Guitar For Jazz Blog

   

Hello, This month I'd like to share my experiences researching semi-hollow guitars.

Recently I set out to purchase a semi hollow guitar. I was looking for something with more sustain and a little less 'wood' in the sound than a fully hollow archtop (or thinline) has. I will share with you the list I amassed, it's fairly extensive but not exhaustive by any means. It mainly focuses on guitar's you can purchase new as of now, in other words, still in production. (2014)

My ideal specs consisted of an Gibson ES-335 shaped body with a wood block running the length of the body, an ebony fretboard, 1-11/16ths nut and at least some Mahogany on the guitar with preferably a tobacco color sunburst finish. The budget was 1K max, so for sure the list is biased price wise. I ended up comprimising on a few specs of course and decided that a well made great sounding/performing guitar was all that mattered. (although by luck I did end up with pretty much what I wanted.)

My first choice after evaluating my choices was the Comins GCS-1ES, which I unfortunately had to pass on for the $1500 price tag. (It was just out of reach this time, too bad,...)

Similarly I had to rule out:

  • D'Angelico EX-SS
  • Hofner Verythin Custom
  • Any Gibson
  • Any Heritage

I also ruled out the Grote ZWEG-1088 since I know nothing and have heard nothing about the company or the guitar, they may be decent, I just didn't want to risk it at this time.

I also eliminated all Eastman's, bummer! I played one once at a store and was super impressed but I just couldn't hang with the wide 1-3/4th's neck, which, I believe, is the only width they offer on all their models. (If you are fine with the wider neck, I would highly recommend you just get one of these)

For me it came down to:

  • Schecter Corsair
  • Ibanez AS153
(and possibly I was thinking of getting the Eastman T386 and really trying to get used to the wide fingerboard, I was very impressed with what I heard and read online regarding this model.)

Ironicly, I ended up getting a 'vintage' 1982 guitar! I feel very lucky with a under 1K deal on a Yamaha SA2000

Here is the list. You can (download as xls file too. If you download it, please let me know any additions that you add)

BrandModelNut WidthFretboardPriceTop WoodNeck Wood
AgileHarm 1 FGEbony400
CarvinAny Holdsworth ModelsEbony
CarvinHF2S FatboyEbony
CominsGCS-1ES1.70"Ebony1500Spruce
CominsGCS-1
CortSource
D'AngelicoEX-SSEbony1100
EastmanT3861 3/4"Rosewood840
EpiphoneSheraton II
Fender72 Telecaster ThinlineMaple
GibsonES 347Ebony2500
GibsonMidtown CustomRichlite (like ebony)1700Mahogany
GibsonES-359
GibsonES137
GodinIcon Type 3Ebony
GrecoFA-700
GretschG6128T Duo Jet
GroteZWEG-1088 42mmEbony?400
HagstromViking IIResinator (Ebony Like)$350.00
HagstromViking Deluxe43mm$800.00
HamerNewport Pro Custom
Heritage535
HofnerVerythin Custom44mm nut!Ebony1500
HohnerSE35
HohnerHS35
IbanezAS73
IbanezAGS83B Artcore Delux
IbanezAS153Ebony1000
LTDPS-1
PeerlessConti ModelEbony1700
PeerlessSunset
PeerlessElectra
SamickRoyale RL31.58" (43mm)400
Seventy-SevenAlbatross Jazz Model1600
SchecterCorsair1.58" (43mm)Ebony750Mahogany
StrombergMonterey
WashburnHB-351 5/8 (43mm)600
WashburnHB36 Vintage1 5/8 (43mm)Ebony600
HansonChicagoan ST
YAMAHASA20001 11/16Ebony1000

Cheers and good luck!



Here are the newest additions to the site:

Yamaha-sa2200--255 Yamaha SA2200 Based on the Gibson ES-335. Known color(s), Sunburst, with a High Gloss finish. Maple sides, and Maple back with a Maple top.

The neck is made of Mahogany with a Ebony Radius 13-3/4" (350mm) fretboard

Made in Japan with a a scale length 24 3/4” (628.7mm) Maple Both makers logo 2 Alnico V Humbucker 2 Volume, 2 Tone, And 3 Way Toggle Controls TOM bridge StopBar All the SA2200 have a 60's slim taper type neck? see the Yamaha SA2200 specs. - 2014-02-10

Washburn-hb-35--252 Washburn HB-35 Known color(s), Sunburst, Ebony, Natural, with a High Gloss finish. Maple sides, and Maple back with a Maple top.

The neck is made of Maple with a Rosewood fretboard with MOP Block neck inlays. The width at the nut is 1 11/16”

with a a scale length 24-3/4" Yes Humbuckers 2 Volume, 2 Tone, And 3 Way Toggle Controls TOM bridge StopBar see the Washburn HB-35 specs. - 2014-02-10

Washburn-hb36 vintage--253 Washburn HB36 Vintage Based on the Gibson ES-335. Known color(s), Aged Vintage Sunburst, with a Satin finish. Flame Maple sides, and Flame Maple back with a Laminated Spruce top.

The neck is made of Maple with a Rosewood fretboard and 22 frets with MOP Block neck inlays. The width at the nut is 43mm (1.69") with a Synthetic nut.

Made in China with a a scale length 24.75” and Grovertuners. http://www.musicradar.com/us/reviews/guitars/washburn-hb36-vintage-570819 Yes Faded Cream Both makers logo Washburn 623 (bridge) and 621 (neck) humbuckers 2 Volume, 2 Tone, And 3 Way Toggle Controls TOM bridge StopBar 7.7 lbs see the Washburn HB36 Vintage specs. - 2014-02-10

Yamaha-sa2000--254 Yamaha SA2000 Based on the Gibson ES-335. Known color(s), Sunburst, with a High Gloss finish. Maple sides, and Maple back with a Maple top.

The neck is made of Mahogany with a Ebony fretboard

Made in Japan with a a scale length 24 3/4” (628.7mm) Maple Both makers logo 2 Alnico V Humbucker 2 Volume, 2 Tone, And 3 Way Toggle Controls TOM bridge StopBar SA2000's have 59 necks see the Yamaha SA2000 specs. - 2014-02-10

Peerless-electra--249 Peerless Electra Known color(s), Orange, with a High Gloss finish. Flame Maple sides, and Flame Maple back with a Laminated Spruce top.

and a body depth of 2”. The neck is made of Maple with a Rosewood fretboard and 20 frets with MOP Block neck inlays. The width at the nut is 43mm with a Bone nut.

with a a scale length 24-3/4" shallow hollowbody with a 2" depth None Venetian Dual Filter Tron 2 Volume, 2 Tone, And 3 Way Toggle Controls Floating Wood Trapeze Jangly sound see the Peerless Electra specs. - 2014-02-10

Samick-royale rl3--250 Samick Royale RL3 Known color(s), Amber, Original Sunburst, Transparent Red, Vintage Sunburst, with a High Gloss finish. Mahogany sides, and Mahogany back with a Mahogany top.

The neck is made of Mahogany with a Rosewood 12” Radius fretboard with MOP Block neck inlays. The width at the nut is 1-5/8th”

with a a scale length 24-3/4" The sides and the center block are made from one piece of wood, rather than two sides and the center block. Won a guitar player mag editors pick Duncan Design HB101 2 Volume, 2 Tone, And 3 Way Toggle Controls TOM bridge StopBar see the Samick Royale RL3 specs. - 2014-02-10

Schecter-corsair--251 Schecter Corsair with a High Gloss finish. Maple sides, and Maple back with a Maple top.

The neck is made of Set 3-piece mahogany neck with a Ebony fretboard and 22 Medium frets with Dot neck inlays. The width at the nut is 1-5/8th”

Yes 2 Duncan Designed HB-101 2 Volume, 2 Tone, And 3 Way Toggle Controls TOM bridge StopBar  coil splitting see the Schecter Corsair specs. - 2014-02-10

Ibanez-ags83b artcore deluxe--246 Ibanez AGS83B Artcore Deluxe Known color(s), Natural, with a High Gloss finish. Flame Maple sides, and Maple back with a Maple top.

The neck is made of 3 piece maple/mahogany with a Rosewood fretboard and 22 frets with Block and Triangle neck inlays.

ACH1 and ACH2 humbuckers yes 2 Volume, 2 Tone, And 3 Way Toggle Controls Tunamatic StopBar see the Ibanez AGS83B Artcore Deluxe specs. - 2014-02-10

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