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Hollow Body?

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Postby LouisvilleNoo-b » August 2nd, 2012, 5:43 pm

Hey guys, wanted to get some feedback on something and figured this place would be a great resource. I've been playing for a about a year now with a "hand me down" Squier. It's not top of he line obviously, but I'm not skilled/worthy enough to notice the difference between that and a high-end model.

Anyway, I'm considering getting a hollow-body simply so I can look into playing different styles of music and getting a different sound. Having said that, I've noticed the hollow bodies come with higher price tags. What are some good models that would fit my skill level (both present and future skill level ... Hopefully I'll get better over time), and not break the piggy bank?

Thanks in advance.
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Postby Rocket Dog » August 2nd, 2012, 11:11 pm

What about a Washburn HB32 or an Adam Black Hydra HSR. Both seem quite reasonable.
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Postby Liontable » August 3rd, 2012, 2:56 am

It all depends a bit of what you exactly want. How much would you exactly be willing to spend? I'd say to go for the best model you can afford to be honest (best does not necessarily mean most expensive though!), seeing as you're probably in the hobby for the long haul. Are you willing to go used, or only new?

Something else, too. Considering your guitar I'll assume you have a small amplifier too. Which model of amplifier to do you have, exactly? Most small modelling amplifiers don't really react a lot to different guitars, the way that a tube amp would. The sound will change if you switch between humbuckers or single coils or a really big change, but it won't be as big as it normally would. That's why pickup changes aren't really a great idea when dealing with modelling amps.

A decent strat should normally be rather versatile in terms of style, so I'll assume it's probably your amplifier that isn't really doing it for you. You shouldn't really be too afraid of good gear to be honest. If you're in the used market you can get amazing deals sometimes. You don't have to "earn" the right to have a good instrument, and you'll quite certainly notice a huge difference between them. If you test out a few guitars, you'll have some that you find "right" and some you dislike without knowing why. That's good enough.

In short:

- What do you currently have, exactly (amp/guitar)?
- How much do you want to spend, maximum?
- Used/new?
- What style do you want exactly, favorite artists?
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Postby LouisvilleNoo-b » August 3rd, 2012, 4:53 am

Thanks for the feedback. To answer your questions,

1) currently have a Squier guitar and a Vox DA5 amp. The guitar is ok as far as I'm concerned, but I love the amp because it has a million different effects and settings I can play around with.
2) I'd like to keep the cost under $500. Most of the music I can play (or aspire to play) can be made with my current electric (or at least close to it). The hollow body would be simply to try some new stuff down the road.
3). I've got no qualms about buying used stuff
4) I'd like to learn some rock from the 50's and 60's, maybe some rockabilly, I'm pretty open to whatever.

Hope that helps.
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Postby Big Lar » August 3rd, 2012, 7:46 am

I've also been shopping for a hollow body. This is the object of my lust currently:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/ ... ric-guitar

If you are thinking semi-hollow body instead, you might also look at the Epiphone Dot. It is in the sweet spot of your price range.
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Postby kc0bbq » August 3rd, 2012, 8:59 am

It's even more important with a hollow body to try them out before you buy them than a solid body. It can be tough, though, because stores don't generally carry as many.

Ibanex Artcores are decent guitars if you like Ibanez necks. If you like a chunkier neck they're not so good.

Another suggestion, if semi-hollow is OK, the Fender Modern Player Thinline Telecaster. Thinline teles don't sound like you'd think if you've only heard regular teles. And the factory Fender is using in China puts out a pretty decent product for the price. And you've got enough left over in a $500 budget for a setup, and depending on how much setups are around you possibly upgraded pots if you can solder yourself.

Along with the Epiphone DOT, you can get the Epi ES-339 clone for the same price, pretty much the same, just hollow bodied with a block. They also have a few models right at the edge of your budget, an ES-175 clone and stuff like the Riviera.
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Postby Hobson » August 3rd, 2012, 9:28 am

I wouldn't recommend the Epiphone Dot and I own one. The intonation isn't great and I'm forever tuning it. Also, it's a fairly heavy guitar and a lot of that weight is in the neck. When playing standing up with a strap, it tends to slip down toward the headstock. I tried 3 Dots at GC before I found the one that I thought I could live with. Maybe some are better quality than the ones that I tried, but I advise against ordering one on-line.
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Postby LouisvilleNoo-b » August 3rd, 2012, 10:11 am

Pardon me for a dumb question, but what are the benefits of a thin vs chunky neck? I don't have banana hands, slo would it be safe to assume that I'd prefer a skinnier neck?
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Postby Liontable » August 3rd, 2012, 11:22 am

I personally really dislike hollowbodies so I'm not all too knowledgeable on the models, but from what I hear the Epiphone DOT and Casino are rather popular. Hobson seems to have had some issues with those, but generally they're recommended rather often. If you don't mind going used you can probably find a Gretsch, which also seem to be rather popular.

People often say that a thin neck is a "faster" neck, made for shredding on your guitar. It's really just a matter of preference though. You have to find what sits comfortable in your hands and then play it to see what you really like. The Ibanez Wizard necks are very wellknown for how flat they are, while Gibson Les Pauls very often have a thick baseball bat kind of neck. People can shred on any kind of guitar really, so it's all preference.
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Postby kc0bbq » August 3rd, 2012, 12:40 pm

LouisvilleNoo-b wrote:Pardon me for a dumb question, but what are the benefits of a thin vs chunky neck? I don't have banana hands, slo would it be safe to assume that I'd prefer a skinnier neck?


Not necessarily. And the shape matters a lot, too.

Go to youtube and look for videos of korean/north korean children playing classical guitar. If six year old hands can play on a classical neck, anyone can play on anything.

Anyone can play on an Ibanez, too. It's whether or not it feels right, which is an individual thing. The better a guitar feels, the more you'll stick with it.
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Postby TRGuitar » August 3rd, 2012, 1:45 pm

Are you looking for a large bodied or small bodied guitar? Hollow or semi hollow? Ibanez and Epiphone have models for under $500. Semi hollow, solid block with hollow sides, are versatile and can handle distortion. Totally hollow jazz boxes might cause feedback issues with higher gain. They are great for cleaner stuff and would excell at those tones. There are small bodied versions like the Fender, or Squire, Thinline Teles.
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Postby dogbite » August 4th, 2012, 9:32 am

TRGuitar wrote:Are you looking for a large bodied or small bodied guitar? Hollow or semi hollow? Ibanez and Epiphone have models for under $500. Semi hollow, solid block with hollow sides, are versatile and can handle distortion. Totally hollow jazz boxes might cause feedback issues with higher gain. They are great for cleaner stuff and would excell at those tones. There are small bodied versions like the Fender, or Squire, Thinline Teles.

good advice here.
the Epihone Dot model is an ok guitar. it is not totally hollow so feedback is not an issue. my band mate just got one. it is heavier than he thought, but not like a LesPaul. the tuners are Kluson, but he complains that he has to tune alot. (the strings are worn in). he swapped the pickups for a pair of 50's humbuckers. the guitar plays real well. the neck feels great. no sawn off frets cutting you like a saw.
I do recommend that you try as many makes as you can. then you will be happy.
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Postby notes_norton » August 5th, 2012, 3:59 pm

I've got an Epiphone Casino that I dearly love. It is about 90% as nice as my Gibson ES-330 at a fraction of the price tag. Plus it has P90 pickups (my favorites)
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Postby EzraplaysEzra » August 5th, 2012, 6:02 pm

Thinner necks lead to faster fatigue in many players - I prefer thicker necks as my hand seems to rest more naturally but I DO have banana hands.

I just played one of these:
http://www.guitarfetish.com/XV-910-Semi ... c_186.html

I just bought a blonde classic vibe tele from a guy and he had one - it was cherry and it would be well worth twice the price.
I suggest staying away from anything Gretsch. I have had several vintage models over the years and they just fall apart. Binding, neck sets, pots. They are over complicated and poorly made and I'm talking about 40 year old American made guitars. You know when they say they just don't make them like they use to? Well add cheap overseas labor at a fraction of the sales price to that equation. Fender doesn't take much pride in making Fenders, imagine how they feel about making Gretsch's.
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Postby notes_norton » August 7th, 2012, 2:43 pm

There is a world of difference between a semi-hollow and a hollow bodied guitar.

Personally, I like thinner necks and long radius fretboards (flatter).

The main thing I dislike about Fender guitars is their short radius fretboards.

If you want a hollow, don't settle for a semi-hollow, and if you want a semi-hollow, don't get a hollow.
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