Ready for an article about the best acoustic electric guitars? Ever wanted to form your own band and play gigs? Dreamt of playing gigs in your garage and then making it to the big stage? Thought of being a rockstar with a fan base large enough to rival that of Linkin Park? Wished to perform in a concert with the likes of Iron Maiden and wanted to hear your band’s name be mentioned in the same sentence as Metallica’s? We all have. So what would be the first step to climbing the “Stairway to Heaven” as Led Zeppelin would say? Maybe it would be to get yourself a wooden or plastic guitar with a smooth curve to fit on your thighs, and a nice fretboard to glide your fingers, and strings to strum your life away. Maybe even get yourself an amp and wake your neighbors up at 2 in the morning to the chords of Disturbed. Be the Guitar Hero you always wanted to be.
Okay so now that we have decided that you are to headbang your way to the top how are you to do it? This article provides you with a decent review on some of the best acoustic electric guitars and might help you to strap on your partner of a lifetime. Like they say, “Your jeans and your favorite guitar never gets old.”
Acoustic-Electric guitars are also fun at parties. You gather your friends around and all of you sing your heart out. Even if you sound like a duck suffering from bird-flu being choked in the cruelest manner possible, your voice gets drowned out by theirs. So don’t worry. Just go out there. Enjoy. And for that moment, when you are playing guitar, you forget about all your worries in life. For those few moments, you live.
Music is the food of love, said Shakespeare. This is probably why we always see that every guitarist gets a girl after every gig. However, a drummer usually does not. Who knows why? So let’s just stick with a guitar, shall we? Does this make guitars the seasoning of the said food? Playing guitars also gives you the opportunity to earn a bit of cash by performing at live events. So why not go for it?
With all those being said, let us indulge a bit more into guitars, shall we? Okay, so what is an acoustic-electric guitar? It is a guitar that has a magnetic or piezoelectric pickup system or a microphone. You can plug them in, and play chords as per your wish. The amps amplify the sounds so that you can actually feel the sound waves against your earbuds. Do you always have to plug them in, in order to play? What if you do not own an amp? No worries, the acoustic does not always have to be plugged in. You can just play it as it is and the sound will be great. Just make sure the tuning is right and voila, you make a masterpiece.
The guitars usually have nylon strings. The nylon strings vibrate when strung and produce sounds. These are picked up by the pickup system or microphone and intensified. For example in a live performance, you would need an instrument that produces a loud noise. For such an incident where volume is preferred, the electric-acoustic is the tool of preference. With its plug-in feature, it gives off the very great pleasure of performing a variety of genres.
You might be wondering what an acoustic electric is and how it is different from the other guitars that you so often hear about. First, let’s discuss what an acoustic is. An acoustic is a simple basic guitar, with a hollow body, that produces sounds by the vibration of its strings. So the main focus is on the strings, as they produce resonances with their oscillations after being strummed, plucked, or tapped. An electric guitar on the other hand, has coils of very fine wire. The strings generate a small electric current in accordance with the magnetic coils. Thus a signal is produced which passes on to the amplifier and thus great sounds are produced. Ever heard of the phrase “the best of both worlds”? Yeah, an acoustic guitar provides you with both of that. How cool is that?
Acoustic electric guitars have made their presence known in the world of music since the early 60’s. By the 70’s stock pickups were gaining momentum and becoming more popular. Over the course of time, in the present state, acoustic-electric guitars have become more famous than they used to be and more ubiquitous and user-friendly than their non-electric counterparts.
So now, in 2018, acoustic electric guitars standout compared to simple acoustic or normal electric guitars due to their better amplification and resonance, their ease of recording, their body style, the dreadnought or the concert, the parlor or the classical design. With many choices at our disposal, we have picked 10 of the best acoustic electric guitars of 2018! that you might want to look at, in order to be your version of Slash or Buckethead. Let’s have a look at them, shall we?
10 Best Acoustic Electric Guitars reviewed!
In this section, we reviewed 10 of the best acoustic electric guitars for you. Let’s see the list:
- Fender CD-60SCE Acoustic Electric Guitar
- Ibanez PF Series PF15ECE Acoustic
- Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Epiphone HUMMINGBIRD PRO Acoustic Electric Guitar
- Martin Smith W-401E Electric Acoustic Guitar
- Yamaha FGX730SC Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Oscar Schmidt OACEFCS Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Kona K2TBL Acoustic Electric Guitar
- Ovation AB24-5 Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Indiana Madison MAD-QTGR Acoustic Electric Guitar
Fender CD-60SCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
If you are looking for one of Fender’s most popular models, look no further. We bring you the Fender CD-60SCE Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar. The Fender CD-60SCE is the perfect instrument, to begin with, and to play till one reaches intermediate level. Not only is the Fender CD-60SCE of high quality, but its dreadnought and cutaway design make it versatile and user-friendly. Why play guitar if you cannot slide your fingers smoothly along the fretboard and have a good quality of resonance? Don’t you worry because the Fender CD-60SCE, with its lower frets and scalloped “X” bracing, makes it yours to be.
Be it a car, or be it a guitar, a good body is all it takes for people to drool over. The Fender CD-60SCE has a natural finish, with a black and white neck and body binding. Talk about color combinations! It features a Fishman Isys III System electronics with active one board preamp. It comes in black, mahogany, natural and also left handed.To add the cherry on top, it has a “mother of pearl” acrylic design around the sound hole. So with chrome tuning knobs at the ready, what are you waiting for?
We also have a detailed Fender Sonoran SCE acoustic electric guitar review, considering its authenticity.
- A Venetian-cutaway body allowing easy fret access
- Solid spruce top with a scalloped “X” bracing
- Mahogany back and sides
- Black and white neck and body binding
- Fishman Isys III System
- Acrylic design around the sound hole
- Chrome tuning knobs
- Easy-to-play neck with rolled fingerboard edges
- Fishman Isys III System with one board preamp
- Left-handed guitars available
- Steel strings
- Has built-in tuner
- Not an acoustic-electric but simply an acoustic
- Made in China
- Usually has a lame sticker on it
Ibanez PF Series PF15ECE Acoustic
Ladies and gentlemen, black is officially back. Yes, you heard me right. Allow me to introduce to you, the Ibanez PF Series PF15ECE Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic.It is not just black, it’s glossy black. Buy the glossiest black guitar and start up your own gothic band perhaps? Or if you are not into black, why not go for the natural or sunburst? It’s cheap, it’s elegant and it’s waiting for you!
We also have a detailed review on Ibanez Talman TCY10, in case if you want!
The Ibanez PF Series PF15ECE Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic, with its mesmerizing body provides a rich, and sweet sustain. The arch also makes way for your thighs to fit in if you wish to balance it on them. Plug it in and start your own School of Rock. Accurate reproduction of the guitar’s natural tone is assured by the Fishman Sonicore pickup and the SST preamp. Unlike other guitars. The Ibanez PF15ECE stands out due to its gloss black finish, gold die-cast tuners, and pearl dot inlays. The inboard tuner also provides a distinctive appearance.
- Mahogany back and sides
- Spruce Top
- Fishman Sonicore pickup
- SST preamp
- Onboard Tuner
- Smooth body
- Steel strings
- Does not have high action as strings are fairly close to the fretboard
- May have fret buzz
Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar
And now, if you are picky about colors, boy do we have a treat for you. The Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar comes in 9 colors, namely Tobacco Sunburst, Figured Natural, Light Amber Burst, Natural, Dark Red Burst, Black, Dusk Sun Red, Oriental Blue Burst and Vintage Sunburst. Ever felt like going on a long trip with your friends, singing along the way? Or saw a Hollywood movie where the characters sit around a campfire and hum to the chords of a song? No matter where you go to, the Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar is your partner in crime at a simple cost.
The original version, the APX500III guitar, was the best-selling acoustic electric guitar of one time. The APXT2 is a smaller version of it. This well-constructed compact guitar features an ART-based pickup system. Great sensitivity and accuracy is also delivered with Yamaha’s proprietary tuner.
- Spruce Top
- Meranti Back and Sides
- Systemr68 Electronics
- Built-In Tuner
- Cutaway design
- Light weight
- Steel strings
- Adjustable truss rod
- Volume is slightly low when unplugged compared to a full-sized guitar
- The tuning keys may not be the best
- The neck edges are not rounded but are sharp
- Not designed to be used with nylon strings
Epiphone HUMMINGBIRD PRO Acoustic/Electric Guitar
The Hummingbird is a legendary guitar with a background of epic proportions.The Epiphone HUMMINGBIRD PRO is introduced into this millennium featuring Shadow ePerformer preamp and Shadow Nano Flex pickup system. On its own, the Hummingbird PRO acoustic/electric can drive an all-acoustic band or rock a party to its very core with its balanced tone. With a rich history and such capability, what is it that’s holding you back from purchasing a Hummingbird PRO?
Solid spruce top is also featured in the Hummingbird PRO Acoustic/Electric. The body and neck are gently carved and polished of select mahogany. The neck has a classic SlimTaper D profile and a 25.5” scale. The body is attached to the neck with a glued-in dovetail joint. Pearloid parallelogram inlays are present on the rosewood fingerboard. There are also 20 medium frets in a 12” radius and also a 1.68” nut. A single ply white binds on the fingerboard and 5 plies white and black band on the body top. The back also has a single ply white binding. This gives off a sophisticated outlook. The “Epiphone” logo is in white and the final icing would be the classic sloped headstock.
To minimize friction, the Hummingbird Pro Acoustic/Electric has a compensated saddle for smooth action and intonation in the reverse belly rosewood bridge. Under the saddle is the Shadow NanoFlex pickup system. The classical Hummingbird floral tortoise shell design makes it stand out from the rest even in a room full of guitars.
Most guitars of Epiphone, including the Hummingbird PRO feature a cutting edge pickup system that can handle a gig of any size and still produce decent sounds. The controls for the Shadow ePerformer Preamp are on the upper bout and include controls for Master Volume, Treble, Bass EQ, Mute, and a Dynamics control adjusted via a frequency curve. A low battery indicator is also present. Two 2032 batteries power up the preamp and the output jack and strap locks are made up of nickel. At the factory, the guitars are tested with D’Addario Phosphor (12-53) strings. Faded Cherry is the color of the Hummingbird PRO.
- Shadow ePerformer preamp
- Shadow Nano Flex pickup system
- Mahogany back and sides
- Solid spruce top
- Rosewood fingerboard with Pearled Parallelogram inlays
- Produces a distinctively different tone from the Hummingbird
- May show signs of wear
- Need to develop dexterity and strength to play it
- Comes in just one colour
Martin Smith W-401E Electric Acoustic Guitar
The Martin Smith W-401E Electric Acoustic Guitar is probably one of the cheapest guitars you will ever get. It comes in two simple colors, black and white and is the perfect tool to begin with. If you want your gateway into being a guitar hero, this is your guitar to go with. The Martin Smith W-401E is well suited for new learners and gig players alike. A stunning cutaway body with a slim neck and rosewood fretboard makes it a class apart. You can also plug it straight into an amplifier and blow the roof off your house because of the built in transducer.
The slim body and sleek curves give the Martin Smith W-401E its smoothness. You easily get a comfortable position and the cutaway design makes it easy to run your fingers through the frets. So strum away my friend. Strum away.
The gear machine heads, which offer accurate and responsive tuning, are polished chrome. However, the rosewood fretboard which is augmented by decorative pearloid bird shapes may cause a bit of friction for you.
- Stylish Cutaway Design
- Built-in Transducer
- Pearl Inlays Decals
- High Gloss Finish
- Light weight
- Pickup has decent depth
- Does not have very high action
- Fretboard is not curved
- No volume knob
- No output
- The tuning mechanism is not precise
Yamaha FGX730SC Acoustic-Electric Guitar
The sound quality from the solid wood top makes a huge difference over the low end laminated guitars. Everything focuses on an outstanding playing experience, a great look, and a jaw dropping outlook. With FGs in hand, the great players of the future are coming in too.
- Solid Sitka Spruce Top
- Rosewood back and sides
- Die-cast Tuners
- R.T 1-way pickup system
- Adjustable midrange frequency control
- Built in chromatic tuners
- Cutaway body
- Hi-gloss natural finish
- Frets are smooth and without edges
- Strings are of decent quality
- Just one strap
- Action is low but decent
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Oscar Schmidt OACEFCS Acoustic-Electric Guitar
All Oscar Schmidt guitars are set up perfectly in the factory. You can play them right out of the box. With a mesmerizing mahogany neck and spruce top, with an active EQ, the Oscar Schmidt is a decent acoustic electric guitar to begin with.
- Select spruce top
- Catalpa body
- Full scale fretboard
- Active EQ
- Mahogany neck
- Not the best sounding guitars
- Might seem a bit too much considering the end product
Kona K2TBL Acoustic Electric Guitar
The Kona K2 Series Electric Acoustic Guitars has a thin body and is a good cross between an acoustic and electric guitar. Does this make it the perfect crossover instrument for the electric guitarists looking for a true, balanced acoustic sound without a large body adjustment? Yes! Yes, it does. It consists of a sleek body with a low profile dreadnought size. The cutaway body also has an EQ-505 3-Band Active Piezo Pickup System, withencircled Gold Die-Cast Tuners and 2 Gold Strap Pins. It has a spruce top with Transparent Blue Finish. The back and sides are Mahogany and the fret board and bridge are of rosewood. There is a single ply binding on the neck and headstock and 4 ply binding on the body are also present.
- Thin body
- Cutaway body
- EQ-505 3-Band active Piezo Pickup System
- Gold Die-Cast tuners
- Gold Strap Pins
- Spruce Tops
- Mahogany back and sides
- Rosewood fretboard and bridge
- D’Adarrio strings
- High action
- Good resonance
- Transparent blue finish
- 4 ply binding on body and single ply binding on the neck and headstock
- Low-profile dreadnought size
- Frets may have edges
- Only one pin at the bottom
- Fret buzz may happen
- Original strings may be tough
- No built-in tuner
Ovation AB24-5 Acoustic-Electric Guitar
The Ovation Applause Balladeer Ab24-5 Acoustic Electric offers a loud and well-defined voice, smooth playability and great value that make it ideal for beginners and intermediates. It resembles good sound and style. The center sound hole is adorned with the classic Applause Chevron rose pattern. Premium features would include a laminated spruce top for clearly articulate tone and a mid-depth Round back and Lyrachord body for greater volume and protection, brilliant balance and ultimate durability. Quick, easy action and a cool neck profile are also featured. An Ovation OP-4BT pickup system with built in tuner for higher augmented tone and performance is available as well. The guitar is available in black, Honey Burst, Natural, Ruby Red, 12 String Black Kit, 12 String Natural Kit, Black Kit, Honey Burst Kit, Natural Kit and Ruby Red Kit.
- Well defined voice and smooth playability
- Good sound and style
- Sound hole is adorned with a floral pattern
- Laminated spruce top
- Round back and Lyrachord body
- OP-4BT pickup system
- Rosewood Fingerboard
- Nato neck with Satin Finish
- Adjustable truss rod
- Steel strings
- Has a gain instead of a volume knob
- No left handed guitars are made as of yet
Indiana Madison MAD-QTGR Acoustic Electric Guitar
This is probably one of the lightest guitars out there. The Madison quilt top guitars bring together sound, playability, and beauty at an affordable price. These guitars have a lovely flamed finish. There are cream colored binding on the back and sides, and on the top too. The top also has pearl-loidpurfling and pearl-loid diamond markers are there to assist you to navigate your way up and down the neck. The guitar comes in quilted blue, quilted green and quilted tobacco burst.
- Light weight
- Photo quilted Linden top, back and sides
- Sealed diecast tuning machines
- Grand auditorium size body
- Only one attachment site for straps
- Green and blue, not available for left handers
- Not a decent finish
- Less bass due to size
Okay so before you run off to the store to buy yourself the instrument of magical melodies, you need to know a few important details. Hold your horses and don’t jump in.
Unless you are a musician, you will be bombarded with the list of options thrown at you once you walk inside the store. So what we have discussed below here are a list of guitars for beginners to intermediates. In order to learn, you can just get a mediocre guitar for a good sum of money and learn to your heart’s content. Know all about your weapon of choice and then get yourself a tool you do not have to complain about.
We all aim to buy a guitar that sounds beautiful from the first strum. Therefore why not look for one we can start playing right out of the box? With the advancement of technology and guitar-building techniques, we now have multi layer structuring and this helps us achieve an optimum dynamic balance. There are many things to consider when buying your first guitar- the price, the element, the material of the strings, the pickup system, the design, the color, and the list goes on and on. We will talk about a few here. Hope that helps you in picking your poison.
The pickup is usually fitted directly beneath the top board. It functions as a transducer attached to the guitar body. There are usually two main pickups mounted under the saddle. They may often be on the bass and treble sides to capture the vibrations of the entire length of the strings and the body, as well as the sound’s base and treble components. Pickups are laid out in such a way that they achieve clear reproduction of sounds even during high-position soloing.
All that glitters may not be gold, but people do like ogling at shiny objects. Likewise, regardless of a guitar’s features, its shape and size and color does say a lot. A guy with piercings, tattoos and a mohawk will definitely not roam around with a bright pink guitar. Your guitar is your weapon of choice. Then why not buy one that suits your personality? Go over the wide range of colors they have to offer. Guitars come in various shapes and sizes too. Check out their cutaway designs or stunning looks. The design also helps in balancing your guitar. By placing the guitar on your thigh and strapping it over your neck you get a more comfortable position to learn how to play instead of standing and straining your back all day. Also look for what strap goes best with your guitar, the thin ones or the broad ones. There are loads to choose from.
A glossy body also radiates an elegant vibe and makes it seem rich and bright. Every object has to be an eye candy in order to attract customers. Not only are the best acoustic electric guitars a treat to the eyes, but their shapes and sizes also affect their playability and the sound they produce. The best feature is probably in the end pin strap button at times. It is the built-in transducer. Plug in an amp and the transducer works as a microphone, picking up every note as you play.
Design- Most guitars usually have a laminated spruce top, with ply bindings. Spruce is a rich and complex tone wood that begins to breathe and improve with age, just like wine. The more you play, the better it sounds. The ones with a curved rosewood fretboard and mahogany back and sides are also nice to look at and are firm. Smoothness matters a lot. So check for edges among the frets as many guitars do not have a well-polished finishing. Some guitars consist of 12 strings, but since we are mostly referring to newbies, let’s start with design.
While buying a guitar also remember to go for brand names. Some companies have been in the business for decades, if not centuries. They are reliable and trustworthy and have their customers’ best interests at heart, least they should risk their reputations. Therefore try buying from a renowned brand.
Epiphone’s manufacturing dates back to the 1873s, which makes them one of the oldest and most revered instrument makers in America. They have made instruments for every style of popular music. Their name evokes both history and the spirit of invention. From the mandolin craze of the early 1900s to the jazz age guitars of the 1920s, Epiphone has been an audible presence in all the great musical eras. Swing-era archtops, post war pops, jazz, R&B, early rock n’ roll, you name it. From heavy metal to punk, grunge and trash, Epiphone has always managed to deliver. Never was a time when they let their fans down or failed to exceed expectations. And now in the 21st century, they bring back a historic name in a new generation. The rebirth of a legend.
The Yamaha FG has been in business for over 40 years and millions of people have been seen using it as the perfect tool to express their music. FG gained their respect due to their quality, playability, dependability and value. The Yamaha FG has simply been dubbed as one of the bests in its league, since in introduction in 1960. With a combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern guitar-building techniques, the Yamaha FG is a tremendous example of Yahama’s uniqueness.
But then again, there are brands which have taken over the market by supplying a huge number of supplies but of poor quality. Not many people understand that the products are a rip off and end up buying them. Chinese products usually tend to be cheaper and therefore it is probably the best for novice players or for others who have just started gigging or want to plug in straight to an amplifier or a mixing desk. The best acoustic electric guitars are not just appealing to look at but also easy and comfortable to play with. When either strummed or finger picked, while being plugged in, these fantastic guitars produce sweet, acoustic tones of great volume. Hence people end up caving in for such products.
Benefits of Buying the Product
With an acoustic, you would basically play folk, pop or rock songs. You can also go with country music. You create a good rhythm. With an electric you have the opportunity to play rock n’ roll or metal. These two instruments give you the chance to play contradictory genres of music. So say you are a fan of both folk songs and heavy metal. Would it be feasible to buy an acoustic and an electric? Would that be a smart idea? So why not go for something that comprises of both such features. An acoustic electric lets you do both. Remember when I said earlier that it gives you the best of both worlds? Precisely. It also makes things less of a hassle for you. In case of an electric, you would need a microphone to amplify your sounds. But in an acoustic electric you can just plug it in to make your sounds reach the end of the room. You don’t always have to drag around a microphone with you. Just ask someone to bring an amp.
That will do. The electric and acoustic components complement each other. The acoustic guitar provides wonderful resonance and portability. The electric is famous for its high end amplification, effects, accessories and recording gears. This hybrid monster gives you versatility without compromising any quality.
So what else can you do with a guitar other than playing it to get rid of boredom? Yes, you can use it in gigs or when you gather around a campfire, but what else? Turns out young adults, and, in some cases, seniors do love getting a guitar on their birthdays or on any other special occasions. Another great fact is that a guitar is a unisexual tool. Both males and females are known to use it. Know anyone with a birthday coming up soon? Don’t know what to get them? Get them a guitar. They will love you for it.
Frequently Asked Questions
People have a lot of queries they need to discuss before they go off to buy a guitar. Here are some questions which are asked more often than not.
Are guitars only for right handed people?
– No guitars can be for left handed people as well.
Are the strings always of steel?
– No they can be of plastic or nylon as well.
Can you change strings?
– Yes, you can.
What is the difference between exotic wood and spruce top?
– Specific models are made with an exotic wood top, which is typically to give the guitar a unique appearance. These are usually a natural or lighter stain finish to allow the wood grain to be visible. Models which are painted or stained to give a certain colour are made up of spruce tops. Spruce wood, although simple in appearance, offers great tonal qualities for acoustic guitars.
Are strings already on the guitar?
– Yes, they are.
Can I take a guitar on a plane?
– Depends on the airline. They sometimes prefer to send the hard case along with the suitcases. They allow you to bring it with you until the gate and then they take it from there.
Can you play without an amp? How does it sound?
– Yes, you can. It sounds great.
How long does the batteries last?
– Depends on how much you use them. You can always change them if required.
Where do I put the strap on?
– There are strap holders.
How is a guitar tuned?
– You have a tuning machine for it.
Are your fingers going to hurt?
-Yes, at first they will. But don’t get discouraged. You get used to it.
All in all, in order to get the best acoustic electric guitar out there, you just have to go with your instinct and judge precisely what you want. Your guitar is like your best friend, a dog. You do not go out there and replace it. But you simply buy another just for the heck of it, only because you love the one you already have. Remember to try a simple test run before you actually hand over the cash. Check for defects and the finishing.
The world needs more musicians for tomorrow. So grab a guitar. Gather your friends. Start doing gigs. Someday we hope to see you there on the big stage. Buy one of the best acoustic electric guitars and rock your heart out like there’s no tomorrow. Swipe everything under the rug and go buy that guitar and straighten out your life. Because any problem you cannot solve with a good acoustic electric guitar is either unsolvable or not a problem. So go out there and show the world what you have got. And remember, when words fail, music speaks. So get that guitar! Ah 1, 2. Ah 1, 2, 3, 4! GO!!