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Need advice on buying my first guitar

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I'm new to this whole electric guitar buisness, and I need some advice.

I've been playing my acustic guitar for about 10 months now, and when I reach a year, I'm planning of buying an electric guitar.

I've been playing mostly (well, actually only) Beatles. I don't mind which song as long as it's theirs.

I decided to go for a semi-hollow body, and I've read about some guitars and explored that subject.

Now I can't decide between these three:

the Epiphone Dot

the Epiphone Casino

and the Epiphone Riviera


Can anyone tell me the differences? Give me some advice on the subject? Perhaps suggest a different one?

Also, what about an amplifier? Which would go well with this kind of guitars?


Thank you.

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There's a fairly hefty price differential between the Dot and Casino/Riviera. I found a Dot this year for $150 (no case) on Craigslist, and I see nice ones selling used all the time for under $300 with case. But they do have a thick neck if that matters to you. Another good inexpensive semi hollow is the Epiphone Sheraton II. They have a slim neck and I see them selling for as little as $350 used with case regularly. If its really important to stay Beatles period correct then the Casino is the typical pick. But there are tons of good semi-hollow options from many other manufacturers that are excellent (many discussed here) from Ibanez, Dean, Hagstrom, Gretsch, Godin, Schecter Hofner, etc.


I'm not sure what the buying options are in Israel, but if you ever get to the US/UK, then whatever your choice, there are two things I would not do unless you have experience and setup tools: 1) buy a guitar sight unseen from eBay or a mail-order house; 2) buy a guitar without a money back and trade in/up policy. That's because no matter how well-respected a brand/model a particular guitar may be, it may not be set up optimally and that can delay your advancement for years. Action, intonation, fingerboard, radius, and various other issues with any guitar will have a bigger impact on your progress that a name on the headstock. There's a lot of value in a professional setup, and if you eventually outgrow it or get tired of it, it will be a big advantage to have a trade up option.


Starter amps are easy - get a Fender Super Champ XD. They go for $200-$300 (US) used, are tube type and have a usable DSP effects section. Kept in good shape, it will always be worth something near that.


Just my $0.02.

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Thank you for the advice! I appriciate it.

I'll try out whatever I can, and see what I like best.

The price is not a big problem for me since I happen to be related to a music store owner ;)

I should get a about a good 30% discount on whatever instrument I choose, and the guy promised me to order whatever guitar I want, even from abroad.

Hence, the only problem left is trying the guitars out... Casino and Riviera are very rare in Israel, since only a small portion of Israeli guitarists play such guitars. I will see what I can do, because shipping one from the US just to try and then buy another is not an option.

I will check out that amplifier you suggested.


Thank you again.

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