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11-04-2010, 05:07 PM #1
Need Suggestions on new Hollow Body Electric Guitar!
I have decided to treat myself to a new guitar to add to my collection, since I am a professional musician and also have a studio where I like to keep guitars/instruments around for others to record with and try, if they feel so inclined--and often they do!
This will be only my second hollow body purchase, which is why I wanted some feedback--my first hollow body was an old cheap Gibson that I bought just to play around with, since I didn't ever use hollows live or ever really. That said, I am playing in more of a rockabilly band now, so I need to find a great hollow body with a wicked trem setup that I can play along with my other two primary live guitars.
I obviously love the Gretsch guitars, and love the White Falcon Gretsch, but the new ones are made in Japan I recently found out, and are essentially just reissues. However, they are very nice reissues--very well made, but still a somewhat reasonable price for a new one. A vintage Falcon could easily cost in the 10's of thousands in good shape! So, that's not really an option that I care to explore right now! LOL. I have no objection to a new Gretsch, and I really liked how the new one played, but can I hear from anybody that knows more about these new Gretsch reissue guitars??!! In particular, the Falcon...
I am also looking at a smaller company called Eastman Strings, who makes gorgeous, entirely handmade hollows. You can easily find some of them online by searching--they are a boutique type brand, but a newer brand, I believe. I have heard that there newest line of hollows are simply amazing--and unbelievably enough, they are a tiny bit cheaper than the Gretsch Falcon reissues, which aren't even handmade here in the USA anymore like the Eastmans are. I certainly know though that the Gretsch Falcon is so iconic that they can ask whatever price they want for one and a lot of people will gladly pay it...even though they are foreign made reissues. I have a couple of vintage Japanese Fenders, like the Mustang and Jaguar, as well as a new 65 Reissue Mustang, and they are all amazing, so I know from vast experience that the Japanese make very fine Fender instruments. In fact, the Japanese line of Fenders have recently become more expensive, or as expensive, as the USA models! This used to be the complete opposite, as the US models were considered more "high end." However, the new Japanese Fenders are honestly crafted much better than the new USA models. So, this brings me back to the reissue Gretsch Falcon--are the new Japanese Gretsch guitars as well made as some of the other Japanese made guitars?? Also, does anybody own or know anything of importance about the Eastman guitars??
Thank you, everybody, for your input!!! I am open to any brand of hollow body guitar pretty much, as long as it feels right and sounds perfect! Please feel free to make any and all suggestions! I am out playing tons of guitars in order to feel them out entirely on my own, but some advice from anybody who is into hollow body guitars would be awesome and really help point me in the right direction! I greatly appreciate it, Friends!
11-04-2010, 05:12 PM #2
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- Alton, UK
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I'm a rock/metal guitarist so I've got a couple of Ibanez (a Jem and the RG 7 string), a PRS and a couple of acoustics, but if you're playing rockabilly it has to be a Gretsch.
How cool is Bryan Setzer? I love his Gretsch guitars!
Otherwise I'd go with a Gibson 335, but you wont have a trem on that one unless you can find one thats been fitted, which is unusual.
Check out Ibanez as well, they have some great semi-hollows for very reasonable money. The AFS series is great and looks more classic, whilst the AS series is a little more modern looking.
Let us know what you go for..!
Last edited by Stubear; 11-04-2010 at 05:17 PM.
11-04-2010, 05:19 PM #3
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- Decorah, IA
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Eastman Strings is based in the US, but all their instruments are Chinese shop-built.
11-04-2010, 06:37 PM #4
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- Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
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I've got an older Ibanez Artstar 335 style with added Gibson classic '57 pickups. I like that one better than my Les Paul's
11-04-2010, 07:20 PM #5
Ohh, I didn't know that Eastman was made in China--they are very misleading on their website!!! They say handmade in house, on the model I like, which is about $2600, and I assumed they meant here in the US.
That is good to know...beautiful guitars, but I never buy Chinese built anything.
I want the Gretsch Falcon, as mentioned, and the price is fine with me, but are the Japanese ones really well made like I hear they are (like the old ones are)?? I heard the overall quality was rather similar with the reissues, especially with regard to the use of fine woods, hardware, workmanship, etc.
I am just not that familiar with Gretsch, other than I have always loved the look and sound of their guitars--just never owned one. I own about 30 or so guitars, give or take a couple, and believe it or not this will be only my second hollow body electric, and my first really nice one.
Thanks for everybody's responses! Keep em coming and I will let you know what I go with!
I really like the black color Falcon, but the signature color is white, of course, so I'm obviously leaning towards that classic color!
11-04-2010, 07:31 PM #6
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- Apr 2010
- Chandler, AZ
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You may find a better answer over at Guitarnoise.com as I am sure there are a few more people over there that have had their hands on that model. I primarily play acoustic ( and I still suck but not practicing regularly will do that ).
11-05-2010, 04:12 PM #7
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- Lexington, NC
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Bbshriver guitar ad
Not really an expert here, when I think hollowbody I think 335...
Have you considered Rickenbocker though? They have a cool vintage feel/look/reputation
Just surfing one of my favored guitar sites I stumbled accross this. I know you want the trem, but this is just so unique I thought I'd pass it on in case you were interested.
Martin CF-2 Sunburst
This guitar is essentially brand new. One day I happened across a Martin dealer that was going out of business. Unfortunately for me, I didn't get there until all of the small body acoustics were gone, but this one was still there. As it turns out, I probably only put an hour of play time on it, as I ended up spending most of my time with the old 125 (like a comfy chair, as it were.) So, although it has lived at my home for the last two plus years, it is essentially unplayed. As most of you know, this model has been discontinued from the Martin line, so this is sort of the last of its kind, especially so being a sunburst. The guitar has never been properly set up. I just never got around to it. Since I'm now selling it, I'll let the buyer take care of that to match their own personal taste. Specs for this guitar are on the Martin site here. It includes the original tweed hard case (Geib 348BGT I think). Below are two pics of the guitar. More can be found here: Martin CF-2. Price: $3500.
Last edited by bbshriver; 11-05-2010 at 04:25 PM.
11-06-2010, 10:07 PM #8
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- Jul 2010
- North Carolina
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I love the Gretsch Faclon, it's my favorite hollow body guitars so far next to one other a buddy of mine has that can't be beat. In my opinion the guitar is awesome, the color in white is my favorite. I used to like everything black when I was younger (still am young at only 23) but I love this guitar in white!
I'd say play a Gretsch on the amp you will be running it through and spend some time with it at a local shop for over an hour. Decide after that. If you do not like it you can easily re-sell it.
Last edited by ShawnF; 11-07-2010 at 01:03 AM.
11-16-2010, 07:04 PM #9
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- Falls Church, Virginia
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Too many to choose from. If possible, why not build your own, buy the body and neck, then spec out your components to your tastes and assemble it.
There's no feeling like making your own guitar and playing it.
11-21-2010, 12:59 AM #10
I found a 1958 Gretsch White Falcon Pro Series Stills Reissue, which is the top of the line Gretsch, with the upgraded Filtertron pickups, gold bindings, rhinestone and pearl inlays, Bigsby Tremolo, over-sized F holes, etc, etc! It is truly incredible--I must have played nearly 40 guitars, and this one stole my heart instantly. I sat there playing it for over an hour, then they were kind enough to cut me an absolutely wicked deal! I couldn't believe it! Plus, this limited edition model, which is no longer in production, will certainly go up in value with every passing year--even more so than the other Pro model Falcons!
Thank you for the suggestions, everybody! I'm glad I found such a beautiful and enchanting sounding semi hollow! I mean, how could Chuck Berry and all the greats be wrong?? LOL. Not including his personal proclivities though...haha!!! I have a show tonite in my hometown of Nashville, and this will be my first live show with the new Falcon! I set it up with full flat wound 12's, fast action, and it's just simply the money, baby! Cheers my Friends, and thanks again!