Hey guys, with the passing of BB king and since I've gotten into July Talk and just being an overall blues fan in general I'm really itching for a semi hollow.

Here comes the catch. My budget is under 1000, I want it new, I live in Charleston, WV, I play in a rock band letterswv.bandcamp.com, I play with an agile al3100 a prs se245 through some pedals into a vox ac30 and an avatar 2x12, and it has to, and I mean HAS TO be able to take a beating. I get very aggressive on stage and I need something as road worthy as my agile or prs. I was thinking of the epiphone sheraton II, or the Ibanez AS93. Are there any others I should consider? Are either of these two the right choice? Sound is very important but I think that any of the semi hollow hum bucker equipped guitars will give me a big fat round sound. So the main issues is durability. All help appreciated.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at May 17, 2015,
Get a used Artcore. Worry about something nicer if you decide you like semihollows.
I bought an Epiphone Dot a few months ago. It is exquisite. Looks beautiful, sounds great, plays like a dream.

I tried some Artcores and Sheratons. The Dot, for me, was easily the best. I'm trying to restrain myself from buying another one.
Trustworth Samende of the Zimbabwean group Mokoomba gets some lovely tones out of his Epiphone semihollow.

As does Gary Clark, Jr.
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!
Nobody's mentioned prs yet but so far everything listed would be a good choice.
Does it have to be semihollow rather than hollow? I had a go on an Epiphone Emperor Swingster (the Gretsch lookalike) a couple weeks ago and it was fantastic; only around £500 (about $800 but I don't now what it actually costs in the US) and it felt pretty solidly put together. Any Epi around that price point would be a good choice, I think.
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I think Epiphone Sheraton's are excellent guitars so is the Ibanez AS93. You can't go wrong with either. The Sheraton may be a little more durable. I have had mine since the 1989 or 1990, can't remember and it still plays great and it was only a year ago that it needed a good fret dress after a lot of playing hours and occasional weeks of road work.

I am a little puzzled by needing a guitar that "takes a beating". Do you do it on purpose? If so why? (I'm not being a wiseass, I am really curious about this statement.)
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at May 18, 2015,
Sheraton and AS93 are both good choices. Also the Hagtroms are nice. I, too am curious about wanting a "NEW" guitar when you plan to beat the hell out of it anyway. You can get a lot more for your money 2nd hand, but to each their own.
I'm a fan of the AS93. Great piece for the money.

If you're really going to do semi-hollow, you might also look at the Agile AS-1000 series, available with humbuckers or P90's. It's even available as a 27" scale 7-string (find the AS-1000 727)

My suggestion is that you go full-size (335, 345, 355 in Gibson) to get the best real semi-hollow experience. Smaller semi-hollows are great, but they end up sounding more like a solid body than a semi-hollow.

For example, the SH-550 Carvin is a relatively small-body semi-hollow that's actually carved out of two pieces of wood; the body is CNC-carved out of a chunk of mahogany, the top from a 2" slab of (usually) maple. The result sounds more like a Les Paul than my ES-335s. Excellent guitar, but not quite the same.

The Gibson Midtown series is a cheap run at the same kind of guitar. Instead of having a carved top like the Carvin, it's flat. And it's small. In fact, the only thing to recommend it is that it looks very much like a shrunken 335 in pictures (and not so much in person). It's also cheaply done. NOT an excellent guitar and not quite the same.

The Gibson (and Epiphone equivalent) 336 and 339 series are slightly different sizes (from each other, and both smaller than the real 335), with one a carved hollowed-out guitar, the other built along the same construction method as a 335.

And finally, in the smaller shrunken-335 size is the one that started it all, the Ibanez AM-205. Easily the best of the smaller bunch in terms of sounding more like a 335, the older '80's series (if you can find one) is higher quality than the Gibson equivalents. There's a current reissue that I've not had a chance to compare to the older ones, but Ibanez actually does a fair job of reissues when it's actually got its eye on producing the same guitar. For example, the Ibanez 2819 does a great job of bringing back the quality and features of the original late-70's 2819, but it's gonna cost you a couple of grand (and you can probably find a decent original for less). But the current guitar they call an AR-300 is nowhere near the early '80's AR-300 (and the price reflects that).