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Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar   (Open Box)
Ships Internationally
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Product# 581889
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 41 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (30)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good feel (22)
  • Good tone (20)
  • Fun to play (19)
  • Good pick up (16)
  • Solid electronics (14)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Practicing (19)
  • Jamming (17)
  • Recording (14)
  • Small venues (11)
  • Rock concerts (7)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (16), Novice (3), Professional musician (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

I love this Epiphone Swingster Emperor Guitar madly

I have got my Swingster for a little over a year ago by now, and have made some minor improvements to it I believe. Firstly I bought a rollerbridge, which helped it stay...Read complete review

I have got my Swingster for a little over a year ago by now, and have made some minor improvements to it I believe. Firstly I bought a rollerbridge, which helped it stay perfectly in tune. next I had to buy 11/48 gauge strings in order for especially the low E string not to come off the sledge of the bridge. I also bought white chicken head knobs for better orientation on where volume and tone controls stands, as it can be difficult to see on the black knobs. I also had to exchange the three position switch to a new and better one, as it was malfunctioning. But otherwise I am madly satisfied with the Swingster. It plays like a dream, and it has a lot of tone possibilities by lifting the tone control knobs for either single mode or humbucker sounds. I like the variety it gives. The build quality is impressing, the neck is perfect for me, I really like the C shape it has. I have adjusted the strings to be quite low, and I praise the fretboard for being totally straight and perfectly aligned, to make this low height of the strings possible. I had to screw the magnets on both the PU`s down a little for the high E and H string, as they were dominating the chords a little, soundwise ... but all these small adjustments only has made it my personal favourite guitar by now. Using a Carl Martin Red repeat slap back pedal, and an old Vox V15 Combo from the eighties, makes the Swingster a perfect Rockabilly guitar for me. I do recommend the Epi Swingster highly. It is a beautiful guitar to look at - especially in Orange colour I think ;O) and it plays wonderfully. Don`t hesitate, just go for it!

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 41 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(6 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Guitar

By Memphis Mick

from Atlanta, GA

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Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

Nice bound neck feels great. The series/parallel switching adds some value. The like-priced and even some of the high-priced Gretsches do not have the switching. I personally don't think it's a real Gretsch without the switching, so this was one big plus to me. Also the Chet Atkins tremolo arm. Both big deal-sealers for me. For fun and looks, I've replaced the knobs and switch end with Gretsch ones-looks even better!
Got the Wine Red version. Looks great. Epiphone headstock doesn't detract from the look like on the Gibson copys. For a case, I heard you need the Emporer II case which has a raised top, however, I got a Gator JUMBO acoustic durofoam case and it fits really well. Pushes the tremolo down only slightly, and it's lighter weight than a hardshell case.
No construction problems. Bound fretboard plays smoothly, fits my hand better than a Gretsch. I also like the larger fret markers.
Excellent 'fake Gretsch' with extras compared to the like-priced Gretschs.
You can silence most all of the overtones from the tremolo (there's no extra bar to hold the strings like on some shorter bigsbys) by cutting a piece of 3/8" X 5/16" rubber foam weatherseal tape to length. Put some masking tape on the sticky side and trim the edges off and just slide it under the strings and onto the bridge edge on the tremelo side. You can make a new one whenever... For some reason even Gretsches have this type tremolo.

(6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The Nicest Guitar I've Ever Owned

By Jason Bocko

from Rochester, NY

Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

I recieved this guitar as a gift about a month ago, and I cannot stop playing it. In addition to being a beautifiully built instrument, it plays like a dream. This is by far the nicest instrument I own. I am very happy with this guitar and look forward to having it for years to come.
Very nicely built guitar with a great variety of features. Although I primarily use this guitar unplugged (with which it has a beautiful sound), plugging it in and playing with the electronics is another treat, with a variety of effects and sounds that are easily achieved just by altering the setup of the pickups. This guitar is amazingly versitle.

In addition, the Bigsby tailpiece is also very useful. I don't often use the tremelo bar, but unlike other guitars with this feature (I am think of my stratocaster), the hardware does not make it more difficult to tune. The features of this guitar were well selected and make a well built instrument even better.
This guitar is amazingly well made. The finish is beautiful, as are the all the details. The one complaint I have, which is partially my own fault is with the bridge. I oftentimes finger pick and use a heavier gauge of strings, and my low string ocassional pops out of the bridge. The problem is easy to solve if you set the string exactly right, but it is still an ocassional annoyance.

(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A round of drinks for all!!!!!

By Cyclonic

from Nashville Tn

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Great build quality
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording

Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

After the amazement I recieved from the purchase of an Epi Riviera P93 from Musicians Friend a little over a year ago, I set my sites on a full hollowbody . Even though I had full confidence in getting the Emperor in same fashion,I still played what was available from Gretcsh,Ibanez, and schecter to make sure my judgement was sound.I was not let down.

The guitar I purchased was a used return from Musicians friend. The previous purchaser had the stock strings taken off and 9-42's installed. The guitar sounded thin and unresponsive. I know that accoustics and full hollow body guitars perform best with thicker strings so I immediately put 11-49 D'addarios tuned to Eb on it.After the string install,I did a full set up with the string height at .060" at the 20th fret. There were NO buzzes to be heard! I then plugged it into my 1966 fender princeton reverb (not a reissue!) and set the pick up height to balance the volume between bottom and top strings. What I heard was absolutely amazing. Once everything was adjusted propperly this guitar sounded,reacted,and played like a guitar 6 times its price! I then plugged it into a modded line 6 vetta 2 modeling amp and went through a gamut of presets. This guitar ran every style of music, except modern detuned heavy metal,with ease!

Being a luthier, I am a stickler for detail.The top end Epiphones are absolutely amazing in their build quality. The binding/inlay work is flawless and the gloss trans wine red paint is richly deep in appearance but not like most guitar finishes that are so thick that it chokes the tone. The new electronics design is a major plus that other hollowbody guitars under $2k simply do not have out of the box. The tuners-bigsby-roller bridge combo is tight and precise - after string break in it was hard pressed to go out of tune even after several hours of play. This guitar is a true testament to the days of when Epiphone was still an independant company and the "House of Stathapoulo" would be proud!

Hats off to Epiphone for a great bang for buck product and to Musicians Friend for great service!

(5 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Transparent Black Top is Really Green

By Tomk2

from Chicagoland

See all my reviews

Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

Beware the Transparent Black Finish! Another reviewer posted that the top actually appears green, and this is not unique. The light black stain lets the laminated wood of the sides, back, and neck show through. The sides, back, and neck do appear black-ish. The headstock is painted black on the front, and so is a different black than the neck, back, and sides. However, the top appears green unless viewed from an angle or in shadows. It is not unattractive, but I wanted a black guitar. Epiohone would have done so much better to just paint the thing black like the headstock front, instead of the transparent black finish on top of the spruce top creating a green finish. Since I did not also get an amazing, "I don't care about the appearance" tone out of the guitar, I returned it.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

No Better Value Anywhere

By PartialtoMarshall

from New Mexico

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Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

I have had mine a while now and it just gets sweeter with age. This guitar has great twang but it can also do mellow with the best of them. If I had to emphasize one aspect of its sound, I would say clarity - perhaps because of the spruce top. This guitar sounds so good that in some situations I prefer it over some other guitars that are much more expensive. It's that good!
Bigsby tremolo, series/parallel pull up switches on the tone controls - and a spruce top. The flamed maple sides and back are stunning.
It's beautiful to look at, has great tone, versatility, and playability.
I found no flaws in fit, finish, or hardware.
There is no better value and only one other guitar that matches it for value and that is the Gretsch 5120.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Not a Gibson lookalike!

By Mike McKean

from Orlando, FL

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Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

This may well be No. 4 in my Epiphone collection. The Swingster is a twangier variation on the popular Joe Pass Emperor, retaining the traditional Epiphone fingerboard and headstock inlays, scale length and body dimensions. The SwingBuckers supply more control than the usual humbuckers and the Chet-style wire arm vibrato allows you to hold the arm while picking, unlike the limited range of the stock Bigsby. In person, the spruce top and the grained back are stunning, especially in orange (nice challenge to Gretsch). I do miss a pickguard as a place to anchor my pinky, a master volume would be useful like the Wildcat, and there is noticeable string resonance between the bridge and the tailpiece that needs to be muted. Note that the tuners are Rotomatics, not Imperials, and the fingerboard inlays are block, not thumbnails. A beautiful instrument!

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Love it, can't put it down!!

By James Healey

from PA

See all my reviews

Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

Only a 9 because this guitar is not for everyone. For Country, Blues, Classic Rock, Alt.Rock, Jazz, Folk, Surf Rock, Garage,Grundge Rock-a-billy ...aces!! it works. metal ng
This is an excellent choice for players that need or want a wide range of features and tonal variety. The Emperor is built for professional players and offers exceptional quality in all its features
. The only down side is the split coil sound is a little weak. Not unusual, every split coil option sacrifices power for tonal variety. It will just take a little adjustment.
Quality is excellent. One of the big surprises was the quality of the dry sound of this guitar. It has a beautiful big box acoustic sound. The dry sound [w/o amp] was very important to me. I spent a lot of time playing flat tops and I need that sound.[I may upgrade this with an acoustic p/u]

Add up the features, build quality and sound.. the best guitar I found in this price range. I tried dozens of different guitars in this price range, best value no contest.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

SWING WITH SWINGSTER

By DjaDjangDjaDjango

from HawHawaiHawHawaii

See all my reviews

Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

Except for the Bigsby defect mentioned earlier this guitar is excellent. If my exchange is good I
will be very happy. It woulkd be nice to have a "natural" finish or even better a nitrocellulose finish
on stains instead of the painted options. Having said that however my wine red finish was very well
done and although the photos don't reveal this upon close inspection of the top there is a slight view of the wood grain beneath the polyurethane/red finish. And, to my pleasant surprise the guitar I
received had a very nice flame maple grain visible on the backs and sides. Sweet !
This is a very nice and versatile guitar. You can play rock, blues, reggae, jazz, folk and of course
rockabilly on this ax. It really is that versatile.
Quality was excellent for this price range. You can expect to do some fine tunning on frets and
general set up ,but that is standard for asian guitars in this price range.
I did have one "non fixable" problem which required me to send my guitar back for an exchange.
The Bigsby vibrato was loose and any tightening I could do with exposed nuts/screws did not solve
the problem. Too bad , because otherwise this guitar was really good. This is the kind of thing Epiphone should catch at there final US check center. Without this defect I would have given the guitar a 9 rating. I am awaiting the exchange and hope this is not a defect pattern. Will stay in
touch with new guitar upon reception
You need to spend 80-100% more to get a better guitar.

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great playing

By Duke914

from Midwest

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Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

Remember where this is made. This would have gt a 10 if not for the poor quality in the finish work. All in all this guitar is one of the best guitars that I have played...and I have played quite a few.. I am partial to archtops lately so this fits my style... reminds me a lot of a Gretch Tennisseean that I foolishly sold for a Fender Strat..anyway the pickups are nice an full ...you can strum 6 string chords and pick out each movement on each string...plus the amount of sound tones this two pickup set up brings to the table is amazing... a dream to play...
The finished quality on this guitar leaves something to be desired. Drips in the finish around the neck joint, and the binding triming is cut in deep at the upper binding area of the headstock.

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Epiphone Swingster

By Joe Basebase

from Las Vegas, NV

See all my reviews

Comments about Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

This guitar is the exact size as the Joe Pass Emperor 2. It uses new pickups that can be used in series or parallel and is very versatile. I must mention that it comes with a clear pickguard if you want to install. My guitar is black and I really like the see thru finish. The workamnship is very good and I like the many sounds that I cannot get with my other guitars. It is an Epiphone with it's unique vine inlay not to be confused with a Gretsch. The long arm vibarto arm is actually easier to use than the short flat bar. I also like the thinner size of this guitar. this will be one of my favorite guitar with multiple tones. It can go from mello jazz to a full treble rocker. It's a very good buy.

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