Semi hollow body decision - advice please

Guitar Tricks Forum > Gear Discussion > Semi hollow body decision - advice please

palefave

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Joined: 02/18/20

Posts: 4

My son (the musician) helped me to mark one of the items off of my Bucket List... Christmas of 2018, he surprised me with my first starter acoustic (it was defective, so with store credit, I upgraded)

It has been a year since I started on the guitar and now have an electric acoustic (refer to my avatar... I am so proud... lol).

I am now looking forward to my next guitar to add to my inventory, which will be electric.

He has several solid bodies and after doing quite a bit of research, and for a few reasons, I have made the decision to go with a semi hollow.

I now have it narrowed down to two... both are Epi's (should I decide to go for a third, I have my eyes on a Gretsch... or maybe I will surprise one my sons with it)

Please give your thoughts between an Epi Dot Deluxe and an Epi ES-335 Pro... both are 335's, both are available in my preferred color, and there is only about a $50 difference, no big deal...

... but as I see the real main diferrence is in the Machine Heads... the Dot Deluxe has Grover Rotomatics with 18:1 ratio... the ES-335 Pro has Wilkinson Vintage Classics with 14:1 ratio

I do understand that the bigger the ratio, the better it will keep tuned... is that enough difference to worry about ?

I have heard and read nothing but praise on the Grover, but Is the Wilkinson a decent product ?

Am I being much too concerned on the Machine Head issue ?

Is it an issue at all ?

I have been reading different blogs (which can be a scary thing), because you just don't know one's real bias, expertise or depth of experience and knowledge.

I thought Guitar Tricks would be the ideal forum with the ideal expertise and knowledge.

Just as I am learning to play, I am also just learning about the equipment (similar to exploring golf equipment)

I am being as cautious as possible... and concerned of getting the model that I will not regret once I get it home...

... and whatever I add to my collection, I do plan to make all equipment I gather, as part of my will...

... my son has made this a family thing and his niece (my granddaughter) was also surprised with an acoustic for that same Christmas... with my other son, who had played before, we are all learning together... an incredible family bonding session, just about every Wednesday night

Too much info ? ... I apologize for that... but please don't hold that against me... I really could use your input

Thanks in advance

#1

My son (the musician) helped me to mark one of the items off of my Bucket List... Christmas of 2018, he surprised me with my first starter acoustic (it was defective, so with store credit, I upgraded)

It has been a year since I started on the guitar and now have an electric acoustic (refer to my avatar... I am so proud... lol).

I am now looking forward to my next guitar to add to my inventory, which will be electric.

He has several solid bodies and after doing quite a bit of research, and for a few reasons, I have made the decision to go with a semi hollow.

I now have it narrowed down to two... both are Epi's (should I decide to go for a third, I have my eyes on a Gretsch... or maybe I will surprise one my sons with it)

Please give your thoughts between an Epi Dot Deluxe and an Epi ES-335 Pro... both are 335's, both are available in my preferred color, and there is only about a $50 difference, no big deal...

... but as I see the real main diferrence is in the Machine Heads... the Dot Deluxe has Grover Rotomatics with 18:1 ratio... the ES-335 Pro has Wilkinson Vintage Classics with 14:1 ratio

I do understand that the bigger the ratio, the better it will keep tuned... is that enough difference to worry about ?

I have heard and read nothing but praise on the Grover, but Is the Wilkinson a decent product ?

Am I being much too concerned on the Machine Head issue ?

Is it an issue at all ?

I have been reading different blogs (which can be a scary thing), because you just don't know one's real bias, expertise or depth of experience and knowledge.

I thought Guitar Tricks would be the ideal forum with the ideal expertise and knowledge.

Just as I am learning to play, I am also just learning about the equipment (similar to exploring golf equipment)

I am being as cautious as possible... and concerned of getting the model that I will not regret once I get it home...

... and whatever I add to my collection, I do plan to make all equipment I gather, as part of my will...

... my son has made this a family thing and his niece (my granddaughter) was also surprised with an acoustic for that same Christmas... with my other son, who had played before, we are all learning together... an incredible family bonding session, just about every Wednesday night

Too much info ? ... I apologize for that... but please don't hold that against me... I really could use your input

Thanks in advance

manXcat

♪It's getting better all the time♫

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 982

First, congratulations upon kicking off year two.

I'm not an ES owner or player, yet, and think if/when I do, it'll be a 339 or Cort clone rather than 335 in any case, so I won't proffer opinion on them other than to say if that largish Epiphone e-acoustic body sits comfortably with you, then a 335 probably will too. If not, try one for fit first.

Re Wilkinson and Grover machine heads. I have and like both. Not those particular units, but sufficient experience of different ratios and their products fitted to my guitars to comment. Between those two choices, they'll be different aesthetically. Korean manufactured Wilkinson tuner operation, BQ and finish is right up there with Grover IME. If I had to choose on ratio and function, personally I'd go with 1:18 and Rotomatic. BQ wise, nothing between those brands. Choice is preference of aesthetic, ratio and function.

On caution. Healthy caution is wise, but determine your purpose and evaluate the instrument as a whole without turning the exercise into a spec list of the sum of its parts. Test the depth, dive into the water, paddle like your life depended on it and you'll be swimming like you already knew how to out of the womb.

♪A little better all the time♫

#2

First, congratulations upon kicking off year two.

I'm not an ES owner or player, yet, and think if/when I do, it'll be a 339 or Cort clone rather than 335 in any case, so I won't proffer opinion on them other than to say if that largish Epiphone e-acoustic body sits comfortably with you, then a 335 probably will too. If not, try one for fit first.

Re Wilkinson and Grover machine heads. I have and like both. Not those particular units, but sufficient experience of different ratios and their products fitted to my guitars to comment. Between those two choices, they'll be different aesthetically. Korean manufactured Wilkinson tuner operation, BQ and finish is right up there with Grover IME. If I had to choose on ratio and function, personally I'd go with 1:18 and Rotomatic. BQ wise, nothing between those brands. Choice is preference of aesthetic, ratio and function.

On caution. Healthy caution is wise, but determine your purpose and evaluate the instrument as a whole without turning the exercise into a spec list of the sum of its parts. Test the depth, dive into the water, paddle like your life depended on it and you'll be swimming like you already knew how to out of the womb.

♪A little better all the time♫

palefave

Full Access

Joined: 02/18/20

Posts: 4

Well Thank You for your acknowledgement, encouragement and motivation as I enter year two.

I played double bass and trumpet in high school but upon graduation, I fell away from playing anything.

I became quite good at air guitar and realized I wasn't fooling anyone, not even myself, particularly as I tried to pretend I could play like Pete Townsenfd or Terry Kath... I wanted to know how to make some of those notes, for real.

And Thank You for your candid and informative Reply !

Knowing that you have and like both may say it all.

I agree with something else you said, I may have been fretting (no pun intended) a bit too much over the Machine Heads but as I had stated previously, I am just geting in to "guitar gear" and trying to discern how things work and what may be best as I develop my personal preference.

I thought of the 339, and it was one of the last ones I eliminated in my search.

It may be a perfect model for my granddaughter as she grows.

But I agree with what you said and how you brought it up about how the e-acoustic Epi Pro 1 body sits on my lap and hangs on my strap. I don't foresee any problem in that vein with a 335

Sfter reading you Reply, I called my son and it looks like we will be going to our local guitar shop for he and I to take the 335 Pro out for a spin, that they have in stock.

I am budgeting this purchase for close to the end of March. (it still may be the Dot Deluxe, but we will see)

In any case, I am ready to take that leap.. or dive.. I am ready to take that next step

While at that visit, I am planning to walk out with a Fender Mustang 1 V.2 and have it ready for when baby comes home

I hope you do not mind, but I may be coming at you for more guitar wisdom as yoou are miles ahead of me and I need a whole lot of catching up to do... please teach me, Sensei

Between you and my son, I hope to learn faster, and get more confident. He has been a good teacher for me and my granddaughter.

Thanks again for your input

Best Regards

P

#3

Well Thank You for your acknowledgement, encouragement and motivation as I enter year two.

I played double bass and trumpet in high school but upon graduation, I fell away from playing anything.

I became quite good at air guitar and realized I wasn't fooling anyone, not even myself, particularly as I tried to pretend I could play like Pete Townsenfd or Terry Kath... I wanted to know how to make some of those notes, for real.

And Thank You for your candid and informative Reply !

Knowing that you have and like both may say it all.

I agree with something else you said, I may have been fretting (no pun intended) a bit too much over the Machine Heads but as I had stated previously, I am just geting in to "guitar gear" and trying to discern how things work and what may be best as I develop my personal preference.

I thought of the 339, and it was one of the last ones I eliminated in my search.

It may be a perfect model for my granddaughter as she grows.

But I agree with what you said and how you brought it up about how the e-acoustic Epi Pro 1 body sits on my lap and hangs on my strap. I don't foresee any problem in that vein with a 335

Sfter reading you Reply, I called my son and it looks like we will be going to our local guitar shop for he and I to take the 335 Pro out for a spin, that they have in stock.

I am budgeting this purchase for close to the end of March. (it still may be the Dot Deluxe, but we will see)

In any case, I am ready to take that leap.. or dive.. I am ready to take that next step

While at that visit, I am planning to walk out with a Fender Mustang 1 V.2 and have it ready for when baby comes home

I hope you do not mind, but I may be coming at you for more guitar wisdom as yoou are miles ahead of me and I need a whole lot of catching up to do... please teach me, Sensei

Between you and my son, I hope to learn faster, and get more confident. He has been a good teacher for me and my granddaughter.

Thanks again for your input

Best Regards

P

rsg.gill

Full Access

Joined: 12/16/18

Posts: 16

I have the Epi ES-335 Pro (in black) as I wanted a semi-hollow body guitar alongside my PRS SE245(so I could channel my inner Dave Grohl).

No issues with tuning at all. It's a great and affordable guitar.

I installed this trem bar on it last year for fun and still tuning is pretty stable.

https://reverb.com/item/3519670-duesenberg-les-trem-ii-nickel

#4

I have the Epi ES-335 Pro (in black) as I wanted a semi-hollow body guitar alongside my PRS SE245(so I could channel my inner Dave Grohl).

No issues with tuning at all. It's a great and affordable guitar.

I installed this trem bar on it last year for fun and still tuning is pretty stable.

https://reverb.com/item/3519670-duesenberg-les-trem-ii-nickel

manXcat

♪It's getting better all the time♫

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 982

A pleasure palefave, though I'm just a fellow sub whose relative guitar competencies and experience would rank me 'Gumby' in my own self-critical evaluation, if offering perspective and guidance derived of knowledge gleaned from my own journey. Ever the realist, it'd be an impossible objective me to attain the degree of competency or knowledge within my remaining time available to attain honorary kudos of being addressed "Sensei".

My triage on those machine heads brands is objective, with my only bias a priority on value, where value = price/performance factors. Off the top of my head, other than Cort or Yamaha OEM predominantly on my acoustics, the majority of my tuners are either Grover fitted OOTB, or retrofitted (Korean) Wilkinson upgrades. I like the latter particularly. High quality and usually friendlier to the budget than Grover.

Epi Dots are very popular, receiving positive end user reports. What's the difference between the standard Dot and Deluxe? Anything other than colour choice, fingerboard (woods), flame aesthetics and 10% price? Here's Tom demonstrating a Deluxe. And Lee with the Dot Standard in a much older (2014) vid. Take into perspective on the latter than the recorded audio is not so good as the Deluxe's 2018 recording. Same PUPs in both if I'm given to understand correctly?

Can't go wrong with any Fender amp IMV. From competition not without their own impressive laurels, they impressed me sufficiently to buy two. You'll get a lot of enjoyment from the Mustang V1, and 20W out of an 8" speaker is plenty for home studio use of the style of music the Dot (or ES-335) is predominantly orientated to. That said, have a look at the Champion series too. Personally I think Fender's Champions are an undervalued gem offering impressive tonality for their pricepoint and a great place not only to start, but continue to be enjoyed on the journey with you for a long time - providing they're the tone your looking for. Don't be blinded by # of features comparison perception of 'more for your money' with patchable digital modelling amps. Determine need, then 'taste' the quality, not the quantity. I'm not owner pride biased in that evaluation. I own and play all three types tube, patchable digital modelling, and digital. Here is a demo/review of the Champion range.

That said, I'm the first to respect that 'tone' is perceptually subjective to each individual.


If it sounds superfluous to wish you "enjoy the journey", as it's apparent you already are, nevertheless, with sincerity, enjoy the journey.


Cheers,

manXcat

♪A little better all the time♫

#5

A pleasure palefave, though I'm just a fellow sub whose relative guitar competencies and experience would rank me 'Gumby' in my own self-critical evaluation, if offering perspective and guidance derived of knowledge gleaned from my own journey. Ever the realist, it'd be an impossible objective me to attain the degree of competency or knowledge within my remaining time available to attain honorary kudos of being addressed "Sensei".

My triage on those machine heads brands is objective, with my only bias a priority on value, where value = price/performance factors. Off the top of my head, other than Cort or Yamaha OEM predominantly on my acoustics, the majority of my tuners are either Grover fitted OOTB, or retrofitted (Korean) Wilkinson upgrades. I like the latter particularly. High quality and usually friendlier to the budget than Grover.

Epi Dots are very popular, receiving positive end user reports. What's the difference between the standard Dot and Deluxe? Anything other than colour choice, fingerboard (woods), flame aesthetics and 10% price? Here's Tom demonstrating a Deluxe. And Lee with the Dot Standard in a much older (2014) vid. Take into perspective on the latter than the recorded audio is not so good as the Deluxe's 2018 recording. Same PUPs in both if I'm given to understand correctly?

Can't go wrong with any Fender amp IMV. From competition not without their own impressive laurels, they impressed me sufficiently to buy two. You'll get a lot of enjoyment from the Mustang V1, and 20W out of an 8" speaker is plenty for home studio use of the style of music the Dot (or ES-335) is predominantly orientated to. That said, have a look at the Champion series too. Personally I think Fender's Champions are an undervalued gem offering impressive tonality for their pricepoint and a great place not only to start, but continue to be enjoyed on the journey with you for a long time - providing they're the tone your looking for. Don't be blinded by # of features comparison perception of 'more for your money' with patchable digital modelling amps. Determine need, then 'taste' the quality, not the quantity. I'm not owner pride biased in that evaluation. I own and play all three types tube, patchable digital modelling, and digital. Here is a demo/review of the Champion range.

That said, I'm the first to respect that 'tone' is perceptually subjective to each individual.


If it sounds superfluous to wish you "enjoy the journey", as it's apparent you already are, nevertheless, with sincerity, enjoy the journey.


Cheers,

manXcat

♪A little better all the time♫

manXcat

♪It's getting better all the time♫

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 982

Speaking of the ES-335 palefave, here's someone who was and is a major inspiration to me playing his. This sub-model appears to have some kind of presumably vibrato bridge I'm unfamiliar with.

Although this is late in his career, his performance panache was and is matchable by very few. Rock 'n Roll trailblazer and legend.

I've been on the lookout for a large poster which does him reverent justice to my mind's eye to take its place framed on my studio wall. Approbation indeed, as those few slots are limited and reserved for the favoured few. Proving a difficult objective to realise though.


He is missed.

♪A little better all the time♫

#6

Speaking of the ES-335 palefave, here's someone who was and is a major inspiration to me playing his. This sub-model appears to have some kind of presumably vibrato bridge I'm unfamiliar with.

Although this is late in his career, his performance panache was and is matchable by very few. Rock 'n Roll trailblazer and legend.

I've been on the lookout for a large poster which does him reverent justice to my mind's eye to take its place framed on my studio wall. Approbation indeed, as those few slots are limited and reserved for the favoured few. Proving a difficult objective to realise though.


He is missed.

♪A little better all the time♫

fuzzb0x

Full Access

Joined: 04/02/13

Posts: 467

Originally Posted by: manXcat

This sub-model appears to have some kind of presumably vibrato bridge I'm unfamiliar with.

Looks like a Gibson vibrola to me, you often see them fitted to 335 and SG guitar's.

#7

Originally Posted by: manXcat

This sub-model appears to have some kind of presumably vibrato bridge I'm unfamiliar with.

Looks like a Gibson vibrola to me, you often see them fitted to 335 and SG guitar's.

manXcat

♪It's getting better all the time♫

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 982

Thanks fuzzb0x.

I explored somewhat after I'd written that post, curiosity needing to know what it was. Concise history of ES-335 evolution here for others interested in such minutiae. Same author's SG and Les Paul short history vids equally fascinating.

♪A little better all the time♫

#8

Thanks fuzzb0x.

I explored somewhat after I'd written that post, curiosity needing to know what it was. Concise history of ES-335 evolution here for others interested in such minutiae. Same author's SG and Les Paul short history vids equally fascinating.

♪A little better all the time♫

matonanjin2

Full Access

Joined: 08/11/17

Posts: 146

Originally Posted by: manXcat

Thanks fuzzb0x.

I explored somewhat after I'd written that post, curiosity needing to know what it was. Concise history of ES-335 evolution here for others interested in such minutiae. Same author's SG and Les Paul short history vids equally fascinating.

5 Watt World (Keith Williams) has a lot of interesting, educational YT videos. As recently as yesterday I watched A Short History of the Tube Screamer. In addition to his "Short History" series many of his videos seem to drive a minimalist approach to gear.

#9

Originally Posted by: manXcat

Thanks fuzzb0x.

I explored somewhat after I'd written that post, curiosity needing to know what it was. Concise history of ES-335 evolution here for others interested in such minutiae. Same author's SG and Les Paul short history vids equally fascinating.

5 Watt World (Keith Williams) has a lot of interesting, educational YT videos. As recently as yesterday I watched A Short History of the Tube Screamer. In addition to his "Short History" series many of his videos seem to drive a minimalist approach to gear.

palefave

Full Access

Joined: 02/18/20

Posts: 4

Originally Posted by: matonanjin2
Originally Posted by: manXcat

Thanks fuzzb0x.

I explored somewhat after I'd written that post, curiosity needing to know what it was. Concise history of ES-335 evolution here for others interested in such minutiae. Same author's SG and Les Paul short history vids equally fascinating.

5 Watt World (Keith Williams) has a lot of interesting, educational YT videos. As recently as yesterday I watched A Short History of the Tube Screamer. In addition to his "Short History" series many of his videos seem to drive a minimalist approach to gear.

---

As part of my research, I also found that great vid that Keith WIlliams has, on the history of the 335.... and watched it a few times to get a bit more detail

So, I have made a decision... and I put some money down to hold it, and will pay off the balance and will be picking up the Epi ES-335 Pro (Blue Burst) before the end of the month, which is in line with my budget.

Conversations here, really helped me tremendously to get my head in to making that decision.

I am going back in by the end of this week and getting a Fender Mustang I V2 amp so it will be ready and waiting for when "baby" comes home. (I am not married to that nickname, but I have to call "him" something, for now... lol)

Thanks to everyone for your input... I read it all.

#10

Originally Posted by: matonanjin2
Originally Posted by: manXcat

Thanks fuzzb0x.

I explored somewhat after I'd written that post, curiosity needing to know what it was. Concise history of ES-335 evolution here for others interested in such minutiae. Same author's SG and Les Paul short history vids equally fascinating.

5 Watt World (Keith Williams) has a lot of interesting, educational YT videos. As recently as yesterday I watched A Short History of the Tube Screamer. In addition to his "Short History" series many of his videos seem to drive a minimalist approach to gear.

---

As part of my research, I also found that great vid that Keith WIlliams has, on the history of the 335.... and watched it a few times to get a bit more detail

So, I have made a decision... and I put some money down to hold it, and will pay off the balance and will be picking up the Epi ES-335 Pro (Blue Burst) before the end of the month, which is in line with my budget.

Conversations here, really helped me tremendously to get my head in to making that decision.

I am going back in by the end of this week and getting a Fender Mustang I V2 amp so it will be ready and waiting for when "baby" comes home. (I am not married to that nickname, but I have to call "him" something, for now... lol)

Thanks to everyone for your input... I read it all.