When I was a kid I was obsessed with semi-hollowbody guitars. I blame The Beatles, The Cure and Ratcat. Basically if it had F-Holes or similarly-shaped soundholes, I wanted it. These days I tend to either play Les Pauls, Strats or Superstrats but I’ve always had a fondness for big boxy guitars with F-holes and Bigsby vibratos. I still don’t own one but if I did it’d be one of these…
Gretsch G6122T Player’s Edition Country Gentleman
This is the quintessential Gretsch for me. The Walnut Stain finish, the Filter’Tron pickups, the pearloid thumbnail fretboard inlays, the Bigsby, the double cutaways… It looks like it wants you to plug it into a Vox AC30 and brang out some chords over at atmospheric goth track. Or, y’know, the country stuff it was designed for. Check it out here.Gibson Rich Robinson ES-335
The ES-335 has gone through so many different iterations… with Bigsby, without bigsby, dot neck, block neck, ‘Mickey Mouse ear’ and pointier cutaways… but for my money it doesn’t get any better than the Rich Robinson ES-335. It brings together a bunch of Rich’s favourite specs including small block inlays, Bigsby, a slightly wider 1.711” nut, Burstbucker 1 and 2 pickups, aged Cherry finish, and a ‘Custom Made’ plate to cover the stopbar stud holes. Check it out here.
I can trace my love of this guitar directly to Australian indie band Ratcat’s video for “That Ain’t Bad.” Pretty sure I can also trace my thing for stripey shirts and leather jackets back to the same bad, now that I think about it. At the moment Hofner offers red Verythins and various Bigsby-loaded Verythins but no red ones with Bigsby. Dang. Check ‘em out here anyway. Rickenbacker Model 370/12
Gah, just look at that thing. I’ve always loved the curvier outline of the two-pickup 360 and three-pickup 370 compared to the sharper edges of the two-pickup 330 and three-pickup 340. It looks like a guitar you can lay into and rock out with, whereas the sharper-edged models look like something you have to contend with and reckon with. Yeah, the sound holes aren’t F-shaped but this one still gets a pass because the design so perfectly echoes the truss rod cover, and I love design touches like that. See the 370/12 here.
D’Angelico Teardrop New Yorker
Aww yeah. The unmistakably Art Deco accents are already cool enough to make this guitar a classic but that sweeping teardroppy pointy-bit is just unfathomably cool. This guitar is handmade in New York City by D’Angelico’s Head Luthier and it features a ThroBak mini-humbucker, European Spruce top, European Flame Maple back, and gold Grover Super Rotomatic tuners. Sure, it’s a full hollowbody rather than a semi-hollowbody but with looks like this it totally gets a pass. More info here.