4 Boutique Semi-Hollow Guitars
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For those that have the money, the boutique world is an amazing place to buy guitars from. You often can get exactly what you want both in terms of spec and appearance. Also, buying boutique can mean that the company you purchase from has much better quality control than some of the bigger names out there.
But you are probably already well aware of the reasons one would choose to buy from any of the brands listed below. So, on with the point of this specific article – informing you of some of the best semi-hollow guitars that exist in the boutique space. I have gathered here what I think of as some of the best f-hole and center-block models you can buy today. Enjoy.
For those wanting a Gibson 335 but from a way more consistently amazing brand, have I got the guitar for you.
First things first, this model is actually not as much like a 335 as a picture of it might make you think. Yes, it is similar in concept and configuration but where it differs in a big way is the body. The back and sides are made from a single piece of mahogany while the top is beautifully matched figured maple. Also, the body is quite a bit smaller than a Gibson 335, which will end up making I-35s feel more comfortable to most people.
The neck is the same species of mahogany as the body and has a rosewood fingerboard and headstock. For the profile you get a C-shape that will be very familiar for most players.
The pickups that come stock in this are the Lollar Low Wind Imperial Humbuckers, based on vintage PAFs. But like with most of the other specs on this model, you have a few other options that can be interchanged to get exactly what you want.
Collings’ guitars are just downright splendid instruments. All of them are lovingly crafted in Austin, Texas and their attention to detail is abundantly clear from the detail in everything they make. Again, if you are looking for a boutique 335 alternative, the I-35 is about the best out there.
Denis Fano’s latest brand has been growing rapidly in popularity over the past few years. These Nashville made guitars are quite the standouts thanks primarily to their stunning appearance. But, of course they sound phenomenal as well. The Miris is the company's semi-hollow offering and it holds true to what the company has built their reputation off.
One of the first things that you will likely notice with this guitar is the superb tempered pine back and top. The visuals of this wood aid in offering some of the best satin finishes that the guitar world has ever seen. The neck is composed of standard woods, a tempered maple shaft and rosewood fingerboard.
On the hardware and pickup side of things, you are getting top of the line stuff from across the industry. For pickups you can get a few different configurations, but all of them are from Fralin. The tuners are Kluson and most of the electronics are Emerson. Basically, the stuff Novo doesn’t make in-house is sourced from some of the top-respected companies out there.
The relicing you get with Novo is pretty much the best out there. Obviously this is a very subjective thing, but I think most people will appreciate Novo’s ability to make their stuff look real.
The Kauer Super Chief is a really interesting guitar. Not to be directly compared to anything else, this model does a great job taking bits and pieces of iconic guitars while maintaining an original design. The large and offset body (15” wide) combined with the original details of the pickguard, knobs and inlays make for a rather unique instrument.
The core and neck of the guitar are Spanish Mahogany while you have a choice of a maple or mahogany back and top. The fretboard is Wenge and you can expect top quality fretwork from any guitar you get from Kauer. On the hardware side of things, you get Sperzel locking tuners along with your choice of either Tune-O-Matic hardtail or Bigbsy tremolo (other tremolos available too).
With the Super Chief you also have a few different pickup choices to select from. Most often you tend to see these guitars with some kind of tron-style humbucker, but they can be made with a variety of different pups from Wolfetone, TV Jones or Lollar.
This boutique offering from Kauer is just a really gorgeous instrument both in aesthetics and function.
The Shur Classic T has been a staple in the companies’ lineup for a long time now, acting as their take on the classic Fender T-style. Not too long ago Shur introduced the Alt T, which is now a standard model on their website.
Just like the Classic T, it is pretty obvious where the Alt T is drawing its inspiration. This guitar model is perfect for those thinline Telecaster lovers out there who are wanting a boutique instrument. Although, this guitar should appeal to a much larger audience than just thinline fans alone. The main reason for this being the pickups. Unlike a normal wide range HH Fender, the Alt T comes loaded with Shur’s SSV humbuckers. These pickups help to make this model more versatile than you would expect.
This model is semi-hollow via the f-hole, but the body is also chambered, which makes it nice and light. The Alt T also comes with the usual Shur appointments like locking tuners, stainless steel frets and a 9”-12” compound radius board.
Overall, if you want a boutique guitar that is HH and T-style, you really can’t go wrong here.