Wilshire review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reliability & Durability: 3
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 1
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 4.8 Poor
  • Users' score: 7.8 (41 votes)
Epiphone: Wilshire

Purchased from: Friend

Sound — 7
Interesting one, it's made from mahogany and has a set neck so it has much better sustain than you would expect. Still not a les paul, but plays and sounds very much like one. I'm playing it through a Marshall MG30DFX (I know, it ain't great) but it still sounds nice. If you're willing to mess about with the volume and treble dials on the guitar you can get a good range of sounds from it. I think it's a bit too trebly but that might be due to the amp.

Overall Impression — 4
I play mainly indie/punky stuff (take your shots) and when it wants to, it sounds quite nice. I bought it because of the zany looks and how easy it made playing higher frets (plus Pete Doherty, Jimi Hendrix and that bloke from The Strokes had one). However, this isn't a patch on the original. There's only a few in the UK, and two of them are in my room; one with a huge neck fracture and 2 broken knobs, the other with a weak neck joint and a broken tone knob. Thumbs down to Epiphone on this one, looks to me like they are trying to cash in on a legend by making guitars way too cheaply. If it was stolen, I'd get a Fender '50s Telecaster which is exactly what I've done.

Reliability & Durability — 3
I originally bought this to gig with but I don't think it could handle it. Who knows when a humbucker might fall out? Or the volume knobs give out altogether? It's resigned to light indoor use now and seems to handle that ok. The very small neck/body joint worries me, even laying the guitar flat on it's back knocks it out of tune because the neck bends so much. Not impressed.

Action, Fit & Finish — 1
This is where it all falls apart. I took the first one from the factory box and I don't know Who does the quality checking (a blind chimp, perhaps) but the guitar was in quite a state. Two of the knobs were broken (not working), there was a massive chip in the laquer at the front (due to pickguard screw being tightened so tight it took off about 30 mm sq of laquer) and a neck fracture developing. After a lot of arguing with DHL and Epiphone, I got a replacement which was set up fine. However, upon taking this apart the other day, I found that under the surface, everything about this was poorly made. The laquer was poorly finished under the pickguard, connections kept coming loose and a tone knob has recently broken through light indoor playing. Hell, they must have major problems with drilling holes for pickguards, mines got 3 or 4 extra ones where they missed and redrilled them (one of which is too big anyway so the screw just sits in it, not touching the wood). I will never buy a post 2001 Epiphone again, they are terrible.

Features — 9
22 frets, two alnico magnet pickups and Standard volume/tone knobs for each (plus that famous "batwing" headstock, nice). I got some extra stuff with mine but nothing special, a few posters and an angled 6 mm lead. It sorta looks like a Strat in that it's double cutaway, but it's unique in that the body is cut away on both sides right up to the 22nd fret. This makes playing 17th fret upwards a helluva lot easier, I found it nearly impossible on my Les Paul! Pickups work very well and I wouldn't upgrade them.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Dude, you're being ridiculous. Why in the hell would a pickup fall out? To all of you out there reading this: I beat the shit out of my Epis daily and I've never had to fix a single one.
    Hell, they must have major problems with drilling holes for pickguards, mines got 3 or 4 extra ones where they missed and redrilled them (one of which is too big anyway so the screw just sits in it, not touching the wood).
    Eh, the extra holes are usually so they can be gripped with machines and when they are being painted etc.
    I really like my Alpine white Whilshire, and it plays great, but I'm not sure about the paint. I had it on a guitar stand near a window. I guess the sun was shining on it during the day while I was at work. The white discolored badly, but not where a shadow was cast. I tried to use guitar cleaner, but the paint looks yellowed. It might not be too bad if it was consistent, like an aged white.
    This is a link to my Epiphone Wilshire, trying to figure the year and worth, it's much much older than the ones I see online here I can tell by the tail peice and tremelo and the electronics are very primative... I wonder if Upgrading the pickups to Gibson ES-175 Humbucklers would deface the value or not ???https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=... et=o.128269058566&type=1&theater
    hi all, i have a 66 reissue with the mini buckers. it's a great guitar and the price has gone down a lot so a good modder too! here's the trick...re string with ernie ball power slinkys (or similar). you get loads of added sustain and much better tension. i agree with the above review, this is like a high end squier (think classic vibe series). i don't have any tuning issues with mine but you know, i do put strings on well...don't mean to sound bigoted but you need to stretch strings out...even on a 2 grand guitar! the finish is great and everything is solid. i always end up modding guitars, it's an addiction, unless they aren't worth it...this one is! it'll get a set of hand wound mini buckers and a re-wire at some point but that's just my taste...it's great out the box for beginner to intermediate or just someone looking for a different sound to add to the stable! i'd defo go for '66' over 'pro' it's got mojo! as said above it wont do metal, so true, it's a vintage reissue, it likes blues, it likes punk, it likes valve amps! sings with my lazy j deluxe! hope this helps and isn't just babble! peace and kind regards to all, steve
    I love my Wilshire pro. It's light, it holds its tune, and I get a wide range of tones with the humbuckers and coil-tapped single coils. One of the reviewers mentioned that for heavier tones, the guitar kinda tanks out, and I've found that to be true. Also, I'm not happy with the cleans, but I use a different guitar when I want a clean tone. But for most classic rock, country-rock, and country tunes, this guitar is a winner.
    My only complaint about this guitar is the buzz on the E, but other than that it's great!
    Always wanted one of these... but seriously dude, out don't think that theres anyone on this site thats had a pickup just 'fall out'.
    I've been gigging this now as my main guitar for the last 6 months, it never goes out of tune and the variety of sounds that you can produce with just the three position selector switch and a bit of alteration on the tone controls is amazing. I play in a covers band playing anything from Nirvava to Pink! Never had a problem with it. For the money it's just great. If you take the time to get it set up properly and look after it it'll be a great guitar for you. I use an SG as a back up (an Epi SG that is) but find that I can get all the tones I need from the Wilshire.
    I just recently got one, and for it's price range it's a wonderful guitar. I have a Hohner TB-2 and a knockoff Les Paul and it sounds way more amazing than either one. The TB-2 sells for $600 and I got a pretty sweet deal on it, but it still doesn't sound near as good as this. Basically if you have the money, go try one out and buy it if you like it. I traded my acoustic and a little cash for it and it's better than any electric I've owned. Now I need to get an acoustic again, lol.
    I got a Wilshire about 18 months ago and would recommend it to anyone who's interested in one. In saying that i prefer my the heavier more solid Fender tele but for the money its awesome. Nice feel and once set up properly can easily it dead easy to play and great feel.
    I bought one of these today. I have to take it back tomorrow to get it set-up. I feel like it could be a really awesome guitar, the neck feels fantastic, really smooth, the pickups give a decent enough sound... but the action is WAY too high once you get past the 12th fret, and the G string is very poorly set up, 12th fret sounds closer to a G# than a G. Other than that, great guitar so far, can't wait to get playing it once it's had a decent set-up.
    this guitar looks so awesome, much better looking than the les pauls in the same price range (IMO)
    Cmon could otehr people post their reviews, I'm becoming quite interested in this guitar and I wanna know if this is a one off.
    The first guy really like his tele's doesn't he-why'd he get this when he could hav got a crappy tele