The major differences found between the two body types, like a Les Paul versus an ES-335 is two-fold. First, an LP sounds very familiar a la Page and second, there is just something about that striking tone–a steady, unforgiving power. Is it the model or simply a 9+ pound solid wood guitar singing? On the other hand the ES-335 is going to bring a classic Gibson attitude replete with some air in the sound and a little more space to breathe along with some playful feedback. Whether you want feedback or not it will occur regardless of guitar choice if you stand in front of the speakers or have gain engaged. Your guitars will squeal. There can be a great deal of screaming feedback with a semi-hollow or P90 equipped guitar, if you allow it and don’t choke your volume knob on the guitar during breaks.
After years of bliss (or ignorance depending on how you view where I am now standing), I decided to be bold and try my first semi-hollow body guitar. It felt good. It sounded resonant unplugged but now intrigued I was not content. I grabbed a cable, plugged into my trusty AD30 and a 212OB, struck a C# chord and immediately fell in love with music all over again. As I played random riffs I could recall asking myself many questions. What was this sound? Was it the amplifier? The cabinet? The guitar? Did I all of the sudden become a better player? In short, it was all of it–trembling together in beautiful harmony. The ethereal yet strong tone from this semi-hollow into the AD30s wonderful saggy Orange tone brought a smile to my face.
Thinking that maybe I just struck gold, I needed to further explore this little slice of heaven. It was time to start burning some EL34s in my Rockerverb. The result? The same stupid grin of discovery for a player who has found a home in a lesser-known realm of guitar tone. I have not seen many plug an ES-335 into an Orange, but just let me say: those who don’t are missing something special. I couldn’t help thinking about what else this untapped resource could be expanded into. To exclude our friends in California seem to be a shame so I picked up a 72 Thinline Telecaster. The result of this venture was another side of tonal euphoria. I found myself asking, why have I ignored such stunning instruments over the years? It could be just the guitar or for the pure love of yesteryear’s tones but plugging that Thinline Telecaster into an OR100 brings me to a place I never thought I could be. Finding your home in an amplifier is part of this exciting journey but coupled with a guitar as well, now that’s a thing of beauty.