Semi Hollow Special - Can I justify it?

Ben Pinkus

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May 7, 2017
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So I've had a Core Semi Hollow P245 for a couple of years, super versatile guitar!

But I'm GASing hard for a Semi Hollow Special 22 (particularly some of the limited ones with Wood Library Specs).

I'm not sure if I could justify getting a SHS without selling my P245, and even though I don't use the Piezo that often with the 2 jack method, I do use it in Mix/mag mode quite a bit so may miss that.

So I have 2 questions:

- Are they different enough to warrant having both in my stable/would it be a suitable upgrade to my P245

- If yes, would you go with one with a Korina body/Flame maple neck/blackwood fingerboard or a Swamp ash body/Rosewood neck/ebony fretboard.

Thanks!
Ben
 

JSanta585

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I have a SSH (just the normal run, not WL), and the Narrowfield, along with the tap options make the guitar extremely versatile. I think P245 and SSH are different enough from each other to warrant having both. The shorter scale on the P245, and the piezo, would IMO make the two instruments good compliments. I even like that they have the same pickups, it could mean less fiddling with amp and pedal settings.

In your situation, if I only had one electric guitar, I probably would only have the P245 because without a floating trem, changing tunings on the fly is easier. But given the choice, I'd have both.

I can't speak to the different wood combinations, as I have not tried them on this particular model. I have personal preferences, but those really only work for me.
 

Joesnewmatch

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Only you can answer. I can say this though -- I have a stellar R8, SG, Jazzmaster, 335-style, LP Special-style, Tele, Strat, Ric, Silver Sky, and probably pay my SSH the most of any of the humbucker equipped guitars. It's stupid light and very versatile. Great guitar for my cover band and one I could see growing old with because of the weight. I fell hard for a WL model and it was so expensive I finally kept lookin and found a regular/10 that I liked even better.
 

Ben Pinkus

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Only you can answer. I can say this though -- I have a stellar R8, SG, Jazzmaster, 335-style, LP Special-style, Tele, Strat, Ric, Silver Sky, and probably pay my SSH the most of any of the humbucker equipped guitars. It's stupid light and very versatile. Great guitar for my cover band and one I could see growing old with because of the weight. I fell hard for a WL model and it was so expensive I finally kept lookin and found a regular/10 that I liked even better.

Yeah I'm lucky to have a pretty sizable collection at the moment and would be using the P245 for cover band gigs if there were any - so just need to decide whether to sell it, or squeeze in another at somepoint next year!
 

bodia

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Yeah I'm lucky to have a pretty sizable collection at the moment and would be using the P245 for cover band gigs if there were any - so just need to decide whether to sell it, or squeeze in another at somepoint next year!
Squeeze in another. As said above, they are different enough to justify both. It is such a phenomenal model.
 

veinbuster

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Yeah I'm lucky to have a pretty sizable collection at the moment and would be using the P245 for cover band gigs if there were any - so just need to decide whether to sell it, or squeeze in another at somepoint next year!
Squeeze in the special.
After you’ve had it for a while, you can make an informed decision about the overlap between it and the P245, but I would bet on there being tonal space for both.
 

Ben Pinkus

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If you have trouble justifying, hang on. Here comes a dozen people to provide you with justification (it comes free with membership here).

Yeah, whilst I've found 2 I really like - I'd have to save up for a bit anyway! Hopefully they'll still be around in a few months or so. As I said I'm lucky to have a good group of guitars anyway to keep me busy
 

ViggoP

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The SSH 22 is just an amazing guitar in so many ways. I would say that anyone who doesn’t have one needs one.
Mine is the regular mahogany neck and back maple top rosewood board and I wouldn’t want it any other way (unless I would buy one more, in that case I would love to try one with a swamp ash body/maple neck/maple fretboard). But of the two options you posted I would go for the one with a maple neck and korina body. Rosewood necks aren’t my thing at all.
 

bodia

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Ya know, if you’re worried about the Semi Hollow of both, you should really look at the MEV. There may still be some of the 2020 Experience Limiteds floating around. Otherwise, a bunch of dealers have Wood Library versions in the pipeline. Likely not available until late summer, early fall 2021. If I had to keep only one, I’d hang on to my MEV over the SSH.
 

jm9239

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Yes it’s worth it. I have several nice guitars and the 22 SSH is a favorite. Just a great, GREAT guitar.
 

Mozzi

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Are they different enough to warrant having both in my stable/would it be a suitable upgrade to my P245

Only you can be the judge of that - what I may consider to be 'different enough' for me to justify buying and keeping the various Guitars I own could be very different to you.

Personally, I was able to justify mine with 'ease' and I am very glad I did. The scale length is obviously different from a P245 and likely different Pups too. Of course they could be quite similar, but the addition of a Piezo or the NF and various switching options - the 'differences' alone could be enough to justify 'both'. Instead of focusing on the tones that maybe 'too' similar, focus on what the numerous differences offer...

For example, I have a HBii with Piezo, a 594 HB and a 594 (solid body) - all have the 58/15 LT pups, all quite similar in the 3 positions with subtle differences but the HBii has the Piezo (no need to explain what that offers), the 594 has individual coil splits with that Hollowbody sound and weight, and of course the solid has it subtle differences too but if you want to 'justify' any purchase, you will find a way.

The Special is a Special instrument in my opinion and well worth purchasing regardless. Even if it sounds 'similar' to the P245, both have other tones/features the other doesn't and whether you use the Piezo often or not, its better to have and not need than need and not have - especially if you love that instrument.

would you go with one with a Korina body/Flame maple neck/blackwood fingerboard or a Swamp ash body/Rosewood neck/ebony fretboard.

I would go Korina body as Korina is like Mahogany and I prefer it to Swamp Ash. I would prefer the Rosewood neck on the Korina but as that's not an option, I would still probably go Korina/Maple neck. Ultimately though, I would go for the one that I liked the look of more - the one with the 'right' colour scheme and right 'top'.

I went with a non 10-top, regular Special (Mahogany body, Mahogany neck, Rosewood board) and love mine...
MNZdo85.jpg


Ultimately, its your decision, its your money and you have to decide whether or not its worth purchasing as an addition, as a replacement or not at all. Its different enough for me to justify it in my collection and I would own a P245 as well - BUT I am not you. If you can afford to buy a Special, I would suggest buying one and then reappraise your collection - see if anything is surplus to requirements. You may find the differences alone make it worth keeping both.
 

ViggoP

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Only you can be the judge of that - what I may consider to be 'different enough' for me to justify buying and keeping the various Guitars I own could be very different to you.

Personally, I was able to justify mine with 'ease' and I am very glad I did. The scale length is obviously different from a P245 and likely different Pups too. Of course they could be quite similar, but the addition of a Piezo or the NF and various switching options - the 'differences' alone could be enough to justify 'both'. Instead of focusing on the tones that maybe 'too' similar, focus on what the numerous differences offer...

For example, I have a HBii with Piezo, a 594 HB and a 594 (solid body) - all have the 58/15 LT pups, all quite similar in the 3 positions with subtle differences but the HBii has the Piezo (no need to explain what that offers), the 594 has individual coil splits with that Hollowbody sound and weight, and of course the solid has it subtle differences too but if you want to 'justify' any purchase, you will find a way.

The Special is a Special instrument in my opinion and well worth purchasing regardless. Even if it sounds 'similar' to the P245, both have other tones/features the other doesn't and whether you use the Piezo often or not, its better to have and not need than need and not have - especially if you love that instrument.



I would go Korina body as Korina is like Mahogany and I prefer it to Swamp Ash. I would prefer the Rosewood neck on the Korina but as that's not an option, I would still probably go Korina/Maple neck. Ultimately though, I would go for the one that I liked the look of more - the one with the 'right' colour scheme and right 'top'.

I went with a non 10-top, regular Special (Mahogany body, Mahogany neck, Rosewood board) and love mine...
MNZdo85.jpg


Ultimately, its your decision, its your money and you have to decide whether or not its worth purchasing as an addition, as a replacement or not at all. Its different enough for me to justify it in my collection and I would own a P245 as well - BUT I am not you. If you can afford to buy a Special, I would suggest buying one and then reappraise your collection - see if anything is surplus to requirements. You may find the differences alone make it worth keeping both.

Yours is similar to mine then but yours is a charcoal cherry burst, right? Mine is a burnt maple leaf but they look a lot alike. Probably the best guitar I’ve played.

sGaXxEG.jpg

S9iygeR.jpg
 

watelessness

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SSH for the win!. i believe it will compliment the 245 nicy. wrt which woods, try them both out to determine which one best suits your ear
 

Ben Pinkus

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SSH for the win!. i believe it will compliment the 245 nicy. wrt which woods, try them both out to determine which one best suits your ear

Unfortunately I'm in the UK and the ones that I really like are in the US, so won't be able to try first. I'm familiar with the pattern neck profile so that shouldn't be an issue.

I have a couple other guitars with similar body/fretboard woods to the SSH's I've found that I like, so in theory can't go wrong.

Annoyingly looks like if I go for it, I'd have to pay 20% VAT and 2.5% import duty on it, which on a pricey instrument anyway could add ~£1000 extra...
 
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