Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Review – Top Rated Models in 2020 with Buying Guide
Picking the best acoustic-electric guitar or any instrument is a hard job, especially when looking for more complete models. There are so many options out there, but we did the research for you and we strived to find out what are some of the most popular models out there. If you don’t have time to look yourself, this guide will help you. We believe that the Taylor Guitars Baby is surely a good choice, no matter what you want to use it for. It is highly versatile and can be taken anywhere. The details of this model are also impressive and you can see the attention that the manufacturers put on them. Furthermore, it creates a beautiful, warm sound, no matter if it is played by an adult or a child. However, if you can’t find our first recommendation, try to look for the Epiphone Hummingbird Pro instead.
Our Top Choice
This is one of the most versatile guitars out there, allowing you to use it in many situations. It also has an excellent build quality, being made of quality materials and you can see the effort and dedication that has been put into making it. You will never worry about the quality of its sound, as the diecast tuners do an excellent job in keeping the instrument in good shape. Furthermore, it has a really warm and pleasant tone.
It is a compromise between two different guitar sizes.
Looking great and sounding even better, this guitar will make you happy.
Inspired by a classic design, the Epiphone Hummingbird is bound to make a long-lasting impression on anyone who wants to try this model. Whether you want to play rock or country music, this instrument will be your most trustful ally, and you will have no issues with it, as the preamp and pickup system will help you produce the beautiful sounds you want. It is made from durable materials.
Some players may find it a bit too expensive.
A classic-inspired model that brings a lot to the table considering the price tag.
The cutaway body style of this guitar will be the first giveaway that the model you want to purchase is worth every penny. Nothing is spared in terms of looks, and you will be pleasantly impressed with the black stained maple neck and bridge. The nickel gear will also be a nice surprise, and one of the many aspects that make this guitar a reliable purchase, and a great value for the money. It has an active preamp.
The classic design might not be for everyone.
A solid choice for anyone looking for a cutaway body style guitar.
18 Best Acoustic Electric Guitars (Reviews) in 2020
If you’re looking to get the right model but haven’t got the time to read dozens of reviews of acoustic electric guitars, then you’re in the right place. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to. Check out our list with some of the most appreciated guitars on the market and find the one which offers the best bang for the buck.
- 1. Taylor Guitars Baby Mahogany-e Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- 2. Epiphone Hummingbird Pro Solid Top Acoustic/Electric Guitar
- 3. Stagg SA20ACE NAT Auditorium Cutaway Electro-Acoustic Guitar
- 4. Yamaha FGX800C Solid Top Folk Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- 5. Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar with Gig Bag
- 6. Fender 6 String T-Bucket 300-CE Acoustic Guitar
- 7. Oscar Schmidt OD312CE 12-Strings Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- 8. Yamaha FSX720SC BL Acoustic Electric Guitar
- 9. Fender Factory Special Run CD-60CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- 10. Jameson Guitars Full Size Thinline Acoustic Electric Guitar
- Yearly Guide & Report
- Frequently asked questions
- Best acoustic electric guitar brands
1. Taylor Guitars Baby Mahogany-e Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Being a guitar designed primarily for the travel guitarists, this one can also be used really well by children. It is a ¾ sized model and that makes it look adorable, and at the same time, it will help those with smaller hands perform really well on it.
The layered Sapele back and side makes it stand out and give it a nice look. It is made in Mexico and you can really see the love and quality craftsmanship that has been put into it. It also has a Taylor Swift signature variant if you want that.
This guitar is a pure acoustic model, with no electric parts on it, and it really sounds beautiful. The chrome tuners will keep the strings in check, and they also look nice. Because it is smaller it won’t produce such a loud sound, but it delivers a warm tone and the intonation is good.
Being slightly larger than travel guitars, this model brings versatility to guitar players while still allowing them to take it in adventures when needed.
The build quality of this instrument is exceptional and you can see all the fine details, giving you the impression that it is a handmade guitar.
Its bridge is decent and made of hard rosewood capable of withstanding heavy use.
The diecast tuners do a good job of keeping the guitar in tune.
One of the greatest things about this guitar is the sound it produces, and although that is not very loud, it is the quality of this sound that really matters.
You get the warmth that you want from something like this, and even a child can play it beautifully.
The disadvantage of this model is that it’s not really a full size, neither a total travel guitar, so it’s a bit of a compromise between them.Buy from Amazon.com for ($449)
2. Epiphone Hummingbird Pro Solid Top Acoustic/Electric Guitar
If you’re looking for a beautiful acoustic-electric guitar that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, then the Hummingbird Pro from Epiphone is just what you need. This guitar comes with an attractive Faded Cherry finish, and it plays just as good as it looks.
You get a guitar with a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and a rosewood fingerboard that features pearled parallelogram inlays. This classic acoustic guitar has a warm tone, and you can also give ‘electrifying’ performances thanks to the incorporated Shadow NanoFlex pickup system and Shadow ePerformer preamp.
This guitar comes with a 25.5-inch scale, 20 frets, and a 1.68-inch nut. The rosewood bridge features a compensated saddle for a smoother tone and warmer sound. The mahogany SlimTaper D profile neck makes it easy to play even if you’re a beginner, while the Grover machine heads will ensure your guitar stays well-tuned for an accurate musical performance.
This is a great-looking guitar, coming with mahogany back and sides, a top made of solid spruce (which is great for acoustics), and a fingerboard made of rosewood with pearled inlays.
It is an acoustic guitar that gives a nice warm tone, but it can also be played as an electro-acoustic model thanks to its electric components.
The pickup system is a complex one and offers a good sound especially thanks to the Shadow ePerformer preamp that boosts the sound quality.
Its sound is warmer due to the rosewood bridge that comes with a compensated saddle. This also gives a smooth tone.
Beginners will feel the instrument is easy to play thanks to the SlimTaper D profile neck that lets you wrap your fingers easier around it.
It doesn’t have a cutout body, so it’s harder to reach frets up the scale.
A built-in tuner would have been great for beginners.Buy from Amazon.com for ($322.9)
3. Stagg SA20ACE NAT Auditorium Cutaway Electro-Acoustic Guitar
The first thing that will catch your eye when looking at the design of this model will be the cutaway shape. With the top, back, and sides made from basswood, this guitar will offer you superior performance at an affordable price. Other design aspects must also be mentioned.
For instance, the nato neck comes with a maple fingerboard in a black stained pattern. The bridge has the same design, and the overall impression will be that of an instrument that is well made. All the open gear is made from nickel, adding to the overall durability of this model.
It comes with an active preamp system, and you will be able to control the volume, as well as other different aspects of your playing style, such as the bass and the treble. This amount of control over the sound of this guitar makes it such a perfect hit with guitar players everywhere.
When it comes to design, this model really stands out. For example, the nato neck has a fingerboard made of maple and it is painted in a nice looking black stained pattern.
You will find a quality bridge on this instrument and that gives the feeling that you are holding a well-built instrument in your hands when you’re playing it.
Furthermore, the hardware pieces are made of nickel and that is another strong and durable material.
It comes with a cutaway shape, and that means two things – the first is that it will allow you to reach the frets up the scale easier, and it also means it looks better.
The active preamp system that it comes with will let you control the volume and the balance between bass and treble.
Some guitar players complain about the tuners and the fact that they don’t last for too long.Buy from Amazon.com for ($154)
4. Yamaha FGX800C Solid Top Folk Acoustic-Electric Guitar
The Yamaha FGX800C is an outstanding acoustic-electric guitar that comes with a traditional look and an impressive sound. The solid spruce top features scalloped bracing patterns for a distinctive tonality, while the mixed Nato and Okume back and sides confer this instrument with long-term durability for countless performances.
This model comes with an undersaddle piezo pickup and a System66 analog preamp which allows you to easily plug your guitar into a sound system while giving you convenient tone and volume controls. The cutaway body allows for easier hand techniques on the higher frets.
The FGX800C comes in a bundle that gets you everything you need to start playing right out of the box. You get a hardshell case for easy and safe transportation and a clip-on tuner to ensure your guitar stays tuned. You also get a strap for a comfortable fit, extra guitar picks and strings, and an Austin Bazaar instructional DVD for fast learning.
This is an acoustic guitar that comes with a good undersaddle pickup that will give good amplification options.
The preamp system is analog and that means it is easy to connect with many devices, and it also offers you the possibility to control the volume and tone.
It has a cutaway body that looks great and it will also let you execute difficult techniques on the higher frets.
This model has a traditional look that is emphasized by the great-looking spruce top. This top is also covered in scalloped bracing patterns to provide a unique tonality.
For beginners, this is a great option because it comes with a bundle that offers you everything you need to get things started, including a clip-on tuner.
The quality of the tuners is not that great and you will find yourself constantly tuning it. Maybe that’s why it comes with the tuner.Buy from Amazon.com for ($369.99)
5. Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar with Gig Bag
Whether you’re looking for a guitar that’s perfect for learning or a compact and lightweight travel companion, the Yamaha APXT2 is a fine choice. This guitar comes with a ¾-sized body which makes it an ideal instrument for amateurs as well as for people wishing to take it on road trips.
Thanks to its small size and slim neck, you get to play this guitar and improve your skills with ease. The cutaway design also gives you easier access to the higher frets for tapping or other more advanced techniques. This guitar has a spruce top that improves the sound quality as it ages, meranti back and sides, and rosewood bridge and fingerboard.
Despite its more than affordable price, this model comes with an ART (or Acoustic Resonance Technology) System 68 contact pickup for an amazing amplified sound. You also get a built-in tuner for accurate tones every time, as well as a gig bag for convenient transportation anywhere you go.
If you are looking for a guitar for your child, this one is a great choice due to the small size it has and the slim neck.
It is easy to hold and comfortable, and that means no matter who practices on it, they will have a good time improving their skills.
The guitar comes with a cutaway design that will give you the access you need to reach those higher frets for advanced techniques, or high-pitched music.
The spruce top means that no matter if your guitar ages, it will still provide a good, warm sound over the years.
Because it has a ¾-sized body, this instrument can be used by children, it is great for those with small hands, but it can also be a better choice for traveling musicians.
The fretboard edges are not are a bit too sharp and that can cause harm to the hands of a young child playing the guitar.Click to see the price on Amazon!
6. Fender 6 String T-Bucket 300-CE Acoustic Guitar
The Fender T-Bucket 300 is a cutaway dreadnought guitar that comes with a stylish design and an incorporated pickup system for easy amplification. This instrument comes with a laminated maple top that features a Trans Cherry Burst finish. With quarter-sawn scalloped X-bracing, this guitar offers superior resonance and playability even as time goes by.
The mahogany back makes this instrument resistant while the bound maple neck has a C-shape profile which makes it easier to play. The fingerboard is made of rosewood, and it offers you 20 frets for endless combinations and a variety of styles. The guitar also has a Graphtec NuBone nut as well as a compensated saddle.
With the T-Bucket 300, you also get a Fishman Isys III pickup system which features a tuner as well as an active preamp with tone and volume controls. This system allows you to easily plug your guitar into an amp or sound system and ensure a rich and full-sounding performance.
This model is created from high-quality materials and that can be seen even on the back, where the mahogany wood provides resistance.
The C-shape profile of the neck (which is made of durable bound maple) will make the instrument easier to play.
Its design is a stylish one, and the paint job is interesting, yet simple.
This guitar is capable of offering you great resonance thanks to the quarter-sawn scalloped X-bracing that it has, and this bracing will hold for years to come.
The pickup system is also a quality one, and in it, you get the active preamp that you need for an electro-acoustic model. This allows you to control the volume and tonality of the instrument.
You also get an electric tuner incorporated in the pickup.
It doesn’t have a pickguard and this will cause its beautiful paint to get damaged if you play it too vigorously.Click to see the price on Amazon!
7. Oscar Schmidt OD312CE 12-Strings Acoustic-Electric Guitar
If you’re looking for an acoustic-electric guitar that sounds great but comes at an affordable price, then you can’t go wrong with the Oscar Schmidt OD312CE. This guitar features 12 strings for a depth and richness you couldn’t achieve with a 6-string guitar. The sound of the strings is further amplified by the select spruce top for a ‘woody’ warm tone.
The body of the guitar is made of mahogany for a resilient build that will last for a long time. With the full-scale fretboard, you can play to your heart’s desire without any limits. You can choose to play this guitar unplugged and enjoy its natural acoustic sound, or you can make use of the integrated pickup system to plug it into a PA or amp.
The active MET-A07 preamp allows you to control volume and tone while the built-in tuner ensures that you can make adjustments on the fly to keep your guitar tuned.
Made of mahogany, the body of this instrument is resilient and it is built to last.
Usually, this type of guitars don’t have a full-sized fretboard, but this one has and that allows you to play everything you would want.
This model sounds great whether you’re looking to play it acoustically, or if you want to plug it in and get some amplification with it.
The pickup system comes with a MET-A07 preamp that will let you control the tone, the highs and lows, and the volume.
It also has a built-in tuner that will help you in live performances where you need to keep your guitar in check all the time.
Let’s not forget that his instrument comes with 12 strings, and they provide a sound that is so rich and full.
It has a dull look and it’s possible that it won’t attract the public’s attention.Buy from Amazon.com for ($199.99)
8. Yamaha FSX720SC BL Acoustic Electric Guitar
The FX325A is one of the most popular Yamaha acoustic electric guitars especially due to its quality sound and affordable price. This model is suited for both beginners and experienced musicians. With a spruce top and Nato back and sides, this full-size dreadnought is both rich-sounding and durable, able to offer years of enriching musical experiences.
With the die-cast chrome tuners, you get to ensure that your guitar never gets out of tune. The natural finish and large pickguard make this instrument a true classic. You can play this acoustic instrument as it is, or plug it into a PA and let the System 53 piezo pickup amplify its sound. You also get a preamp with 2-band EQ for more control over the tone and volume.
The FX325A is a lightweight guitar and an ideal travel partner, whether you intend to play around the campfire, busk downtown, or take it with you on trips.
The die-cast chrome tuners are resistant and they will ensure that your guitar stays in tune for as much as you need.
This instrument has a classical look that will make those older players love it, and it also comes with a large pickguard to protect it against vigorous strumming.
It sounds great as an acoustic instrument, but it does even better when plugged in and that is due to the System 53 piezo pickup.
The pickup will amplify the sound, but it will also offer you a preamp function that comes with 2-band EQ, and that gives more control over the volume and the tone of the instrument.
Due to how lightweight it is, this guitar is ideal to be taken on trips, to be played around the campfire with your friends.
Its fretboard is rough and this will cause damage to the strings, eventually breaking them.Buy from Amazon.com for ($199.99)
9. Fender Factory Special Run CD-60CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
The CD-60CE is a Factory Special Run acoustic-electric guitar made by Fender. This inexpensive model comes with a Honeyburst gloss finish and a solid construction that gives a warm and rich sound. This guitar is made of laminated mahogany all-around. The top features scalloped X-bracing patterns for a wider range of frequencies and a distinctive sound.
The rosewood bridge and composite saddle ensure a consistent performance every time, while the die-cast tuning machines allow you to tune your guitar effortlessly. This full-size dreadnought guitar features a cutaway which ensures convenient access to the higher frets for easier handwork and more space for soloing.
You can amplify the CD-60CE through an amp or PA thanks to the built-in Fishman Isys III pickup system. You also get a tuner and a preamp which enables you to shape the tone and volume through a 3-band EQ. This guitar also comes with a hard case so you can carry it easily anywhere without risking any damage. (it could also be a cool gift for a guitar player)
You won’t have to worry about the important stuff not working on this guitar, as the rosewood bridge and the composite saddle will give you the performance you need from them, consistently.
The tuning machines are die-cast, allowing you to get your instrument in tune effortlessly.
This is a full-sized guitar that comes with a cutaway shape, ensuring that you have convenient access to the frets up the scale so you can perform better when playing high-pitched solos.
The pickup system will allow you to connect this instrument to a PA or an amplifier and get a good volume and a nice tone out of it.
An impressive feature, the preamp comes with a 3-band EQ and it will let you set the volume and the balance between mids, lows, and highs, as you wish.
The body is made of laminated wood and that doesn’t help with the acoustic properties over time.Click to see the price on Amazon!
10. Jameson Guitars Full Size Thinline Acoustic Electric Guitar
The Jameson Left-Handed Black is an acoustic-electric guitar that comes with a slick appearance, a smooth body, and an impressive sound. With its thinline frame and cutaway design, this model is good for both amateurs and seasoned guitar players. You get a guitar that sounds just as awesome regardless if you’re playing it unplugged or through an amp.
This guitar is one of the more affordable left-handed variants that you will find on the market. With a 41-inch body and a full-scale, you won’t find any limitations to the music you wish to play. The body is 3 inches thick which not only makes it comfortable to hold but also play. The cutaway gives you good access to higher frets while also increasing the appeal of the guitar.
With the built-in pickup, you can amplify your instrument with ease. This product also comes with die-cast enclosed tuners to keep your guitar in tune, an added gig bag, and multiple picks.
It is often hard to find a guitar for left-handed people, but this one is specially made for them and that can be seen from all its features.
The design is made to fit left-handed people, but it also looks great and the body has a smooth and slick appearance. Let’s not forget about the beautiful black paint.
Its thinline frame means that it is easier to hold and more comfortable for anyone.
With the cutaway design, you are sure to reach the higher frets when you need to do so, and this shape also makes the instrument more appealing.
Although the body is slightly more compact, this instrument still has a 41-inch scale and that means it is a great choice for young beginners.
The pickup is built-in and it will make the instrument sound just as beautiful as it does when not plugged in.
Because it is a mass-produced instrument it sometimes has a poor-quality build.Buy from Amazon.com for ($69.95)
11. Ibanez Performance PF15
If you’re trying to find one of the affordable acoustic electric guitars from Ibanez, then the PF15 is just what you’re looking for. This guitar has a dreadnought full-size body, a stylish cutaway design, as well as other features which will allow you to enjoy every minute of playing. You also get an attractive Transparent Blue Burst finish to impress your audience.
This model comes with a spruce top and mahogany back and sides for superior resonating power and a strong sound that’s ideal for a variety of music genres, from folk to blues to grassroots. The cutaway will give you easier access to the upper fingerboard and spare your fingers from demanding overhand techniques.
You also get die-cast chrome machine heads and a built-in tuner for accurate notes every time. This guitar features a pickup system with a 2-band EQ preamp which gives you complete control over the tone and sound so you can give strong performances every time.
To make it ideal for most music genres and to give it more sound volume, the manufacturers of this guitar gave it a spruce top and mahogany back and sides, which are great for resonance.
This guitar will sound great no matter what you play on it, from blues to folk and grassroots.
You won’t have difficulties reaching the upper frets, thanks to the cutaway design that will help you with those complicated techniques.
This model has a dreadnought full-size body that will be comfortable to hold by players of all sizes.
The pickup system features a 2-band EQ preamp that will let you control everything when plugging the instrument, from the volume to the frequency of the sound.
You also get a built-in tuner to help you adjust the strings every time you need to do so.
The strings that it comes with are of poor quality and you need to change them.Buy from Amazon.com for ($199.99)
12. Epiphone EJ-200SCE Solid
The EJ-200SCE is one of the most appreciated acoustic electric guitars from Epiphone by both amateurs and professional musicians. This model comes with a vintage look and a strong build that follows the traditional J-200 style which has been setting the standard for flat-top guitars for over 70 years.
The guitar features a solid spruce top and a maple body for an amazing sound. The pronounced cutaway gives you complete control over the higher frets. The fingerboard is made of rosewood with vintage pearloid crown inlays and a 1.68-inch nut. You can ensure that your guitar stays in tune with the die-cast gold tuners.
This guitar allows you to just plug your guitar into an amp and play, thanks to the modern eSonic pickup system which also comes with a preamp. The preamp gives you controls over the master volume, stereo blend, NanoMag and NanoFlex Tones, and it features a low battery indicator and an anti-feedback phase switch.
The eSonic modern pickup system that this guitar has will let you plug the guitar in any type of amp and start playing without any additional setup needed.
This system also has a preamp that has a control hub on the side of the guitar, from where you can determine the sound volume, you can decide how the stereo positioning should sound like, and it also has some other complex features.
The amp display is a complete one, including an indicator that shows you how much battery you have left.
You also get an anti-feedback switch that you can use when you feel there is too much noise in the amplified sound.
The great electronic components aren’t the only good thing about this guitar, as it also comes with a solid spruce top that will give you the acoustic properties needed.
The shape of the body is huge and some players will find the guitar uncomfortable.Buy from Amazon.com for ($499)
13. Ovation AB24-5 Applause
The Ovation AB24-5 Applause is an attractive acoustic-electric guitar that comes with a loud and defined sound that makes it a prime choice for seasoned players and amateurs alike. This full-sized dreadnought has a Balladeer design and a medium cutaway for superior playability on the higher frets.
The laminated spruce top and bracing pattern ensure a distinctive sound, while the strong rosewood fingerboard can withstand demanding guitar techniques. The body of the guitar is made of lightweight yet strong Lyrachord, while the Applause-style headstock and the rosette pattern around the soundhole give it an elegant appearance.
This model features an Ovation OP-4BT pickup system that lets you plug your guitar into a PA or amp with ease, as well as a preamp that allows you to balance volume and tone for a powerful performance. The strong machine heads and built-in tuner allow you to keep your guitar in tune for accurate notes every time.
The bracing pattern found on the laminated spruce top will ensure a good, distinctive sound.
When creating this instrument, the manufacturers used Lyrachord, a material that is lightweight, and it also has the structural integrity to create a strong guitar.
In terms of looks, the black paint suits this guitar really well, as well as the rosette positioned around the soundhole, and the classic Applause headstock.
Experienced players will like the loud volume that this guitar can produce.
The cutaway design is something that adds to the looks of this instrument while allowing the player to reach the higher frets easier.
Its pickup system works with most PAs and amplifiers and it also allows you to change the volume as well as balance the treble and bass.
Its bass is hard to hear, and that could be because of the cutaway that takes away from the acoustics.Buy from Amazon.com for ($539)
14. Glen Burton GA204BCO-BK
In case you’re trying to find a guitar that doesn’t break the bank, then the Glen Burton GA204BCO-BK is the right product. This package comes with an acoustic-electric guitar, an amplifier, and a few other accessories that will get you started in no time with this beautiful instrument.
The guitar has a Flame maple top and basswood back and sides for a perfect balance and resonance. The neck and bridge are made of Catalpa, while the fingerboard benefits from a solid rosewood construction. This model also comes with steel strings and sealed gear tuners.
Thanks to the built-in pickup system, you can amplify your acoustic guitar by simply plugging it in, without having to perform any installation or tweaking beforehand. This bundle gives you a reliable 10-watt amplifier for electric performances, a digital clip-on tuner to keep your guitar in tune, a gig bag for safe transportation, a truss rod, extra picks and strings, and a strap.
The intuitive-to-use pickup system only requires you to plug it in an amplifier or a PA and it will be ready to use out of the bag.
You even get an amplifier of 10 watts of power with the guitar, and this means the package is good for a beginner.
Furthermore, for the joy of beginners, the package also includes a clip-on tuner, a gig bag, a strap, some picks, and everything you need.
The basswood sides and back and the maple top look great and they also give the resonance needed and the sound balance that pleases the ear.
Its overall sound is a warm one and pleasant to the ear because you don’t have any buzzing when playing and the tone is balanced.
This is a good model for beginners but the build quality is not great, especially if you are going to use it for a long time.Buy from Amazon.com for ($139.99)
15. Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light
The Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light is the perfect acoustic-electric travel companion. Thanks to its ingenious design, this model is extremely lightweight. Weighing just 2 pounds and 14 ounces and measuring 28 inches in length, this is perhaps one of the lightest and shortest guitars on the market.
You can take it anywhere without overloading your bag and ensure that you have a guitar with you at all times. Despite its small size, the guitar has a full-scale that measures 24 ¾ inches. The body is made of solid Eastern American hard maple with the tuning machines located underneath it, eliminating the need for a headstock.
This guitar comes with an undersaddle piezo pickup system and a ¼-inch output. You also get a detachable lap rest so you can comfortably play this miniature guitar. The rosewood fingerboard has 22 medium frets, while the D’Addario EJ15 steel strings ensure superior playability. This compact guitar is small enough to fit even in airline overhead compartments.
One thing that you can clearly see when looking at this guitar is how compact it is, and that will help you greatly. It won’t take too much space in your luggage.
Measuring only 28 inches it is one of the shortest guitars out there, but that doesn’t mean it compromises on frets, as it has a full-scale.
It doesn’t have a headstock and that makes it even more compact and the tuning machines are placed underside it to save space.
Created using solid East American hard maple, you can be sure that it won’t break even if you throw it in your car.
This small guitar also fits a piezo pickup system that allows you to plug it in an amp if you really want to hear its colorful sound.
Its acoustic properties aren’t great at all and you can barely hear it if you don’t plug it into something.Buy from Amazon.com for ($310.99)
16. Seagull S6 Classic
With the Seagull S6 Classic, you get an acoustic-electric guitar that comes with a solid design and an impressive sound that will delight, regardless if you’re playing it unplugged or through an amplifier or PA. This model features a cedar top that has been tested for pressure resistance, so you know you have a tough guitar on your hands to use for many years.
In fact, as the wood matures and you play the instrument more, the sound becomes even better. The strong top is coupled with wild a cherry back and sides for extra durability. The silver leaf maple neck is attached to an Indian rosewood fingerboard which gives you a full scale to play.
This model also features a custom-made B-Band M-450T pickup system that enables you to amplify your performance, while the preamp with 4-band EQ gives you control over tone and volume. You also get an onboard chromatic digital tuner that ensures the guitar is easy to be kept in tune.
One of the best features of this guitar is the cedar top that has gone through intensive tests to ensure it is resistant to pressure.
Furthermore, this top is strong and made of solid wood, so when the instrument matures it will give a better sound.
An interesting wood of choice, the back and sides are made of wild cherry wood, which brings extra durability.
The pickup system placed on this model was custom-made for it and that is why it offers a 4-band EQ, and the possibility to adjust the tone and the volume of your instrument.
To help you keep this beautiful guitar in tune, the pickup also comes with an integrated chromatic tuner.
You get a full-scale fingerboard and a well-constructed instrument.
The guitar doesn’t come with a cutaway shape, making it difficult to make use of the full-sized scale it has.Click to see the price on Amazon!
17. Kona K2TBL Dreadnought
The Kona K2TBL is an inexpensive guitar that doesn’t compromise quality to sell for a more than affordable price. This instrument comes with a transparent blue finish and a mahogany top, back, and sides. The bridge and fingerboard are made of rosewood with single-ply binding on the headstock and neck.
The guitar measures 41 inches in length, and it comes with a 25.75-inch scale and 20 frets for various playing techniques. You also get strong D’Addario strings for reliable performances every time, as well as enclosed die-cast gold tuners, so you never play an off note. This dreadnought guitar features a cutaway so you can easily practice finger techniques on the higher frets.
The thin body allows for comfortable practicing sessions. With the EQ-505 3-Band active piezo pickup system, you can turn an acoustic performance into an amplified show that will surely impress. This product also comes with two picks, a neck wrench, a polishing cloth, as well as a care guide.
A transparent blue finish gives the guitar a unique look and an elegant feel.
The wood used in creating it is a classic one, that is known for its durability – mahogany is the material of choice for all the sides, the back, and the top.
The guitar comes with solid gold die-cast tuners so that you don’t stray out of tune and you also look great while playing it.
Its cutaway shape means that you can play difficult-to-reach notes high up the scale.
One thing that doesn’t get noticed at first is the thinner body that helps with making this guitar a comfortable one to play.
With the help of the active piezo pickup, you can transform this instrument from an acoustic to an electric one instantly.
Its sound is too bright for the liking of some who would prefer more bass. This might be because of the thinner body.Buy from Amazon.com for ($134.98)
18. Jameson DRN979CTV Left-Handed
In case you’re trying to find a left-handed acoustic-electric guitar that doesn’t require you to sell the house to be able to afford it, then the Jameson DRN979CTV is the perfect match. This model plays great as an acoustic guitar as well as when amplified, and its quality construction defies its more than accessible price.
This guitar has a spruce top and Nato back and sides which balance sound and durability. The fingerboard is made of rosewood and the scale measures 25.5 inches. With a full length of 41 inches and a 3-inch body thickness, this dreadnought is a good choice for both beginners and seasoned musicians looking for an extra guitar.
Thanks to the medium-depth cutaway, you can also play the higher frets easier than with a normal dreadnought. You get an incorporated pickup system with built-in tone and volume controls for amplified performances. This item comes with a free gig bag and some extra picks.
This is one of those instruments that are so hard to find, firstly because it was specially made for left-handed people, and it looks great at the same time.
You will get a balanced sound out of it thanks to the Nato back and sides and the spruce top. These types of wood also confer it good durability over time.
The body measures 3 inches in thickness, which is great for those with smaller arms trying to reach around it.
It is comfortable to hold and easy to play, and it will sound just as good whether you’re playing it cold or you’re amplifying its sound.
This model has a medium-depth cutaway design and that ensures it doesn’t compromise on acoustics, while still giving you the possibility to reach frets that are higher up the scale.
When played cold, the sound is not that rich in the treble, and that can be observed better when plugged in.Buy from Amazon.com for ($132.85)
Yearly Guide & Report
With the re-emerging popularity of acoustic instruments, now is a great time to go looking for a good acoustic electric guitar. There are heaps of models to choose from, and that’s both a blessing and a curse. You have many options so you can definitely find something to suit your taste, needs, and budget.
On the other hand, the sheer number of highly acclaimed products at more than affordable prices might make it quite difficult to choose the right guitar. Here are a few things you should know before buying your first acoustic-electric guitar.
The benefits of acoustic-electric guitars
You might wonder which is the better option, an acoustic guitar or an acoustic-electric variant? The fact is that the latter is just an acoustic guitar with a built-in pickup system, so if you’re planning to ever amplify your performance, then going for one of the best acoustic electric guitars on a budget is definitely the better choice.
This is because you won’t have to go through all the hassle of doing research on pickups, then finding a way to mount them without damaging your guitar. While magnetic pickups are surely quite easy to install, contact pickups or blended systems with microphones and preamps might require removing the top, drilling, using all sorts of screws and plates, etc.
Doing these without having any sort of experience risks damaging the guitar, which is why getting a guitar with a factory-installed pickup is the way to go. You’ll still be able to play your instrument unplugged without any sound deformation, with the advantage of amplifying your guitar by simply plugging it into a sound system.
There are quite a few types of guitar shapes, with the most popular one being the dreadnought. However, contrary to acoustic guitars, many acoustic-electric variants come with some form of cutaway for better access to the higher frets. This can really come in handy for a wide range of techniques so you don’t have to play with your hand over the body, which can be uncomfortable.
Of course, there are other design choices besides the full-size dreadnought. You can read some acoustic guitars reviews and find that some people actually favor smaller-sized guitars, such as the ¾. These are more compact and have a shorter scale, making them easier to play and thus a good choice for beginners.
There are also even smaller guitars that are easy to play and transport. Some have a different design than normal guitars, as they don’t have a true soundbox body, so they are technically electric wooden guitars.
Some models have the tuning machines relocated under the body to eliminate the headstock. These usually are extremely compact and lightweight, sometimes weighing only 2 pounds or so, making them excellent instruments for traveling.
Common tonewoods used
Most guitars come with a solid spruce top, although some may feature laminated spruce or Nato tops. Mahogany can also be used for tops, but in general, it’s used for the back and sides. There are other tonewoods used in the construction of the guitar body, such as wild cherry wood, basswood, maple, as well as sapele, and other African woods.
The bridge and fingerboard are usually made of rosewood, while the neck can be made of mahogany, maple, or another strong wood that is also elastic enough to bend. The curvature or relief of the neck is usually adjusted by tensioning a steel truss rod.
Types of pickup systems to consider
While looking for acoustic-electric guitars for sale, you might want to check out which type of pickups they have so that you can choose one that’s appropriate. You can choose a simple undersaddle piezo pickup which is relatively easy to install. This type of pickup has a warm and somewhat bright output.
While inexpensive, it generally can’t reproduce the full sound of an acoustic guitar. You can also get a guitar that comes with a magnetic pickup, and that can be quite a good choice if you love electric sounds. These pickups are also easy to install and quite affordable, although they’ll only capture the sound of the strings and not the soundbox.
If magnetic pickups are excellent for traveling guitars, contact pickups are great for amplified acoustic performances. These can capture the sound from the soundboard as well as from the rest of the body. You can also get a guitar that comes with a blended system which combines a pickup with a microphone. A model with a built-in preamp is also becoming the norm these days.
Get a complete guitar bundle
If you’re just starting out, then getting one of the affordable guitar bundles is a great choice. These provide you with a guitar and several accessories that allow you to start playing right out of the box.
These bundles usually throw in a gig bag, so you don’t have to spend extra money to safely transport your gear, as well as spare picks, strings, and an instructable DVD that will help you learn some essential guitar techniques quite fast. You might also want a bundle that comes with a clip-on tuner so that you make sure you can keep your guitar well-tuned on the go.
You might be surprised to learn that some packages also offer an amplifier, although you shouldn’t expect to find anything more powerful than 10-15 watts, especially when it comes to entry-level bundles.
How much do you need to spend?
When looking to buy a guitar, you want to make sure that you’re picking a model that is right for your skill level, playing style, and needs, all that while ensuring that you don’t overspend. If you’re just starting out, there’s probably no need to spend a couple grand on a flashy model when one of the quality cheap acoustic electric guitars will do.
As you improve your playing skills, you’ll know exactly what sort of guitar you need in case of an upgrade, or if you want a better pickup system.
Frequently asked questions
Q: What is an acoustic-electric guitar?
The acoustic-electric guitar is simply an acoustic guitar that is fitted with a pickup, be it a magnetic one, a piezoelectric pickup, or even a sort of microphone. These guitars can also be called plug-in acoustic guitars, thanks to their ability to just be plugged into something without the need for any other microphones to make themselves heard.
They act like normal acoustic guitars but they offer more versatility, and they are better in environments where more volume is required, such as live performances. There is a small difference between an acoustic-electric guitar and a simple acoustic one, in the sense that the first of them has additional sound chambers inside its body.
Most of the time you will find these guitars fitted with piezoelectric pickups that also require a preamplifier fitted into the body. As a result, you find both of these components in the acoustic-electric guitar. Preamplifiers also come with the possibility to customize the sound, as you can change the low, mid, and high frequencies, and some of them have six different frequency bands to be used.
Microphones can also be used to transform guitars that were initially just acoustic into acoustic-electro models, but that doesn’t work as efficiently as a piezoelectric pickup coming with a preamp.
Q: What is the difference between acoustic and acoustic electric guitars?
The main difference between the two is the fact that acoustic-electric guitars come with a built-in pre-amp and an input. This translates to the fact that you can just plug a lead line into the guitar and use it as you would do with an electric model. You can also record what the guitar plays in this way, and the sound is often more precise than the one of a microphone recording the guitar from close range because it doesn’t capture the ambient noise.
Most acoustic-electric guitars also have a built-in EQ and volume control that will let you boost certain frequencies and alter how you want the guitar to sound in the speakers. There are some ways to amplify an acoustic guitar, usually with the help of a clip-on microphone, but remember that this doesn’t make it an acoustic-electric guitar.
Another feature that often helps you distinguish an acoustic from an acoustic-electric guitar is the shape of the body. That is not always the case, but acoustic-electric models usually have a cutaway body. The cutaway will often change the sound a guitar can provide and many consider that it drastically reduces volume, and in a guitar that doesn’t have much amplification, you don’t want that.
Q: Does an acoustic electric guitar need an amp?
Although acoustic-electric guitars work well without being plugged into anything, if you need more volume from them, you can always plug them into an amplifier. The simple way to give more oomph to your sound is by using a simple electric amp. Most musicians choose this way to do it but keep in mind that the electric amplifier is meant for the electric guitar.
If you want clear crisp notes and the natural sound that the guitar has when not plugged in, an acoustic amp will be necessary. The idea here is that you only want to have a louder sound, but not distort it. Nevertheless, there are musicians and guitarists that want to have more “metal” in their sound, they like more distortion or more reverb, and a classic amp is great for that.
The advantage of acoustic amps, however, is the fact that most of the time they give you the stereo feeling of PA systems. That is because they come with woofers and tweeters. This allows you to play really low and high frequencies, with both of them being heard well. Good amplifiers also come with microphone inputs, so that you can also use your voice and sing alongside playing your instrument.
Q: Do acoustic electric guitars sound well unplugged?
In short, all acoustic-electric guitars will function like acoustic models, if there is no electricity running through them. This is due to the design they have. The fact that they come with electronic components doesn’t interfere with their overall design. The components are integrated into the instrument with the express intention not to modify their overall sound.
The idea of acoustic-electro guitars is to have the natural sound of the guitar, but with the possibility to amplify it. As a result, the pickups have no effect on the overall sound. Piezoelectric sensors are usually the electronics used to make a guitar acoustic-electric, and with a bit of knowledge, you could transform nearly any acoustic guitar into an acoustic-electric one, if you put such a device on it.
This being said, there are certain models that don’t sound as good when not plugged in, but these models are not designed to be played around the campfire anyway. You should know that there is a type of guitar called semi-acoustic. This is basically an electric guitar that has been given a body with more volume inside it, a resonating space where a mellower tone can be produced.
Q: Are acoustic electric guitars good for beginners?
The first thing you look at when buying a guitar is how attractive it is. In this domain, both the acoustic and acoustic-electric models are pretty balanced. They are usually made of the same tonewoods, they most often have the same shape and same finishes. In terms of size, however, acoustic-electric models can be smaller than their counterparts, and for beginners, that’s something useful.
Children especially will appreciate a guitar that they can wrap their arms around as this makes playing easier. Acoustic guitars will require a big body so that they can amplify the sound correctly. However, with acoustic-electric models, plugging them in eliminates this need.
Furthermore, the shape of acoustic-electric models influences playability. Acoustic models often don’t have a cutaway body, because that reduces the acoustic properties of the instrument. Because acoustic-electric guitars can afford to have a cut in their body, they will also be easier to play, allowing the player to get his or her fingers higher up on the fretboard.
One area where the acoustic guitar dominates the acoustic-electric one is the fact that it has no limits. Some acoustic-electric models are limited as they don’t perform that well without being plugged in.
Best acoustic electric guitar brands
Fender is an American company that manufactures guitars and other stringed instruments, as well as amplifiers. The company started out as Fender’s Radio Service back in 1938 in Fullerton, California. Its founder was Leo Fender, a passionate electronics technician that had a knack for repairing phonograph players.
Today Fender is one of the most recognized guitar manufacturers in the world, having designed and manufactured countless highly acclaimed electric guitars such as the Stratocaster and Telecaster, as well as acoustic guitars that have been used by some of the most popular and successful musicians in the industry for over 70 years.
Epiphone is an American manufacturer of guitars and other string instruments. The company was founded by Anastasios Stathopoulos in 1873 in Smyrna, the Ottoman Empire. After relocating to the United States, Epiphone started creating mandolins and banjos, launching its first guitar in 1928.
The company created some successful guitar models used by top guitarists playing jazz, pop, and other music genres across the 20th century. Epiphone continues to make guitars that are either designed by its parent company, Gibson, or its own creations that are meant to offer quality performances at affordable prices.
Ibanez is a Japanese music instruments manufacturer that has produced some of the most iconic guitars of the 20th century. Established in 1908, the company started to design the first guitars in 1957. Ibanez was one of the first companies to gain popularity in the US and Europe markets. It also was the first to mass-produce 7- and 8-string guitars.
The company has retained a huge client base in present times as well as the cooperation of world-class musicians. There are also quite a few Ibanez acoustic-electric guitars with built-in tuners that can certainly suit every pocket.
Kona Guitars is a line of guitars and other music accessories that was founded by M&M Merchandisers, Inc. in 2000 in Fort Worth, Texas. This line was created with the sole purpose of manufacturing quality instruments, amplifiers, and other accessories while keeping them affordable.
The first guitar developed was the K1 Series. Launched in 2000, this instrument had a dreadnought cutaway design and used inexpensive materials such as laminated spruce for tops, and sapele for back and sides. Kona Guitars then launched the K2 series after which it diversified, at present offering over 30 models of guitars, ukuleles, violins, and other instruments.
Jameson acoustic-electric guitars are gaining a foothold in the musical instruments market, especially due to its emphasis on high manufacturing standards and relatively low-priced products. The company, known as The R. W. Jameson Guitar Company, is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, right in one of the largest hubs of folk music.
This is perhaps the reason why most of its guitars are capable of producing loud and powerful notes which are perfectly suited to a variety of folk and grassroots music. The company offers a wide range of affordable models which target beginners and professional guitarists alike.
While relatively new compared to many established brands on the market, Seagull has managed to gain traction in the past few decades. Started in Canada in 1982, the company focuses on building high-quality acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars. These usually use solid tops rather than laminated tops, resulting in crystal-clear sounds and superior quality.
Seagull guitars are instantly recognizable due to their distinctive headstocks which feature the tuning machines at the same level as the nut, offering greater stability in terms of tuning. The brand’s Artist series is highly appreciated by experienced guitarists, while the affordable S6 series offers reliable entry-mid level variants.
Yamaha is a brand which definitely needs no introduction. Founded at the end of the 19th century, the company initially built reed organs and pianos. It switched to producing motorcycles in the middle of the 20th century only to return to making great music instruments later on. Yamaha started selling the first export guitars in 1966.
With over 50 years of experience in making high-quality guitars, the company continues to innovate and impress. It is no wonder that Yamaha has become the world’s largest manufacturer of musical instruments, with its models being appreciated by beginners and veteran musicians alike.
Epiphone Dove Pro
The Epiphone Dove Pro is an acoustic-electric guitar featuring a classic design and a beautiful finish. This guitar has a spruce top that gives the instrument’s rich and complex sound which only improves as the tonewood matures. The back and sides are made of maple, while the rosewood fingerboard comes with pearloid parallelogram inlays.
The hard maple 25.5-inch scale neck is attached to the body with a dovetail joint which gives this guitar its name. The Dove Pro comes with the Fishman Sonicore pickup system and a Fishman Sonitone soundhole preamp so you can easily plug it into an amp and bring this guitar’s acoustic tone to larger audiences.
The rosewood bridge comes with a compensated saddle made of imitation bone. The classic dove inlays and tortoise pickguard gives this guitar a vintage look and a special character that will certainly delight. This model also has Grover 14:1 tuners, nickel strap-buttons, and D’Addario Phosphor strings which are factory-installed.
Fender CD-60SCE All Mahogany Acoustic-Electric Guitar
With the Fender CD-60SCE acoustic-electric bundle, you get the perfect start to your musical journey. This guitar is a full-size dreadnought with a cutaway design which gives you convenient access to a few extra frets for more improvisational opportunities.
This instrument comes with a mahogany finish, a solid spruce top that features a scalloped X-bracing for a superior sound, as well as mahogany back and sides. You also get chrome tuning knobs and an acrylic design around the soundhole. This model comes with an integrated Fishman Isys III pickup system and a preamp for volume and tone control.
With this bundle, you get a hardshell case to securely transport your music instrument, an extra set of strings, and a digital clip-on chromatic tuner to maintain your guitar in tune at all times. Also included are some extra guitar picks, a polishing cloth, and an Austin Bazaar instructional DVD that can teach you all the essential techniques you need, so this might just as well be the best acoustic electric guitar for the money.