The Epiphone Emperor Swingster features archtop jazz guitar styling and updated electronics including SwingBucker pickups with push/pull tone controls that allows a choice of standard series or parall... Read More
The Epiphone Emperor Swingster features archtop jazz guitar styling and updated electronics including SwingBucker pickups with push/pull tone controls that allows a choice of standard series or parallel pickup wiring for a brighter tone. The Swingster guitar has a shorter 24-3/4" scale that helps facilitate challenging jazz chord inversions. The body features a spruce top, a laminated birch/maple body and a 3-piece maple neck topped with a rosewood fingerboard.
Other vintage features of this hollowbody electric guitar include chrome hardware, Grover Rotomatic 16:1 tuners, bound f-holes, thumbnail fingerboard Inlays, and a Bigsby licensed vibrato tailpiece with wire arm along with a "pinned"(non-floating) Tune-O-matic bridge with roller saddles for smooth operation and accurate return to pitch which is preferred when using the vibrato. Case sold separately.
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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®by PowerReviews
Most Liked Positive Review
Vintage Axe for the Blue Collar Man
My first experience with this guitar was when I went to see a friend's band. The band opened up with a great cover of Zep's "Black Dog" The riffs were tight,...Read complete review
My first experience with this guitar was when I went to see a friend's band. The band opened up with a great cover of Zep's "Black Dog" The riffs were tight, the vocals were great, but the best part of the whole night was this guitar. The lead guitarist brandished it like it was his sword in medieval times. This this sang like a 70's Les Paul, and had the looks of a gorgeous old 50's jazz box. After the concert I went up to him and professed my love for that sweet sweet guitar tone. He let me play it and I would be lying if I didn't say that this guitar played like no other axe I've ever played. I ran out and bought one the next day, and my dreams came true. Cranking this through my stack at home, not even the neighbors could complain about this beautiful tone. Owning a couple other guitars, this one made it's proud place in the Guitar Armada. I recommend it with all 5 stars.
Most Liked Negative Review
Another fine Epiphone semi-hollow body
A quick review would be this is an Epiphone Emperor II Joe Pass with a Bigsby tremolo bridge and different pickups. I like Epiphone semi-hollow body guitars. They are relatively inexpensive but give the...Read complete review
A quick review would be this is an Epiphone Emperor II Joe Pass with a Bigsby tremolo bridge and different pickups. I like Epiphone semi-hollow body guitars. They are relatively inexpensive but give the intermediate jazz guitarist or the not-so-rich musician an option of getting a good sounding semi-hollow body electric. Neck feel and fretboard layout are nice so you get a similar feel to a Gibson. Tone is for those looking for a more hollow nasal sound like Joe Pass. If you want a George Benson sound, go with Epiphone's Dot or Casino line of guitars. Electrics are wired like their Les Paul's, straight forward and simple. The tremolo bridge is what it is, fits its use for those performing oldies rock, e.g. Stray Cats/Brian Setzer.
Reviewed by 19 customers
I love this guitar more and more as I play it. Bought the orange one in May 2013 and it has proven to be the best guitar for me. It's playability and sonic potential are amazing to me; the guitar sounds as beautiful as it looks! It sounds great acoustically, having a nice full, well-rounded range of high, mid, and low tones. The single-coil/humbucker switching is awesome, enabling a wide range of tone possibilities. The pickups are perfect for me as I can get nice clean twangy sounds and hot overdriven tones as well. My favorite is the neck pickup as it has the richest pallete of tones up and down the neck. I need to adjust my amp EQ to get maximum sonic benefit when switching from single-coil to humbucker mode; initially my amp EQ settings obscured the difference. The hardware is solid, quality stuff. The Bigsby is killer! no issues with tuning loss. I really dig the funky vibrato arm; it's a bit high but also out of the way and fits nicely in the palm of my hand so I can work wiggle stick while fingerpickin'. A bit of 3in1 oil helped it move more smoothly. The tuners are smooth, steady, and precise. The orange finish is bright and happy to me, and nicely showcases the wood grain, which I like. The body shape is perfect for me to hold on to; much more comfortable than my dreadnaught acoustic, former ES-335, SG, and Les Paul type electrics. Lastly, the Epiphone case for the Emperor works for this Swingster; the best fit is with the vibrato arm swung down just past the control knobs. This is the best guitar I have ever owned. It seems like the quality exceeds the price. I am still thrilled by this guitar and I get excited every time I play it or just look at it. Get it, it's great!!
I had no chance to play this guitar before purchasing, so I ordered it blind. I was not disappointed. The tone and feel are excellent, the tuning is rock solid, the Bigsby is usable and stable and the look is amazing. If I could, I'd knock off 1/2 star due to a couple of small cosmetic blemishes and also the fact that the included bracket for the pickguard is too long to fit on the guitar. We'll see if Epiphone can solve that one. If not, I can live without it since this is now my favorite guitar.
Wow, this Swingster is something I have been looking for for years. The tones that you can get out of this guitar is absolutely fantastic. It plays so smooth and is just what I have been looking for. The pick up combo's are out of this world. Now don't sell it short on Jazz. When I got it back to Alpena, MI to my Luthier he looked at it and was impressed with the out of the box set up. I had him tweak it a little more and then he played it. On of the main features I like is the pinned roller bridge. When changing strings I wont have to make a pencil mark and be concerned about intonation at all. Wait until I get this gen back to Texas the guys are going to love it. He plugged it into a Blackface Fender and started with the Blues and ended up with some Jazz. He was as amazed as I was at the sound. It has a big sound and plenty of volume. The fit and finish is fantasticthisthsi Wine Red Swingster and Drew and Ray took good care of me at Guitar Center in Saginaw, MI on Bay Rd. I bought a Snark tuner to keep in the case and after tuning and playing it a while I put it up. sounds pretty good acoustically by the way. When I took it out a couple of days later it was still in tune. Gotta love those tuner. I bought the Joe Pass Emperor Case and the Swingster fits great with now wobble room in it. The Bigsby Arm just gets closed oeverythingrthing is great.
I did something with this guitar that I do not recommend. And that is, I purchased it without trying it out in the store first. That is because Guitar Center did not have any in their stores in the Atlanta area. They did have some similar models, but not this exact model. As for the guitar, it is a very good guitar. I think it is worth the asking price. I purchased the guitar to start practicing blues/jazz etc. The strings are a little heavier than I thought they would be, but I found out they're medium light guage (L5 electrics - 11 to 52) I think. Also, the guitar definitely has some weight due to the Bigsby tailpiece, I'm sure. However, it's not something you're going to be dancing around with and playing rock and roll - or at least I'm not. But, the guitar has a sweet sound and I'm happy with it. I also purchased a Fender Super Champ XD tube amplifier. It has a slight hum to it, but definitely brings out the quality of the instrument. If I had to do it over again I would.
Nothing I can add to what's been said. Just a great guitar at a price that's way below what it's worth. I highly recommend this guitar.
Yeah, you'll kick yourself if you do that. I own both, and the Epi Swingster is by far the better guitar. The Gretsch's pickups are very low output and muddy sounding. The body and neck of the G5120 are fine, but thats about all. It ships with foam under the bridge. To get it out, you'll have to loosen the strings and you know the bridge is going to move on you. Also, If you want a decent sound from your G5120, you better plan on replacing the stock pickups with some TV Jones or something similar (if you can find anything similar) for a cost of close to $350, and then you'll have to change them out yourself or pay a tech to do it. Now your $700 guitar has become a $1,000 guitar and you still have a G5120. As an owner of both the Swingster and the 5120, my advice is go with the Swingster right off.
I like the Swingster! I just purchased it from Guitar Center and it arrived yesterday in immaculate condition. I really like what Epiphone is doing right now with their electronics which are much better than their older humbuckers which had a tendency toward muddiness. These don't. Pros: Setup up great right out of the box Sounds much better than my Gretsch G5120 - pickups are much more sensitive. Bass / treble response very good. Plays every bit as good as my Gretsch (if not better) Well made from quality materials. Has a good feel. Serial/Parallel tone switches a plus, if you're into that kind of thing. I mostly was looking for an authentic archtop sound. This little gal has it! Cons: Made in Indonesia if that bothers you (doesn't concern me) No case Clear pick guard included but not assembled. Conclusion: I would not hesitate to buy this guitar online. The Epiphone Swingster is worth the money in my opinion. Much better guitar than other guitars in its class. As a matter of fact, I have played higher end Gretschs that impressed me less. Clear pick guard included but not assembled.
First off I played the orange model at my local GC. The Grain and wood is very figured looking, it is a very beautiful guitar. Also the pickups can handle anything you throw at em'. I started by playing through a fender blues deluxe, it gives all the expected swing and blues, and excuse my pun, all that jazz:). But then i moved to a Peavey 6505 stack and cranked up the metal, all most no feedback and this guitar cut right through the distortion like it was a metal guitar players dream. The bigsby is a true thing of wonder, vibrato all the way without any loss of tuning. All i can say is BUY THIS GUITAR. When i get the money which wont be long because of this guitars amazing price, it will be added to my collection.
Love this Epiphone, absolutely love it. I don't know what Epiphone did to the pickups/electronics, but this does not sound like a sub-1K guitar! Truely amazing tones for rock and blues. Tremolo arm is very comfortable and doesn't put your guitar out of tune. Add it all up with the good looks and its a killer guitar.
I have had alot of fun with this hollow body. This guitar is great for chord melody, solo jazz guitar playing. The shorter 24-1/2 scale is nice for this style because it's easier to stretch further, giving you more flexibility as far as unique voicings, and playing bass lines at the same time. I love the extra tone options you get with the push/pull button and the SwingBucker pickups are very nice.
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