Semi-Hollow guitar options

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by MikeVB, Dec 25, 2009.


  1. MikeVB

    MikeVB Member

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    What's out there?

    I love the tone clean and dirty of a good semi-hollow with a great tube amp. Looking to get another after recently selling my Ric and Dano.

    The Ric 330 sounded great with my Goodsell, but it wasn't user-friendly in terms of minimalist controls. Plus, whoever the hell came up with the idea of lacquering a fretboard should be caned. The Dano was fun, but unsuitable for a no-back-up gigging instrument.

    I like the simple control platform of a tele and considered a thinline. But in the past couple years I've sworn off long-scale guitars, acoustic and electric. Plus, most teles just sound too ice-picky to use anything but the neck pu to me, unless you're into the Vince Paisley-Urban thing...which I ain't.

    I love the tone of an LP Jr with a P90 when the amp is cranked and screaming. But clean? Nah. Solid-bodies just don't sound as full to me as a SHB.

    So, what about a Duo Jet? Well, they seem good but damned if they don't cost a sh*tload new for a foreign-built guitar. And I don't particularly want a trem, Bigsby or not, and finding a used one without it is rare. Plus, they come in any color you want as long as it's black or sparkle'ly glitter...boring.

    Duesenburg's look cool, but don't exactly grow on trees. And aren't cheap either.

    Building doesn't seem to be much of an option compared to a tele, strat, hairband-spandex wanker guitar.

    For us folks that live in the sticks you can go broke trying/buying/selling candidate guitars online. So, what say ye good fellows?
     
  2. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Supporting Member

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    Guild Starfire for me. Tasty, great prices, and killer guitars.
     
  3. Stormin

    Stormin Supporting Member

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    Best semi I've owned to date is my ES-135 with Lollar P-90's. It has all the clean and dirty tone you could ask for, and I paid just $1000 for it.
     
  4. natevi

    natevi Member

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    Epiphone Dot with some BG handwound pickups and upgraded electrics, get it plek'd and you've got the best and most versitile semi-hollow body guitar on the planet.
     
  5. bluegrif

    bluegrif Member

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    When you're in the sticks and must buy without trying, obviously you need to go with a brand that consistently turns out a great guitar. For a semi hollow from a US maker, I'd go with either Hamer or Heritage. Hamers are consistently excellent these days. And Heritage much more so than it used to be. The choice between those two depends mainly whether you're looking for a very traditional Gibson style semi (Heritage) or something that maybe has a bit more of it's own thing going (Hamer). Guild is another fine choice in a US made semi. Particularly the models from the mid 90s and earlier.

    Outside of those, I'd recommend some of the excellent guitars coming out of Japan these days, which also tend to be consistently good. It's hard to go wrong with Japanese built, high end Yamaha or Ibanez. Another great choice might be an Epiphone Elitist, also built in Japan to a very high standard.

    All these are very reasonably priced on the used market. And even if bought new, are relative bargains.
     
  6. motis1953

    motis1953 Member

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    You'd be doing yourself a favor if you checked out the Reverend Club King 290. The quality is unbelieveable for the pricepoint and it's set up like a Tele control-wise. I had one with a Bigsby a while back and only sold it because I'm too blind to deal with the Bigsby. Real nice guitars. You can get them with P-90's or Humbuckers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  7. sleek

    sleek Member

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    Epiphone Riviera.
     
  8. TK LP

    TK LP Member

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  9. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    If you have to sell either of those brands, they have horrible resale value so make sure you buy used
     
  10. Jazz2Punk

    Jazz2Punk Member

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    I was just trying to be helpful bro. :mad: You'll find the links I provided have lots of great suggestions on the same topic.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  11. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    Heritage! Awesome! Buy used if you can.
     
  12. MikeVB

    MikeVB Member

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    Chill out, Cap'n. I was joking and I read and appreciated the links.

    Is there a list somewhere of places to get a guitar plek'ed in the US. Just curious.
     
  13. velorush

    velorush Member

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    If it's P-90's you're after, the answer could lie in picking up any humbucker-configured semi-hollow you like and replacing the pups with Duncan P-Rails with Triple Shots switching. This is a Gibson Howard Roberts Fusion (semi-hollow) I bought new back in the early 90's. I loved the way it played but HATED the pickups. The P-Rails and T/S's really brought this guitar to life. P-90s when I want them, humbuckers when I'm not in the mood. This guitar sounds especially nice with the coils in parallel (think PAF).
    [​IMG]
    I didn't care for the fingers tailpiece, either, so I replaced it with a conventional trapeze. Really a versatile semi-hollow, now.
     
  14. MikeVB

    MikeVB Member

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    That's a nice looking guitar.
     
  15. Bhodie

    Bhodie Member

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    +1 :aok
     
  16. hottub

    hottub Supporting Member

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    ES-339 with a 30/60 neck!
     
  17. velorush

    velorush Member

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    Thanks much. Until about five years ago it spent most of its life in its case. I really hated the way the stock 490R/490T pickups sounded in it and just didn't play it much at all. It had this upper-mid thing going on that I couldn't adjust out through any amp setup. I was about to sell it but decided instead on a pickup swap and I'm really glad I did.

    I love the Gibby '59 neck and ebony board. As I said, these pickups really match the guitar well. I also replaced the controls with the RS Modern Upgrade kit - tough fishing it in and out, but well worth it. The RS controls work incredibly well.

    To the original point, the P-Rails aren't P-90s, but for the versatility gained and ease of installation, they are really REALLY close.
     

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