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iankinzel

Used Riviera with mini humbuckers

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Hi all,

 

I've recently come across a used late '90s or early '00s Epiphone Riviera (not Elitist - either MIK or MIC) stocked with mini humbuckers, available online (so no chance to try it out in person). I've been really curious about trying out a semi hollow guitar for some time, just because I've never had one before. So of course, I have to ask: what kind of effect on sound does the semi hollow body structure have? And, what's the difference between a Riviera and a Sheraton, besides the pickups? (I'm kinda obsessed with mini humbuckers, which is why this particular Riviera intrigues me).

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The sound... well, it'll depend on you, the strings, the amp... Heck, no "electric" guitar is really an instrument, but rather about half an instrument with the electrical gadgetry taking up the other half.

 

But one might expect a bit warmer sound.

 

As to the feel... that's a matter of personal geometry. Each of us will find different guitar shapes will force a different geometry in our playing; a thinbody guitar with the same dimensions otherwise will seem "bigger" to my physical geometry than a much thicker "full hollow." But for you?

 

The Sheraton is a bit sexier with more bling.

 

Although... different eras of construction have differing specs and I'd not care to even suggest I could get into that. There's an Epi wiki that might offer answers.

 

I like a semi, but with my geometry the "Dot" 335 dimensions make the neck seem longer and the nut narrower regardless that they're just as advertised. I have two "Dots." Bling ain't my thing so much as how a guitar plays and how it plays for the variables in what I'm likely to do.

 

Why like a semi? It's exceptionally versatile, and responds well to different technique to give a wide variety of guitarists' styles their own sound. Then again, some like that, some have other tone tingling in their heads.

 

m

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I can't add anything that Milod hasn't said. The semihollow bodies in the tradition of the Gibson ES-335 are simply the most versatile and (to me) the most comfortable guitars out there. I have never had a solidbody guitar that felt as natural sitting or standing as a semihollow body. While many folks choose a Les Paul as their first guitar, I always felt that a Sheraton/Riviera/Dot should be the first (and perhaps forever) choice.

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I wonder if we aren't confused here.

 

As far as I know, the Riviera is the Epi version of a Gibby 330. At least last I knew (and it could have changed), The ES-330 is a full hollow. It has the same basic shape as the others, just no solid block of wood on the inside.

 

The full hollow models tend to have dog-eared pickups that mount on the surface. It isn't really common to have humbuckers, although there are some "custom" pups that are made for them.

 

I could be wrong about my models here.

 

As for the mini's vs full size humbucks, most mini's (regardless of quality) tend to have a more mid-rangy and crunchier tone to them. A "meaner" tone, if you prefer. But I am talking about the standard Epiphone type mini-humbucker here.

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I wonder if we aren't confused here.

 

As far as I know, the Riviera is the Epi version of a Gibby 330.

Actually, the Riviera is quite literally an ES-335 with minis, a Frequensator, and slightly different ornamentation.

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The mini humbuckers were on the original '60's Riviera's, and are also on the 2015 Elitist Riviera which is going to be a pretty expensive guitar...but if it's even near the quality of my Elitist Casino, it will be a GREAT guitar.

 

I played a mid '60's Riviera for a few nights around 1966 and I still remember how much I liked it...mini humbuckers and a freqensator tailpiece, an beautiful player.

 

You got lucky to fine one.

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