Never underestimate the classification of guitars. It’s more than just acoustic or electric, steel-stringed or nylon-stringed, full scale or short scale. Apart from a guitar’s components and build, guitars can also be categorized according to the sound they make.
Different guitars produce different types of sound. Most of the time, a guitar’s parts and shape influence its signature. Take for example semi-hollow body guitars and hollow body guitars – they are a great example of how shape and design can impact style and sound.
For many years, a hollow body guitar is commonly associated with jazz and blues music. These guitars have a more acoustic sound, making it the better option for those interested in such music genres. In general, they produce a warmer tone with plenty of bass sounds compared to their solid body counterparts.
So what about a semi-hollow body guitar? The downside of a hollow body guitar is that it doesn’t handle amplification very well. They are susceptible to feedback and have a lower level of sustain; a semi-hollow body guitar is an attempt to solve all these issues.
By owning a semi-hollow body guitar, you get that nice acoustic vibe and improved amplification. Although not all semi-hollow body guitars guarantee less feedback, the warm and bright tone of a semi-hollow guitar proves to be quite attractive for a lot of people.
If you’ve been thinking about investing on a semi-hollow body guitar or even a hollow body guitar, we’ve got a handy list for you. Whether you’re looking for a great guitar for jazz or a good semi-hollow guitar for practice, we hope you find this roundup useful for your search.
Top 10 Best Semi-Hollow Body and Hollow Body Guitars Review
- Gretsch G5420T
- Washburn Oscar Schmidt OE30
- Firefly Hollow body Electric Guitar
- Ibanez AS53
- Oscar Schmidt OE30CH
- Godin 5th Avenue CW
- Gretsch G2420 Streamliner
- Glen Burton GE355-RDS
- Guild Starfire IV
If you’re looking for a true hollow body guitar for that nice warm and acoustic tone, you don’t need to look any further. Besides the fact that this guitar comes in a striking orange color, there are so many reasons that make the Gretsch G5420T an attractive guitar.
For one, it has a super friendly price – considering that it is a Gretsch-made guitar. And two, it has all the best things a Gretsch guitar can offer. From top-grade woods that ensure better quality sound, down to the humbucking pickups and Bigsby vibrato. It seems that the Gretsch G5420T was made to produce impressive acoustic sound.
Personally, I appreciate how despite being a hollow body guitar, the Gretsch G5420T still manages to sound nice on an amp whereas other guitars would have a lot of feedback.
Read our full review on Gretsch G5420T here.
- A beautiful well-made guitar with a warm
- Full-bodied tone
- Perfect for music genres such as jazz
- And blues
- Made of good quality wood that enhances the richness
- And the authenticity of the sound
- Playing feel on the neck is easy and comfortable
- Friendly for beginners
- Has a larger body that may be uncomfortable for some users
- Some static noise can be heard when plugged into an amp
Who says you need to spend top dollar to get a “better quality” semi-hollow body guitar? The Washburn Oscar Schmidt OE30 can do almost anything a 2000 dollar boutique guitar could – and it has a friendlier price tag. And if the price doesn’t win you over, there’s a lot more to love about this guitar.
If you’re all about comfort and easy playability, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with this guitar’s thin neck. Pickups are hot, controls are firm and smooth, and tuners are adjusted very well – basically everything you need from a good guitar.
But if you’re asking me, what I love most about the OE30 is how its strings are nice and low so there’s little to no buzz. As we all know, the buzz is a common issue among plenty of semi-hollow guitars. But surprisingly enough, the OE30 got it just right this time.
- Strings are quiet for a semi-hollow body guitar
- Not a lot of buzz can be heard
- Comes with a thinner neck for comfort and frets are easy to play
- Very good craftsmanship and quality for a budget-friendly guitar
- Hardware quality could be improved
- Especially for pickups and tuning
Without a doubt, the Firefly brand has one of the best hollow body semi-acoustic guitars in the market today. This guitar is built for jazz, blues, and funk. So if you’re a fan of these music genres and you are currently on the lookout for a guitar, you need to pay attention to what this Firefly can do.
First, let’s talk about the super affordable price tag. A lot of people may be thinking that the higher the price, the better the quality. But this Firefly guitar is here to prove you wrong; you can still get a pretty good sound from a guitar with a humble price tag.
It has twin humbuckers for the rock and powder sound, 2 volume controls and 2 tone knobs, an adjustable neck, and tailpiece. It may sound a bit too basic but you just wait until you hear its rich and loud voice.
- Has a super affordable price tag
- A great investment for those just starting out
- Good quality hardware
- Especially for tone and volume controls
- Comes with 10 ft cable and 10 guitar picks with varying thickness (0.46mm, 0.71mm, 0.81mm)
- A few minor adjustments may be necessary for strings and tuning
Nothing screams elegance more than the Ibanez 6 String AS53 Semi-Hollow. It has a beautiful shape and a super attractive natural finish – perfect for those who are looking for a subtle yet eye-catching design.
You’ve also probably seen this guitar on plenty of our roundups and with very good reasons. It’s not just because it was made by a well-trusted name brand, but time and time again, this guitar has never failed to impress us.
It has an impressive set of features that any guitarist would burn their cash for. But the good news is, you don’t have to spend too much to get this guitar. You get the whole package: the high-quality build and materials, pickups, slim and comfortable neck and the 17th fret for easy playing, for an affordable price.
- Made with a more sustainable variety of wood compared other guitars
- Comfortable neck and frets
- Great for beginner’s hands as well
- Great quality strings
- Perfect for blues style of music
- The shape and larger size may be a bit awkward to use at first
Looking for something quick, easy, and simple? The Oscar Schmidt OE30CH Classic Semi-Hollowbody will save you a lot of shopping time. It has all the basics covered with the twin Washburn HH pickups, the tailpiece and a Tune-O-Matic bridge. Everything you need to produce a decent sound, you got it all here.
This guitar makes a great option for those who are just starting out, and for those who are on a budget but would like to get their hands on a semi-hollow body guitar. I personally like this guitar because it makes a great option for practicing. It’s straightforward, comfortable, and easy to use.
- Plays smoothly
- Produces a full and rich tone and is comfortable to use
- Great craftsmanship
- Comes with a beautiful finish and color
- The quality of strings could be improved
- Sounds a bit noisy for some
- Does not hold a tune very long
- Constant tuning may be required
The first thing that caught my eye on the Godin 5th Avenue CW Electric Guitar was its super sleek finish. It comes in a variety of colors, but no matter what skin of paint it is wearing, the guitar still manages to look lush and expensive.
Aside from the gorgeous finish and cutaway shape of this guitar, users will also fall in love with the double-action truss rod as well as the 2 Godin Kingpin Golden P90 single-coil pickups; both of which make playing this guitar all the more enjoyable.
I also like that its neck is made from Canadian silver leaf maple neck. A neck of its calibre could only be long-lasting, smooth, and easy to use.
- Comes with a classy and expensive
- Looking finish
- Comfortability and easy playability guaranteed
- Less buzz
- Sweet pickups
- Sounds great when plugged on or off
- The quality of its tuners needs improvement
If you love classic jazz, country, or blues, a hollow body guitar is a must. But why stop there? Why not get a guitar that doesn’t just sound vintage, but also looks the part too?
They say that cosmetics isn’t everything; that a guitar that sounds great should be enough for a musician. But honestly, if you are going to impress anyone with your guitar skills, you may as well go the extra mile with a stylish guitar, right?
The Gretsch G2420 Streamliner definitely delivers on the cosmetics part. This looks absolutely stunning in its subtle yet beautiful ombre finish. The cutaway design also provides a unique touch to this timeless instrument. Paired with its good looks is its power and modern sonics.
Not only can this guitar fill up the room with its sound, but thanks to its updated electronics, the Gretsch G2420 now knows no limits when it comes to projection.
- Design and build contributes to its easy playability and comfort
- Super affordable for a guitar with a high standard of quality
- Still sounds great with or without an amp
- A bit on the heavier side in weight compared to most guitars on this list
- Consistency of sound from strings needs improvement
Here’s another guitar that could make anyone feel like a superstar. This Glen Burton guitar sports a gorgeous redburst design, with a classic body shape plenty of guitarists love.
It is made with aged Asian maple for its body – a wood variety that it not often seen in most guitars. Its maple neck features a rosewood fretboard that is both easy to use and comfortable to hold for long hours.
The GE355-RDS Memphis also has the Dual ’63 chrome covered humbucker pickups, 2 tone and 2 volume controls with a 3-way switch. And for tuning, this guitar has a die-cast chrome allow low ratio tuners.
Many people say that if you want a true jazz tone, you should stick with a hollow body guitar. But if you want the best of both worlds – authentic jazz tone and less feedback, this semi-hollow body option is my personal recommendation.
- Comes with clear pickups
- Sounds great with both clear and distorted sounds
- Ultra lightweight
- And comfortable to play with
- Produces a versatile sound perfect for a variety of music genres
- A few minor adjustments for intonation may be needed
Many younger guitar enthusiasts may not be familiar with the Guild brand name. But did you know that they used to be Gibson’s toughest competitors back in the day?
Their guitars have earned the respect and loyal following of many guitarists and today, they are still producing some of the world’s best guitars – the Guild Starfire IV is one of them.
This guitar has a 3-piece neck made with mahogany and maple, and an Indian rosewood fingerboard – basically all the prime woods in this one single guitar. It also comes with the Guild Tune-O-Matic Bridge with Rosewood Base and the Guild LB-1 “Little Bucker” Neck and Bridge Pickups.
Although the Starfire IV isn’t a replica of the more popular Guild guitars from the 60s and 70s, it still has all of the main components intact, making it a very good semi-hollow body guitar.
- Comes with well-made and high-quality components
- The neck is thin and comfortable
- Perfect for players with small hands
- One of the pricier guitars on this list
Quick Buying Guide
Choosing the best semi-hollow and hollow-body guitars have less to do with technicalities and more about personal taste. Today, there is a huge variety of great quality guitars.
Brand names are always competing with one another in providing musicians the best in all aspects. But truly, there is no universal rule in buying the best guitar. The only judge you can fully trust is yourself.
That said, it is important to first identify your priorities. If you love a more authentic tone and don’t mind the possibilities of feedback, then a hollow body is for you. But if you would like to work your music with less feedback as possible, you can still get an acoustic tone with a semi-hollow guitar.
Sound is subjective, so it may also be a good idea to listen to the guitars on your list one by one and identify which ones fit your personal taste.
Another important factor to consider when buying a semi-hollow or hollow body guitar is comfort. Often, most hollow-body guitars are larger and some may even have a weirder shape than what we are used to with a regular guitar. That said, one must always pick the guitar that feels the most comfortable.
What is The Best Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar?
Like all the other lists on our website, this one is also difficult to rank. Each guitar had its own unique feature and we didn’t want to discount them as a viable option for interested musicians.
But as always, it is our job to choose the best of the best.
Quick Answer: So if you were to ask us which guitar is the best semi-hollow body or hollow body guitar, our answer would be the Gretsch G5420T Electromatic Hollowbody. This guitar is an attempt to fix all the faults of a regular hollow body. It tries to give users lesser feedback and buzz while also delivering the most authentic tunes.
After all, why compromise the quality of sound? If there’s a way to fix it while retaining the richness and authenticity of a guitar’s tune, why would you choose for a lesser guitar?
This is not to say that a semi-hollow body isn’t any better than a hollow body. There are plenty of semi-hollow’s that stole our heart in this list.
But we have to consider how the G5420T outplays all the others of its kind. And if there’s any guitar that defies the norms, that guitar deserves to be a winner in our opinion.