When buying an electric guitar for the first time, you will surely get overwhelmed by all the options available in the market. This isn’t just talking about the various brands, but also the different types of builds, and so on.
Some of the notable types of guitars would be the hollow body and the semi-hollow body guitars. All these types of guitars are built differently and also produce different types of sound.
So with that being said, which one is right for you in terms of experience level as well as playing style?
Well, for the purpose of this read, we have put together a detailed buyers guide on the best hollow body guitars & semi-hollow body guitars. Not just that, but we have also listed 10 best guitars including a detailed review under each of these categories.
By the end, you should have a thorough understanding of the difference between hollow and semi-hollow guitars as well as the specific guitar that is right for your taste and need.
So without further ado, let’s get started:
What Is a Hollow Body and Semi-Hollow Body Guitar?
Before you go on discussing which hollow body or semi-hollow body guitar is right for you, first, let’s go over the basic difference between these two different types of electric guitars.
Hollow Body Guitars
A hollow-body guitar, as the name implies, is completely hollow from the inside. They have a single interior chamber in which the sound waves can reverberate and generate sound – typically how acoustic guitars function.
So why are there hollow body electric guitars?
Well, they do bring certain benefits to the table. For starters, hollow body electric guitars come with pickup. As such, the sound generated by the instrument comes from both the vibration of the strings, as well as the reverberation from the hollow insides.
This makes the sound output highly resonate, making hollow-body guitars very popular amongst jazz groups.
But with that being said, Hollow Body Guitars are also very susceptible to feedback when subjected to high volumes or gain. Furthermore, they come in comparatively thicker builds.
Semi-Hollow Body Guitars
The semi-hollow body guitar strikes a balance between the hollow body and solid body guitars. The instrument boasts a wooden centre block that mounts to its pickup. This helps remove the feedback issue present with hollow-body guitars.
Also, apart from the central wooden block, most of the inside of the guitar is still hollowed. Therefore, you still get some of the reverberations and thereby resonating vibrations of the hollow body guitars.
However, when compared to solid-body guitars, they suffer from slightly lower sustain and less focused low-ends.
In a nutshell, you can say that a semi-hollow body guitar doesn’t compromise on any end and is somewhat like a jake-of-all-trade. It is decently good at everything but isn’t the best in any one area.
But that being said, semi-hollow body guitars, because of their sheer versatility and flexibility, are more popular than their hollow body counterparts.
Which is More Beginner-Friendly – Hollow Body Guitars or Semi-Hollow Body Guitars?
If you are just starting out playing the guitar, then choosing between a hollow body guitar or a semi-hollow body guitar won’t have much difference on the overall learning curve.
Yes, the hollow body guitar is a bit bulkier compared to the semi-hollow body guitar, but if you are adult, such a difference will barely factor into your ability to play the instrument.
The basic difference between these two kinds of guitars lies in how they sound. As such, you should pick the one that sounds most melodic to you, and suits your taste and play style.
Whereas, in terms of playability, there isn’t much difference between the two instruments. Learning on either variant will be as easy (or difficult) as any other form of a guitar.
Top 7 Best Hollow Body Guitars
Let’s kick off the list with our selection of the 7 best hollow body guitars. Don’t worry as we have kept the list as diverse as possible, showcasing guitars in different price points with variety in features as well as design.
As such, you should be able to find a hollow body guitar that meets both your budget and requirements.
Note: If you are looking for the best Semi-Hollow Body Guitars, you can skip right ahead to the next section.
Over the years, Epiphone has produced so many brilliant models of guitars that the brand needs a separate article altogether for discussion. However, for the sake of this guide, let’s bring our attention to one of their most popular hollow-body guitars – the Casino thin line.
This model, like any other piece manufactured by the company, is a complete bang for the buck in terms of quality and also comes in a classy, attractive look. Its vintage look blended with a relatively brighter tonal quality makes it a great fusion of retro and modern.
Packed with distinct features, this heavy, full-sized guitar promises of professional-grade performance. In terms of sound output, the guitar boasts of a brighter tone often referred to as their signature ‘sparkle’ tone.
- Six-string hollow body electric guitar.
- Gives a brighter, ‘sparkling’ tonality.
- Comes with twin Dogear P90 pickups.
- Streamlined neck made of Mahogany.
- Has a 24.75 scale laminated maple top.
- Has a trapeze tailpiece.
- Comes with a rosewood fretboard.
- The guitar has a vintage sunburst finish.
- Each guitar is individually hand painted and will be a unique piece.
- Epiphone offers lifelong warranty for a limited time on the product.
With a lifetime warranty on the product, the buyer gets a sense of reliability. Also, the promise of a brand such as Epiphone to deliver great quality of output is an added advantage.
Godin is a renowned name among guitar fans. The guitar manufacturers, with their unique products and models, have created a fan base of their own among learners to professionals alike.
Among the plenty of models which Godin manufactures, their 5th avenue CW guitar has been one of the most popular.
The company, which has been manufacturing guitars since the 1970s, has created a masterpiece in this model. Featuring tons of awesome functionalities, they have maintained their promise of delivering the best quality product at a pocket-friendly rate.
Here is a quick look at some of the notable features of this Godin masterpiece.
- Six-string hollow body guitar.
- Has a brighter, louder tone.
- Comes with a double-action truss rod.
- Has twin Godin Kingpin P90 single-coil pickups.
- Comes with a moulded foam TRIC case by Godin.
- Neck made of Canadian Silver Leaf Maple.
- Manufactured in North America.
- Comes in a cut-away body look.
- Available in three colours – Cognac burst, burgundy and the natural wood.
A brighter tone, three colour options, louder sound quality and great body material makes the Godin 5th Avenue CW guitar a great piece for those looking to get their first Godin guitar.
Friedrich Gretsch left Germany to build his own warehouse in the US. In 1883, he established his own workplace in Brooklyn, which would later go on to become the famous Gretsch guitars.
Friedrich manufactured a whole entourage of musical instruments but what made him famous was his line of custom guitars. And among many of the models manufactured by Gretsch, one that truly stands out is the gorgeous G6136LSB White Falcon.
This model, just by the look of it, says old rock. With its off-white colour palette and black and gold accents, the guitar offers a classy and vintage appeal.
- Hollow body four-string guitar.
- Has waffle grid bracing.
- Comes with a 12″ contrasting Ebony fingerboard.
- Has a 3-piece rock maple neck.
- Has MOP Neo-Classic thumbnail inlays.
- Laminated maple top in white, with hardware coated in classy golden.
Looking at the features, it is no wonder that the White Falcon will make a great companion for those eager to buy their first Gretsch guitar.
Coming up next, we have the Gretsch G5420T Electromatic boasting the company’s classic Gretsch shape and single-cutaway style.
The body and the top are made using a 5-ply maple wood which helps generate a distinctly deep resonant sound. The 24.6-inch neck is also designed using maple wood and divided into 22 frets. However, the fingerboard, as well as the base of the bridge boasts a rosewood construction.
In terms of the sound output, the guitar comes with a Filter’tron pickup that produces a distinct tonality, signature to the Bigsby units. The music is eerily similar to rock music of the olden days.
- 6 strings hollow body guitar.
- A guitar with historic heritage.
- Body and neck designed using maple wood.
- Fingerboard and Bridge boasting Rosewood construction.
- Outputs a rich and resonant sound.
The Guild Starfire II ST Hollow Body Electric Guitar is more comparable to a Thinline than a full-size hollow body guitar.
As such, the size does affect the sound when it’s unplugged and isn’t as deep or resonant like other models on the market. However, when compared to other Thinline guitars, the sound quality is premium and top-notch, just like you would expect from Guild.
Picking up with the design and looks of the instrument, the elegant cutaway does bring back a lot of feelings and memories.
The neck of the guitar is made using Mahogany wood, whereas the fingerboard is constructed using ebony wood. It boasts a natural yet glossy finish topped with white bindings to give it a stylish and classy look – typical of its defining era.
Overall, the guitar is pretty lightweight, and the weight distribution is pretty well balanced. As such, you won’t face any issues playing it standing up, for extended periods of time.
The guitar is highly suited and recommended for jazz players thanks to its support for wide tonal ranges. You will be able to cycle through various styles quite easily. To help you out, there is also the inclusion of the Tune-o-Matic bridge and a stop bar tailpiece.
- Vintage design.
- Crafted with premium quality material. Mahogany for the neck and ebony for the fingerboard.
- Comes with the Tune-o-Matic bridge and a stop bar tailpiece.
- Perfect for jazz.
- Supports a wide tonal range.
- Dual LB-1 Little Bucker pickups
PRS SE Hollowbody II is one of the newer additions to PRS’s lineup and bundles in tons of awesome features specifically curated for the modern musician.
The instrument comes packed with two proprietary build humbuckers, an LR Baggs/PRS Piezo Pickup system. Apart from this, you also get access to two output jacks.
The piezo allows musicians to output acoustic sounds. You can use the output jacks to run the piezo via a DI box or a soundboard. You will also have the option to blend the sound of the piezo pickup with the main output jack, opening up options to create a blend of acoustic and electric tones.
Design-wise, the instrument features a carved maple back and sides. This does raise the overall cost of the guitar, but at the same time enhances the resonance and sustain.
However, the curved back and sides can also factor into creating more feedback issues, so you need to keep that in mind.
- Comes with two humbuckers, a PRS Piezo Pickup system, and two output jacks.
- The piezo system can help create relatively realistic acoustic sounds.
- Option to run the piezo system through one of the jacks using a DI box or soundboard.
- You can also blend the piezo pickup with the main output creating a blend of electric and acoustic music.
Ibanez Artcore AF55 boasts a maple hollow-body guide capable of producing tight resonance. It is perfect for jazz performances, especially pieces that require muted jazz tones.
But that being said, the instrument is extremely versatile and can be used for many more types of styles – from blues and rock to modern-day punk and grunge.
Now, starting off with the overall build of the instrument, the guitar features a mahogany neck paired with a rosewood fretboard segmented into 22 frets.
There is also an ACH-ST humbucker at the neck which comes coupled with a Tune-o-Matic bridge that can help provide smooth signals for pronounced mids. There is also a master volume controller and 3-way pickup toggle.
The premium construction of the instrument ensures an extremely durable build that will last you for a long time.
- Maple hollow body paired with a mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard divided into 22 frets.
- High durable build that is going to last you for the years to come.
- Comes with an ACH-ST humbucker at the neck.
- Tune-Matic Bridge.
- Master volume with 3-way pickup toggle.
- Can help you play various genres of music – starting from jazz and blues, to rock and grunge.
The guitar is available in a lot of colour variations, so you can pick something that matches your style or personality. Not only that, but it is significantly pocket friendly, which makes it accessible to the beginner or younger players.
Top 12 Best Semi-Hollow Body Guitars
If you are in the market for a semi-hollow body guitar but confused by all the options, then this buyer’s guide should help you out.
We have curated a list of the 12 best Semi-Hollow Body Guitars. We have kept the list as diverse as possible, showcasing guitars with different features and price points.
You can rest assured that you find something that suits your taste as well as budget.
Anastasios Stathopoulos established Epiphone in 1873 in New York, and soon it became the closest competitor of Gibson.
However, after Epaminondas Stathopoulos, Epiphone’s then proprietor, passed away, Gibson acquired the company in 1957 and shifted the warehouse to Michigan.
Since then, Epiphone has manufactured many of Gibson’s models.
One of their most popular own guitars would be the Epiphone ES-339. This semi-hollow guitar not only boasts of the quality of Epiphone but also vintage look and finish, which attracts many.
With uncountable satisfied buyers of the model, a discussion about electric guitars will be incomplete without this. Let us look at all its features.
- Semi-hollow electric guitar.
- Neck made of high-quality Mahogany.
- Slim taper D shaped neck for comfortable play.
- Hardware is nickel plated for more durability.
- Comes with ProBucker Humbucker pickups – a new Epiphone feature.
- The push-pull coil-tapping mechanism makes switching between Humbucker and single-coil tones for each pickup easier.
- Vintage sunburst toned look and finish.
- Pocket-friendly pricing.
Epiphone, who has been acquired by a brand such as Gibson, is known to provide output similar to that of any high-end brand, within a budget of a beginner.
Their ES-339 has similar qualities, which puts it along with the best electric guitars. For all its features, it surely will be a great buy at a limited budget.
If you have ever wanted to play electric guitar, you must have at least once dreamt of owning a Fender.
Established sometime around the 1940s, Fender is one of the oldest standing guitar manufacturers to date. They not only deal in guitars and ukuleles but are manufacturers of anything and everything related to guitars.
Be it amps, cases or guitar strings, Fender has a solution for everything. Manufacturing products for over 50 years, Fender has earned a worldwide trust over their models of guitars which gives the buyers no scope for a second thought.
Celebrities such as Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck have flaunted Fenders, which helps a new buyer put their trust in such a big brand.
A Fender guitar is nothing short of an investment. Today, we are looking at their Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe. Below are the features which help this Fender gem stand out among other guitars with similar configurations and price range.
- Perfect tones and warm tonal quality.
- Has two MP-90 single-coil pick-ups to provide a range from sweet, melodious tone to aggressive tones.
- Four skirted amp knobs to regulate tone and volume for every pickup.
- 22 medium jumbo frets and radius of 9.5″ makes playing comfortable and rapid.
- Has a six-saddle hard-tail bridge which let’s adjust the height of every string separately.
- Has a maple fingerboard.
- Comes in a modern and stylish transparent black look.
This model, filled with user-friendly features and a stylish look, is surely one of the best electric guitars and a great pick for anyone looking to bring their first Fender home.
Ibanez is one of Asia’s biggest and oldest guitar specialists. Owned by the 1908 musical instrument manufacturer Hoshino Gakki, Ibanez was set up in 1935.
Though, before the lawsuit period, Ibanez drew inspiration from brands such as Gibson and Fender to make their guitars, they later brought to the market brilliant signature guitars of their own.
Based out of Aichi, Japan, Ibanez has manufactured over 600 models of guitars till date.
Apart from different types of guitars such as basses, solid body and hollow-body guitars, Ibanez also manufactures other string instruments such as ukuleles, banjos, mandolins, and guitar accessories such as amplifiers, resonators and more.
Among the plenty of masterpieces which Ibanez has manufactured, we are looking at AS53TRF – a popular pick by the company. Let us quickly check the features of this model.
- Semi-hollow six-string guitar.
- Guitar body made of gorgeous Sapele wood.
- Warm tone and responsive arrangement of the system.
- Slim neck for ease of play.
- Art core set-in in the neck made of Mahogany.
- Has a 17th fret joint which makes playing higher notes easier.
- Grip III knobs used to ensure durability and fine intonation.
- Has ACH pickups to increase the accuracy of notes.
- Available in beautiful red or black colour.
Keeping the beginners in mind, Ibanez has put many significant features in their AS53TRF, which makes it a brilliant model within budget.
Have you ever wanted a guitar which attracts one and all by its looks? Do people call your style crazy or quirky?
Well, Epiphone has the perfect guitar for you. This old trusted brand, who has been manufacturing guitars for over 100 years now, has brought to the market their exclusive model – the Epiphone WILDKAT Royale.
The white blended with gorgeous gold gives the body of the guitar an 80s disco look, while the quality of Epiphone ensures the music produced by the guitar matches up to the dazzling looks of the guitar.
Epiphone, who was acquired by the iconic brand Gibson in the 1950s, keeps in mind the demand of its fans, the budget constraints, but also maintains professional-grade quality in its products, which has given the brand uncountable loyal customers.
Let us have a look at the WILDKAT Royale’s features.
- Six-string semi-hollow guitar
- Hardware tinted in gorgeous golden colour
- A limited-edition – meaning those who own it will be among the very few in the world
- It’s Dogear P-90 pickups help produce a vintage, warmer tone
- Comes with a customised golden Bigsby tailpiece
- Volume knobs for each pickup, with an additional master knob
- Classy pearl-white body with touches of gold, giving it an 80s disco look
This classic piece manufactured by Epiphone will give you that extra confidence, thanks to its amazing look and finish, along with the trust of one of the pioneers in low-budget yet high-quality products.
Since its establishment in the 1870s, Epiphone has brought to the market many iconic series of guitars, among which the ES series has been a massive hit.
The series hit the market in the 1950s when the rock era was in full bloom. During a period when people adored their Les Paul styles of solid guitars, Epiphone dared to give the consumers the taste of arched top guitars with their ES series.
Every ES series guitar by Epiphone is special for its own, unique qualities and the ES-335 is no different.
A bigger guitar in size, it gives the player a lot of space to play comfortably. The stylised look ensures it draws attention to its owner, while he is busy creating some musical masterpiece.
Want to know what makes the Epiphone ES-335 different from others? Below are the features.
- Six-string semi-hollow guitar with maple archtop finish.
- Comes with the Alnico Classic PRO humbucker pickups.
- Produces a vintage old rock kind of warm tone.
- Has a coil-split LockTone Tune-o-Matic bridge.
- It’s LockTone stop bar tailpiece provides amazing sustainability.
- The rosewood fretboard has a small block inlay.
- Uses Wilkinson’s classic tuning machines.
- Longer neck with larger frets for ease of play.
- Comes in an attractive bright cherry red colour.
- A limited-edition piece, making you a proud owner of the model.
So, those fans of the old school rock music, bring home this retro piece for an old rock feel and classic, warmer tone.
This is the second Fender on the list, which tells a lot about the brand and its varieties. The company, established in the 1940s, is still maintaining their reputation of manufacturing top-class guitars.
The company follows US guidelines, which makes their products of global standard. From passionate beginners to professionals, from students to celebrities such as Jimmi Hendrix – all have been satisfied buyers of Fender’s amazing innovations.
With their quality and the huge variety of products, Fender has earned fans of their products from all across the globe.
The second Fender product on the list is the Fender modern player Starcaster.
The Starcaster has been one of Fender’s unique products for the interesting mix of features in the models in this range. Here, we will check those distinct features which help these models secure a special spot among other guitars.
- 6 string, hollow guitar.
- Fender’s special humbucking pickups ensure a huge range of tones.
- Accuracy of notes.
- Smooth operation, courtesy the comfortable neck design.
- Body resonant feedback-controlled – which gives better, high gain.
- Additional alder centre block for better output.
- The headstock has black accent stripes.
- Available in a retro, aged cherry burst look.
Just like any other Fender guitar, the Starcaster also has its very own unique features.
Those looking for brighter tones and a relatively aggressive play will find the Starcaster extremely helpful.
Again, the beginners will find this model likeable, thanks to the tonal accuracy. All in all, the Starcaster will be an interesting addition to those looking for a guitar which helps them stand out amidst many other guitarists.
The Ibanez Artcore AM53SRF is a beautifully designed 6 string guitar boasting a vintage look and feel.
The body of the instrument is designed with Sapele wood and is topped with an Artcore AM mahogany neck. The fretboard uses a rosewood construction which makes it smooth and pleasant to the touch.
Overall, the device offers a very comfortable playing experience. But what about the overall music quality?
Well, you can adjust the guitar to play different styles and genres of music. You can easily hit higher notes with the guitar, making it a great option to jazz performances as well.
It comes with two Infinity Ceramic Humbuckers that produce a steady and clear sound. You can easily adjust it to any style, from country to hard rock. On top of that, you have access to the Art-St Bridge which provides a lot of tuning stability.
- A 6-string semi-hollow body guitar.
- A Sapele wood body with a Mahogany neck and Rosewood fingerboard.
- Comes with two Infinity Ceramic Humbuckers to hit those steady and clear notes.
- Sports an Art-St bridge for better tuning stability.
- Capable of playing various styles and genres of music.
The guitar is available in plenty of different colour variations, so not only can you play any type of music that you choose, but also customize its look to fit your own style and personality.
And considering all the features that you are getting, especially coupled with the affordable price tag, it is a bang for the buck and ideal for beginner guitarists.
Dean Boca stands in its own league with its 12 string body. This makes it the ideal option to play complicated pieces including the famous Stairway to Heaven, by Led Zeppelin.
As you know, a 12 string guitar is known for its rich unique sound, but with you couple that with a semi-hollow body, you get access to better reverberation paired with increased sustain, that makes the music – heavenly.
Now, enough with the sound, let’s take a quick look at the overall design and structure of the guitar.
The body of the guitar is made with mahogany wood coupled with a rosewood fretboard, chrome hardware, a semi-hollow body designed with an arched top, dual humbuckers, and a bolt-on neck. This makes for a solid premium quality build.
- Mahogany Top.
- Bolt-On Neck.
- Rosewood Fingerboard.
- Chrome Hardware.
- Mahogany Body.
- Semi-hollow body with arched top.
- Dual humbuckers.
- Grover tuners.
- Adjustable bridge with stop tailpiece.
- Rosewood fretboard.
A 12 string guitar with a solid build and affordable price tag makes the Dean Boca a steal and something that you should definitely consider if you are planning to get a 12-string guitar on a budget.
The Fender Coronado 2 is designed specifically with live performances in mind. It is loaded with tons of awesome features curated for professional guitarists.
The semi-hollow body electric guitar with an alder block at its centre to help fight the feedback issues that come up at high volumes or gain.
In terms of design, the body of the guitar is designed with maple wood, whereas the fretboard is constructed with rosewood. The laminated maple body does give a pleasant feel to the touch.
Other notable features include the Fideli’Tron pickups. It can help recreate the twangy country and blues tones. However, the tonal ranges aren’t as wide and diverse, giving you rather limited options.
However, to keep the cost down, they have gone with a bolt-on-neck system. This can lower the resonance as well as the sustain of the instrument
- Laminated Maple body.
- Adler centre block.
- Rosewood fretboard.
- White Pearloid block inlays.
- Fideli’Tron Humbucking Pickups.
Ibanez AM93AYS brings together the warmth and resonance of a semi-hollow body guitar paired with the compact build of a solid body guitar. The instrument has a comfortable and compact double-cut body with a solid centre block designed to give you sustain that is typical of a solid body.
Designed wise, you get the mentioned double-cutaway paired with the rosewood fingerboard segmented into 22 frets embellished with its classy plush pearl block inlays.
The body features a maple archtop, back, and sides forming an acoustic chamber that passes through the f-holes. Besides this, the instrument has an Artcore DX set neck capped with a warm sounding 12” radius.
Now, coming to the sound quality, the instrument is known for its versatility. It comes with two super 58 custom humbucking pickups that can help you play music of any style or genre – whether it is a calming jazz piece or ear-piercing rock and roll.
- Offers a comfortable and compact double-cut body with a mahogany solid centre block.
- Body of the guitar is made using maple with a rosewood fingerboard divided into 22 frets.
- A classy plush pearl block inlays on the fingerboard.
- Comes with two super 58 custom humbucking pickups.
- Offers the warmth and resonance of a semi-body guitar with the sustain of a solid body.
Considering the awesome design along with all the features, the price of the guitar is quite reasonable.
The Oscar Schmidt OE30 is the semi-hollow electric guitar designed for rock stars. And even if you aren’t one, it will make you feel like it, with its legendary lines and tones variations.
The guitar comes with a three-way pickup selector that can help you create sounds. On top of that, you get two Humbucker pickups, duo volume, tone controls, and the Tune-o-Matic Bridge paired with a stop tailpiece.
This awesome configuration of features makes the Oscar Schmidt OE30 perfect for all types of genres, starting from jazz to blues and even rock.
The guitar scream of quality from all possible angles.
- Three-way pickup selector to help you create a variety of sounds.
- Can be used for almost all types of genres, from jazz to blues and even rock.
- Two humbucker pickups paired with duo volume, tone controls, and topped with a Tune-o-Matic bridge.
- Stop tailpiece.
- Dot inlay on the fretboard.
The Epiphone DOT is one of the perfect buys if you are looking for the classical sound of the ES. The name “Dot” comes from its simple dotted fingerboard inlays.
The instrument is well built and designed to last for a long time. It features premium quality laminated maple coupled with a mahogany centre block. The 24.75” neck is also built using mahogany wood, whereas the fingerboard features a rosewood construction.
Apart from all this, you also get access to the real Alnico Classic humbucker pickups. A welcome addition which makes the sound output heavenly and surreal. The pickup comes with dedicated controls which can help you tweak the volume as well as the tone.
- Comes with dot inlays on the fingerboard.
- Well built and extremely durable.
- The body is constructed using premium quality laminated maple. The neck is designed using Mahogany wood, and the fingerboard boasts a rosewood construction.
- The centre block is made with mahogany.
- Comes with the Classic humbucker pickups.
- Dedicated controls that help you tweak the volume and tone of the instrument.
- Sound quality is similar to classical ES.