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Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars

Áine 17 Jan 00 - 09:57 AM
JedMarum 17 Jan 00 - 11:56 AM
Walter 17 Jan 00 - 12:44 PM
Robo 17 Jan 00 - 02:37 PM
Matt 17 Jan 00 - 03:47 PM
Clancy@dcidenver.com 17 Jan 00 - 04:14 PM
Robo 17 Jan 00 - 04:33 PM
dinopop 17 Jan 00 - 06:31 PM
Áine 17 Jan 00 - 06:45 PM
Owlkat 17 Jan 00 - 11:12 PM
Lady McMoo 18 Jan 00 - 10:53 AM
Willie-O 18 Jan 00 - 11:10 AM
Johnny Cash 18 Jan 00 - 12:15 PM
catspaw49 18 Jan 00 - 12:24 PM
Fortunato 18 Jan 00 - 03:23 PM
tradsteve 18 Jan 00 - 07:05 PM
Owlkat 19 Jan 00 - 02:28 AM
Robo 27 Jan 00 - 01:43 AM
Áine 27 Jan 00 - 01:03 PM
catspaw49 27 Jan 00 - 01:51 PM
Áine 27 Jan 00 - 03:36 PM
catspaw49 27 Jan 00 - 04:17 PM
Áine 27 Jan 00 - 04:23 PM
catspaw49 27 Jan 00 - 04:34 PM
Áine 27 Jan 00 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,alliekatzen@hotmail.com (alison) 28 Jan 00 - 02:56 PM
Robo 30 Mar 00 - 11:57 PM
Art Thieme 31 Mar 00 - 10:29 AM
Mooh 31 Mar 00 - 11:41 AM
BlueJay 31 Mar 00 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,Frankie 31 Mar 00 - 10:55 PM
DonMeixner 01 Apr 00 - 12:05 AM
Steve in Idaho 11 Dec 01 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,Holden 12 Dec 01 - 02:18 AM
GUEST,Leonard 12 Dec 01 - 04:32 AM
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Subject: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Áine
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 09:57 AM

I've been thinking about getting a hollow body and wanted to see what the 'experts' here on the 'Cat thought about hollow body guitars. I looked at an Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II and one of the Washburn J6 or J9 series (can't remember exactly which one) this weekend. I play strictly rhythm guitar and I'm looking for something with quick action, and a bright top sound and a mellow bottom sound. I'd like to get one with a neck no deeper than that of a Fender Strat.

Do any of you play hollow bodies and what do you think of them? And what kind of amp would you recommend for a hollow body?

Thanks in advance, Áine


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: JedMarum
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 11:56 AM

Áine - your price range is probably the first selection criteria (sorry if that sounds "spoken like a true guitar salesman"). The neck spec you are looking for may be a bit difficult for an acoustic electric. I love the strat necks, too, and don't recall an acoustic electric with a fender style neck. The Guitar Center in Dallas at Lovers and Central has two beautiful Gibson 330s - both are blonde. These have one of the finest electrics sounds for that style guitar ... but they feel a bit more like a Les Paul than a strat (no surprise there). I'd look through all the Dallas area stores. You can learn a lot just by trying htem all ... and hearing what the sales guys have to say. Of course ya have to take their sales oitch with a grainof salt, but you wll pick up some good info if you shop around. Good Luck!


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Walter
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 12:44 PM

You might check out Steve Andersen's guitars. Look at his website "Andersen Stringed Indstruments". He is a one-man shop in the Greenwood area on the north edge of Seattle. Beautiful tone, balance, projection archtops. He also makes some flattops. Bill Frizell plays and Anderson. Excellent guitars, individually hand made. Top notch.


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Robo
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 02:37 PM

Unless I can pilfer Clifton's Gibson, like I did his Giannini since he'd stolen my Epiphone, which isn't at all likely, I'm looking forward to being in the market for an upgrade as well. I realize this is a broad, probably what's-your-favorite-guitar question, but if all were relatively possible, what would you be looking into? Martin, Gibson? New, used? I want a full, mellow sound, narrow neck, low-set strings . . . other than that, it's wide open.


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Matt
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 03:47 PM

I have owned a Gibson ES 395 from the fifties, a 1962 ES 335 with PAF pickups, an ES 330, an old Guild Hollowbody ( my first electric) and numerous other 335's and the like. Right now, Paul Reed Smith is making the most incredible hollow and semi -hollow bodies I have played .They will cost you 2 or 3 thousand dollars minimum, but they are expertly crafted, totally in tune, easy to play, and they sing when plugged in. I am saving my momey for a McCarty hollow body with two humbucking pickups and a piezo bridges. I am comfortable saying that PRS are the best for the moneyright now.


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Clancy@dcidenver.com
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 04:14 PM

You want a "hollow-body"...mmm. Several of the comments are very to the point: how much do you want to spend and what brands are you looking for?

The fact is, some are suggesting f-hole electrics. Do you want an acoustic, dreadnought, jumbo, or an acoustic already set up with built-in pre-amp, or a hollow-bodied electric?

What kind of music are you going to play? What do your favorite artists play (you're not just inventing this top/low sound are you?)?

Love to help, but you need to be a little more specific...


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Robo
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 04:33 PM

Thanks, Clancy. I should have clarified that I'm talking acoustic here. After that, I must admit to being lost quickly in the lingo. Perhaps my brother Clifton -- where is he? -- can help me in expressing this better. I've never used an amp -- hey, I've only been "playing" off and on for, well, some years -- but was thinking of something pre-set up that so as to allow for the possibility. Right now I'm playing John Prine, Guy Clarke, Tom Russell and would like to play more Jerry Jeff. As far as the sound qualifications go, my Giannini sounds quite good, seems to me. I'd just like the next step better. Cost-wise, I've seen some Gibsons that I like for around $1,000 - $1,200, that area. Thanks again for your insights.


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: dinopop
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 06:31 PM

I think what Áine is looking for is accoustic sound with electric playability.

The guitars she mentioned are hollow-bodied electrics. I believe the street price range on these instruments is somewhere around $500 - $800.

My question would be what are peoples experience intrying to coax an acoustic sound from an electric guitar.

How much is a function of body style, pickups, amp, etc.

I believe the guitars Áine mentions all have some variation of Gibson Humbuckers.


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Áine
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 06:45 PM

You read my mind, dinopop! Thanks, that's exactly what I'm asking about -- acoustic sound with electric playability, body style, pickups and amps.

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Owlkat
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 11:12 PM

Hi hi,
Have you tried the Godin Acousticaster? It's an electric with a hollowed-out body and LR Baggs Electonics, maple body, and I think, cedar top.
It's got an on-board preamp with adjustments that allow for sound variance from electric-crunchy to acoustic-mellow. The necks are quite comfy too.
I don't think they're available only in Canada.
Cheers,
Owlk/Mart.


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 18 Jan 00 - 10:53 AM

I'd second the Godin Acousticaster and they certainly are available outside Canada. I've seen several for sale here in the Surreal Kingdom of Belgium (...and if they're available here...!). If I'm not mistaken, Dick Gaughan uses one (see Sail Away album, but I'm not at home to check right now).

Should be in your price range Aine and also has a reasonably thin neck (too thin for me!)and good electronics.

All the best,

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Willie-O
Date: 18 Jan 00 - 11:10 AM

The Acousticasters are an interesting animal--they feel like an acoustic (they have a wooden bridge not a nasty metal thing) but the sound is mostly electric. A number of very good players have taken up with one, but they seem to have a problem with the durability of the electronics...after a few years, they need some kind of a major overhaul or sound pretty dirty, from what I've seen. That's why they seem to be available used for about $500 Canadian. Could be a bargain if the work needed is not hugely expensive...I'd ask a shop that repairs electrics.

I used to own a Fender Telecaster Thinline, which I could just kick myself for selling way too cheap a few years back. It was a special model made for about four years, late 60's - early 70's, with only half of the body hollowed out, so it had a single f-hole. This was done mostly to reduce weight, but did give it a kind of semi-semi acoustic tonal flavour, somewhat richer than normal Tely twang, and you could practice it unplugged and actually hear sound. If you could find someone as dumb as I was when I sold it, you'd be nuts not to buy it.

Older, no wiser,
Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Johnny Cash
Date: 18 Jan 00 - 12:15 PM

Aine ,

For many years i have used an old pyramid ( remember those ??? ) electric acoustic Archtop , but the best amps as far as i`m concerned are Yorkville or Traynor , they are made in toronto under the Yorkville Sound Design Factory , they sell for a reasonable , check out pawn shops for the guitars and amps and keep looking and playing till you find the one you want

Johnny Cash

P.S Older and used can be better


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Jan 00 - 12:24 PM

For those of you new here, check back and you'll find we've run threads on damn near all the majors, and a lot of minor, guitar makers, but we have said very little about true electric guitars. We have also run several threads on amplifying acoustics, various pick-ups, amps, etc. Have a look, there's a ton of info and opinions.

However.......NOTHING known by anybody around here will TRULY give acoustic sound when plugged in.....Close, but no cigar.

Ane, I'm still a bit confused though....Do you want an electric or the best bet you can find on an amplified acoustic?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Fortunato
Date: 18 Jan 00 - 03:23 PM

I just passed up a 1935 Epiphone zenith.

It had a solid carved spruce top and walnut back and sides. Very nice small acoustic, f-hole, arch top sound.

I was thinking of mounting a floating minihumbucker or DeArmond pickup (ala Johnny Smith), hoping to get that acoustic sound unplugged and a jazz tone plugged in.

But in the end I did not buy it because the action was too high up around the 6th fret for playing barre chords all night. But the Zeniths are inexpensive $275-800 depending on how original they are, and they are neat little guitars.

Cheers, Fortunato


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: tradsteve
Date: 18 Jan 00 - 07:05 PM

I bought a DeArmond Starfire Special for about $600 and it is beautiful with great tone. I highly recomend trying one. -Steve-


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Owlkat
Date: 19 Jan 00 - 02:28 AM

Hi hi,
Hey Willie! I made myself a Thinline Tele. It sounds quite mellow and warm. Send me your email addy.
We'll talk?
Cheers,
Owl.


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Robo
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 01:43 AM

Thanks, all, for the helpful info. Fiddled around with a Gibson J45 Rosewood and a J200 today at the local shop, having bought the Giannini in for new tuners. Very nice indeed. Something to dream about for now. Again, gratias!


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Áine
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 01:03 PM

I thought you guys would like to know what I decided on -- A Washburn J6 Montgomery. Thanks to everyone for all the helpful information! Now I get to wait for about month until it gets here . . . needles and pins . . .

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 01:51 PM

Well glad to hear you decided Aine!!

Does it look something like this???

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Áine
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 03:36 PM

That's it, Spaw -- except I got the natural finish instead of the sunburst -- it's just more 'me' don't you think?

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 04:17 PM

So...

More like this then?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Áine
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 04:23 PM

Yes, sir, that's my baby!

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 04:34 PM

Very nice.........

You should also note that Washburn has joined the conglomerate along with Taylor, Martin and others mentioned in the Press Release FOUND HERE. So if you have anything at all the matter of find you just don't like it for ANY reason, just follow the instructions!!! Really a good idea huh?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Áine
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 04:40 PM

Excellent! Thanks for the heads up on that Spaw!

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: GUEST,alliekatzen@hotmail.com (alison)
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 02:56 PM

Gibson Gibson Gibson Gibson Gibson Gibson Gibson Gibson, and if at all possible, Gibson, unless you go to some antique or junk store in the middle of nowhere and find a beat-up Gretsch New Yorker, in which case the price of restoration will be a fraction of its value. (It has happened; never pass by a gut feeling when you see that garage sale) Gibson hollow bodies have a very nice low action for more stylistic fluorishes, excellent tone, and are very easy to adjust and keep tuned. You may even be able to find a Gretsch hiding somewhere in a pawn shop if you're lucky. But that's more acoustic hollow body, for the likes of Western swing, flatpicking, and jazz. If you can find any hollow body more than 25 years old, it may have personality even if it was inexpensive at the time to make. You may have to get the neck adjusted to improve the action, but still. They do LOOK cool.

AllieKatt


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Robo
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 11:57 PM

Wanted to let y'all know I've found it! A Guild D-4 12-string that sounds like symphony -- even with me playing it! Made in '91 - '92; picked it up at a great price at my "new" local shop. Almost heaven! (as my West Virginia-born wife would say).


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Art Thieme
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 10:29 AM

Often, when I was singing on the River, I'd be playing for more of the "outside " deck people than ones in the room with me----that via a very poor speaker system. I needed something to keep me sounding acoustic (a Martin D-76) and make the most of a bad situation.

I used a strip of some material or other that stuck to the top of the guitar with double-backed tape. It picked up the sound right from the wood and produced the most natural sound I've ever heard on an amplified Martin.

Just a suggestion.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Mooh
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 11:41 AM

I'm with Owlkat. Godin. See their website. Great plugged in sound with Stratish action. Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: BlueJay
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 02:41 PM

'Spaw, I beg to differ. There's a new pickup out by a company called Pick-Up The World, which is absolutely lifelike. A piezo-type, but made of a different material than your ordinary one's. It really is a better mousetrap. A friend put one on his cello, and said: "It sounds just like my cello, only louder". I have three, on six and twelve string guitars, and my autoharp. (I've decided thatmy mandolin is too cheap to try and amplify). You have to use a pre-amp, as with any passive pickup. But with a good amplifier or p.a., the sound is truly natural, I've never heard better. Much less problematic than trying to use a microphone, with feedback and all, and having to stand in one place. The frequency response is wider than most mikes. A drummer friend put some on his drums. It's the only viable amplification device, (other than mikes, a soundman's worst dream), for drums as you can just stick them on. He is amazed at the new variety of sounds available to him. I haven't tried it, but they seem to also work well on the soundboard of pianos, again minus the problems of microphones. I mentioned Pick Up The World awhile back in another thread. I think it's worth a trip to their web site. I'm pretty bad at HTML, but it worked on the other thread, so click here If I had a Gibson 335, this is how I would try to coax an acoustic sound out of an electric.


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: GUEST,Frankie
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 10:55 PM

Aine, I guess it depends on the sound you're trying to get which I gather from your reference to the Epiphone Joe Pass model is that of a jazz guitar. The only true hollow body electric I've owned is a Gibson ES-175. It's neck was not as shallow as a Stat but it was very playable as it had a short scale and consequently less string tension when tuned to standard pitch (great for string bending). I played it through a Fender Twin at first but then acquired a Polytone Mini-Brute which gave me a great jazz sound. Elderly Instruments might have some examples of these on their used instrument list and they have a pretty liberal approval policy. Happy Hunting.

PS AllieKat, were you perhaps referring to a D'Angelico New Yorker or did Gretch also manufacture one?


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: DonMeixner
Date: 01 Apr 00 - 12:05 AM

Gibson or Epiphone, ES-335 or ES 175(Big Hollow body) How about a Super Chet or a Tenessean?

Don


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 04:48 PM

Gibson 335 - Saw one at Shaun's shop. Still in the original case. Looked to be in very good condition, it has been played, and certainly not abused. He has it on consignment for $2500.00. Shaun says it is a good buy but not a great buy. A great buy would be $1700.00. After it sets for a while I imagine it will come down.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: GUEST,Holden
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 02:18 AM

Well, I just started reading in this group, and some of these posts caught my eye...to whoever was talking about the Fender Telecaster Thinline (I'm too lazy to scan back up and read over it), Fender has actually brought the Thinline back (though I never knew there was an earlier model). I saw it in a self-described "music warehouse" in Birmingham, and it's in Fender's catalog (or was last year at least). If you want a Strat-style neck that's probably the way to go, IMO. I would advise (for what my opinion is worth) that if you see the Stratacoustic or Telecoustic (which Fender just introduced recently), stay away. I've played these and they sound just horrible (unplugged at least; I heard one played plugged in and it sounded okay). As far as getting the acoustic sound goes, I'm probably not much help there as I'm a relatively unexperienced performer. However, Guitar Player ran a spread a while ago with advice from a ton of different guitar players, and one guy (forget his name) said the only way to get true acoustic sound in a performance setting was with a microphone held up to the soundhole. He said something like, "When you're listening to someone play guitar, you don't listen to it by putting your head inside the body or by holding your ear to the soundboard; you listen to what comes out the front." Sounds like good advice to me. Good luck and thanks for indulging me, Holden


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Subject: RE: Help: Advice on Hollow Body Guitars
From: GUEST,Leonard
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 04:32 AM

My advice is 1) buy a used model, 2) spend the money to get a professional to set up the action as you want it, it's worth the cost. It is purely a personal thing but I have great respect for Guild guitars, both hollow body and their accoustic models. I have an 80's X-170 F-hole and it has a enormous tonal range from warm jazzy through to a rockabilly treble with everything else in between. In the 'States you should be able to find plenty of used Guilds. Good Luck.


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