The Best Semi-Hollow Guitars Under $2000

The Best Semi-Hollow Guitars Under $2000

When you push your price point past the $1000 mark, you open yourself up to some really great guitars.

We’ve tested the best semi hollow body guitars under $2000 suited for any professional-minded musician.

These semi-hollow axes have all the soulful sound and perfect playability you need to rock any stage.

Our Recommendation

All of these guitars are great options, but my favorite is the Guild Starfire V. I’m sold on its thinline body and 1960s-style design. Plus, its tone leaves nothing to be desired.

Given a choice among all five, the last I’d choose is the Dean Dave Mustain V VMNT, but only because I personally don’t like a V-shaped guitar. In all other dimensions, I think it’s a great model.

The Best Semi Hollow Body Electric Guitars Under $2000 – Overview

#5 Dean Dave Mustaine V StradiVMNT VSB

Specs

  • Top – Flamed Maple
  • Body – Mahogany
  • Neck – Mahogany
  • Fingerboard – Ebony
  • Electronics – Dual Seymour Duncan Livewire humbuckers

Pros

  • Great, well-balanced tone from the mahogany + maple combo
  • Fast-playing ebony fretboard on D-shaped neck
  • Very unique semi hollow body electric guitar

Cons

  • Flying V body shape is highly unusual; not a favorite of many players
  • No vibrato bar limits tonal variance

Construction

This guitar was designed for Dave Mustaine of Megadeth for his performance with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Read all about that unique performance in this article.

It looks like a classical metal machine and plays like one too.

Dean’s renowned for their V-shaped body design and no one does it better than them. If you want to look like a metal god but get the warm bluesy tone of a semi hollow, this is a great choice for you.

Sound

The maple top and mahogany back and sides tonewood build of this VMNT give it a perfect balance between thick, creamy lows and mids and lightning-clear highs.

Custom Seymour Duncan Mustaine-signature Livewire humbuckers provide a fearsome tone that can go mean and nasty for metal or soft and sweet for cleaner blues styles.

Playability

This is a shredtastic semi-hollow with a super sleek ebony fretboard on Dean’s fast-playing D-shaped neck. I’m sure Dave Mustaine wouldn’t have had it any other way.

You can crunch through powerful chords or fly through fast-as-fire licks without the worry of a vibrato bar throwing your tone out of tune.

Of course, on a semi hollow, a vibrato bar makes for a lot of fun, but with its other perks, I’m willing to let its lack slide on this model.

#4 Ibanez EKM10T Eric Krasno Signature

Specs

  • Top – Flamed Maple
  • Body – Flamed Maple
  • Neck – 3-piece Nyatoh
  • Fingerboard – Ebony
  • Electronics – Dual Super58 humbuckers

Pros

  • Great sustain for soulful solos
  • Stays in tune through all your bends and vibrato wobbles
  • Bone nut adds harmonic clarity and increased resonance

Cons

  • Fret buzz in higher frets needs attention from guitar tech
  • Overtones are overabundant and can muddy the tone in lower registers

Construction

Jazz-funk fusionist Eric Krasno partnered with Ibanez to craft this funkadelic semi hollow body guitar.

The EKM10T is another maple-bodied electric on this list with a beautiful deep red finish.

In Ibanez’s place, I’d swap out the nyatoh neck for a higher quality wood, but other than that there’s nothing to complain about construction-wise.

Sound

This guitar’s strongest factor is its great sustain. With the fast-attack ebony fretboard set into the maple body, your notes can seem to sing out for full minutes.

The brightness of the maple isn’t tempered very much by the nyatoh neck, so the tone is overall shiny with a lot of sparkle. However, the Super58s paired with the maple don’t produce a very clear low end, so with the tone cranked all the way you can sound pretty muddy.

Still, it’s great for most softer genres, especially jazz and funk, while holding its own in the realm of rock’n’roll.

Playability

The EKM10T has one of the thinner neck profiles I’ve seen on a semi hollow, a trait that’s no surprise considering Ibanez’s proficiency at fast playing neck designs.

It’s been given the Ibanez Artstar fret edge treatment, which rounds down the fret edges to a smooth point so there’s no worry of slowing your roll with finger snags.

Despite a bit of fret buzz, I’d recommend this guitar to anyone wanting to get funky on a semi hollow body electric.

#3 Schecter Robin Zander Corsair

Specs

  • Top – Maple
  • Body – Maple
  • Neck – 3-piece Mahogany
  • Fingerboard – Ebony
  • Electronics – Dual Seymour Duncan Phat Cat single-coils

Pros

  • A tone with both grit and glimmer from the Seymour Duncan Phat Cats
  • Great blend of warmth and clarity from the maple + mahogany tonewood combo
  • Roller TOM w/Bigsby B-70 Vibrato gives notes wobble without throwing you out of tune

Cons

  • Lacks the crunch needed for heavy metal

Construction

The Robin Zander Corsair semi hollow is an electric guitar glam metal fans will love. It’s handmade in the USA by Schecter and hasn’t a single flaw in its construction.

Even its pickups are handmade, featuring precision-wrapped vintage Alnico magnets in a humbucker-sized casing.

This Robin Zander signature model comes with a 3-piece mahogany neck that can take a beating, so you can play as hard as you want without worrying about damage.

Sound

As I’ve said before, I think mahogany and maple is a great choice for semi hollow body electrics. This tonewood combo gives you the shining highs you need for jazz and blues leads while mixing in enough low and mid power to get down and dirty with hard rock styles.

Vintage-style Seymour Duncan Phat Cat single-coil pickups give you a big voice in any range. Their versatility means you can range from satiny crystalline cleans to in-your-face grunge with just a few twists of the tone knobs.

Playability

The thin C-shaped neck profile is perfect for shredding, and its ebony fretboard gives a quick and responsive attack for high-speed riffs at any level of frets.

Its double-cutaway design lets you rip the highest reaches of the fingerboard with no problem.

Robin Zander’s Schecter signature comes equipped with a Roller TOM bridge and Bigsby B-70 Vibrato tailpiece so wacky note modulations are a breeze.

#2 Prestige Guitars NYS Deluxe MG

Specs

  • Top – Arched Maple
  • Body – Arched Maple
  • Neck – Solid Mahogany
  • Fingerboard – Pau ferro
  • Electronics – Dual Seymour Duncan Vintage P90 single-coils

Pros

  • Each piece of wood is hand-selected for highest quality materials
  • Vintage-style P-90 pickups with tonal range from smooth jazz to fierce rock
  • Focused mid-range punch

Cons

  • Big bodied and heavy; can be hard to handle for small players
  • Sensitive to feedback

Construction

Despite Prestige being a Canadian-based company, there’s nothing to be “sorrey” about with the NYS Deluxe’s construction. The body is all locally-sourced maple, including the solid center block. Each piece of wood is selected by hand to ensure that every guitar is built with top-quality materials.

The solid mahogany neck withstands anything you can throw at it and adds a lot of sustain to your tone.

Prestige’s NYS Deluxe is available in two beautiful chrome finishes: the gold one that we checked out and a metallic charcoal, both of which look super sleek on stage.

Combine all this with the best quality hardware like an easy-moving Bigsby USA B7 vibrato tailpiece and 18:1 Grover tuners, and you’ve got a truly pro grade semi hollow.

Sound

I tend to prefer a bit more crunch in my guitars than the Prestige NYS offers, but if you’re in the game of rock it’s a great axe.

The steeply focused mid-range comes as a combination of maple’s crispy high end and the smoothing attributes of the mahogany neck.

This gets kicked out with power by the Seymour Duncan P-90s. These are large single-coil pickups following the design of the 1946 Gibson soapbars. You can find out more about Seymour Duncan’s P-90 series pickups here.

They can be driven at full tone for rock-ready growling strength or turned back a few notches for a smooth and mellow jazz voicing.

Playability

The NYS Deluxe has a vintage C-shaped neck that feels pretty chunky but in a good way. It’s meaty and smooth, great for aggressive power chords or wide-fingered jazz expressions.

Though it is a bit bigger and heavier than your average semi hollowbody guitar, it’s not unwieldy and is overall a really nice playing instrument.

#1 Guild Starfire V

Specs

  • Top – Mahogany
  • Body – Mahogany
  • Neck – Mahogany/Maple
  • Fingerboard – Rosewood
  • Electronics – Dual Guild LB-1 humbuckers

Pros

  • Fat, full tone great for hard rock and blues
  • Thinline body design that’s super comfortable to hold
  • Great tuning dependability from Grover Sta-Tite tuning machines

Cons

  • None

Construction

Mahogany’s my favorite tonewood for any type of guitar, and I love the way it’s pulled together in the Guild Starfire V. This is a true to form remake of Guild’s same 1960s model, with a slim body profile that takes the weight down enough so you can rock all night.

It has a really sturdy 3-piece neck that is ultra-resistant to bending and twisting so you can play for years without worry of repairs or upgrades.

Sound

We recommended the Guild Starfire V as one of the best electric guitars for blues in this article. It’s a grit-machine with a full, solid tone in each range that will never disappoint.

Guild’s LB-1 pickups are small humbuckers that deliver the force of full-size double-coils while keeping the tight focus and jingling chime of single-coils.

Individual tone and volume knobs give you a ton of on-board control over your sound so you can dial into dusty cleans for jazz and blues or go full force for hard rock and metal.

Playability

The soft U-shape neck profile completes the classic build of the Starfire V and gives you an authentically vintage playing feel. It’s got great grip and a silky rosewood fingerboard that lets you rip riffs with no dilemma.

Guild’s Tune-o-Matic bridge and vibrato tailpiece combined with Grover Sta-Tite tuners let you bend your solos to extremes while staying in tune for days.

A great guitar in every way, I highly recommend the Guild Starfire V.

Buyer’s Guide

Who Should Buy a Guitar in this Price Range?

Unless you’re a touring musician or studio artist, I’d definitely stick with lower-priced models. There’s no sense sinking such a cost into a guitar that’s not going to see the stage or be featured on many tracks.

These are great guitars for professional musicians, with the highest quality builds, fantastic pickups, and unmatched playability.

If you’re not exactly at a pro level yet, you should check out our reviews of lower-cost semi hollow body electric guitars, like these top-rated models or these best value editions.

The Final Word

So there you have it, the best of the best semi hollow body guitars under $2000.

If you’ve got the cash to blow, you can’t go wrong with any of these selections. They’ll take your performances from intermediate entertainment to absolute show-stopping spectacularity.

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