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Shopping for a hollow/semi-hollow electric - any tips? advice?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by SecretSquirrel, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

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    Epiphone wildkat, ibanez artcore or a peavey Rockingham are all on my list.
     
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  2. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I haven't seen a Casino in my local search, but if I get to the bigger place out of town, I'll look, thanks!

    I'm coming to the conclusion that as much as I like the 339, it's less the "jazz guitar" I had in mind than it is an all-purpose workhorse—and that's what my PRS is for. I may yet end up with a 339 but I feel like a full hollow body is where I should go.

    Also, yes, Sweetwater is great about pics and weights. I'll ask for "all smarties" (candies).

    Very good to know! Thanks. I assume "list" is the standard GC price on the card, not MSRP (which I think is @$700). The 339, for one, does not come with a case, I figured part of the negotiation would include a HSC.
     
  3. bonzo898

    bonzo898 Tele-Meister

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    Another vote for the Ibanez Artcore. I snagged a used but immaculate AS93 from GC 4 years ago for $350. It’s a better instrument than the Epi’s in the same price range IMO.
     
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  4. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    Not sure about "better."
    If you like clean and chimey, then yes I like the vintage-y PAFs I changed to.
    But people who like to play drive/dirty sounds would probably say the original Ibanez 70 pickups were more versatile.
    I play both pups or neck only 99.9% of the time, and the PAFs are great for that. But by itself, the Seth Lover bridge pickup is a bit thin for my tastes - if I was a guy who lived on the bridge pup, I'd be happier with the fatter Ibanez pups my guitar came with.

    That's why I'm so leery of "better."
    Better for what?
    Better to whom?

    My take is that once you get above the level of pure junk, everything else from there up is a matter of taste.
     
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  5. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

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    Heritage H535 used - if one comes up stretch the budget. I’ve played one extensively at a local jam. It is 90% of my 2001 Nashville built 335.

    Crazy crazy good the lover pickups are to die for.

    Patience.
     
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  6. tbb007

    tbb007 Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    wildkat17.jpg

    The Epi Wildkat my family got me for Christmas. Reading through the thread, I see that it's probably going to be full hollowbody for you, but figured I'd second the recommendation above just in case.

    I think, if it had been totally up to me, I'd have gone with a full hollowbody myself (particularly since I already have an MP Tele Thinline with P-90's), but as a gift, it's a beauty.

    It's also my first guitar with a Bigsby (or a trem of any kind), and some posters here have been very helpful with suggestions about dealing with potential tuning issues; none so far, though.

    Only played it through my AC 30 headphone amp so far, but I do feel it has a bit more openness than the Tele (though the Tele has my favorite neck of any guitar I've owned, and almost any I've ever played). They also got me a new reverb pedal, and I'll probably hook it all up later tonight. But so far, quite pleased.
     
  7. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Holic

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    I have that identical guitar. Great guitar, and at least clean, semis don't sound at all like a solid body guitar. They sound nothing like my LPs. Wish I could play like that guy! My 339 feels, plays and sounds like a far more expensive guitar than it is. It has found a home forever!
     
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  8. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    List price means same as MSRP. GC probably tags with lower prices than that these days. Good to look up MSRP on line, take 35% off, than compare to their tag price. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a little room to negotiate but then again nowadays GC keeps their advertised prices pretty low.
     
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  9. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

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    I go back and forth on that degree of relic. It looks so rustic, which is cool...but looks nothing like "normal" guitar wear.
     
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  10. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Friend of Leo's

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    Maaaaan! This thread has me missing my Ibanez AF75. I mean, I still have it, but I haven't opened the case in months. The sun'll come out tomorrow. Killer guitar.
     
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  11. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Sweet looking Wildcat! I don't really want a Bigsy on this, but glad to hear no tunings problems for you.

    One thing I notice about most full hollow bodies, is they have floating wooden bridges, that is, the bridges fall away if you remove all the strings. Had that on a guitar, I hate that! LOL

    I'm seriously considering the AF73 I played at GC, especially if they have un-unmolested one in back—or ordering one from Sweetwater.


    Haha! It's hard...I see something online that gets my blood flowing, my heart pounds and it takes determination not to just pull the trigger.
     
  12. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    This makes me reconsider semi-hollows. I did notice a certain 'woodiness' on the ES339 that I do not hear on solid bodies, and I've noticed it in other hollow/semi-hollows.

    But, the little issues with the 339 I tried, like the too-tight nut slots... that "pinggg" is what you'd expect on a Sears guitar... disappointing. I have a feeling a comparable Ibanez out of the box would have a decently cut nut. Am leaning toward Ibanez.
     
  13. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

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    Simple mr squirrels gotta play more guitars!!

    Woo hoo!
     
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  14. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Your logic is impeccable, I'm gonna take out a loan and buy them ALL. :eek:
     
  15. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Hold the horses!

    There's an Epiphone Emperor Swingster hollowbody on CL that I've been ignoring because it has a Bigsby. But—my reading suggests that it's a superior design that minimizes tuning problems.

    It also has the bridge base that can shift, or fall out when changing strings (am I correct about that? or is it affixed to the body?)—but I might be able to overlook that, given the other qualities of the Swingster.

    It would be outside my budget, but the CL price is do-able, almost half off the SW price. Seller says it's nearly new, and apparently set up well.

    Reviews are generally all very good.

    Known issues: I saw several reviews mentioning the high E string jumping out of the saddle on bends and hard strumming. Anyone here experience that?

    One potential issue for me: higher fret access.

    Here's a random pic of a Swingster in the same wine color (CL pics are lousy)...I like it!...

    Epiphone Emperor Swingster 1.jpg


    So, compared to the AS73 etc, the Swingster is in the "next level up" pricewise, can we assume that it's a level up in quality, too?

    Lots of demo videos of this guitar on YT, all styles, here are two that show the general kind of tones I wanted from it:





    ...although I can see that it'd also be great for country, rockabilly, etc, which I'm getting more into lately.

    I think I need to check this one out.
     
  16. zeoy

    zeoy Tele-Meister

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    When I was shopping for a budget hollow/semi-hollow guitar I played all Epiphones (Dot, Sheraton, 339, Casino, Gary Clark Jr Casino, Joe Pass) in the shop. The one I REALLY liked for Jazz tones was the Epi Joe Pass but the feedback issues scared me.
    If you don't care about playing with overdrive/distortions or very loudly, you should definitely check it. The jazz tones you seem to like came effortlessly with this guitar.

    I ended up (about a year later) with a Revered PA-1 HB Custom. Great guitar but it's about 3 to 4 times your upper $ limit.
     
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  17. Acoustotron

    Acoustotron TDPRI Member

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    Ibanez is the best bet in that price range. I've had a lot of Ibanezes and I've never found one to disappoint in terms of quality or playability. Pickups can be upgraded but, in general, even their low-end ones sound fine.
     
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  18. slickoneuk

    slickoneuk Tele-Meister

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    Fender Corronado II, a bit different a d sound great
     
  19. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The Emperor Swingster is based on the Joe Pass guitar, and the feedback issue has been mentioned, so that could be a concern. Anyone ever stuff a small towel in a hollow body? Might be an interesting experiment, anyway.

    I like the Coronado if only because it's 'different'; I've played a couple and it's not what I'm looking for here. Would be fun to own one, though!
     
  20. stax

    stax Tele-Afflicted

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    I mainly gig with a couple of Washburns, mij HB35 and Korean J9 both fine instruments.
    As mentioned the Epi Swingster is really nice too, I was really impressed watching a young guitarist using one recently.
     
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