Best Hollow Body Guitar and Semi Hollow Guitars (Our Favorite 16 In 2020)

Whether it’s jazzy licks, soulful blues, or Americana twang, a hollow body guitar can provide the folksy, roots rock, or swingin’ tones needed to give your playing some thick, resonant character. 

But, must you spend upwards of two grand on a Gibson ES-330 or a 1966 Guild Starfire V? 

While it may be a dream to own one someday, these affordable alternatives might prove to be permanent additions to your collection until you can buy your dream guitar. 

For now, let these affordable hollow and semi-hollow guitars prove their timeless worth!

Snapshot: Top 16 Hollow & Semi-Hollow Body Guitars

  1. Guild Starfire VBest Overall
  2. Ibanez Artcore AM53TFBest Under $300
  3. Ibanez Artcore AG75GSCGBest Under $500
  4. Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin P90Best Under $700
  5. Hagstrom Tremor Viking DeluxeBest Under $1000
  6. Prestige NYS Deluxe MGBest Under $2000
  7. Grote VSBest Cheap
  8. Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II Hollow BodyBest for the Money
  9. D’Angelico Premier EXL-1Best for Jazz
  10. PRS SE Hollow Body StandardBest for Blues
  11. Gretsch Tim Armstrong ElectromaticBest for Rock
  12. Gretsch G5420T ElectromaticBest for Country
  13. Ibanez Artcore AS73OLMBest for Worship
  14. Dean Boca 12Best 12-String
  15. Ibanez Artcore AS53TRFBest Ibanez
  16. Gretsch G5622T ElectromaticBest Gretsch

Researching Best Hollow & Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitars

Best Hollow and Semi-Hollow Body Guitars

There’s something classy and timeless about playing semi hollow and hollow body guitars.  They’re not your crank-up-the-gain and pedal-to-the-metal axes, instead, you take a more soulful and jazzy approach to playing the classic instruments. 

The hollow body is essentially an acoustic archtop guitar with electronics, and some may have a more organic acoustic sound than others.  They’re excellent guitars for jazz and blues genres guitar player because they have warm, clean, and full tones with lower output but with big, resonant sound.  However, they do experience feedback issues when played through an amp. 

Semi hollow body guitars are quieter and slightly smaller than hollow bodies, but when they’re plugged in, they experience less feedback because they have a solid block of wood that runs through the center body of the guitar.  Hollow wings still provide decent resonance, but it also has great sustain due to the center block that connects to the neck.  Due to their design, they make a great plugged-in instrument suited for rock and contemporary genres with some twang. 

Choosing the best hollow body guitars comes down to player preference and budget.  While the best, time-honored models can easily cost thousands of dollars, it’s not always the right pick for you as there are realistic constraints to budget.  Instead, I’ve presented some viable options that have great value and fantastic build quality at multiple price points to appeal to players with every budget. 

The only thing left for you guitar players to do now is to shop.  Enjoy!

The Best Semi-Hollow & Hollow Body Electric Guitars In 2020

1. Guild Starfire V Review – Best Overall

Guild Guitars Starfire V Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar, Cherry Red, Double-Cut w/tremolo, Newark...
  • Arched Laminated Mahogany Top and Back, Laminated Mahogany Sides
  • 3 Piece Neck (mahogany/maple/mahogany) with Indian Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Guild Tune-O-Matic Bridge with Rosewood Base and Guild Vibrato Tailpiece

The Starfire V is a classic remake of its ‘50s and ‘60s predecessors.  The V sets itself apart from the IV with its Bigsby tremolo, and it maintains many of the original, classic appointments.  At a far lower cost than the originals, this Starfire V remake just might be the guitar for you. 

Body & Neck

This is a semi-hollow guitar with a center block attached to the neck.  It was originally made to compete with the Gibson ES-335, and therefore, it has the double cutaway with a 16 3/8” thinline body and 24.75” scale length.  Both the back and top are arched tops and the entire body is made from laminated mahogany with binding and purfling.  The neck is also constructed from mahogany, but it has a gorgeous maple strip that runs through the center. 

The neck has a Vintage Soft U shape, Indian Rosewood or Ebony fretboard (depending on when it was made), and 22 narrow jumbo frets.  The fretboard radius is a steep 9.5”, pearloid blocks line the fingerboard, and the entire length is bound by a 1-ply ABS ivory binding.  

Electronics & Hardware

You can clearly see the Bigsby tailpiece that allows use of a tremolo bar.  It’s paired with a Guild TOM bridge with a base plate made from the same material as the fretboard.  Grover Sta-Tite 18:1 tuners sit at the 3+3 headstock near the bone nut. 

Guild Little Bucker LB-1 humbuckers are unique in their own way.  They’re not quite mini or full-size humbuckers but somewhere in between.  Each Little Bucker gets its own 500k volume and tone pots and a 3-way pickup switch allows use of each humbucker or the combo of both.  There is also a Master Volume knob onboard. 

Sound

The Little Buckers have been described as producing sound that’s somewhere between single-coil and humbucker.  It’s chimey and jangly, but it retains warm and fat tones that’s associated with semi-hollow body guitars.  It has good noticeable sustain and doesn’t experience feedback like hollow bodies do. 

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Neck Material: Mahogany/Maple
  • Fingerboard Material: Indian Rosewood or Ebony
  • Pickups: Guild LB-1 (Little Buckers)
  • Bridge: Guild Tune-O-Matic w/Guild Vibrato Tailpiece

Bigsby.  Thinline semi-hollow.  Classic. 

Final Thoughts on the Guild Starfire V

The Starfire also comes with a deluxe, plush hardshell case in the buy.  As the best semi-hollow body guitar overall, it must be great for many genres from jazz, blues, roots, and more. 

Proudly, the Starfire V is one of those guitars that’s achieves excellence no matter what your preferred genre is or the sound and tone you’re trying to get.  The price?  Worth it. 

2. Ibanez Artcore AM53SRF Review – Best Under $300

Ibanez Artcore 6 String Semi-Hollow-Body Electric Guitar, Right, Sunburst Red Flat, Full (AM53SRF)
  • Infinity R pickups feature warm, balanced articulation and excellent response for various music genres
  • Art-St Bridge provides tuning stability
  • Easy access to higher notes

The AM Artcore series of guitars is great for small budgets and great for small hands.  It’s a smaller guitar that has big tone and features.  The Tobacco Flat finish was a very popular model, but it seems the Sunburst Red Flat finish wins the long-standing race.

Body & Neck

Ibanez is rather vague in fully defining their type of semi and hollow body guitars, but from what I could gather, this AM guitar is their hollow body while their AS guitars are their semi-hollow bodies.  The AM53 has double cutaways, a 24.7” scale length, and a 3+3 headstock.  It has a very simple look, but the finish introduces just enough flair to bring the style justice. 

It’s made from laminated sapele with a nyatoh set-in neck and a bound walnut fretboard.  It has 22 medium frets and a 12” fingerboard radius.  It does have rather small dimensions for a hollow body guitar at 17 5/8” (L) x 14 ½” (W) x 2 5/8” (H). 

Electronics & Hardware

It has a Gibraltar Artist bridge with six, adjustable, low-positioned saddles, and it’s paired with a Quik Change III Tailpiece that makes for changing out strings a breeze.  Infinity R humbuckers are wired with a 3-way pickup selector switch and master volume and tone knobs. 

Sound

The pickups are quite jangly and twangy on this hollow body guitar.  They’ll be great for some country and can even pull off some bluesy tones in the right hands.  Roots and Americana would sound great coming from these pickups with some bright and bassy notes making their way through.

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Sapele
  • Neck Material: Nyatoh
  • Fingerboard Material: Walnut
  • Pickups: Infinity R Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Gibraltar Artist w/Quick Change III Tailpiece

Low price.  Hollow body.  Good for small hands. 

Final Thoughts on the Ibanez Artcore AM53SRF

It’s a very basic hollow body, but at least it’s done right.  All the hardware may be stock, but it’s what keeps this guitar low-priced and selling.  It is one of the best hollow body guitars for the guitar player on a budget, the Artcore AM53 might be as cheap as you can get. 

3. Ibanez Artcore AG75GSCG Review – Best Under $500

Ibanez Artcore AG75G Hollowbody - Scarlet Gradiation
  • Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Linden Top
  • 2 Humbucking Pickups - Scarlet Gradiation
  • Laurel Fingerboard

This Artcore AG guitar is the new model for the line as it replaced the very popular AG75BS model still found online today.  This guitar is a true, full, hollow body guitar, and priced under 500 bucks, it might just rise the ranks as its predecessor did. 

Body & Neck

This hollow body could almost pass as an Epiphone model with its single cutaway, 24.7” scale length, 3+3 headstock, and even its vintage style knobs.  The Scarlet Gradation finish is different to a burst finish and yet it’s attractive in its own way. 

The hollow body is made from Linden laminate with a nyatoh neck and walnut fretboard.  What’s Linden?  It’s basswood.  It has 22 medium frets, a 12” fingerboard radius, and bound fretboard and body.  While true hollow bodies can be quite hefty and large, this model has rather small size for its type at 18 7/8” (L) x 14 ½” (W) x 3 5/8” (H).

Electronics & Hardware

The hardware stands out with its gold finish.  The Sure Grip III knobs have that open top look that gives off a vintage vibe.  There are four knobs that provide wiring for tone and volume for each humbucker.  Speaking of humbuckers, you have Classic Elite ceramic pickups that are whispered to be an upgrade and improvement from previous inferior options. 

You also have a VT06 tailpiece that is unassuming and yet it has enough stage presence to capture the eye.  A Gibraltar Artist bridge is low-profile for comfortable playing and six, adjustable saddles allow for adjusting intonation. 

Sound

Classic Elite ceramic pickups provide fat tone in the bass with some good warmth from the neck, but the bridge brightens and jangles things up.  Tone is good for jazz, but you may want a bit more bite for blues.  For the casual player, you may be satisfied with these pickups, but for the advanced players, you can really get some rich character if you have some pet faves to swap into place. 

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Linden
  • Neck Material: Nyatoh
  • Fingerboard Material: Walnut
  • Pickups: Classic Elite Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Gibraltar Artist w/VT06 tailpiece

Hollow body.  Awesome finish.  Classic pickups!

Final Thoughts on the Ibanez Artcore AG75GSCG

For the extra hundred bucks on the AG series guitar, you get a couple upgrades in hardware with a gradation finish.  It may be worth it to you if you’re not looking to swap out hardware in the long run.  This is one of the best hollow body guitars under 500 bucks, the AG series should be at the top of your list. 

4. Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin P90 Review – Best Under $700

Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin P90 Jazz-Style Acoustic Electric Guitar Bundle , Cognac Burst
  • FREE Accessory Pack with Strap, Snark Clip On Tuner, Capo, Picks, and Polishing Cloth Included
  • North America Made with Molded Canadian Wild Cherry Arched Top, Back and Sides
  • Silver Leaf Maple Neck, Rosewood Fingerboard

It’s a flashback to the ‘50s arch top acoustic guitars except this one has a pickup to get plugged in.  If you’re a fan of traditional sound and looks but you want a bit more oomph with the advantage of a single-coil, look no further. 

Body & Neck

The Kingpin P90 has a very acoustic guitar appeal, because essentially, it is.  It has a molded arched top and back made from Canadian Wild Cherry with a Silver Leaf Maple neck and Rosewood fingerboard.  It’s approximately 20” long and 3” deep.  There are no cutaways to reach every one of the 21 frets, but it does have a very flat 16” Rosewood fingerboard radius that adds to the necks playability. 

It has unbound f-holes, a slightly longer 24.84” scale length, and a classy Cognac Burst color with a semi-gloss finish. 

Electronics & Hardware

It’s the electronics that certainly moves this guitar out of its acoustic comfort bubble.  It has a Godin Kinpin P90 single-coil pickup that sounds crazy jazzy when plugged in.  With only a neck pickup onboard, there’s only a need for one tone and one volume control.  It keeps things simple, sleek, and easy on the eyes.

What else is easy on the eyes?  The minimalist Graphtech Adjustable Tusq Bridge which is a floating bridge.  Even the hardware finish on the tailpiece matches the simple, vintage tuners at the 3+3 headstock. 

Sound

While an acoustic at heart, this hollow bodied guitar is quieter than a traditional acoustic, but loud enough for private practice in the evenings.  However, it delivers in the sound department when plugged in and sounds exceptional when played clean.  It has rich, dynamic, warm, and fat tones.  Many acoustic electrics can sound tinny from the get-go, but the Kingpin P90 ditches the stereotype and delivers oomph in the bass to balance out the singing highs.  If you know how to work your tone control and amp, you can dial up a tad for midrange presence and swing into some bluesy riffs. 

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Canadian Wild Cherry
  • Neck Material: Silver Leaf Maple
  • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
  • Pickups: Godin Kingpin P90 Single-Coil
  • Bridge: Graphtech Adjustable Tusq Bridge

Excellent value.  Excellent tone.  Must-have guitar.

Final Thoughts on the Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin P90

This is a heck of a retro jazz box with a single-coil pickup as its signature feature.  It may have rustic beauty, but this is a polished guitar aesthetically and sonically.  Good for every genre a hollow body guitar can pull off. 

5. Hagstrom Tremor Viking Deluxe Review – Best Under $1000

Everything about this guitar screams quality and luxury.  It might be the black gloss finish, the wicked-looking tailpiece, or all the chrome.  Whatever it is, the Tremor Viking Deluxe is obviously well put-together.  Here are the details. 

Body & Neck

The Hagstrom guitar has a semi-hollow body made from ply flamed maple with a contoured top and double cutaways.  It has a Canadian Hard Maple set-in neck and Resinator composite wood for the fingerboard.  To reinforce strength to the already stable neck is a patented H-Expander truss rod that allows for incredibly low action with a thin neck profile. 

It has standard specs with a 24.75” scale length, 43 mm nut width, and 22 medium jumbo frets.  Especially attractive to rockers with a touch of the shredding addiction is a 16” fingerboard radius.  Can you tell what this guitar is good for? 

Electronics & Hardware

Starting from the top, you have Hagstrom 18:1 gear ratio machine heads with a very unique shape and texture.  A GraphTech Black Tusq XL nut meets the fingerboard and D’Addario EXP 110 strings line the scale length. 

You have a very unassuming Long Travel TOM roller bridge that pairs with a very dominating, vintage-style Hagstrom Tremar Vibrato tailpiece.  Hagstrom installs their own HJ-50 humbuckers each with their own volume and tone pots and a 3-way toggle switch conveniently found on the upper bout. 

Sound

Rock.  Vintage rock.  Rock ‘n roll.  Clean.  Overdriven.  You can do almost anything you want with the Tremar Viking Deluxe – it can pull it all off, and pull it off well it does.  With all the tonal contributions from the Resinator wood, sustain support from the bridge, vibrato tailpiece, and set neck, and even a unique tonal presence from the H-Expander truss rod – there truly is a diverse and accessible tonal palette available. 

The neck pickup played clean is crisp, smooth, and bright.  The bridge pickup sounds spunky overdriven or distorted and never sounds muddy. 

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Ply Flamed Maple
  • Neck Material: Canadian Hard Maple
  • Fingerboard Material: Resinator Composite
  • Pickups: Hagstrom HJ-50 Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Longtravel TOM w/Tremar Vibrato Tailpiece

Superior quality.  Wide tonal palette.  Definitely for Rock!

Final Thoughts on the Hagstrom Tremar Viking Deluxe

If you can afford this guitar, it’s a must-have and a keeper.  This brand puts beauty, luxury, quality, and gorgeous sound into the palms of your hands.  We can see how you can pick it up once and never want to put it down again. 

6. Prestige NYS Deluxe MG Review – Best Under $2000

Prestige Guitars NYS Deluxe MG, 6 String Semi-Hollow-Body Electric Guitar, Right Handed, Metallic...
  • Mahogany Body: The semi-hollow electric guitar has mahogany back and sides, arched maple top and back and bound “F” holes
  • Pau Ferro Fingerboard: Made with Pau Ferro tone wood, the electric guitar has a single sharp cutaway, and a solid Maple center block
  • Semi-Hollow Body: The 6-string guitar has an Abalone bound headstock, Mother of Pearl Prestige logo, and dual Seymour Duncan SP-90 pickups

If you have the dough to spare, skip the Standard model and go big with the NYS Deluxe in Metallic Gold.  Making a statement with your ax has never been easier done than with a flashy finish to attract the babes – oh yeah, there’s your playing and sound, too. 

Body & Neck

It sure is a flamboyant piece of work, but let’s look past the sparkle and shine.  I see an arched top and arched back made from maple.  It’s a semi-hollow body guitar with a solid center block.  The mahogany neck has a C-shape profile, a Pau Ferro fingerboard with a 14” radius, 20 frets, and a 24.75” scale length. 

Surprisingly, it’s not as big as it looks with an overall depth of 2” and it only weighs 9.4 lbs. 

Electronics & Hardware

I also spy Grover 18:1 tuners, a Tusq XL nut, a TonesPro TOM TPFR Roller Saddle bridge, and a Bigsby USA B7 Vibrato tailpiece – all laden with a shiny, gold finish (except for the nut). 

For the price, Seymour Duncan gets the honor of providing the voice of this guitar with their Vintage P90 single-coils. 

Sound

These 1947 Gibson period correct recreations are hotter and more powerful than most single-coils.  At the neck, the P90 is smooth, fat, and sweet with some serious pronunciation on the mid-range.  At the bridge, the pickup is glassy and sparkly, and it definitely demands to be heard and revel in the spotlight.  They make a sweet pairing, and they’ll knock your socks off played clean or distorted. 

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Maple
  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard Material: Pau Ferro
  • Pickups: Seymour Duncan Vintage P90 Single-Coils
  • Bridge: TonesPro TOM Roller Saddle w/Bigsby Vibrato Tailpiece

Sweet sound.  Vintage flair.  Powerful presence. 

Final Thoughts on the Prestige NYS Deluxe MG

I can see it all – vintage flair, gold sparkle, Bigsby tremolo, single cutaway, and an arched body.  It’s every bit as gorgeous in looks as it sounds.  This guitar is ready to take the stage by storm and all the chicks that come with it. 

7. Grote VS Review – Best Cheap

Sale
GROTE Electric Guitar Semi-Hollow Body Guitar Gig Bag (Red)
  • Laser Security Trademark & Metal truss rod cover
  • Full Scale size & Set-in Neck
  • HARD WARE: CR(JIN HO J-03) MADE IN KOREA

This just might be one of the cheapest 335 copies out there that doesn’t suck.  The Grote in Vintage Sunburst is a new release from the brand, and it wouldn’t have made this lineup if it didn’t have mass approval. 

Body & Neck

It might be low-priced, but it has it.  The melted-down double cutaways, full scale size (likely 24.75”), and the 3+3 headstock.  It’s quite a lightweight semi-hollow weighing in around 7 lbs 12 oz, and it’s likely made with a flame maple veneer.  The set-in neck is a great feature, and it’s made from maple. 

The fingerboard is made from rosewood, and it’s also excellent to see that it’s bound.  The shape of the neck has good hefty shoulders to it, but it’s also relatively thin – most likely along the lines of a slim D shape.  Does this shape ring any bells for any Epiphone lovers out there? 

Electronics & Hardware

While the body is nicely done, hardware is usually where things suffer when it comes to entry-level guitars.  Stock parts are in place on the Grote guitar and the tuners will leave you desiring more.  The TOM bridge and tailpiece are pretty straightforward, and the humbuckers are not too shabby. 

In fact, many loved the sound of the pickups as it seems to have a unique signature.  Things are fine as they are, but if you’re wanting to invest a little more into this guitar, I’d opt for swapping out the strings ASAP, tuners and nut next, and perhaps the pickups later on if you’re not digging them.   

Sound

Described as sweet and beautiful with a hint of acoustic goodness.  While the highs come off vibrant and full of life, the lows are quite dark sounding.  If you have a trained ear, the pickups might sound a tad muddy. 

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Unknown
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
  • Pickups: Humbuckers
  • Bridge: TOM w/Stopbar Tailpiece

Low price. Great finish. Better-than-expected sound!

Final Thoughts on the Grote VS

It’s by far the best looking and sounding semi-hollow under 200 bucks.  Stock hardware is expected on an entry-level model, but at least the pickups are more than pleasing which is an unexpected surprise.  If you’re on a tight budget, don’t pass by the new Grote semi-hollow electric guitar

8. Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II Hollow Body Review – Best for the Money

Godin 5th Avenue CW Electric Guitar (Kingpin II, Cognac Burst)
  • Made in North America
  • Double-Action Truss Rod
  • Canadian Silver Leaf Maple Neck

Now, there are many semi and hollow bodies worthy of this spot as the best for the money guitar.  But, since I can only pick one for today, I went with a tried and true, popular, and stunning guitar – the Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin II. 

Body & Neck

The Kingpin II has a captivating Cognac Burst finish.  It’s different to the Kingpin P90 with its single cutaway, but it’s essentially the same in woods and specs.  It’s constructed from Canadian Wild Cherry for the top, back, and sides, and it has a Silver Leaf Maple neck with a rosewood fretboard. 

There are 21 frets, a 16” fingerboard radius, and a 24.84” scale length. 

Electronics & Hardware

Again, different to the Kingpin P90, this model has two pickups instead of one.  Though, like the acoustic electric version, it has the same Godin Kingpin P90 single-coil pickups.  While it has Master Volume and Master Tone controls, there is a 3-way toggle switch on the upper bout.  There is a GraphTech nut with a width of 1.72”, a GraphTech Adjustable Tusq bridge, and a tortoiseshell pickguard.

Sound

With two pickups, the sound is much more well-balanced and good for all genres.  Single-coils are excellent for their vintage and classic sound, and while they’re excellent for some country twang, jazz, and blues, with the addition of the bridge pickup, you can also rock out. 

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Canadian Wild Cherry
  • Neck Material: Silver Leaf Maple
  • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
  • Pickups: Godin Kingpin P90 Single-Coils
  • Bridge: Graphtech Adjustable Tusq Bridge

High-quality.  Excellent hardware.  Beautiful sound.

Final Thoughts on the Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II

The Kingpin guitar doesn’t come alone as a Deluxe TRIC case is included in the buy.  Although it’s quite expensive for a best for the money option, its quality and excellent sound trumps cost in this case.  This is one of those buys you will never regret. 

9. D’Angelico Premier EXL-1 Review – Best for Jazz

D'Angelico Premier EXL-1 Hollow-Body Electric Guitar w/ Stairstep Tailpiece - Ocean Turquoise
  • D’Angelico’s custom mini-humbucker is built for organic archtop tone, designed to pair exceptionally with the Premier EXL-1.
  • A classic Cream Binding lines the premier Series for a traditional, vintage look
  • All models are strung with Electrozinc, co-designed by D'Angelico and D'Addario, guaranteeing exceptional longevity and tone.

If you’re into the sweet sounds of New York jazz boxes, you must have a D’Angelico hollow body from their Premier series.  The EXL-1 Black model was a highly praised guitar, but the company has given the newer models some upgrades. 

Body & Neck

The Premier EXL-1 is a hollow body archtop with expected dimensions for a hollow body with a 17” width and 3” depth.  This model has the very bright Ocean Turquoise color, single cutaway, and scale length of 25.5”. 

It has a laminate build with spruce for the top and flame maple for the back and sides.  Both the body and fingerboard have multi-ply binding.  The neck is constructed with three pieces of maple, has a C shape, and set-thru joint.  The fingerboard is made from Ovangkol, has 22 medium jumbo frets, and a 14” radius.  Not only are there acrylic block inlays, but there are also black dot side inlays for quick referencing while playing.

Electronics & Hardware

There is only one pickup onboard in the form of a Duncan-designed floating mini humbucker.  As such, there are tone and volume controls and no toggle switch.  The tuners, headstock, and stairstep tailpiece are all proof that attention to detail was a commitment for the brand.  A hardtail bridge made from Ovangkol matches the fingerboard, and a Tortoise Scallini pickguard provides some aesthetic dimension to the overall look.

Sound

The humbucker may be mini, but it’s quality over size.  It has sweet, warm, and smooth tones with a very dominant presence from the mid-range.  Its hollow body construction provides that organic, authentic acoustic tone that gives it some excellent resonance and beef to your edge when you play it just right.  Perfect for jazz, am I right? 

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Flame Maple/Spruce
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Fingerboard Material: Ovangkol
  • Pickups: Duncan-Design Floating Mini Humbucker
  • Bridge: Hardtail Ovangkol Bridge w/Stairstep Tailpiece

Sweet sound.  Organic tone.  New model.  

Final Thoughts on the D’Angelico Premier EXL-1

It’s got the bod, the electronics, and the sound to get plugged in and explore those jazzy tunes.  It has all the right stuff to be your very own, personalized jazz box – that is, if you have the skill. 

10. PRS SE Hollow Body Standard Review – Best for Blues

PRS SE Hollowbody Standard - McCarty Tobacco Sunburst
  • 2 Humbucking Pickups - McCarty Tobacco Sunburst
  • Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Mahogany Top
  • Ebony Fingerboard

It may not be the first guitar that comes to mind for blues, but it should be.  This is the newest model to the series, and it’s hit the market swingin’ and kickin’.  It’s beautiful, full of personality, and has tons of ‘tude.  Sounds like a blues guitar to me. 

Body & Neck

For a hollow body guitar, it sure has some stylish appointments from its steep, beveled cutaways and handsome headstock.  It still has that curvaceous lower bout, and there’s no pickguard taking away from the beauty of the unbound f-holes.  The PRS guitar has an all-mahogany body with double binding, mahogany neck with a bound ebony fretboard.  The neck has a wide fat shape not unlike a D shape, a 25” scale length, 22 frets, and PRS’ signature bird inlays.

Electronics & Hardware

The SE Hollow Body Standard guitar has 58/15 “S” humbuckers that are 2015’s version of the 1958 pickups.  It doesn’t split coils, has a 3-way toggle, and master volume and tone pots.  The tuners are PRS designed, but I believe you can replace them with their locking tuners if you feel the need.  The bridge is a PRS Adjustable Stoptail with hardware all finished in nickel. 

Sound

If you have a trained ear, you’ll notice that there’s no loss in output when you switch to the bridge pickup.  Its voice is bright and articulate while the neck is warm and smooth.  Even though they’re humbuckers, they have a vintage and classy sound that works well with jazz and blues even though it’s smaller bodied in size.  Just a note – it sounds wicked played in overdrive if you want to crunch up your playing. 

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard Material: Ebony
  • Pickups: 58/15 “S” Humbuckers
  • Bridge: PRS Adjustable Stoptail

Comfortable to play.  Versatile pickups.  Beautiful build. 

Final Thoughts on the PRS SE Hollow Body Standard

This is a smaller bodied guitar that’ll wield great in the hands of a blues musician.  It has pickups that are extremely versatile if you want to move beyond blues, but the vintage, sweet, and warm tones with some bite when you want it is there. 

11. Gretsch Tim Armstrong Electromatic Review – Best for Rock

Gretsch G5191BK Tim Armstrong Signature Electromatic Hollow Body Electric Guitar - Black
  • Body: Laminated Maple Hollow Body
  • Finish: Urethane
  • Neck: 1-Piece Maple

If there’s a hollow body best suited for the rock genre, it’s this Electromatic.  It’s a Tim Armstrong signature guitar.  It doesn’t get much better than this. 

Body & Neck

Electromatic hollow body shape.  Single cutaway.  Arched top.  Gold everything else.  Got style?  Check.  This tempting guitar has is made with 5-ply maple, a maple neck, and a rosewood fingerboard.  It’s really slim for a hollow body coming in at 2.75”.  The neck has a shorter scale length of 24.33”, features a fingerboard radius of 12.6”, 22 jumbo frets, and pearloid block inlays.  The nut width is 42.86 mm. 

So far, the specs work well for all types of rock players with some shredding capability and fast neck work. 

Electronics & Hardware

Filter’Trons are the only pickups worthy of being on top a Gretsch hollow body.  A 3-way toggle switch on the upper bout lets you switch between or combine the humbuckers, and each pickup has their own tone and volume knobs with an additional Master Volume control. 

Grover Sta-Tite tuners will provide integrity to your tuning stability even when you’re bending those strings.  There’s an Adjusto-Matic bridge that provides increased sustain, but it’s the Harp style tailpiece that hogs all the attention. 

Sound

It’s a charming guitar with big sound and bark.  They’re quite like the PAFs of the day but without sounding muddy as brightness, clarity, and crisp note articulation comes through.  Driving this through a tube amp sounds awesome, and you’ll quickly see why it’s made for rock. 

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Maple
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
  • Pickups: Black Top Filter’Tron Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Adjusto-Matic w/Harp Style Tailpiece

Gold flair.  Rock star look.  Ultimate rockability.

Final Thoughts on the Gretsch Tim Armstrong Signature Electromatic

This guitar was made to rock out with.  Even though it has the sparkle of a single-coil, it has the wiring to provide that smooth and warm tone to give your playing some edge and growl.  If Tim Armstrong can rock it out with a hollow body, so can you – someday, maybe. 

12. Gretsch G5420T Electromatic Review – Best for Country

Gretsch Guitars G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar Fairlane Blue
  • G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody Electric Guitar Fairlane Blue

To get your two-step and rock twang on, consider the Electromatic G5420T with all the digs.  It’s a pricey guitar, but it’s your next-step Gretsch best suited for the intermediate and advanced player. 

Body & Neck

It’s a single-cutaway, hollow body electric guitar in Fairlane Blue.  Other colors include Orange Stain, Aspen Green, and Candy Apple Red.  It’s shallow in depth with 2.75”, it’s made from 5-ply maple, and it has sound post bracing under the top.  I love the oversized f-holes even if the Gretsch logo pickguard covers it up. 

The neck is made from maple and also features binding like the body.  It has a 24.6” scale length, U shape profile, and a gloss urethane finish.  The fingerboard is made from rosewood and has 22 medium jumbo frets, a 12”radius, and pearloid Neo-Classic thumbnail inlays.  The smaller, late-‘50s style Gretsch headstock is a 3+3 and is also bound. 

Electronics & Hardware

It wouldn’t be a Gretsch hollow body without Filter’Tron pickups.  Interestingly, each pickup has its own volume pots, but they share a Master Tone control and an additional Master Volume knob that’s wired with a treble bleed circuit.  A 3-way toggle switch is on the upper bout and out of the way.

You have Vintage style open back tuners, an Adjusto-Matic bridge, and a Bigsby B60 tailpiece to get your whammy on in country style. 

Sound

As you can tell, this guitar has a very versatile palette that sounds good played clean and distorted.  It can cater to all genres from country to jazz and rock to blues.  The pickup’s lower output but warm and almost single-coil sound gives it a leg up in the sound department.  Maintaining those trebly frequencies and output when switching between pickups is a non-issue. 

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Maple
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
  • Pickups: Black Top Filter’Tron Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Adjusto-Matic w/Bigsby B60 Tailpiece

Modern flavor.  Treble bleed circuit.  Hollow body with a Bigsby. 

Final Thoughts on the Gretsch G5420T Electromatic

The G5420T Electromatic may have traditional appointments, but it has modern flavor.  It’s good for everything and every playing style.  You just need the skills to make it sing. 

13. Ibanez Artcore AS73OLM Review – Best for Worship

Ibanez AS73OLM AS Artcore Hollow Body Electric Guitar (Olive Metallic)
  • Semi-hollowbody Electric Guitar with Linden Top
  • 2 Humbucking Pickups - Olive Metallic
  • Walnut Fingerboard

For Sunday worship, you need an electric guitar to be heard throughout the praising throng of the masses while still leading the inspirational and motivating tunes dedicated to your Lord.  A solid body electric guitar?  Perhaps, it’s too flashy.  An acoustic?  Not loud enough.  Something in between?  You got it – the Artcore AS73.

Body & Neck

This guitar is a semi-hollow body as indicated by its Artcore AS designation.  Having a body like this with the pickups mounted on the center block increases sustain and reduces buzzy feedback.  This is important when you’re playing with a huge, worshipping crowd. 

It’s pretty much identical to its hollow body counterpart, the AG75G, with its 24.7” scale length, 12” fingerboard radius, and even down to the some of the hardware.  All the guitar woods are the same from the laminate linden (basswood) for the body and nyatoh for the neck to walnut for the fretboard.  However, this model has double cutaways whereas the other has a single-cut. 

Electronics & Hardware

A Gibraltar Performer bridge is paired with a Quik Change III tailpiece on this model, but on the AG, you have the very minimalist but sexy VT06 tailpiece.   They even share the same Classic Elite humbuckers.  Knobs change on this model with a more basic aesthetic appeal.  Each pickup has volume and tone controls and a 3-way toggle switch let’s you switch them up. 

Sound

Many are happy with the sound as Classic Elite pickups are somewhat better than their stock Infinity R ones.  It has some good bright and lifting tones from the bridge, but the neck smoothens and fattens things up.  Driving the volume past 5 may muddy and crackle the pickups but put through a high-quality tube amp after lowering action and perhaps raising the neck pickup, you’ll achieve glorified sound good for Christian rock. 

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Linden (Basswood)
  • Neck Material: Nyatoh
  • Fingerboard Material: Walnut
  • Pickups: Classic Elite Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Gibraltar Performer bridge w/Quik Change III tailpiece

Great tone.  Great finish.  Great price!

Final Thoughts on the Ibanez Artcore AS73OLM

The Olive Metallic (OLM) finish is elegant and flashy at the same time without it being too ostentatious for worship.  So, it looks the part, it can stay humble and quiet with sparkling cleans or it can crunch with some bite for some lively Christian music.  Now, that’s a worship guitar! 

14. Dean Boca 12 Review – Best 12-String

The harmonics, shimmer and sparkle, and round, full sound of a 12-string just can’t be compared.  While erroneously considered as harder to play, I’d disagree.  There are a few things to get accustomed to, but if you’re already familiar with a 12-string acoustic and you’re ready to amplify that tone, here’s the Dean Boca 12 to introduce you to an electric version. 

Body & Neck

A 12-string has a longer headstock and reinforced body to support the tension of all 12 strings.  They usually have a shorter scale length as well as this model sports 24.75” length.  Under the black finish, you have a mahogany semi-hollow body with an arched top and bound f-holes.  The bolt-on neck is made from maple with a C shape that may feel heftier due to the extra strings.  The fretboard is made from Jatoba and has 22 jumbo frets with a radius of 14”. 

Electronics & Hardware

The Mini Grover tuners are reasonably stable for such a beast, and there’s a plastic nut with a width of 48 mm.  A TOM bridge, stopbar tailpiece, and speed black knobs wrap up the hardware. 

DMT Design pickups are wired with Master Volume and Master Tone controls and are accessible with the 3-way toggle switch. 

Sound

The pickups are quite bright, and they do a great job played clean and distorted.  Dial on down the tone control and you’ll get a more vintage sort of twangy kind of sound.  The f-holes provide good resonance, and the center block definitely reduces feedback.  You likely won’t hear any at all. 

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Fingerboard Material: Jatoba
  • Pickups: DMT Design Humbuckers
  • Bridge: TOM w/Stopbar

Low price.  Potential for great sound.  Simplified beauty. 

Final Thoughts on the Dean Boca 12

The Boca 12 is a very versatile guitar, and it has some good appointments to be played in multiple ways.  A fantastic point to note is that it’s one of the cheaper 12-string guitars in the market.  If you can adjust to the wider neck for fretting and learn how to tune and restring, you’ll be playing along to Hotel California in no time. 

15. Ibanez Artcore AS53TRF Review – Best Ibanez

Ibanez 6 String Semi-Hollow-Body Electric Guitar, Right Handed, Transparent Red (AS53TRF)
  • Beautiful Sapele top, back, and sides with compact semi-hollow style in transparent flat black or transparent flat red finishes
  • Moderate output “ACH” pickups feature warm tone and quick response
  • Slim & comfortable Art core set-in neck

The AS53 semi-hollow guitar is one of the best-selling Ibanez models in the cheap guitar market.  It’s much like its more expensive counterpart, the AS73 model, but you don’t have to spend the extra hundred bucks if you can’t stretch it.  This guitar has value and presents some mod potential for those with the skills and parts at the ready. 

Body & Neck

Personally, I love the look of the double cutaway body, cream body and neck binding, and lack of a pickguard that shows off both f-holes.  This model is available in Transparent Red Flat, Transparent Black Flat, and Tobacco Brown. 

It’s built with the same materials used for the cheaper semi-hollow bodies with a laminate sapele body nyatoh neck, and walnut fretboard.  Everything else is pretty much standard such as the 24.7” scale length, 12” fingerboard radius, and 22 medium frets.  It’s 19 ¼” long, 15 ¾” wide, and 2 5/8” deep. 

Electronics & Hardware

Infinity R pickups are pretty much as entry-level and stock as you can get from this brand.  Keeping things simple, you have Master Tone and Master Volume controls and a 3-way pickup toggle that separates the knobs. 

There’s nothing fancy about the plastic nut or stock tuners, but the Gibraltar Performer and Quik Change III tailpiece may make up for it. 

Sound

Even though Infinity R pickups have been around for a while, and they’re on the so-so side of the satisfaction scale, they sound quite brilliant through a semi-hollow guitar.  They’re quite bright, jangly, and very clear.  Some adjustment with the pickup height may be able to liven them up a bit more.  If there’s a valid criticism, it’s that they make not be as full as you expect, perhaps a little on the thin side. 

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Sapele
  • Neck Material: Nyatoh
  • Fingerboard: Walnut
  • Pickups: Infinity R Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Gibraltar Performer bridge w/Quik Change III tailpiece

Great low price.  Versatile sound.  Entry-level at its best. 

Final Thoughts on the Ibanez Artcore AS53TRF

This semi-hollow sounds great AS IS.  If there are mods to be done, consider the tuners and nut.  If you know your stuff, the pickups may be the next step, and with this low price, you can do it all guilt-free.  As one of the best-selling semi-hollows from this brand, it has earned its highlight. 

16. Gretsch G5622T Electromatic Review – Best Gretsch

Gretsch Guitars G5622T Electromatic Center Block Double Cutaway with Bigsby Black
  • Body Body shape: Double cutaway Body type: Semi-hollow or chambered body Body material: Laminated Top wood: Not applicable Body wood: Maple Body finish: Gloss Orientation: Right handed Neck Neck...
  • Alive and loud, Electromatic Center Block guitars are designed for that pure and powerful Gretsch sound at high volume
  • Painstakingly crafted with essential Gretsch sound, style and playability, these all-new models deliver the fearless and electrifying authenticity that has set Gretsch apart for decades

There are plenty of Gretsch guitars that can be named as the best from the brand, but my favorite pick for the day is the G5622T.  It’s very different to the Gretsch G5420T we reviewed earlier, so if you want slightly different specs and pickups, look here. 

Body & Neck

It’s a semi-hollow body guitar with a center block construction that gives semi-hollow guitars an advantage when it’s plugged in.  Both the back and top are arched and made from laminated maple and bound with aged white binding.  It’s extremely slim for its build at only 1.75” deep. 

The neck is made from maple and has a U shape with binding and has a scale length of 24.6”.  The rosewood fingerboard has 22 medium jumbo frets, a 12.6” radius, and pearloid Neo-Classic thumbnail inlays. 

Electronics & Hardware

I like the chrome finish on all the hardware against the dark color of the guitar.  The three knobs on the lower bout are shiny and they control volume for the Super Hilo’TronS pickups while a Master Tone governs both pickups.  A Master Volume control is also found on the opposite side on the upper bout with the 3-way toggle seated up top. 

You have an anchored Adjusto-Matic bridge that supports sustain and low user interference, but the highlight feature is the Bigsby B70 vibrato tailpiece – wah wah!

Sound

Tonal perfection if you’re not after high gain and cranking it up.  The Super Hilo’Tron pickups are lower output humbuckers – just right for most jazz and blues players.  The highs jingle and chime while the lower end comes out strong.  If you want more bite for rock genres, you may want to swap the bridge pickup out for a Filter’Tron… just a suggestion. 

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Maple
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
  • Pickups: Super Hilo’Tron Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Adjusto-Matic w/Bigsby B70 Vibrato tailpiece

Classic features.  Bigsby tailpiece.  Timeless aesthetic appeal.

Final Thoughts on the Gretsch G5622T Electromatic

It’s a stunning guitar with matching sound that suits its body construction perfectly.  It’s not your pedal-to-the-metal ax as it’s a classy semi-hollow guitar made to deliver “That Great Gretsch Sound.” 

Make Your Dreams a Reality With A Hollow Body Electric Guitar

Close up of a Hollow Body Guitar

It may be your dream to own a genuine ES 335 or a Rickenbacker 360, but those kinds of buys come once in a lifetime if they’re realized at all.  Give yourself a break and buy a quality, highly-praised alternative from this lineup to realize your dreams of playing a well-made and beautiful-sounding semi or hollow body guitar. 

Playing any one of these hollow and semi-hollow guitars is always going to be better than playing air guitar waiting months or even years before your budget is fully met.  Make your dreams the reality today and jazz on with your own music magic. 

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