PDA

View Full Version : Semi/Full-hollow Body Electrics



Markwell
04-10-2010, 02:12 PM
This thread, as the title says, is for the posting and discussion of Semi/Full-hollowbody electric guitars.

After two years of owning just an acoustic guitar (Tanglwood Nashville II Solid Top - great for the price of just 190 including a hardcase), and as a result of properly "getting into" the Beatles when the remasters came out last year, I was inspired to start a band, and figured I was going to need an electric guitar.

I'd always known that if I was going to get one, it'd be a semi or full hollowbody, due to my love of fifties rock 'n' roll and rockabilly. And generally, they're classy looking instruments.

I ended up getting the Epiphone Casino, a full-hollowbody guitar, most well-known as one of (if not the) Lennon's most used guitars. Paul and George each had one, too.
http://webexperta.com/martha/images/lennon_roofcasino.jpg
http://blogs.dailyrecord.com/sixstrings/files/2009/01/2-harrison_casino1.jpg
It differs from the Gibson 335 in that it's (as previously mentioned) a full hollowbody - there's no tone block down the centre of the body- and that rather than Humbuckers, it has two P90 pickups (essentially beefed up single coils).

Here are some photos of mine, in its beautiful transparent Cherry red finish:
http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/7282/p1011332.jpg
http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/3449/p1011349.jpg
Cost me about 450 from www.dv247.com
I'm considering putting a Bigsby vibrato unit onto it, though I'm not sure whether I'd like to risk being stuck with some problems people have mentioned having, after installing one.

Anybody else here like semi/full-hollowbody guitars?

Pippin
04-10-2010, 04:48 PM
The Bigsby tail would not be my choice. It is the best trem of the bunch, but I prefer hard-tails... like the 335. The Casino, however, is a sweet guitar with more frequent feedback issues than the "DOT". It is one of my two favorite archtops, though.

Nice git.

Markwell
04-11-2010, 04:29 PM
Gretsch hollowbodies are some of the coolest guitars ever.
http://img.alibaba.com/photo/104799164/Vintage_1964_Gretsch_Chet_Atkins_6119_Tennessean_G uitar.jpg

NukeDOC
04-11-2010, 10:30 PM
Sorry to burst your bubble, mark, but that gretsch isn't a hollow body. Those f holes are just stickers. You can see the shadow of the pickguard over the bottom one.

I haven't tried one yet but I have been drooling over the xaviere semi hollow les paul style.

As far as your casino goes that's a beautiful guitar. If you do end up putting a bigsby in, let me get that tail piece off you!

P-co
04-11-2010, 10:42 PM
I am no expert but I love the Gretsch's with the chunky looking Bigsby, my ideal guitar. Prefer the thinner bodied ones to the thicker. All based purely on asthetics as I'm a crap player.

Deets
04-11-2010, 11:59 PM
Yessss I adore semi/full hollow body guitars, although I've only ever owned solid body electrics. I'm currently saving up for a Gretsch Brian Setzer hot rod.

That is a beautiful guitar, by the way!

Markwell
04-12-2010, 04:55 AM
that gretsch isn't a hollow body. Those f holes are just stickers.
Whoa. You're right, I can't believe I didn't notice that, haha, they're so fake looking.

Just done a bit of research, and apparently it is a hollowbody, but for whatever reason they didn't put F-holes on that particular version. Sort of like B.B. King's Lucille, I guess.

NukeDOC
04-12-2010, 09:24 AM
Whoa. You're right, I can't believe I didn't notice that, haha, they're so fake looking.

Just done a bit of research, and apparently it is a hollowbody, but for whatever reason they didn't put F-holes on that particular version. Sort of like B.B. King's Lucille, I guess.

oh cool. does seem funny that they would make a hollow body and then put face f holes on the top. hahaha. maybe its to avoid feedback issues?

anyway, i havent tried one of these out but they are very intriguing to me....
http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-50206111187217_2099_9390204
the price is right. and the pickups arent half bad from what i hear. i installed some GFS mean 90 P90 pups into a custom build and even though they have a p90 version of this guitar, i would rather get the humbucker version and drop the mean 90's in.

this is a xaviere xv-550 semi hollow body les paul style. and for only $240? i need to break the piggybank open for this one. so after $30 for locking tuners, $70 for a pair of mean 90 pups, $10 for a 330 style trapeze tailpiece, $20 for some chrome knobs, you've got a sick looking les paul style semi hollowbody with some mean pups for less than $400. awesome sauce.

Markwell
04-12-2010, 10:30 AM
That thin looks sweet, the wood is beautiful.

GrumpyCoyote
04-12-2010, 10:54 AM
Yep. Hollow is my next major purchase. Been playing Gretsch and Epiphone all weekend.

Leaning to the Gretch Electromatic, but I'm not in a hurry. I do like the Bigsby myself, warts and all.

The new epi's and Gibsons seem a little overrated to me so far. I've played a few vintage that were amazing, but the new ones are a bit lacking to me. Played a $2k Gibson right next to a $300 Ibanez and the Ibanez had better fit and finish and sounded better. Not that it was great either, but I was surprised at the sloppy and weedy sounding Gibson. Epi's were just ok too. the Gretch on the other hand was surprisingly well put together for the price and had the tone to boot.

So for now Gretsch is on the short list. I'll play more before I make the call though.

littlesongs
04-16-2010, 12:26 AM
They produced a good number of classic models from the early 50s to the late 90s in all colors, shapes and sizes, with a variety of great pickups, both fully hollow and semi-hollow too.

These are tools for working musicians in every genre imaginable.

If you have a chance to play one, you will definitely want to buy one.

luvdat
05-06-2010, 02:48 AM
Yep. Hollow is my next major purchase. Been playing Gretsch and Epiphone all weekend.

Leaning to the Gretch Electromatic, but I'm not in a hurry. I do like the Bigsby myself, warts and all.

The new epi's and Gibsons seem a little overrated to me so far. I've played a few vintage that were amazing, but the new ones are a bit lacking to me. Played a $2k Gibson right next to a $300 Ibanez and the Ibanez had better fit and finish and sounded better. Not that it was great either, but I was surprised at the sloppy and weedy sounding Gibson. Epi's were just ok too. the Gretch on the other hand was surprisingly well put together for the price and had the tone to boot.

So for now Gretsch is on the short list. I'll play more before I make the call though.

Talk to an honest Gibson dealer or salesperson about QC issues (as well as the buy in)...the Ibanez are simply better values.

UkeNukem
06-04-2010, 03:33 PM
I second the choice of Ibanez. I have a 1997 AS-80 that is just incredible. You might want to check out their website as they do mention which guitars are full-hollow and semi-hollow.

http://www.ibanez.com/HollowBodyGuitars/home

Here is mine -

http://home.earthlink.net/~n4vgm/pix/AS80/as80body.JPG

The color is Transparent Butterscotch and I removed the pickguard.

telebob
06-27-2010, 07:39 AM
I have a Paul Reed Smith (PRS) Hollowbody II that I absolutely l-o-v-e. An incredible guitar, sweet looking with much playability, and loaded with warm tones and a nice chunky bite at high volumes. Here's a description from the PRS website: "Carved inside and out with only a small block under the bridge connecting the back and top, the Hollowbody family offers brilliant acoustic qualities for a thinline hollow electric. The Hollowbody II, our most popular semi-hollow instrument, has solid mahogany rims with a solid, deeply carved figured maple top and back. With the optional patented PRS/LR Baggs Piezo System, you can plug this instrument into your PA or recording console and your amp at the same time. This piezo option instrument has a huge array of tones and simple switching possibilities."

http://www.prsguitars.com/hollowbody2/img/front.jpg

Mine has a blue matteo finish, but otherwise looks the same as the above posted pic (from PRS' website). I don't have the piezo option on my PRS. Like others here, I prefer a hard-tail over the installed twangbar.

If you 'd like something less expensive, but with great twangability, the SE models are cool: here is the semi-hollow PRS SE that sells for US$650. The SE Custom Semi-Hollow has a mahogany back, maple top, 22-fret wide-fat mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard and SE humbucking pickups. The addition of a hollow chamber and modern f-hole give it a musical midrange and internal reverb. Overall it's a very light, comfortable and versatile guitar. It won't make your shoulder sag after a 4-hour gig.

http://www.prsguitars.com/secustomsh/img/front.jpg

I bought this model, same gorgeous natural color, to play at gigs as I usually don't take my high-end PRS guitar to a bar/club.

My only other hollow-body guitars are a Rickenbacker 360 and a Fedner Tele Thinline. The Rick is just a 6-stringer, not a 12-string. Lots of chime!! The neck is thinner, which places strings closer, and can be a hassle for chording when I haven't played it for awhile. I usually have to doodle and twang on it for awhile before I use it to play for a gig or recording. So it's not seen much use, but its a great guitar for the guitarsenal. ;-D As for the Tele, I l-o-v-e it: great classic Fender twang (with the single coil PUs), lighter than a regular Tele (again, good for a 4-hour club gig), and wonderful woodsy-tone (just a little 'rounder' at low volume). Can't go wrong with a Tele.

Garfed
04-07-2011, 03:59 PM
You can see the shadow of one of the bottom of the plate. I have not tried, but I was semi-hollow Les Paul style baba Xavier. As for his casino is a beautiful guitar. If you are in Bigsby, allows me a piece of the tail!

ksiegel
04-11-2011, 06:18 AM
I have an Epiphone ES-175 reissue, hollow-body archtop electric.

P-90 pickups, laminated maple top (just like the current Gibson ES-175), very sweet player.

I actually bought it because I'd been jonesing for an archtop guitar for years, and finally found one I could afford - but I bought it for the acoustic sound, not the amplified sound. I've plugged it into a Vox AmPlug AC30 a couple of times, but the only time it plugged into an amp was a the store, before I bought it.

The price was very good - I think it is $499 at Musician's Friend or Guitar Center , but I paid $416 at my local shop, then another $80 for the hardshell case.

Oddly enough, as much as I like it, I just don't play it - I tore a tendon in my left arm a couple of years ago, had surgery to fix it last year, and can't play a guitar for more than 30-40 minutes without intense paid. But since I can play the ukulele for a few hours before my arm starts to ache, that's my main instrument now.

I can highly recommend the ES-175 reissue to anyone who wants an archtop hollow-body electric guitar.


-Kurt

Little Plink
06-20-2011, 04:45 PM
Currently mulling over the Gretsch G5120. I've always wanted a Gretsch hollow body, but it's still the bottom of the line model. You can get 'em for about $700.