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  #76  
Old 04-09-2024, 08:18 PM
Puddleglum Puddleglum is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
For anyone who is used to the relatively uniform response and sustain of solidbody guitars, hollowbody electrics can indeed be a disappointment - or a reality check on one's technical skills, much as their acoustic counterparts are for someone who's used to the lush sustain and technically forgiving nature of a flattop guitar; the flip side of the coin is the richness of tone a good electric jazzbox can produce, and the broader dynamic potential for a player with good pick control - provided, of course, one has the clean right- and left-hand technique to fully utilize its inherent capabilities. If you're a speed-picker or advanced rhythm player dealing in complex patterns - and not just in the jazz milieu - you're not going to get the same note-to-note separation or defined initial attack from a typical solidbody; in addition, the dynamic range allows for rapid changes from solo to rhythm without riding the volume knob (or, in more recent times, kicking in a boost pedal) - a handy state of affairs in the early days of electric guitar amplification (when 15 watts was considered high power for a guitar amp), and/or there was major potential for early-onset feedback in the close quarters of a postwar local jazz club. Finally, many early soul/blues/R&B bands used hollowbody guitars for most of the reasons above - which contributed to rather than detracted from their ability to sit well in a mix - and I'll be using one of my own deep-body jazzboxes for an upcoming program of first-decade R&R at the local senior center for much the same reasons...

While I'll agree 100% about the Professional Series instruments' uncanny quality - I've got a 2013 G6136DC double-cut White Falcon myself - the post-2013 Korean-made 5400/5600-Series Electromatics are head-shoulders-&-navel above anything else in their extremely reasonable (well under $1K new) price range, leaving little if anything on the table in terms of QC/fit-&-finish (and nothing in tone/playability) vis-a-vis their upline stablemates, main (and relatively minor) differences being hardware and pickups. If you're a Gretsch fan and you've never played one, you owe it to yourself to do so: just make sure your credit card isn't maxed out, since - as many of your fellow AGF'ers here on the Electric subforum will attest - those who try them inevitably buy them...

What got me interested in these “big” guitars is that I’ve been playing acoustic for so long that I can’t play “regular” electrics anymore. Strats, et al, are just too small, toylike, and mostly just cramped to comfortably play. I also end up digging into the middle PUP on a Strat. I’ve tried other styles of regular electrics, like PRS, et al. Nope. I used to love guitars like this but after playing a dread pretty much exclusively for almost 20 years, it just doesn’t work. These “big” guitars (hollows) feel more like an acoustic, and my attack, feel, etc directly transfers and translates from the acoustic. I spent a long time over the weekend playing a MIC Gretsch at GC. It was killer and sooo comfortable. The only drawback was the cheap mystery wood on the FB (just charge an extra $100 and put on some ebony, Gretsch!). Everything about that style of guitar FELT right to me. I’m hoping the Guild I just ordered is as comfortable and amazing. We shall see.
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  #77  
Old 04-09-2024, 09:26 PM
Russ C Russ C is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
For anyone who is used to the relatively uniform response and sustain of solidbody guitars, hollowbody electrics can indeed be a disappointment - or a reality check on one's technical skills, much as their acoustic counterparts are for someone who's used to the lush sustain and technically forgiving nature of a flattop guitar; the flip side of the coin is the richness of tone a good electric jazzbox can produce, and the broader dynamic potential for a player with good pick control - provided, of course, one has the clean right- and left-hand technique to fully utilize its inherent capabilities. If you're a speed-picker or advanced rhythm player dealing in complex patterns - and not just in the jazz milieu - you're not going to get the same note-to-note separation or defined initial attack from a typical solidbody; in addition, the dynamic range allows for rapid changes from solo to rhythm without riding the volume knob (or, in more recent times, kicking in a boost pedal) - a handy state of affairs in the early days of electric guitar amplification (when 15 watts was considered high power for a guitar amp), and/or there was major potential for early-onset feedback in the close quarters of a postwar local jazz club. Finally, many early soul/blues/R&B bands used hollowbody guitars for most of the reasons above - which contributed to rather than detracted from their ability to sit well in a mix - and I'll be using one of my own deep-body jazzboxes for an upcoming program of first-decade R&R at the local senior center for much the same reasons...
I agree with some of what you say Steve but I’d be cautious with inference or reasoning re the technical skill bit - too many of the greatest players who ever lived choose solid guitars for their sound, not because they’re more forgiving if they are.
Hollows and solids do different things and that can be preferred or not. There’s more going on in each note the hollow guitar makes but that’s not always welcome musically - ‘though I do agree with your point about rhythm playing.
It’s personal taste similar to why some choose expensive instruments over cheap ones. I can set up an el cheapo Strat to play better than an expensive one out of the box but it’s tone won’t change.

Like I said, I prefer the sound of my hollow guitar in the quietness of my music room but usually a solid one on stage. There’s no difference in challenge to me beyond asking my amp to make the hollow one sound as good to me as the solid one does - and reaching a few of the notes up the top.
There’s no defensiveness in my reply - just an attempt at clarity.
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  #78  
Old 04-10-2024, 06:19 AM
rollypolly rollypolly is offline
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I think your ear just needs to adjust. You also have to play music that sounds good on them. Iíve come to really like the acoustic tone of my Ibanez AK85 although itís just laminate maple.

If you want good unplugged tone then you need a larger body with solid top. Low cost options include the old Harmony Patricians and some older Gibsons and Kalamazoos. Iíve actually yet to own a solid top archtop. Thatís my next grab when I get the funds.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fazool View Post
Hollow body (aka Jazz) guitars are my greatest disappointment.

I think they are the most beautiful guitars and I love the idea of them, especially ones with acoustic bridges like Taylor T5's and Michael Kelly hybrids.

They are wonderfully comfortable to play.

Every time I have one I can't stand the sound. I can never get an acceptable acoustic tone nor a usable electric tone.

I love those guitars.....i Just hate how they sound
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  #79  
Old Today, 05:11 AM
abn556 abn556 is online now
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Default Hollow Bodies, Jazzboxes, Rockabilly Guitars, etc.

The only true Jazz guitar I have is a Ď96 Gibson Howard Roberts Fusion III. This is a semi hollow guitar. Arch top and back. 2.75Ē depth at the sides. Single cutaway with a Fingers tail piece that allows you to dial in the slinkiness for each string. Super fast player with an ebony board. Cool guitar.

Its on the right:

IMG_1820.jpg
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