Best Semi-Hollow Guitars 2024: The Top Choices From PRS, Fender, Eastman, Gibson and More

Fender Acoustasonic and PRS semi-hollow body guitars with case and amp
(Image credit: Future)

Played by some of the greatest names to grace the world of music, the best semi-hollow guitars offer a unique playing experience that mixes the resonance of an acoustic with the fiery attitude of an electric guitar. First gaining popularity in the 50s, legends of old like BB King and Barney Kessel right through to modern-day guitar heroes like Dave Grohl have all fallen in love with the timbre of a semi-hollow guitar.

The semi-hollow guitar sits between a hollow body and a solid-body guitar, combining elements of both to generate its signature sound. Often described as warm and resonant they excel at various styles but have found particular favor with rock, jazz, and blues guitarists. The majority of semi-hollow guitars have a center block, a solid bit of wood that the pickups are mounted to that prevents feedback, allowing them to be utilized at higher volumes than fully hollow body guitars.

To make things easier for you to decide, we’ve arranged this article in price order starting with the cheapest, so you can quickly find the right guitar for your budget. If you’ve not come across a semi-hollow guitar before, we’d recommend taking a look at our buying advice section at the bottom of this article, otherwise keep scrolling to see our top picks…

Best semi-hollow guitars: Our top picks

Our top pick has to be the Gibson ES-335 Figured. This stunning guitar has inspired some of the greatest guitar icons of all time and continues to inspire millions of guitarists today. The Gibson ES-335 is versatile, gorgeous to look at, and insanely playable. For those seeking a similar tone on a budget the Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth is a fantastic option, and a very cool guitar indeed. 

We also have to give a shot out to the Squier Affinity Series Starcaster, this may be an entry-level guitar, but it has bags of style and a tone to match. Don't let the small price tag fool you, this is a serious guitar with a sound and look all of its own. 

Best semi-hollow guitars: Product guide

Best semi-hollow guitars: Ibanez AS53 Artcore

(Image credit: Ibanez)

1. Ibanez Artcore AS53

The no-nonsense, affordable hollow body

Specifications

Launch price: $299/£269
Body: Sapele
Neck: Nyatoh
Scale: 24.7"
Fingerboard: Walnut
Frets: 22
Pickups: Infinity R Ceramic Humbuckers
Controls: 1 x master volume, 1 x master tone
Hardware: Gibraltar Performer Bridge with Quik Change III Tailpiece
Left-handed?: Yes
Finish: Tobacco Flat

Reasons to buy

+
Super affordable 
+
Well built 

Reasons to avoid

-
Look not for everyone 

The Ibanez Artcore series has long been a popular alternative to brands such as Epiphone, and the AS53 model is one of the most affordable options out there for those seeking a slightly smaller body that doesn’t compromise on tone. 

Featuring an exotic blend of Sapele and Nyatoh, this guitar is most definitely striking to look at, and the tasteful sunburst finish beautifully highlights the elegance of the body shape. Equipped with a set of the Infinity R Ceramic Humbuckers, this guitar sounds just as good as it looks, delivering the warm creamy tone you’d expect from a semi-hollow guitar. 

So if you are longing for the tone only a hollow body guitar can provide - but you don’t want to break the bank - then the Ibanez AS53 Artcore should most certainly be on your list of guitars to try. 

Best semi-hollow guitars: Squier Affinity Series Starcaster

(Image credit: Fender)

2. Squier Affinity Series Starcaster

Something a little different from Fender

Specifications

Launch price: $299/£269
Body: Laminated Maple
Neck: Maple
Scale: 25.5”
Fingerboard: Maple
Frets: 22
Pickups: Standard Humbucker
Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone, 3-way switch
Hardware: 6-Saddle Adjustable Bridge
Left-handed?: No
Finish: 3-Color Sunburst, Olympic White, Candy Apple Red, Black

Reasons to buy

+
Nice color options available 
+
Highly playable 

Reasons to avoid

-
The headstock does divide opinion 

The Starcaster was once a guitar that was almost lost to history, as a short-lived quirky hollow body that didn’t quite take off. No one could have predicted that this wonky semi-hollow would go on to find a new audience almost 45 years after its initial release. 

Fender has brought out a few guitars that harken back to this 70s oddity, but the Squier Affinity Series Starcaster may just be the most wallet-friendly one yet. This affordable axe strips the Starcaster down to its most essential elements while still delivering plenty of 70s mojo. 

The Standard Squier humbuckers do a fantastic job of recreating a rich, full-bodied sound that can just as easily handle modern rock as well as vintage tones, while the comfortable maple neck delivers an effortless playing experience. 

Best semi-hollow guitars: Gretsch G2655-P90 Streamliner Center Block Jr Double-Cut P90

(Image credit: Gretsch)

3. Gretsch G2655-P90 Streamliner Center Block Jr Double-Cut P90

Semi-hollow but packed with value

Specifications

Launch price: $499/£499
Body: Laminate mahogany with chambered spruce center block
Neck: Nato; thin ‘U’ profile
Scale: 24.75”
Fingerboard: Indian laurel; 12” radius
Frets: 22
Pickups: 2 x FideliSonic
Controls: Volume; master tone; master volume; 3-way selector switch
Hardware: Nickel adjust-o-matic bridge with ‘V’ stoptail; sealed die-cast tuner (Bigsby version available for $599/£440)
Left-handed?: No
Finish: Brownstone, Claret Burst

Reasons to buy

+
FideliSonic pickups offer superb versatility
+
Excellent value
+
Widens the appeal of Gretsch 

Reasons to avoid

-
Finish options are limited 

In terms of accessible price points, Gretsch offers one of the most impressive electric guitar ranges out there – and this new addition to its value-packed Streamliner collection widens that further. 

A convincing school of thought suggests that P-90s are the ultimate pickup, and Gretsch’s FideliSonic spin on the single-coil offers clarity and treble bite without overpowering the mid thump in the bridge. While the format feels great for rock, the neck pickup will handle a jazz set and will love some raucous fuzz even more.

Which is handy because the chambered spruce block that runs through the centre of the Gretsch G2655-P90 from bridge to neck should keep unwelcome feedback at bay in high-gain scenarios. 

Best semi-hollow guitars: G&L ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-Hollow

(Image credit: G&L)

4. G&L ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-Hollow

Leo’s other T-style

Specifications

Launch price: $599/£449
Body: Swamp ash
Neck: Hard rock maple; medium ‘C’ profile
Scale: 25.5”
Fingerboard: Maple; 9½” radius
Frets: 22
Pickups: G&L AS4255C alnico neck humbucker; Leo Fender-designed G&L MFD single-coil bridge
Controls: Volume; tone; 3-way selector
Hardware: Traditional boxed-steel bridge with individual brass saddles
Left-handed?: Yes
Finish: Red Burst; Blonde (both with Brazilian cherry fingerboard); Natural Gloss; Clear Orange

Reasons to buy

+
Pickup combo covers good ground for rock and blues
+
Lightweight
+
Good value 

Reasons to avoid

-
Finish options aren’t particularly contemporary  

Here’s a modded take on Leo Fender’s final single-cut bolt-on electric guitar design. The G&L ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-Hollow offers great value for money, with a swamp ash body and a versatile tonal palette that comes courtesy of a G&L alnico humbucker and Leo’s Fullerton-made high-output single-coil MFD (Magnetic Field Design) bridge pickup. 

The emphasis of low end over high-end twang and snap works to the humbucker’s advantage, while the single-coil delivers significant poke in the mid-range. 

Elsewhere, six individual brass saddles deliver precise intonation, while 18:1-ratio tuners offer impeccable stability.

Best semi-hollow guitars: ESP LTD Xtone PS-1

(Image credit: ESP)

5. ESP LTD Xtone PS-1

A unique take on the hollow body guitar

Specifications

Launch price: $599/£555
Body: Mahogany
Neck: Maple
Scale: 24.75"
Fingerboard: Roasted Jatoba
Frets: 22
Pickups: ESP Designed LH-150N/B
Controls: Volume/Volume/Tone(Push-Pull)/Tone(Push-Pull)/Toggle Switch
Hardware: TOM & Tailpiece
Left-handed?: Yes
Finish: Pearl Pink, White, Black

Reasons to buy

+
A unique offset body 
+
Coil-split functionality 

Reasons to avoid

-
The pearl pink finish may be a step too far for some 

It’s rare to see shapes and styles that break the mold, but that’s precisely what the LTD Xtone PS-1 does, and boy, does it do it well. This offset may be somewhat reminiscent of an LP-style guitar, but with the addition of a wonky waist and semi-hollow construction, you get a radical new look that begs to be played. 

The PS-1 offers a slew of modern tones, with the ESP Designed LH-150 humbuckers bringing the power, while the handy coil-split functionality gives you the ability to soften your sound at the pull of a tone control. 

So if you find yourself looking for a semi-hollow six-string, but you don’t want something as conventional as a 335-style guitar, then this is one you should definitely check out. 

Best semi-hollow guitars: Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth

(Image credit: Epiphone)

6. Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth

The right kind of Wolfe notes

Specifications

Launch price: $799/£699
Body: Maple
Neck: Mahogany; ’60s slim taper ‘C’ profile
Scale: 24.72”
Fingerboard: Indian laurel; 12” radius
Frets: 22
Pickups: 2 x Epiphone Alnico Pro Humbuckers
Controls: 2 x volume; 1 x tone
Hardware: Lightly aged gold-plated Epiphone LockTone tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar; Grover Rotomatic tuners
Left-handed?: No
Finish: Black Aged Gloss

Reasons to buy

+
Finish balances a fresh approach with played-in look
+
A quality build at a good price
+
Pickups handle a range of styles well 

Reasons to avoid

-
It’s on the heavier side by design, and that may not suit some 

A firm Sheraton fan, Emily Wolfe had clear ideas of the kind of guitar she wanted her name on (her signature is embossed on the back of the headstock in a suitably stealth-like manner that’s visible only at certain angles), and it’s resulted in a superb semi-hollow. 

While the Sheraton is long-established in the Epiphone line, Wolfe’s model features some diversions to the design. The diamond holes doff their cap to the Gibson Trini Lopez model that Dave Grohl loves, while the thinner Black Aged Gloss finish (a first for the brand) lands somewhere between satin and a gloss guitar that’s been played for years. It looks great, and the pairing with gold hardware adds a classy contrast.

At 9lbs, the model we tried is comparable to a Les Paul, but it’s a comfortable, balanced experience on the strap, and the ’60s thin taper neck with low action on our test model felt a breeze for lead runs and bends. Much like Wolfe’s songs, the Epiphone Alnico Pro humbuckers confidently bridge the worlds of blues and fuzzier modern rock, with the neck showcasing the singing sustain on offer. A great guitar for those who want something with a different aesthetic that feels premium for its price. 

Best semi-hollow guitars: Guild Starfire V

(Image credit: Guild)

7. Guild Starfire V

A semi with classic styling

Specifications

Launch price: $1,710/£1,299
Body: Laminated mahogany
Neck: 3-piece (mahogany/maple/mahogany)
Scale: 24.75”
Fingerboard: Rosewood; 9½” radius
Frets: 22
Pickups: 2 x Guild LB-1 humbuckers
Controls: Bridge volume; bridge tone; neck volume; neck tone; 3-way selector switch
Hardware: Guild tune-o-matic bridge with rosewood base (also available with a Bigsby); Guild vibrato; Grover Sta-Tite open-gear 14:1 tuners
Left-handed?: No
Finish: Cherry Red, White, Black

Reasons to buy

+
Classic feel and tones
+
Fine vintage looks
+
Good value  

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite heavy for a semi 

The Starfire V’s style is undoubtedly Guild, but its classic vibes could well be aimed at tempting players away from the ES-335s out there. How could anyone resist those generous cutaways and the wooden, tune-o-matic bridge? The guitar’s Gibson-style four-knob control layout is augmented by a Gretsch-style master volume control on the treble horn, giving the player an additional choice for on-the-fly tweaks. 

The LB-1 pickups replicate Guild’s early-’60s Anti-Hum models, offering low-end articulation and a bright bridge pickup with impressive sustain – it’ll shine when playing indie, mod or Americana. The Guild vibrato tailpiece allows for chord expression as well as the usual pitch fun for lead lines. 

The full-length maple center block means the Starfire V is in the upper end of the weight scale for a semi, but this is an impressive guitar for those with a penchant for vintage aesthetics. 

Best semi-hollow guitars: PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo

(Image credit: PRS)

8. PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo

A semi-hollow with acoustic ambitions

Specifications

Launch price: $1,899/£1,349
Body: Laminated mahogany sides with beveled maple top and back, both with a flame-maple veneer
Neck: Mahogany; glued-in; wide fat shape
Scale: 25”
Fingerboard: Rosewood; 10” radius
Frets: 22
Pickups: 2 x PRS 58/15 ‘S’ humbuckers; LR Baggs/PRS piezo system
Controls: Magnetic volume; piezo volume; tone; 3-way selector switch
Hardware: PRS adjustable stoptail piezo
Left-handed?: No
Finish: Black Gold Burst, Peacock Blue

Reasons to buy

+
Versatility would really suit a covers band 
+
Excellent value considering its high-quality build and tonal range
+
Lightweight for stage comfort  

Reasons to avoid

-
The wide fat neck girth may be too chunky for smaller hands 

The PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo is different to the other models in our best semi-hollow guitars list, since it can be played both acoustically and plugged-in. This is thanks to the piezo-equipped stoptail bridge, which enables electro-acoustic sounds via the six saddles, as well as magnetic. PRS keeps this added technology low key; the biggest giveaway is the dual output jacks that give you the option of splitting the piezo sound to a PA or separate acoustic combo.

Superb playability is now a given with PRS, and it’s very much in evidence here. The gloss finish with exposed maple binding looks premium. The wide fat mahogany neck is also cleverly designed, segueing from a slight ‘V’ to a rounder profile the further you move up the neck. 

The PAF character of the humbuckers is great for playing classic rock and blues guitar, while dialing the piezo into the mix with them offers a wide and rich quality to the sound. SE may stand for Student Edition, but this is certainly a pro-standard semi. 

Read the full PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo review 

Best semi-hollow guitars: Fender Acoustasonic Stratocaster

(Image credit: Fender)
Fender's icon gets the semi hollow treatment

Specifications

Launch price: $1,999.99/£1,649
Body: Mahogany with Solid Sitka Spruce top
Neck: Mahogany
Scale: 25.5”
Fingerboard: Ebony
Frets: 22
Pickups: Fishman Under-Saddle Transducer; Fishman Acoustasonic Enhancer; Fender Acoustasonic Noiseless magnetic pickup
Controls: Master Volume, "Blend" Knob, 5-Way Switch
Hardware: Modern Asymmetrical bridge, Fender Standard Cast/Sealed Staggered tuners
Left-handed?: Yes
Finish: Dakota Red, 3-Color Sunburst, Black, Natural, Transparent Sonic Blue

Reasons to buy

+
Inventive design
+
Broad range of sounds
+
Excellent playability

Reasons to avoid

-
Needs an A/B box

With a different take on the semi-hollow guitar format, the Fender American Acoustasonic Stratocaster offers a truly unique tonal palette. It’s a bold take on the classic Strat format, but seamlessly blends the brilliance of the original by adding in elements of an acoustic.

Unplugged it’s got a lovely resonance to it thanks to the combo of Mahogany body with a solid Sitka spruce top. It’s got an almost resonator-like quality to it, with punchy note definition aplenty. The real fun begins when you plug it in though. Thanks to the three-pickup combination you get a vast array of tones to play with covering the spectrum from acoustic to full-on electric.

Playability wise it feels exactly like a Strat with heavy gauge strings on. The neck is slightly thicker than what you’d get on a typical electric, but it feels super slinky and familiar nonetheless. It’s an unusual one but don’t let that put you off a truly fantastic semi-hollow guitar.

Read the full Fender American Acoustasonic Stratocaster review 

Best semi-hollow guitars: Gibson ES-339

(Image credit: Gibson)

10. Gibson ES-339

A diminutive dark horse

Specifications

Launch price: $2,299/£1,999
Body: 3-ply (maple/poplar/maple)
Neck: Mahogany; rounded ‘C’ profile
Scale: 24.75”
Fingerboard: Rosewood; 12” radius
Frets: 22
Pickups: ’57 Classic (neck); ’57 Classic Plus (bridge)
Controls: Bridge volume; neck volume; bridge tone; neck tone; 3-way selector switch
Hardware: ABR-1 tune-o-matic bridge; aluminum stopbar; Grover Rotomatic tuners
Left-handed?: No
Finish: Cherry, Trans Ebony, Figured Blueberry Burst, Figured Sixties Cherry (the latter two cost extra)

Reasons to buy

+
A great option for those who want a more compact Gibson semi-hollow 
+
’57 humbuckers offer classic Gibson versatility 
+
Excellent response and taper on the volume controls for cleaning up 

Reasons to avoid

-
Smaller size doesn’t equate to much weight reduction over a vintage ES-335 

Introduced in 2007, the Gibson ES-339 is a smaller version of the ES-335, intended for those who are more comfortable wielding a guitar with Les Paul-esque dimensions. 

Smaller certainly doesn’t mean inferior, though, and the ES-339’s maple center block and quarter-sawn spruce bracing make it a genuine downsized take on its bigger, older brother.

If the ES-339 feels like an ES-335 / Les Paul mix, then the ’57 Classic / Classic Plus humbuckers suit the platform with thick bridge position tones, open-neck character and an added twang to the mid position that enables more scope for chord jangle than you’d find on an LP. It’s a very inviting halfway house.

Best semi-hollow guitars: Fender Britt Daniel Tele Thinline

(Image credit: Fender)
More than a thinline

Specifications

Launch price: $3,065/£2,249
Body: Ash
Neck: Maple; deep ‘C’ profile
Scale: 25½”
Fingerboard: Rosewood; 9½” radius
Frets: 22
Pickups: Custom Shop vintage-style single-coil Tele (bridge); Custom Shop hand-wound Texas Special single-coil Tele (neck)
Controls: Master volume (S-1 switch); master tone; 3-way selector switch
Hardware: 6-saddle string-through-body bridge; Fender ClassicGear tuners
Left-handed?: No
Finish: Amarillo Gold

Reasons to buy

+
S-1 switch adds a new depth to the thinline experience 
+
Great neck for playability 
+
Looks gorgeous

Reasons to avoid

-
The finish will put some players off 

The Spoon and Divine Fits musician’s signature model is one of the finest thinline launches from Fender in recent years. Its blueprints were two late-’60s thinlines that Daniel favored, but it adds some distinct mods to the vintage influence.

The 6-saddle bridge allows for individual string intonation, while the Fender ClassicGear tuners offer an accurate 18:1 ratio. Two hand-wound Custom Shop pickups were selected by Daniel, with S-1 switching allowing both to be run in series in addition to the more traditional parallel. The result is a thinline with exceptional versatility.

Thanks to the deeper ‘C’ profile and the fingerboard’s 9½” radius, bending and chord work are a pleasure. And the pickups are also hugely satisfying – the bridge’s mid-range punch combining with the neck’s Texas Special openness to fantastic effect. The S-1 switching is a massive boon for rhythm work, too. 

Read the full Fender Britt Daniel Tele Thinline review 

Best semi-hollow guitars: Gibson ES-335 Figured

(Image credit: Gibson)

12. Gibson ES-335 Figured

A premium version of an iconic semi-hollow guitar