Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Best Semi-Hollow/Hollowbody Guitar

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by ZachZ, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Lee Harvey

    Lee Harvey Banned

    Mar 1, 2012
    A Reverend Club King...

    Yeah I agree.. they kick anything in it's price range.

  2. Hyperborea

    Hyperborea TDPRI Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    Silicon Valley
    Yes, they are still around but they have never been officially imported to the US. You have to buy one overseas and bring it in or ship it in yourself.

    They are a very common mid/high-mid range guitar in Japan. The Navigators are quite awesome but I don't want to spend that much money and I honestly don't believe there is enough of a difference in sound/feel once you get past a certain level of quality. I was in Japan over XMas and played a number of ESPs (Edwards, Grass Roots, Navigators) along with Fender Japan and more in Ochanomizu (guitar heaven in Tokyo).

    No, I don't get any feedback from it at all. However, I'm not playing death metal or anything like that. Mostly blues, jazz, jazz-fusion, and some rock.

    This video was the final item that pushed me over the edge on getting the Seths for my Edwards.

  3. BMusic

    BMusic Tele-Meister

    Oct 1, 2010
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I have a Revolution Casino, an Ibanez AS83, and a 335. And that's in order of preference. When I found that I was using the Ibanez a lot on recordings, I treated myself to the Gibson, and soon realized that it actually wasn't an improvement, despite costing 9x as much. Live and learn.

    Have you considered a used Rickenbacker 330? You can probably find one for around a thousand.

  4. 63dot

    63dot Friend of Leo's

    When I have played "loud" out a couple of times, and also in practice, my drummer has three of these fridge type amps (JCMs 800s, 900s, and 2000s). He's a hard hitter, and a great drummer, but honestly the only thing that can comfortably have control in the padded studio are these puppies. It's a struggle, if I get too close as is the case in new studio, with my potted and passive stock humbuckers in my semi-hollowbody. But the sweet sounding Seths, while probably wonderful for my jazz class, would not work with Mr. Marshall's creation (or at least in a small studio with three of these).

    (We are more punk than anything else and not death metal, however, I don't think these amps, their height, and standing anywhere near them would work with Seths. I do understand in the 1950s, it was quite rare to get up to volumes that high so the Seths were not an issue unpotted.) That being said, the heavy padding on floor, ceiling, and walls do allow for quite a bit of volume increase without feedback. Another sound I love, but which won't work with these amps, are vintage (potted) Gibson humbuckers like PAFs. I had a '60 or '61 which was OK at most volumes but didn't work with metal and fed back quite a bit. I was lucky to buy that old PAF at a reasonable price 30 years ago and I put that one in a semi-hollowbody and it improved the sound quite a bit. I paired it with a Seymour Duncan '59 which sounded the same but louder without the easy feedback feature and was somewhat more controlled. But at moderate volumes, the original PAF was on the edge of breaking up and this was actually a great sound in many situations.

    Anyway, I know for punk, or hard rock (at least the flavor people call heavy metal) is not exactly itching to have a semi-hollobody do the work. Actually teles work well in these higher volume situations along with any powerful humbucker equipped solidbody guitars. I have no idea how Blink 182 or the Foo Fighters get their music done live with semi-hollowbodies.

    Attached Files:

  5. stilesg57

    stilesg57 Tele-Holic

    Oct 20, 2011
    Central NC
    I'm right there with you. My AS83 is GREAT, and soon to be even better: pups, electronics, bridge and tailpiece have arrived and are about to be installed.

    I'd rather have a Gibson; I love Gibsons. I'd even consider paying 3x as much as the Ibanez cost ($350). But I just can't justify spending over a grand on a semi when this Ibanez is so awesome, let alone $2k or $3k.

  6. 63dot

    63dot Friend of Leo's

    I think Ibanez came to prominence in this middle market. There will always be the $100-$150 dollar guitars at Costco and Target and the $3,000 dollar ES-335s, but for the majority of musicians Ibanez and many other companies have filled the middle. That being said, Ibanez does have some offerings in the Costco and Target guitar markets and in the higher end Gibson ES-335 market. An Ibanez Artcore Custom AS-103 (under a grand) with a pair of Gibson Classic '57s or Seymour Duncan antiquity humbuckers would really rock almost any situation.

  7. AlexCarlson

    AlexCarlson Tele-Meister

    Mar 23, 2009
    St. Louis
    I'll throw in a vote for vintage Harmony hollowbodies - my H59 is my #1. H53-H59 are singlecuts with 1-3 pickups, ascending. If you need two cutaways, get the /1 model. These things are the bargain of the vintage American market, if you ask me. (Just between us, of course.)

  8. ReaL Madras

    ReaL Madras Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 8, 2012
    I have a number in the range you are talking about:

    Ibanez AS103BM
    Epiphone Casino
    Hagstrom Viking

    They all have different plus points and levels of coolness but if I was looking to buy one I think that I would go for one that I don't have....a second hand Yamaha SA503 TVL.... They are very versatile.

  9. paulblackford

    paulblackford Tele-Meister

    Jun 17, 2009
    I have an Epiphone Sorrento, and a Gibson ES-135. The Sorrento is fully hollow and you can pick one up for about $300. It's a very nice guitar, although the neck profile isn't my preference. The 135 is a semi-hollow, has excellent tone and sustain, and a nice beefy neck. You should also be able to find one between $800 and $1000 (I did), and you definitely would not be sorry. Great guitar.

  10. Elibrown09

    Elibrown09 TDPRI Member

    Jan 12, 2012
    I actually really want an epiphone Sheraton. They are amazing guitars and play like a dream!

  11. mefgames

    mefgames Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Oct 31, 2010
    North Bay, Ca

    Attached Files:

  12. ReaL Madras

    ReaL Madras Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 8, 2012
    I also have an ES-135, great guitars for not a huge price. It obviously doesn't have the neck binding, elaborate headstock or block inlays but a smart, good quality, understated semi!

  13. Brian Krashpad

    Brian Krashpad Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 25, 2007
    I'd never owned a full-hollowbody before, it's great to see so many people who think highly of Casinos. The kids in my church praise band just GAVE me this one as an early birthday present!


    [​IMG] [​IMG]

  14. 63dot

    63dot Friend of Leo's

    That's a really nice guitar. Is that a volume knob near the pickup so you could do volume swells, with original volume knob (for lead pickup) disabled or do you have three working volume knobs?

    I have never seen that but a volume knob there is a good idea if you are like us strat players who get used to it.

  15. Brian Krashpad

    Brian Krashpad Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 25, 2007

    All 3 work. It's a master volume, like the ones on the lower horn of Gretsches. That way you can set the relative volumes of each pickup, and then turn the whole guitar uo or down.

    It came like this from the seller. He also added graphtech saddles, Grover tuners, and a Rio Grande Blues Dawg in the neck pickup position.


  16. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

    May 25, 2010
    North Alabama
    Went full hollow w/ Bigsby shopping last yr. Wound up with the 5120, playability and workmanship have improved on the Electromatics IMO over the past 5-6 yrs and the new Gretchbuckers are a BIG step up from the old ones.The Epi Swingster was also very nice, was a very close call vs the 5120.

  17. ianasdfg

    ianasdfg Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 6, 2008
    Manchester, UK
    Part of the choice comes down to whether you prefer fully hollow or center block.

    I have a Casino and Sheraton, the Sheraton is more versatile where as the Casino has more character with lots of chime, depth and P90 honk. I'd go for a top end Casino (or ES330, though the Casino has more mojo).

    Though never played a Gretsch.

  18. stilesg57

    stilesg57 Tele-Holic

    Oct 20, 2011
    Central NC
    VERY TRUE! I played a 5120 just by random in a store last summer and was amazed how much better it was than most examples I'd seen from just a few years ago. Have test driven a few more since then and it's no fluke. Man those Gretsches are classy looking!

  19. 63dot

    63dot Friend of Leo's

    The interesting thing is the only time I have ever seen an electric guitar live in a church the pastor had it and it was of all things, an Epiphone.

    This was back in the old days (early 1980s) and it was either an American one from way back or a Japanese one from the 1970s. Either way, it was transparent cherry and a beautiful guitar in the 335 vein.

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