Semihollowbody guitars

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Name me some good affordable ones. I miss my old one. I know Nabisco has repped for the Ibanez Artcores. And they have a used one of these at the guitar store, got good ratings on Harmony Central:

n/a, Thursday, 13 September 2007 18:43 (fifteen years ago) link

I will also give top recommendations to the Artcores. They're incredibly well built. The Washburn 335 copy is a sleeper as well (porbably because they're both coming out of the same factory, but whatever.)

Didn't dig the Hamer I fixed a while ago (not sure if it was the same model, but similar) but that might have been a case by case sort of issue (didn't really want to set up correctly, intonation problems, etc.)

John Justen, Thursday, 13 September 2007 19:57 (fifteen years ago) link

I think I was really repping the Artcores after you had that fire -- the most basic Artcore model is a lot like the guitar you were using for shows before, but cheap enough that you could have snagged one with your GC store credit.

Mine freaked me out over the summer, because it looked like the neck and headstock were warping toward the heavier strings -- the headstock had gone just barely off-center. But a little time with the strings and the pressure off seem to have let it relax back into shape.

nabisco, Thursday, 13 September 2007 21:31 (fifteen years ago) link

Apparently they don't make an Explorer-shaped hollowbody? :(

Jordan, Thursday, 13 September 2007 21:50 (fifteen years ago) link

It's a cruel world, Jordan, full of disappointment.

Nabisco, are you talking lateral (L to R) motion, or a neck twist? Any odd string guaging?

John Justen, Thursday, 13 September 2007 22:34 (fifteen years ago) link

A twist (like spiral motion?) to the neck. Very tiny and only visible in the headstock, but I'm assuming it was all along the neck. Standard string gauge -- either .10s or .11s. It looks like it's moved back toward normal.

The room I keep it in gets pretty hot and humid during summer, which may have contributed -- but it spent most of its time in a bag with the strings a little flat, so it still surprised me.

nabisco, Thursday, 13 September 2007 23:36 (fifteen years ago) link

And actually, I'm not so sure the neck itself was much affected -- the only way I could confirm it was by holding the guitar in front of me, visually lining up the nut with a horizontal surface, and then tipping it to see that the end of the headstock was ever so slightly off. For all I know, it was built that way, and it just took me a while to notice. Either that or I did a surf-style bend I really shouldn't have.

nabisco, Thursday, 13 September 2007 23:40 (fifteen years ago) link

(I.e., you know, if the nut was level, any twist was all in the headstock, right?)

nabisco, Thursday, 13 September 2007 23:41 (fifteen years ago) link

The Epiphone 335 is surprisingly good. Our other guitarist got one last year and it immediately became his number 1 guitar, replacing his Gibby SG.

Dr.C, Friday, 14 September 2007 10:08 (fifteen years ago) link

I tried out the Hamer last night. It felt good but the sound was very midrangey.

n/a, Friday, 14 September 2007 12:22 (fifteen years ago) link

Seconding the Epiphones.

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 15 September 2007 00:07 (fifteen years ago) link

The epiphones prior to the recent move to Chinese production are fairly decent (although hit and miss does apply). Now, not so much.

BTW, I'm not a "OH NOES CHINA" guy, Epiphone just doesn't seem to have taken the time to be choosey about the factory they use. Like a lot of companies, I suppose.

John Justen, Saturday, 15 September 2007 00:37 (fifteen years ago) link

The older Hamer Echotones are a pretty nice 335 copy. They have some Duncan Designed 59 humbuckers and some cool binding on the f-holes and the neck.

earlnash, Saturday, 15 September 2007 07:48 (fifteen years ago) link

Slave labor guitars from China. Justly hated or best idea, ever?

Gorge, Saturday, 15 September 2007 15:47 (fifteen years ago) link

I frankly love the Epi Sheraton and Riviera.

rogermexico., Monday, 17 September 2007 06:28 (fifteen years ago) link

I've gotten to the point where I really miss playing a semihollowbody. So I put an ad up on Craigslist offering to trade my Fender Toronado for a semihollowbody. A guy wrote back saying he's got an Epiphone Dot 335 he'd be willing to trade. Says he's a guitar repair guy and he fixed up the frets and the nut so it doesn't buzz.
1. I think I paid $300 for the Fender (may have been $350, can't remember). Does this seem like a reasonable trade?
2. Anything I should look for when I go check out the Epiphone (probably later this weekend)?

n/a, Friday, 21 September 2007 21:01 (fifteen years ago) link

I might just be acting like an elitist gtr repair dick here, but anyone who says that they "fixed up the frets and nut" so it wouldn't buzz either doesn't know shit about repairing guitars, or was dealing with a seriously flawed/heavily played/fucked up by previous owner instrument. If he's legit, it means the string notches were cut too low or worn, and he's leveled the frets to compensate for heavy fretwear (which puts you one step closer to a refret job). If he's an "I taught myself how to fix my guitars" kind of guy, it means he shaved the frets and filled the nut because he didn't know how to adjust his truss rod, which means the guitar is going to have serious problems when a decent tech tries to set it up.

So, yeah, play it a lot, look it over carefully and proceed with caution. (in particular, look for the frets being rough instead of shiny, check for dead spots and buzzes on every string up and down the neck, and pay attention to the string height at the first fret. Any problems in these areas is a likely sign of poor repair) and proceed with caution.

Also, if it's a Korean Epiphone, it's a decent deal, if it's Chinese, it isn't.

John Justen, Friday, 21 September 2007 21:27 (fifteen years ago) link

"I'm a guitar repairman so I'm particular about how my
guitars play, I installed a bone nut and gave it a good fret job so
there's no buzzing."

n/a, Friday, 21 September 2007 21:43 (fifteen years ago) link

Sorry for being unclear before.

n/a, Friday, 21 September 2007 21:44 (fifteen years ago) link

Sounds legit. Some people think a bone nut makes a difference, some don't, some think a little pencil lead in a well-cut slot and it's all good.

Wouldn't hurt to play naive and just ask him "gosh, wouldn't a decent setup take care of any buzzing?"

I don't like the deal though - your guitar's worth more than his, since you can sell yours for the $350 you paid and Epi 335s can be had for $400 NEW all day. Now, if it were a Sheraton...

rogermexico., Saturday, 22 September 2007 03:40 (fifteen years ago) link

Huh, now another guy has responded with another Epiphone ES335. "Also, the guitar is stamped second, but I have no idea why." "The neck is a Gibson 490R and the bridge is a pickup I really don't want to let go. It's a Seymour Duncan Antiquity (Check the prices of these, I bought both brand new and I have the packaging for both)." "I forgot to mention that it has a professionally cut and installed Ivory nut, very similar to bone but is a little brighter."

Guitars are confusing.

A third guy emailed just asking how much I would sell my guitar for, so I guess there's that option too.

n/a, Saturday, 22 September 2007 10:33 (fifteen years ago) link

It's stamped as a second because it is a second, and was originally sold at a reduced price, and is worth less than a guitar not stamped second, whether dude can find the flaw or not.

I say sell and buy what you want.

rogermexico., Sunday, 23 September 2007 16:41 (fifteen years ago) link

i haven't seen any recent Gibson seconds in a long time (i know this was orig about epiphones, just having an epiphany).

horrid bluegrass clicktrack, Monday, 24 September 2007 05:41 (fifteen years ago) link

JJ: please tell me there was some early stage in your learning the art and craft of guitar repair where the phrase "installed a bone nut" would have provoked a giggle

nabisco, Monday, 24 September 2007 21:46 (fifteen years ago) link


John Justen, Monday, 24 September 2007 23:04 (fifteen years ago) link

i'm a simple man of simple pleasures.

John Justen, Monday, 24 September 2007 23:04 (fifteen years ago) link

One time my bass player busted his nut onstage, it was embarassing.

St3ve Go1db3rg, Monday, 24 September 2007 23:07 (fifteen years ago) link


John Justen, Monday, 24 September 2007 23:11 (fifteen years ago) link

Was that after his G string snapped?


snoball, Tuesday, 25 September 2007 09:26 (fifteen years ago) link

My next guitar is a rickenbacker 330. I have been trying to find one for under $1000. It is killing me not having one.

Yerac, Wednesday, 26 September 2007 23:07 (fifteen years ago) link

My new guitar. Korean-made Epiphone. It is awesome.

n/a, Friday, 28 September 2007 20:09 (fifteen years ago) link

If it were red, you'd be ready to be Alvin Lee!

Gorge, Friday, 28 September 2007 20:44 (fifteen years ago) link

Ha, C, one of my main life-progress motivations is moving closer and closer to the day when I can afford to buy a 12-string Rickenbacker, just to have it, and not feel weird about the money. I don't need one. I have no plans for one. But I've always wanted one. I mean, I could afford one now, if I had a reason to save for it, but I'm kinda putting it off so one day I can be 40 and just go "fuck it, it's time."

(Hahaha the "I bought a Rickenbacker" thread will hopefully not be followed by a "Nabisco RIP" thread.)

nabisco, Friday, 28 September 2007 21:42 (fifteen years ago) link

I in no way NEED a rickenbacker right now, but I already have laid out all the guitars I will buy in my lifetime and the time for the rickenbacker is now. I am not going to "collect" guitars, so I can just put all my effort into these. Right now I have been playing a gibson les paul that is magenta glitter top (my dad gave it to me as a present! when I was 18, because he saw magenta glitter top and thought of me???). Next is going to be a jetglo Rickenbacker 330 like the one C. Brownstein and P. Buck played (6 string). after that I will have to decide if am a telecaster, strat, jaguar or jazzmaster kind of girl. And then my main life progress motivation etc. is a gretsch country gentlemen.

Yerac, Saturday, 29 September 2007 14:29 (fifteen years ago) link

btw, the reason he can't find the flaw is that guitars stamped "2nd" these days were usually retrned for defects, reconditioned by a factory-authorized service center and then resold.

rogermexico., Sunday, 30 September 2007 19:42 (fifteen years ago) link

i have a telecaster, a jaguar, and a les paul. and a rickenbacker 12-string. love the thing, but i never ever play it. yet i couldn't bring myself to sell it- i actually did, on ebay, but sent the buyer back her money. she was unpleased. moral of the story: if you want one, you'll always want one- regardless of practicality.

i also have one of their basses- they are amazing. i couldn't really see myself owning any other bass.

horrid bluegrass clicktrack, Wednesday, 3 October 2007 00:42 (fifteen years ago) link

thirteen years pass...

I've had a Gibson ES-335 Studio (the "cheap" ES-335) for a few years now and I keep going back and forth on whether I want to keep it or sell it and get something else. I really like the pickups ('57 Classic and '57 Super Classic), somewhat like the way it plays (seems a little fickle at times with tuning stability), and I've had a few minor QC issues (jack fell into the guitar once).

I've been considering maybe either an Eastman T386 or a Guild Starfire instead. Tell me about these. What would be the key differences between them and between them and my guitar?

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 21 May 2021 18:48 (one year ago) link

hell of a revive lol.

I can’t speak to those guitars in particular, but I can say Epiphone’s China production has come a long way. The new Riviera (finally!) improved on the Korean version and punches way above its weight.

Larry Elleison (rogermexico.), Sunday, 23 May 2021 15:42 (one year ago) link

have you considered Gretsch? their low/mid stuff is really great

The T386 and Starfire wouldn't be much different than the ES-335, they're loaded with similar humbuckers. Old Starfires had Guild's mini-humbucker style pickups that sound great.

Gretsch and their Filtertrons would be a good call if you're looking for something different. There was a recent model pearlescent white Gretsch at the local Guitar Center that looked/sounded great, but wider acoustic/semi-hollow/hollow bodies kill my elbow.

Joe Bombin (milo z), Sunday, 23 May 2021 23:09 (one year ago) link

there are a couple of narrower bodies in the electromatic line. at least one hollow and one semi, if you don’t mind the “rat rod” cosmetics

Larry Elleison (rogermexico.), Monday, 24 May 2021 04:32 (one year ago) link

I should confess the electromatics were a gateway drug for me. it took a few years but I ended up taking the plunge on the Player’s Edition annie (pinned bridge, narrow body)

Larry Elleison (rogermexico.), Monday, 24 May 2021 05:01 (one year ago) link

I have an electromatic. love the way it plays but i'm constantly having issues with the components. the bridge was constantly buzzing so I replaced it with one of the Tru-arc bridges and that helped. I do love it overall but it's made me want a more well made version

Heez, Monday, 24 May 2021 15:54 (one year ago) link

I am a Bigsby hata because my old bandmate's Washburn - a lovely guitar in most respects - never returned to tuning after using it. Like, never. Anything requiring the Bigsby had to go last in the set.

Coulda been faulty setup or whatever. And I know some people use them to good effect. But that bad experience put me off Bigsbys.

I had an Epiphone 339 that I liked a lot, but it was not really for me. Sold it to a friend, so I get to see it from time to time.

If I go that direction again, I will likely go fully hollow. Hofner Jazzica, like Paul Carrack uses, is a distant dream

balsamic panic (Ye Mad Puffin), Monday, 24 May 2021 16:44 (one year ago) link

Ah man, what was it? Missed it.

I tried some lower end new gretsches a while back and wasn't thrilled with them.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 25 May 2021 19:22 (one year ago) link

it was this guy marked down to like $479:

call all destroyer, Tuesday, 25 May 2021 19:29 (one year ago) link

yeah it's worth stopping by musician's friend once a day, their "stupid deal of the day" can be really good

This thing is so cool looking. It's actually a full hollow, but I just wanted to post it somewhere,t_large/v1616441697/kxcoegqalpnkmjyqqnto.jpg

(Yamaha SA-15 from the late 60s)

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 15:25 (one year ago) link


Yamaha is a very underrated guitar company

love the shape of that

call all destroyer, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 15:40 (one year ago) link

I want it even though I have no idea what it plays/sounds like. It's art.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 15:49 (one year ago) link

In seriousness, I tracked down some video demos, and I don't think it's exactly what I would look for soundwise. I wish there was an actual semihollow version of the same thing with higher output pickups.

I do also wonder if the positioning of the tremolo arm vs volume and tone knobs would be annoying, and I read that the pickguard is very fragile. Still though, man.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 18:18 (one year ago) link

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