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Old March 21st, 2012, 02:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Best Semi-Hollow/Hollowbody Guitar

What do you think the best semi-hollow/hollowbody guitar is under $1000?

IMHO, I think it's probably going to be an Epiphone ES-335, Epiphone Casino, Gretsch 512#, or Fender Pawnshop '72.

Thanks!

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Last edited by ZachZ; March 21st, 2012 at 02:55 PM. Reason: Forgot the Gretsch!
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Old March 21st, 2012, 02:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Casino. By far. Not that it's better than a 335 or whatever, but it reflects the construction of being a hollowbody more than the semi hollows.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 02:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you're looking for an archtop for less than $1k I'd look at those at the bottom of this page: http://www.eastmanguitars.com/16-and-17-archtops/

I just bought the AR371CE and couldn't be happier.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 03:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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+ 1 for Eastman.

If you want a semi-hollow with HBs, the best sub $1000 guitar out there is probably an Eastman T-386. They sell for about $760.

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Old March 21st, 2012, 05:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Best part is if you buy used, you can get both for that grand of yours
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Old March 21st, 2012, 05:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you're lucky, you may be able to score a Hamer Newport used for around $1000. Check Craig's List, sometimes they appear there (and disappear pretty quickly.)
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Old March 21st, 2012, 06:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You might as well look at ephiphone 339. You can pick it up for $ 400.00 add classic 57's and Mephis control circuits and still have change. It's not a Gibson but it sure sounds like one and plays like one as well.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 06:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'd try to find a used Epiphone Elitist Casino for under 1K, you won't look back. All USA components, made at the Terada Plant in Japan (where Gretsch guitars are made). The finish, fretwork and overall construction of my Elitist Casino is some of the best I've ever seen. They give custom shop instruments (both Fender and Gibson) a run for the money.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 06:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'd try to find a used Epiphone Elitist Casino for under 1K, you won't look back. All USA components, made at the Terada Plant in Japan (where Gretsch guitars are made). The finish, fretwork and overall construction of my Elitist Casino is some of the best I've ever seen. They give custom shop instruments (both Fender and Gibson) a run for the money.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 06:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The DeArmond Starfire and Starfire Special guitars can be found for about 500 bucks and they are an incredible value!!! I have a Special (with Bigsby style vibrato) and love it. You can google them, they have outstanding reviews.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 07:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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+ 1 for Eastman.

If you want a semi-hollow with HBs, the best sub $1000 guitar out there is probably an Eastman T-386. They sell for about $760.

Those Eastman's look good and seem to be nice quality for the money. I have to admit though, I'd never heard of the brand before seeing this post and Googling them. I would be slightly concerned with resale considering the guitar was $700 + and it's not a 'name' brand. There are gonna be loads more people looking for an Epiphone, newer DeArmond (majorly overlooked MIK guitars that are no longer made), Gretsch, or Hagstrom over an Eastman if you decided you didn't like the hollowbody thing and wanted to sell.

Of course not everybody cares about resale. Personally, I'm a notorious guitar flipper. I seem to keep about 1 for every 5 I buy.

Just my two cents...your mileage may vary
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Old March 21st, 2012, 07:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I recently bought a Dearmond X-550 hollowbody for just under $500. As Oakville Dave stated above, these are a fantastic value. I would expect to pay at least $1000 or so for a guitar of this quality. The PU's are first rate; no need to upgrade. You owe it to yourself to play one if you can.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 07:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Man, now I have even more brands to choose from!

So far:

Epiphone: +5
Eastman: +3
DeArmond: +2
Hamer: +1
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Old March 21st, 2012, 07:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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If you're lucky, you may be able to score a Hamer Newport used for around $1000. Check Craig's List, sometimes they appear there (and disappear pretty quickly.)
Good advise on a used Newport. In that same league you may be able to find a used Heritage 535. Wouldn't go wrong with either, both high quality.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 08:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'd try to find a used Epiphone Elitist Casino for under 1K, you won't look back. All USA components, made at the Terada Plant in Japan (where Gretsch guitars are made). The finish, fretwork and overall construction of my Elitist Casino is some of the best I've ever seen. They give custom shop instruments (both Fender and Gibson) a run for the money.
Good call
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Old March 21st, 2012, 08:40 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I doubt you can get a 335 for under a grand.... I played an es-165 at gc.... like $1500 used but i liked it
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Old March 21st, 2012, 08:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Best part is if you buy used, you can get both for that grand of yours
I have the sheri 2...absolutely love it, never owned a guitar as nice as it...MIK too...I've owned much more expensive guitars that I liked much less than the sheri, which I payed 200 for used:)

My "best" candidate would be the ES335 though, the guitar the sheri was modeled after. with a bigsby trem:)
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Old March 21st, 2012, 08:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Washburn HB35

The older MIJ Washburn 335 style guitars are VERY nice, I'd put the quality on par with a Gibson, and I've owned both.

The later models were made in Korea and then China, still nice guitars.

The older MIJ Aria 335 copies are really nice, as are the Yamaha and Ibanez guitars.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 10:46 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hey Doublestop

Eastman's retain their value fairly well. Lots of Jazz guys play them. Not too unknown in those circles. Took mine in for a tuneup and the tech was beaming playing it. And he doesn't like chinese guitars on principle but he had nothing but good things to say about it. I have an AR810CE which is above the price point but my favorite guitar. It actually cured my gas to the point I don't even go into guitar stores anymore I sit home and play.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 10:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Epiphone ES-339, Dot, Casino, Joe Pass
Gretsch 5120
Ibanez AS-103, AM-93, Pat Metheney 35
Eastwoods look nice
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and Fender Classic Thinline Telecaster

If you could find an Epiphone Elitist 1963 reissue 335 Dot (my namesake) used, it's well worth it and about the best in its price range.
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