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Best Semi-Hollow under $2000

PeteyNaf

Member
Messages
192
I own Gibsons. I own Fenders. My favorite guitar is my 2008 Epi Sheraton in Ebony. Bone stock. It's a beautiful guitar and has left me disinterested in es-335's. Plays and sounds better than anything I own. Dont let the Epiphone logo turn you off.
 

Tim747

Member
Messages
56
The coronado and the starcaster feel kinda strange, maybe cheap, but they do sound pretty good. Every guild newark series I've picked up is the opposite, they feel great but I'm not so hot on the pickups. The humbuckers sound muddy and the p90's or franz or whatever you wanna call em, sound really bright.
If only those Starfire pickups were a normal size and not the almost a humbucker but not quite a mini-humbucker size.

The Epiphones were starting to look really good, until I heard the quality dropped off after production being switched to China from Korea in 2012.
 

Yogi_Sizzle

Member
Messages
484
The Epiphones were starting to look really good, until I heard the quality dropped off after production being switched to China from Korea in 2012.
Thats not true in my experience, I've owned several of both Korean and Chinese Epis and the MIC ones have definitely been built a little nicer. Some of the Korean Epis have slightly weird measurements and oddly spaced bridges that you can't easily find replacements for. Recently the MIC epis have been coming with nicer stock pickups and pots, for instance my 62 sheraton reissue came stock with Gibson Mini Humbuckers and CTS pots. I know you said you are not too fond of Used guitars, but thats where your reall value for money is going to happen. For less than 2 grand you could find a nice used Assembled in USA Sheraton, MIJ Sheraton, 335 elitist, Greco SA, or Used Gibson 335. I own an AIUSA sheraton and it is a super nice guitar. NItro finish, Gibson pickups, fret nibs, impeccable build quality and finish.

 

ickalien

Member
Messages
203
If you want something different but still in this arena look at Hammer and Reverend. They might get you somewhere.

Hammer Newport Manta Ray HB
Reverend Tricky Gomez 290 - You said you like green right?
 
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Jura

Member
Messages
880
Thats not true in my experience, I've owned several of both Korean and Chinese Epis and the MIC ones have definitely been built a little nicer. Some of the Korean Epis have slightly weird measurements and oddly spaced bridges that you can't easily find replacements for. Recently the MIC epis have been coming with nicer stock pickups and pots, for instance my 62 sheraton reissue came stock with Gibson Mini Humbuckers and CTS pots. I know you said you are not too fond of Used guitars, but thats where your reall value for money is going to happen. For less than 2 grand you could find a nice used Assembled in USA Sheraton, MIJ Sheraton, 335 elitist, Greco SA, or Used Gibson 335. I own an AIUSA sheraton and it is a super nice guitar. NItro finish, Gibson pickups, fret nibs, impeccable build quality and finish.

Are you sure about the nitro finish?
 

Lucidology

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,919
Carvin FG1 (as in my avatar) ... Smoke's any semi-hollow I've ever owned (and I've owned/own a great a great of 'e)
Also the Carvin AH2 is just a great axe... Only semi-hollow without an F hole ...
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,186
Got a Carvin HH2, and it is indeed a stellar guitar: light, great sounds, nice neck profile (fills your hand without being overwhelming), stainless frets. The fine tuners are a little hard to turn and the pickup switch is tiny but those are my only complaints after 6 months. And resale is bad on them, so find a used one for $800 and put a few bucks in your wallet!
 

Yogi_Sizzle

Member
Messages
484
Are you sure about the nitro finish?
yeah, just to be clear I was speaking about my AIUSA Sheraton not the MIC, these was assembled at the Nashville plant using Japanese parts from the terada factory where they made the Elitist Sheraton. These were basically John Lee hooker Sheratons without his namesake on the guitar. They are different from the elitist in that they have a slightly different headstock shape, 2 screw truss rod, fret nibs, and nitro finish.
 

e???

Member
Messages
2,941
Epi is really nice these days. I put seymour duncan antiquities in my epi 339 p90 pro and fell in love. Then I saved up some cash and went looking for the expensive version for the last month or so, and basically I'm not finding it. The feel, resonance, and new pickups, are just awesome. And while there are kinds I haven't tried yet, all the gibsons (new and vintage), guilds, eastmans, etc that I have tried just aren't besting my epi. It might have to do with there not being many semi-hollow p90 guitars, but it's almost hard to believe. It's like, really? I can't find something better than my Epi? But so far it's holding true. Maybe if I ordered a custom made heritage or collings I'd change my tune, but I dunno...
 

MKB

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,205
Get a used ES-333, replace the stock pickups with vintage wind nickel cover ones, install 500k volume pots, and add a pickguard. You'll then have something very close to a Gibson ES-335 for significantly less money.
 

73Fender

Member
Messages
3,982
Hamer Newports and 335 types are apples and oranges..read once on the Hamer forum..the Newport is a scalpel, the 335 is a hammer if that makes sense..I have both and it is accurate.

Should've mentioned I'm not too big on used guitars, unless it's my dream guitar (the Chris Cornell ES-335 in Olive Drab Green or the new ES-355 they have in the same color). I have a bias towards guitars with a nice brand heritage (lol) and some respect, as well as a unique finish (Red, Black, and Tobacco Sunburst irk me). Heritage, Eastman, Collings, etc. are simply remaking classic silhouttes, albeit remarkably and in their own nice ways. Call it stupid or my ego talking, but I want to have something to say when people ask me what guitar I'm playing, and have it be pretty unique looking. Other than classic long-lasting brands, I also favor new, unique models, such as from Fano or Duesenberg ($3000 for Korean made is ridiculous but I do admire their work).

I really want to hear some opinions on the Guild, as it's affordable and has a brand lineage dating to the 60's. Also, any input on the new Fender Coronado and Starcaster?

Thanks for all the input so far guys keep it coming.
With respect, you are limiting yourself and may miss out on your best options... but good luck, hope you pick a winner.
 

logdrum

Member
Messages
2,120
Even though my main guitar is a Godin FlatFiveX, I am not a fan of one tone and one volume knob for humbucker guitars with a 3 pos PU selector. My Godin has a 5 way selector plus a phase and coil tap switch and piezo, but I still wish I can control the volume/tone differently for each PU.

If you are looking for a non Gibson ES-335 make sure it has the 2 tone volume controls.

I would go Heritage, Yamaha or US Epi.
 

jazzguitarfan

Member
Messages
503
I have not been too impressed with the Guild Newark stuff and would take the Eastman over that. I would definitely try the Newark before you buy and while you don't want used, you could get a used Westerly RI Starfire for your budget. I just sold a very nice 335, as I concluded my Heritage 535 would be played much more and was frankly, the better guitar. I realize you indicated you didn't really want a Heritage, but they are great instruments and a plain top can be had new for $1,799. Aside from the Godin (which is pretty decent), it really is much better than anything on your list. My recommendation would be a new plain top Heritage as the enormously subjective "best" for under $2K.
 




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