In the last couple of years Epiphone has been releasing new models at quite a rate of knots, including basic models, standards, deluxe editions, and even some artist signature guitars. One of their latest is the Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth, a blacked out beast of a semi hollow guitar.
The Sheraton shares the same basic formula as the venerable ES-335, but adds extra embellishments and attitude, and nowhere is this more evident than with this Emily Wolfe signature model. Like Wolfe herself, it really stands out from the crowd, and if the hype is to be believed, it delivers big on performance
In this KillerGuitarRigs Review, we had the pleasure of spending some time with this fantastic guitar, which is, in fact, the same model that took our top pick slot in our KGR best semi hollow guitars roundup. If you’ve been looking to find out more about this Sheraton signature, we highly recommend you keep on reading.
Who Is This For?
The Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth doesn’t come cheap, but we still think it makes a great choice for all players, from absolute beginners, through to pro guitarists. Even though it’s a bigger initial investment than a typical beginner guitar, it offers tons of growing room in terms of performance as you progress.
For working musicians, it’s an attainably priced workhorse that not only screams, but looks incredible both on your wall, and on stage. It delivers big on playability and tones, and pretty much anything else a gigging player could want.
As with all ES-335 sized guitars, we would like to point out that this is a big bodied guitar. The main part of the body is very broad, and this can make it difficult for younger or smaller players to maintain proper control over the instrument.
Appearance / Features / Controls
This signature model only comes in one finish, black. The top coat is a matte polyurethane that gives it a stealth bomber like appearance, and we found that it looks even better in person than it does in the pictures.
Being a Sheraton, it’s a semi hollow body with a solid maple center block, and the surrounding body was all crafted from 3 ply maple. It had a fantastically playable mahogany neck with a ‘60s SlimTaper C profile, and was topped with an Indian laurel fretboard. We really would have liked to have seen ebony used on the fretboard, particularly at this price point – it’s something that Epiphone Customs have fitted, so we see no real reason why this model couldn’t receive that upgrade.
The soundholes weren’t in the traditional F Hole style, but rather, were Trini Lopez diamond style. This really gave the Sheraton Stealth a more aggressive and contemporary look, and immediately sheds the vintage vibe that the majority of semi hollow guitars carry.
Despite that it didn’t have the fretboard of a Custom, it did have the hardware, with gold appointments throughout, including the Grover Rotomatic tuning machines, which not only looked great, but performed brilliantly, too.
It was equipped with a pair of Epiphone Alnico Classic Pro pickups, as well as the standard 3 way selector switch. Another area in which it differs from the Standard model, however, is in that it features 2 volume controls and a single tone knob, just as Wolfe has on her own guitars. The pots on the knobs are all us made CTS units, which deliver incredible performance, and are usually found on much more expensive models.
Performance / Sound
The first thing we noticed was that this was no lightweight. Of course, maple is a heavy wood, and there’s a lot of maple on this guitar, so the fact that it weighed in at 9lb 3oz wasn’t too much of a surprise.
Despite the weight, we found that it had effortless playability. The SlimTaper C neck was an absolute dream, especially with the slight satin finish. It was comfortable, and lightning fast from top to bottom.
We found that the fret work was all very nicely finished, too. It had 22 medium jumbo wires, and each had nicely polished crowns, smooth edges, and all were about as level as it gets.
Tonally it was incredibly versatile. We put it through the usual assortment of crunchy rock and creamy blues tones, as you’d expect in a semi hollow review, and we were pleased with the results. Of course, we had to play some of Emily Wolfe’s material through it as well to try and replicate her fantastic gritty tones, which it did very well.
Even with heavy distortion it kept its clarity and articulation, which was instantly commented on by the whole KGR team
Individually, the pickups were surprisingly good for what are pretty standard Epiphone units. The neck pickup was rich and thick, delivering great rhythm tones without getting muddy, and the fantastic CTS pots did a great job of cleaning things up when rolling back the volume.
The bridge pickup did everything from clean country through to searing high gain lead tones. It was responsive to changes in attack, and much like the neck, easily cleaned up with just a slight dial back on the volume.
Other Guitars to Consider
The Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton really is an amazing guitar, and in our opinion, one of the best semi hollow guitars on the market. Having said that, there are still some other great options on the market. If you’d like to check out some alternatives, we’ve highlighted some of our favorites below.
The Epiphone ES-339 is a fantastic choice if you love the idea of a classic looking semi hollow guitar, but don’t think you could cope with the size of the body. It offers extremely similar tones to the Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth, but improves the playability significantly for smaller players.
If you want semi hollow tones and want something with the looks and feel of a solid body model, we’d highly recommend the PRS SE Zach Meyers Semi Hollow. Like the Sheraton Stealth, it featured in our roundup of the best semi hollow guitars, and offers the full PRS experience, from incredible playability, to a stunning flamed maple top and incredible tones with insane clarity from its house designed pickups.
Final Thoughts on the Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth
The Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth really does offer a lot of guitar for the money. First and foremost, it’s an absolute head turner – literally everyone who saw it during our review period wanted to know more about it. The contemporary design is hugely appealing to a wide range of players, and of course, the dynamic tones speak for themselves.
If you’re looking to buy a guitar that does a bit of everything, you really can’t go too far wrong with this model.