I know this may be out of place on a forum for metal guitarists but I also respect the opinions of many here and know that your all more than a bunch of one trick ponies.
So, I've been gassing over an arch top hollow body. I'm not looking to spend a huge amount of money. Definitely under a grand. I'm mostly looking for a jazz/blues box.
I've seen a lot of good posts about the Ibanez Artcore series as well as some Gretch's. Because I'm not really into rockabilly I'm not sure I want a Bigsby or not. I'm not really against it and think that it might add to the versatility. I'm looking for opinions on this as well. I can see that it may add to the versatility, always something I like, but I'm not sure if it will interfere with the mostly jazz and blues tones I'm looking for.
I'm pretty sure I want a full hollow body single cut archtop (no double cuts or slim lines please). I'm just not sure which.
Tone, playability and quality of construction (value) are my biggest buying factors.
So? What do you all recommend?
Ibanez' Artcores are pretty nice. Good quality and a great look, without the traditional baseball bat neck... there are versions with and without Bigsbys too. My favorite is the blonde maple one with gold hardware and rosewood knobs/appointments...
Samick's 'Greg Bennett' line has some excellent jazzboxes too. I have a Royale RL2, which is a setneck slimline semi, and the quality is excellent. I'd recommend anything from the Greg Bennett line pretty highly.
Epiphone has a few models, including the Casinos, that sound really nice. Quality has dropped (imo) in recent years, but generally if you're spending more than $400 you'll get a nice box. The Wildkats are especially good, and have Bigsbys.
I do NOT recommend the Asian-made Gretsches. Every one I've played has had terrible action, plunky tone, and a general 'feel' of poor fit and finish.