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Product 581889

Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar   

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The Epiphone Emperor Swingster features archtop jazz guitar styling and updated electronics including SwingBucker pickups with push/pull tone control...Read More

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    $749.00 Top Rated

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OVERVIEW

A serious twangin', rockabilly-slingin', country-flingin' machine!

The Epiphone Emperor Swingster features archtop jazz guitar styling and updated electronics including SwingBucker pickups with push/pull tone controls that allows a choice of standard series or parallel pickup wiring for a brighter tone. The Swingster guitar has a shorter 24-3/4" scale that helps facilitate challenging jazz chord inversions. The body features a spruce top, a laminated birch/maple body and a 3-piece maple neck topped with a rosewood fingerboard.

Other vintage features of this hollowbody electric guitar include chrome hardware, Grover Rotomatic 16:1 tuners, bound f-holes, thumbnail fingerboard Inlays, and a Bigsby licensed vibrato tailpiece with wire arm along with a "pinned"(non-floating) Tune-O-matic bridge with roller saddles for smooth operation and accurate return to pitch which is preferred when using the vibrato. Case sold separately.

Check the drop-down menu to the right to select colors and/or other options.

FEATURES
  • Style: Single-cutaway archtop
  • Body: Laminated maple/birch
  • Top: Select spruce
  • Neck: Set 3-piece hard maple
  • Scale length: 24-3/4"
  • Neck profile: Slim-tapered
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Fingerboard radius: 14"
  • No. of frets: 20
  • Fingerboard inlays: Thumbnail Inlays
  • Nut width: 1-11/16"
  • Neck pickup: SwingBucker
  • Bridge Pickup: SwingBucker
  • Controls: 1-Neck Volume, 1-Neck Tone (push/pull - series/parallel), 1-Bridge Volume, 1-Bridge Tone (push/pull - series/parallel), 3-way toggle pickup selector
  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Tuners: Grover Rotomatic 16:1 tuners
  • Bridge: Rosewood bridge (Pinned)
  • Tailpiece: Bigsby vibrato with wire arm
  • Finish: Polyurethane
  • Case sold separately

An archtop jazz guitar that you can afford!

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
EpiphoneEmperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar
 
4.6

(based on 38 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (28)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good feel (19)
  • Fun to play (17)
  • Good tone (17)
  • Good pick up (14)
  • Solid electronics (13)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Practicing (17)
  • Jamming (16)
  • Recording (13)
  • Small venues (10)
  • Rock concerts (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (13), Novice (3), Professional musician (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Case Search

This is a well built instrument and sounds like a dream. My only con listed is the fact that they allowed certain blemishes to pass QC. I ordered from MF and have considered returning...Read complete review

This is a well built instrument and sounds like a dream. My only con listed is the fact that they allowed certain blemishes to pass QC. I ordered from MF and have considered returning due to these minor blemishes in the finish. Other than that, this thing sounds and plays great. I have searched/read many comments about the correct case for the Swingster and steeed away from the Joe Pass case beause of the comments here. I own an AJ200S and bought a Road Runner case @ GC at the time of purchase - very snug fit for the AJ. The Swingster also fits pretty well in this case. I bought the Epi AJ case after the fact from MF after reading it might be a good match for the Swingster and figured if it did not work, the AJ would fit instead. That is exactly how it turned out. The Swingster had a more secure fit in the Road Runner case. Sorry for those interested but I do not know the model of the RR case. I have included pics of the fitment in each case.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Depending upon playing style

I recommend this guitar with one major reservation, depending upon your playing style...

This is a gorgeous guitar -- earning compliments whenever I bring it out. The tone and...Read complete review

I recommend this guitar with one major reservation, depending upon your playing style...

This is a gorgeous guitar -- earning compliments whenever I bring it out. The tone and playability are great, with one exception: the bridge can cause problems. If I play this gently, I have no problems. However, if I start rockin', it's rather easy to displace strings from the guides in the bridge, especially the low E. I've gone to heavier strings (11s) with some improvement, indeed only the low E usually causes trouble now. [I've also taken it in for consultation more than once, but the repair people say there's little to be done beyond strings, without getting radical.] But because the low E is unstable when my playing becomes more intense, I've been reluctant to use the Swingster for rock gigs. If/when I have a mellower gig, I will certainly employ the Swingster because of its striking looks. But until then, it will stay home or appear only for some jams. Too bad because it looks and sounds so pretty!

Reviewed by 38 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

This is a real bargain

By G.R.

from undisclosed

About Me Professional Musician

Ask me a question

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

    This guitar is a blem. It has a finish flaw on the top. Otherwise it is gorgeous. It's just as nice or nicer than my other Swingsters.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Depending upon playing style

    By Dave

    from Chicago

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

    • Bridge issue

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

    I recommend this guitar with one major reservation, depending upon your playing style...

    This is a gorgeous guitar -- earning compliments whenever I bring it out. The tone and playability are great, with one exception: the bridge can cause problems. If I play this gently, I have no problems. However, if I start rockin', it's rather easy to displace strings from the guides in the bridge, especially the low E. I've gone to heavier strings (11s) with some improvement, indeed only the low E usually causes trouble now. [I've also taken it in for consultation more than once, but the repair people say there's little to be done beyond strings, without getting radical.] But because the low E is unstable when my playing becomes more intense, I've been reluctant to use the Swingster for rock gigs. If/when I have a mellower gig, I will certainly employ the Swingster because of its striking looks. But until then, it will stay home or appear only for some jams. Too bad because it looks and sounds so pretty!

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

     
    5.0

    Amazing Rockabilly Tone yet Shocking Versatility

    By natsteel

    from New Haven, CT

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Recording
      • Small Venues

      Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

      I bought a factory 2nd version of the orange Swingster a few years ago. I wanted a Gretsch 6120 but that was well beyond my budget and at the time the only corresponding Electromatic model was the 5120. So I chose the Swingster over the Gretsch 5120.

      I bought the guitar to play rockabilly though I also play blues, jump blues, and jazz (mostly swing). As others have noted, this guitar does all of them handily. The Swingbucker in series (humbucker) mode has a huge output that will let you drive an amp the way a humbucker should. But, for me, it's the parallel mode that really makes the Swingbuckers shine. Mixing the neck and bridge pickups in parallel mode and adding your standard rockabilly delay and slapback gives you a very classic, Gretsch-like, Gallup-ish tone. Though the output of the parallel mode is significantly lower, the bridge pickup can give you enough drive to get into more recent-type rockabilly tones.

      In fact, I love the parallel mode so much that I use it even when playing jump blues and jazz, though that is not intended to be a statement about the series mode. I have a number of Epiphone guitars in this price range––including a Broadway and a Sheraton––as well as a 1950 Gibson ES-150. If I could only play one guitar, though, for the rest of my life, the Swingster would be the smartest choice because of its versatility and the quality with which it handles a range of genres.

      All that is to say, I can't recommend the Swingster highly enough for anyone who plays multiple genres similar to the ones I mentioned. The neck on mine is among the most comfortable I've played. The fretwork was solid. Mine has the roller bridge and I used a little Nut Sauce and never have any problems either with tuning or slippage, even when leaning on the Bigsby. The only caveat I can offer is that after a year or so the Bigsby arm became loose and eventually came off, but it's an easy fix during a routine setup.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Gets out of tune a lot using the Bigbsy..

      By Cowgirl

      from Santa Fe

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Solid Electronics

      Cons

      • Flat Sound
      • Fret Buzz
      • hard to keep in tune
      • Hard to keep tuned

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Rock Concerts

      Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

      I love this guitar but gets out of tune a lot.. and while using Bigsby...Would you recommend a 3.3 locking tuner? Would that solve the problem/

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Very nice playing guitar

      By Old Guitar Dude

      from Florida

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Pick Up
      • Good Tone
      • Solid Electronics

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Practicing
        • Rock Concerts
        • Small Venues

        Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

        I bought one after trying several at stores. Some are definitely better than others. I love the one I bought and it plays smoothly and has very good tone. The fret work is good, but not as finished on the ends as my old Sheraton. The pick ups are nice and deliver a wide variety of tones.
        The Bigsby works smoothly and the guitar stays in tune. Mine has the traditional tune-o-matic bridge. Others I have played that had the roller bridge were not as nice and the strings would come out of the rollers. If you buy one, I recommend getting the later models that have the traditional bridge or converting the roller bridge. The tuners work smoothly and feel like good quality. I love the red finish and think this is one of the nicest looking guitars available. The guitar is very versatile and can be used for rockabilly, country, blues, jazz and almost any type of music. Since it is a hollow body, you will get feedback of you play loudly or stand in front of your amp. The feed back seems less with this guitar than with others I have tried. Overall, this is an extremely nice guitar that is well made and plays great.

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

         
        4.0

        EMPEROR SWINGSTER HOLLOWBODY ELECTRIC GU

        By Walt

        from Newmarket, Canada

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Fun To Play
        • Good Feel
        • Good Pick Up
        • Good Tone

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Jamming
          • Practicing
          • Rock Concerts
          • Small Venues

          Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

          I recently purchased a gently used Swingster, put some new strings on it and haven't put it down! It's a fun guitar to play and with the pickup configurations it has a variety of swinging sounds and tones! Pump up the reverb or some slap back delay and let 'er rip!

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Fantastic Guitar Does it ALL

          Profile Image

          By MadPiper

          from Nashua, New Hampshire

          About Me Experienced

          Ask me a question

          Pros

          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Holds The Tuning

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • Rock Concerts
            • School Bands
            • Small Venues

            Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

            PROS: drop-dead gorgeous piece of work from the vibrant orange paint to the headstock - everyone comments on it; audience and fellow musicians alike - they love it. The humbucker warmth and power is better than any Gibson Les Paul I've played on. I can't get over the tone of these pickups. The single coils (push/pull tone knobs) are OK, but don't expect a Strat. It holds the tuning beautifully - the Grover machine heads are first class. The Bigsby "wire" tremolo/whammy bar is really cool and the end of it fits in the pocket of my hand for great control. Great fingerboard, neck, and action. My guitar came set up in absolutely perfect shape. The Epiphone luthiers know what they're doing. I was immediately impressed.

            CONS: change the strings - they're awful. The "Rhythm/Treble" toggle switch isn't great... it emits a lot of static when I have to switch between the three modes, and this is pretty annoying (hence only the 4 stars).

            For the price I paid for this guitar, I cannot believe I could find a better one designed to do EVERYTHING! Though I still prefer my high-end single coil guitars, this Swingster is better than any of the much more expensive Gibson's I own or have tried out. I can play anything on this guitar - hard rock, blues (my main reason for loving it so much), jazz, rockabilly... it's just a great all-'round guitar with an emphasis on Blues. As a side note, of all my guitars, only this one is able to produce the Jimmy Page Les Paul humbucker brilliance of the Led Zeppelin era, and the Peter Green tone he achieved during his tenure with John Mayall. What a bonus...

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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Essentially Jazz but Rather Flexible...

            By Nathan Naberezny

            from Ashtabula, OH

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Good Feel
            • Good Tone

            Cons

            • Poor Pick Up
            • Poor Quality Craftsmanship

            Best Uses

            • Recording

            Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

            This is a great guitar for the price. If you are expecting a Gretsch, look elsewhere. If you are searching for a D'Angelico, save your money. If you are looking for a good hollowbody that will not destroy the bank account and add versatility to your studio, this is a great selection. The tones range from thick and bass-centric to thin and treble crazy. My two gripes are the flimsy pots and the noisy pickups. The pickups do not have a noisy signal but they feed back easily and have a strange reverberation issue caused by the metal casing on each humbucker. With a few modifications and a good setup, this guitar can be made into something great. At the price, its a great addition to a studio collection and will offer a lot for a low admission rate.

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Semi hollow heaven

            By REVitup

            from Lockhart, TX

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fun To Play
            • Good Feel
            • Good Pick Up
            • Good Tone
            • Solid Electronics
            • Stable Tuning

            Cons

            • Fret Buzz
            • Poor Fret Finishing

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • Rock Concerts
            • Worshipchurch

            Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

            Great looks, good pick ups, plays a variety of music.

            Had to set up the guitar to my liking but it was no problem. Neck needed adjusting and I lowered tail piece. Once this was done it plays great, however I did have a dead spot on the B string when playing at the 14 fret. The problem was the 16th fret was not set in the neck fully so it was deadening the string. Gently tapped the fret down and this caused a domino effect. So I ended up having to tap several frets down, but worked out and no problems now. So you may have a few things to work out on this guitar. If you are experienced you will have no problems making the adjustments and it is well worth it.

            I love the bigsby wire tremelo. This guitar does everything I ask it to and more. I own a Epi Les Paul Tribute, PRS Custom 24 and the Swingster holds its own. Adds a whole new range to my playing and compliments our band tremendously.

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

            (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            An excellent guitar

            By Podman

            from Fayetteville, NC

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Beautuful Fit And Finish
            • Fun To Play
            • Good Feel
            • Good Tone
            • Solid Electronics

            Cons

            • None so far

            Best Uses

            • Family Jam Sessions
            • Practicing
            • Small Venues

            Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

            I purchased this guitar from MF as a return. After close examination I finally found some very tiny pick marks. The finish of this guitar was very good. The binding was perfect. The fit was flawless. Overall I was very pleased.
            My biggest and best surprise was that the intonation was perfect. After restringing and lowering the action, this is one of the easiest playing guitars that I own. Another surprise was that the open chord "dischord" does not exist on this instrument. I own several Gibsons, Fenders, and a Gretch, and this guitar equals all of them in appearance. It has become my favorite guitar.

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