View Poll Results: Which one?

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194. You may not vote on this poll
  • Gibson

    57 29.38%
  • Sadowsky

    27 13.92%
  • Collings

    29 14.95%
  • Others (ibanez, yamaha, heritage, etc)

    81 41.75%
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Posts 51 to 91 of 91
  1. #51

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    Well, everyone who responds will have their favorites. Especially those who spent large!
    Play some, if you can. Your ears and hands don't lie... you like, or you don't.
    I'm still confused by my "go to" guitars.
    Not a G or F or boutique in sight!

    YMMV

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Did I mention the ES-339 ?

  4. #53

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    Maybe I'm a TEENY bit biased, but I've had my Ibby JSM-10 for quite a while now, and I'm still over the moon about it. It's a $3,000 guitar in an $1,100 package.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by West LA Jazz
    I am still waiting to hear a single negative thing about the Collings guitar brand. Incredible how the reviews keep streaming in... all positive.
    Much of the glowing reviews of these guitars is based on confirmation bias. When you pay $5k for a 335 style guitar, your bias will make you like it. I have played many of these, originally intending to use one as my main axe. My conclusion based on many samples is that it is a fabulously made instrument but I felt that it sounds no better than the Gibson or Heritage semi-hollow guitars, muchless sadowsky.

    Additionally, I felt that for both straight ahead jazz and fusion, the 339/335 actually sound better *to me*

  6. #55

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    A few weeks ago I played a Collings at Rudys in NYC. I have nothing bad to say about it. However, I also was not awestruck. It was a semihollow with some special pickups that sounded a bit bright and thin to me - but that is a matter of taste of course. It was flawlessly constructed and played well, but not in a different league. The guy then brought me a vintage ES 345 - and man - *that* thing was great. I was very tempted to just grab it, but then I came to my senses and passed. So, I guess, for my money I would get a Gibson or Heritage in the semihollow category. I have a great ES 137 and an awesome H555. That is enough (for now :-)).
    Last edited by Frank67; 08-11-2016 at 04:54 AM.

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by markseale
    I have not played a semi-hollow that comes close to the Collings spruce top I35. It is the finest playing and sounding semi-hollow I've come across.

    I've had a quite a few vintage 335's, a recent 335 reissue (WH), A pair of collings I35 spruce tops, I 35LC, I35 solid maple top, a couple Sadowsky Semi's, A Thornton Improv, and pretty much every other semi available. (its a quest - its a problem).

    The question at hand comes down to how much your chasing the "335" thing. If that's the goal - than find a great 335. You may have to play a few dozen to find one but when you do ....

    The Sadowsky semi is a great instrument. Roger is on to something with his chambered spruce center block. Takes the tone towards a spruce hollow body but with more sustain and excellent feedback rejection.

    The Thornton is an outstanding guitar. Far more even sustain than a 335. Notes jump off of it yet its still sweet and warm.
    (I did a demo vid for it if you want to search on youtube).

    Of all the I35 variants -the spruce top is just killer. Each of mine rings for days, with a tone that is a step closer to arch top while giving up none of the advantages of a semi. Mine are aging in incredibly well. Opening up nicely over the first 6 months. The ergonomics of it are poor though. The binding is very sharp which makes it uncomfortable on the gut and arm.

    Thornton Improv
    Sad Semi
    I35 Spruce
    (not in any particular order)

    Those are my fav 3 at this point and since I'm old at now and have been on a semi grail quest forever ..... can't see another contender getting on this list. As to which wins - depends on the day. Probably the Thornton because Chuck rules. But so does Roger. And the gang at Collings is top shelf ..... shit ..... depends on the day .... can't decide.
    Last edited by edhamgtr; 08-26-2016 at 06:42 PM.

  8. #57

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    Just to add another name to the mix, the Hamer Newport is a great instrument that has less repute than it deserves. Probably one of the best examples of the 335 type that I've ever played. This is just a picture from the interwebz as the guitar was sadly not mine. It's on the bucket list though.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #58

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    For me it would have to be a Gibson custom or a MIJ Momose custom craft guitar. The Seventy Seven Exrubato are also beautiful guitars, still trying to decide if I like the headstock, but the spruce top is very cool. Photos don't do these guitars justice.

    Semi-Hollow Guitars - Collings vs Sadowsky vs Gibson-img_0022-jpgSemi-Hollow Guitars - Collings vs Sadowsky vs Gibson-img_0024-jpg

  10. #59

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    +1 on the earlier mention of a Hoboken Starfire IV. I'm not sure if this is a Hoboken Starfire or a very early Westerly, but they are basically the same until HB-1's arrived in 1970. A Bigsby was added to this guitar at some point.


  11. #60

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    Before I had the $$$ to spend on a real ES guitar I had the Gibson catalog photos pinned up by my bedside ... so my love affair with these guitars goes way back. My first one was a '63 ES-345 in sunburst (from an LA Times ad) - some different 80's Ibanez models came after it, several Yamaha SA types, then a second ES-345 in red and I still have and use it, 38 years down the road... it's a stock model but it does not sound "stock" , it has a much sweeter, singing tone to it than most ES types that I played over the years. Most of these had a much more "Rock"-oriented tone, i.e. like a LesPaul but with a little more air to it. Many others were too heavy, felt stiff and un-giving in my hands - the one I have is really unique and a def. keeper. I have no idea why this is so, I just enjoy it and it works for me.

    If I were in the market for a semi today, I would look at the Collings I35 LC models first, then at the Gibson Re-Issues , the better ones.
    You can still pick up a used ES-335/345 form the later 60's for around $ 4500 (like the one Carlton still uses), unless you shy away from the somewhat narrow nut width. These models are def. very playable, deliver sound-wise and keep their value. An Ibanez AS-200 (the Scofield model) is a good choice for much less money but these sound a bit harsher than the Gibson models. The Yamaha SA series left me un-impressed, they have no character and sound bland. The great Chuck Loeb used a Sadowsky semi and got a great sound but I have never played one, cannot comment. Neither can I comment on the Collings SOCO, an absolute beauty by the looks of it but also a very rare bird , you simply don't find those in Europe.
    Again, given the needed funds my order of preference would be a vintage Gibson 335/345, a Collings I35, a Gibson Re-Issue and for less $$$ the Ibanez AS-200 would be a contender.

  12. #61

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    2.25" deep ,16 inch wide ,
    Tiny block with stoptail , better electronics .
    He only has the Maple Top version now ...

    I wonder about the wider string width - I don't want to have any unnecessary woodshedding where there is superfluous(lol) added distance between strings .
    Unless I try one and it's unnoticeable.

    I might try one and it might not bother me but no Electrics in South Florida - ...

    Says 6 months to a year to order ...but I am tempted. Thinking it could go in a lot of directions , depending on playing styles.


    I would have an overwound PAF with a 3 way mini toggle ..series /parallel/single coil but have that done here ..China might take an extra year...lol.

    I just saw a simple unscientific demo of spruce vs maple tops - and the spruce difference was dramatic...
    I wonder if a T186MX with spruce top would have the even acoustic nature of the Guitar above ..across all strings etc .

    The thinner semis seem to get thinner on the higher strings ..less 'piano' .
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 08-17-2019 at 10:11 AM.

  13. #62

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    Happiness!!

    Semi-Hollow Guitars - Collings vs Sadowsky vs Gibson-altgibson-jpg

  14. #63

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    Best value for money? In my stable its a 1980 Ibanez AS200 with the early super 58's. As I've said in other posts they are very close to the PAFs on my 1961 ES175D - just a little bit hotter when the volume is above 7. I tried a Momose a few weeks ago and was impressed with the build.
    Semi-Hollow Guitars - Collings vs Sadowsky vs Gibson-capture3-jpg

  15. #64

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    There seem to be no wrong choices just many instead. What it comes down to is affordability, feel, and on gig usability.
    For me my Memphis Historic ES-335 1958 and CS ES-339 w a 1959 neck shape do the job best. But others here have other prefences in neck shapes,size and overall feel.

    I will say that as beautiful as Collings are and meticulous craftsmanship as well, they don't quite sound or feel like a trad.ES 335. That can be good or bad ,depending on what you are accustomed to.

  16. #65

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    When I was much younger and sorta stronger and played rock gigs at enlisted mens’ clubs at Fort Bragg and Camp LeJeune, plus seedier clubs in Fayettenam and Jacksonville, I had a loaner ES 345 and yes, I did did enjoy that big wide pretty heavy (over 3-4 sets standing) thing.

    In retrospect, a Tele might have provided better protection in the few situations where a pistol was flashed or beer bottles started sailing, plus being easier to wield to bat away projectiles.

    In the past few years, I’ve had a TX184 and a Seventy Seven Albatross. The Albatross is as wonderful as they get, so petite with such a nice neck and warm voice.

  17. #66

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    I guess whichever I could afford, I'd tend to go for a Gibson, based on retail sale, but I know their QC issues
    I don't think you need to spend $4000 to get great tone

  18. #67

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    I would go for a used Gibson 339, small, light, some vibe, versatile tone wise, playable, affordable.

  19. #68

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    If cost were not an issue I'd try to persuade a good friend of mine to sell me his 1963 ES-335 which is probably the best I've played. Close second for my hands and ears is my own 1980 Ibanez AS200 - great feel, wide tonal palate and the original super 58s are very close to the PAFs on my 1961 ES-175D - just mildly hotter. A close third would probably be a Heritage 535.

    Semi-Hollow Guitars - Collings vs Sadowsky vs Gibson-as200-ray-jpg

  20. #69

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    I have owned (and still own my '63) several early/late 60's Gibson Es-345 model guitars and it' still my favorite - however, if I were in the market for a high quality semi TODAY then I'd probably couldn't get past a Collings I35 or Soco. I've played an early I35 with the brazilian board and solid wood construction a couple of years ago and that guitar was absolutely wonderful, in all aspects. Did everything I want in a semihollow (I come from the BB King/Carlton school of tone....) and then some. The resale value is also excellent, seems to do better than your average Gibson reissues.

  21. #70

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    Played a Godin single cut thin body (with block) today at GC that I thought was worth consdering. Maybe pricey at about $2k. My Comins is less money and also a very nice guitar in the same general type.

  22. #71

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    If I had the dough, I'd get a Collings I-35LC with Throbaks and never look back. Something about the tone just hits me perfectly for a 335-style, and the slightly-smaller body would be a plus for me.


  23. #72

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    I bought a Samick Greg Bennett Royale 3 many years ago, still the best semi I've ever played, $450 brand new.

  24. #73

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    I have a '64(?) Gibson ES-345 traptail with VariTone, gold plated patent-sticker humbuckers, stereo output, and the most variety of tones I've ever heard. With a pair of blackface Deluxe Reverbs in stereo mode, the sound is simply awesome. There are many fine variations on the classic 33x platform. For me, the original is still the best.
    "Often imitated, never exceeded" sums it up for me.

  25. #74

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    I'm really curious about stereo guitars; I can't imagine the sound of the 2 pick-ups separated - that's how it works, no? I wanted to try it with a Rickenbacker 620 at the musicshop, but they wouldn't let me.

    And re. 335, it's true that every time I hear those clean, there's an odd extra bit of 'woodyness' to the tone; unless I'm imagining it. Still, variations on the type can shine in their own right. There's an Ibanez model, 73 I think it was, that lay somewhere between Gibson's earthy 'plunky' and Gretsch's open sparkly sound; really very nice!

  26. #75

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    Yes, that is how it works. Each pickup gets at least a dedicated channel or ideally a dedicated amp. I have used both configurations but prefer two amps. Our home had a room that was more or less cubic. I placed the Deluxe Reverbs along the corner-to-corner axis about four feet apart and adjusted the amps for similar tone/volume. I then adjusted the guitars' tone/volumes so that each pickup was in a similar range. I added reverb to taste. The resulting sound was nothing short of glorious. Toss in a little mis- matched tremolo and it's mind-bending. It leaves conventional chorus in the dust.

    Of course, it's impractical for most stage applications for space considerations, but un-paralleled for personal indulgence. The music shop was missing a bet by not keeping a full set-up (two amps) on the floor.
    Last edited by Dirk; 06-17-2020 at 08:52 AM.

  27. #76

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    That's great citizenk74. I would love to have heard it. I did that once in a room with 2 amps and a stereo output Leslie simulator pedal. Slow speed was incredible as the sound spun around the room, but the fast speed was debilitating!!

  28. #77

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    ...for me anyway, it's more 'what's the right instrument for my goals?'. I had the chance to buy several really nice Gibson ESX over the years and came very close to buying one, but it turned out to have some structural defects. I looked at a lot of similar guitars after that.

    So after all my comparison shopping I found an Epiphone Sheraton II, mint condition, way heavier (it's the one with the internal block) but just right in every other way, and something I would not cry over if it were damaged or stolen. When I need a jazz, blues, or just plain acoustic/electric sound (classical is my default these days), this is what I play, and it sounds great through whatever I plug it into. $400USD on the used market got me one of the best overall values of all my instruments. Highly recommended. But it is a bit heavy.

  29. #78

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    stereo guitar, while set up intensive, is one of the great sounds...a gibson 345 or 355..and/or stereo rics (like the 360)...split the signal so that neck pup goes to one amp..and bridge pup to another...which leaves great possibilities...a stereo neck pup sent to a dual showman with 2 15" speaker cabs and the bridge pup to a fender twin reverb!! insane massive tone!!!...huge!!..

    there are also some stereo guitars, that rather than split the signal between the 2 pickups, actually split the pickups themselves..so that the low 3 strings go thru one amp and the high 3 to another..gretsch did this early on..also great

    with the right amps and speaker cabs set up, can be a mindboggling sound



    cheers

  30. #79

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    I’ve never heard about splitting pickups between different amps this way before. It sounds really interesting. Do you have any videos where this technique is used?
    Last edited by Bbmaj7#5#9; 12-08-2019 at 02:45 PM.

  31. #80

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    I already have a great 1980 Ibanez AS200 with PAF-like Super 58 pickups which IMHO is better than many Gibsons I've played - the exception that stands out was an early 60's stoptail 335 in Cherry Red that was one of the best guitars I've ever played. If money were no object I'd try to track that down, but at 1,600€ the Ibanez clearly offers better value for money...

    Semi-Hollow Guitars - Collings vs Sadowsky vs Gibson-1-wehvuib-jpg

  32. #81

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    If I wanted semi hollow, this 2 would be on my mind.

    1.st one:



    2.nd one:


  33. #82

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    There's a good amount of general comment in this thread about semi hollows, so I thought I would use it to pick some brains as well.

    I'm in the market for a light weight semi hollow. Less than seven pounds.

    The Sad Semi is less than six! And the Collings I-35 LC is under seven.

    I currently own a '97 AS200 and a '16 Heritage 555, both great players, but weigh 8lb 8oz apiece.

    That said, I also own a Sad Jim Hall that weighs 5lb 15oz (equal to the Sad Semi, amazingly enough!).

    So, for low weight, the Semi would seem to win. BUT - I don't just want a Jim Hall with a bridge PU, know what I mean?

    I'll miss the real bite and spank of the AS200 if the Semi is as dark and soft as a JH. So maybe the I-35 should do it?

    Comments from anyone with Sadowsky Semi-Hollow experience, using it specifically for Scofield-like tones, would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by T100_guy

    I'll miss the real bite and spank of the AS200 if the Semi is as dark and soft as a JH. So maybe the I-35 should do it?

    Comments from anyone with Sadowsky Semi-Hollow experience, using it specifically for Scofield-like tones, would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks
    I haven't played the Sadowsky Semi and I'm no tone authority. However I wonder if the chambered spruce center block on that model might take away a bit of the bite and spank? I have an ES-275 with a chambered block, and a Collings I-35LC, and the Collings has a bit more bite to my ear.

  35. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by HighSnows
    I haven't played the Sadowsky Semi and I'm no tone authority. However I wonder if the chambered spruce center block on that model might take away a bit of the bite and spank? I have an ES-275 with a chambered block, and a Collings I-35LC, and the Collings has a bit more bite to my ear.
    Yes these are my concerns and that is why I'm asking for first hand experiences. I'd like to pick up a used Semi but with no returns, if it isn't right, it's still mine! Same for the I-35 LC. I have more confidence it would sound "correct", but it's an additional $500-$1k gamble to find out!

    Light semi-hollow, where are you?!

  36. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by T100_guy
    Yes these are my concerns and that is why I'm asking for first hand experiences. I'd like to pick up a used Semi but with no returns, if it isn't right, it's still mine! Same for the I-35 LC. I have more confidence it would sound "correct", but it's an additional $500-$1k gamble to find out!

    Light semi-hollow, where are you?!
    I’d be all over that $900 redwood topped Seventy Seven Albatross in the For Sale forum!

  37. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr
    I’d be all over that $900 redwood topped Seventy Seven Albatross in the For Sale forum!
    I'm looking for light weight. I would guess the 77 is as heavy as any other with a maple center block. Anybody care to give weight info on this?

  38. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by T100_guy
    I'm looking for light weight. I would guess the 77 is as heavy as any other with a maple center block. Anybody care to give weight info on this?
    “Seventy Seven Albatross Jazz - This is the guitar I am using. It's super light weight (about 6.5lbs) and at that weight point, it's just a tad heavier than a headless guitar! It's well balanced and is extremely versatile in terms of being able to play jazz, rock, fusion, country, funk, etc. The pickups compliment the instrument extremely well and get beautiful mellow jazz tones, beautiful holdsworthian style leads as well as a really great middle pickup sound that works incredibly well for funk rhythm. The jazz version has the spruce top and it really lends a sweet, velvety wes-like jazz tone and a snarly lead tone for rock or fusion. It's got a block under the center of the guitar somewhat like a 335 but has much more hollow character than the 335. ***** 5 STARS!!!”

    Semi-hollow Review Page — Jack Zucker / Sheets of Sound for Guitar

  39. #88

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    Huh, that's the same guy that does the dozens of Sadowsky Semi-hollow demos as well! What do you know!

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by T100_guy
    Huh, that's the same guy that does the dozens of Sadowsky Semi-hollow demos as well! What do you know!
    He’s a regular here. He has his own Seventy Seven signature model.

  41. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by T100_guy View Post
    Yes these are my concerns and that is why I'm asking for first hand experiences. I'd like to pick up a used Semi but with no returns, if it isn't right, it's still mine! Same for the I-35 LC. I have more confidence it would sound "correct", but it's an additional $500-$1k gamble to find out!

    Light semi-hollow, where are you?!
    I think you can buy a Collings with confidence as they are so well built. Assuming no seller misrepresentation and if you are OK with their slightly chunky standard neck profile (I had mine reshaped to a thinner modern jazz shape).

  42. #91

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    bought the sadowsky jh in 2016, can't go wrong with it, most notable for me is the warm tone. very comfortable.
    and high quality craftmanship ...just my .02c