Any love for the Non-Piezo SE HB II?

OGORMANIA

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Hello everyone,

I am a long time lurker but new to the forum.

Seeing lots of love for the SE Piezo and with good reason.

But I can't help feeling like the SE HBII is now suffering from middle child syndrome.

I got one about 2 months ago and love it. I had the funds to afford it at the time and the Piezo wasn't even an option. Even now, I would not be able to afford the SE Piezo at the time.

Would love to hear some positive feedback from Non-Piezo HBII owners and if you plan on swapping for the Piezo in the future or not.
 
I don’t own an SE Hollowbody, but I do own a Core HBI without a piezo and couldn’t be happier.

I general, I’m not a fan of piezo pickups. I don’t think they sound all that good, and I don’t want that assembly and a battery in my hollow body guitar.
 
The non-piezo HBII was on my radar screen for several days prior to my choice of the piezo model. My finances were stable enough so as to budget for the piezo, and with some luck, my eBay sale will conclude this evening if all is well on the recipient's end of things. (EDIT: Buyer just confirmed the sale's safe arrival. Can now stop biting my fingernails...)

My inclination was first for the piezo, then the non-piezo, then back to the piezo. My feeling was that there was just a higher quality build with the abalam birds, and the piezo. Granted that the SE HBII series does not sport the locking tuners, so an investment was made toward that end. The SE locking tuners will improve the tuning stability of the guitars, no matter what SE series are being spoken of.

The PRS Accessory Shop provides locking tuners and a video of a how-to DIY. The video is self-explanatory, but the caveat is that it's wise to own a 10mm ¼" square deep socket and some type of screwdriver rachet driver with ¼" hex to ¼" square adapter. Your larger home improvement stores have all of these readily available for purchase. If perhaps you own a ⅜" or ½" deep socket, be sure your screwdriver or rachet set is compatible with the 10mm deep socket.

That was my only issue, but it made sense to check for compatibility once one item was selected for purchase.

Regards the non-piezo, the HBII series are just one of Paul's creations meant for our enjoyment. There are many others, but this one, including the piezo, builds my appreciation for the ability that humans have for adapting and modifying their environment, and the tools they create for suiting their needs.
 
I don’t own an SE Hollowbody, but I do own a Core HBI without a piezo and couldn’t be happier.

I general, I’m not a fan of piezo pickups. I don’t think they sound all that good, and I don’t want that assembly and a battery in my hollow body guitar.
As is always the case, without fail, I agree with sergio. I don't know anything about piezos, I've never had one. But there is no possible way I could be happier with my Core HBI. I have a handful of guitars and I rotate between my Paul's and my HB1 for my #1 guitar.
 
I have no experience with the SE HB, but have core HB with and without piezo.

I happen to find the piezo gives the guitar a few more tonal options, but I had the non piezo first and it did everything I wanted for 10 years. I travel with the piezo, but the non piezo lives in my music room and the traveler lives in the basement (Sergio will appreciate that it is blue, so inherently less worthy).

Bottom line: everybody should have a hollowbody. If piezo puts it out of your price range, get it without. You will not be disappointed.
 
Well I love my Piezo on my Core HBii. Whether you use it 'every' time or occasionally, I believe its better to have and not need than need and not have. Of course to get the most out of it, you don't want to be running it in to a regular guitar Amp as it doesn't have the frequency range to do a Piezo justice. That being said, it can certainly add a little something extra, a bit of sparkle on top of the Magnetic coil tones. As Demos have shown, it can rival a decent electro-acoustic plugged in too - maybe even better if you don't like those horrible guitar string squeaks (which makes this video a lot easier to spot the Taylor...)


I also have a PRS 594 Hollowbody II which doesn't come with a Piezo. Its a great guitar too but if I had my way, I would swap the ToM style for the LR Baggs/PRS Wraparound Piezo bridge - just like Tim Pierce has. This sounds amazing too...


At the end of the day, the choice is yours and PRS offers an SE Hollowbody at 3 different price points to suit personal preference and/or budget. Its not that the 'mid-priced' SE doesn't get love, I think they all got love as and when they released, its just that the HBii Piezo happens to be the newest and offers more. It is the top of the line SE with flamed maple binding and I think that getting an Acoustic and Electric in one, at that price, is incredible - seems a lot of others do too as its being talked about a lot. Again, not saying the HBii without Piezo isn't getting love, it did and probably still does from buyers/owners but I think if they wanted a Piezo in the first place, they would trade it in...
 
Just bought this here SE HBII over the weekend :). I was leaning towards the Piezo, but realized I'd probably use it very little and was being influenced by the Peacock Blue and the maple binding. Found a great deal on a Charcoal Burst HBII and snagged it - am freaking thrilled so far. First band practice with her is in an hour, updates to follow in my NGD thread....

holly2.jpg
 
Just bought this here SE HBII over the weekend :). I was leaning towards the Piezo, but realized I'd probably use it very little and was being influenced by the Peacock Blue and the maple binding. Found a great deal on a Charcoal Burst HBII and snagged it - am freaking thrilled so far. First band practice with her is in an hour, updates to follow in my NGD thread....

holly2.jpg
Congrats man she's a beaut. I am also very happy with my HBII. And also don't have much use for a piezo, I have an acoustic that gathers dust sadly. I don't play that style. Plus I agree with sergio, I don't particularly want a battery and a whole other system in my guitar. I like the idea of keeping it simple. Less stuff to go wrong. Thanks everyone for your replies!
 
It was easy to be smitten with my SE HBII immediately. It had been on display at NAMM 2020, so I bought it for $350 less than retail. I slapped on some SE locking tuners and I could not be happier. I have to admit that the appointments on the piezo version are attractive. I was jonesing a bit on that basis. However, I have an SCHB I and a P22 with piezo pickups. I was really interested in a straight double cut HB with the larger body. It has been hard to put down. It may be a middle child, but it probably won't be entirely invisible given the comments above.
 
Hello everyone,

I am a long time lurker but new to the forum.

Seeing lots of love for the SE Piezo and with good reason.

But I can't help feeling like the SE HBII is now suffering from middle child syndrome.

I got one about 2 months ago and love it. I had the funds to afford it at the time and the Piezo wasn't even an option. Even now, I would not be able to afford the SE Piezo at the time.

Would love to hear some positive feedback from Non-Piezo HBII owners and if you plan on swapping for the Piezo in the future or not.

I had one on order but decided to cancel the order when I found out it was made in China.

Mod Edit: Please help keep politics off our guitar forum.

I bought a 594 SC and I'm now very happy. Please consider paying more to buy American if you can.
 
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I’m very happy with my made in the People’s Republic of ChIna SE Hollowbody Standard and I’m glad my money helped to support the workers who did such a great job building it.

I wish my Gibsons & MIA Fenders we’re built with as much care and attention.
 
Just bought this here SE HBII over the weekend :). I was leaning towards the Piezo, but realized I'd probably use it very little and was being influenced by the Peacock Blue and the maple binding. Found a great deal on a Charcoal Burst HBII and snagged it - am freaking thrilled so far. First band practice with her is in an hour, updates to follow in my NGD thread....

holly2.jpg
Did you get it for like $750 or maybe $795? I saw one around this price and added it to my watch list. I went back a few hours later and it was gone. :(
 
Hello everyone,

I am a long time lurker but new to the forum.

Seeing lots of love for the SE Piezo and with good reason.

But I can't help feeling like the SE HBII is now suffering from middle child syndrome.

I got one about 2 months ago and love it. I had the funds to afford it at the time and the Piezo wasn't even an option. Even now, I would not be able to afford the SE Piezo at the time.

Would love to hear some positive feedback from Non-Piezo HBII owners and if you plan on swapping for the Piezo in the future or not.

Yes the HBII - AND the HB Standard get some love from me. I was looking at buying one when they came out but haven't moved on it yet. ...then the Piezo version came out and I thought - well I must have that one! But I've also gone back and forth. It would be nice to have the Piezo option but I don't expect I would use it often as my band doesn't really play any songs where I need to switch back and forth from acoustic to electric. We either play all acoustic nights or all electric nights, and I have a Taylor I use for acoustic nights. So I started thinking I should just save the money and go with the standard or the HBII. I've got a few I'm watching right now on reverb but can't pull the trigger.
 
Did you get it for like $750 or maybe $795? I saw one around this price and added it to my watch list. I went back a few hours later and it was gone. :(

Not supposed to engage in price discussion per the forum rules...but it was an excellent deal. Look at Pro Audio Star on Reverb, they seem to have some very good pricing...
 
Not supposed to engage in price discussion per the forum rules...but it was an excellent deal. Look at Pro Audio Star on Reverb, they seem to have some very good pricing...
I didn't know that was a rule. Humm....

regarding Pro Audio Star, they have at least one of the listings I have on my watch list now :)
 
Well, I have been nibbling around the edges, and even started a separate thread "Which HB is the best Electric"...

So after answering concerns regarding neck profile (Wide / Fat) vs small hands I am mightily lusting for a SE Hollowbody.

As the latest in the series, and most expensive by a bit, the Piezo is also set up to be the Prettiest of the Pretty ! (Maple Binding, Abalone birds, smoking colors) And I like acoustic guitar tones. I don't have an acoustic, as I have always felt that contrary to popular belief that an acoustic is harder to play. And un-merciless in revealing bad tone and technique. So learn electric, and do Michael Hedges on an acoustic once I get good (Yeah, Right !)

But in doing my "market research" (an occupational hazard) I saw info that piezo pickups sound better when "helped" with pre-amp pedals that provide EQ and compression to "tame" piezo "artifacts" (zingy /plasticicy ) tendencies. LR Baggs makes 4 such pedals to be used together, and there is TC Electronics "Body Rez" and Boss has a few.

Then there are "simulators". I really felt put off by the "Sim" idea, until I ran across Hotone's "Omni AC". Sounded great on You Tube. but being skeptical by nature, I stumbled across one, in the same store that had a HB Standard !

So , with the actual , unadulterated pedal, and a HB Standard, and a Taylor mid range guitar ($1800 retail) and a Fender Acoustic amp. here are the takeaways

Acoustic guitars sound best "acoustic". It actually freaked me how good the Taylor sounded just strumming my best cowboy chords... not plugged into anything !

But with this as reference, the HB Standard into the Hotone pedal, freaked my sales guy who was astounded how close it came to the Taylor !

SO ... I'm thinking (without any empirical evidence) , that the non piezo bridges on the HB Std and HB2 probably produce "better" electric guitar tones (those big gnarly brass saddles look like something off a Core)

Then to do acoustic ? There is the pedal ...

BTW in all the demos of non-piezo and piezo, the guys playing the Non' s seem to have more fun, doing jazz and hard rock stuff whereas when they do the Piezo, we hear the "blend" ... which is different sounding to my ear ...
 
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Well, I have been nibbling around the edges, and even started a separate thread "Which HB is the best Electric"...

So after answering concerns regarding neck profile (Wide / Fat) vs small hands I am mightily lusting for a SE Hollowbody.

As the latest in the series, and most expensive by a bit, the Piezo is also set up to be the Prettiest of the Pretty ! (Maple Binding, Abalone birds, smoking colors) And I like acoustic guitar tones. I don't have an acoustic, as I have always felt that contrary to popular belief that an acoustic is harder to play. And un-merciless in revealing bad tone and technique. So learn electric, and do Michael Hedges on an acoustic once I get good (Yeah, Right !)

But in doing my "market research" (an occupational hazard) I saw info that piezo pickups sound better when "helped" with pre-amp pedals that provide EQ and compression to "tame" piezo "artifacts" (zingy /plasticicy ) tendencies. LR Baggs makes 4 such pedals to be used together, and there is TC Electronics "Body Rez" and Boss has a few.

Then there are "simulators". I really felt put off by the "Sim" idea, until I ran across Hotone's "Omni AC". Sounded great on You Tube. but being skeptical by nature, I stumbled across one, in the same store that had a HB Standard !

So , with the actual , unadulterated pedal, and a HB Standard, and a Taylor mid range guitar ($1800 retail) and a Fender Acoustic amp. here are the takeaways

Acoustic guitars sound best "acoustic". It actually freaked me how good the Taylor sounded just strumming my best cowboy chords... not plugged into anything !

But with this as reference, the HB Standard into the Hotone pedal, freaked my sales guy who was astounded how close it came to the Taylor !

SO ... I'm thinking (without any empirical evidence) , that the non piezo bridges on the HB Std and HB2 probably produce "better" electric guitar tones (those big gnarly brass saddles look like something off a Core)

Then to do acoustic ? There is the pedal ...

BTW in all the demos of non-piezo and piezo, the guys playing the Non' s seem to have more fun, doing jazz and hard rock stuff whereas when they do the Piezo, we head the "blend" ... which is different sounding to my ear ...
Electric is absolutely easier to play than acoustic.
Yes, a real acoustic is the best way to get an acoustic sound.
With a pedal, or the right amp, you can nudge the HB piezo in the acoustic direction. I feel it is a better match to the sound of acoustics on-board electronics through an amp than a microphone in front of the guitar, but still, not a bad compromise if you are trying to cover a lot of ground with one guitar.
 
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