Best Hollow Body Guitars
We have all heard the history of the hollow-bodied guitars, so we’re not going to go there except to say thank goodness Gibson’s experiment went well for us all. They all have that iconic look but at a price, and that price is feedback. Then along came the semi-hollow guitar to keep the look and to some extent the sound but without the feedback (well to a lesser degree at least).
Speaking of icons, all the great and the good of the guitar world have owned a hollow or semi-hollow guitar from the Beatles, BB King, Brian May, Steve Howe from Yes, Dave Grohl from the Foo fighters to name but a few.
We are assuming you are here because you are sold on hollow bodied guitars for their sound quality, tonal preference, lightweight, and overall style.
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Hollow Body Guitar buyers Guide
Do a search on your PC and even if you specifically search for hollow bodied guitars, you will get results with semi-hollow bodied guitars. Why? Well, in many cases even guitar manufacturers are not so bothered about accuracy. It is well known that by sticking that piece of solid wood inside the hollow body of an electrified guitar will reduce feedback by a considerable amount.
The first and foremost consideration to look for in a hollow bodied guitar is sound. Hollow bodied guitars produce the best sound quality of any guitar ever. Best suited for Jazz and Blues, hollow bodied guitars have an incredible tone.
Hollow bodied guitars are massive, but because they are completely hollow, they are not really all that heavy.
As one of the original hollow bodied electric guitars and still one of the most stylish, the Gibson ES series , the ES standing for Electric Spanish and the numbers that followed the ES were the standard price in US Dollars. The ES-175 = Electric Spanish $175.00 USD and so on. As the original Gibsons were all jazz guitars it worked out quite well because the jazz style of play allows for the odd feedback.
But once other genres of music got involved, they started adding a solid wooden block changing them from hollow bodied to semi-hollow bodied guitars.
Most guitar manufacturers make a semi-hollow bodied guitar, and to be honest, there’s not too much between them. It depends on where your loyalties lie really. We’ve spoken about Gibson, but there’s the Fender Thinline, Ibanez, who incidentally do make a true hollow bodied guitar. Gretsch of course with their Chet Atkins Country Gentleman and their Streamliner Hollow. Even PRS have produced semi-hollow bodied guitars now too.
Hollow Bodied Guitar Price
Semi-hollow guitars start at around the £300.00 mark, with a Gretsch G5420T Electromatic hollow-body guitar going to set you back around £730.00 Towards the other end of the market we have a Gretsch Limited Edition G6659T Broadkaster for around the £3,000.00 mark.
As you can see prices vary considerably,it’s worth shopping around and seeing what is available when you are ready to buy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hollow body guitars are good for jazz, blues and any genre of music that requires a clear, soft mellow tone.
Hollow bodied guitars sound way different to electric guitars especially if they are not plugged in. They sadly are the most susceptible to problems with feedback.