Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 10
I play it through a Fender Deluxe 90, although I've also played it through my elder brother's Marshall. It sounds great through both, although I generally prefer the Fender, very garage sounding. I generally try to duplicate Joe Perry's tone, and this does the job exceedingly well. It sounds awesome, clean or overdriven. I was pleasantly surprised when I first cranked the overdrive with this, there's no feedback unless I shove the guitar directly in front of the amp. This guitar could probably do anything I asked of it, but as my current tastes are somewhat limited, I've yet to witness the true range of it's versatility.
Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing for a few of years, and I generally stick to classic rock, Aerosmith, Zeppelin, GN'R, Rush, Heart, AC/DC, Cream/Clapton. Occasionally I get modern, but even then it's with vintagesque stuff, the Datsuns, Jet, The Darkness, the White Stripes. I do a little bit of jazz, and some funk, with slight doses of metal. Aside from the absurdly heavy, this guitar handles it all (using a hollowbody for really heavy stuff is stupid to do in the first place, though). The AlleyKat is easily capable of outshining my PRS Singlecut for a lot of things, which is quite something, considering I paid less than an eighth for it! I'm quite amazed that a guitar that plays this well, sounds this great, looks this gorgeous, and costs this much is also this scarcely known.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I'm pretty sure the AlleyKat will put up with anything short of Pete Townsend himself. It's quite a workhorse, and nothing has ever suddenly ceased functioning. No complaints here, aside from previous moaning about the finish. But I would never use this, or anything else, at a gig without a backup. Because that is, frankly, retarded.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I'm the second owner of this fine machine, so I can't really say anything for sure about Epiphone's factory standards. But everything seems stock, and the only gripe I have is the previous owner's string preferences. The only issue is that the translucent black finish, while very well done, doesn't really do it for me, nor does the chrome hardware, so I'm considering refinishing it to gloss white with gold hardware. I understand the AlleyKat is no longer in production now, like the Wildkat. Should Epiphone ever revive either, I would advise a wider collection of finishes.
Features — 10
It's a single-cutaway set-neck hollowbody, very reminiscent of the Epiphone Wildkat. In fact, they're more or less the same thing; the AlleyKat features a humbucker and a mini-humbucker in place of the Wildkat's P-90s, and it lacks the Wildkat's Bigsby vibrato. It has a 24.75" scale length and a 1.68" nut width, a mahogany body with a flamed maple top, and a maple neck. It has rosewood fingerboard, block inlays, and it's in a translucent black finish with chrome hardware (it would really look better with gold, though). It came with a strap and a hardshell case, though the previous owner may have supplied the strap. It was made in Korea, but I'm not sure when.