Since I picked up the guitar, I've played mostly metal and hardrock. I own an ESP LTD-F100 FM (my practice axe for things like stringing and maintenance) and a Schechter Hellraiser C-7 (my main instrument)

But while they have been good and fine, my tastes are moving beyond that of metal and into things like Blues, Folk, and reggae. So I've been looking at some other style guitars to fit those needs. So far i've come across the Ibanez Artcore AF75, Gretsch G5120 and a gretsch G100CE

im leaning towards the G5120 of those three. Was wonderingh what your opinions of these were and if you had any other suggestions. my budget is $750 or so

i would like be able to play it unplugged and have it sound good, so a hollowbody seems more appropriate for that reason.
I don't perform live, this isjsut for my own enjoyment.

if I forgot anything else you guys need to know, just lemme know
read the sticky and im gonna add some more info

pickups: since i have active humbuckers on my hellraiser, i guess single coil would be preferable, just because I don't own a guitar with those, but really that's towards the bottom of my list

favorite artist: well, ive JUST got started in the blues, and Robert Johnson & Son House I'm digging; BB King & SRV are always good in my book.
reggae: U-Roy, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Lee Scratch Perry, Black Uhuru
Folk: well...more like ethnic folk music... The folk metal scene has gotten me interested in music traditions and history of Europe (Eluvietie, Fintroll, and Fejd being the 3 big ones on my ipod now)

New/Used:prefer new

Closest City: Im in NE iowa, with the closest city 1 1/2 hours in any direction. I do have a music store that will do special orders for me though.
How good a hollowbody sounds unplugged depends in great part on how big and deep its body is- and bigger & deeper is beter.* At best, it will sound approximately like a small-body parlor guitar.

So thinline hollowbodies like some of the Ibanez Artcores are really meant to be played plugged in. Play some of those bigger Gretsch Electromatics and you'll immediately hear the difference.

And to me, it looks like those you've picked out are more to the thinline side.

In terms of quality, both brands are going to be well made and deliver a good plugged-in sound, but if you want any real acoustic tone, you'll need to look at their deeper bodied models.

Also consider the hollowbody Epiphones and Hagstroms...with the same caveats about size.

Three of the better hollowbodies around your price range out there are the Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin, Kingpin II and Composer. Others in the 5th Avenue line- the Jazz; the Uptown- would be killer, but you'd have to go used.

Other good used options would be Reverend Pete Anderson signature models if you can find them.

* minds out of the gutter!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Aug 18, 2013,
I had an epiphone dot for a few years (sold it to fund a Les Paul) and I liked it. I got it new for $350 when a store had a sale, and spent $100 upgrading the pickups (Seymor Duncan SH4 and... SH2?). I liked it, but had been jonesin for a Les Paul for years so when I had an opportunity to sell if for nearly what I paid/put into it, I took it.

I've heard really good things about some of the newer Gretschs too, and I've been thinking about pulling the trigger on a 5422 TDC. I think these (and similar ones) fall into your price range. Apparently, these have better pickups than 5120s. If you are looking into those, give the 5422 and 5420 a look.

Also, I jammed with a guy once who had a Reverend hollow body (don't remember the name, maybe Manta Ray?) and he really liked it. It was a cool looking axe too.
Ahh man I don't know how far you are from a guitar center.

That place is THE BEST, they have a huge selection especially compared to most music stores and you can play everything. If you can make a trip there, I'd do it.

Because my recommendation is always to play around with a few until you find one you like. Reading specs and looking at pictures is one thing, but holding it in your hand and seeing what the thing is capable of in the flesh is what really matters.
Reverend Manta Rays are cool as hell, but they're actually semihollows.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
The other nice thing about Guitar Center is they often will price match if you find a deal online. A buddy of mine wanted a Telecaster, played em at Guitar Center, then looked online and saw someone like ZZounds had a sale and was listing it at least $100 cheaper. He printed the page out, showed it to the GC guys, and they matched it.

Or, if they don't match for whatever reason, you can try guitars out at GC and then buy the same model online if its being sold somewhere a lot cheaper.
I just purchased a mint used 2011 Gretsch G5120 @ GC for $450. I wanted something I could play with or without amp and for all types of music mainly Blues and 60's rock. May change the PU's later but as of now it sounds great
I had one of the Ibby Artcores, a semi-hollow. Not much to it if it isn't plugged in. I loved that guitar. I ordered a used one from MF, and they sent me a brand new one because they couldn't find the one I had bought. It played like butter. I was really impressed with what I got for the price. It was great for cleaner blues and jazz, but it could get mildly dirty without getting muddy.
Ibanez SR1200E
I like the Artcores- a LOT of quality in those guitars for a very reasonable price.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!