I used to look at semi-acoustics when I was window shopping for a new guitar. The idea of something that sounds good unplugged but also could be plugged in and have a bit more to it always appealed to me.

The only real problem I saw with the whole idea of a semi-acoustic was it was still basically an acoustic guitar (which I own and really appreciate) that someone for all intent and purpose stuffed a microphone inside of and wired it up to a standard phono jack that plugs into an amp. The more I thought about this the more the idea just didn’t seem to fit with what I was looking for.

So, I started looking at semi-hollow and hollow body electric guitars. Now we’re getting places …

… after some hands-on trials and a lot of online research I narrowed down the possibilities to a few different models that might work:

  • Gretsch Electromatic G5420T Hollow Body
  • Hagstrom Viking Series Semi-Hollow Electric
  • Ibanez Artcore Thin Flamed Sycamore
  • Höfner Verythin
  • Epiphone Casino
  • Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II

Obviously there were some budget considerations as well as actually finding the guitar in a “local” shop so I could put it to the final, “How does it feel?” test. Fortunately I found a nice music store relatively close to home. If you’re in Oakville and want to browse a large selection of guitars (they had at least three of the models above) as well as other musical instruments and accessories, give Gear Music a look.

Gear Music are a friendly lot and were very welcoming and quick to let me pull down the model I was there to look at … it appeared to be near “out-of-the-box” condition. The Bigsby’s handle still had its rubber tip; and, the pick guard still had its plastic film in pristine condition.

It felt good. It sounded great … unplugged. I was nearly sold as is, but this is a hollow-body electric so I asked, “Where can I plugin this in at?” I was led to a fine collection of amps, and pointed to a nice tube amp to play with. It sounded great … maybe I already said that but it still needs repeating. Another store associate passed by and asked if I had any questions … “does it come with a case?”

“Not that particular model but we have a hard-case in the back made for it.”

“Great, why don’t you drag it up front for me.”

So I ended up putting this beauty into her case and taking her home.

Gretsch G5420T Electromatic
Gretsch G5420T Electromatic