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Rating and Reviews: Epiphone Nighthawk Custom

Rock with the potent triple pickup combination of the Epiphone Nighthawk Custom. This lost classic single-cutaway packs plenty of tone and style.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"This guitar exceeds all expectations in every aspect,hats off to Epiphone" submitted August 19, 2011

By a customer from att.net
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Former gigging artist turned hobbyist who annoys his neighbors
Music Style: ROCK-BLUES
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zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Sound: Through a Line 6 spider III this guitar screams,there are so many tonal possibilities it would take quite awhile to explore all of them,10 different pickup combinations.With and without effects it has a lot to offer.Clean sounds are rich and full. Feature: For the price it is amazing what the Indonesians can do.Fit and finish of all components is perfect,I can not find a single flaw on this guitar.Volume and tone pots are smooth and quiet.Selector switch also is quiet.Pickups are good although I will be replacing them with the seymour duncan`s that are available,thats just me,there is nothing wrong with the stock pups.the flamed top is awesome.The binding is perfect.Fret finnish is perfect.Inlays and finnish ditto,perfect. Ease of Use: Out of the box this guitar was ready to rock,no adjustment to the neck was needed.Low action,no fret buzz.It takes a while to try all 10 pup combos but there is something for everyone in this guitar and it could be used for many styles even though rock and blues is my thing. Quality: my only complaint,and it is a minor one ,is that I would like to see a replacement bridge offered,other than thatthe quality overall is excellent.I have had guitars costing more than double this that were poorer in fit ,finnish,and component wise.This guitar will be in my collection until they nail shut my coffin.And with a lifetime warranty ,they stand behind their product. Value: VERY much worth the going price The Wow Factor: Even when not being played I love just looking at this guitar Overall: If I were a new player or as I am a seasoned vet of over 30 years ,this would be either my choice for a starter or as an awesome addition to my collection
21 of 21 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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""Stop looking buy this Guitar"" submitted January 2, 2012

By a customer from ymail.com
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Sound
Features
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Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: I've been playing for 3yrs. I have a Strat copy, Fender Telecaster, '64 Silvertone acoustic, '57 stella and some other guitars.
Music Style: Mostly Blues, some classic and southern rock.
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Sound: This Guitar sounds great . So many tones. It will take some time to utilize and explore all the different pickup combinations. I'm confident I can get real close to any tone I might want. I enjoy playing blues, classic rock. I don't have to try real hard to find the sounds I'm looking for with this guitar. Honestly I bought this guitar with the thought that I would have to do some major mods. and upgrades. But Epiphone out done themselves on this one. I haven't even changed the strings yet and I had those bought and ready before the guitar got here. Feature: Guitar is beautiful. I got the Fireburst model and its stunning. From research I had done on the internet I was expecting less from a guitar from Indonesia. I have searched hard to find anything sub par. Its just not there. Frets are great. Guitar came set up great tuned it just a little, checked the intonation. It was perfect. I did adjust the pickup heights to suit my taste. Everyone that has seen or played this guitar has been impressed. Usually when I open the case someone near by will say WOW. This price point was so low I really was expecting much less. Just wanted to give a Nighthawk a try. Then possibly Buy the Gibson model. But I'm shocked to say no need to buy or do anything except enjoy this sweet axe and keep my money in my pocket. Gotta love that! Ease of Use: I got my Nighthawk, unboxed it, looked it over real good, tuned it, plugged it into my Line Six Spider 3. I ran thru the pickups and some different settings on my amp. Quickly found several tones I loved. I started getting excited, I knew I made made a great decision buying this guitar. For several hours I just explored the tones. I couldn't stop smiling or playing, just a blast. It came time for me to go to work, I took it with me. I'm 40 yrs old I felt like a kid a Christmas. The tone possibilities seem endless to me. This guitar can go from an almost acoustic sound to AC/DC. From Clapton to SVR and more. I can't play like these guys, but I can hear them in this guitar. Just FUN. Quality: Like I said earlier this guitar is stunning in appearance for any price but for $399.00 its shocking. The inlay work. Matchbook top. Gloss Finish. Sound from the pickups, all of it just blew me away. And coil splitting capabilities. I don't know how it could be put together any better, I really don't. I treat this guitar like its made of gold. I plan to keep it play the H*LL out of it. See no reason why I want be able to leave it to a grandchild someday. Value: This guitar is built and plays like guitars selling for 10 times the price literally. Like I said earlier I bought for kind of a test drive of a nighthawk planning to spend much more later on a Gibson if I liked it. Or do major upgrades to this one. Turns out no need to do either. This epiphone far exceeded my expectations. If I do upgrade this one or buy the Gibson and I might. It will be just because I want to own a Gibson or try try the Seymour Duncan pickups built for this guitar. Not because the guitar needs anything. I might even buy another one. I had a hard time deciding which one I wanted. At this price its possible that might buy one in Black and one in Honey burst. And put Seymour Duncans in them. I would have three awesome axes and still have money left over comparing to the Gibson prices. Believe me I still love Gibson and American made instruments. Will probably buy the Gibson someday. But as far as value goes up front I don't know how you could beat this guitar. If I buy the Gibson it would be because I love Gibson and I know they are good investments. This would be my everyday player. Manufacturer Support: Haven't needed support. Don't expect to need any. But I have spoken to people at zzounds about various subjects. Very helpful. The Wow Factor: I had seven guitars when I bought this one. I've wanted to try a Nighthawk for sometime. I'm an aspiring Blues player. I read a review that put the Nighthawk in high regard as a Blues machine. So I wanted to try one bad. Epiphone came out with this guitar at a price I could afford to buy it, try it and if I was disappointed, I new i could sell it and not lose much. That tells you my thinking goin into this purchase. Well, I love it. Its gorgeous and it sounds great, feels great. The only thing that could possibly be more appealing is a couple of more. I might have to own one of each color. Overall: I expect to keep this guitar forever. If it gets lost or stolen I WILL find it. And I promise you don't want to be the one that stole it. It would be a bad day for that guy. I love guitars so I know I'll buy other guitars. But it want change my love for this one. Its MINE. I plan to pass it on to family or a trusted friend when I'm gone.
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"Looked at a zillion Nighthawk Google results? Here's your answer." submitted July 3, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Sound
Features
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Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Active musician
Music Style: Blues, jazz, rock, Christian
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Sound: Great full jazzy tone on the mini-HB and reasonable Fender-like tones from the coil splitting combos. The slant HB is weak and useless on the coil split alone (position 1) but sounds good in combination with the middle single coil (pos 2). The bad single coil bridge setting keeps this from a higher score. I do love the many possible combinations and while none of them are spot-on Strat or Tele tones, they are similar and have their own jangly sound that's very un-Gibson like and cool. Feature: Love the many tones from the 5-way switch and coil tapping. The neck is well finished and the body is sweet, string-through, speed knobs. Full binding on the body, neck, and headstock are quite nice for a guitar in this price range. Also the inlaid fret markers. No accessories included unless you consider a couple of hex wrenches to be an accessory. I don't expect accessories with an inexpensive guitar anyway. I like the belly cut but do wish it had a forearm cut on the front, since I can imagine myself wearing it down on the top edge. Finally, you MUST get a quality suede strap because with the small, light body, the neck dive is extreme. You will not want to use one of those cheap 2" web straps or you'll find yourself having an excellent left arm workout holding this guitar up. I put a web strap on it just to test it and the neck slid to below horizontal. A good suede strap fixes that. The guitar is very light, which is a plus. It's also very resonant. I find myself practising unplugged most of the time. Ease of Use: It's a guitar with 3 pickups. Need help figuring that out? Quality: I took a chance on the blem Honeyburst and I'm SO GLAD that I did. It's perfect. I have no clue what the blem might have been...maybe just a customer return. Finish is bright, the top is gorgeous and the quality is great overall. Neck is straight, frets well finished, nothing loose. No reason to think it wasn't a Gibson if you didn't see the headstock. I am proud to play it. Value: Hmm, let's see. I could spend $1000 more on the Gibson version. But I hold the Epi, turn it over, look at everything, and I can't see a grand less guitar. Sure, any smart guy is going to point out the electronics and US manufacturing, and that's great if you have the green. But get real, anyone looking at the Epi Nighthawk is already fine with the idea of a very reasonably-priced alternative. If you're hung up on the overseas manufacturing or working conditions, why are you looking at an Epiphone to begin with??? They are making quite good guitars in China, Korea, and Indonesia these days and how do you know that working in a guitar factory isn't significantly better than the other options those people have? Don't you think they're working at the best job they can find? Accept it or buy American if you can't or won't. The Epi is a great quality instrument at a ridiculously reasonable price. Manufacturer Support: Called ZZounds to check on the order and they were right on top of it. I don't envision much need to contact Epiphone about this great quality guitar. The Wow Factor: Sure, it's quirky. The body is small enough that it actually takes some time to get used to the look. At first it almost looks like a Guitar Hero-size guitar. But you DO get used to it. On the stand it looks remarkably like a Les Paul. On the body, less so, but it's a look all its own. Do "I want it"? I think I read every link on the first 10 pages of Google results before I bought it. Damn straight. There's really nothing else like it, other than the $1300 Gibson version. And the Honeyburst flame maple top is sexy as hell! I have to say, though, I sure wish they had a trans-black blem. But I'll take the Honey at $285 delivered, thank you very much. Overall: I see myself playing this until I wear it out, break it, or it's stolen. Then I'll get another one. Thank you, Epiphone! Please don't discontinue it again.
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"Awesome package" submitted February 9, 2012

By Spider Bob in beckley, WV
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Musical Background: Session player/Professional
Music Style: Blues,Rock,Metal,Shred
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Overall: This is very much a custom shop guitar. It is the best constructed guitar I have ever seen from Epiphone or anyone else and being as I've owned/own many Fender,Gibson, Hamer and Epi products I can say this truthfully. The finish and fit are flawless,Intonation and action were great from the factory and once tweaked were incredible.I noticed this guitar was made in indonesia...perhaps this is why it is made so well.It's the best sounding strat I have ever owned no wait the best sounding Les Paul.you get the picture this guitar is extremely versatile . You can play super clean jazz,twangy country,dirty blues or searing metal without a problem. The neck is incredibly comfortable and play's easily...It's not really a Les paul and not a SG either. this guitar was way ahead of it's time in the early nineties and the answer to a giging guitar player or session player.
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"Epiphones on to something" submitted March 22, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: insirering musician, band director, 2 1/2 years of guitar playing
Music Style: classic rock, blues, grunge, experimental
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Sound: i give the sound a nine because for what its worth it can make some really beautiful tones and the coil tappin makes things sound seem alot more versital. i l have a gibson LP studio and a fender strat and this nighthawk has the power and full warm tone like my paul and coil-tapped it sounds as beautiful, clean cut, bright as my strat i can honestly say its the best of both worlds Feature: like i said the coil tapping is a great feature Ease of Use: at first when this guitar arrived the truss rod in the neck was very loose and i had to spend a day or two trying to find the perfect spot so there wasnt a bow or a hump in the neck after its all fixed up there its a pretty nice guitar to play and jammin on it still feels pretty nice Quality: like i said i was having problems with the truss rod the first few days and never really had as much as a problem with any of my other guitars when it came to that there is one more thing i don like is the buzz i get with the lower strings its still a really nice guitar but you do get what you pay for i like it still Value: yes this guitar is worth what the price is i would say that it was a steel if i had no problems with the neck haha Manufacturer Support: n/a The Wow Factor: this is a sexy lookin gutar for my taste when i saw it in a guitar world mag i told myself i must have it sure i desided to look up the gibson model first (2010 nighthawk standard) i loved the blue color with the quilt maple top but the pick up setup wasnt the same, no binding, rosewood fretboard instead of ebony, and i'm not a big fan of just dot inlays. this gutar (as much as i wish i could find one in a deep blue) is pretty beautiful. the finish goes really nice with the wood, the crown inlays help make it look supreme, and the unique pickup style is like a dream come true Overall: overall im pretty happy with buying this guitar since it is epiphone i dont expect quality will hold up for too many years but its holding up its worth for right now haha if i were to buy this guitar again i think i would want to do it at a guitar store so i can inspect it myself before i pay dont get my wrong this is a great guitar for what its worth
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"Buttery sweet" submitted March 5, 2011

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: active musi cian
Music Style: rock, blue grass , punk, country
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Sound: It has great variety of tones to offer that are all pretty solid. The pups are pretty good considering the cost of the guitar. All in all i'm very happy with it. Feature: Slant, single, mini, the hummers coil split and the five way selector is a great sounding arrangement of pups. Buckets full of tones. Quality: The quality here is impressive. Got the trans. amber and it's beautiful. The finish is perfect and the combo of tone woods combine to create the sound I like. Would of got a 10 if the pickups were a little better. Set up was good out the box, I'll be raising the pups a wee bit but that's a matter of taste. The Wow Factor: It's a great looking guitar but I can't say it appeals to me sexualy. Overall: It's a welcome and permanent part of my collection. If something happened to it I would get another.
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"Three guitars in one ! ! ! (;)==# ." submitted June 28, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist, who loves guitar.
Music Style: Rock, Country, Techno,
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Sound: I think the sound of the guitar is pretty good.The mini hum-bucker is very smooth,yet plenty of tone to back it up. I use it the most for my playing. The single-coil pickup is great for the classic Stratocaster sound,best for playing southern rock. Now the problem with the slanted pickup(I don't know what else to call it)... is that it only works when it wants to. It sounds good for solos and main riffs, but if I want to switch to it from another pickup,I have to move the pickup selector switch back and forth till it works. I think the wires are malfunctioning. So the sound is good,but only two thirds of the time. Feature: The features are nice on this guitar. The materials on this guitar are good but a tiny bit sloppy when being put together. One thing that I think I would change is the tone knob,because when your hands are sweaty from playing,it's hard to pull it out. The designers should put groove for grip on the sides. Love the set-neck and string through design,it makes for great sustain! Grover tuners are very nice. One thing that I wasn't happy about,is that the guitar didn't come with everything it said it would, like the cable,bumper sticker and poster :( . Ease of Use: It's great for playing. Good sound, easy to use. Good with my amp(LINE6 Spider4 75watt). Quality: Like I said it was made a bit sloppy but good pieces. Haven't had it long enough to see if it will last but,I think I might have to replace some things on it. Value: I think its worth the money. Manufacturer Support: Only needed support when they sent me the cord,but it came fast! The Wow Factor: Looks great, sleek, smooth, bold all in one package. My friend said she liked the look. Overall: This guitar should be good for my level of playing.I think I would buy it again.
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Epiphone Nighthawk Custom Customer Review submitted June 1, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: gigging heavy
Music Style: rock/punk/metal/metalcore
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Sound: With the stock p/ups its a little thin and bright for my taste, sounds very much like a thinline tele. I'm definitely going to upgrade to the slant Duncan JB in the bridge. The center mount single coil is very hot and great for that blues twang. Ease of Use: Between the awesome pickup layout and the 5 way switch, mixed with coil tapping, you can get just about any sound from this beast. Quality: For the money, it's an awesome deal, the neck is very sg like. I would put this up against the Gibson nighthawk of the late 90s any day. Great job!
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"10 for ZZounds, 8 for Guitar" submitted July 10, 2011

By a customer from netzero.net
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Musical Background: Songwriter
Music Style: Blues, Classi Rock, Acoustic
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Sound: For the price, this is a really great sounding guitar. Great for Blues and Rock Feature: Included cord, but it is the standard Epiphone cheapie. Allen wrenchs for neck and bridge. Some other generally useless stuff. Ease of Use: It took 3 of these to get one without problems. The one I finally kept has great action and a good feel to the neck. Quality: I had to return 2 of these to get one without problems. ZZounds was great and has charged me no additional money, and even encouraged me to send the guitars back until I got one that I liked. The second one was really beatuiful and the wood and workmanship was excellant, but the neck caused buzzing on strings 6,5, and 3. (almost all frets.) I had bought one of these from a local music store and it had the same problem. They ended up returning all of their stock because they all had the same problem. I wanted to buy one from them when they re stocked, but they are going to wait until the 4th quarter to outlive the bad batch. The guitar itself is just what I was after, so I gave ZZounds a try. Really glad I did!! The guitar I ended up keeping had a poorer quality finish and poorer selection of woods than any of the others I tried here or elsewhere, but it sounds and plays really great!! Well worth the money even with the less than great finish. Value: Not a 10 only because of finish. Manufacturer Support: Unknown. have not gone to Gibson or Epiphone with any problems. Just returned faulty guitars The Wow Factor: The best for the bucks if a good finish could be found with a good neck also Overall: This is a keeper
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"So glad I bought this one...." submitted October 9, 2013

By Jason T in Roswell, NM
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Musical Background: 25+ years
Music Style: funky, rockish, alt-y, blues stuff
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Sound: well, first off, the mini bucker sounded dead... BUT, after some adjustment (see below) it opened up. It is quite warm and thick. The bridge pickup is nicely balanced, somewhat akin to the humbuckers on a standard strat. The middle pickup is fairly bright and more... pronounced... than I was expecting. The combinations of pickups sound wonderful... spanky, sparkly sorta, and in the split coil mode very funky, almost quacky... GREAT sounds in all positions... Not typical Gibson, Not Fender (not a lot of high chimey sounds on tap), but definitely bright and musical. Bridge can crunch up nicely.... I LOVE the tones on this guitar. Feature: Coil tap is nice.... guitar is thoughtfully laid out and comfortable. I was a 'see it to believe it' guy on the slanted bridge pickup... whether it really made much of a difference, but it is a really balanced, musical sounding pickup, so maybe it does change things. Ease of Use: I've gotten good sounds with all of my pedals and straight in a multitude of amps. Out of the box the action was CRAZY high, I mean just outrageously high.... and the neck pickup was crazy low (and sounded horrible). The neck, however, had proper relief in it, and once the strings were lowered (very low action with no buzz, thin Ibanez Wizard), and the neck pickup was raised, the tones opened up beautifully. I normally replace stock strings immediately but these sounded alive and spanky... intonation was perfectly set, so aside from the two little adjustments, it was ready to go. Quality: The finish is perfect, the binding perfect.... the guitar is gorgeous. The tuning machines feel solid and there are NO tuning issues. Knobs feel ok, tension is good.... Binding is perfect. You wouldn't think this was an inexpensive guitar if you didn't know better. There were a few sharp fret edges, which surprised me after the perfect frets on the WildKat, but then again it went from an area of high humidity to Nevada to here, where there is no humidity. The guitar probably had a chance to dry out some which always makes frets stick out a bit. I dont mind a little filing, but it was just a couple of them, and then it was a tiny amount of protrusion. Otherwise guitar is perfect. Value: Well, I'd have payed more for it, now that I've handled it. Epiphone is doing something VERY right, if my first two are any indication. Good sounds, Beautiful guitars, excellent playability, for under $400... if you aren't a cork sniffer that has to have a G on the headstock, why wouldn't you want this guitar? Manufacturer Support: No Idea. The Wow Factor: The slightly odd form factor, gorgeous wood, good looks, tonal options, confort and playability.... this guitar is VERY appealing for me... I mean... I bought it, right? Overall: I took a chance on an Epiphone a while back (Wildkat) and was so blown away by the quality, I decided to pull the trigger on the Nighthawk... and I was a GREAT purchase.
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Epiphone Nighthawk Custom Customer Review submitted December 19, 2011

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Sound: the sound is awesome I have been playing for 43 years have 16 guitars play alot of different music have gibsons,fenders, epiphones,ibanez,ovations,and different sounds are great they are really different small body large sounds unreal for the price thanx zzounds
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"Finally broke down and bought one" submitted July 26, 2014

By Joe Churchwell in Hot Springs, AR
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Musical Background: Gigging 25 years
Music Style: Rock and roll from the Stones to STP
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Sound: Very good. The pickups are good enough quality to not worry about replacing. They did require adjustments. I DO like the pickup combinations and versatility. Feature: The parts and components are good quality. Truss rod didn't "quite" get the neck back where I wanted it but it was acceptable when i got finished with the setup. Ease of Use: If you play electric guitar it is right there for you. Quality: The quality is very very good for a $350 guitar. I have been looking at these since the original version came out. My love/hate relationship with Gibsons has kept me from dropping the Gibson$$ because I have never kept one in my "players" bunch. Always pick up a fender when its time to get down to business however, i figured for this price I couldn't get hurt. Glad i bought it. NOW...... I read a lot of these reviews and the "right out of the box " great playing nighthawks went somewhere besides my house. The neck was wasn't anywhere near where it should have been and the intonation was ear-bleed bad. We had to completely remove the springs behind the Low E and G saddles to make it work. I was afraid i was going to have to remove the nut and make a real (non-molded plastic) one with a spacer in front but barely escaped that route. In other words the bridge was mounted about .25" forward of where it should have been. Frets are a bit rough, some string grind on bends but thats to be expected on a brand new axe in this price range. They were finished nicely at the ends and the binding on the guitar is everywhere, which is NOT to be expected on a guitar in this price range. Very nice. Sooooo it fell off the Fedex truck at noon and after new strings and about 30 minutes of tweak-age by by friend and guitar-extraordinaire Brent Frazier, I decided to give it a shot at the gig. I played it for two sets as my standard-tuned main axe and it was fine. Better than fine actually in the sound and tone department. I will keep this and just might even find a Gibson. Not because I think it would be $800 better than this one but because if I'm going to play one, and I probably will, I prefer the Gibson on the headstock. Value: I think it is well worth the $$ Manufacturer Support: Just bought it yesterday. The Wow Factor: The looks, style, weight, size and sound are everything I have imagined. Not disappointed at all. Overall: I am a Fender guy. I have owned numerous Gibsons, LP's & SG's and have never been satisfied with the way they play versus a strat neck. I may keep this one.
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"Epiphone Nighthawk Custom Reissue Guitar" submitted June 10, 2014

By Norm R in Lexington, KY
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Musical Background: I have played for many,many years. I play guitar,keyboard,and percussion. Played in bands and at home.
Music Style: Rock and Roll
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Overall: What can I say except " amazing guitar"! This is one of the best playing, as well as great sounding on any scale. It is very light and fits close to the body. You can easily play this guitar for hours without feeling the weight of a full sized Les Paul. The finish is first rate and the many combinations of sounds is the most versatile that I have ever known! I am very pleased that I own this incredible guitar!
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"Epiphone Nighthawk" submitted June 29, 2014

By Ray H
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Musical Background: On and off 10 years
Music Style: Rock and blue ,little country
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Overall: For the price I paid what a beautiful guitar. Binding, colors of sunburst pattern and setup by zz sounds was perfect. I am back playing after sitting out for eight years or so and did not want to spend a fortune on a guitar/amp setup. I am very pleased with the guitar, lots of different tones can be produced with the five way switching and coil tap! I enjoy swing blues so this guitar is a nice fit, playing off of a fender champion 40 with effects and a vox ditto pedal. Great looking and sounding what a buy! and after all if you are not satisfied with the humbuckers they can always be changed out on the cheap. Cannot rate mfg. support from Epiphone simply because I do not need too!
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"Get one before they're gone." submitted April 11, 2014

By Jim O in Grand Junction, CO
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Musical Background: Been playing several instruments over last several years. Just play for enjoyment.
Music Style: Rock, blues
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Overall: I bought one of these (trans-amber) last year from another company. Since then, I've been lucky enough to spend some quality time with several other nice guitars including an Epi Sheraton II, a Fender MIM, HSS Strat, a PRS Bernie Marsden & Santana models and my son's Hamer Monaco. All very nice guitars and all with strong points and advantages. But if I was forced to have just one of the above to be the only guitar I ever played again? I'd pick this Nighthawk Reissue hands down. This guitar has an awesome "chime" to it only rivaled by the Strat. It handles the bass tones really well also. With nine possible tones available between the 3 pups and coil split and then toss in a modeling amp with tons of effects it'll take days to hear all the possible sounds from this one guitar. You do lose a bit of volume when you split the pups, but we have these things called volume controls to fix that and with all the varied sounds out of this one guitar it's well worth the money. The slanted humbucker, mini humbucker and single coil are all really nice quality and sound great. I mean GREAT! The finish is beautiful with nice binding, string through body and quality tuners. I just read on Epi's website that this guitar is going out of production. I can't imagine why as it's really a keeper and a well built guitar (both Indonesian & China as I now have one of each). So I popped for another one before they're gone. This time I got the Fireburst and man it is a beauty (and the trans-amber was too). Its a lightweight to hold but a real heavy when it comes to tone. The only con I can list is a short insert jack plug. It tends to loosen over time and really needs a star washer to keep the nut from coming off. I got tired of it coming loose on the 1st guitar and ordered a long one from Amazon with enough room to add the star washer. It took 10 minutes with a soldering iron and it hasn't come loose again. If you're eyeballing one of these trying to make a decision? Just make it and get one before they're gone. And as far as ZZounds? These guys mean it when they say they'll beat any competitors price. The transaction was easy, the shipping was fast, the guitar was packed well and I only have good things to say about ZZounds. (I gave it 2.5 stars below on one topic because I haven't had to deal with manufacturer support)
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"I love this guitar" submitted November 18, 2012

By m b in ann arbor, MI
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Musical Background: 20 yrs guitar vocals tour recording
Music Style: rock trance edm pop folk indie
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Overall: I am a pro guitar player who has toured and recorded in major venues and studios and this guitar is really one of those great finds. I was looking for a guitar that had a variety of tones and solid tuners and a nice look and well-made and this one has impressed me so far. it's really one of my fave guitars. I usually play Music Man (ernie ball) but couldn't afford a $2K guitar for recording - this guitar has some great tones. nicely constructed. I'll keep it and use it in many situations for years.
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"Very cool guitar !" submitted February 23, 2014

By Scott W in Takoma Park, MD
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Musical Background: Wouldn't actually call myself a guitar player but I sure have a great time playing with the guitar. Mostly just play at home.
Music Style: Rock & blues
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Overall: Came across this guitar purely by chance. But it sounded very cool with the 9 possible pickup settings. A really nice guitar all the way around. Stays in tune very well and is just very versatile all the way around. Check it out. I don't think anyone will be disappointed.
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"Wonderful value" submitted January 27, 2014

By Ron Orton in Gardendale, AL
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Musical Background: professional 41 years
Music Style: classic rock, country, blues and Christian praise
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Overall: The guitar that was shipped was cosmetically flawless. I did have to do some set up work and set the intonation. But this guitar plays like a dream and the sound variables from the pickups are awesome
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"A Super Buy" submitted January 6, 2014

By Ron Orton in Gardendale, AL
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Musical Background: Playing for 43 years. Guitar,trumpet,bass. Professional.
Music Style: Classic Rock Southern Rock Blues Country Christian Praise
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Overall: First off kudos to zzounds for making it such an easy purchase. Fishish is spot on. Pickups are hotter than I expected
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"A Great Value And A Freak-Funky Design With Interesting Tones" submitted June 2, 2011

By a customer from att.net
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Musical Background: Hobbyist with dreams
Music Style: Midwestern reggae
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Sound: The pickups are the weak point of this guitar. The mini-humbucker at the neck position is the strongest of the three, delivering a nice warm tone that sounds good clean and is adequate with distortion. The single-coil in the middle position is also a fair-quality pickup, but under-powered when coupled with the humbuckers. The humbucker at the bridge is the weak sister here. The tone is not sharp and bright as you would expect, nor is it clean or in any way warm. It sounds cheap. If you are planning to use this instrument as more than a student instrument, or a weekend jam axe, you will want to seriously consider replacement pickups. Fortunately Seymour Duncan has this covered, though their replacement set can be hard to find. The "coil tap" (which isn't a real tap at all, but most dual/single switches are called that these days) makes things interesting, but be warned that there is no make-up gain in the circuit: when you switch to single-coil mode you lose half your gain. The volume and tone controls are standard, adequate pots. Feature: Don't get too excited about the "ebony" fingerboard. All "ebony" really means is "black wood", and this doesn't feel like real ebony - it isn't slate-smooth. More like painted rosewood. Doesn't come with much: an "Epiphone" bumper sticker, a cheap, short cable, a user manual that covers most other Epiphone models but NOT the hybrid Nighthawk, and a single sheet that explains the coil switch. I bought an Epiphone case to go with it, which is fairly nice for a budget case, except for the HIDEOUS chemical smell of the inside padding. Ease of Use: It's a guitar. The action is fairly nice for the price-range. The tuners are solid and keep the tuning. The through-the-body bridge is fairly solid and nicely adjustable. The five-position knife switch is a major bow to this guitar's Stratocaster leanings. The switch is clean in operation with no pops and seems durable. There is a Les Paul-style cable jack with the usual plastic plate that is going to crack some day. The neck reminds me of an SG - it's a thin "D"-style. Easy to get around and comfortable. I'm not a speed player so I can't say how "fast" it is. Quality: I bought a "blemished" model for an $80 savings (paid for the case), but I can't detect what the "blemish" might be, unless it's some very light surface scratches on the back that I never would have noticed if I hadn't been looking for the "blemish". So kudos to zZounds for not sending me something with a big gash in the top. This guitar was made at Epiphone's Indonesian factory, and is surprisingly well made for an asian import. I shudder to think of the possible working conditions they might have there to keep the price so low. But then there's the argument that if not for terrible jobs some people might have none at all - so take your pick of ideologies. The materials seem to be of good quality considering this is a low-end instrument. The finish is very nice - beautiful even (I got the Fireburst version), though I suspect it will prove to be soft. The fitting of the parts is fine: all seams and joins are tight and straight, the edge bindings on the body, neck, and headstock are well-made. All screws are tight and have clean, un-marred heads. The metal parts are of a low-budget quality that will oxidize over time, but what can you expect for $400 (or in my case $320)? I would say the quality is surprisingly good out-of-box for such an inexpensive instrument. Value: The list price is $600 (a price you will never have to pay unless you're getting ripped-off). The actual going price is $400. I'd say this is definitely a $600 guitar, so feel good about the money it costs. GET A CASE! For the extra $80 it's definitely worth it. The more I play with this thing the more I like it, even with the weak pickups. I use it through a Boss GT-8 to do inline recording and wit works well for that. It makes some cool humbucking sounds my American Strat isn't capable of. If it were stolen I might buy another - or I might just pony-up double the money for a Les Paul studio. Manufacturer Support: The best support is that which you never need. So far I have had no reason to call Epiphone or zZounds in the month I've had the guitar. The Wow Factor: Personally I think this is a beautiful guitar, but such things are subjective, and especially so with the Nighthawk design. This is NOT a Gibson Nighthawk, it's a low-budget copy, but a fairly nice little guitar in its own right. Overall: When you factor-in value, quality, and the freak-funkyness of the Nighthawk design this is a solid budget guitar. Serious players are going to want to upgrade the bridge pickup at the least, and as far as I know only Seymour Duncan and possibly Gibson offer the slant design. This guitar was an attempt to merge the features of a Gibson and a Fender and it doesn't quite succeed at that, but it does present a nice third-kind-of-thing all its own that makes some interesting sounds with the nine tone choices.
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"A great product at a great price." submitted September 27, 2011

By a customer from hotmial.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Blues
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Sound: Sound quality is superb. Sounds great with my Super 210 tube amp. Quality built and a great looking guitar . I have the transparent amber. Chuck Overall: I would definitely replace it if it were lost or stolen.
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"Nighthawk Custom Reissue!" submitted June 25, 2013

By Wayne W in Colorado Springs, CO
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Musical Background: Play at home for fun/hobby.
Music Style: Rock. I am learning blues,modern jazz and oldies. That is my goal.
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Overall: Wow this guitar is really cool. I remember seeing it years ago, when Don Felder was playing one with the Eagles. I was stunned, as I had never seen one before from Gibson or Epiphone! I ordered on and when it can in it was tight and sounded great! The only issue that I had was the edges of the frets were sharp and tearing into my flesh.Since the guitar was under warranty and a 30 day MONEY BACK GUARANTEE, I exchanged it. I realized the same issue and returned it. I am no guitar tech and I get nervouse messing around with that stuff, but any decent guitarist could have filed them down, but not me. The were excellent about the return and a day or two later I purchase a beautiful real Les Paul from zZounds! No hassles! I am please and this guitar is very cool.
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"Overall I feel the Epiphone Nighthawk is a good buy for the money. If your buying for collectability go with the Gibson. If you" submitted April 15, 2011

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Musical Background: Active musician
Music Style: Rock, Country
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Sound: With the stock pickups vs the price tag I quess I should have given it a 10. Not Seymour Duncans but for a guitar in this price range they work fine. with that said your getting more than you paid for. Feature: As for features, this guitar has a lot. Mother of pearl inlays (not pearloid), coil tapping ability, ebony fret board, string thru body and grover tuners, let alone the set neck. The matched maple top and finish is flawless (fireburst) 9 different tone selections. I did purchase the $79.00 hard case, it works fine. Ease of Use: I have a higher end Fender tube amp and an Ibanez tube screamer for a little crunch. The Nighthawk has a unique sound of it's own. It's not a Les Paul nor Strat, but you can get close to each with the wide aray of sounds or better put, tones you get with this guitar. In the hour or so i've spent playing the guitar, I found it hard to put down. Very enjoyable to play. I recommend a full set up by a luthier though. Quality: The first thing that struck me was the maple top and the inlays. I purchased the Fireburst model and I'm here to tell you, the pictures do not do the guitar justice. Everything from the binding to the hardware was flawless. Great finish. Personally i thought due to the high demand, quality control would take a back seat. Not in this case. Value: Quality vs price, it's a steal. Manufacturer Support: Never had to contact the company. The Wow Factor: Somewhat different with the slant pickup but not an issue to me. Replacements are easy to find if you choose to do so (Seymour Duncans). Overall the guitar is appealing. Well balanced and easy to play. I like the location of controls etc. easy to access. Tuners are very smooth, color selection was good also. Initially i thought the physical size would be an issue.(small body) It's comparable to a Tele body in size. (not shape) Overall: I don't buy a guitar for name brand. I do own some nicer Fenders and a high end Taylor along with another Epi. There again i don't make my living as a musician. This guitar has everything i would need. I would purchase another if something happened to this one.
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