Looking for that magic hollow-body (or semi)

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by jd1655, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    The T5 is the only guitar mentioned so far that's going to do the acoustic tone as well as electrics. I've played them and found them to be a jack-of-all trades, master of none. Not my bag, but one of the few guitars out there that do what they do. I beleive "Crafter" makes a similar guitar on the cheap.

    The big hollowbody archtops have some acoustic sound unplugged, but it's not like strumming a flattop. The amplified sound is that of an electric guitar.

    Semi-hollows are very versatile, but also very much ELECTRIC guitars.

    Yamaha made an archtop some years back that had a piezo in the bridge as well as two humbuckers...I nearly bought one waaay back and bought an Epiphone Emperor Regent instead because it was $100 cheaper. Mistake. Who knows where that guitar is now?

    If you only want a "plugged in acoustic guitar" sound and not a guitar that could actually be played acoustically, they make piezo bridges for pretty much everything...if you like the sound of rubberbands being snapped against a tabletop, it's an option...:D
     
  2. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

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    Crafter SA series perchance ? The one I played was excellent and in some ways better than the Taylor T5 as it had piezzo /magnetic pickup blender .Beautifully made too .
     
  3. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's it, I think.

    I'm a member on a jazz forum, and there's a cat there who just loves his. He knows his stuff, so I'm inclined to think it's a good value.
     
  4. MojoMonster

    MojoMonster Tele-Meister

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    Hofner Verythin.
    There's a cheaper Asian made version, too.
    Easy to find on eBay.

    '80's Carvin SH225. Body by Hofner. Basically a rebranded Verythin.
    Super rare.
    I own one. Absolutely awesome guitar.

    Ibanez Artstar/Artcore AS series.
    Artstars are the better guitar, but kinda rare.
    The Artcore AS 73/83/93/103 are amazing values. The pickups/electronics might need changing, depending on what you like, but they're excellent builds.
    These are easily available new and used everywhere for between $250 and $650.

    After that, used Gibson and Heritage. But those will be at least $900+.

    Just noticed you were in Canada. Check out Eastman guitars.
    It looks like their electrics are jazz oriented, but they're really well made and sound amazing.

    MM
     
  5. aunchaki

    aunchaki Friend of Leo's

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    I just got a used Epiphone Joe Pass hollowbody. I put heavy flatwound strings on it (Thomastik Inkfeld 13s) and am really loving the tone. It's got a thinner body (think 335 or Casino) than many hollowbody jazz boxes.

    I've been trying different amp settings. To be honest, I don't really have much use for the bridge pickup. I think Wes Montgomery originally had his signature model with a neck pickup only. I can really see the sense in this configuration.

    Anyhoo, Joe Pass = nice guitar!
     
  6. Chase TM

    Chase TM Tele-Meister

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    Here are some of my picks for around that price point;

    Ibanez Artcore Af103 (Around $800 new)

    Single or Double Cutaway thinline series Eastmans (around 1k used but sometimes you can find them new around that price when places have sales)

    Gibson es339 (Around 2 CAD new, but you may be able to find one for a favourable price if you have patience)

    What about a tele thinline? Talk about versatility, especially if you have a humbucker in the neck and a traditional tele pickup in the bridge. But the 70s reissue models which are hum/hum are really nice too.

    Then after that you might check Epiphone guitars. If you can find a 90s MIJ Elitist 335 dot neck BUY IT!! Many people believe they were superior to 335s built around the same time. They are obviously a lot more than the Korean epiphones but worth every penny.
     
  7. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    If that body's as thin as a casino or 335, that isn't a Joe Pass.

    The JP's what I'd call medium depth, fully hollow, a good three inches deep at it's deepest.

    They're decent guitars, as are the Ibanez "jazzboxes."
     
  8. bugbiteaudio

    bugbiteaudio Tele-Meister

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    +1
    Great a acoustic sound. Great quality. Great price.
     
  9. Walter Broes

    Walter Broes Tele-Afflicted

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    You can get a nice enough hollowbody for around $1000, but "magical", I don't know.
     
  10. bluenoise

    bluenoise TDPRI Member

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    A lot of good suggestions here. Just wanted to give another vote for the Godin 5th Ave Kingpin. Some of them are more acoustic than others, so it's helpful to try them out at a store that has several. I played 4 in a shop several months ago and one really stood out. Sounded like a solid top. Of course, plugged in they all sounded about the same.

    Here's a great Django cover on the Kingpin:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_LXF67Fu9g
     
  11. TaylorPlayer

    TaylorPlayer Tele-Afflicted

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    Casino if you want a full hollow body or Sheraton if you want closer to a 335. Either is a killer choice for a big body guitar that doesn't feel that big. I like the "Bling" factor on the Sheraton better but I wish they had a Sherri with P90's! :cool:
     
  12. kingfish

    kingfish Tele-Holic

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    I'm with you. I currently have two Casinos - a 2005 Korean Standard Natural, and a 2001 Japanese Elitist Casino Vintage burst.

    Playing guitar just like ringing bell.

    Go.
     
  13. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Casinos are nice, but unplugged they're not gonna compete with something 3 or 4 inches deep. Remember, the OP mentioned playing the guitar like he would a flattop acoustic for one possible purpose.

    That said, an unplugged deep body hollowbody is an acquired taste. Us jazzer's love 'em, but I'm not sure who else does...even somwething like an L5 with a carved top is still an electric guitar first and foremost, imho.

    In the budget range, the nicest sounding unplugged archtop I've heard was an eastman, but were talking over 1k used (still a bargain when it comes to archtops)
     
  14. kingfish

    kingfish Tele-Holic

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    True. Do you think the OP means an acoustic guitar with a pickup, or a (big) hollow body electric?

    Not really clear to me. :)
     
  15. spruce

    spruce Banned

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    How about a Gretsch 5120 , they're amazing , or a Dean 7 sound palomino


    http://www.route66classicguitars.com...dBluesBox.html

    The Sounds of American Culture, Route 66, Chuck Berry and the sound that made T-Bone Walker famous is that out-of-phase sound. The Route 66 Seven Sound Palomino has the body style of an ES-175 and a fat 50s neck profile. This guitar is equipped with a push pull pot, 3 P-90 Pickups and a 5 way switch, making that out-of phase sound a reality. This guitar does it all! This guitar is the American Holy Grail come to life for the first time in history!

    The concept behind the seven-sound mod is simple: add a switching device that can activate the bridge pickup. Position 1 of the 5-way selector switch activates the bridge pickup alone. Position 2 adds the middle pickup to the Bridge pickup. Position 3 engages the middle pickup only. Position 4 adds the neck pickup to the middle pickup. Position 5 engages the neck only. By engaging the push pull pot in Position 5 the bridge is added to the neck for your first out of phase sound. This is Position 6. Position 7 is achieved by engaging the push/pull pot in Position 4 for your second out of phase sound. These are the seven sound possibilities.

    5-way selector switch pickup combinations
    position 1 Bridge pickup alone
    position 2 bridge + middle pickup in parallel
    position 3 middle pickup alone
    position 4 middle + neck pickup in parallel
    position 5 neck pickup alone

    5-way switch pickup combinations - 7-sound mod
    position 1 Bridge pickup alone
    position 2 bridge + middle pickup in parallel
    position 3 middle pickup alone
    position 4 middle + neck pickup in parallel - all three pickups in parallel
    position 5 neck pickup alone - bridge + neck in parallel

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3l3ztV_-AMk&feature=player_embedded
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  16. valiant

    valiant Tele-Holic

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    Well for $1000 and fully hollow look for a Guild Starfire 3.....and a Guild is magical.
    If you decide on a 335 semi-acoustic formula then a Guild Starfire 4 has a better build quality than a Gibson and used are half the price....simply great USA made instruments
    that are top quality and yet can still be found at a bargain price.
    Hofner have a long tradition of quality made in Germany arch top guitars and semi-acoustics and can also be found at bargain prices.
     
  17. john kleeman

    john kleeman Tele-Holic

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    +1 on Guild. Vintage or recent, a great value at your price point. My late , lamented, Starfire four wailed like an alto sax.
    Unfortunately, lots of sellers on Craigs List in these low $$$ times.
     
  18. steveintampa

    steveintampa TDPRI Member

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    The Godin 5th Avenue is a nice guitar. I have one. It has a 1.72" nut with a 16 degree radius. Have been using mine for a couple of years with no issues. I did upgrade the pickup and bridge.
     
  19. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have the Epi Emperor II Joe Pass which is a small jazzbox, it does not sound like a folksy acoustic, it can do blues but more suited to swing jazz and 50s R&R. prone to howling if amp'ed up too far.

    Yamaha SA20B thin hollow semi (think Casino), this can do blues nicely, bright and jangly "poppy" perhaps. Again prone to howling at high gain.

    Ibanez AGS83 semi-solid, described as "for high volume fusion", looks like a thin jazzbox but more like the ES335, does jazz, blues, rock, everything really, no howl.
    [​IMG]
    The OP want to do blues based rock/folk/pop. A jazzbox does not immediately spring to my mind. But a hollow semi like the Casino or a semi-solid like the Sheraton/ES335 does.
     
  20. beep.click

    beep.click Poster Extraordinaire

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    You described a Gretsch. You probably can't get one for $1000. You will pay more, and you will never, ever regret it, for one second.
     
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