I play mainly ska, such as reel big fish and alot of streetlight manifesto, but I also play a good amount of rock. I'm leaning toward the epiphone dot, but I'm slightly swayed because I think I want something with a little more bight when I need it. I really like the semi-hollow electrics because of their great acoustic clean sound, but again would want to be able to switch to rock too. Do I need to just forget the semi-hollows and go with a les paul or another solid body or is there another semi out there that would be good such as the dot? Also the price range im looking at is mid range.
Hollow bodies can rock, they just get a bit more feedback than their solid body counterparts. A pickup swap would do quite a bit to fix some of the problems think are there.
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(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
A hollowbody with a pickup swap is probably what you'd want.
If you want to keep the price as low as possible, the Epi Dot with a Seymour Duncan Distortion/JB in the bridge should do the job nicely.
They have great bite, but can clean up nicely.
Member of the Laney Cult
I suggest a Telecaster or a tele copy. The Johnson JT-800 is a bright sounding guitar. A lot of cheap guitars are gems if you can set it up or know someone who can.