Nighthawk Custom Reissue review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (41 votes)
Epiphone: Nighthawk Custom Reissue
4

Price paid: £ 260

Purchased from: Rainbow Music

Sound — 8
I need a versatile guitar because I play Blues, Rock, Punk, and Metal, and I have my tone control on 10. My signal chain consists of This, Zoom G2, MXR Distortion+ and then my Marshall VS65R, bypassing the Zoom and the MXR, I get a fantastic sound for blues on the neck and middle positions mixed and alone and coil-tapped, Rock sounds brilliant on the Bridge and middle (with zoom), and Metal comes from the MXR, and amp with everything on 7. Its bright on the neck, fatter on the bridge, but it can get noisy, but im getting a noisegate very soon.

Overall Impression — 9
Well I play Blues, Rock, Punk and Metal, and it suits them very well, Ive been playing 4 years and my other guitar is an Epiphone Dot Studio. If it was stolen, I would brutally murder the thing who did, and if it got lost, I would be heading bakc to the dealer, for another. I mentioned my flaws about it earlier, and it was compared to a Epiphone Les Paul Custom, and a Fender Blacktop Telecaster, this sounded the best out of them all, and all I wish it had was a Floyd Rose.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Yes, it withstands live playing (about 10 2 hour shows since purchase), and the hardware is lasting. I depend on this guitar a lot, but I have OCD about having no backup (I use standard tuning, and Drop D on the same guitar), the finish is lasting very good.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Factory setup wasn't that bad, but the dealer sorted out little problems, I like my pickups not incredibly high, but not too low either. I have few flaws with the guitar, Glossy finish fingerprints easily, so it needs polished a lot, The strap button is on the side, not the back which im used to, and finally it droops down on the strap.

Features — 9
This is NOT an Original Nighthawk this is the new for 2011 Nighthawk Custom Reissue. - Indonesia in 2011 - Mahogany Body/Neck - Ebony Finferboard - 25.5 Scale with 22 Jumbo frets - Flame maple top in translucent black - Glossy finish - Lower bout is an SG but upper bout of a Les Paul - String-thru - Passive Electronics - Volume/Tone control - HSH Configuration with Coil Tap % way selector switch. Seymour Duncan have released a slanted JB model for the Nighthawk so I have it installed. - Grover tuners. - Free strings (Ernie Ball 11-48) Free strap and 4 free hetfield black fangs 1.14mm

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    paul.a.hanson
    I've got one in trans black and it beats both my Dot Deluxe and my Epi LP Standard plus top. Granted not by much. Extremely comfortable and versatile. The inlays are far more intricate than what a custom come with, and most Customs don't have visible AAA flame maple tops either. I would gladly pit one of these against a Epi Custom any day. Very similar quality. One of my favorite players right now.
    SWilson
    Bought one of these myself a few months ago. It was love at first site on the Musicians Friend homepage. Thought it was a nice twist on an old classic and the honeyburst finish was just beautiful. I too play a variety from metal to blues and this guitar shifts gears nicely. Plays well and can't complain about the sound. Nice all around guitar.
    DanTheHobbit
    How does this compare to one of the Gibson ones from '94 or '95? I had one, and it was one of my favorite guitars. Shame the neck had an irreparable flaw.
    Jedz_zero66
    Dude this thing is really awesome. It emit a beautiful and clear sound.I really like it because it has the characteristic of guitar that i want to play ebony fretboard with jumbo fret.
    MT in Austin
    Tried one out for about 30 minutes at the music store. Nice guitar with abundant variety of tones. Hoping to buy one soon just need the extra cash.
    guy_tebache
    definitely not sold on looks, but in terms of functionality, if this had a floyd rose it might suit my needs perfectly.
    luke_guitar
    katalyzt13 wrote: I've been really curious about these, but I haven't decided if they are beautiful or ugly yet.
    about where i'm at right now
    katalyzt13
    I've been really curious about these, but I haven't decided if they are beautiful or ugly yet.
    Robfreitag
    I had one... in my opinion it wasn't great. now I have a les paul and a strat. now I am happy.
    Spud Spudly
    Thanks! If this has quality pups it's almost too good to be true really for the price.
    paul.a.hanson
    Just so everyone knows this isn't exactly a new design... The first Nighthawks were released in '93 so the design itself is closing in on 20 years old. Gibson has been making Nighthawks for many of the years in between then and now, they just decided to put out an Epi model due to more demand for them lately.
    brainwasher
    I dont know why, but if it was another manufacturer i would think it was cool. But i just cant put together the Gibson company and crazy, "modern" designs such as this in my head. But on the other hand, we should be glad that they are trying new things!
    drug.me.2.hell
    Spud Spudly wrote: I'd like to hear more about how each one of the individual pickups sounds. I'm an Epi fan, but really it's hard to imagine how those can be very good pickups at such a low price.
    In reply to this, there is 9 differing sounds you can get out of the guitar, Ill try my best to describe them all, All info mentioned is amp alone with overdrive. Neck - Quite rich sounding with and without coil tap. Sounds better with a bit more distortion, I got a nice James Hetfield/Dave Murray tone out of it. Neck/Middle - Really nice Brian May style tone with coil tap, without the Coil Tap its slightly fatter sounding, great for Clapton style songs. Middle - Not so good, but I copped a nice version of The Strokes' Undercover Of Darkness outta it Middle/Bridge - really country esque with the coil tap, and without the coil tap and overdrive its the most convincing acoustic you'll get out of it on cleans. Bridge - Where the Selector is most the time, very Randy Rhoads esque, btu not as good as the neck when coil tapped.
    Vypor
    drug.me.2.hell wrote: and it was compared to a Epiphone Les Paul Custom, and a Fender Blacktop Telecaster, this sounded the best out of them all, and all I wish it had was a Floyd Rose.
    Considering I have an Epiphone LP Custom, comparing the specs that you have listed, I highly doubt that these are comparable guitars.
    Vypor
    I however happen to really like this body style for some reason. . .
    ProgFolk12
    I usually like a traditional guitar, but I'm not gonna write this off straight away: -22 J frets -25.5" scale -Ebony Fretboard If those spes are true, and the pups are ok, it could be interesting. I'm really not sure though.....
    Spud Spudly
    I'd like to hear more about how each one of the individual pickups sounds. I'm an Epi fan, but really it's hard to imagine how those can be very good pickups at such a low price.
    ANARCHYJAMES
    Vypor wrote: drug.me.2.hell wrote: and it was compared to a Epiphone Les Paul Custom, and a Fender Blacktop Telecaster, this sounded the best out of them all, and all I wish it had was a Floyd Rose. Considering I have an Epiphone LP Custom, comparing the specs that you have listed, I highly doubt that these are comparable guitars.
    Hey man trust me, I love this guitar and so does my dad. I play it on a FEnder stage 1000 amp and its beautiful. My dad has a Gibson les paul L6-s and he even thinks the nighthawk outplays it big time, heck i have a hard time practicing anymore cuz hes always playing my nighthawk, and it still has everything from the store, no custom made pups or anything, try playing it with d'addario strings and its wondeful