View Poll Results: Jazz guitarists do you prefer sold body or hollow body?

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  • I prefer solid body

    69 14.68%
  • I prefer hollow body

    401 85.32%
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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norman931
    It seems odd to me that jazz players generally scorn the Les Paul, which is basically the ES-175 circuit on a solid body. I personally dislike the shape and weight of it, but you can easily get a good jazz tone with one.
    Les paul's sound great...they're just heavy as lead and look like a friggin ukulele on my 6 foot 4 inch 250lb frame.

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  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klatu
    IMO opinion, semihollows don't really split the difference between solidbody and hollowbody guitars. They usually sound far more solid than hollow to me, and I think the reason for that is the pickups usually aren't sitting on top of a floating soundboad, rather, they are on a soundboard glued to a center block. The center block influences the sound tremendously by giving the guitar a great deal of sustain similar to a solidbody guitar.

    The only way a solidbody can sound like a hollow is to ditch the center block like the ES 330, Epiphone casino, or the Eastman El Rey. IMO these guitars have much more of the hollowbody punch than their center block cousins.
    +1 on both points. I'd never mistake my 335 tonally for an archtop even though it still has a great jazz tone. OTOH, my El Rey I, fully hollow, sounds SO much like an archtop at times (esp. when compared to the 335) that I'm amazed.

    Larry

  4. #53

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    Interesting that in that photo Jim Hal's Les Paul is fitted with a Van Eps feedback damper. I can only think that it is just to prevent open strings from ringing out, since feedback is unlikely to be an issue with jazz combo volumes and a Les Paul. Hall used the Van Eps damper with his 175 for many years; I can't recall if he used it with the D'Aquisto; he doesn't have one on his Sadowski.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    Interesting that in that photo Jim Hal's Les Paul is fitted with a Van Eps feedback damper. I can only think that it is just to prevent open strings from ringing out, since feedback is unlikely to be an issue with jazz combo volumes and a Les Paul. Hall used the Van Eps damper with his 175 for many years; I can't recall if he used it with the D'Aquisto; he doesn't have one on his Sadowski.
    What is the Van Eps feedback damper?

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz_175
    What is the Van Eps feedback damper?
    If you scroll up to post #52, you'll see a picture of Jim Hall with a Les Paul on which he had mounted a Van Eps String Damper (the device on the headstock reaching across the strings at the 1st fret). He used it on his 175 too. Herb Ellis also used one on his 175 for some years. And of course George van Eps himself used it.

    The idea was to dampen the vibrations of the string length between the nut and the fretted note. For my part I have never seen the idea of it in amplified instruments, since the feedback is not much dependent of that length of string. It could be of more relvance on an acoustic guitar if the sympathetic ringing of the that length of string is getting on your nerves. But then I would not use a Van Eps Damper, where it's necessary to drill holes in the headstock til fit it. Anything sqeezed in between the strings and the fretboard at the first fret close to the nut will work just the same way. The original Van Eps damper has been discontinued for decades, but from time to time dampers working the same way has popped up - usually at a high price. They also have disappeared without a trace after some time - likely because you really don't have to pay anything, let alone a high price, or drill holes in your guitar to get the effect. Anything - a rolled piece of kitchen tissue, a short length of shoe string, a small strip of velcro - whatever - put between the strings and the fretboard will do the trick.

  7. #56

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    Hi,

    I"m new to Jazz too. I've been playing guitar for the better part of 50 years and just decided I wanted to learn to play jazz style guitar. I'm of the "you need the right tool for every job" school.

    So, I have three guitars currently and looking at a couple of others. For Jazz I prefer a full-on hollow body electric. For that I have a Guild Savoy. But I also have a semi-hollow body, a Guild Manhattan which is great for just about anything, including Jazz. And, I have a Martin, HD 35 Dreadnaught acoustic with an acoustic pickup under the bridge.

    Since I've been playing dreadnaught size acoustics for most of my life I don't mind the SIZE of the guitar. A big guitar feels natural to me.

    I hope to add a Guild Paladin to my collection, another full-size acoustic hollow body for jazz AND I've recently been looking at the low-end Les Pauls, mainly just for fun.

    Of the available options, I vote Hollow Body for Jazz. (Though I do love that semi-hollow Manhattan)

  8. #57

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    i have been playing quite a while. I always played hollow bodies. However, due to a shoulder problem, I could no longer play the hollow body comfortably. My sons gifted me a Stratocaster, which I thought would never work, but with a few mods to the guitar, I have achieved a sound that I would not part with. You'd be surprised what those extra pickups can do.

  9. #58

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    Jazzman, can you tell what mods you did to the Strat? New pickups maybe?

  10. #59

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    Yeah Jazzman I hear you. I've got a touch of bursitis (sp?) in my right shoulder but once the guitar is in place and the shoulder is fairly stable it doesn't bother me much.

    Glad to hear the raves about the Les Pauls, I've been wanting one for a long time. Of course, my wife will kill me. But maybe I'd live long enough to enjoy it for a few hours.

  11. #60

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    I changed the bridge saddles from the original steel to Graph-Tech saddles. Not being from the whammy bar school, I cut a nice peice of oak and blocked the whammy, making it a hard tail. I installed Schaller tuning machines and that's it. No pickup change. (It'an HSS) I've had people comment that it sounds like a semi-hollow. Wouldn't part with it for the world. LesPauls are good too. Just needthe right setup strings and amp settings.
    Last edited by jazzman1021; 12-11-2012 at 05:31 PM.

  12. #61

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    I use the right guitar for the right job For my 30's swing band, I use either my JWC gypsy guitar (w/ Baggs M1A pup), my funky cheapo Washburn HB15C or my Loar 350VS. For my various gypsy groups it's the JWC only. If I'm need some distortion or need to play really loud, or with a darker tone than my other guitars, one of my Teles get's the call (Classic Player Thinline Deluxe w/ WRH pups or Modern Player Thinline Deluxe w/ P90's).

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzman1021
    i have been playing quite a while. I always played hollow bodies. However, due to a shoulder problem, I could no longer play the hollow body comfortably. My sons gifted me a Stratocaster, which I thought would never work, but with a few mods to the guitar, I have achieved a sound that I would not part with. You'd be surprised what those extra pickups can do.
    Speaking of shoulder problems, I've had a few myself (not too bad right now) so I can certainly identify... but I wanted to tell you that I just bought a thinline 100% hollow Eastman T145 archtop (now discontinued but still available out there if you look), and this might be an answer for your hollow-body needs (if you or anyone else here might be looking).

    I took it out of the case for the first time (the shipping box even felt half-empty!), and this has got to be about the lightest guitar I've ever owned or experienced. I love the way it that the smaller 15" body feels when sitting, just really easy to work with, esp. not having to reach over a fuller depth body. Great archtop sound, too (pretty comparable to a full-depth body when amped, IMO), with a nice woody stringiness in the sound I'm really enjoying. Not much depth without plugging in, though (something I would expect, but I'll never play this one unplugged anyway, so no big deal there). In my opinion, this guitar would definitely be pretty easy on a shoulder between the super-light weight plus not needing to be reaching over a thicker body.

    Hope all works out well for you with the Strat, but if you can manage to check one of these guitars out, I think you'd be pleasantly surprised.
    Last edited by ooglybong; 12-14-2012 at 08:49 AM.

  14. #63

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    Man, I love coming here. You guys are great, I always learn so much and you've all been very generous with your advice. Thanks a lot.

    Yeehaw (We say that a lot out here, but I don't know why)

  15. #64

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    So far the Strat is working out well. I'm retired and am allowed the luxury of tweaking amp settings and experimenting. Plenty of time now.

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesAP
    I'm new to jazz guitar. I prefer solid body electric guitars. I'm curious about how many jazz guitarists prefer solid body to hollow body.
    With there being so many styles of Jazz it's likely you can find great players playing about everything. John McLaughlin used an SG double neck, DeMiola early on Les Pauls, others used 175's, 335's, and lots more in hands of some of the best.

    I own some of everything, strats, teles, semi, and hollow and my styles are "eclectic" But, I've seen more guitar players who have a string bass, horn, piano and drums behind them using hollow bodies than anything else.

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpguitar
    I own, use, and love all three. But if I could only choose one as a personal instrument on which to play jazz, it would be a solid carved top non-cutaway hollowbody archtop with a floating pickup.

    +1

  18. #67

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    I love a good Telecaster or ASAT.

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Karol
    For straight ahead jazz, I prefer a hollow body. But I have a fully hollow, a semi-hollow, and a solid body. I use and love all three.
    +1 :-)

  20. #69

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    When playing at a lower volume, or farther from the amp, I really like to hear the acoustic sound of my thin full hollow mixed with the amp's tone. there's more resonance in it. This is comparing my thin hollow Artcore and my chambered PRS SE semi-hollow.

  21. #70

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    They are _all_ good. I reflected the other day that I have had the opportunity to play probably every Gibson archtop model except the Citation, ES250, L3 and L12. This includes The Kalamazoo Award. Favorite for jazz? The ES150 (Charlie Christian), followed by the ES175. I have played Guilds, Epiphones (superb), and my first teacher played a D'Angelico (best sounding guitar...except maybe KA or '28 L5). That said, I very much like playing jazz on Fender Telecasters and Stratocasters. The neck pickup on a Strat is a great bebop sound when played into a 5c5 Fender Pro Amp.

    With Teles and Strats, sustain isn't an issue because palm damping is both easy and automatic due to bridge design. Great jazz guitars.

  22. #71

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    And no, I don't own all those guitars...gotta stay married. I have played them, though.

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by D.G.
    I use the right guitar for the right job For my 30's swing band, I use either my JWC gypsy guitar (w/ Baggs M1A pup), my funky cheapo Washburn HB15C or my Loar 350VS. For my various gypsy groups it's the JWC only. If I'm need some distortion or need to play really loud, or with a darker tone than my other guitars, one of my Teles get's the call (Classic Player Thinline Deluxe w/ WRH pups or Modern Player Thinline Deluxe w/ P90's).
    DG has some good ideas about "play out" rigs. The Loar is a really good choice for playing out, IMO. The Telecaster...it goes without saying, IMO. Too many people are anti-Loar, but this reminds me of the way people felt about Ibanez in the mid-70s. Those Japanese guitars were MUCH better instruments than folks imagined, at the time. The same is true, I think, with the Loars today.

  24. #73

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    Hollowbody for me. My guitar sits on a stand and I pick it up to play many times during the day. I don't want to have to plug it in to get a satisfying tone.
    On a gig, I'll use a semi-hollow (335).

  25. #74
    I was curious about those Carvins that AH plays. Has anyone played one of those?

  26. #75

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    I play a Heritage Prospect. It's sort of a mongrel in that it has a block under the top but the block doesn't go all the way to the back, so it retains some acoustic qualities. I also have a Sweet 16, but I prefer the Prospect's 15" body width. I also have a Strat and a Jazzmaster both of which have been hanging on the wall for a couple of years.