The Best Hollow Body Guitar Brands

Here are the best hollow body guitars that will be sure to catch your attention with their classic looks and their acclaimed warm and clean tones.

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Sweetwater

This page is sponsored by Sweetwater so you can click through to get the full specifications, the latest price, and purchase any of the Hollow-bodies sold by Sweetwater that we have recommended.

Hollow body guitars, also called semi-acoustic, are not to be confused with acoustic-electric guitars. These electric guitars are designed with a single hollow cavity within the body. They can produce low volume acoustic sounds when unplugged, but their true character shines when plugged in. Although mostly associated with jazz music, hollow body guitars have left their mark on all styles of music including country, pop, rockabilly and even hard rock.

Gretsch

When you think of hollow body guitars, the first thing that will usually come to mind is Gretsch. Although Gretsch was not the first in the market, they have improved on the classic design to the point of making the hollow body style their own. Their quality and intricately designed instruments became popular and widely used. The most popular of which is the Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins model, which is arguably the best hollow body guitar. Up to this time, it continues to be favored and used by many professional guitarists.

Gretsch G6120 Chet Atkins Hollow Body

Gretsch G6120 Chet Atkins Hollow Body
(Gretsch G6120 Chet Atkins Hollow Body pictured above - Get the latest prices and reviews at Sweetwater.com)

Made popular by guitar legend and virtuoso Chet Atkins, the Gretsch 6120 is a mighty fine instrument. When you plug-in your Gretsch 6120, you can know that other notable players used the same guitar including Eddie Cochran, Duane Eddy, George Harrison, Setphen Stills, Neil young, and Brian Setzer among many others.

Gretsch Guitars G6136T White Falcon
Gretsch Guitars G6136T White Falcon
Get the latest prices and reviews at Sweetwater.com

Fender's partnership with Gretsch helped improve their current production guitars and made sure that all their re-issues are vintage-correct. This includes the Gretsch G6136T White Falcon which sports the same 1959 style, Bigsby, arched top and gold-sparkle binding.

The retail price for the Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins hollow body guitar is $2,274.99. The stylish Gretsch G6136T White Falcon is tagged with a price of $3099.99. There are other mid priced Gretsch hollow body guitars for budget conscious musicians.

You can visit Gretsch to get more information about the Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins and the Gretsch White Falcon.

Gibson

In 1936, Gibson's first attempt to make production line electric guitars resulted in the first ever hollow body guitar with a pickup attachment, the ES-150. Gibson then improved on this design and by 1949, they came up with the ES-175 that had built-in electric pickups, which is largely considered as the first ever fully electric semi-acoustic guitar. It subsequently became the working template that other hollow body manufacturers improved on. Up to now guitarists world over prefer the ES-175's simple yet effective design.

Gibson Memphis 1959 ES-175

Gibson Memphis ES-175
(Gibson Custom ES-175 pictured above - Get the latest prices and reviews at Sweetwater.com)

The Gibson Memphis 1959 ES-175 brings the successful classic design for modern players to enjoy. Although widely used in Jazz as exemplified by Joe Pass and Howard Roberts, masters from other genres like Pat Metheny, Keith Richards and Steve Howie also preferred this instrument. Its florentine cutaway, classic single P-90 pickup configuration and gorgeous looks are more than enough reasons for many to want to own this iconic hollow body guitar.

Epiphone, a sub company of Gibson also made waves among hollow body guitar enthusiasts with the Epiphone Casino. Having been favored by the Beatles and notably John Lennon, this is the guitar that put the Epiphone brand on the map. Although it looks like a Gibson ES-335 (the ES-335 came top of our Semi-Hollow Body list), the Casino is a true hollowbody guitar, bringing with it a unique warm and ringing tone.

To own a remake of the iconic ES-175, you have to be willing to shell out $4,500 for the Gibson 1959 ES-175. The Epihphone Casino is more budget friendly with a retail price of $599.

Head over to Gibson to get the detailed specifications of the Gibson Memphis 1959 ES-175 and the Epiphone Casino.

Rickenbacker

Rickenbacker started making semi-acoustic guitars in 1958. These guitars have a wider body that uses a sleek dash on one side instead of the traditional f hole. The unique look, Fireglo finish and widespread exposure with the Beatles helped propel the Rickenbacker brand up the ranks. Instead of the usual jazz connotations, their hollow bodies became ideal for pop and rock, and even became a strong competitor to Gibson.

Rickenbacker 330 Electric Guitar

Rickenbacker 330 Electric Guitar
(Rickenbacker 330 Electric Guitar pictured above)

Some tend to classify the Rickenbacker 330 as a semi-hollow, but according to Rickenbacker themselves, the 300 series are hollow body guitars. They sport a single hollow space inside the body surrounded by wood that is thicker than those of other brands. According to many, the resulting tone lies somewhere between a semi-hollow and a hollow body. This gives the Rickenbacker 330 its unique appeal and sound.

Rickenbacker 360 electric guitar
Rickenbacker 360

The Rickenbacker 360 was a common sight back in the 1960's during the British sound invasion. The current available models are slightly updated but still emit the same classic British retro vibe that Rickenbacker is known for. Notable features include dual truss rods, single coil pickups and its unique body contour.

The MSRP for the Rickenbacker 330 Electric guitar is $1,999. The slick Rickenbacker 360 is priced at $2499.. The retail price would be a bit cheaper and there are quite a number of used Rickenbackers in pristine condition that you can get for cheap.

More information is available from Rickenbacker.

Ibanez

The strength of Ibanez lies mostly with the quality of their artist endorsers, which for their hollow body guitars include John Scofield, Pat Metheny and George Benson. Knowing that these virtuosos endorse the brand gives you an assurance that you won't be disappointed. They offer various models that borrow from classic hollow body guitar shapes but to keep their products budget friendly, they employ affordable materials and production techniques. Ibanez is one of the first to provide quality hollow body guitars at affordable prices.

Ibanez George Benson Signature LGB10

Ibanez George Benson Signature LGB10
(Ibanez George Benson Signature LGB10 pictured above - Get the latest prices and reviews at Sweetwater.com)

The George Benson Signature GB10 is one of the best instruments that Ibanez has to offer, and it has to be since it the virtuoso signed and approved of its design. It features a smaller full hollow body, set-in neck and GB Special humbuckers that are perfectly suited for jazz savvy guitarists. Having passed the stern specifications of jazz great George Benson, it's not surprising that it continues to be sought after.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the affordable Ibanez Artcore AF71F. You get big archtop tone for just a few bucks. It has an all maple hollow body that gives you the same resonance as other expensive guitars. This particular model stays true to the classic one-humbucker setup.

The George Benson GB10 model does not come cheap, and retails at just under $3,500. Budget conscious guitar players however will be elated by the price of the Artcore AF71F which is only at $399.99.

Check with Ibanez to find out more information about the Ibanez Artcore AF71F and the Ibanez George Benson GB10.

Other Hollow Body Guitar Brands

Aside from these top brands, other guitar manufacturers also offer hollow body designs. It is important to note that some guitar players go to small scale guitar luthiers and would testify that these small scale manufacturers build the best hollow body guitars in terms of tone and quality. If you have your own list or feel that a specific brand or model should be included, you can let everyone know via the comments section.

Related Articles:
The Top 10 Guitars of All Time!
The Best Electric Guitar Brands

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What about PRS Hollow bodies?

What about PRS Hollow bodies?
http://www.drpickup.com/guitars/prsblurbmccartyhb/index.htm
http://www.drpickup.com/posters/drptboneposter0911.pdf

If you haven't tried one have a go.
Bruce Stringkiller

best hollowbody guitars

Which PRS model(s) do you recommend

Which PRS Hollow Bodies do I recommend?

I own

A PRS Hollow Body Spruce Mc Carthy model
drpickup.com/guitars/prsblurbmccartyhb/index.htm
I really wanted a PRS Singlecut but I got a good deal on this at Guitar Center Charleston in 2006.
Light guitar - clear sound which can get seriously dripping fat and greasy
Dial in Feedback or avoid it if not wanted
Volume and Tone are similar to a jet fighter a little tweak goes a long long way.
Hear it here http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/drpickupbb
on the live and studio tracks.

I now have a PRS Singlecut Hollow body with Peizo

http://www.prsguitars.com/singlecuthollowbody1/index.html

I bought this guitar (heavy negotiation) over three days at the London Guitar show in 2009 and got a VERY good price - this is just the summum of electric guitars - first it is two seperate guitars - a great acoustic and a great electric.
The Action, the sound, the neck, the pickups, the feel are really really state of the art. Forget about the finish, the birds, the bling bla bla and concentrate on the feel, sound and what it makes you want to say.

Sounds great thru all amplifiers thru Koch , Marshall, Boogie, Bogner, Matchless and with my Piano player a Vox AC 15


Also sounds great through PAs as an acoustic.

So that's two models but I see that PRS also made a SE model (Made in Korea) I have a PRS SE Soapbar and that is a hell of a lot of guitar for $ 400 so if I wre to check out PRS hollow bodies I would go to a store where I could check them all out WITH BOTH OUTPUTS and probably walk away with the SE if I did n't have the lucre for the high end US models. Note as the http://www.prsguitars.com/singlecuthollowbody1/index.html is discountinued you can some time get onto a good deal.

Review here http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/Issue/2009/Jan/PRS_Singlecut_Hollo...

In the end ENJOY
Bruce
drpickup.com

Hollow Body Guitars

What about the humble Danelectro?

Hollow body guitars

Eastman is another brand to consider. They have an ES-175 style guitar, the AR371, for around $700 that seems to have the reputation of setting other ES-175 copies back on their rears. Maybe Sweetwater should become a distributor...

Best hollow body guitar brands

Washburn HB35 and The Hagstrom Viking Deluxe, fine hollow body guitars for the money......should they not be on this list? Or are we speaking only of high end, high priced hollow bodys, and they are considered "the best" because of price?

Trey's Languedoc Hollow body was overlooked

The Languedoc may become the next LP in popularity.

I started making a poor mans version but still using solid woods
and they sell better than anything I have seen in my last three years
of business. People love them!

I have them in a kit or finished product.

You can check them out by clicking on my name above that takes you to my website.

thanks

R M Olson Guitars

Best hollow body guitar brands

I play a Godin Flat 5x, and it's the best hollow-body guitar I've ever played (including classic Epiphones, ES-335s and Rickenbackers). It feels and sounds GREAT! They aren't in production anymore, but if you find one, buy it. You'll love it.

Peerless Guitars

Missed off Peerless Guitars. Some of the best quality hollowbody guitars in the market

R.I.P. "Big Jim" Peerless

I was just reading about how "Big Jim" from Peerless recently passed away - he was indeed responsible for some brilliant guitars!

For anyone who is interested in Peerless and Jim Sullivan go to http://www.peerlessguitars.eu

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