Best Semi Hollow Body Guitar
Based on our experience and research, these are the stand-out semi hollow body brands & models, elegant instruments that deliver great sounding versatile tones.
This page is sponsored by Sweetwater so you can click through to get the full specifications, the latest price, and purchase any of the Semi-Hollow Body Guitars stocked by Sweetwater that we have recommended.
Semi hollow guitars give you the best of both worlds - they have high output sounds with feedback resistance much like that of solid bodies, and they have the same elegant look and warm tones of full hollow body guitars.
To help you find your perfect all-in-one axe, we picked out the top models, and included some affordable alternatives for those working within a budget. We also included video demonstrations for each guitar to give you a better idea of how they sound like.
The Gibson ES-335 is undeniably the best semi hollow body guitar.
The ES(Electric Spanish)-335 is considered as the first commercial semi-hollow guitar, making it the most iconic and instantly recognizable instrument in this list. It features a double cutaway shape that had some hollow cavities to help reduce weight and add resonance. This seemingly simply design continues to be the go-to build for semi-hollow guitars, even competing manufacturers base - if not copy - their designs from the ES-335.
Although it started out as an attempt to find a middle ground between solid body and hollow body, The ES-335 ended up having a voice of its own and quickly became the favorite of popular studio musicians, most notable of which is Larry Carlton who wrote a popular instrumental tune called Room 335, honoring and showcasing the versatility and tone of his favorite guitar. Many professional studio cats continue to use this versatile axe in various music genres like country, jazz, rock, blues, fusion and many more. These days, the Gibson ES-335 is available in a variety of models that feature various finishes, electronics and hardware configurations. For those with budget constraints, affordable Epiphone semi-hollow guitars are also available. Get the latest Gibson Memphis 1963 ES-335 price & reviews at Sweetwater.com
Fender Telecaster Thinline
The Fender Telecaster Thinline model started out as just a lighter version of the popular Tele. Since the solid body Telecaster was very heavy, Fender had some of its wood removed to reduce weight. The resulting instrument was not only lighter, but had a unique trebly warm sound that's different than its solid-body counterpart. Its unique sound and new look quickly got into the hands of many popular musicians from the usual country players to pop, and even rock.
Like the ES-335, the Thinline design continues to be the standard by which other manufacturers try to improve on. Even now manufacturers continue to experiment on their solid body guitars by adding hollow chambers to see if it will result into having a favorable tone. The Fender American Vintage '72 Telecaster Thinline authentically replicates the early '70s version of the instrument, featuring tuned Fender Wide Range humbucking pickups that sound more like their vintage counterpart. Other versions of the Fender Thinline Telecaster are also available, and you can look at the Squier made Thinline Teles if you want something affordable. Get the latest Fender Thinline Telecaster price & reviews at Sweetwater.com
Before the Ibanez started building affordable thinline guitars, you had to spend quite a lot of cash to get a good quality semi hollow body electric guitar. Thanks to Ibanez, we now have a wide range of affordable alternatives. The Ibanez AS153 Artstar highlights the effort of Ibanez to balance quality and value, showcasing great workmanship while retaining a reasonable price.
Although it obviously borrows a lot from the ES-335, it stands up on its own in terms of playing convenience, tone flexibility and value for money. It doesn't simply copy traditional semi-hollow design, instead it incorporates modern innovations that improve play-ability, stability and versatility. The AS153 is the among the top model of the line and as such is quite pricey - but it still is far more affordable than what other builders ask for. If you want something more affordable, you will find the AS73 and AS93 semi-hollow to be quite pleasing, easily trumping other guitars in terms of bang per buck. Get the latest Ibanez AS153 price & reviews at Sweetwater.com
PRS S2 Custom 22 Semi-hollow
Although PRS is relatively a newcomer in the field of guitar manufacturing, let alone in semi hollow guitar building, they continue to impress guitarists with the quality of their work. We especially like the quality of their mid-priced S2 series guitars, of which the PRS S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow guitar is one. For its price, this semi-hollow guitar has impressive workmanship and quality, which you will not find among the cheap alternatives of big name brands.
The design for the PRS S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow follows the same ergonomic and lightweight principle that reminds us of Fender Thinlines, while its aesthetics share the same passion for detail as that of Gibson ES-335s. The resulting instrument is a great looking in-between guitar, delivering versatile tones and looks uniquely PRS. If you have the money to burn, and want to go all out you should check out Paul Reed Smith's extensive thinline guitars, you are sure to have a cool looking semi hollow electric guitar that will meet your needs. Get the latest PRS S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow price & reviews at Sweetwater.com
Gretsch G6139T-CBDC Falcon
Although they are more popular for their hollow body guitars, Gretsch has some really cool semi-hollow instruments in their line up. The G6139T-CBDC Falcon (Center-Block Double Cutaway) semi-hollowbody guitar is a great example, having a distinct double cutaway shape that is unmistakably Gretsch complete with the usual Bigsby bridge and vintage style cosmetics that give the guitar a nice retro look. Whether you choose the black or white finish model, you can expect guitarists and none-guitar players to stare and appreciate the beauty of the instrument.
Gretsch's semi-hollow design revolves around a center block that minimizes unwanted feedback caused by body resonance - while still providing enough sustain and note definition. They created this design as an alternative to their popular hollowbody models can easily have uncontrollable feedback when overdriven or played at high volumes. To give this guitar authentic vintage tones, the company opted for TV Jones FilterTron humbucking pickups, which is considered as the best in class when it comes to getting that "Gretsch" sound. The only drawback for the G6139T Falcon is that only the privileged few can afford its premium price tag, but don't fret - if your budget is limited, you can check out other more affordable Gretsch semi-hollow guitars. Get the latest Gretsch G6139T-CBDC Falcon price & reviews at Sweetwater.com
G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-Hollow
If you think G&L designs are Fender clones, then you will have to think again, because these guitars are partly designed by Leo Fender himself!
Compared to Fender guitars, G&L guitars sport a more "mature" look, which many guitarists prefer.
Case in point is the G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-Hollow, it sports a mature and curvy look, which is what Fender Thinline Telecasters should have looked like if Leo continued designing for Fender.
Being part of the G&L Tribute series, this Thinline Telecaster is part of their more affordable production guitars. Close inspection however will reveal that even though this guitar is cheaper, it has impeccable craftsmanship of which other cheap Thinline Tele clones will have a hard time matching.
This affordable semi hollow guitar also sports a versatile tone that is well received by many users and reviews. There are high-end USA made Thinline Bluesboy models available, so if you have the dough, we highly recommend that you check them out.
The Best Hollow Body Guitar Brands
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