Advice for a Epi Semi Hollow

Red Planet

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Hi All,

Been enjoying this forum and exploring. Thinking about a semi hollow single cut of some type. Of course money is important as I do not have an endless supply. Starting a Blues project back up after our lead singer passed away and our drummer had some major health problems and uh covid. We are playing Traditional Blues with material such as T Bone Walker, Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reeves and more. Was thinking an archtop of some kind might be a cool addition but I'm not familiar with any of them. I'm the most drawn to the ES-175 but looking at the ES-135 as well as others maybe too. It seems no one has these in stock new. And what about the Epi George Thorogood ES-125. Would like something with a 50s neck as well.

Been playing a Tele with a Charlie Christian PUP in the neck position and a Epi Les Paul Special (which I absolutely love). It seems in the $750.00 dollar range the choices are few. What are the pros and cons of the 175 and 135? What are some other choices. For some reason I lean more to the Gibson style and less to the Rockabilly style.

FWIW my main amp is a 57 Tweed Deluxe Clone and my second amp is a 71 Super Reverb converted to a 2x10 combo.

Any advice offered would be great and perhaps some might could suggest a source new for one of these though they may be discontinued/out of stock?
 
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JMP

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I’d hunt for a used Dot or Sheraton on your local Craigslist. They are common and very affordable...,,and fantastic guitars.
 

Red Planet

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I’d hunt for a used Dot or Sheraton on your local Craigslist. They are common and very affordable...,,and fantastic guitars.
Thanks looking for a Single Cut. Also looking for new as I'm paying with plastic.
 
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Red Planet

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I cant tell so far if any Epi Single Cut Semi Hollows have a 50s neck. Looks like that GT ES-125 is a Standard C, I'm guessing that's a 60s slim neck?
 

wildhawk1

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I'd head straight to Ibanez land.

Love my Epi Paul's but for semi hollows Ibanez wins IMHO.


 
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Dark Horse

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I've got the Epi Riveria custom with the 3 p90 dog ears great guitar. Has the Bigsby too.
 

LuckyDan

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I wasn't aware Epi even makes a single cut semi. Turns out the Kat ES and Wildkat have center blocks, but the cuts are rounded unlike the ES models you mentioned, only one of which - the 125 - is a semi-hollow, and no longer in production.

If you want a Florentine cutaway, with a center block, and new, the Ibanez AGS73FM might be tempting.
 
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Pop1655

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I live in the sticks and do a lot of buys online. I haven't touched the vast majority of guitars I've bought. I'm not one of the many who always say "you've got to try em and get the one the feels best".......except when it comes to Epi semi's and their counterparts. I've seen a lot of variance in those. I think on this purchase you've gotta get in the truck and drive into town. I've had an Epi 339 and now have a 335 Pro that are both stellar pieces. Both crazy good for the money. I wanted a Casino or a Century and never laid hands on one that did it for me. I also did this single cut quest you are on due to being attracted to em. It's never panned out for me. Tried two Epi 175's, as well as some other brand counterparts. None of em made the team. Never had a WildKat grab me either. I would say open your mind to a double cut as being a possibility. A good Pro or a Sheraton are hard to beat. In the single cut category a Gretsch was the winner for me, although it didn't stay either. My Tokai ES is my #1 semi for life. My 335 Pro will stay with me as a great plan B. I suggest open your mind to several brands as well as thicknesses and single vs double. Take your time and enjoy the quest. Wait for one to grab you. Nothing beats a good semi!
 

Roxy13

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A 175 is actually a full hollow archtop. I have a Greco FA 95 version.

Ibanez does seem to excel at making high quality, low priced semi and full hollow bodies. I took an AS 93 for a trade and I'm quite impressed with it despite being made in China or somewhere in Asia that is not Japan.
 

LuckyDan

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On the MF page linked to that shows the Ibanez, I saw a suggestion for the Guild Starfire which looks a little more exciting to me, and more immediately available. Specs say it has a "thin U neck" which strikes me as a contradiction in terms.
 

Red Planet

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A 175 is actually a full hollow archtop. I have a Greco FA 95 version.

Ibanez does seem to excel at making high quality, low priced semi and full hollow bodies. I took an AS 93 for a trade and I'm quite impressed with it despite being made in China or somewhere in Asia that is not Japan.
Yes on the 175 being hollows but ut being plywood it probably rejects fredback pretty good.

On Ibanez what about the George Benson? It might feedback though with a little overdrive. I play just over the edge overdrive, nothing over the top.
 
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Roxy13

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Yes on the 175 being hollos but ut being plywood it probably rejects fredback pretty good.

On Ibanez what about the George Benson? It might feedback though with a little overdrive. I play just over the edge overdrive, nothing over the top.
I've only had the one Ibanez here so I'm probably not the right person to answer the question, but even luthiers have commented to me about how nice even the cheap Ibanezs are.
 

Roxy13

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I know there is at least one forum for jazz guitars and someone there might know of one that does.
 

JMP

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I’ve no experience, but the Kat series of guitars my fit your single cut semi hollow requirements.
 

LuckyDan

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Congratulations. That is a honey. I'd be very surprised if you're not happy with it. I'd be curious as to how it plays unplugged. I recently acquired a 2016 D'Angelico Excel EXL-1, full hollow body, laminate of course, floating pickup and bridge, and it really projects unplugged which is how I have played it since I brought it home.
 

Red Planet

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Congratulations. That is a honey. I'd be very surprised if you're not happy with it. I'd be curious as to how it plays unplugged. I recently acquired a 2016 D'Angelico Excel EXL-1, full hollow body, laminate of course, floating pickup and bridge, and it really projects unplugged which is how I have played it since I brought it home.

No pics no guitar! :cool:
 

LuckyDan

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No pics no guitar! :cool:
As you wish, RP. These are downloads from the Music Go Round dealer I bought it from. It's blue!

D'Angelico changed the specs in 2017 I think, and there was a substantial price drop to clear out the old inventory. My dealer said the original owner bought 4 from Sweetwater including this one. Mine has a rosewood board, where the newer ones are laurel. (Edit-current models have a pau ferro board) I have the plainer fret markers (I'd be happier if there were none at all so I could see the rosewood unmarred) where the new ones are split blocks, and I have the Kent Armstrong pickup where the newer ones have Duncans. (I see online the Armstrong pickup has it's critics but like I said, I play it unplugged, so I have no real need to upgrade.)

Notice how nothing but the floating bridge makes contact with the soundboard ,which maximizes the acoustic resonance. It doesn't play as sweetly as a flattop, Barre chords sound a little toy-like really, but single line runs really sing. It has it's own character. I'm very happy with it.

IMG_04052021_193423_(300_x_480_pixel).jpg
IMG_04052021_193440_(300_x_480_pixel).jpg
 
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Red Planet

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As you wish, RP. These are downloads from the Music Go Round dealer I bought it from. It's blue!

D'Angelico changed the specs in 2017 I think, and there was a substantial price drop to clear out the old inventory. My dealer said the original owner bought 4 from Sweetwater including this one. Mine has a rosewood board, where the newer ones are laurel. I have the plainer fret markers (I'd be happier if there were none at all so I could see the rosewood unmarred) where the new ones are split blocks, and I have the Kent Armstrong pickup where the newer ones have Duncans. (I see online the Armstrong pickup has it's critics but like I said, I play it unplugged, so I have no real need to upgrade.)

Notice how nothing but the floating bridge makes contact with the soundboard ,which maximizes the acoustic resonance. It doesn't play as sweetly as a flattop, Barre chords sound a little toy-like really, but single line runs really sing. It has it's own character. I'm very happy with it.

View attachment 535639 View attachment 535640

Man that is gorgeous! I bet it is fun to play.
 


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