Acoustic Electric Guitars
What are acoustic-electric guitars and how do they differ from the normal acoustics?
There are a lot of acoustic guitar players in the world today, and they all perform in lots of places like studios, live bands, TV shows, and lots more. Regardless of where they play, there is no doubt that the issue of battling with microphones would come up.
Sometimes it might be the microphone, and sometimes it might just be the noise on stage overshadowing the guitar. Either way, you need to know that there is something called an Acoustic Electric Guitar.
What Is an Acoustic Electric Guitar?
In the Early 1900s, a lot of players and guitar enthusiasts carried out experiments to add electronics to their acoustic guitar.
Over time, this technology improved and now there are lots of acoustic-electric guitars on the market. To be honest, the major difference between a normal acoustic guitar and an acoustic-electric guitar is that the latter can easily be connected to an amp without using a microphone.
There is no significant difference in sound because it is still the same makeup with the acoustic guitar. As we have read in the past guitar articles, the quality of an acoustic guitar is based on each individual part used. So you should also consider those acoustic-electric guitars also come in different price tags. But don’t worry, we would take a look at the major price tag ranges to guide you on the best one to buy.
So that aside, we should get to know the types of acoustic-electric guitars that are available. Here is a comparison to guide you through…
Best Acoustic Electric Guitars
BEST ACOUSTIC GUITAR UNDER $1000
There are lots of acoustic-electric guitars in the market today, and they all come at different prices. However, we are going to focus on the ones that are just a tad below $1,000.
Guitars are all the same in terms of structure, but what makes them different from each other is the quality of the parts used and the level of craftsmanship. You shouldn’t expect anything less than the best from an acoustic-electric guitar that would cost you about $1,000!
But what really makes these guitars special?
Benefits of this Product
Well, a lot of players do not know that the guitar industry is one of the biggest in the world. A majority of their products are made with a good level of craftsmanship, and they do all that it takes to remain innovative each year.
This is why some of the innovation led to the production of the acoustic-electric guitars that are worth $1,000. Before you get your judge cloak on and begin to criticize the product based on its price, please read through this first.
Acoustic-electric guitars in this price range are usually unavailable to the public because they are expensive, and only players that really need it can get it. What makes it more special is that its parts are of higher quality than the other guitars down the price hierarchy. It is made with the best wood materials, finishes, pickups, finishing, and craftsmanship.
It is only on acoustic-electric guitars in this price range you would find pickups like the Fishman Presys with an active onboard preamp and tuner. Trust me; this guitar is worth every penny you put into it – Because you are assured of getting the best directly from the brand, and it is going to last you for a very long time.
Pros and Cons
✅ The design and finish is top notch.
✅ It is built with the best craftsmanship.
✅ The best parts in the markets are used.
✅ The only negative thing to say about this product is its price. Everyone would love to get quality stuff at a low price, and there are brands that are known for this practice.
Here are a few products so that you can get the gist of what we are talking about
FENDER CALIFORNIA SERIES KINGMAN ASCE V2 ACOUSTIC-ELECTRIC GUITAR:
This is a relatively cheap acoustic-electric guitar since it cost about $899.99 right from the box. However, this guitar is known for its solid spruce top with its back and sides made with mahogany – these are durable material with the best resonation.
Even the C shape maple neck and rosewood fingerboard just make things easier in terms of weight and comfort. The benchmark features of the Fender California are its dreadnought shape and On-Board Fishman Presys Pickup system that comes with an active onboard tuner and preamp. You should save up and get one as soon as you can.
PRS PAUL REED SMITH SE T40E TONARE ACOUSTIC-ELECTRIC GUITAR:
This is far cheaper than the product mentioned above, costing about $699.00. However, one can’t overlook its solid Sitka spruce top and Ovangkol back and sides which are the major contributors to its rich tone.
Another contributor to the quality of the PRS Paul Reed Smith is the Fishman Gt1 electronics. These work fine with any mixer and amp. You should get one as it saves a lot of money on buying cheap guitars that would develop faults within a year or so.
These two products are exotic or luxury level guitars. They are only available to players that need it for particular reasons and can afford it.
BEST ACOUSTIC GUITAR UNDER $500
There are a significant number of acoustic-electric guitars in this category, and they are also known for their quality build. They are not as efficient as some of the ones above the $500 price mark, but they bring a significant number of features to the table – we would take a look at why you should get an acoustic-electric guitar in this price range if getting one in the $1,000 range is not possible for you.
Benefits of this Product
A lot of players might feel a bit welcomed in this price range, but there is no doubt that this product falls in the intermediate to the professional level of players. For this reason, you can rest assured of getting nothing but a reliable product.
There are a lot of guitars in the market today, and it is hard to tell which of them is good. To save you a lot of stress, you are not likely to find a guitar in this category that would be less than the quality it professes.
So why should you buy this product?
This is a professional range of acoustic-electric guitars, and it is made with fine quality parts and designed to produce the best sound it possibly can at that price, without the absence of comfort.
Pros and Cons
✅ Professional grade acoustic-electric guitar.
✅ It is made with fine quality parts.
✅ It is more durable than its counterparts in the lower price category.
✅ Amazing sound for its price.
✅ The quality varies from brand to brand.
Here are a few products you can use as a guide
TAYLOR SWIFT SIGNATURE BABY TAYLOR ACOUSTIC-ELECTRIC GUITAR NATURAL:
Only a few guitarists would not know Taylor Swift, and nothing seems befitting than a signature acoustic-electric guitar in her name. This acoustic-electric guitar is a beautiful 6-string guitar with a Sitka Spruce Top – a material found on most high-end guitars!
It is also layered in the sides and back with Sapele – a durable wood that also plays a vital role in the tone quality of the guitar. It also comes with an ES-B electronics system, which is a bit remarkable in the least. At $449.00 one can say that this guitar is a good compilation of the best material at a reasonable price.
If you buy this guitar, you would be making the best investment in your music career.
TRAVELERS GUITAR 6 STRING AG-450EQ ACOUSTIC/ELECTRIC:
This is one of the highest priced guitars at this price point – it costs about $499.99, excluding other charges on shipping. However, this is a remarkable acoustic-electric guitar.
It is the shortest full-scale acoustic travel guitar you can find on the market. This means that it small enough to follow you everywhere you go, without being lesser than the standard acoustic guitar in terms of sound and tone quality.
To be honest, the craftsmanship of this guitar is superb. It was modified with a traditional bracing pattern to increase its volume and sound presence and would say they did a great job. It also comes with a preamp with a built-in tuner and a 1/8” auxiliary-in jack that allows you to play along to tracks from any music device.
There is a lot more to say about this guitar, such as its use of standard guitar strings and the deluxe gig bag it comes with, but we’d pull the curtains here for now.
DEAN NSDC TSB TOBACCO SB NATURAL SERIES A/E GUITAR:
This acoustic-electric guitar costs about $404.00, excluding shipping fees and other charges based on the platform. It is made with a solid Sitka Spruce top and a Rosewood body.
There is also the Graph Tech Black Tusq XL nut and saddle and the groove tuners – there is just a lot of great parts to mention about this guitar! It also comes with an Effin Guitars clip-on tuner, 2 Butler Music guitar picks, a Stagg model SGC3 10 foot long instrument cable with metal connectors, and a Butler Music polishing cloth.
The products listed above are clearly for professionals and players that want to up their intermediate play.
BEST ACOUSTIC-ELECTRIC GUITARS UNDER $400
Guitars in this price range are not “lesser” than those in the $500 price range. The only major difference between them is that they come with fewer features and parts than their higher priced counterparts.
This doesn’t mean that they are incomplete in any way; it’s just that some extra features like preamps and tuners might not be present in some. But this depends on the brand as there are some products in this price range that are exceptions.
So why should you buy this product? Simple question
Benefits of this Product
There are a lot of guitar players out there, and they would all love to invest in their music career; including you!
So, what other way to improve your music than buying a guitar in this price range. This product is ideal for beginners who are ready to take a big leap in their play or intermediates that can’t afford higher end guitars.
Besides, since the major parts are still present and it’s just the luxury add-ons that are absent, it should not be a problem for an intermediate player.
Pros and Cons
✅ It is affordable by beginners and intermediates.
✅ It is suitable for both beginners and intermediates.
✅ Impressive sound quality.
✅ Does not have as many features as its high priced counterparts.
Here are some products you can use as a guide
MARTIN LX BLACK LITTLE MARTIN:
This is a cheap acoustic-electric guitar for its price range. It costs about $329.00 and comes with a number of appreciable features. It comes with six strings, and its body is designed with a black finish.
Players that are into black would find this guitar perfect for them because the entire thing is black! Even the fingerboard! The top part, back, and sides are made with HPL, while the fretboard is made with Micarta.
It does not have any option for electronics, just like we mentioned above, and might not be the best option for a live performance.
BREEDLOVE DISCOVERY SERIES 6-STRING CONCERTINA SITKA-MAHOGANY ACOUSTIC GUITAR
The Breedlove Discovery is more expensive than its peer mentioned above. It cost about $349.98, and it comes with some more features that would interest you.
Its top is made with solid Sitka Spruce, while its back and sides are layered with Okoume Mahogany wood. Its neck is made with Nato Mahogany while its fretboard is made with Ovangkol – it is about 25” long, and the nut is 1.6875” wide.
The bridge is also made with Ovangkol, and the guitar has centered dot inlays and some black bindings. Some accessories that come with this guitar is the Chromatic tuner, gig bag, chrome cast pick sampler, guitar stand, med-light gauge strings, microfiber polish cloth, and a suede strap.
YAMAHA FSX820C CUTAWAY NATURAL SOLID SITKA TOP ACOUSTIC-ELECTRIC GUITAR:
This is a guitar to buy if you are not ready to break the bank, but you want something with quality to a certain degree. The Yamaha FSX820C is a solid top cutaway dreadnought shaped guitar that offers the player everything that most guitarist would need.
It costs $399.99, and it offers you a solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides, and its fingerboard made with rosewood. The bridge also matches the fingerboard to produce more elegant fingerpicking.
On the inside, its brace is scalloped to help enhance the tone quality. However, there is a System 66 preamp with a 3 band EQ and an inbuilt tuner to help enhance note precision.
This guitar is of good quality, and its mid-range price makes it a great offer.
This category of guitars are the average level types, and they are more suitable for intermediate players.
BEST ACOUSTIC-ELECTRIC GUITARS UNDER $300
This category of acoustic-electric guitars is going to be the last category for this article. We have to talk about it because it is a category of guitars that are suitable for beginners, although some intermediates can try it out if they want.
It comes with a lesser amount of features than the other categories mentioned above; this is due to its lesser price tag. However, one should not overrule that these guitars are not worth it. In actual sense, they are the best options for beginners of all levels and some players just getting into the intermediate level.
So why should you buy this product?
Benefits of this Product
Well, the outstanding benefit still remains its price tag. No matter how much we need to use the best products, there are times when we would want nothing better than “cheap stuff.”
For example, would you buy a $2,000 guitar for your 14-year-old son because he just said he would like a guitar? Certainly not! But as a great parent, there is nothing more fulfilling than helping your child build their dreams.
Besides, this product has similarities with other products. The only difference is just the quality level, and the number of features it brings to the table.
Here are some examples of the product
JAMESON GUITARS FULL-SIZE THINLINE ACOUSTIC-ELECTRIC GUITAR:
This is one of the cheapest acoustic-electric guitars in the market. It costs about $96.27, and you can play it acoustically or while plugged into a power source.
One of the reasons why this guitar is wonderful at this price point is that it comes with some accessories that fit its market. This is a beginner’s level guitar, and nothing is more befitting than an accessory like the free gig bag case and guitar picks that help you carry it around to rehearsals.
This makes it a comfortable guitar to work with at a beginner’s level, and it comes with a Diecast Tuner with a built-in EQ. One of the things that also make it stand out is its glossy dark blueburst finish; you should get one today coz it comes in many other color types.
Read The Full Review On This Site Here: Jameson Thinline Acoustic-Electric Guitar
IBANEZ AW54CEOPN ARTWOOD DREADNOUGHT ACOUSTIC-ELECTRIC GUITAR
This is the most expensive guitar in this category. It is worth $299.99! It is designed with a dreadnought body with a cutaway for acoustics, and a solid mahogany top for durability. It is one of the best options in this category because it has a lot more to offer than the rest.
One of the things that makes it attractive is its natural brown look. However, we must not overlook its mahogany back and sides, Ibanez AEQ210TF preamp with onboard tuner, and its Rosewood Bridge and Fretboard. All in all, this is a great option for a beginner that wants to start out big.
Read The Full Review On Our Site: Ibanez Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar
IBANEZ V70CE ACOUSTIC-ELECTRIC GUITAR:
This is a relatively cheap guitar, although it is far expensive than some others and it has some great features to offer. It has a spruce top, some chrome tuners, and its neck, back, and sides are made with mahogany.
It has a dreadnought design which a lot of players would like, and its bridge and fretboard are made of rosewood. These parts all contribute to the outstanding sound of this product.
Read The Full Review On Our Site: Ibanez V70CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
WHAT ARE ACOUSTIC-ELECTRIC GUITARS?
This is a very common question in the minds of a lot of entry-level player. Even some old timers can really pinpoint a definition to it. To save you all the trouble, an acoustic-electric guitar is an acoustic guitar with some modifications that enable it to work with a power amp.
This simply means that the sound of the guitar can be transferred to an amp with a jack plug to make it louder for live use and other related purposes. Guitars like this have electric signals. Therefore, their sounds can be altered with effects and other equipment – this is the major reason it is becoming popular in studios.
Players can even get effect pedals to add variety to its sound especially in live performances.
One other question in the mind of many players is the difference between an acoustic-electric guitar and a semi-acoustic guitar. These two are not to be confused for each other as they are different in more ways than one.
The acoustic-electric is an acoustic guitar with enhancements to function with an amp and other electronic sound equipment. The semi-acoustic is more like an electric guitar that has some hollows cut into the body to produce a different tone.
HOW DO ACOUSTIC ELECTRIC GUITARS WORK?
Since you now know what they are, it is befitting to want to know how they work. This type of guitar isn’t complicated, and it is like an electric guitar in many ways. It has two components that are not usually on the normal acoustic guitar; the preamp and the pickup.
The pickup system is usually piezoelectric, some call it ‘piezo,’ and it sits under the saddle to pick up vibrations from the strings of the guitar as you play them. This is not similar to the pickup of an electric guitar because it works with non-metallic acoustic guitar strings also. Electric guitar pickups work with metal strings because it consists of magnets.
The output from the piezo pickup is however weak. This is why all acoustic-electric guitars come with a preamp. This preamp boosts the signals the pickup receives into stronger electric signals that can go into effect pedals or mixers.
There is really no complicated twist and turn on how this guitar works. Besides, it is played the same way anyone would play an acoustic guitar. All you need to do before you play is to plug it in and turn on the preamp, and voila, you’re good to go! Some models of this type of guitar come with an EQ to help add some touches to the mix from your end.
Just make sure to charge the battery when need be because the preamp requires power to work. The guitar should come with a mains powered adapter for charging the preamp.
DO YOU NEED AN AMP FOR AN ACOUSTIC ELECTRIC GUITAR?
This should not be a question if you have read this article. However, those that are here for this part are welcome too.
The answer to your heart-aching question is NO! You don’t need an amp for the guitar to work. The acoustic-electric guitar is still an acoustic guitar regardless of the modifications to make it work like an electric guitar. The only issue you might have, however, is the sound quality and intensity.
You would also have no control over the effects. One of the reasons for these acoustic flaws is that the bodies are usually slimmer than that of normal acoustic guitars. Sometimes, the modifications that come with the guitar reduces its tonal quality and volume control when played acoustically.
If you are someone that loves to play acoustically, you should consider this before purchasing an acoustic-electric guitar.
There is a loophole, however. If you want an acoustic-electric guitar that works the same as an acoustic guitar, then you should go for the ones in the higher end of the price spectrum. These high-end acoustic-electric guitars are designed similar to their acoustic counterparts, and they work the same way even when not plugged in.