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Archtop/Hollowbodies

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Well, there's the Zephyr Blues Deluxe. The Joe Pass and ES 175 are, too. They call Casinos, Swingsters and Sorrentos hollow bodies, but I believe they have sound posts, which may disqualify them, due to the "truly hollow body" criteria of your question. BTW, the Reissue Sorrento is one heck of a guitar. I can't put my recently acquired one down. I'm seeing used ones going in the $400 range (like mine was) these days, unlike the other Reissues, which are holding their value. Great modding platform, too. Fun, fun guitar for the money.

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There's the Casino, the Emperor and there may still be a few Sorrentos around.

 

Going back in history there have been several. Google the phrase Epiphone Wiki. There's a great unofficial and super informative site there where you can research almost every Epiphone ever marketed.

 

Edit: Looks like Tweed beat me to the punch! Anyhow, the Epiphone Wiki is still a great resource, and a great place to just do some reading at

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the Swingster, does have a pinned bridge.

 

I don't know how that could disqualify if from being classed as a hollow body tho..

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True Hollow Bodies by Epiphone (sound posts do not disqualify a guitar from being a hollow body ---- violins, violas, cellos and double basses have them too).

 

Broadway

Elitist Broadway

Emperor

Emperor Regent

Zephyr Regent

Zephyr Blues Deluxe

Emperor II

Joe Pass Emperor II

Emperor Swingster

ES-175 (in its various versions)

ES-295

Casino (in its various versions)

Elitist Casino

Sorrento (in its various versions)

Elitist Byrdland

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True Hollow Bodies by Epiphone (sound posts do not disqualify a guitar from being a hollow body ---- violins, violas, cellos and double basses have them too).

 

Broadway

Elitist Broadway

Emperor

Emperor Regent

Zephyr Regent

Zephyr Blues Deluxe

Emperor II

Joe Pass Emperor II

Emperor Swingster

ES-175 (in its various versions)

ES-295

Casino (in its various versions)

Elitist Casino

Sorrento (in its various versions)

Elitist Byrdland

 

Casino Coupe, too, if you didn't mean to include that under "various versions."

 

Also note that some of the models on this very good list are presently available with upraded pickups in the Pro series (i.e., JP Emperor II Pro) or with both upgraded ups and finishes in the Premiium series, like the ES-175 Premium and ES-295 Premium.

 

Red 333

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the Swingster, does have a pinned bridge.

 

I don't know how that could disqualify if from being classed as a hollow body tho..

 

A pinned bridge would not disquaify a guitar from being a hollow body. It simply indicates that two small pins are used to locate the bridge to the guitar's top. This is in contrast to the larger screw posts or comparitively massive stud and bushing assemblies on tunomatic type bridges (whch are also used on hollowbodies).

 

Non-pinned bridges are called floating bridges, and are held in position by string pressure alone. During a string change, the bridge can shift out of position, making it harder to put back in the same place to maintain intonation. Pinned bridges won't move during a string change.

 

Red 333

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Sorry, it's just so nice I can't help myself (the pic not so nice, Casino's so shiny it shows all the junk around it)...

 

Blak-and-Blu_zps5a3uevnj.jpg

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A pinned bridge would not disquaify a guitar from being a hollow body. It simply indicates that two small pins are used to locate the bridge to the guitar's top. This is in contrast to the larger screw posts or comparitively massive stud and bushing assemblies on tunomatic type bridges (whch are also used on hollowbodies).

 

Non-pinned bridges are called floating bridges, and are held in position by string pressure alone. During a string change, the bridge can shift out of position, making it harder to put back in the same place to maintain intonation. Pinned bridges won't move during a string change.

 

Red 333

 

yep I know Red, I have a few Archtops with non pinned bridges, (Broadway/Emperor Regent/Elitist Country Gent all have floating bridges - the Country Gent however is a semi hollow with a center block.)

 

the comment came from a previous comment that seemed to question the whole aspect of a pinned bridge changed the terminology, I can't see why/how it could.

 

this: They call Casinos, Swingsters and Sorrentos hollow bodies, but I believe they have sound posts, which may disqualify them

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yep I know Red, I have a few Archtops with non pinned bridges, (Broadway/Emperor Regent/Elitist Country Gent all have floating bridges - the Country Gent however is a semi hollow with a center block.)

 

the comment came from a previous comment that seemed to question the whole aspect of a pinned bridge changed the terminology, I can't see why/how it could.

 

this: They call Casinos, Swingsters and Sorrentos hollow bodies, but I believe they have sound posts, which may disqualify them

Actually, no, that comment wasn't concerning pinned bridges, but sound posts. Somebody else wandered into pinned bridge territory. Back when I first joined this forum, in 2010, I posed the question of a sound post being in my first Epiphone, a Casino. The question was also asked in several other forums that I frequented back then. There were some responses on those that basically said, any block of wood or post between the front and back face of the guitar relegated the guitar to semi-hollow status. If it wasn't built like an acoustic guitar (nothing in between), and had them, it was a semi-hollow. I don't agree with that viewpoint. But apparently, some do, which is why I even brought it up. Especially with the phrase, "truly hollow body". I liked the most detailed response that I got on this forum, which I felt made the most sense.

 

"It's not at all unusual for hollow bodied guitars (as well as violins, cellos and their ilk) to have either a small block or a sound post under the bridge. This can be as minimal as a piece of dowel set in, or a more substantial block that can be glued in as well. Acoustically, it has several functions:

1) Adds strength to the body --- some old guitars with no post or blocks can have the tops collapse over time.

2) Transfers string vibration to the back of the guitar, making the body more resonant.

3) Provides more strength for the fixed bridge on the Casino, giving it more than just the thin ply top to grip onto. (More traditional jazz boxes have floating bridges on a wooden base to help distribute the string pressure)

 

It's function is very different from the sound block in a 335, whose purpose is to reduce the resonant vibration in the top to cut down on feedback and add sustain. The soundpost or block on a Casino is intended to reinforce the bridge area to counteract string pressure while interfering with resonant vibration as little as possible". Thanks Parabar.

 

My comment stating that anything having posts or blocks "may disqualify them" from the hollowbody group, referred to the responses I got on those forums. Right or wrong, some feel that way, which is why I italicized may. Carry on.

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yep I know Red, I have a few Archtops with non pinned bridges, (Broadway/Emperor Regent/Elitist Country Gent all have floating bridges - the Country Gent however is a semi hollow with a center block.)

 

the comment came from a previous comment that seemed to question the whole aspect of a pinned bridge changed the terminology, I can't see why/how it could.

 

this: They call Casinos, Swingsters and Sorrentos hollow bodies, but I believe they have sound posts, which may disqualify them

 

 

Oh! A sound post is a small block of wood (usually about as thick as finger, maybe two) that connects the top of an archtop to the back. It's purpose is to transfer string energy from the top throughout the guitar's body. In some cases, it is there to keep the arch shape of the top from collapsing under string pressure. It is usually located in the body cavity just below where the bridge is located on the top, but doesn't have anything to do with what type of bridge is on the top. Guitars with floating, pinned, or bridges held with studs and bushings could have sound posts.

 

Tweed was questioning whether the presence of this small post that connects top to back disqualifies the guitar from being fully hollow, since it is something in the otherwise empty body cavity. It does not, being nothing like the size of the blocks found in a semi-hollow like a Gibson ES-335 or your Country Gent. As you know, these can span both the length and thickness of the guitar, and are often about half the width of the guitar body. Some semi hollows, like the Wildkat, are essentially solid-body guitars with chambers routed of them.

 

The pins I am referring to on a pinned bridge are something else entirely--small pins that keep the bridge in place. They go into the guitar top, but not into the body cavity in any way that could be mistaken for a sound post.

 

Red 333

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yep I know Red, I have a few Archtops with non pinned bridges, (Broadway/Emperor Regent/Elitist Country Gent all have floating bridges - the Country Gent however is a semi hollow with a center block.)

 

the comment came from a previous comment that seemed to question the whole aspect of a pinned bridge changed the terminology, I can't see why/how it could.

 

this: They call Casinos, Swingsters and Sorrentos hollow bodies, but I believe they have sound posts, which may disqualify them

Oops sorry for the double post.

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I see now, I miss read that.

 

I will have to see if there are these sound posts in the swingster, I was under the impression it was fully hollow in there.

 

thx Tweed!

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I recall reading, about that same time, that although my Casino had them, not all Casinos did. I don't think Elitists or IBJLs did. Maybe a few others, too, but the old memory is getting a little fuzzy these days. [unsure]

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I wonder how the Gretsch hollow bodies compare to the Epiphones?

 

Steve

 

 

Like Epiphone, Gretsch makes a variety of hollow bodies (in fact, most Gretsch models are hollow bodied). They make a variety of body sizes, bracing designs and scale lengths, with some similar to Epiphone models, but the pickups and wiring are a whole different thing. Gretsch's beefiest-sounding humbuckers are MUCH brighter and crisper with a lower output than Epiphones. The Gretsch tonal palette is much more focused on clean tones, although many Gretsch guitars sound good overdriven. All of Pete Townshend's electric guitar parts on the iconic "Who's Next" album were played on a Gretsch 6120 hollow body that was given to Pete by Joe Walsh.

 

For the record, I own two Gretsch hollow bodies and six Epiphone hollow bodies. They sound very different, although the dimensions and neck on my Gretsch 5120 and 5420T are quite similar to my Epiphone Joe Pass.

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I recall reading, about that same time, that although my Casino had them, not all Casinos did. I don't think Elitists or IBJLs did. Maybe a few others, too, but the old memory is getting a little fuzzy these days. [unsure]

 

Personally I don't care if sound posts disqualify the Casino from being a true hollow body or not.

 

A Casino is much lighter, more acoustic sounding when played unplugged (compared to the Sheraton-II I had) and has way more feedback than the Semi hollows I've had/have...

 

I HOPE mine has sound posts. I hate the thought of what all that string pressure on the bridge would do to the beautiful top of my Casino if it doesn't.

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I seam to be torn between the Epiphone "Joe Pass Emperor II Pro" and the Gretsch G5420T. I watched a video comparison on youtube and the Epi seamed to have a much richer tonal quality than the Gretsch, but the Gretsch did sound very good. The Gretsch seamed to be a little more twang-yer. This is a hard decision. I have always owned Gibsons and Epiphones, and love the tone of them. Or do I need something to mix things up a little.

 

Steve

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For me, I mean more to the warm clean throaty Jazz tones of the Pass rather than the somewhat more high end jangly qualties if the Gretsch. You may be playing different stuff then me though.

 

I only very rarely use any effects other than some reverb at the amp, and will quite often put my hollow and semi hollow body guitars through an acoustic amp, for me, the Pass sounds more like a guitar, the Gretsch like a rockabilly machine.

 

Nothing wrong there mind you, only that I prefer the sound of a Jazz guitar playing rockabilly me than a rockabilly guitar trying to play Jazz...

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George Van Eps used a Gretsch most of the time, to great, almost surreal, Jazz effect. Incredible sound and chording, that guy.

 

On another note, Gibson never used sound post or "trestle" stuff. An "original" Casino would have been literally the equivalent of a Gibson ES-330. In a sense, a sound post to a Casino or a Riviera or Gibson equivalent guitar would be an alteration to the design. So, I guess having something of an option or different might be seen as a good thing. I would certainly be curious.

 

Besides the obvious of making something a little sturdier or transferring vibrations, as far as the voice or tonality is concerned, I wonder if there is an effect that's the result of splitting the top in half or quarters? For example, in speaker cabinets they often add a brace in the center of a 4x12 ONLY for that reason, so they say.

 

I really don't think a brace under the bridge would make the top vibrate less, but I bet it does change the tonality of it.

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Always wondered about the differences, in tone/sound, between the ES-330 with stock P-90's,

vs. the same guitar(s) with Humbuckers, that you sometimes see. Ether modded that way, or

special ordered. Never had a chance to play them, side by side...in fact, I've only seen

the Humbucker versions, on occasion.

 

Anyone here, had the pleasure of playing both versions, and if so, what ARE the differences,

in tone, with both being "true hollowbody," etc. Aside from the normal differences, between

humbuckers, and P-90's, that is.

 

CB

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I seam to be torn between the Epiphone "Joe Pass Emperor II Pro" and the Gretsch G5420T. I watched a video comparison on youtube and the Epi seamed to have a much richer tonal quality than the Gretsch, but the Gretsch did sound very good. The Gretsch seamed to be a little more twang-yer. This is a hard decision. I have always owned Gibsons and Epiphones, and love the tone of them. Or do I need something to mix things up a little.

 

Steve

 

I own both an Epi Joe Pass and a Gretsch 5420T. They sound REALLY different in person. The Epi has much more of the traditional full-throated "jazz guitar tone" we associate with players like Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass or Kenny Burrell. The Gretsch has an almost single coil type of bright twang. I use the Gretsch for playing funk and reggae rhythm parts, where its brightness is an asset. I really like both, though for their distinct qualities.

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I seam to be torn between the Epiphone "Joe Pass Emperor II Pro" and the Gretsch G5420T. I watched a video comparison on youtube and the Epi seamed to have a much richer tonal quality than the Gretsch, but the Gretsch did sound very good. The Gretsch seamed to be a little more twang-yer. This is a hard decision. I have always owned Gibsons and Epiphones, and love the tone of them. Or do I need something to mix things up a little.

 

Steve

 

I've never played one, but isn't the Swingster a mix of the two? You get the same body as the Joe Pass Emperor, but it's said to sound very Gretchy when the pups are in parallel mode (and more humbucker-like when not).

 

Did the video you watch feature the Joe Pass Emperor II or the new Joe Pass Emperor II Pro? The Pro has coil splitting so you can modify the rich humbucker tones to a thinner and brighter voice. Don't know how twangy that is, though.

Red 333

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