kalamazoo that doesn't break the bank. That in itself is compelling. It's great to hold and play. And it's just a bit different without being a Tedesco Del Rey.