The Best Hollow Body Guitar Under $500 in 2022

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Editor's Choice
Epiphone Casino Worn
Epiphone Casino Worn
  • Ideal for players who are looking for an alternative indie sound
  • Own the guitar that the Beatles played
  • Great acoustic energy when unplugged
  • It's lightweight and easy to play
For Country & Pop
Squier Classic Vibe '60s Thinline Telecaster
Squier Classic Vibe '60s Thinline Telecaster
  • The guitar is lightweight and comfortable to play
  • Get that classic Fender twang and an affordable price
  • The 3-saddle string-thru-body bridge provides excellent tuning stability
  • 3-month Fender Play subscription included
For Budget
Ibanez AM53 Artcore Semi-Hollow Body
Ibanez AM53 Artcore Semi-Hollow Body
  • The AM53 has a warm, full sound that is perfect for both rhythm and lead playing
  • It's a guitar with a contemporary, comfortable design that intermediate and advanced players will enjoy
  • Excellent value for the price
  • A high-quality guitar that blows away expectations

Do you want a “Jazz Box” but don’t want to break the bank?

If you’re a guitar player who’s been itching to get your hands on a “jazz box” but don’t want to spend a fortune, this blog post is for you.

We’ll look at some of the best affordable options out there, so you can get that warm, smooth sound without breaking the bank.

From my 25+ years of playing guitar, countless trips to my local guitar shop, and countless hours of research under my belt. With this experience, I’ve concluded that the Epiphone Casino Worn is the best hollow body guitar under $500.

However, other great guitars on this list have their own strengths worth checking out.

Ready to find your new favorite guitar? Let’s dive in!

The Best Hollow Body Guitars Under $500 in 2022 at a Glance

Editor’s Choice: Epiphone Casino Worn

Editor's Choice
Epiphone Casino Worn

The Epiphone Casino Worn is an affordable hollow-body electric guitar that doesn't sacrifice quality.

It has been praised for its rich and snappy tones and impressive playability by experts and beginner players alike. This makes it the perfect choice whether you're just starting out or want to add another instrument to your collection!

Looking for the best hollow body guitar with plenty of vibe and history? Look no further than the Epiphone Casino Worn. This top-rated guitar has been praised by experts and players alike for its rich tones and impressive playability. At under $500, it’s an affordable option that doesn’t sacrifice quality.

While this guitar is often referred to as “The Beatles Guitar,” there is more to this classic than being the favored ax by John, Paul, and George.

This electric guitar is completely hollow in the body of the guitar. This makes this guitar extraordinarily lightweight and resonant. The guitar’s weight comes in just over 5 pounds which makes it easy to hold and play while standing up.

While this guitar is meant to be played through an amplifier, it has excellent acoustic energy that you don’t often find with solid body guitars. This makes the guitar a fun “couch guitar” that won’t disturb your family or roommates late at night.

The P90 pickups make this guitar stand apart from other hollow body and semi-hollow body guitars.

P90s are famous for having lots of output and creating a guitar tone that is snappy and aggressive. The Epiphone Casino sounds excellent when using a fuzz pedal. It is a guitar that players looking for a more alternative and indie sound will adore.

There always seems to be an inherent “dirt” in the tone. So if you are looking for a pure tone for jazz, you might be better served by another electric guitar like a Gretsch G2420 or Epiphone Wildkat.

There isn’t much to complain about when it comes to the hardware. This guitar comes with vintage-style tuners, graph tech nubone nut, and Epiphone LockTone Tune-O-Matic Bridge with Trapeze Tailpiece. The hardware keeps the guitar strings in tune and makes the guitar easy to play.

One thing that I love about the Casino is that the neck isn’t overly chunky like some hollow bodies. It feels slim in your hand and makes playing up and down the neck a breeze. The nut width of 1.693″ may feel wide for some guitar players with smaller hands, but I found the spacing of the strings easy for lead playing.

The finishes you can get with the Epiphone Casino Worn make this guitar really stand out. You can get a cool-looking worn blue denim, worn ebony, or my personal favorite, the worn olive drab.

There are many reasons why the Epiphone Casino Worn is my top choice for the best hollow body guitar under 500. It has a classic sound and style that will appeal to non-conforming players; it punches way above its weight and won’t break the bank.

Be sure to check it out today; you won’t be disappointed!

Pros
  • Has a tremendous snappy grit that oozes character and vibe
  • Excellent looking finishes like worn olive drab
  • It's a beautiful guitar that plays looks and plays like a much more expensive guitar
  • It can be played unplugged like an acoustic guitar
Cons
  • The frets could be better dressed out of the factory
  • The tone might be too gritty for some players
  • Doesn't come with a gig bag or case
  • Might have to put a pre-order in for one and wait for them to become available

Best for Modern Guitar Players: Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster

Best for Modern Players
Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster

Squier's Classic Vibe Starcaster guitar is a versatile instrument that can be played by players of all styles.

It features classic Fender playability with modern sounds to give you an edge in any situation. It's perfect for players who want to try something different from the traditional guitars in their collection. It provides effortless playability with a versatile sound like no other!

Suppose you’re looking for a guitar that has a classic style with an alternative twist. In that case, the Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster is the perfect option. Don’t let the Squier name fool you. This guitar is excellent for both beginners and experienced players alike.

With its versatile sound and easy Fender playability, the Classic Vibe Starcaster is ideal for modern indie and alternative music. Trust us, this funky-looking semi-hollow body guitar is one of the best values on the market today. So if you’re ready to take your playing to the stars, read on ;).

While Fender (who owns Squier) developed the Starcaster to compete with Gibson’s 335 range back in the 70s, it definitely holds its own vibe and character.

The first thing that stands out about this guitar (besides its looks) is the bolt-on, solid maple neck. The thin C-Shape design has the classic Fender feel and is easy to play up and down the neck.

The Fender Wide Range Humbuckers are meant to be driven, and this guitar has a great alternative tone that works well with fuzz pedals.

If you’re looking for a guitar that will handle creamy blues, spanky hard rock, and alternative crunch, you will find it with the Starcaster.

While hollow-body guitars are often associated with being “jazz boxes,” this semi-hollow guitar would not be on my shortlist for jazz players. The humbuckers tend to run hot, and the tonal sweet spot is when they get pushed into distorted tones.

This electric guitar comes with a bone nut which is uncommon for a guitar in this price range. While the other hardware is of good quality, the Adjusto-Matic with Anchored Tailpiece can sometimes lead to string breakage if not correctly set up.

Another benefit of purchasing this semi-hollow electric guitar is that it comes with three months free of Fender Play. So you’ll be able to spark new inspiration and skills after purchasing the Starcaster.

However, it would be nice if Fender included a gig bag for storage for the price.

With the Starcaster’s vintage-inspired style and versatile tone, the Classic Vibe Starcaster is a true standout in today’s crowded marketplace. So if you’re looking for an affordable guitar that can do it all, don’t miss out on this hidden gem from Squier.

Pros
  • Thin C shape design has that classic, comfortable Fender feel 
  • Versatile with its tones, but stands out when played with some grit/fuzz
  • It's a funky guitar that will be unlike any other in your guitar collection
  • Comes with 3 free months of Fender Play
Cons
  • Some may find the off-set body and headstock very ugly
  • Doesn't come with a case
  • Tone and volume pots could be better quality
  • If the bridge is not adjusted, the strings can rub the back of the bridge and be more prone to breaking

Best for Country and Pop: Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Thinline Telecaster

Best for Country & Pop
Squier Classic Vibe '60s Thinline Telecaster

Looking for a semi-hollow body guitar with that classic country and pop twang? Then you'll love the Squier Classic Vibe '60s Thinline Telecaster. 

This beauty has all the tone you need to nail those rootsy sounds, plus it's also perfect for more modern styles.

So whether you're just starting out or are a seasoned pro looking to add a Thinline to the collection, the Classic Vibe '60s Thinline Telecaster is worth considering.

Looking for a semi-hollow body guitar with that classic country and pop twang? Then you’ll love the Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Thinline Telecaster.

This beauty has all the tone you need to nail those rootsy sounds, plus it’s also perfect for more modern styles. So whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned pro, the Classic Vibe ’60s Thinline Telecaster is definitely worth considering.

The ’60s Thinline Telecaster features a pair of Fender Designed AlNiCo Single-coil for that unmistakable twang. And with its semi-hollow design, this guitar has a unique resonance and warmth that solid-body electric guitars can’t match.

One of the best things about this guitar is its playability. The C-shaped neck is super comfortable, and the 9.5″ neck radius makes it easy to play modern lead lines with big bends. The 3-saddle string-thru-body bridge also provides stability and sustain, so you can rock out with confidence that you will stay in tune.

To top it off, the Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Thinline Telecaster comes with a 3-month subscription to Fender Play. So you can learn how to play your favorite songs and styles with ease.

While this semi-hollow electric guitar punches above its weight, this guitar does have its drawbacks.

First, the gloss finish on the fingerboard can be an issue for some players. If your hands are clammy, or you play in hot basements or clubs, then your hands might feel sticky when playing. Also, you would hope that a gig bag would come included for a guitar at this price point.

The Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Thinline Telecaster is an excellent guitar for those looking to play old-school country or pop music. It has the classic twang of a single-coil pickup electric guitar with the added warmth and resonance that you would expect from a semi-hollow body guitar.

Pros
  • Incredibly resonant, vintage sound due to its semi-hollow design
  • Very lightweight and comfortable to play
  • Great tuning stability thanks to the 3-saddle string-thru-body bridge
  • Classic telecaster twang in an affordable package
Cons
  • Gloss neck can feel too sticky for players with sweatier hands
  • Doesn't come with a gig bag or case
  • Single coil pickups get noisy with added gain
  • Not an extremely versatile guitar

Best for Jazz, Blues, & Rockabilly: Gretsch G2420

Best for Jazz, Blues, & Rockabilly
Gretsch G2420

With its versatile range of tones and elegant design, the Gretsch G2420 hollow body electric guitar is perfect for any gigging musician.

Featuring a pair of Broad'Tron BT-2S Humbucker pickups, this guitar provides a wide range of tones that are highly reactive to your playing dynamics. Whether you're playing smooth jazz or searing rockabilly solos, the G2420 will deliver the sound you need.

Suppose you’re looking for a hollow body electric guitar that can do it all, from smooth jazz to hard-hitting rockabilly. In that case, the Gretsch G2420 is the perfect instrument. With its versatile range of tones and elegant design, this guitar will turn heads no matter what genre you’re playing.

The G2420 features a pair of Broad’Tron BT-2S Humbucker pickups that provide a wide range of tones, from deep and mellow to bright and articulate. The output and response of these pickups are also highly reactive to your playing dynamics, so you can go from clean jazz chords to searing rockabilly solos with ease.

The G2420 is made from a laminated maple body, which accentuates the guitar’s bright and snappy tone that will cut through a dense mix. The arched top adds extra resonance and depth to the sound, making this guitar perfect for guitarists looking for big, bold tones.

The G2420 has a beautiful, vintage look with a vibey Secured Adjusto-Matic Chromatic II branded tailpiece. This electric guitar also includes beautiful nickel hardware and pearloid block inlays that make the guitar look much more expensive than it actually is.

The Thin U-shaped neck is slightly chunky, so if you are a player with smaller hands, this might not be the best hollow body guitar for your needs.

Also, this hollow-body guitar doesn’t come with a case, so you’ll need to factor that into your budget.

In conclusion, the Gretsch G2420 is an excellent all-around hollow body electric guitar that will easily cover any style you throw at it. With its punchy tone and versatile pickups, this guitar is perfect for players looking for an electric guitar with an endless sonic reach.

Pros
  • Versatile range of tones, perfect for a variety of genres
  • An elegant and vintage design that will turn heads no matter where you play it
  • Broad'Tron BT-2S Humbucker pickups are highly reactive to your playing dynamics
  • You'll be able to create big, bold tones that will stand out in any mix
Cons
  • The neck might be too chunky for players with smaller hands
  • Prone to feedback at loud volumes
  • You have to pay extra for the Bigsby Vibrato Tailpiece
  • Doesn't come with a gig bag or case

Best Value for Money: Ibanez AM53 Artcore Semi-Hollow Body

Best Value for Money
Ibanez AM53 Artcore Semi-Hollow Body

Looking for an affordable and reliable semi-hollow guitar that sounds great? Look no further than the Ibanez AM53 Artcore.

With a warm, full sound that is perfect for both rhythm and lead playing, this guitar is versatile enough to handle any style of music.

The Ibanez AM53 Artcore is one of the best value for money semi-hollow guitars. It is perfect for players and songwriters looking for an affordable, modern, and reliable guitar that sounds great.

The AM53 has a warm, full sound that is perfect for rhythm and lead playing. Thanks to its semi-hollow body construction, it is very versatile and full-sounding. This guitar stands out from the others with its fast-playing neck, making it easy to play complex chords and licks.

While many hollow-body guitars on this list pay homage to the past, Ibanez is always finding ways to make their guitars more modern and playable. I really appreciate this about Ibanez, especially in a hollow body which often can feel overly bulky, heavy, and chunky in your arms and hands.

While this guitar doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive models on this list, it does provide an excellent sounding, playing, and looking guitar for the price.

Suppose you are a beginner or intermediate player looking for an affordable, great-sounding hollow body guitar. In that case, the Ibanez AM53 Artcore is a great choice.

Pros
  • Very affordable, perfect for beginner and intermediate players
  • The modern neck design is comfortable and allows you to play all kinds of styles with ease
  • A quality guitar that punches way above its weight class
  • Excellent fretwork and build quality for an entry-level guitar
Cons
  • Resell value isn't great
  • Doesn't come with a gig bag
  • Having one tone and volume control is limiting
  • Headstock design and logo looks cheap

Best Vintage Style & Tone: Epiphone Wildkat

Best Vintage Style & Tone
Epiphone Wildkat

If you're looking for an archtop with vintage style and killer tone, then the Epiphone Wildkat is perfect.

With its semi-hollow body construction, P90 pickups, Bigsby tremolo tailpiece - this guitar has all of the makings of a classic guitar at an affordable price!

If you’re looking for an archtop with vintage style and killer tone, the Epiphone Wildkat is a great option. With its semi-hollow body construction, P-90 pickups, and Bigsby tremolo, the Wildkat has all the makings of a classic guitar. Plus, at a fraction of the price of some more high-end models, it’s an excellent value for your money.

The P-90 single-coil pickups provide a wide range of tones, from sweet and mellow to assertive and aggressive. And with the Bigsby tremolo tailpiece, you can add those signature vibratos sounds to your playing.

What stands out about the Wildkat is its midrange warmth and body. The solid mahogany back and sides provide an incredible acoustic projection with a rolled-off high-end response. This gives this semi-hollow guitar a worn-in tone that hits you in the heart.

The small body shape and shorter-scale length make the guitar extremely comfortable to play, especially for a smaller framed guitarist. However, the neck is rather chunky like an authentic vintage guitar, so it might be hard for players with smaller hands.

However, if you are predominantly an acoustic guitar player, this guitar will feel right at home in your hands.

While it may not be the most versatile guitar on this list, the Epiphone Wildkat is perfect for players who want that classic archtop sound. Whether you’re playing jazz, country, rockabilly, or blues, the Wildkat will deliver the tone you need.

Pros
  • Beautiful vintage finish and construction
  • Wide range of vintage-style tones
  • The rounded neck makes playing complex jazz chords and licks easy
  • It's a tiny instrument with a short scale and a small body, which is quite pleasant in your arm
Cons
  • The tone might be too "vintage" for some players
  • Doesn't include a gig bag
  • Chunky neck could be hard to play for guitar players with smaller hands
  • The tremolo arm can get in the way of the tone and volume knobs

For a few hundred more dollars, you can find a great hollow body electric guitar. To see the best ones between $500-$1000, please check out my article here.

FAQ

What’s the difference between Hollow Body and Semi-Hollow Body Guitars?

Hollow body guitars are typically made entirely of wood, with a large, empty interior space. This gives them a vibrant, warm sound.

Semi-hollow body guitars have a solid center block of wood running from the neck to the guitar’s heel. This helps to provide less resonance in the guitar cavity, which reduces on-stage feedback.

What are the pros and cons of a hollow body guitar?

The pros of a hollow body guitar are that they produce a warmer, more mellow tone than traditional solid-body guitars. They’re also typically lighter and more comfortable to play, making them popular among beginner and intermediate players.

The downside of a hollow body guitar is that they’re more prone to feedback and tend to be less durable than solid-body guitars. They’re also not as good for playing high-volume rock or metal music.

What kind of player should buy a hollow body guitar for under $500?

Hollow body guitars are often the quintessential jazz guitars with a mellower sound than solid body guitars. This makes them perfect for smaller venues or intimate settings.

That said, there are a lot of different hollow body and semi-hollow body guitars on the market, so it really depends on what kind of sound you’re looking for. If you’re not sure whether a hollow body is right for you, I would recommend checking out some of the other options on this list.

To Recap

Suppose you’re in the market for a new hollow body guitar. In that case, the Epiphone Casino Worn is an excellent option to consider.

This top-rated guitar has been praised by experts and players alike for its rich tones and impressive playability. At under $500, it’s an affordable option that doesn’t sacrifice quality. So what are you waiting for? Check it out today!

Editor's Choice
Epiphone Casino Worn
Epiphone Casino Worn
  • Ideal for players who are looking for an alternative indie sound
  • Own the guitar that the Beatles played
  • Great acoustic energy when unplugged
  • It's lightweight and easy to play
For Country & Pop
Squier Classic Vibe '60s Thinline Telecaster
Squier Classic Vibe '60s Thinline Telecaster
  • The guitar is lightweight and comfortable to play
  • Get that classic Fender twang and an affordable price
  • The 3-saddle string-thru-body bridge provides excellent tuning stability
  • 3-month Fender Play subscription included
For Budget
Ibanez AM53 Artcore Semi-Hollow Body
Ibanez AM53 Artcore Semi-Hollow Body
  • The AM53 has a warm, full sound that is perfect for both rhythm and lead playing
  • It's a guitar with a contemporary, comfortable design that intermediate and advanced players will enjoy
  • Excellent value for the price
  • A high-quality guitar that blows away expectations
Photo of author
AUTHOR
Brad Johnson
Brad is the creator of Song Production Pros. He writes songs and surfs on the weekends when he's not too busy with family or this website. He writes music under the moniker FJ Isles, and can be heard on all streaming services.

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