#1
Greetings people of UG.

I've been messing around with 335s lately and their clones. I tend to like heavier guitars for tone reasons, so, I'm looking around for semi-hollows with large width (body not too thick though) and maybe more on the solid side of the spectrum, but still hollow enough for its natural resonant qualities. So, probably 9 lbs and above, I imagine.

What are some models like this? All price ranges and brands considered.
#2
I weighed my Corsair, which is a fairly heavy semihollow, and it only weighs 8.14 pounds. I looked at Wildwood’s stock and everything seems to be under 8. It’s going to be hard to get much heavier because the block would need to be wider, and that doesn’t happen in mass production. I think Carvin routes out their hollow and semihollow bodies instead of using plywood. So you could ask them to widen the center block. You could also look into 1970s Gibsons—they went through a maple neck phase, which adds some weight, but for what it will cost it you could probably just order a custom guitar.
#3
Quote by jpnyc
I weighed my Corsair, which is a fairly heavy semihollow, and it only weighs 8.14 pounds. I looked at Wildwood’s stock and everything seems to be under 8. It’s going to be hard to get much heavier because the block would need to be wider, and that doesn’t happen in mass production. I think Carvin routes out their hollow and semihollow bodies instead of using plywood. So you could ask them to widen the center block. You could also look into 1970s Gibsons—they went through a maple neck phase, which adds some weight, but for what it will cost it you could probably just order a custom guitar.



Thank you for your response.

Yes, custom is actually the tentative plan but I'd still like to experiment with what builds do exist. I'll look into the vintage Gibsons though. Thanks.
#4
if your custom ordering a guitar specify you want a heavy "plank" guitar ...... when your pulling planks out there will be heavy and light planks of the very same wood with the same dimensions ...... the guy pulling the wood plank out can easily achieve what you desire if he knows what you want
#5
The Gretsch G5622T Electromatic Center Block Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar weighs about 8.5lbs.

The Reverend Manta Ray body style has a HB version, a 290 (2xP90) version, a 390 (3x P90) version, and another version called the Tricky Gomez. The hardtail versions are somewhere between 6-7lbs, but the TG has a Bigsby and is @8-9lbs. During some production years, the HB and the P90 versions have also had a Bigsby option available, which should weigh about the same as the TG.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Nov 21, 2015,
#7
Quote by VicotnikCzral
Greetings people of UG.

I've been messing around with 335s lately and their clones. I tend to like heavier guitars for tone reasons, so, I'm looking around for semi-hollows with large width (body not too thick though) and maybe more on the solid side of the spectrum, but still hollow enough for its natural resonant qualities. So, probably 9 lbs and above, I imagine.


I'm not sure that you're going to find a 9 lb semi-hollow.
I'm not sure that you're barking up the right tree looking for "hollow enough for its natural resonant qualities" when you're looking for a "heavier guitar for tone reasons." I think you're unclear on what causes what.

My first guitar (and third) was a 335, and I still have them.

If I were looking for that size and class of guitar these days, I'd probably look for a 355 (it's sort of the Custom version of the 335), and if I had money to toss around, I'd probably be looking for a really good '61 with original PAFs.

The Carvins JPNYC is talking about are hollow, but carved (not laminated wood like the 335s), and they're small-size guitars a bit larger than an LP. They're relatively dense, with the back carved from a solid block of mahogany and the tops carved from either maple or cedar (though there are other choices of wood for both top and bottom). If you see a photo of the interior, you'll know they can't (and, more importantly, won't) reprogram a CNC machine to leave more wood behind in the center. They already sound more like an LP to me than a 335 anyway. The playability is superb and the workmanship outstanding.They claim an average weight of around 8.25 lbs, but I think they come in a bit heavier.

#8
I agree with dspellman. Even to the small and complicated extent to which a guitar's density (not really the weight, when you get down to it) effects the tone, a "heavy hollow" is going to be heavy for a lot of reasons that are either unrelated or antithetical to the same factors on a solid instrument. It's probably smarter in this situation to start with the tonal goals in mind, instead of hoping that the factors you think are important for a solidbody translate nicely to a hollow.

So:
What do you want to sound like? What qualities do you find in your heavy guitars that you prefer them for? Even if it is the density that is making them sound the way you want, a really good luthier (since you're going custom) should be able to reproduce those features in any number of ways that are not so crude as "make it weigh more."

We can help with off-the-shelf stuff, but if you're serious about going custom, this is a conversation that a good luthier would be happy to have with you, and will probably be more fruitful than trying to explain in internet messages exactly what you're hoping to hear. Having a custom guitar made is a fascinating and exciting process - don't waste your time with us, if you have the option of one-on-one time with a real professional who's excited to take your money in exchange for a great guitar.
#9
Thanks for the replies everybody. I had a busy holiday week, and I didn't really have a chance to sit down until now.


I'll start by saying that my speculations and knowledge of guitar tone relating to the actual constitution of the guitar is concomitant with the utmost humility. I've been playing guitar a while now, but I'm definitely not an expert when it comes to this aspect of it. If I say something that seems off, I appreciate anybody helping me to shed ignorance.


First, I'll give my general impression of semi-hollow body guitars. For what I do, I've come to like the sound of semi-hollows just from my limited experience playing them. I tend to find them warmer, which I like. They can have a creamy quality, I also want to say organic, and sometimes even a "synth" like quality (this might seem like a contradiction to organic, but I'm doing my best here; think warm-smooth synth), at least with the certain phrasing and settings, more so than solid-bodies. I'm starting to call it 'boxy', as in hollow. Even with heavily overdriven tones, I feel like I can hear the difference; that absent space, and different vibrating quality. I definitely hear a difference in tonal quality. I used the word resonance in the first post; maybe there's a better word?


So, it's warmer, less bright, so maybe more muddy, as I have heard some say, but I not in a way I dislike necessarily. I don't want a big sacrifice of clarity, but maybe muddy in a way that I like is partly what I mean by 'organic'. It has a more acoustic, earthy, less metallic quality, relative to a super-strat like guitar, or even a Les Paul, for example.


Compared to solids, semis seem more full but more thin at the same time. The acoustic aspects of it seem to give it a full (resonant) sound, to my ears anyway. The sound seems to fill up with resonance. But it also has less body, literally, and in its sound; especially single note lines, or leads, tend to sound a lot thinner, and also seemingly with a bit less sustain. And this is the main reason I would want a slightly beefed up semi, and equated it to weight, as I assumed that that would be at least a side product. I would've guessed a larger center plank, but still ample hollow room would mean a heavier build. Maybe I should just start saying density instead? Getting a bit more solid -- more sustain and more body to the sound, and able to handle overdriven tones comfortably -- while also having those "boxy" aspects as well; warm, 'organic', creamy, and what seems to me to be a resonance that's not found in solid bodies.


Is this nonsense? I'm going about this quest of mine as an empiricist, but in trying to express it maybe I'm misusing some words here? Should I just give up playing music and start watching daytime TV in a Cheetos stained wife-beater? Hopefully this makes some sense to some of you. Maybe for the sound qualities I'm talking about, the construction of the guitar is not what I should be worried about so much relative to other things? As in, maybe the causation of the tone qualities I'm talking about is actually just correlative, and mainly caused by other uncontrolled variables? Maybe I'm just hearing things and the differences I'm talking about are negligible at best? I'm open to any facts and opinions.


Note; I just purchased a 335 clone for fairly cheap made by an obscure Korean brand called Sejung. This will serve my semi-hollow tone experiments for the time being, but my tentative plan is to work with a luthier on something ideal. Leading up to the purchase I had played a lot of both Gibson and Epiphone 335s (at Guitar Center and the like). I definitely prefer the Sejung to the Epiphone models in look, play-ability, and sound. Can't really say that for Gibson, but I will say that my favorite Gibson hollow body that I played was a vintage '67 345. I liked that one more than the newer ones. The newer ones were too bright, and I liked the response of the vintage one better. A guitar I also hands-down liked better than the newer Gibsons that I played was the Duesenberg 440, in case that information might be useful in responding.


Quote by Tony Done
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See above.


Quote by dspellman
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Thanks for the recommendations. Much appreciated. The carved Carvins sound interested. And I'll also look into 355s. I'm not claiming to be completely clear and what causes what. I'm definitely a bit ignorant and appreciate any light you might be able to shed about which trees are more appropriate for barking up.


Quote by Roc8995
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Thanks for the encouragement. I think I'll find myself in the studio of a Luthier at some point. Yeah, as I wrote above, I kind of just figured the guitar I would be looking for would be heavier, not that that alone was the main causal factor for the tone I want. So, I was just using that as a barometer for looking around.


Hopefully what I've written about gives a good basis of what I might be looking for. To try to write a bit more/summarize; I'm looking for a really, really big, 'natural', earthy, warm sound, that sounds big clean, mid-gain, and could also 'handle' high-gain, with more body to the sound than the average semi. I need it to sound like there's really something behind it and vibrating, and not just sound like pick-ups. Just a really, really, big, 'natural' sound. Heavy guitars have seemed to me to always sound like there's 'more there'. More beef, and more sustain. Of course I want great response, and intonation, and for it to be dynamic and versatile to a fair degree, but I don't want it to sound like a Jem.


Thank you so much everyone for reading and taking time to respond.