Nighthawk Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 03/01/2007 category: Electric Guitars
Epiphone: Nighthawk
This Epiphone Nighthawk was hand-crafted in Korea, 1994. It has 22 medium frets and a rosewood fretboard.
 Sound: 5
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 5
 Features: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) 29 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 6.8
Nighthawk Reviewed by: Silverginger, on march 01, 2007
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Features: This Epiphone Nighthawk was hand-crafted in Korea, 1994. It has 22 medium frets and a rosewood fretboard. I think the body is mahogany, though I can't be sure. It looks quite similar to Les Paul, except it has a slightly sharper single cutaway and isn't quite as big. Mine has a cherry-red finish with a bone-coloured outline, gold hardware and bronze pots. The tuners are gold and Schaller-esque. The guitar has a nifty setup: a small neck humbucker, OBL single-coil and an OBL slanted humbucker in the bridge. The Nighthawk has a 5-way selector switch as well as a coil-tap switch. The guitar has two controls: one volume; one tone. The bridge is fixed and looks similar to one found on a Strat model. // 8

Sound: I play a lot of music, but mainly rock and metal. I use a Laney 120R World Series amp. I tried the Nighthawk through the amp with an overdrive setting. The guitar sounded really nice - kinda like a Les Paul would - when using the bridge humbucker, however when I moved up to 4th position on the selector Switch it would get 'boomy' and slightly out-of-control (this was with settings: drive - 8; treble - 7; middle - full; bass - 4). I then moved up to full-out distorted EQ. I found the guitar couldn't cope with large distorted frequencies. It would boom and would be very noisy. I did find, however, that the neck humbucker (on it's own) gave a very nice clean-cum-distorted lead sound. It was when clean that the guitar really shined! The 5-way selector and coil-tap switch give tones of scope for clean tones. I found that I could achieve a large variety of subtle tones with this setup, achieving anything from crunchy blues-rock sounds to smooth jazzy tones (amp settings: gain - 8; treble - 6; middle - 6; bass - 3). So, in the end, amazing clean tones, not so amazing distortion. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was low-ish (but that's how I like it). It's very comfortable to play. I can glide up and down the fretboard with ease. When I bought it, the whole setup was fine. No real issues with anything apart from some aesthetic defects (a chip from one of the pots and a small chip in the back of the body). // 5

Reliability & Durability: I've only had the guitar a few months and I've only really used it for a few practices and some recording. It's yet to grace a Live situation, however it looks as if it's built to last and should serve me well when I next perform Live. I would definately feel confident using this guitar with no backup. The strap buttons do tend to come loose close to the cutaway, but this is only an issue after extensive play (over a few weeks). // 7

Overall Impression: I mainly play rock music, and this guitar seems to suit that pretty well. I can't complain at all. If I ever lost this guitar then I would be very tempted to get another, however I'm a sucker for Strats (could sway me). I love the finish. The cherry-red with gold hardware really sets it apart. It was the first thing to catch my eye as I entered the shop. The looks are to die for (literally). My favourite feature is the coil-tap, as it allows for a large variety of amazing clean tones. I compared this with the Epiphone Flying V and Les Paul when looking to purchase. I found the Nighthawk to beat them in almost every stake. I only wish it could cope with really dirty distortion. // 9

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