Semi hollow to pair my Tele

paperman

TDPRI Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Posts
76
Location
Italy
I have a Tele Classic 50s, I would like to add a low budget semi hollow with humbucker pickup, with a sound like “Gibson style”.
I’m thinking about:
- Epiphone ES339
- Ibanez AM93
- Squire CV Starcaster (?)
- Gretsch xxx
- other suggestions?
What would be the best choice in term of build quality (I’m not a great fan of Made in china) and sound?
Thank you!
 
Last edited:

drmordo

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Jun 27, 2019
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Tampa, FL
I'm not a huge fan of semis, but my Classic Vibe Starcaster is a pretty fun guitar.

Starcaster.jpg
 

Wooly Fox

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Mar 19, 2021
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Vancouver, BC, Canada
I do like the Ibanez Artcore semi hollows but they're made in China. Second hand semi hollows (Korean made or Indonesia) can be had for sub $600 if you get one that suits you.

TBH, I don't think I can play any other semi hollow than my CS336 but they're expensive!
 

jrblue

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Nov 14, 2010
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Santa Barbara
my Classic Vibe Starcaster is a pretty fun guitar.
I don't own one because I don't play semi's, but I would readily pick a Starcaster or even a semi-hollow Thinline over a Gibson or fake Gibson (= Epi). However, if you do in fact want a "Gibson" sound, you need to forget the Fenders and go with either a Gibson/Epi or perhaps an Ibanez or Yamaha Gibson-alike. One downside on the Fenders, notably Starcasters, is the difficulty of dropping a conventional Gibson-style HB into the pickup routs. In the past, this was not a direct fit. Maybe that's changed??? My particular fave, a weirdo, is the Fender Offset Special (maybe 2012 or so, one of those paranormal or pawn shop offerings) semi-hollow that is sort of a Strat/Jazzmaster mashup with a JM-style trem and a semi-hollow body. They're rare now and pricey, but IMO almost perfect.
 

bluesholyman

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I think if you want Gibson territory, you'll want a gibson scale length (24 3/4), not fender (25 1/2).

I had an Epi339, great playing guitar - eventually moved on from it, but don't recall why - I have an Epiphone Sheraton II Pro now - love it, but its big.

I wouldn't necessarily knock Made In China - I have a squier tele that is MIC, and stock, its one of the best sounding teles I've played/heard. Had a Baja prior to that and I prefer this squier thats made in china. Not a fan of the Indonesia ones, but thats all subjective.

I'd suggest getting a used Epiphone ES-339 and just upgrade the pickups. The newer probuckers are good, but they are not quite there in my opinion. The older ones are just too muddy/wooly. A lot of the newer epi stuff is using quick connects, so its a slightly involved process upgrading.
 

glenlivet

Tele-Afflicted
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Nov 7, 2018
Posts
1,648
Location
Marco.......Polo......
This is a hollow body Guitar not a semi hollow right?
mostly....sort of.... it has a block under the bridge

full review here:
 

BCblues55

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Nov 11, 2014
Posts
190
Location
Charlottesville, Virginia
I’ve got the Ibanez AM93, and I can highly recommend it. Solid construction, comfortable neck, smaller size than a standard 335, so more comfortable (IMHO) for Tele/Strat/Les Paul players. It came with decent ceramic humbuckers which I liked for a while. Then I wanted P90s and switched in some Duncan Phat Cats (which I like a lot). But you might like the stock pickups. It’s worth trying out.

I’ll also put in a plug for Gretsch guitars. I’ve got two hollow body guitars (an Electromatic with Filter’tron humbuckers, a Streamliner with P90s) and a Jet with Filter’trons. All three are killer guitars and the build quality is amazing. They’ve also just introduced a 339-size Streamliner with “staple-like“ P 90s. Can’t wait to try one!

Happy Hunting!
 

Telecaster88

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May 9, 2019
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I would say play a bunch and one will speak to you! That said, my Epi 339 is the guitar that ended my knee-jerk prejudices against Chinese guitars. I walked past it in my local shop a dozen times, because... MIC. Then on a whim I picked it up, and it surprisingly felt like a REAL guitar. Plugged it in and lost my mind. It was like a time machine to 1966. That classic loose but punchy, sweet but edgy tone. I put it back on the wall and picked it up again three times to make sure I wasn't imagining things. I wasn't. There's a reason these Epis are almost universally loved.

I paid $350 for it with a hardshell case. Absolute best bang for the buck I ever got out of a guitar purchase.

And yes, it's a perfect complement to a Tele. Good luck!

69114532_10212036761113507_3110020101462556672_n.jpg
 

Maguchi

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Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Posts
2,531
Location
Lalaland
I have a Tele Classic 50s, I would like to add a low budget semi hollow with humbucker pickup, with a sound like “Gibson style”.
I’m thinking about:
- Epiphone ES339
- Ibanez AM93
- Squire CV Starcaster (?)
- Gretsch xxx
- other suggestions?
What would be the best choice in term of build quality (I’m not a great fan of Made in china) and sound?
Thank you!
I've had Epis and Gretsches and IMHO they're not that great. So I sprung for a real Gibson ES 335 which I love. I have heard good things about the higher end Ibanez and Yamaha semi-hollows though.
 

kuch

Tele-Holic
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Posts
891
Location
Great Northwest
I have a Tele Classic 50s, I would like to add a low budget semi hollow with humbucker pickup, with a sound like “Gibson style”.
I’m thinking about:
- Epiphone ES339
- Ibanez AM93
- Squire CV Starcaster (?)
- Gretsch xxx
- other suggestions?
What would be the best choice in term of build quality (I’m not a great fan of Made in china) and sound?
Thank you!
Ever think of trying a G&L tribute asat bluesboy thinline/semi-hollow? I've read that some people really like them....
 




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