Gretsch,Gibson,Heritage,Yamaha,Other ..Which semi/hollow body sets the bar?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Dipintoplayer, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Dipintoplayer

    Dipintoplayer Member

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    There was a time that when it came to semi or hollow body electrics there was only one guitar for me and that was a Gibson ES-335...

    The one i own is a very poor example of a Gibson ES-335..

    The previous owner snapped the headstock off then tied a rope around it and pulled it behind his truck ,took a cheese grader to what was left of the finish so it would look tough and well seasoned.

    He then placed modern hot SG pickups in it along with some packing material so he could turn his late uncles blues guitar into a metal guitar..When this did not work he then placed in the corner on the floor with no stand so his three young children could pluck on it here and there along with knocking it over every once and awhile to add to that tough look..:sarcasm

    Actually there is not much sarcasm there besides the pulling it behind the truck and cheese grader thing..

    When i went to rescue this guitar from a fate that it did not deserve the guitar was sitting on the floor propped up in between the fire place and his misses rocking chair..

    Every time she would rock in the chair the front runner rubbed up against the guitar while the back of the guitar was continuously rubbing up against the brick..

    I paid $500 for a mid 80's ES-335 since then i have spent almost another $700 on the guitar..I love the guitar its a mess but its my mess...


    I have always wanted another semi or hollow body guitar ..This 335 no matter how much i love it or how much money i sink into short of a total master rebuild it will never be able to hold up to the rigors of touring..


    I always felt eventually i would find another Gibson 335 or 339 at the right time for the right amount...

    After playing some Gretsch,Yamaha's and Heritage hollow body guitars i'm not so certain it will be a Gibson i will be going with...

    The gap between these four guitars at least in my mind are getting closer and closer...
     
  2. mondaythursday

    mondaythursday Senior Member

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    I like my 1967 Epiphone Riviera.
     
  3. Patrick2

    Patrick2 Member

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  4. DRS

    DRS Member

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  5. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    oh no - there's still a sizable gap imo - same one there's been since 2003.
    Gretsch make about 50 semi & full hollow bodies better than anything else money can buy.
    They're all better than a ES-335 imo.
    They poo on all rivals due to exceptional craftsmanship, attention to detail, classic design beauty, unique tones, versatility and they're cheaper than ES-335s too.
    They got 3 different PUP options, bigsby's that work flawlessley & tones that cover almost any style of music :)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. tapeworm

    tapeworm Supporting Member

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    Guild Starfire IV/V/VI > _________________

    (collings I-35 excluded)
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  7. Mudder

    Mudder Member

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    On the cheap end Samick Artist series.
     
  8. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    depends on what you like, what you want, etc.

    I have one particular 335 (59 Historic) that is better than anything I've seen by anyone in years ... though in general I'm very impressed by and like the Gretsches including the 6120 SSLVO ... had 2 Heritages, both nice, one was better than the 335 Dots I saw/played at the time (late 90s) but nowhere close to the quality of the 59 Historic 335 ...

    so ... there is no one answer here, it's a factor of your subjective taste, the variation of different models and of variation in quality within models, etc. And the semi vs. hollow is a whole nother category on which to go in 2 diff. directions...

    ymmv.
     
  9. I'm Incinerator

    I'm Incinerator Supporting Member

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    I've played many a Gretsch since FMIC took over Gretsch, and I own a Fujigen made Gretsch Spectra Sonic Lead. Easily the best guitar I own right now, and is a great semihollow guitar TV Jones has taken back the production and they are still being made in the Fujigen factory I think? Makes me wonder about other Fujigen and Terada made guitars for the Japan market? IMO Gretsch is putting out some of the best production off the rack guitars available

    I've only played one Gibson ES-335 back in early 2006, it was a gloss dot neck, I remember thinking that I could get along famously with large bodied semi-hollows at the time (this was before I picked up my 15.5'' wide Spectra Sonic). I would LOVE to get one of those Nashville 59 historic 335's or something very similar to those. I may have to start sticking back some bucks here and there when my car gets paid off.

    If you can find one the Epiphone Elitist Dots are pretty incredible as well for the price...atleast the one I played around 2005/2006
     
  10. tsar nicholas

    tsar nicholas Member

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    I love and play a very good Gibson semi-hollow, but bang-for-the-buck wise, it's hard to beat Yamaha and early-80s Ibanez semis. Likewise, I think Heritage are easily the best value in an American semi-hollow, especially used.

    Personally, I've been jonesing for a Yamaha AES1500 (stop tail) since I was a kid. Those are fully hollow, one of the best values in the guitar market in general. Killer guitars.

    Edit : used Guilds are also a stupendous value

    And yeah, Japanese Gretsches are flawless guitars. Pretty expensive though
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  11. gillman royce

    gillman royce Member

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    I'm with you on the Heritage. You like the birch and sycamore tops on the AES ? You like one over the other ? I have other Yami's and like their products the past 15-20 years but always wondered about the 1500
     
  12. thewalkingboss

    thewalkingboss Silver Supporting Member

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    PRS Archtop II. They are pretty rare and don't seem to have great resale value, but really like mine. It's a "double 10" model from 1998. Plays great and gives a range from huge fat semi-acoustic to thin and jazzy.
     
  13. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    Guild Starfire. Find one, buy one, love one. :)

    I have a FMIC Gretsch too, and it rocks.
     
  14. Kurt L

    Kurt L Member

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    Lots of companies make great guitars but I'd recommend not making a purchase until you play a few Hamers.
     
  15. kingsleyd

    kingsleyd Frikkin genyus Gold Supporting Member

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    The heck with big companies. Way better stuff available from small builders such as this guy:

    http://www.artingerguitar.com/

    Note: that said, it's hard to go wrong with a good vintage Guild Starfire. One of the most underrated guitars ever. :)
     
  16. axe4me

    axe4me Member

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  17. MattTele

    MattTele Member

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    We TOTALLY need pictures of this guitar btw. I have a Gretsch 6122JR and Id have to agree with Waxhead, the construction is CRAZY good.
     
  18. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    Gretsch. They specialize in semi hollows. My White Falcon is the only guitar I own that I couldn't find any flaw on.
     
  19. steve108819

    steve108819 Member

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    Gretsch doesn't make any semi-hollows, unless you count the chambered Jets. White Falcons are full hollow body guitars. My personal opinion is any Gretsch that contains the numbers 6 1 2 0 beats the tar out of anything Gibson currently makes.
     
  20. TrainBridge

    TrainBridge Member

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    :agree 6118JR owner here I love me some Gretsch goodness.
     

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