Best of the budget semi-hollows?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by BigSB, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. BigSB

    BigSB Member

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    Let's say street price used is $250 or less.

    Turser?
    Epi Dot Studio?

    Something else? I'm very happy with an LP-style right now, but I'm auditioning for bands that are primarily blues-based with things like Soulshine and White Rabbit in the mix, and there's something about those tones that just seem to need a semi-hollow, 335 vibe.

    I've owned an older Korean Dpi Dot and a nicely-appointed Turser, but that was back when things were still more competitive, before every retailer and their uncle Bob started manufacturing in China for cost-effectiveness over QC.

    Help me find something I can horse-trade for if I locate one in my area.
     
  2. axdxm

    axdxm Silver Supporting Member

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    My vote would be for the Ibanez Artcore line.
     
  3. Sidmore

    Sidmore no talent hack Silver Supporting Member

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    Yup, my gently used Artcore AS73 was $250 incl Roadrunner HS case - well made, nice neck, stays in tune forever, even the stock pickups are decent
     
  4. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    While my Artcore was not a keeper to me, My Epi Dot definitely was not a keeper. So I would probably vote the Artcore also. Until I think of something else.... I've wondered about the Turser's and since having one Dean solidbody, really wonder about a Dean hollow... the solidbody was superb.
     
  5. vbf

    vbf Supporting Member

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    Another vote for Artcore! :aok
     
  6. Ben C.

    Ben C. Member

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    Love the Epi Dot Studio... got it for $190. Was just waiting to be rung up for something else in a guitar store and picked it up to noodle. Felt fantastic and played like butter. Sure, I swapped out everything that wasn't wood, but it's amazing now. A lot has come and gone, but it sits proudly with the PRS DGT, Suhrs, and Les Paul.

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  7. Pointy Headstock

    Pointy Headstock Member

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    PRS SE Semi-Hollow. Asking prices are often high, but with a little patience you can find an older one without bird inlays for $300.
     
  8. HTSMetal

    HTSMetal Member

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    Epiphone Wildkats are a blast, and pretty awesome looking to boot:

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  9. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Member

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    AS73s and DOTs are great, I've had them both, but neither held a candle to my Hamer Echotone. Brand new, out the door for $300.
     
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  10. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    At this price point, I'm not sure you can narrow it down to just one maker/model. There is a reason why they sell these things so cheaply, and it is parts and materials. You might have to play a few of the same model to find one you really like.

    Keeping an eye on neck/body joints, neck warpage, etc, would be the key. Maybe you can find one more resonant than the others. Otherwise, for the $200-$300 price point, you have quite a few very viable options. Happy hunting.
     
  11. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    I think in this general price range - esp for semis, it's definitely best to try to play a number of guitars and then buy the best. I've played very nice Epiphones and Ibanez and I've played dogs from each brand.

    Eastman is also worth a look if you are buying new. Don't see many of them on the used market.

    I had an Epi 335-type and a bigger-bodied Ibanez. They were both very OK. The setup and new pickups made a big difference with the Epiphone. The Ibanez was probably better in stock form, but I never fully bonded with it, plus it was a bit gaudy for my tastes.

    I bought a very gently used Korean Hamer Echotone had a full pro setup. $350 with original HSC. Fantastic guitar. Stock pickups were hotter than I prefer and a bit bland. Not awful, not not good. Replaced them with used Seth Lovers.

    Pretty killer setup for $470 total including case. Definitely closer to a Gibson than most of the Ibanez and non-Eliteist Epiphones I've played.

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  12. klatuu

    klatuu Member

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    I recently bought an Epi 335 pro and found the stock pickups really good. I think what these guitars benefit from the most is a good setup. You still need to play a few and find the best one, but once you do, take the time to get the nut right, get the proper relief in the neck, and adjust the action and intonation. I took the time to get everything right and the guitar is excellent. I've been so impressed with it, I bought my son a Dot this weekend as a graduation present for getting his music degree. I didn't buy these guitars because it's all I could afford; we have several boutique and high end guitars. I bought them because if you get them right they can be stellar guitars, especially for the money.
     
  13. fretless

    fretless Silver Supporting Member

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    Totally agree. I have 335 Pro as well and find it to be FAR better than its price point. The stock pickups are great!
     
  14. Roxy

    Roxy Member

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    Brand new for under $250 I wouldn't even see how it would be possible. Used?
    An Ibanez Artcore. Even the Xavieres from Guitarfetish are pretty good and they do pop up used.
     
  15. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    Build quality of the Epi Pro series is consistently high, though the tonal quality of the wood varies greatly from one to the next.

    That said, my Epi 335 Pro is one of the best sounding 335's I've owned. When shopping, strum them unplugged. The right one will jump right out at you.

    Live clip of my 335 Pro - that's me on the right, 2nd solo: https://youtu.be/LieyGnSvun8
     
  16. TeletoneH137

    TeletoneH137 Member

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  17. mgarrison99

    mgarrison99 Silver Supporting Member

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    Hamer Echotone (Korean) gets my vote!
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