- Semi-hollow guitars have a warm and beautiful sound suitable for jazz, blues, and classic rock.
- We look at the best semi-hollow electric guitars for clean tones, bluesy overdrive, and lush jazzy chords.
- Featuring PRS, Ibanez, Gretsch, and others.
Semi-Hollow electric guitars offer greater versatility with a warmer tone and better clarity than solid body electrics.
At the same time, they are not as prone to feedback as electric-acoustic guitars, especially when played at loud volumes and with distortion. This makes them a preferred choice for many jazz, blues, and rock guitarists.
For this list, we’ve rounded up the seven best semi-hollow electric guitars on the market.
What Are The 7 Best Semi-Hollow Electric Guitars?
The Heritage Standard H-535 is our pick for the best semi-hollow electric guitar.
It is an improved version of the traditional semi-hollow that is the paradigm for this type of guitar: the Gibson ES-335. However, it comes with better components and reduced cost than the original 335.
For players that demand the best, the PRS Special Semi-Hollow is our premium choice. If you are cash strapped the Gretsch G2622T Streamliner is a great option and our best value choice.
So, here are our candidates for the best semi-hollow electric guitars.
- Heritage Standard H-535 Electric Guitar (Our Pick)
- Gretsch G2622T Streamliner (Best Value)
- PRS Special Semi-Hollow (Premium Choice)
- Ibanez John Scofield Signature JSM100
- D’Angelico Premier Mini DC XT
- Epiphone Sheraton-II PRO Semi-Hollow
- G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-hollow
1. Heritage Standard H-535 Electric Guitar
Heritage guitars have a solid reputation as builders, especially for hollow and semi-hollow guitars. Their instruments are well crafted and are renowned for having a beautiful tone.
The Standard H-535 semi-hollow guitar is no exception. It is a homage to the original 335 sound of the ’50s, but with some modern attributes for increased comfort and playability. This superb instrument is our top pick for this list.
Paying homage to well-traveled and well-played instruments, the Heritage Guitar H-535 semi-hollow body electric guitar feels like playing vintage handcrafted guitar.
- Incredible cost-benefit correlation
- Tonal versatility
- Traditionally constructed semi-hollow body
- Seymour Duncan ’59 humbuckers re-create the original PAF pickups
- Laminated Curly Maple body, Mahogany neck, Rosewood fingerboard
- Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish
- 22 Medium Jumbo frets, 24.75″ scale length
The Heritage Standard H-535 features a neck and bridge set of Seymour Duncan ’59 humbuckers for that classic feel that so many players gravitate towards.
These pickups work in conjunction with a three-way selector, plus there’s an individual volume and tone control for each pickup. You can choose to either combine the volume and tone of each pickup for your ideal blend or dial them in separately for two completely distinct tones when used on their own.
In other words, you’ll have the tonal versatility afforded by a 335-type guitar, without having to pay those higher Gibson prices.
The Heritage Standard H-535 also offers comfortable and fluid playability as you’d expect from a great guitar. This is thanks to its genuine mahogany neck with Heritage Guitar’s Standard C neck profile.
Additional features on this Heritage semi-hollow include 1.6875″ nut width, Corian nut, adjustable bridge, 2-piece stop bar tailpiece, and Grover tuners.
The H-535 comes with a deluxe hardshell case. In short, it’s a fantastic guitar with an incredible cost-benefit correlation.
2. Gretsch G2622T Streamliner
The Gretsch G2622T Streamliner is a semi-hollow guitar with a vintage flair that offers fantastic value.
Not only does it look the part, but it also sounds great for the price, thanks mostly to its maple construction.
Best of all, you won’t have to break the bank with the G2622T. The Gretsch G2622T Streamliner is our best value option for this list.
The G2622T Streamliner puts a genuine Gretsch semi-hollow body electric guitar in your hands for great value.
- Vintage flair
- Feedback-free Hollowbody tone
- Great value for money
- 5-ply maple body for a snappy, open tone
- Broad’Tron BT-2S Humbucker pickups
- Weight-relieved spruce center block for feedback-free tone
- U-shaped nato neck with laurel fingerboard
- 3 volume controls and 1 tone control create exceptional sonic flexibility
- Bigsby tailpiece provides smooth vibrato action
Gretsch relied heavily on the tonal properties of Maple when making the G2622T Streamliner. The result is a semi-hollow-body guitar that is lively, bright, and colorful, all of this for a truly affordable price point.
The G2622T also features a 5-ply arched laminated body that produces an open tone that can help cut through a mix along with the Broad’Tron pickups.
This budget-friendly semi-hollow also features a long weight-relieved spruce center block that runs the full length of the body. This helps avoid feedback, a common problem with hollow guitars.
As far as the electronics go, the 2622T Streamliner features a separate volume control for each pickup, allowing you to dial in your own balance when both pickups are engaged.
The master tone control lets you fine-tune your sound once you’ve got the pickups dialed in.
Now, one of the most appealing aspects of this guitar is the Bigsby-style tailpiece that not only gives you that vintage tremolo sound but the stylish look as well.
This Bigsby-Licensed tailpiece is based on the original design created by Paul A. Bigsby and will provide you with tons of vintage fun.
(What is the best tremolo setup for you? We break down the differences between floating and non-floating tremolo here.)
3. PRS Special Semi-Hollow
Paul Reed Smith is one of the most respected guitar brands in the world today. The PRS Special Semi-Hollow guitar is just one of many examples of why this is true.
Simply said, this is a gorgeous instrument that features state-of-the-art construction, design, and electronics with a hint of vintage flair.
This is our premium pick for this article.
The PRS Special Semi-Hollow delivers an irresistible package to the tone-savvy guitarist who demands the ultimate in playability and sonic versatility.
- A state-of-the-art guitar
- Offers superior sound, playability, and versatility
- Covers any genre
- Chambered mahogany body; flame maple top Mahogany neck, Pattern profile
- 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with bird inlays
- Pickups: 58/15 LT (neck), Narrowfield (middle), 58/15 LT (bridge)
- Two mini-toggle coil-split switches, 5-way pickup selector
- PRS Gen III Tremolo vibrato bridge
The PRS Special Semi-Hollow offers superior sound, playability, and versatility. It features proprietary three PRS pickups and a versatile switching scheme.
The 58/15 LT pickups at both the bridge and neck position produce a rich and organic vintage tone. The 58/15 LT is based on the original 58/15’s successful design that made PRS PAF pickups a force to be reckoned with.
However, the LT version is wound with fewer wire turns for even more clarity and nuance. These pickups sound really good with a fat overdrive, giving you a thick, snarling tone that can still give you crystalline note separation within chords.
On the middle position, we’ve got the Narrowfield pickup acting as a sort of Swiss army knife. This pickup can deliver the sound of a humbucker, a P-90, a traditional single-coil, and a mini-humbucker.
(How do different pickup designs work and what does it mean for your guitar tone? We break down the differences in Single Coil/P90/Humbucker (Types Of Pickups & When To Use Them))
Technically, the Narrowfield uses a humbucking design. In any case, it maintains clarity in overdrive while bucking the hum at the same time.
All of these pickups and switching options give you a total of 12 pickup combinations that will likely cover any genre and situation, all of that with superior playability.
Additionally, the PRS Special Semi-Hollow is equipped with two mini-toggle switches for splitting the pickup coils for single-coil tones, while a 5-way pickup selector gives you reverse-polarity tones in positions 2 and 4.
This PRS also features a Pattern neck. This neck is fast and comfortable and never tiring. Finally, the Special Semi-Hollow features a PRS Gen III Tremolo vibrato bridge, PRS Phase III Locking, and a beautiful F-hole on its resonant body.
In short, this is an incredible semi-hollow guitar for discerning guitarists.
4. Ibanez John Scofield Signature JSM100
Few jazz/fusion/funk guitarists in history have the level of respect and long career that John Scofield does.
A consummate improviser with supreme musicianship, “Sco” has been a longtime Ibanez user.
The iconic brand and the legendary jazzman have been together since 2001, and the JSM100 is their latest model: a beautiful semi-hollow that sounds and plays as good as it looks.
The Ibanez JSM100 signature semi-hollow electric guitar gives you the same feel, features, and sound found in jazz legend John Scofield's prized instrument.
- Looks, feels, and sounds like Scofield's favorite
- Not just a pretty face
- Figured Anigre top/back/sides, Bound ebony fingerboard
- Mahogany Neck, JSM Prestige set
- 24.75″ scale length
- Half bone/half brass nut for balanced highs and lows
- G510BN bridge position pickup, Super 58 humbucker at neck
The JSM100 features the exact dimensions as requested by the legendary guitarist. It also includes Scofield’s preferred “castle” headstock shape, beautiful pearl/abalone block inlays, and gold hardware.
The JSM100 also features a thick sound block and a rigid top that provides very high resistance to feedback. In practical terms, you can trust that the JSM100 will keep you sounding smooth and in control of your tone even at very high volumes with or without saturation.
Additionally, Ibanez and Scofield designed this guitar with a half bone/half brass nut, as well as two Super 58 humbucking pickups for a classic, rich tone.
Other features on the JSM100 include a side-mount jack output, a max-width at a lower bout of 15-3/4″, and a max body thickness 2-3/8″.
This guitar ships with a deluxe hardshell case. In the words of John Scofield himself, the JSM100 is a perfect hybrid of a solid body and an archtop, and it’s hard to argue with the legend.
5. D’Angelico Premier Mini DC XT
The D’Angelico Premier Mini DC XT is a great semi-solid body guitar for players that gravitate towards smaller instruments.
Whether you have a small frame or just prefer a smaller guitar in general, the Premier Mini DC XT is one of the best choices in the market right now.
It features great playability, sound, and comfort, as well as D’Angelico’s unique attention to every single detail.
If you're on the hunt for a cross-genre do-it-all semi that will ace any live gig or studio session, the D'Angelico Premier Mini DC is the one you're after.
- Silky-smooth ovangkol fretboard
- Sounds great
- Laminate flame maple body for a resonant sound
- Ideal for players that prefer smaller guitars
- Seymour Duncan USA pickups
- Locking tuners
- Ovangkol fingerboard, medium jumbo frets
The D’Angelico Premier Mini DC XT features a reduced-size laminated maple body with a laminated maple top. Its design features a solid center block for maximum tone and sustain, with a maple neck boasting a comfortable C profile.
This semi-hollow will be a great buy for many, especially players that prefer smaller bodies or just want a more streamlined instrument.
This D’Angelico also features a 4-inch-radius fingerboard with 22 medium frets. The silky-smooth ovangkol fretboard feels quite comfortable and effortless.
As far as electronics go, this guitar features a Seymour Duncan SH-2n Jazz Humbucker pickup on the neck and Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB Humbucker for the bridge. These are controlled by 2 x volume, 2 x tone, 3-way toggle pickup switch.
Additional features include locking tuners, and a custom PPS nut that aids sustain and eliminates string binding. The scale length is 25″, nut width of 1.6875″, and features a Tune-O-Matic bridge.
6. Epiphone Sheraton-II PRO Semi-Hollow
It is hard to find a guitar company that has been around for as long as Epiphone. Founded in 1873, this company rose to prominence in the middle of the 20th century and was quickly snapped up by Gibson. Epiphone should not just be dismissed as the “budget” arm of Gibson as that would overlook the quality of their instruments, plus the company offers plenty of unique product lines that are separate to Gibson.
The Epiphone Sheraton II PRO Semi-Hollow guitar is a solid choice, especially for those starting to get into Jazz or anybody that wants a good 335-type guitar that is easy on the budget and looks cool on stage.
Add fat blues, rock, and jazz tones to your musical arsenal with the Epiphone Sheraton-II PRO semi-hollow body electric guitar.
- Unique tone
- Delivers brilliant Epiphone quality
- Solid center block for improved tone and sustain
- 5-piece maple/walnut neck with pau ferro fretboard
- Two ProBucker pickups (coil tapped) based on the Gibson BurstBucker
- Coil tapping for tonal dexterity
- SlimTaper neck profile for greater comfort
The Sheraton-II PRO features two Epiphone ProBucker pickups for that bell-like 335 tone. These pickups have a 4-wire design with coil-tapping inspired by Gibson’s legendary BurstBuckers to produce the sound of the original hand-wound PAF humbuckers.
ProBuckers pickups feature the same components under the hood as the original PAF and BurstBuckers.
These include Alnico II magnets, Elektrisola magnet wire, 18 percent nickel silver unit bases and covers, as well as pole screws, slugs, and bobbins built to original Gibson specifications.
This semi-hollow guitar also features a pau ferro bound fingerboard, 22 medium jumbo frets, 24.75″ scale length, 12″ radius, GraphTech NuBone XL nut, and 1.6875″ nut width.
Additional features include a Urethane body finish, laminated maple for the body and top, Epiphone LockTone Tune-o-Matic Bridge with LockTone Stopbar, plus Grover Rotomatic tuners.
Overall the Epiphone Sheraton-II PRO is a great instrument for serious students and professionals that don’t want to splurge.
7. G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-Hollow
G&L Musical Instruments was founded in the 1970s by George Fullerton, Dave Hyatt, and Leo Fender. Yes, you read that right, Mr. Fender himself!
The G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-hollow guitar features not only a Tele design originally conceived by Leo Fender but also pickups designed by him while at G&L.
Last but not least, this guitar has a fantastic cost-benefit ratio.
The G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-hollow is a factory-modded version of Leo Fender’s traditional single-cutaway bolt-on.
- Value for money
- Versatile tone
- Unbelievable resonance
- Factory-modded version of Leo Fender’s traditional Telecaster
- Swamp ash body for warmth, brightness, and mix-penetrating midrange
- Semi-hollow construction with twin voice chambers for added resonance
- Maple neck with medium C profile and 9.5″-radius fingerboard
- Alnico-loaded, Paul Gagon-designed neck humbucker for a vintage-inspired PAF-like tone
The ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-Hollow features a swamp ash body, twin voice chambers for added resonance, and an F-hole.
The neck is made of maple with a comfortable medium C profile as well as a 9.5″-radius fingerboard for extra comfort.
This semi-hollow Tele-style guitar features a Paul Gagon-designed neck humbucker that produces a PAF-like tone.
On the other hand, the bridge position pickup is a Leo Fender-designed single-coil Magnetic Field Design with an extra-thick bar magnet that emits an ultra-tight magnetic field. This design produces a great amount of energy around the coil for superior output and attack.
This single-coil pickup also features individually adjustable pole pieces to give you complete control over your tone.
Additional features on the G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-Hollow include a classic boxed-steel bridge with individual brass saddles for vintage-flavored sustain and precise intonation, sealed tuners for reliable stability, tinted neck finish, and a tortoise pickguard.
In short, this is a great option for those that want a semi-hollow guitar that does not employ the typical 335 body shape and features, at a great price.