Can a semi hollow guitar produce sufficient sound without an amp for personal practice? I am planning to invest in a good guitar for my wife and I am confused about this guitar. Epiphone ES 339 Pro seems to be a good guitar with a lot of potential, and she loves it. Please suggest.
It would be possible to practice without an amp on a semi-hollow body guitar; I used to practice on an unamplified (solid body) Stratocaster when I needed to be quiet.
That said, this is not the right way to practice. Practice with an electric guitar should be done with an amp, since this is the sound produced by the instrument. Extraneous noises, such as string squeak and unmuted strings, are more noticeable with an amp, and the player needs practice to control these.
If volume is an issue, I would suggest headphones.
I have a Gibson ES-137 and it produces a surprisingly loud sound when played without an amp - I have certainly practised playing on it without using my amp (particularly when my 4 month old son is sleeping in an adjacent room!). Not as loud as a proper acoustic guitar but definitely louder than a solid body electric guitar.
My advice would be to find a guitar shop that has an Epiphone ES-339 and actually let your wife play it to see whether she is happy with the un-amplified volume for practising purposes.
You could also look at getting something like this - a guitar headphone amp, that plugs into the guitar and then allows you to plug your headphones straight into it. Portable and it won't disturb people if that is your concern.
Yes, it makes quite enough sound for practice. Choose this instrument over a solid electric or full acoustic for how it behaves WITH an amp though.
I had a Gibson 355. You could hear it, but it wasn't a particularly pleasant sound unplugged and you had to pluck harder, which is not necessarily good for right hand technique.