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Discussion Starter #1
I want a guitar to play some blues, maybe a little vintage 50s/60s style rock. Looking at semi-Hollow (Epi 335/339) and full hollow body (Artcore). Will probably play plugged in mostly or unplugged when practicing at home or just not in the mood to fire up the amp. Is one really better than the other? I hear that the full hollow are really great jazz guitars and nice acoustically but limited to other styles. I always thought both could pretty much cover all the blues, vintage, rockabilly, jazz styles comparably.


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Personally, I would go with the Epi 335/339 style. I will admit being biased.

You won't get much volume out of either of those unplugged.

The full hollow body will give you a bit more volume unplugged, but will still sound like a musical percolator, IMO In addition, it is quite easy for full hollows to feed back and that can scare the h&ll out of you if you aren't anticipating it. The full hollows have an acoustic 'component' that comes through when plugged in and is a popular tone of some jazz artists. The fully hollow style often have deeper bodies and might not seem as easy to play from a comfort standpoint.

YMMV

Keep us posted as to what you get.

Cheers

Dave
 
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A full hollow will also howl if you go loud or have any gain on it.
Unless you have some good pups in it.
I've had/have both. I prefer the semi.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Personally, I would go with the Epi 335/339 style. I will admit being biased.

You won't get much volume out of either of those unplugged.

The full hollow body will give you a bit more volume unplugged, but will still sound like a musical percolator, IMO In addition, it is quite easy for full hollows to feed back and that can scare the h&ll out of you if you aren't anticipating it. The full hollows have an acoustic 'component' that comes through when plugged in and is a popular tone of some jazz artists. The fully hollow style often have deeper bodies and might not seem as easy to play from a comfort standpoint.

YMMV

Keep us posted as to what you get.

Cheers

Dave
Thanks for your input. I think that’s another point I failed to mention. The width of the slim semi hollow body would be more comfortable for me. I know at 3 5/8 or so a full hollow isn’t huge but a 2 inch slim just suits me better. Just didn’t want to give up a lot of tone along with that. Doesn’t sound like I will if I go that route.


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Buy for playability first. If you find the 335 more comfortable then ignore the artcore for now and find a model you like.
 

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You can also get a fully hollow 335 or 339 style guitar...just to confuse you a bit more.^)@#
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A full hollow will also howl if you go loud or have any gain on it.
Unless you have some good pups in it.
I've had/have both. I prefer the semi.
Thanks. Seems like the opinions are all in favour of the semi. I enjoy listening to jazz. Not sure I’ll ever want to play it. Want to try to master the 12 bar blues and some blues progressions. Try to get a little Chuck Berry or B.B. King action and even a little SRV without a strat, just a little flavour. Also some old time stuff from the 40s.


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If you get a hollow body just be prepared for a bit of a learning curve in regards to harnessing feedback.

Gotta learn to work the volume knobs!

But once you figure that out...hollow bodies are great fun thru a cranked amp!

I'll take some pics of the wear marks on mine from having to work the volume knobs.
 

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A full hollow will also howl if you go loud or have any gain on it.
Unless you have some good pups in it.
I've had/have both. I prefer the semi.
I know. I love that!

If I could only own 1, I'd have a semi-hollow. It covers so much territory, kind of a jack of all trades.

But my two archtop hollowbodies are just great fun. Controlled feedback at reasonable jam volumes (I don't use a lot of high gain, especially with those guitars). It's hard to get that controlled feedback with a semi-hollow or solidbody unless you're pretttttttty loud/gained up. And those jazzboxes look interesting in a sea of strats and lesters. Chix digit.
 

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Eventually, if you're playing at loud volume and with some gain, you'll get marks like this near your volume pots from hitting them on and off quickly.

 

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Don’t forget that Back in Black era Malcolm Young was a full hollow Gretsch White Falcon. And ACDC played LOUD. I just got a Gretsch G5420T and it is tons of fun.
 

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I played a Harmony hollow with a single microphonic DeArmond pickup at bar jams a couple of times. It was a lot of fun but also a lot of frustration. You had to be very cognizant of where you were standing in relation to the amp. As soon as you got into it and started moving a bit it would feed back. Great tone, but impossible to control. If you mostly play at home levels pick the one with the tone you like. If you play at gig levels semi hollow for sure. Might be better with better pickups though.
 

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Just to muddy the waters a bit (no pun intended), you might look at the gretsch streamliner CB Jr. Its similar in size to a 339 and is a semi hollow that seems to be able to handle higher gain fairly well. I just picked one up and just love it. A very well made guitar for the money and it comes in both a hard tail and bigsby model.
 

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The economical 339 sized guitar is the Epiphone Casino Coupe. It is a full hollow body with P90s. Very Light
 

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As Greco said, you won't get much volume out of a 335 style guitar unplugged. If that is an important spec for you, look at the Ibanez AF series or the Godin 5th Avenues. They have a deeper body and resonate more. I have played the 5th Avenue unplugged many times and so have a few friends and they liked it. The Ibanez AF series is quite similar.
 
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A number of years back (Some of it documented on this forum) I was looking at archtops--both full hollows & semi hollows--and with thinline full hollows int he mix as well.
I tried a bunch of them--but in terms of feel, playability & cost I also considered what was the most different than my solidbodies.
There were some semis I really liked, but I went full hollow--as it was more different--and got an Ibanez AF95
great for blues--I love playing that on it--and a bit of slide as well.
But yeah--they will feedback easily.

While they are louder than a solidbody when unplugged--they aren't at heir best that way--but it still works.


But do what I did--know why you are looking at them & try out a whole bunch & see what speaks to you--whether full or semi hollow
 
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