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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.

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
Manufacturer: Gibson

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.

Get the latest Gibson Memphis 1963 ES-335 price & reviews at Amazon

Fender Telecaster Thinline

American Vintage '72 Telecaster Thinline
Manufacturer: Fender

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 more affordable.

Get the latest Fender Thinline Telecaster price & reviews at Amazon

Ibanez AS153

Ibanez Artstar AS153
Manufacturer: Ibanez

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 Amazon

PRS S2 Custom 22 Semi-hollow

PRS S2 Custom 22 Semi-hollow
Manufacturer: PRS Guitars

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 Amazon

Gretsch G6139T-CBDC Falcon

Gretsch G6139T-CBDC Falcon
Manufacturer: Gretsch | Retail Price: $2999.99

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 at Amazon.

G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-Hollow

G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Semi-Hollow
Manufacturer: G&L Guitars

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.

Get the latest G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy at Amazon

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.

Related Article:
The Best Hollow Body Guitar Brands

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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 and the G5120 Electromatic was featured there too.

Semi hollow body


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 !!



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.


Guild STARFIRE III's of the

Guild STARFIRE III's of the late 90's -2001'ish WESTERLY (pre-corona) are without a doubt THE FINEST Thinline Hollow body electric archtops of their time. Though different body contour from the 60's Starfire's. Not many Starfire III were mfg. Aaaannnnd the Starfire III's fitted with P-90 dogear "black" Seamour Duncan Antiquity's are just unbelievable. I have tried out three (3) over the years, (incl a Corona-yuk). They are FLAWLESS, play near perfect. Unfortunately, they were never marketed properly. Production moved to the westcoast and all is ancient history. Ask any Luthier/Guitar shop on the eastern Seacoast who is familiar with the Starfire as well as Gretsch, Eastman, Gibson etc . . . The STARFIRE III of the Late 90's-2001 were horrifically UNDERATED ~ Peace-out

Es335 look alike

I just picked up a really cool semi hollow bodied guitar built by global. One of the tuners is bad so I am replacing them all. Other than that it is in really good shape with very little wear or aging. I can’t locate a serial number to research the date etc, was hoping someone would have some info on this. It also came with a global practice amp that the chord only has 2 prongs, no ground Pin. It is red in color with cream binding and has chrome single tuners. Thanks in advance for any info.

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