Dipping a toe into semi hollow guitars

Maguchi

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I feel I need a semi hollow guitar in my life though not sure where to start.

Been watching a few videos to get some idea of what tones/looks I like and wanted some more feedback for what I should be looking for.

I currently have an MM Albert Lee, AO 70s Telecaster Custom and Squire Telecaster modified. Mostly playing blues, classic rock and grunge/90s alternative.

Most interesting to me so far are the Gretsch Falcon and Gibson 335. Also like the Duesenbergs and Godin guitars but cannot try these where I am.

If there was a AO Telecaster Thinline with proper WHRB then I would be all over it. I like the filterton sound so think Gretsch if the front runner so far.

Look forward to seeing your suggestions.
With the semi-hollow models it is important to try several examples in a store. Each guitar, even two guitars of the same model and color will have it's own character and sound and feel different even more so than solid body guitars do. Not sure why, maybe the design and construction. When I was shopping for a semi-hollow guitar a couple years ago, I tried Gretsches, Gibsons, Duesenbergs and Godins. I ended up buying a Gibson ES-335 and a few months later I bought a second guitar a Heritage H-535 because it was such a nice sounding and playing guitar that I couldn't pass it up. The two guitars are equally good but different. My experience when trying many different models was that the fit and finsih, fretwork, playability and sound was best on the Gibsons and Heritages I tried.

GbsnES335.jpg
HeritageH535.jpg
 
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Blister

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I now have 2 Of those guitars the funny **** holes in it you can store your picks in . I have a gretssch 5420 and Ibanez AS53. Had a friend put in SD 59‘s in the Ibanez and I haven’t looked back.
 

mwpv11

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I feel I need a semi hollow guitar in my life though not sure where to start.

Been watching a few videos to get some idea of what tones/looks I like and wanted some more feedback for what I should be looking for.

I currently have an MM Albert Lee, AO 70s Telecaster Custom and Squire Telecaster modified. Mostly playing blues, classic rock and grunge/90s alternative.

Most interesting to me so far are the Gretsch Falcon and Gibson 335. Also like the Duesenbergs and Godin guitars but cannot try these where I am.

If there was a AO Telecaster Thinline with proper WHRB then I would be all over it. I like the filterton sound so think Gretsch if the front runner so far.

Look forward to seeing your suggestions.
 

mwpv11

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I now have 2 Of those guitars the funny **** holes in it you can store your picks in . I have a gretssch 5420 and Ibanez AS53. Had a friend put in SD 59‘s in the Ibanez and I haven’t looked back.
Look at Wolf guitars and Epiphone they are really good. On the higher end side go with Zaeger can’t beat them
 

Blackshadowrider

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View attachment 900771 View attachment 900772 View attachment 900773 Here’s mine.
The Chet is fully hollow.
It has no center block.
It also sounds best, IMO.
The semi hollow Duesenberg sounds almost as good, and has much better upper fret access.
Both tremolo systems work perfectly.
The 1981 MIJ Washburn is also cool.
It’s the only string-through semi hollow I’ve ever seen.
Anyways, semi-hollow guitars have a cool, unique tone.
Whatever you get, consider TV Jones pickups.
They sound incredible, IMO.
Wow, that Washburn is wild, I have never seen one with that style bridge on it. Got my curiosity up now.
 

Blackshadowrider

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I think you first decision has to be be semi-hollow or full hollow. Then look at body sizes. It does not sound like a full hollow deep body jazz box is what you are looking for. A 335 is semi-hollow with block, then there is the 330 full hollow models (think Epi Casino as well). Small bodied, semi-hollow electrics will not be that much different than full solid and the fender Tele Thinlines are different as well. Good luck on your quest.
 

Blackshadowrider

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I should add in that the D'Angelico models are pretty nice. The Excel Korean made models are better than the Chinese (or other) models, Deluxe, Premier, etc.
Sometimes you see really good prices on these guitars. The Excel models are using USA made Seymour Duncan pickups on a lot of models. Check MF Open Bix deals as well.
 

Leadripstick

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I feel I need a semi hollow guitar in my life though not sure where to start.

Been watching a few videos to get some idea of what tones/looks I like and wanted some more feedback for what I should be looking for.

I currently have an MM Albert Lee, AO 70s Telecaster Custom and Squire Telecaster modified. Mostly playing blues, classic rock and grunge/90s alternative.

Most interesting to me so far are the Gretsch Falcon and Gibson 335. Also like the Duesenbergs and Godin guitars but cannot try these where I am.

If there was a AO Telecaster Thinline with proper WHRB then I would be all over it. I like the filterton sound so think Gretsch if the front runner so far.

Look forward to seeing your suggestions.
Seriously think about a Johnson Delta Queen. It's a completely hollow, Les Paul size guitar that has Its own bluesy sound with the punch of 2 hums. I got mine from a Johnson dealer off Reverb for the same price as I could get one off Amazon, and it plays and sounds great. It was much less than the options you listed.
 

sidestyle

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I've had the same feeling and have had my eye on the new Harmony Comet. Unique pickups, great looks, a little more comfortable size (a little smaller like a 339). I also don't know of any American-made, set-neck, nitro finished semi-hollows that are so competitively priced. I just checked one out at CME and it's a damn fine instrument...huge improvement over the Harmonys of yesteryear!
 

Pixies2005

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A few months ago I was at a local store, saw a Gretsch G2622T-P90 STREAMLINER hanging on the wall, immediately thought it one of the most beautiful guitars I’ve ever seen and brought it home.

I’ve sold a few guitars since I bought it. Maybe it is just the looks are so attractive that I pick it up to play. It could be the chime and percussive possibilities it holds. But I just love playing it.

Good luck on the hunt, run the racks and play as many as you can
 
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sidestyle

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I have a Reverend Tricky Gomez that I love:

View attachment 900754

The pickups look Filter'Tron-like (they're even called Rev'Trons), though I"ve bsince been told that spec-wise they're more like mini-humbuckers. Pretty cool regardless. Between various Tricky Gomez models and their Manta Ray models, Reverend has a few semi-hollow options with different pickups, headstocks and trem/hardtail.

My (admittedly limited) experience with semi-hollows (which seems borne out by others here) is that there isn't a huge tonal difference with a solid body, though the louder you play the more you can take advantage of pretty controllable feedback. It's great to feel the guitar "breathe" against your arm.

That Reverend is a looker!
 

MilwMark

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View attachment 900771
The 1981 MIJ Washburn is also cool.
It’s the only string-through semi hollow I’ve ever seen.

How strange is the universe? I walked into my local shop yesterday afternoon to pick up my Strat from a tuneup for tonight’s show.

The owner goes - check this out. And shows me a 70s Japan Washburn 335! Super reasonable. Felt like the best 335 I’ve picked up. Great pickups. They look like Super Ds but lower output.

It will be mine today after a few small mods.

He said he’s never seen one in person in 30+years of owning the shop. What are the chances you’d post yours today @brookdalebill?
 

moedecker

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I feel I need a semi hollow guitar in my life though not sure where to start.

Been watching a few videos to get some idea of what tones/looks I like and wanted some more feedback for what I should be looking for.

I currently have an MM Albert Lee, AO 70s Telecaster Custom and Squire Telecaster modified. Mostly playing blues, classic rock and grunge/90s alternative.

Most interesting to me so far are the Gretsch Falcon and Gibson 335. Also like the Duesenbergs and Godin guitars but cannot try these where I am.

If there was a AO Telecaster Thinline with proper WHRB then I would be all over it. I like the filterton sound so think Gretsch if the front runner so far.

Look forward to seeing your suggestions.

For your style, 335!
 

Wooly Fox

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Keep the suggestions coming.

Looking to avoid the Chinese made ones, want something US made (that Harmony is a good shout) or Japan/Korea made. Always found these the most consistent in quality and features I like.

I need to really try one for the feel and size. Looks like a shootout between a 335 and a Gretsch of some sort (TV Jones Classic fitted obviously).
 

tfarny

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Lots of great choices, it really depends on you. As others have said, a lot of them have much bigger bodies. You might want to start with an Epiphone Dot 335 or one of the copies by Ibanez, those are inexpensive and pretty good usually.
I, actually, am not convinced that semihollows like a 335 really sound much different than solid bodies, as long as the electronic parts are the same. But they look cool!

If you really want something that gives a very different flavor and vibe, go full hollow, like a Casino or one of many Gretsch models (I have no experience with them) especially if you are able to play it with a turned=up amplifier. The controllable feedback / sustain and general feel of the guitar changes, it can be really cool and add an awesome dimension to your sound. Semihollows don't really do that in my experience.
 

Blister

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How strange is the universe? I walked into my local shop yesterday afternoon to pick up my Strat from a tuneup for tonight’s show.

The owner goes - check this out. And shows me a 70s Japan Washburn 335! Super reasonable. Felt like the best 335 I’ve picked up. Great pickups. They look like Super Ds but lower output.

It will be mine today after a few small mods.

He said he’s never seen one in person in 30+years of owning the shop. What are the chances you’d post yours today @brookdalebill?
Pictures pictures pictures
 




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