Best Semi Hollow Body Guitar

According to our experience and research, these are the stand-out semi hollow body brands & models, elegant instruments that deliver great sounding versatile tones.

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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.

Gibson ES-335

Gibson ES-335
Gibson Larry Carlton ES-335 | Retail: $4000 | Get the latest price & reviews at Amazon.com

The Gibson ES-335 is undeniably the best semi hollow body guitar.

It is considered as the first semi hollow guitar produced, making it the most iconic and instantly recognizable instrument in this list. The ES-335 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, it honors and showcases 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. Aside from the Larry Carlton signature model, Gibson ES-335 is available in a variety of models with various finishes, electronics and design configurations. For those with budget constraints, affordable Epiphone ES-335 models are also available. Get the latest price & reviews at Amazon.com

Fender Telecaster Thinline

G&L ASAT Classic Semi-Hollow
Fender American Vintage '72 Telecaster Thinline | Retail Price: $1249
Get the latest price & reviews at Amazon.com

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 price & reviews at Amazon.com

Ibanez Artcore Custom AS103

Ibanez Artcore Custom AS103
Manufacturer: Ibanez | Retail Price: $900

Before the Artcore series, 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 AS103 Artcore Custom highlights the effort of Ibanez to balance quality and value, showcasing good 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. Their guitars doesn't simply copy traditional semi-hollow design, instead they incorporate modern innovations that improve play-ability, stability and versatility. The AS103 is the flagship model and is quite expensive, 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 prices & reviews on the Ibanez Artcore AS series at Amazon.com

PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar

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 SE series guitars, of which the PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow guitar is one. For its price, the PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow has impressive workmanship and quality, which you will not find among the cheap alternatives of big name brands. The design for the PRS SE Custom 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 hybrid 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 more expensive models, you are sure to have a cool looking semi hollow electric guitar that will meet your needs. Get the latest price & reviews at Amazon.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. Get the latest price & reviews at Amazon.com

Related Article:
The Best Hollow Body Guitar Brands

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Gretsch

No Gretsch Electromatic? Really?

To Gretsch or not to Gretsch?

We had some debate over whether or not to include Gretsch here - it wasn't an easy decision.

They did however make it to 4th on our all time greatest electric guitar brands roundup at http://www.guitarsite.com/best-electric-guitar/ and the G5120 Electromatic was featured there too.

Semi hollow body

Hi,

There are many more semi hollow which are really great :
- Rickenbacker 330/360/370 (thinline, semi solid in fact)
- Guild Starfires (IV/V) or their Corean couzins : Starfire/Spécial
- Gretsch for sure : better than the new G5... serie, Historic Serie G3140 Streamline... kinda Gretschenbacker fantastic
But the Gibson ES335 is surely... the BEST !!

Cheers,

Miscka

Best Semi-Hollow body guitars

Hey, let's not for get the Peerless Hardtail & D'Anfgelico 335 type guitars.

1977 mint Starcaster sunburst for sale

It’s a long story but I’ll try to shorten it for you. When I was young I bought three guitars, a 1976/77 Fender StarCaster, a 1980 Strat (Red with gold knobs) and a 1980 Larrivee Cut away L27. I had the intention of learning to play (young and too much money) but got Multiple Sclerosis…..bad… instead. At this past Christmas I gave my son the Strat but he hasn’t touched it since.

I want to sell the Starcaster and the Larrivee now and perhaps my son will sell the Strat. If you are interested please contact me by email (my sight, speech etc is shot). I will not be low balled guys, if you try I’ll sell them privately. Pictures can be sent if you would like to see what I have.

Warren

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