Epiphone Dot Studio Review

Buy The Epiphone Dot Studio Semi-Hollow

Guitar Center: Buy for $269
Amazon: Buy for 269

My Review Of The Epiphone Dot Studio Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar

A semi-hollow body electric guitar for $269? Yes. You can get the Epiphone Dot Studio — in the worn brown — for the bargain price of $269. This Epiphone hearkens back to the days of the legendary Epiphone archtops like the Sheraton and Emperor. When I first picked this up, I was very surprised that the instrument that I was holding only cost $269. The one that I was reviewing was the vintage sunburst and that one costs $499. Why Epiphone is charging double for the exact same guitar with a different paint job is beyond me but, whatever.

This guitar feels great in the hands. It’s light and you can tell that it is well made. Epiphones used to have a stigma attached to them because the foreign manufactured ones were terrible, but I have not played a truly inferior Epiphone guitar in many many years. Most of this guitar is made from mahogany, which is known for its resonant qualities, and it does not disappoint here.

This guitar produces a really solid sound. The stock humbuckers are very good, and you will have no trouble playing jazz, blues, or rock on this guitar. It can have an extremely warm, clean sound or it can be really dirty with very little adjustment. Overall, the fit and finish on this guitar is great… with a few exceptions. The nuts are pretty weak plastic and should definitely be replaced with something more substantial. Additionally, most people have not played on guitars without inlays on the fretboard and this lacks inlays. The dots are on top of the neck and this could take some getting used to for people who have never played on a guitar with a blank fretboard.

The Verdict

This is not a Gibson ES-335, but it is an excellent semi-hollow guitar for an extremely reasonable price… provided you don’t go for the absurd markup on the sunburst. This guitar is phenomenal for anyone who is planning to play any genre where a hollow body guitar is better like jazz, folk, folk rock, and blues. For $269, you are going to have difficulty finding a hollow or semi-hollow guitar better than the Epiphone Dot Studio.

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Guitars under $300

Peavey JF-1 Hollowbody Review

Buy The Peavey JF-1 Hollowbody

Guitar Center:Buy for $299
Amazon: Buy for $349

My Review Of The Peavey JF-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar

It isn’t often that you find a hollowbody electric guitar for under $300, but the Peavey JF-1 hollowbody clocks in right at $300 (from a number of prominent retailers). Peavey is probably best well known for their excellent amps, but this hollow body electric guitar does not disappoint. When I picked this guitar up, I felt like I was holding a much more expensive guitar. The maple body feels well crafted and it looks absolutely stunning. The one that I tested was the candy red, but it also comes in a traditional sunburst as well as solid black.

One thing that I really like about this guitar is the fact that the neck is connected to the body at a slight angle, which gives you easier access to the upper register of the fretboard. This is something that is quite helpful if you are playing jazz or fusion, which happen to be the types of music that this guitar is designed for among a few others like blues. The stock humbuckers definitely provide a smooth, rich sound, which resonates extremely well through the body of this guitar. The knobs are well placed, feel solid, and they give you 2 volume controls, 2 tone knobs, and a 3-way toggle-switch pickup selector so you’ve got plenty of ability to control your sound.

If there is one downside that I found with this guitar, it is the fact that I felt like it was a touch on the fragile side. Obviously, hollow body guitars are not going to have the same durability as a solid body, so I’d definitely recommend a hard case if you’re thinking about picking up this — or almost any other — hollow body electric guitar.

The Verdict

You probably won’t see BB King picking up one of these, but if you’re looking to get a solid hollow body electric guitar for under 300 dollars, you should definitely be looking at the Peavey JF-1 Hollowbody. This is definitely a worthy competitor for the slightly less expensive Epiphone Dot Studio, and unlike the Epiphone, there isn’t a $250 markup for the sunburst finish.

Other Relevant Reviews

Epiphone Dot Studio Review
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Ibanez AF75 Review

Buy The Ibanez Artcore AF75 Hollowbody

Guitar Center: Buy for $399

My Review Of The Ibanez Artcore AF75 Hollowbody Electric Guitar

Ibanez is one of the most well known guitar manufacturers and most guitarists will own at least one at some point in their lives, not only because of the notoriety of the brand, but also because of the guitars are extremely well made. If you are thinking about buying a hollow body electric guitar but you’re not sure you want to dump $1000 on one, you may want to think about taking a look at the Ibanez Artcore AF75 Hollowbody Electric Guitar. One of the first things that you notice about this guitar is its beautiful sound. This guitar has a really full and rich sound that you can only get from a good hollow body, and if you have ever played a good hollow body electric guitar, you will know how good it can sound. The resonance is awesome and it produces a full rich sound that you would expect from a guitar twice the price. Obviously, one of the perks with a hollow-body electric is the ability to play the guitar without it being plugged into an amp, and it sounds great. One of the problems that I have found with many guitars — but particularly hollow body electrics — is the fact that they need to be retuned quite often. I noticed that I could give this a lot of action without the need to tune it, so it holds its tune quite nicely.

Another thing you notice about this guitar is the feel. Because the body is hollow, you often feel like you’re holding something that is extremely fragile and delicate, but I did not find that to be the case with the Artcore AF75. It feels quite sturdy for a hollow body which is great because I was not worried about damaging it, so I could really let myself get drawn into the music. Like all hollow body guitars, this one will definitely give you some feedback at higher volumes but that is par for the course, and it isn’t out of the range of what I would expect. I LOVE the look of this guitar and it feels great but the fretboard is a little flat, which I found rather annoying. I was playing one that’s the brown sunburst and it really does look gorgeous. In addition to the brown sunburst, you can also get it in transparent orange and a red/black sunburst. The pickups are pretty generic but well rounded, so this guitar can play most genres though I would not recommend it for heavy shredding.

The Verdict

All in all, this is a solid hollow body electric guitar and for 399 dollars, there is a lot to love. This guitar looks and sounds great, and it definitely a pleasure to play with very few drawbacks. This is definitely one of the best hollow body electric guitars in this price range, and it is definitely one that I would recommend.

Other Relevant Reviews

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Epiphone Dot Studio Semi-Hollow Review
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Hollow Body Electric Guitars

Many people thinking about buying an electric guitar are unsure what style they should go for. The main reason for this is because there are a lot of different types to be considered. One highly popular type of electric guitar is the hollow body guitar. However, before you jump straight into buying one, it is important that you take a look at the pros and cons of a guitar like this, as there are many.


If you, like most guitarists, like to practice without the amp from time to time then you will know that it can quite often be hard to hear what you are playing. Of course, if you are practicing late at night then you can’t really plug the guitar in because the neighbors are not going to be amused. With a hollow body electric guitar, the volume when it is unplugged is a significant amount louder than a solid body electric. This means you can practice whenever and wherever without having to worry about disturbing people and you will still be able to hear the sound really well.


If you are a live performer then you will know how uncomfortable it can be to play a whole set with a solid body guitar around your neck. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can actually cause problems if this is a regular thing. A hollow body guitar is a lot lighter than a semi hollow or solid body guitar. Obviously this is going to be much more comfortable if you have to stand for long periods of time whilst you are playing.

More Acoustic Feel

A lot of people prefer the feel of playing an acoustic guitar. Unfortunately, you do not get this feeling when playing a solid body electric guitar. Acoustic music is and always has been incredibly popular, and whilst you can get effects pedals to produce an acoustic sound from an electric guitar, the hollow body guitar has a much more authentic feel. Obviously this is a huge plus point for those who perform live.

Cleaner Sound

With a lot of solid bodied electric guitars you tend to get horrible feedback and distortion. This is not an issue with a hollow body guitar. It produces a much cleaner, smoother sound. Again, this is very important when playing live. Sometimes solid bodied electric guitars can actually drown out the vocalist.

Less Sustain

The only real disadvantage when it comes to the hollow body guitar is the fact that you won’t get as much sustain as you do from a solid body electric. However, this is not a problem for some players.