Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
User avatar
Vanderfuzz
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:57 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

Post by Vanderfuzz » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:14 pm

Those Yamaha’s are definitely intriguing. Not even the SA2200. SA800 and the like are pretty great looking. I worry about the 14” radius, but maybe that’s a non issue. I love 7.25, but have no qualms with anything up to 12. Never played 14 though. It probably doesn’t matter. I know some folks have a hard time getting on with certain radii, but I reckon for me it’s more about adapting my left hand to suit the guitar.

It’s all up in the air, but thank you all for the recommendations.

I hate that cosmetics play into the decision process, e.g. I’ve seen some beautiful guitars but I’m just not a fan of gold hardware. I had a Gibson with gold, loved it for what it was, but sold it. I miss it, though. Tonally.

I need to look at Gretsches with a chrome motif. Though the 6120 is gorgeous...but fully hollow!

Anywho, in a perfect world, a double cutaway semi-hollow with chrome/silver/whatever you want to call it, is the goal.

User avatar
Larry Mal
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 8771
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Saint Louis, MO

Re: Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:34 am

mediocreplayer wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:27 am

Right, I remember now that one is 3-ply and one is 5 (or something). I had the IBJL Casino, which is 5-ply. It was a really nice guitar but I did not like the sound and upper fret access.
Right, there is a difference there, I think the ES-330 is a three ply, and the Casino is a 5-ply.

Not too sure about the details, but I can say that I hated my Casino and if you ask me if I got $1500 extra value in the cost difference between that and my ES-330 I would say that I did.

My Casino felt plastic and cheap, the acoustic sound was dead and uninspiring, and the neck was fucking unplayable to me. This was actually purchased in the days before I cared about such things, but one day I was playing it and I was stumbling around some very simple chords, so I measured the neck at the nut. I compared that to a guitar whose playability I really like, my Firebird, and found that the Casino was some five millimeters narrower at the nut than the 'Bird is.

I pretty much knew that the Casino would just sit around taking up space so I gave the fucking thing away.

The ES-330 was a night and day difference, the Gibson sounds inspiring unplugged, good and resonant against my body. The finish is thin and elegant, unlike the plastic slapped on the Casino. I made sure to get the fingerboard on my ES-330 that would work for me, so it's good for fingerpicking and strumming.

The upper fret access is better on mine than a lot, since I got the 19th fret "L" model but frankly I would be just as happy with the normal 16th fret join. I'm not, like, playing guitar solos on my ES-330 at the 20th fret and shit.
So you have to ask from mother, "Who is my father?" And if she says, "This gentleman is your father," then it is all right. It is easy.

User avatar
cestlamort
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3872
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:01 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Re: Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

Post by cestlamort » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:54 am

Larry Mal wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:22 pm
I mean, you've got a great budget there, don't settle, get what you really want.

...

My suggestion of a Ric is something that you might want to consider. If you get it used, you can turn around and sell it for most or all of what you spent on it. That's the only way to know if you are a Ric guy, you know? You might be. You probably heard scary things about them and I did too, but I wish I hadn't listened all these years. They play just fine, and even better, I find I play mine a little differently than I do Fenders and Gibson type guitars. Not sure why. I've heard other people say the same thing.

So, maybe give it a shot. If you are at all intrigued, you might find it'll blow your mind, you know? People do. I feel like if somehow my Ric 330 was my only guitar, I would be just fine.
I've found the same thing, but I've been playing Rickenbackers almost exclusively for the last few years, so I end up playing other guitars differently in comparison. (More open string drones, chords on the Rickenbacker). I love my 330 (more than the 360 I had before), as it's both minimal and elegant (with the bound 330 shape 360wb/os v64/c63 models being the pinnacle of cool). On an aesthetic note, the headstocks got big from the mid-80s to maybe 2004, which didn't bother me at first but now I can't unsee it (as in my avatar). You can also get a 12 string and take off half the strings.

A westerly or even vintage Guild would be within your budget too. The MIK Newark street ones have had a mixed reception however. A 90s starfire IV (edited: had a typo "VI" which is the bling model) should be worth the extra cash and, if you're patient, a 60s one could be an option. For better or worse, the old guilds (and yamahas) haven't exploded in price or even kept up with the major brands. Good in that they're still reasonable and an amazing value; bad in that they won't appreciate at the same rate (having bought a 60s sfiii in the 90s myself, it's maybe twice the price now, which is inflation, more or less. Ah well, never selling it anyway).
Last edited by cestlamort on Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
DesmondWafers
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1480
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:15 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

Post by DesmondWafers » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:44 pm

I think the elitist casino might be 3 ply, it's made at the same factory as gretsch that does 3 ply on everything. Poly finish, but that's never bothered me on my 6119. My 6120 is lacquer and I can barely tell a difference.

User avatar
dezb1
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 467
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:20 am
Location: Glasgow

Re: Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

Post by dezb1 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:44 pm

I have a 1994 Epiphone Riviera my longest serving guitar - I'd highly recommend one and they still sell at a good price.

User avatar
MrFingers
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1161
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:50 am
Location: Heverlee Hills - Belgium

Re: Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

Post by MrFingers » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:04 am

One of those new Guild Starfire models (IV, V or VI). And never ever EVER look back. Epiphone is nice, but those Guilds are WAY better.

User avatar
dezb1
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 467
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:20 am
Location: Glasgow

Re: Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

Post by dezb1 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:39 pm

I do prefer the look of the starfires

User avatar
Despot
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 5034
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:11 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

Post by Despot » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:17 am

The new Guilds (Newark Street collection) are great guitars. I've played a bunch of them, and I briefly owned a S200 from the first run.

The only issue I found with them was with the pickups - which is also true of Epiphone Sheraton IIs. The stock pickups are only okay - in the Guild they're a bit too dark for my tastes. Unfortunately there aren't many direct replacement options for Guilds and iirc the pickup footprint is different too so while you can replace with a Gibson looking pickup you can't (as far as I know) take the guild pickup cover and put it over a Gibson humbucker.

To my eye a Guild without the Guild type stamped humbucker cover looks wrong - but hey ... I'm sure that's just my guitar OCD flaring up again, so what do I know ;)

That's part of the reason why I generally recommend a Sheraton to people - you can easily replace the pickups with one of the many available Gibson type replacements - with swapped pickups and upgraded switch/pots/jack you've got a hell of a lot of guitar for the money.

User avatar
wooderson
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 165
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:07 pm

Re: Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

Post by wooderson » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:34 pm

Eastman's are very nice. I got one of their T59/v models at Christmas on sale for $1100 - hand rubbed violin finish, not-too-skinny/not-too-chunky neck, Duncan Seth Lovers.

Wasn't sure I'd be into the relicing but given the finish it's pretty subtle.

The T386 and T486 are much cheaper, all-nitro finish, the 486es have Duncans (Jazz/59).

User avatar
Arthon
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1479
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 2:33 pm
Location: Montréal, Québec

Re: Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

Post by Arthon » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:17 pm

Larry Mal wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:34 am
My Casino felt plastic and cheap, the acoustic sound was dead and uninspiring, and the neck was fucking unplayable to me. This was actually purchased in the days before I cared about such things, but one day I was playing it and I was stumbling around some very simple chords, so I measured the neck at the nut. I compared that to a guitar whose playability I really like, my Firebird, and found that the Casino was some five millimeters narrower at the nut than the 'Bird is.
I have the same experience and my Casino is the Elistist model so not alot cheaper then a es330. I cannot sold mine for sentimental value though. I bought a Gibson es-175 for the real Gibson hollowbody experience, feel and a wide nut.
The Blues Cartographer
(sorry for the spelling, I speak french)

User avatar
Larry Mal
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 8771
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Saint Louis, MO

Re: Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:17 pm

I would have thought that the Elitist model would have been excellent. Good to know.
So you have to ask from mother, "Who is my father?" And if she says, "This gentleman is your father," then it is all right. It is easy.

User avatar
Arthon
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1479
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 2:33 pm
Location: Montréal, Québec

Re: Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

Post by Arthon » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:33 pm

Larry Mal wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:17 pm
I would have thought that the Elitist model would have been excellent. Good to know.
Well many guitarist who have tried it have liked it. I just cannot bound with it really. It's probably because of the narrow nut. The guitar seems solid and the wood is beautiful, much better then the normal Casino, but the finish still feels like thick poly. I think they now do a nitro finish Casino that must feel better. Also, even if they have put Gibson P90's in it, I dont think it's their best pickup. I thought many times about putting some Lollars in it... but the nuts will still be too narrow for my liking.
The Blues Cartographer
(sorry for the spelling, I speak french)

User avatar
Larry Mal
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 8771
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Saint Louis, MO

Re: Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:37 pm

I'm a little on the fence about the pickups in my ES-330, too. I sometimes think about getting a lower wind pickup in there to see if I can get some chime and such. We might have the same pickups, mine are pretty hot.
So you have to ask from mother, "Who is my father?" And if she says, "This gentleman is your father," then it is all right. It is easy.

User avatar
BoringPostcards
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 4311
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:50 am
Location: Newfoundland

Re: Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

Post by BoringPostcards » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:27 pm

The Casinos they're putting out now are nowhere near as bad they were in the 90s. Epiphone was so bad I wouldn't even consider them when I was a young feller and in my university years. Even the Sheratons were kind of shitty back then.
They're putting out some really good stuff now and that includes the Casinos.
Have had both a sunburst elitest and a regular series natural finish. They were both great and I regretted selling them both.
I'll get another.
"Can you please pass me a jug of winter light?" - Lee Ranaldo
Poster formally known as Skiptracer/ZenJenga

User avatar
bluenote23
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:26 am
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Re: Recommend me a semi-hollow. 335, Riviera, Sheraton

Post by bluenote23 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:42 pm

What might be interesting in Gretsch would be a G6119-1962FT.

So this is quite shallow at 1.75 inches. It is fully hollow (at least the ones made before 2013 or so are) but being so shallow it's a lot more like a light 335 (mine is 6.8 lbs). Fake f-holes also make it much less 'acoustic'

The FT model has humbucking filtertron pickups. There is an HT model which duplicates a Beatle guitar but those pickups are low output single coils and may not be to your liking. Both models do have mud switches though so you would need to do some modifications if you want a true tone control (though you can make the mud switch more useful by changing the caps). You could always replace the standby switch with a tone control (though doing wiring work through pickup holes can be a pain in the ass)

These are proline Gretschs and beautifully made guitars.

Post Reply