#1
Hi all!

So here's my deal... I play about 3-4 gigs a week - mostly singer-songwriter kinda stuff and some pop/ rock covers (eg. coldplay, maroon 5, shawn mendes) on my Stagg acoustic-electric with a Fishman piezo. The reason I've stuck with my Stagg for so long is because it has a very sleek neck and provides great playability for my teeny tiny hands. With the right amp settings, I can get a decent tone out of it, too.

I've recently started looking for an upgrade. I had my heart set on a mid-depth Ovation Celeb Elite Plus but someone I trust and who's played many of these guitars told me that the tone wasn't all that great and I was better off getting that kind of tone from a hollow body electric like an Epi Dot. Also, I find the electric necks much easier for me to play. This got me started in my search for a hollowbody. I need something that also sounds decent unplugged and has passable volume (I know it wouldn't be as loud as an acoustic but should be loud enough for me to practice solo at home). Does this mean I should look for a FULL hollow body (like an Epi Casino Coupe) and not a SEMI hollow body (like an Epi ES-339)? I will mostly be playing clean tones but would like to be able to crank up some overdrive from time to time. As mentioned, I play mostly pop, rock, indie kinda stuff.

I'm looking at Epi 335, 339, Casino Coupe, Wildkat and Florentine and a couple of Ibanez AF's. My budget is around $500. I would love for it to not be too big and heavy as I myself have a small frame (I'm a girl btw) and play standing up.

Also, what are your thoughts on using it with a Boss AS-3 type acoustic simulator to get that nice acoustic tone out of it?

I wish I could just go to a store and try all these guitars but I currently live in India and the city I live in hardly has any options. My folks are coming down from the U.S. in ten days, hence the frantic urgency.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!! TIA.
#2
I'm going to recommend an Ibanez Artcore. As much as I love epi hollow and semi-hollows, the Art core neck might suit your hands better.

It's also well within your price range new. Though its much harder to recommend something that you haven't played before. I've heard quite a few "tree trunk neck" comments in regards to gibsons and epiphones.. So I'm going entirely on the Ibanez neck profile when it comes to personally recommending one.

In terms of tonal capability it should satisfy you and scratch all your itches when it comes to your semi-hollow/hollow dilemma.
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#3
I actually have an oldish Ovation Elite, and I like it. Ovation necks are the most like electric guitar necks in dimensions of all the acoustics I've played, save for those made by a luthier in Illinois. They're also pretty durable instruments.

As for their sound, the mid-bowl and full bowl models project well acoustically, but the shallow bowls need to be plugged in for decent tone. Ovations have a brighter tone than most wooden-bodied acoustics, and some complain they don't sound "woody". IOW, they have a polarizing sound- people either love them or hate them.

(Personally, I love them.)

And if you want to hear what they sound like in the hands of a pro, look for Al Di Meola, Robert Fripp, The League of Crafty Guitarists, Melissa Etherige, and Kaki King.

Here's the thing: for the most part, typical hollowbody and semihollow guitars don't really sound like an acoustic guitar when not plugged in. They're just not made to. So if you really want that acoustic tone- ESPECIALLY for gigging- you need an acoustic or acoustic electric. Besides Ovation, I'd recommend Seagull.
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!
#4
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I actually have an oldish Ovation Elite, and I like it. Ovation necks are the most like electric guitar necks in dimensions of all the acoustics I've played, save for those made by a luthier in Illinois. They're also pretty durable instruments.

As for their sound, the mid-bowl and full bowl models project well acoustically, but the shallow bowls need to be plugged in for decent tone. Ovations have a brighter tone than most wooden-bodied acoustics, and some complain they don't sound "woody". IOW, they have a polarizing sound- people either love them or hate them.

(Personally, I love them.)

And if you want to hear what they sound like in the hands of a pro, look for Al Di Meola, Robert Fripp, The League of Crafty Guitarists, Melissa Etherige, and Kaki King.

Here's the thing: for the most part, typical hollowbody and semihollow guitars don't really sound like an acoustic guitar when not plugged in. They're just not made to. So if you really want that acoustic tone- ESPECIALLY for gigging- you need an acoustic or acoustic electric. Besides Ovation, I'd recommend Seagull.


I played a friend's Ovation Celeb a year ago and fell in love with it. It just makes me sound like a much better guitarist somehow! The solos I could never do on my Stagg or Washburn acoustic (or any other acoustic for that matter), I could do on that one.
The reason I'm looking at a hollow body electric is that it'll probably give me more versatility on stage. I could do some nice licks/ solos and not just rhythms plus tonally also, I would have more variation. Couldn't I just use an acoustic sim for those acoustic tones and still be able to add some distortion for the other stuff? I'm usually the only guitarist in the band and having more tones to play with would definitely be a welcome change.
#5
Well, any electric guitar with a piezo//transducer system- usually in the bridge- will let you deliver a relatively convincing acoustic tone. And some even let you blend the acoustic tone with the signal from your other pickups (instead of it being either-or). Several companies make them- Godin, Parker, Fret-King- but they're generally not inexpensive.

I don't know anything about the quality of acoustic sims.
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!
#6
I own an Ibanez AF75. It's a very nice guitar for certain styles light rock but more jazz). It's very light with a nice playable neck (good low action) and can function as an unamplified acoustic (but not as loud as a full acoustic. I think it is a quality instrument. It an has excellent variety of tone. I don't play mine nearly as much as I should.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#7
I've been using a Boss AC2 pedal myself lately, as I can't play an acoustic guitar without pain. An AC3 would be better, but there wasn't any around. But I've been using a G&L Legacy, not a semi-hollow. The tone is okay, though it's no replacement for a real acoustic sound. It's closer to an Ovation sound, IMO. Which is, as I've said before, terrible.

You might try a Seagull acoustic as well, if they're available in your part of the world. Mine has a really thin, comfortable neck. Not as smooth as my G&L, but it's still nice. Much better than my old Ovation.