20 Best Hollow Body Guitars and Semi Hollow Body Guitars in 2021

Hollow body guitars are often associated with jazz and blues music, but you’ll find them played across many different genres. While we still have the likes of Pat Metheny, George Benson, John Scofield, and Lee Ritenour delivering some very smooth jazz tones, rock musicians like Dave Grohl, Jack White, and Johnny Marr are also known to be very fond of hollow and semi hollow body guitars. While mostly focusing on darker tones, hollow body guitars can find their use in blues, rock, hard rock, and sometimes even metal music. There are plenty of different variations and these guitar designs each offering something a little different when it comes to tone and great aesthetic qualities as well.

Best Hollow Body Guitars (Featured Image)

I’ll start this article by reviewing the best hollow body guitars and semi hollow body guitars at each price point, but if you want to learn more about them before reading reviews, check out our informative guide at the bottom of the page.

Name of ProductImage of ProductDescriptionPrice RangeFull Review
1. Gretsch G2622T Streamliner (Best Value) Gretsch G2622T StreamlinerBody: Semi Hollow / Centerblock$600Read Full Review Below
2. Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II (Editor's Choice)Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin IIBody: Hollow Body$1000Read Full Review Below
3. Ibanez Artcore AS53 (Budget Pick)Ibanez Artcore AS53Body: Semi Hollow / Centerblock$300Read Full Review Below
4. Gretsch G6136-55 Falcon (Best Overall)Gretsch G6136-55 FalconBody: Hollow Body$3000Read Full Review Below
5. Glen Burton GE355 BLS Memphis (Best Cheap)Glen Burton GE355 BLS MemphisBody: Semi Hollow / Centerblock$200Read Full Review Below
6. Guild Guitars X-350 StratfordGuild Guitars X-350 StratfordBody: Hollow Body$1400Read Full Review Below
7. PRS SE Hollowbody StandardPRS SE Hollowbody StandardBody: Semi Hollow$1000Read Full Review Below
8. D’Angelico Excel DCD'Angelico Excel DCBody: Semi Hollow / Centerblock$1700Read Full Review Below
9. Fender Deluxe Telecaster ThinlineFender Deluxe Telecaster ThinlineBody: Semi Hollow$1000Read Full Review Below
10. Epiphone Riviera Custom P93Epiphone Riviera Custom P93Body: Semi Hollow / Centerblock$500Read Full Review Below
11. Hagstrom Tremar Viking DeluxeHagstrom Tremar Viking DeluxeBody: Semi Hollow / Centerblock$1000Read Full Review Below
12. Epiphone ES-339Epiphone ES-339Body: Semi Hollow / Centerblock$550Read Full Review Below
13. Ibanez AG75 ArtcoreIbanez AG75 ArtcoreBody: Semi Hollow / Centerblock$500Read Full Review Below
14. Guild Guitars Starfire IIGuild Guitars Starfire IIBody: Semi Hollow / Centerblock$850Read Full Review Below
15. Ibanez JSM10 John Scofield SignatureIbanez JSM10 John Scofield SignatureBody: Semi Hollow / Centerblock$1000Read Full Review Below
16. Squier Classic Vibe StarcasterSquier Classic Vibe StarcasterBody: Semi Hollow / Centerblock$400Read Full Review Below
17. Gretsch G100CEGretsch G100CEBody: Hollow Body$800Read Full Review Below
18. Ibanez Artcore AF55Ibanez Artcore AF55Body: Hollow Body$300Read Full Review Below
19. Guild Guitars M-75 AristocratGuild Guitars M-75 AristocratBody: Hollow Body$1000Read Full Review Below
20. ESP LTD X-Tone: PS-1ESP LTD X-Tone: PS-1Body: Semi Hollow$450Read Full Review Below

Here Are the Best Hollow Body Guitars and Semi Hollow Body Guitars

1. Gretsch G2622T Streamliner (Best Value)

Gretsch G2622T Streamliner

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Estimated Price $600
Body Top Laminated maple
Body Back and Sides Laminated maple
Neck Nato wood
Fretboard Laurel
Pickups Two Broad’Tron BT-2S humbuckers

Design and Main Features: Gretsch is an old player in the game of hollow body electric guitars. They’ve come a long way, but they’re still at the forefront of innovation, all while staying true to their signature design traits and features. Their G2622T Streamliner simply deserves all the praise, especially because it blends some innovative features with the classic Streamliner body design. Although we have a standard double-cutaway formation here, this particular body shape is a bit “offset.” The body on this fine guitar is made out of laminated maple, while the neck is made out of nato wood.

The guitar’s slightly “offset” design is rounded up with a very unique finish, as well as the arched top. And even the instrument’s functional features are designed in such a way to form a full old school guitar package. While we’re at it, the guitar comes with a standard Tune-o-Matic bridge paired up with a licensed Bigsby vibrato tailpiece.

This Streamliner guitar features two Broad’Tron BT-2S humbuckers. However, the instrument’s controls are a bit different than what you’d expect. There’s one knob for master volume and two individual volume controls for each pickup. And on top of all that, we also have a master tone pot. Of course, this is all followed by a standard 3-way pickup selector switch. This particular configuration of controls gives a bit of a different perspective on the whole tone-shaping process on your instrument. The main purpose behind such a configuration is to use the middle position when both pickups are selected and adjust the overall volume without having to ruin the perfect balance that you’ve made.

Tone: Just as its design would suggest, this guitar’s tone is mostly focused on the classic rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly stuff. But nonetheless, the instrument is still extremely versatile, thanks in part to its use of somewhat “unconventional” parameter controls. The guitar is somewhat bluesy and jazzy as well as it can cover some of those “smoother” territories.

Bottom Line: While the body features laminated wood, which can be considered a lower-end trait compared to solid wood, this is an incredible instrument considering its price point. The guitar is built extremely well and brings an all-around quality package that’s useful for a wide array of playing styles and genres. Overall, I would say that this is one of the best semi hollow body guitars for the money.

2. Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II (Editor’s Choice)

Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II

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Estimated Price $1000
Body Top Canadian wild cherry
Body Back and Sides Canadian wild cherry
Neck Silver leaf maple
Fretboard Rosewood
Pickups P90 single-coils

Design and Main Features: Bringing some unique designs to the hollow body market, the Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II is worthy of all the praise it gets. In fact, it’s another really great value purchase considering the quality of this instrument as well as elegant simplicity and all for a great price.

The guitar’s body bears a classic single-cutaway shape, but it’s pretty clear that this is a mainly jazz-oriented ax. What’s quite interesting is that the instrument’s main body material is not often seen with commercially available guitars.

The top, the sides, as well as the back of this instrument are made out of Canadian wild cherry. Because this is a guitar with a completely hollow body (not the semi hollow body one), this makes a big impact on the instrument’s tone and sustain. The neck is also made out of a not that common material, silver leaf maple. However, on top of it, we have a standard rosewood fretboard packed with 21 frets. The guitar’s scale length is also a bit different compared to conventional standards with a total of 24.84 inches.

The guitar has a Graph Tech Tusq bridge along with a vintage-styled Trapeze tailpiece. This particular design resembles those old school hollow body electric guitars from the late 1940s. Accompanied by two amazing Kingpin P90 single-coil pickups, as well as standard controls for volume, tone, and 3-way pickup selection, this guitar is fairly simple to use.

Tone: But, on the other hand, this instrument has a very specific use compared to many others that we included in this list. In fact, this is one of the best guitars for jazz that you can find on the market these days, especially for its price. The P90 pickups manage to pronounce some of those higher ends, although the overall construction of the instrument boosts the bottom end. Additionally, P90 pickups are known for that “fatter” tone, and the ones that we have on this instrument bring a pretty unique type of “beefiness” to the tone.

Being a jazz-oriented instrument with a completely hollow body, you’ll have to be careful when playing with your distortion pedal on as feedback could become a real issue. Godin’s 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II shines the best when paired with an old school kind of tube-driven amp, especially if we’re talking about traditionally “American” ones with 6L6 or 6V6 tubes in the power amp section. Add a simple boost or an overdrive pedal, and you’ll be in for a treat.

Bottom Line: From top to bottom, this guitar is perfect for jazz, blues, or even acoustic style guitar playing.

3. Ibanez Artcore AS53 (Budget Pick)

Ibanez Artcore AS53

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Estimated Price $300
Body Top Sapele
Body Back and Sides Sapele
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Walnut
Pickups Two Infinity R Humbuckers

Design and Main Features: While Ibanez is often associated with shred guitars, mostly used in metal music, the company has a pretty diverse arsenal, including some great hollow body and semi hollow body guitars. One of the examples that truly stands out is their AS53 from the Artcore series. The instrument fuses not only great tonal characteristics with good playability, but it also brings a very stylish and eye-pleasing design. First off, the body is made entirely out of Sapele wood, with a subtly arched top and quality-made sides and back. The instrument also comes with a fairly comfortable mahogany neck, as well as a walnut fretboard bearing 22 medium frets. The neck also forms a set-in construction with the body with a meticulously designed heel, making it pretty easy in those higher fret areas. Its body is also not that thicker compared to regular solid-body instruments.

This is all accompanied by two Infinity R humbucker pickups with ceramic magnets. Along with this, we also have a simple 3-way switch and one volume knob, and a tone knob. The bridge is an expected Tune-o-Matic one, along with a standard stop-bar tailpiece in the style of Gibson guitars.

Tone: Aside from being one fairly comfortable and pretty-looking electric guitar, Ibanez Artcore AS53 has a pretty great tone and a somewhat diverse application in many different genres. The addition of ceramic pickups brings a bit of a boost to the mids and higher-ends in the Tone. However, you’ll also experience smoothness and great sustain due to the body’s semi hollow construction.

Bottom Line: Considering that this is a fairly cheap instrument, we’d say that it’s practically a steal with all of the features that we mentioned. Sure, it’s a somewhat stripped-down version of a classic 335 model, but it brings more than enough qualities to those who enjoy blues, blues rock, hard rock, and even jazz music. It’s a perfect choice for beginners, intermediate players, or even those experienced ones who just want to get into hollow body electric guitars.

4. Gretsch G6136-55 Falcon (Best Overall)

Gretsch G6136-55 Falcon

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Estimated Price $3000
Body Top Spruce
Body Back and Sides Laminated maple
Neck Maple
Fretboard Ebony
Pickups Two TV Jones T’Armond single-coils

Design and Main Features: Gretsch takes us a long way back to the earliest days of rock ‘n’ roll. While there’s plenty of variety in their arsenal, their most prestigious guitars bring all the qualities and features of old-school instruments with modern concepts improving their overall performance and tone. With this said, there’s hardly any electric guitar model out there that could outperform the wonderful G6136 Falcon by Gretsch. This is a classic fully hollow body instrument, with its body made out of laminated maple and the top made out of solid spruce. This is followed by a maple neck that features a classic “U”-shaped profile and an ebony fingerboard with 22 frets. The scale length of Gretsch’s G6136 is at 25.5 inches, also making it useful in case you need a slightly lower tuning or thicker string gauges.

In short, this is one of the best examples of how well an instrument can be built. The single-cutaway body is accompanied by standard “F”-shaped soundholes. The body has specially designed binding on all the edges, as well as the sound holes. Then the neck comes with its own binding, as well as Mother-of-Pearl Hump Block inlays with the so-called “Feather” engraving. This comes up in one of the best-looking guitars that you can find on the market. This is all accompanied by a stylish Gretsch tailpiece and golden hardware, including uniquely-designed tuning machines.

Packed with two TV Jones T’Armond single-coil pickups, the guitar comes with two individual pickup volume controls and a master tone control, as well as a classic 3-way switch.

Tone: This guitar, made in accordance with the old 1955 specs, as conceived by Jimmie Webster, you get a tone that’s as great as the guitar’s looks. In fact, it will take you right back to the 1950s and will have you covered for jazz, blues, and classic rock ‘n’ roll. The single-coil pickups on it still manage to get some smoother tones with the right setting. But otherwise, this guitar “rings” really hard and manages to bring those full yet very bright tones for true hollow body vintage lovers.

Bottom Line: With this price, it’s obvious that the guitar is intended for professionals or high-end guitar collectors. But if you are a beginner or intermediate player and you have the cash, this is a forever guitar. The kind of instrument you pass down to your kids or your grandkids. Incredible tone, impeccable craftsmanship and playability, and looks that you can’t find with any other instrument out there. This is easily one of the best hollow body guitars out there.

5. Glen Burton GE355 BLS Memphis (Best Cheap)

Glen Burton GE355 BLS Memphis

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Estimated Price $200
Body Top Maple
Body Back and Sides Maple
Neck Maple
Fretboard Rosewood
Pickups Two ’63 chrome-covered humbuckers

Design and Main Features: While the Glen Burton name is not as widespread compared to Gibson, Ibanez, Epiphone, or some other models, they still have a lot of great stuff to offer. If we’re looking at hollow body electric guitars, we’d single out their GE355 BLS model, also known as Memphis. Now, right at the very beginning, with its basic features, we can notice that this is a slightly different instrument. The guitar is almost entirely made out of maple. The top, sides, the back, as well as the neck – it’s all maple. Meanwhile, it bears a rosewood fingerboard, which is pretty much a standard, and it has 22 frets.

To round things up, we have an incredibly stylish design. Although a fairly cheap one for a semi hollow body instrument, Glen Burton’s GE355 even has some nice touches, like the binding on both its body and the neck. This is also accompanied by nice-looking inlays, which just boosts its aesthetic qualities.

Going over to the electronics, the pickups on it are two standard humbuckers, mimicking some stuff from the 1960s. Standard to most Gibson 2 humbucker design guitars, this guitar also has two volume and two tone controls, one pair for each of its pickups. Another nice touch is the output jack located at the body’s front side, just like on those old classic Gibson guitars. Other than that, we have a standard Tune-o-Matic bridge with a stop-bar tailpiece.

Tone: The surprising thing about this instrument is that it can deliver some pretty great tones considering its price. Sure, the GE355 model by Glen Burton Guitars is not a top-tier instrument, but it’s still more than just a decent guitar when it comes to its sonic output. It’s a pretty potent one and is a generally useful option for blues and blues-rock music.

Bottom Line: While you can’t expect much from a cheap semi hollow body electric guitar, it’s still something worth getting your hands on, especially if you’re a beginner player. This is a simple electric guitar for those operating on a budget.

6. Guild Guitars X-350 Stratford

Guild Guitars X-350 Stratford

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Estimated Price $1400
Body Top Spruce
Body Back and Sides Maple
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Ebony
Pickups Three Franz P90 single-coils

Design and Main Features: Now we bring one of Guild Guitars’ awesome hollow body instruments, the X-350 model. But here we have somewhat of a unique formation. The body, bearing a single-cutaway shape with a spruce top and maple sides and back, it’s a completely vintage-oriented guitar, made especially for old school rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, jazz, and blues.

We have all the important elements in there – Guild’s Bigsby-style tailpiece and tremolo, a Tune-o-Matic bridge on an ebony base, complete body and neck binding, vintage headstock, and even open-gear tuning machines. But what makes it especially interesting is the addition of three Franz P90 pickups with individual volume controls and one master tone.

Tone: This can be anything from a virtuoso machine for fusion jazz players, up to rock ‘n’ roll rhythm settings. It might not be the best idea to use it with higher-gain settings, although the instrument truly manages to produce awesome tones with such a configuration as well. Three P90 pickups with individual volume controls truly opens up some interesting options as well.

Bottom Line: Guild’s X-350 is a fully professional instrument for those who are already familiar with hollow body guitars with Bigsby-style vibrato systems. At the same time, it comes with some diversity, covering anything from jazz and up to the classic rock.

7. PRS SE Hollowbody Standard

PRS SE Hollowbody Standard

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Estimated Price $1000
Body Top Mahogany
Body Back and Sides Mahogany
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Ebony
Pickups Two PRS 58/15 “S” humbuckers

Design and Main Features: You’d be hard-pressed to name a guitar company that manages to bring such quality and consistency for the price as PRS Guitars does with their SE lineup. While we usually remember them for their SE Standard solid-body models, the company has also delved into semi hollow body stuff.

Here we have their SE Hollowbody Standard model, bearing some of the standard design and overall build features that we can see on their solid-body instruments. The body’s top, back, and sides are all made out of mahogany, and this is the same material used for the guitar’s set neck. We also have the classic double-cutaway body design along with a pretty comfortable heel at the body and neck joint. The neck features an ebony fretboard with 22 frets and a so-called “Wide Fat” profile that makes it similar to PRS guitars made back in the ’70s and the ’80s.

Another great thing about this instrument is the choice of hardware. We have the company’s Adjustable Stoptail bridge. Its design fuses the standard Tune-o-Matic bridge and tailpiece configuration into one more practical unit. Along with the instrument’s tuning machines and an overall headstock design which keeps strings almost straight from one side to another, the guitar’s tuning stability is pretty reliable.

And as far as the pickups go, the guitar is equipped with a set of two 58/15 “S” humbuckers. This comes with a pretty standard control configuration, featuring one volume knob and one tone knob, followed by a regular 3-way pickup selector switch.

Tone: Bearing a mahogany body and these particular humbuckers, the tone of this guitar gets somewhat “darker” and smoother. Of course, having these pickups, there will be some crunching high-ends involved in there. But overall, the instrument is fairly useful for rock and hard rock music, although it works with jazz, blues, and plenty of other genres.

Bottom Line: With this price level, features, and sonic characteristics that we described here, PRS SE Hollowbody is one of the most versatile and useful semi hollow body guitars on the market. Whatever setting that you’re looking for, this guitar has it. And that’s not uncommon for PRS instruments.

8. D’Angelico Excel DC

D'Angelico Excel DC

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Estimated Price $1700
Body Top Laminated maple
Body Back and Sides Laminated maple
Neck 3-piece walnut and maple
Fretboard Pau Ferro
Pickups Two Seymour Duncan ’59 humbuckers

Design and Main Features: D’Angelico is easily one of the most underrated electric guitar brands out there. Looking at a model like their Excel DC, we’re pretty impressed with what this guitar brings for its price. Although not exactly the cheapest one on the market, Excel DC still outperforms its cost level. First, this instrument comes with laminated maple as the main body material, as well as a solid center block.

The overall design resembles the classic 335. However, the instrument has a 3-piece neck made out of walnut and maple and bearing a Pau Ferro fretboard and a standard “C”-shaped profile. This classic design also features a set-in neck and body joint that provides comfort when accessing higher frets. It’s also worth mentioning that the fretboard has a 16-inch radius, which makes this guitar a pretty suitable option for lead players.

While the bridge is a standard Tune-o-Matic one, followed by a stop-bar tailpiece, we have pretty unusual yet stylish tuning machines. These are Grover Super Rotomatic that not only work well but have unique aesthetics of their own. The guitar’s headstock is pretty unconventional and bears a so-called “Skyscraper” truss rod cover plate. All this works perfectly well with the instrument’s finish, wonderful binding, as well as its stylish-looking mother-of-pearl “Split Block” inlays on the fretboard.

The tone is reproduced using the instrument’s Seymour Duncan ’59 humbuckers. Along with this come the standard controls, featuring two volume and two tone potentiometers.

Tone: Once again, we have a pretty versatile instrument on our hands. However, it’s far from just a random semi hollow body instrument that could just play anything and produce a pretty mediocre tone in the process. Quite the contrary, this guitar has a very rich and resonant tone, bringing a lot of exciting things to the mix if you pair it up with a tube amp and an overdrive.

Although mostly going into smoother territories, there’s a noticeable influx of higher mids in the mix as well. The choice of Seymour Duncan’s ’59 humbuckers takes it all the way back to the classic Gibson PAF tones, which is one of the most sought-after choices in the world of guitar.

Bottom Line: While it’s not the cheapest one out there, D’Angelico’s Excel DC model is more than worth its cost. This is a prestigious electric guitar coming in as one of the best choices for lead players in jazz, blues, classic rock, and hard rock music.

9. Fender Deluxe Telecaster Thinline

Fender Deluxe Telecaster Thinline

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Estimated Price $1000
Body Top Alder
Body Back and Sides Alder
Neck Maple
Fretboard Pau Ferro
Pickups Two Vintage Noiseless Telecaster single-coils

Design and Main Features: The whole Thinline concept is one of the most interesting ones in the world of electric guitar. Technically a semi hollow body design, it’s an unusual blend of classic solid- and hollow body construction models. Fender originally made these Thinline Telecasters from the late 1960s and up to the early 1980s. The whole thing was revamped in the early 2000s, and these days, we have a fine model like the company’s Deluxe Telecaster Thinline.

As you’d expect from Fender, this instrument has an alder body. However, it features a cavity in the bass side of its body, followed by a useful and stylish “F”-shaped soundhole. Then we have a classic bolt-on body and neck joint that we see on almost all of Fender’s guitar. The maple neck comes with a Pau Ferro fretboard instead of a standard maple one, although there are also variants of this instrument with a standard maple fingerboard. With a radius of 12 inches and a scale length of 25.5 inches, this is a pretty useful instrument for both rhythm and lead sections.

Compared to classic Telecasters, this Deluxe Thinline version has a bridge with a modern design featuring 6 block saddles. However, they are placed on a larger plate which also surrounds the bridge pickup. Combining it with locking tuners and an increased break angle at the nut, the tuning stability is ensured. In fact, it holds out as well as some guitars with additional features, like locking nuts.

But one of the instrument’s most appreciated traits is the choice of pickups. These innovative Vintage Noiseless single-coils are also followed by standard volume and tone controls and a selector switch. And here’s the interesting part – it’s a 4-way toggle. The additional fourth combination brings neck and bridge pickups in series.

Tone: First off, we have a classic “jangly” Telecaster tone. However, the Noiseless pickup design almost entirely removes that annoying hum that single-coils are known for. The fourth combination brings a somewhat “nasally”-sounding tone with the bridge and neck pickups in series. This is a fairly unusual combination, but it finds its use for some exciting lead settings, especially if you pair it up with a nice distortion pedal.

The semi hollow body design brings a bit of a “darker” twist to the tone, making the instrument useful even for some harder and heavier tones. Even though it’s packed with single-coil pickups, Fender Deluxe Tele Thinline can roar with appropriate distortion and compression pedals in the signal chain.

Bottom Line: Although Thinline guitars usually have a somewhat narrower following, this model brings a lot of things to the table. Its Noiseless pickups are a pretty exciting addition as well, making its tone much clearer and controlled compared to standard conventional Telecasters.

10. Epiphone Riviera Custom P93

Epiphone Riviera Custom P93

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Estimated Price $500
Body Top Laminated maple
Body Back and Sides Laminated maple
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Rosewood
Pickups Three Epiphone “Dogear” P-90 single-coils

Design and Main Features: Lovers of vintage guitars often need to put aside a pretty substantial sum to get a guitar with all the features that they love. However, with a brand like Epiphone, you’ll be able to get some of the top-tier features at a fairly reasonable price level. What’s more, a very unique and exciting guitar like Epiphone’s Riviera Custom P93 brings a lot of vintage-oriented elements that would leave every guitar lover in awe. This 335-style semi hollow body electric guitar comes with a body made completely of laminated maple. Meanwhile, we have a standard mahogany neck, attached to the body using the standard set-in construction, and bearing a SlimTaper “D”-shape profile. On top of the neck, we have a rosewood fretboard with 22 medium-jumbo frets and a 12-inch radius.

But while these are somewhat standard features that we find on a lot of semi hollow body guitars made in the style of Gibson’s ES-335, the Riviera Custom P93 model has a few surprises. The very first thing that we can notice is the addition of three P90 pickups on it. In fact, these are Epiphone’s so-called “Dogear” P90s, something that the company is especially proud of. And having three P90 pickups is a somewhat unusual formation, especially for a hollow body instrument. This is accompanied by three individual volume knobs and one master tone control, as well as a pickup selector switch.

The guitar also comes with a Bigsby B70 vibrato tailpiece. Along with its specially designed Tune-o-Matic bridge and vintage-oriented Wilkinson tuners, it brings a very stable operation.

Tone: Although single-coils, the P90 pickups bring a much “beefier” tone than expected. And when put onto a semi hollow body guitar, we get some pretty interesting results. What’s rather exciting is that we have three P90s here, allowing for some diverse applications. While its main focus is blues or jazz music, the guitar can handle blues rock and hard rock pretty well if needed.

Bottom Line: Although it bears some vintage characteristics and a great focus on aesthetics, this is a fairly versatile and useful instrument. It’s not that expensive either, and you’ll get a lot of features and great traits for the price.

11. Hagstrom Tremar Viking Deluxe

Hagstrom Tremar Viking Deluxe

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Estimated Price $1000
Body Top Ply Flamed Maple
Body Back and Sides Ply Flamed Maple
Neck Canadian hard maple
Fretboard “Resinator” (wood and composite 50:50 combo)
Pickups Two Hagstrom HJ-50 humbuckers

Design and Main Features: The classic 335 guitar design has been copied a lot, with both low-end and high-end alternatives available on the market. However, rarely anyone has been as innovative and groundbreaking as Hagstrom with their exciting designs. The Hagstrom guitar model that we’ll single out here is their amazing Tremar Viking Deluxe. Now, this guitar comes with a body made out of flamed maple plywood and bears a classic semi hollow body formation. The top is contoured, meaning that it’s slightly arched, just like we have on classic Gibson ES-335 guitars. There are two soundholes on the top which are slightly different compared to the classic F-shaped ones. As far as the neck goes, here we have Canadian hard maple. However, there are two very unique things about it. First, it has a so-called “Resinator” fretboard – Hagstorm’s specially-designed material that’s a combination of ebony wood and composite materials. Another interesting thing is another one of the company’s innovative designs, the so-called “H-Expander” truss rod which provides a very stable operation and sturdy construction, all while keeping the neck as light as possible.

Needless to say, the company has done a really good job with this guitar’s design. We have a great-looking binding on the body edge, soundhole edges, and the neck. This is all rounded up with a Bigsby style vibrato tailpiece, which not only provides a very stable operation but also fits in well with the instrument’s design. The bridge is a standard Tune-o-Matic one, although it has some improvements compared to conventional examples.

Finally, the guitar is equipped with two humbucker pickups, Hagstorm’s HJ-50 models. Aside from this, we have two volume and two tone pots, providing a lot of tone-shaping options along with the guitar’s 3-way pickup selector switch.

Tone: The guitar’s sonic output is somewhat similar to what you’d get from Gibson’s ES-335. The hollow body made out of maple gives a nice boost to high-ends. However, the specially designed humbucker pickups on it allow a lot of options along with the instrument’s controls. You can completely smoothen it out while also being audible enough to cut through the mix. This is exactly the blend that Hagstrom was aiming for, making the instrument’s use fairly useful and very effective in many different settings and genres.

Bottom Line: It’s pretty unexpected and surprising to find a guitar with all these qualities and that’s significantly cheaper than Gibson’s ES-335. Aside from its versatility, great tone qualities, and ergonomic features, the guitar is a real eye-candy. It’s hard to resist such a beautiful instrument.

12. Epiphone ES-339

Epiphone ES-339

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Estimated Price $550
Body Top Laminated maple
Body Back and Sides Laminated maple
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Rosewood
Pickups Two Alnico Classic Pro humbuckers

Design and Main Features: While Gibson mostly covers the high-end territories, their subsidiary company Epiphone manages to bring guitars with some basic essential features and overall surprising performance and build qualities. Of course, they have also specialized in replicating Gibson’s well-respected hollow body electric guitars while making them fairly cheap. One of the best cheap ES-335 alternatives is, by far, Epiphone’s ES-339 model.

This wonderful semi hollow body guitar has all the basic traits and qualities that you’d expect. The first one is the body made completely out of laminated maple. But what’s important to note here is that the guitar’s body is a bit smaller compared to the standard ES-335. In combination with a solid chunk of wood acting as a center-block, this guitar keeps some of the performance qualities that we see with high-end instruments. The body is accompanied by a mahogany neck forming a set-in construction and carrying a rosewood fingerboard with 22 frets.

But one thing that we quite liked about its design is the inclusion of quality binding. All of the edges on this instrument’s body feature binding. Of course, we can also say the same about its well-made neck which bears a fairly comfortable SlimTaper D-shaped profile. This all fits nicely with the guitar’s standard Tune-o-Matic bridge and a stop-bar tailpiece.

Finally, this instrument comes with a standard configuration, featuring two humbucker pickups and four knobs, two for volume and two for tone. The pickups in question are Epiphone’s Alnico Classic Pro.

Tone: Once again, we have a semi hollow body guitar with some basic sonic properties that you’d expect from it, all while being capable of delving into many different genres. In short, Epiphone’s ES-339 gets you covered for almost any genre that comes to mind, except for some super-heavy stuff (which you cannot exactly expect of a semi hollow body guitar, can you?).

Bottom Line: Similar to the Gretsch G2622T model that we mentioned, Epiphone’s ES-339 is a pretty versatile yet cheap instrument. It’s a very useful option for those who want to hop onto this train without having to spend a hefty sum. This one is particularly great for those who favor the standard ES-335 body shape and essential features.

13. Ibanez AG75 Artcore

Ibanez AG75 Artcore

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Estimated Price $500
Body Top Maple
Body Back and Sides Maple
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Laurel
Pickups Two Classic Elite humbuckers

Design and Main Features: Once again going to Ibanez’s Artcore series, the AG75 model is another example of how great of a deal for the price these guitars are. The classic single-cutaway design, followed by regular “F”-shaped soundholes, brings a bit more of a stylish twist to this line. As often seen with hollow body guitars, the body is made entirely out of maple laminate. This time around, we have a classic sunburst color pattern with a shiny finish. Aesthetically-wise, this goes perfectly with the instrument’s chrome hardware. This is all followed by inlays on body edges, neck edges, and the soundhole edges.

While we’re at it, the guitar comes with the ATR-1 bridge placed on a wooden base making direct contact with the body. This old school-inspired feature is accompanied by a classic VT60 tailpiece, ensuring clear Tone:s and improved sustain.

The guitar’s pickups are standard Classic Elite humbuckers that you can see on Ibanez’s instruments of this price level. But paired with such a well-made body, they bring the best out of your tone. This is, of course, accompanied by standard controls that include two volume and two tone pots, as well as a 3-way switch.

Tone: Compared to some other guitars from this series, we can notice a smoother tone here. This is mostly due to the guitar’s pickups in combination with body formation and materials. Nonetheless, this particular formation with its tailpiece helps your strings ring a little, and giving just a slight boost to the attack. This instrument’s focus is mainly on jazz and classic blues.

Bottom Line: In case you’re looking for something versatile, Ibanez AG75 is not the guitar for you. However, this doesn’t make it bad in any way. In fact, it’s one of the best deals for jazz or blues players who feel like keeping it within reasonable price limits.

14. Guild Guitars Starfire II

Guild Guitars Starfire II

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Estimated Price $850
Body Top Mahogany
Body Back and Sides Mahogany
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Indian rosewood
Pickups Two LB-1 humbuckers

Design and Main Features: With Guild Guitars, you can only expect pro-level instruments, even within those relatively lower prices. Sure, the Starfire II model is not the cheapest one on the market, but it still outperforms a lot of the more expensive stuff out there. This guitar is almost entirely made out of mahogany, with its Indian rosewood fingerboard being the only exception.

This single-cutaway with a slightly “sharper” design brings some simple yet very stylish aesthetic features, mainly with its color patterns. Of course, there’s also the inevitable arched top, which also serves its sonic function. The guitar’s simplicity is also seen with its hardware, bearing the standard Tune-o-Matic bridge and a stop-bar tailpiece, just like the ones seen on Gibson-styled guitars.

But aside from the guitar’s simplicity and somewhat minimal aesthetics, we get awesome LB-1 humbucker pickups in the bridge and neck positions. This is accompanied by two volume controls, two tone knobs, and a 3-way selector toggle.

Tone: Warm that’s the first thing that comes to mind when playing the Starfire II model. Its mahogany body and LB-1 humbuckers are all that you need for jazz music or any other setting where this might work in your favor. Not very versatile, but it does this specific job for jazz and blues music pretty well.

Bottom Line: Once again, we have a classic jazz-focused instrument. With a very smooth and vintage-oriented soft “U” neck profile, the instrument is fairly comfortable to play. The guitar’s warmth is perfect to go with traditionally “American” tube amps, like those bearing 6L6 tubes.

15. Ibanez JSM10 John Scofield Signature

Ibanez JSM10 John Scofield Signature

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Estimated Price $1000
Body Top Flamed maple
Body Back and Sides Flamed maple
Neck 3-piece mahogany and maple combo
Fretboard Ebony
Pickups Two Super 58 Alnico humbuckers

Design and Main Features: Ibanez also makes some awesome hollow body signature guitars, as is the case with the JSM10 John Scofield model. Made according to the jazz master’s refined tastes that we’ve seen on his custom guitar, the instrument brings functionality, tone, and ergonomic qualities in one full package. This semi-hollow guitar comes with a body made completely out of flamed maple and a set-in 3-piece neck made out of mahogany and maple. The ebony fingerboard has 22 medium-jumbo frets on it, along with a 12-inch radius that’s great for both rhythm and lead playing.

Being another variation of the classic 335, JSM10 has two humbuckers. However, these are Super 58 pickups, which are the same exact ones that Scofield has on his custom-made instruments. The controls are pretty interesting too, bringing a special “Tri-Sound” switch along with standard controls. This toggle has three positions, allowing serial-connected humbuckers, coil-split, and parallel connected humbuckers.

Although we have a Tune-o-Matic bridge, the instrument also has a Quick Change III tailpiece. This is more of a high-end feature, which enhances this instrument’s tone and performance.

Tone: Speaking of which, the instrument mostly focuses on the overall warmth in the tone, although the additional pickup combinations bring more diversity to it. Sure, this is a blues and jazz guitar. But such an instrument is capable of much more, especially if we’re talking about lead playing.

Bottom Line: The guitar might seem a bit expensive to some, but this kind of build quality is worth every penny. It’s a pro-level semi hollow body guitar, mostly focusing on jazz and blues, while also making it possible to play other stuff.

16. Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster

Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster

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Estimated Price $400
Body Top Maple
Body Back and Sides Maple
Neck Maple
Fretboard Maple
Pickups Two Fender Wide Range humbuckers

Design and Main Features: Going back to those more affordable guitars, there’s no way to avoid Squier, a company that’s also explored semi hollow body guitars. The Classic Vibe Starcaster replicates the somewhat unconventional Fender’s model originally made back in the 1970s and the 1980s. Here we have a pretty exciting combination of Gibson and Fender elements. There’s an all-maple body paired with a bolt-on maple neck with a maple fingerboard. The instrument also has 21 frets, which is typical of Fender guitars. This is all accompanied by an alder center block.

The guitar’s thickness is also similar to 335 guitars and brings an arched top with two “F”-shaped soundholes. At the same time, we have a regular Tune-o-Matic bridge and a regular tailpiece as seen with Gibson guitars. The same could be said about electronics, featuring two Fender Wide Range humbuckers and standard 335 controls. But what’s so original is the guitar’s shape and design, bringing a double-cutaway that’s a “hybrid” of Strat and 335 shapes.

Tone: Having an all-maple body and an alder center block brings quite a twist to its tone. Although it has humbuckers and a semi-hollow body, the guitar brings more brightness to the mix. This all results in some pretty versatile tones and applications in many different genres.

Bottom Line: Squier’s Starfire brings aesthetic and sonic qualities in one simple and affordable package. This is a versatile choice for anyone who needs a semi hollow body instrument for many different musical styles.

17. Gretsch G100CE

Gretsch G100CE

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Estimated Price $800
Body Top Spruce
Body Back and Sides Maple
Neck 3-piece maple
Fretboard Rosewood
Pickups One Gretch “floating” single-coil

Design and Main Features: But in case you need a jazz instrument with a strong impact of the body’s acoustics in the mix, then you should definitely look into Gretsch’s G100CE. With a spruce top and maple back and sides, the instrument gives some serious brightness in the tone. This is a classic archtop guitar that has only one single-coil pickup in a so-called “floating” formation. It’s accompanied by one volume and one volume knob.

Additionally, the guitar is accompanied by a rosewood height-adjustable Synchromatic bridge and the Chromatic tailpiece. It’s quite clear that the guitar is completely old-school-oriented. This is also obvious with the instrument’s overall design, especially with the 1940s-style headstock. Adding to this aesthetically-pleasing mix, we also have well-made bracing on the body and the neck, as well as Vintage Wide Pearloid block inlays in the fretboard.

Tone: Looking at the guitar’s design, you can already assume what kind of tone we’re talking about. Gretsch’s GE100CE is a classic jazz guitar, especially focusing on tones that are more acoustic-sounding than electric. Sure, you don’t have many options to choose from, but the instrument is perfect with any of the old school tube amps with not much headroom that will “crack” slightly into those smooth overdrives while retaining some natural acoustic tones.

Bottom Line: Not much to think about here, this guitar is strictly jazz-oriented, with possible use in some other settings where you need those jazzy tones.

18. Ibanez Artcore AF55

Ibanez Artcore AF55

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Estimated Price $300
Body Top Laminated maple
Body Back and Sides Laminated maple
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Rosewood
Pickups Two Ibanez Infinity R humbuckers

Design and Main Features: Once again, we’re exploring Ibanez’s lesser-known side which includes hollow body guitars intended for some genres that are not often associated with the brand. However, in case you need a cheap but good hollow body guitar, we’d recommend Ibanez’s AF55, another great example from the Artcore series. This particular model is intended as a cheap alternative to generally expensive single-cutaway hollow body electric guitars. Nonetheless, it keeps some of the awesome qualities in a somewhat stripped-down package.

As expected from such a guitar, we have a body made completely out of laminated maple. However, we can see that Ibanez truly took the time to make this guitar look great. It has some awesome finish variants, accompanied by nice-looking binding on both the body edges and the neck. While we’re at it, the neck is made out of mahogany and forms a set-in construction with the body. It’s also accompanied by a rosewood fretboard which bears 20 medium-jumbo frets on it.

But despite the instrument’s lower price, Ibanez made sure to keep some great qualities on it. The guitar bears the ART-ST bridge with a rosewood base, which is accompanied by the VT06 trapeze tailpiece. This combo is more than just an aesthetic feature as it transfers the vibration of strings to the instrument’s hollow body.

In the end, the guitar is armed with two humbucking pickups, Infinity R ceramic ones. Similar to most of the classic single-cutaway hollow body electric guitars, we have one master volume and one master tone control, as well as a simple 3-way pickup selector switch.

Tone: The pickups in question bring a somewhat smoother and warmer tone. However, in combination with the instrument’s hollow body and maple construction, you’ll also some of the “pointy” high-ends in the mix as well. The pickups are pretty much the standard humbucker stuff that you get with most Ibanez guitars and have somewhat of a “basic” frequency response. However, for this price, you’ll get a fairly good old school kind of guitar for jazz and blues.

Bottom Line: The main idea here was to have a straightforward and pretty affordable hollow body guitar. For its price, it’s more than enough. But considering its qualities, it can serve you well even in some professional settings, especially if you put in some new pickups in it after a while.

19. Guild Guitars M-75 Aristocrat

Guild Guitars M-75 Aristocrat

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Estimated Price $1000
Body Top Laminated spruce
Body Back and Sides Mahogany
Neck 3-piece mahogany and maple combo
Fretboard Rosewood
Pickups Two Franz P90 single-coils

Design and Main Features: The nickname “Aristocrat” pretty much describes everything about Guild Guitars’ M-75 model. Although a hollow body guitar, there aren’t any soundholes on it. Based on their classic model from the ’50s, this guitar features a maple top and mahogany back and sides, all followed by a set-in 3-piece maple and mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard, featuring 22 jumbo frets. The instrument’s gold-painted hardware is also a throwback to the old times, especially with the “Guild harp” tailpiece. The guitar is equipped with two Franz P90 single-coil pickups, each bearing individual volume and tone controls and selected using a 3-way toggle switch. Aristocrat’s design also takes us back to the old times with its antique sunburst color pattern and very stylish binding.

Tone: With such a special body design, featuring no openings on the hollow body, this guitar’s tone is beefy and huge, to say the least. The instrument’s resonance is also enhanced with the bridge and tailpiece design and can truly make things sound as if you’re playing an actual Guild guitar from the 1950s. This makes it a very specialized instrument for blues and jazz music from the era.

Bottom Line: Guild never disappoints. However, this is a guitar with a pretty narrow practical use. It’s something that experienced jazz guitar players would enjoy. You need to be experienced in classic blues and jazz and already familiar with hollow body guitars if you feel like getting this one.

20. ESP LTD X-Tone: PS-1

ESP LTD X-Tone: PS-1

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Estimated Price $450
Body Top Mahogany
Body Back and Sides Mahogany
Neck Maple
Fretboard Roasted jatoba
Pickups Two LH-150 humbuckers

Design and Main Features: While we associate ESP and LTD with heavy music, they’ve also explored semi hollow body guitars. An example is their PS-1 model with a slick single-cutaway body and one “F”-shaped soundhole. With a mahogany body and a maple neck, things somewhat resemble Gibson’s principles. The addition of a roasted jatoba fingerboard is also interesting, bearing 22 jumbo frets on it. One of the differences is also the bolt-on body and neck construction.

Looking at the pickups, we have two standard ESP-designed LH-150 humbuckers, followed by the individual tone and volume knobs and a 3-way switch. The guitar’s chrome hardware is pretty standard, with the Tune-o-Matic bridge, stop-bar tailpiece, and LTD’s stock tuners. But for its price, this is more than a great guitar.

Tone: Being a semi hollow body guitar, PS-1 is somewhat similar in tone to those Epiphone ES-335 alternatives. It’s mostly smooth and warm, although it brings some of the classic “roughness” that you’d expect from LTD. This brings a lot of diversity to it, but it’s mostly used in hard rock and blues-rock music.

Bottom Line: While not exactly a pro-level guitar, the PS-1 model is an extremely reliable instrument. Even a more experienced player will find it useful, even as the main guitar. In case you quite like the design, you can swap the pickups after a while and take this guitar to a whole new level of sonic greatness.

Choosing the Right Hollow Body Guitar (Buying Guide)

This section is for those of you who want to learn more about semi-hollow and hollow body guitars before reading reviews.

What Are Hollow Body Guitars Good For?

Back in the 1930s, the days when orchestras were still in charge of playing popular music, musicians noticed that guitars aren’t as nearly as audible compared to other instruments. Therefore, plenty of guitar manufacturers started looking for ways to amplify the sound of this fine 6-string instrument. Among different solutions, one of the most ambitious ones was to amplify it by using a loudspeaker. This wasn’t exactly the simplest task though. You needed a magnetic pickup that would then “translate” the string vibration into the electrical signal, which would then be sent into an amplifying device with its integrated loudspeaker, also now known as an electric guitar amp.

There have been some attempts to create such an instrument, but the first commercially successful one was Gibson’s ES-150. The instrument’s overall design didn’t exactly change much of the basic Spanish-styled guitar features. It still had the hollow body, although there were two F-shaped soundholes instead of a regular one in the center of the body’s front side. The top of the body was made out of solid spruce and featured an archtop construction, while the back and the sides were made out of solid maple. The neck was out of mahogany and the fretboard was a rosewood one with pearl dot inlays. The instrument also featured an adjustable bridge, something that was pretty innovative for the times, as well as a metal tailpiece.

But the most notable and game-changing part of Gibson ES-150 was its single-coil magnetic pickup that was located in the neck position. Prior to this solution, many acoustic guitar manufacturers implemented piezo pickups that served their function with the guitar plugged into a PA system. This unique tone of a single-coil magnetic pickup and a completely hollow body made it pretty popular among jazz musicians of the era.

Hollow Body vs Semi Hollow Body Guitars

One of the biggest changes was the introduction of semi hollow body guitars. Bodies became a bit thinner and they had a center block going through the middle of the body. The guitar’s body resonated significantly less compared to those “semi-acoustic” ones like the ES-150. However, in the late 1950s, Gibson introduced these new concepts. One of the most famous guitars of all time was born, the legendary Gibson ES-335. Aside from a body made out of maple and poplar, a maple center-block, and a mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, this guitar also included two humbucking pickups. The introduction of two pickups was also seen with a model like ES-175, and having double-coil pickups not only reduced the noise but also gave a smoother and “darker” tone compared to other guitars at the time. These days, semi hollow body guitars are much more widespread compared to old school hollow body ones. Sure, you can still find these old-styled guitars on the market, although they’re way more expensive and are somewhat specific, making them useful for jazz and some old school blues players.

Semi hollow body guitars bring more versatility and are seen in plenty of genres today. The same exact model with all the same electronics and other specs is often used in anything from jazz to hard rock music. In a lot of cases, these are quality lead instruments that cover a lot of different sonic areas.

Thinline Electric Guitars

Another common type of semi hollow body guitars is the so-called “Thinline” body design. The concept was originally devised by Fender with the release of their Telecaster Thinline model back in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. The idea was revived sometime in the late 1980s and these days, you’ll mostly find this concept on some Squier Telecasters.

Aside from reducing the weight of standard solid-body guitars, adding a cavity inside the body and F-shaped holes turns it into a resonant chamber. Sonic characteristics are closer to standard solid-body guitars rather than those with completely hollow bodies.

Wrap Up:

We hope you found the perfect guitar after going through this article. As you know the electric guitar, as an instrument, has come quite a long way since its inception in the first half of the 20th century. Nonetheless, we still have some of the same principles involved in the whole process. And while we have the same basic construction and magnetic pickups (which have changed a lot, but are still relying on the same principles), it still seems that people are often very keen on the good old hollow body electric guitars. That does it for this article, let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Also, if there are any guitars we left of this list that you feel we should add, let us know below!

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