PRS Hollowbody question

robelinda2

Member
Messages
2,648
Hey guys, i'm yet to buy a PRS but have doing some homework and i like the idea of the Hollowbody w/piezo, but i cant quite get to grips on the differences between the Hollowbody I and the Hollowbody II. Are they just subtle differences, and have the models changed at all? I've read different specs on certain sites, and the PRS site is great but if any of you can help it would be greatly appreciated.

Rob
 

gixxerrock

Member
Messages
3,848
HB I has a spruce top and back, while the HBII is maple top/back. I have a really nice sounding HBII, but have not played an HBI. The HBII is can be bright while I have heard the HBI characterized as more mellow and closer to a traditional hollowbody. I think they are great guitars. They are definitely their own thing and different from a traditional archtop. Enjoy.

Shawn.
 

Jimmydeez

Supporting Member
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3,724
There are actually 3 PRS hollowbodys.

HB Spruce - Spruce top and back
HBI - Maple top - Mahogany back and sides
HBII - Maple top and Back, Mahogany Sides.

From bright to mellow I would rank them HBII -- HBI -- HB Spruce.

I think the tone is all that changes on these guitars.

I have a HBI that is about as versitile as it gets.
 

Serious Poo

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6,447
Hey guys, i'm yet to buy a PRS but have doing some homework and i like the idea of the Hollowbody w/piezo, but i cant quite get to grips on the differences between the Hollowbody I and the Hollowbody II. Are they just subtle differences, and have the models changed at all? I've read different specs on certain sites, and the PRS site is great but if any of you can help it would be greatly appreciated.

Rob
I've found the differences in tone to be pretty subtle, with the HB spruce generally being the warmest and the HBII being the brightest. I prefer the HB Spruce, but have owned all of them at one time or another. I also have a couple of PRS Archtops, and like them a lot. Too bad they don't make them anymore. FWIW, all of the HB's and Archtops I've owned have been well balanced, very responsive, and quite resonant. I think they're real standouts in the PRS lineup. Also, as Jack noted previously, they added a new singlecut hollowbody this year that looked pretty cool @ NAMM, but I haven't played one of those yet.

Good luck with your search.
 

robelinda2

Member
Messages
2,648
Ah thanks guys, i have a PRS dvd that a store gave me ( from 2003) , and i was thinking about the archtop model, but then i couldnt find any info on the PRS site and thought it might be either the HB I or HB II, but its neither! Are both the hollowbodies the same body width? I noticed the old archtop was much thicker than the HB II.
 

gitman

Supporting Member
Messages
995
i have owned and played extensively a HB-II for close to 5 years - it's a good and very well built guitar, very playable both seated and standing up (played in a pitband for 4 years with this) and had me covered when the music demanded modern pop, rock, jazz, country or blues tones. it's not as fat or warm as an ES-335 but weighs a lot less which is worth considering. it's a little brighter, too and the attack is rather quick, not as compressed as with a solidbody. i have owned a PRS archtop spruce before this one but sold it again because it did not suit me ergonomically - i'm a big guy and my right arm was always hanging over the rim of the rather narrow but deep body of the Archtop. the HB model feels a lot more like a solidbody qua shape and did not hinder me at all, neither was it neck heavy. i sold it because i've had a custom guitar made with many design aspects of the HB incorporated which fits like a glove now !
even rock/blues artists like David Grissom play a HB-II on stage in rather loud bands so it's not a one-trick pony !
 

robelinda2

Member
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2,648
I must admit im looking at one or that 335-type tone, very loosely though, i dont want a shred guitar with high output humbuckers. Weight has to be on the lightside as i'm very light myself!!!! Versatility is great for me, i love to play country, jazz, blues etc. Seems like the HB II is one very very classy axe.
 

JMintzer

Burned Out Mod
Messages
4,717
There are actually 3 PRS hollowbodys.

HB Spruce - Spruce top and back
HBI - Maple top - Mahogany back and sides
HBII - Maple top and Back, Mahogany Sides.

From bright to mellow I would rank them HBII -- HBI -- HB Spruce.

I think the tone is all that changes on these guitars.

I have a HBI that is about as versitile as it gets.
The HB Spruce has a Spruce top with MAHOGANY back and sides. None of the models has a spruce back...

Otherwise, your ranking is correct...


Jamie
 

SW33THAND5

Member
Messages
5,082
I must admit im looking at one or that 335-type tone, very loosely though, i dont want a shred guitar with high output humbuckers. Weight has to be on the lightside as i'm very light myself!!!! Versatility is great for me, i love to play country, jazz, blues etc. Seems like the HB II is one very very classy axe.

i had a HB1 for years and played the devil out of it. but IT DOES NOT SOUND LIKE A 335 AT ALL if you ask me. i liked the sound very much. but it doesn't sound like a gibson at all. it is also a very clear and bright humbucker. almost p90ish if you asked me. (in a good way in my opinion) its a really cool and interesting guitar in its own right. and light as a feather (i didn't find it neck heavy like an sg...but it is light as a feather)

mine was a gold top HB1 with dots

...and it was a spruce top with mahogany bottom and sides
 

goodtone

Member
Messages
763
I've been attracted to the PRS hollowbody for some of the same reasons as yourself. I asked a rather well known PRS dealer at one of the guitar shows the difference between the hollowbody l spruce (warmer) and the Hollowbody ll (brighter) and his opinion was to get the spruce hollowbody l model because you could make it brighter by compensating at the amp when you needed the extra bright sound.
 

Jimmydeez

Supporting Member
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3,724
BTW I traded out the archtop pickups for WCR Goodwood/Darkburst combo. Really made the guitar rock.
 

Macman

Member
Messages
81
I own a HB1 and swapped out the pickups for something hotter. In this case, i got my hands on a pair of PRS #10 pickups some time ago so I just went for it and plonked them in there.

Now its an even greater sounding guitar with a tad more power in the pickups (think PAF clones) and does everything from clean, blues to all out rock. The piezo makes things easy for me so i don't have to change guitars for acoustic stuff. Not the best but imho close enuff to a live acoustic guitar.

The ones without the piezo options seem to be neck heavy but the piezo ones jus hangs out comfy on u. Since you're looking for one with the piezo that won't be a problem. Here's a pic of her.

 

thewhit

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,563
classy axe indeed and it better be for the prices these are going for these days .... the pickups are on the lower output side which suits this guitar very well. you can always add a booster or some od pedal...
this is from Storyville's DVD, a gig at Antone's in Austin last year and Grissom plays his HB guitar : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eImmcNGaSE&feature=related
So D.G's guitar is a HollowbodyII?
 

Macman

Member
Messages
81
So D.G's guitar is a HollowbodyII?
Looked like a spruce to me.. I could be wrong but I din see much flame/quilt going on on that Top. It does have the piezo and from what I see, had brushed covers for the buckers.. anyone can confirm this?? :)
 

joel

Member
Messages
1,049
I've got a HB-spruce. It's super light and comfortable to play. It's bright enough for me! My fav pickups are P90's, and I find the pickups in my HB to be a bit bland. They are nice, but don't have the single-coil zing. I'm thinking of putting some Fralin P92's in there. I agree it's not a 335 tone. Sometimes I get excited about BB King and think I might put some Goodwoods in (as was recommended by WCR). This guitar is a keeper, so I'll probably try both and others as the years flow by. I tried some PRS ATs when I got mine, and thougth the HB shape was a lot more comfortable. I don't notice the neck heaviness, the whole guitar is so light that it seems to float. I played a HBII at Sylvan the other week that sounded great, not dramatically brighter than mine, very woody and clear.
 




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