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Guitars & Accessories

Best Acoustic Electric Guitar

The acoustic electric guitar combines the best of both worlds for guitar players. On their own, they provide guitarists with a full-on acoustic experience just like any other acoustic guitar does. They can also can be plugged in to an amplifier/speaker during performances or into an audio interface when you’re ready to record. Like any instrument purchase, picking out an acoustic electric guitar is more than just a matter of finding what looks good. We’ve outlined some essentials to consider in our buyer’s guide which you can find below.

Epiphone EJ-200CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The Gibson J-200 has been utilized by a pretty impressive list of acoustic guitarists, including Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and Pete Townshend. With Epiphone’s affordably-designed EJ-200SCE model acoustic-electric guitar, there’s definitely a high standard to meet from the get-go. Luckily, this instrument does a fine job in continuing the legacy. This thing carries a classic look immediately, with a stylish mustache bridge, gold hardware, and fingerboard crown inlays. But this isn’t just a nice-looking acoustic electric guitar

The EJ-200’s jumbo maple body offers deeply warm lows and an overall rich sound. A eSonic2 preamp system is the brain of this operation, offering onboard tone options that are recallable with the flick of a switch. A built-in tuner also makes tuning up extremely easy with this feature automatically muting the signal while engaged, meaning you can quietly make adjustments onstage without subjecting audiences to the ever-familiar “tuning song”.

The Shadow NanoFlex pickup installed under this guitar’s bridge captures string vibration along with top and body vibration, resulting in a more fully-formed acoustic tone. With all of the features included in this guitar, it’s surprising that the price tag is so low, but in situations like this, it’s best not to ask questions and just enjoy the experience!

Martin LX1E Little Martin

Common sense might dictate a guitar that’s smaller-looking than its predecessor will have a similarly smaller sound, but looks can be deceiving. The Martin LX1E Little Martin is what’s commonly referred to as a “travel” guitar, but don’t let that classification step in the way of the facts; this guitar sounds great and could potentially even stand on its own as a primary acoustic instrument, as someone like Ed Sheeran has shown through his use of the guitar in his career.

Taking the same solid Sitka Spruce top build from the design of the Little Martin LX1, this guitar has a bright and balanced tone that's quite a delight to discover. What separates this model from the aforementioned LX1 is the addition of electronics in the form of a Fishman Isys T pickup, which amplifies the signal while sounding great doing so and there's also a convenient built-in tuner. Whether you’re someone who is looking for a quick and easy guitar to grab and travel with (think about saving precious trunk space or overhead compartment airplane storage), providing a beginning acoustic-electric guitar for a child, or just want something that’s small but packs a punch, this is definitely an affordable option that’s bigger than it looks and costs.

Takamine G Series GD10CE-NS

Takamine G Series GD10CE-NS

There are numerous reasons why Takamine’s G Series GD10CE-NS is an ideal choice for beginners who are looking for a great acoustic-electric guitar. One is the instrument’s price tag, which falls way below the type of sound that this guitar offers. Another is the full and balanced sound that comes from its mahogany sides and back and spruce top; you’ll have no issues getting bright and defined sound from both the bass and treble ends of the frequency range. This guitar also comes equipped with a pin-less rosewood bridge which enables players to change strings quickly and easily, a task that can often be frustrating for new guitarists.

The electronics in the GD10CE-NS also offer many features useful to players of all skill levels. The TP-4T preamp system offers an onboard built-in tuner alongside its tone and volume controls. This acoustic-electric guitar is also extremely easy to play, thanks to its slim neck, made from satin-finish mahogany. While it’s definitely a starter’s guitar, it surprisingly delivers on all levels. Close your eyes and you may not be able to even tell the difference between this and a pricier option.

Applause by Ovation AB24-4 Balladeer Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Ovation’s Applause AB24-4 Balladeer acoustic-electric guitar has a stylish design that instantly makes it stand out from other instruments in its peer group. Its stylish headstock houses clean-looking chrome die-cast tuners. The guitar’s laminate spruce top provides a clear and articulate sound that you’ll be able to play with ease, thanks to the satin-finished nato neck and rosewood fretboard; it’s a very easy guitar to play. The AB24-4’s OP-4BT pickup and preamp provides a sound that’s clear and bright, making it easy to just plug and play whether you’re onstage or recording at home or in a studio. The system’s built-in tuner allows you to maintain a well-tuned sound while the mid-depth round back Lyrachord body really allows this guitar to sing, projecting a balanced tone while also making the instrument very durable. True to its title, this Balladeer deserves a round of Applause for all that it brings to the table, especially at such a low price.

Ibanez Talman Series TCM50NT Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Bridging the gap between acoustic guitars and the electric guitar players who want to cross over but still maintain the feel and look of their usual axe, Ibanez offers their Talman TCM50. It’s an instrument that at first glance actually looks like an electric guitar. However, its double cutaway body instantly brings to mind a more “rock and roll” attitude. With a mahogany neck, back, and sides, this acoustic-electric guitar has a warm and deeply rich sound amplified by its on-board electronics.

The Talman TCM50’s AEQ200M 2-band EQ gives players the ability to sculpt their acoustic tone before routing the signal out to an amplifier or interface while the AP2 soundhole pickup projects this sound out. The build of this guitar allows for great sustain and a tone that can often blur the lines between acoustic and electric. It’s got a distinct look and sound that certainly separates it from other acoustic-electric guitars; for that reason alone, guitarists who are interested in finding new sounds and acoustic tones  at a bargain price point would do well to check this instrument out.

Martin HD-28VE Acoustic Electric Guitar

Martin HD-28VE Acoustic Electric Guitar

The lineage of fantastic Martin acoustic guitars goes way back before the existence of the HD-28VE acoustic-electric guitar, but its manufacturers have taken care to ensure that this newer instrument continues to give a nod to the legacy of its past. The HD-28VE is a modern, acoustic-electric update of the HD-28 series, which was itself a nod to the company’s legendary herringbone style 28 guitars.

The HD-28VE still sports that herringbone trim top, which when coupled with the traditional zigzag backstrip, gives this axe a classic and esteemed appearance that properly signifies just how great it actually sounds. The HD-28VE’s Sitka spruce top and rosewood back and sides contribute to a tone that is rich and full. That sound is only enhanced by the company’s scalloped X-bracing, which allows the sound to vibrate more freely and subsequently produces a louder and more resonant tone.

On the electronic side of things, a Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend pickup offers the detailed and nuanced sound this guitar deserves. And with a limited life-time warranty and hard-shell case included with purchase, you’ll never have to worry about damaging what’s sure to soon become the latest addition to your guitar family.

Taylor 614ce Electric Acoustic Guitar

The Taylor 614ce First Edition ushers in the company’s re-voiced maple 600 series, which aims to bring the bright tone of the guitar’s maple build to an even warmer and richer place, thanks to some refinements in the way that the instrument is built. Protein glues have been implemented to improve the transfer of tone between the key wood components of the guitar, and a maple-specific back-bracing profile enhances the responsiveness. Additionally, a torrefaction roasting process has been applied to the Sitka spruce top, which improves the resonant sound and response of the guitar.

The Expression System 2 electronics in the 614ce First Edition bring a clear and rich sound to the amplification of this instrument, thanks to a behind-the-saddle design of the piezo technology. The location of three individually calibrated pickup sensors gives a wider range of dynamics and provides a tone that is more accurate and can create sounds which are out of this world. This signal is able to be tweaked and improved upon further thanks to volume and control knobs. There’s also a preamp whose gain structure comes in at a hotter signal than previous designs, allowing players to get quicker results after plugging in to a mixer.

Gibson Montana SJBDVSGH1 Dylan Players Edition Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Handcrafted with premium tonewoods and components in Bozeman, Montana, Gibson’s Bob Dylan SJ-200 Player’s Edition acoustic-electric guitar provides a big sound and a stunning appearance that will appeal to acoustic players of all kinds. This guitar is modeled after Dylan’s classic SJ-200 acoustic guitar, and one of the first things that will catch your attention is the dual engraved tortoise pickguards adorning the guitar’s face.

This elegance continues over to other aspects of the instrument, including the mother-of-pearl Bella Voce inlays on the rosewood fretboard as well as a Vintage Sunburst finish on the neck, back, sides, and soundboard; this is truly something one can just sit back and admire. Add gold Keystone hardware and a classic rosewood 4-bar inlay Moustache bridge, and this is something that you’ll almost be afraid to pick up, because it just looks that good.

Beyond its impressive looks, this guitar needs to be able to capably play the songs of Dylan in order to live up to its name, and man, does this baby deliver. The LR Baggs Anthem pickup perfectly captures a clean and dynamic sound from this guitar, and takes care to avoid any kind of feedback or other mishaps which sometimes occur when attaching a microphone of any kind to a bellowing acoustic instrument. This guitar also comes with a certificate of authenticity, and a Custom Shop hardshell case to protect your investment.

Martin OMJM John Mayer Special Edition Electric Acoustic Guitar

John Mayer’s first collaboration with Martin, the limited edition OM-28JM John Mayer Signature Edition, quickly sold out after being released to the public. Recognizing the demand and need for the sound and playability of this impeccable instrument, the singer/songwriter and guitar company teamed again for the OMJM John Mayer Special Edition, taking all of the great features of the OM-28JM but making it more affordable and more widely available.

Solid Engelmann spruce comprises the top of this acoustic-electric guitar, bringing a rich and full sound enhanced by a specially designed hybrid bracing. The back and sides are built from East Indian rosewood which makes for smooth and harmonically pleasing overtones. The low profile shape of the Spanish cedar neck makes fretting particularly easy, which comes in handy if you’re going to be playing chord shapes similar to Mayer himself, who often is able to pull off some mind-bogglingly challenging stretches with his hands.

A Martin Gold Plus electronics system factory installed in the guitar provides an amplified sound which remains true to the acoustic tone this guitar creates. And of course, this unique specimen is also marked by John Mayer’s signature (made out in pearl) between the 19th and 20th frets on the African ebony fingerboard, a classy touch to an instrument that is already a marvel to hold and hear.

Martin D-45E Retro Acoustic Guitar

Martin D-45E Retro Acoustic Guitar

If you were to play a Martin D-45E Retro with your eyes closed, it would be difficult to tell the difference between this new instrument in your hands and a classic, vintage sound of a guitar several decades old. That’s because Martin’s Retro series is dedicated to capturing the sounds of the past, an endeavor that is aided by the company’s faithful attention to detail in choosing the same tone woods used on the original models on this acoustic-electric guitar. The forward-shifted scalloped X-bracing on the D-45E Retro provides a warmer bass response, as the top is able to vibrate more freely.

 The Fishman F1 Aura Plus electronics offer a variety of sounds and options should you choose to plug this thing in. In addition to onboard EQ, compression, and feedback suppression, this dynamic sound system also allows guitarists to choose from a wide range of acoustic model sounds, use the under-saddle pickup, or even blend the two for a combined sound. A built-in tuner is also added into the mix, and is even accessible when the guitar is not plugged in, meaning no matter where you go, you’ll be able to tune up in seconds.

While built-in tuners and acoustic modeling presets may seem out of step with the way that things used to be in the golden age, all of these features have been lovingly crafted and implemented in a way that only furthers the sounds of yesterday, all while making it easier to do what you want to do when you pick up a guitar.

Martin GPC12PA4 12-String Acoustic Electric Guitar

The first thing to consider when looking at Martin’s GPC12PA4 12-string acoustic-electric guitar is its high performance neck, which only makes sense since this axe is a part of the company’s Performing Artists series. Made with 14-frets and fast action, this slim profile neck is a lot easier to play than one might expect from an acoustic 12-string. A Sitka spruce top and sapele back/sides give this instrument a rich and warm acoustic tone, something only furthered by the excellent electronics built into the guitar.

Fishman F1 Analog electronics provide a simple, no-frills electric component to the GPC12PA4. You’ve got a tuner, a tone/volume control, and phase controller which suppresses feedback if the guitar is turned up super loud. Alternately, this feature also works to improve the response of bass frequencies when the guitar is being played at a quieter volume. This guitar also comes with a hardshell case, which will enable you to travel with your 12-string without worrying about doing damage to the instrument.

Taylor 150e Dreadnought 12 String Acoustic Electric Guitar

A 12-string acoustic instrument is going to sound rich and layered from the get go, so it’s good to see that Taylor has put special care into making sure their 150e acoustic-electric is designed to further enhance this aural characteristic.

Firstly, its Dreadnought body shape produces a balanced tone throughout, with brisk highs and full-sounding lows. This duality allows this instrument to shine as both a rhythmic instrument (lush strumming patterns) as well as a lead (picked single notes that are harmonized thanks to the 12 strings). The all-magnetic Expression System built in the 150e delivers an unadulterated acoustic sound that is unmistakably Taylor, from the second you plug this acoustic-electric guitar in.

There isn’t much by way of tone/sound control on this thing, being just a volume knob as well as knobs for bass and treble. But you won’t need to do much sound sculpting when you’ve got an instrument that already sounds so beautiful on its own. And with a price that falls into the below $700 range, this guitar is simply too good to pass up.

Guild Westerly Collection F-1512E 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

In many ways, Guild’s F-1512E represents a colliding of worlds. Firstly, the 12-string takes the classic Guild tone and connects it with technology to connect the sound of yesterday to the modern era. The model also connects two of Guild’s specialties (jumbo guitars and 12-strings), and fuses them into one unbeatable hybrid.

The jumbo body shape already produces a full and resonant tone on its own, but adding the harmonic complexity of a 12-string into the mix, and the F-1512E really sings. A solid Sitka spruce top helps further the projection of this instrument, one that not only looks good but increases the guitar’s tonal balance and harmonics as years go by, so it’s definitely not a bad investment.

The pickup system, a Fishman Sonolite, provides a dynamic and accurate transmission of this natural acoustic tone, and also comes equipped with tone controls located inside the guitar’s sound hole. Finally, a deluxe hardshell case keeps this guitar safe from any threats or weathering that the outside world might throw your way.

Taylor 556ce12-String Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Taylor 556ce is designed to provide a bigger and bolder experience in all the areas where it counts. Its Grand Symphony body shape allows this acoustic-electric 12-string to ring out for longer periods of time and with far richer, balanced tones. The highs are bright and crisp, the lows are deep and bass-driven, and the guitar just gets louder overall. The guitar’s Venetian cutaway not only provides a stylish distinction in terms of how this axe looks, but also makes the playing experience more comfortable to hold and sit with.

The Expression System 2 pickups amplify the naturally warm acoustic sound of the guitar without diluting the signal or taking away from the greatness the body itself produces. You won’t find much onboard to muck up the clear translation either. There’s simply a volume knob and controls for bass and treble. The Taylor Deluxe brown hardshell case that comes with this instrument maintains the classic look of the guitar, while also effectively protecting it from damage.

Gretsch G5022CWFE Rancher Falcon 12-String Acoustic Electric Guitar

Yes, Gretsch’s G5022CWFE-12 Rancher Falcon Jumbo 12-String Cutaway acoustic-electric is definitely different in all the ways that you’d want it to be, but they haven’t sacrificed sound quality or playability just to stand out in the crowd as far as looks go. For starters, the pickguard is stylish and unlike most that you’ll see on other acoustic instruments. Meanwhile, the soundhole forgoes the whole “has to be a circle” dogma and instead opts to take on a unique triangular shape.

The solid spruce top is reinforced by scalloped X-bracing, and gives this instrument a balanced tone that also projects with ease, meaning this guitar sounds great as soon as you sit down and strum it. A Fishman Sonicore under-saddle pickup works in conjunction with the Isys+ preamp system to drive that tone to beyond, offering other amenities including an onboard tuner, battery life indicator, as well as volume, tone, and phase controls.

If you really need further indications this guitar is a veritable rocking instrument, look no further than the neo-classic “thumbnail” fretboard inlays, the gold-plated hardware, and the ultimately badass V-shaped matching white painted falcon headstock. Come on, anytime you can include a falcon into a prestigious acoustic instrument, you’ve obviously mastered the ability to rock out yet still do so with class and care.

Martin DRS2 Road Series Acoustic Guitar

When you’re following in the long tradition of fantastic Martin guitars, you don’t need to necessarily reinvent the wheel in order to come with a quality product. Martin has taken this philosophy to hear with their DRS2 acoustic-electric guitar, as there aren’t many bells and whistles that necessarily will make it stand out amongst others in its peer group. But on the other hand, a guitar offering a sound and feel like this instantly puts it in the upper echelon of instruments.

Sitka spruce comprises the top of this axe, while the sides and back are made of solid sapele, resulting in a bright, warm, and beautiful acoustic tone that makes this one a winner. The neck on the DRS2 is classified as a modified low oval, which means that it’s extremely unobtrusive as an extension of the guitar. In fact, you’ll hardly notice it’s even there, as you seamlessly hold and play it without even the slightest form of discomfort, even after hours of jamming.

A Fishman Sonitone system is driven by a Sonicore pickup which provides that classic piezo sound when you plug this guitar in. There are two tone control knobs to make adjustments to the EQ of your signal, but with source material that sounds this good, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to do much tone tweaking, anyway.

Paul Reed Smith SE Angelus Standard Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Paul Reed Smith electric guitars are immediately identifiable by their distinctive look, particularly in their headstock shape and bird inlays adorning the fretboard; those are just the first things you’ll notice when examining the company’s SE Angelus Standard acoustic-electric guitar. The sounds this guitar produces on its own are varied enough that it’s a worthy axe to take on a variety of styles, whether you’re playing folk, rock, jazz, or anything in between. This tone is achieved through the guitar’s solid Sitka spruce top and its mahogany back and sides, along with the PRS X-brace/classical hybrid bracing, which gives this axe great resonant sustain.

The electronics in the SE Angelus Standard also wave the flag for the PRS brand. The pick-up system is an under-saddle design, providing three bands of EQ to allow guitarists to meticulously craft their tone to their liking. An anti-feedback loop also ensures you won’t have any rude surprises when getting set up on stage after plugging this acoustic-electric guitar in. Throw in a hardshell case to protect this fine piece of work, and there’s really no reason for guitarists who love the care and attention Paul Reed Smith puts into their products to not check out what they have to offer on the acoustic side of things.

Taylor 214ce-DLX Deluxe Grand Auditorium Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Taylor’s number-one guitar design has been its Grand Auditorium body shape, which allows for a sharp and dynamic high-end tone. With the 214ce DLX, Taylor continues to wave the Grand Auditorium banner in an acoustic-electric guitar perfect for a variety of environments and uses. The body shape also sharpens the definition of the instrument’s notes, so whether you’re doing intricate fingerpicking or strumming away like a madman, this guitar is going to sound awesome.

The Taylor Expression System 2 pickup system is seamlessly integrated into the 214ce DLX, with three sensors placed behind the guitar’s saddle and through its bridge. From there, you have the option to alter your signal via the onboard tone controls. The small diamond fingerboard inlay on this ebony fretboard gives this guitar an exceptionally striking look, as does the layered rosewood that comprises this guitar’s back and sides.

Yamaha A3R Natural 6-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

With the A3R acoustic-electric guitar, Yamaha has provided a high-end instrument that is way more affordable than one might think it would be. The dreadnought body style of this guitar truly embodies what acoustic players have come to love about their instrument. This guitar really projects and resonates seamlessly, and it only gets better as you play it more aggressively. The solid Sitka spruce top and rosewood back and sides give this guitar a particularly bright and resonant sound. There’s also a mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard which darken the tone a bit to create more of a balance. The neck profile on this axe makes it extremely comfortable to play, too.

If you’re going to build an instrument that sounds so great and balanced on its own, it would be a shame to lose that sound in the translation process that occurs when the signal is routed out electronically. Luckily, Yamaha dodges that bullet with ease, thanks to the SRT electronics system built into the A3R. The technology implemented into this pickup system carefully analyzes the sound of each string and re-creates a sound that picks up on all the subtle nuances of your playing, so you never have to worry about sounding thin or “plugged in”, even when you are actually plugged in! The preamp controls in the system also allow you to customize your sound to best fit your playing environment, whether you’re onstage solo, playing in a band, or recording in the studio.

Martin OMJM John Mayer Special Edition Electric Acoustic Guitar

John Mayer’s first collaboration with Martin, the limited edition OM-28JM John Mayer Signature Edition, quickly sold out after being released to the public. Recognizing the demand and need for the sound and playability of this impeccable instrument, the singer/songwriter and guitar company teamed again for the OMJM John Mayer Special Edition, taking all of the great features of the OM-28JM but making it more affordable and more widely available.

Solid Engelmann spruce comprises the top of this acoustic-electric guitar, bringing a rich and full sound enhanced by a specially designed hybrid bracing. The back and sides are built from East Indian rosewood which makes for smooth and harmonically pleasing overtones. The low profile shape of the Spanish cedar neck makes fretting particularly easy, which comes in handy if you’re going to be playing chord shapes similar to Mayer himself, who often is able to pull off some mind-bogglingly challenging stretches with his hands.

A Martin Gold Plus electronics system factory installed in the guitar provides an amplified sound which remains true to the acoustic tone this guitar creates. And of course, this unique specimen is also marked by John Mayer’s signature (made out in pearl) between the 19th and 20th frets on the African ebony fingerboard, a classy touch to an instrument that is already a marvel to hold and hear.

Buyer's Guide


Acoustic Electric Guitar Buyer's Guide

Although acoustic electric guitars can be plugged into speakers or recording devices like their electric counterparts, it’s important to recognize acoustic electric guitars are their own specific type of instrument. For one, they’re built differently than regular acoustics; unlike electric guitars relyingh on pickups to transmit audio signal, acoustic electric guitars most often use a compact piezoelectric microphone attached to the guitar body to pick up the sounds. Here are some other factors to consider when buying an acoustic electric guitar.

Acoustic Electric Guitar Parts

There are different parts that comprise an acoustic electric guitar, and each part can be made from a different type of wood. The top, back, neck, and sides are generally regarded as the most important parts of the body; meanwhile, the fretboard, bridge, and binding also play a significant (if not slightly less important) role in shaping the sound and tonality.

The neck is one of the more easily identifiable pieces of the acoustic electric guitar. This area is where the instrument is held, it houses the frets that enable players to play notes, and it obviously also displays the strings.

Intonation is the system by which an acoustic electric guitar’s notes play in tune as the player moves up the fretboard of the neck. Without proper intonation, a guitar won’t stay in tune and is useless for both live performance and recording.

An acoustic electric guitar’s rosette is a stylized inlay located near the sound hole of the instrument. While the rosette has little to no impact of the sound of an acoustic guitar, it does change the visual appearance and character of the instrument.

The bridge is the small wooden piece located directly below the sound hole of an acoustic electric guitar. This piece anchors the strings and transfers their vibration to the soundboard of the instrument.

An acoustic electric guitar’s frets are the small metal strips dividing the neck and fretboard into smaller sections. These frets are carefully measured into half-step increments and consequently enable guitarists to play different notes on their instrument.

The fingerboard is also referred to as the fretboard. It’s the piece glued to the face of the neck and houses the frets divided by half-step increments.

Tuning Keys
The tuning keys are the small knob-like pieces located at the top of the acoustic electric guitar on the instrument’s headstock. By tightening and loosening the tuning keys, guitarists raise or drop the pitch of the strings, effectively tuning the guitar.

The headstock is located at the top of the guitar. Its primary function is to hold the tuning keys.

Machine head
A machine head is an alternate term for the tuning key. These are also sometimes referred to as tuning pegs or tuners.

An acoustic electric guitar’s binding is utilized to compliment the look of the instrument’s body, neck, and/or headstock. Typically comprised of wood or plastic, this component doesn’t do much to affect the sound of the guitar, but gives it stylized character.

As its name implies, the pickguard is designed to help protect the body of the acoustic electric guitar from any wear-and-tear that would occur from strumming and picking at strings. It is located below the soundhole.

An acoustic electric guitar’s finish is another name for the final coating that is applied to the surface of the instrument.

Wood Type

The kind of wood that a guitar is made of has a two-fold effect – it obviously makes a difference in the physical appearance of the instrument, but can also alter the sound/tone of an acoustic electric guitar. As a rule of thumb, the denser the wood type, the warmer the tone of the instrument will be. Conversely, thinner wood leads to a brighter overall sound.

Cedar tends to produce a brighter and more trebly tone. Because of its quick response, many players who favor fingerstyle picking prefer to play cedar tonewood instruments.

Spruce is generally regarded as the standard for acoustic electric guitar tops. It provides excellent resonance and is responsive to a high velocity of sound.

Mahogany and kao emphasize more of the mid-range/low-end side of the spectrum when it comes to acoustic electric guitar sounds. Its “punchy” tone has made it an ideal choice for country and blues players.

Maple has a low response rate and internal damping, so it is generally only used for the side and back of acoustic electric guitars, as opposed to the top. Its dry and high-end favoring tone makes it an excellent axe for musicians playing live with other instruments, as it tends to cut through the mix with greater ease than other types of acoustic electric guitars.

Rosewood provides strong mid and high tones and is one of the more popular woods used on acoustic electric guitars. With a strong attack and sharp resonance, it is also used frequently for bridges and fretboards.

Body Style

Just as regular acoustic guitars are built in a variety of body shapes and styles, acoustic electric guitars often follow the same format. Most acoustic electrics can be categorized into one of four body type categories: parlor, classical, Dreadnought, and concert/full size.

The Concert style concert, commonly referred to as a full-size, is generally regarded as the standardized size for adult-size acoustic guitars. They provide a good range of tones, although the Dreadnought style guitar is more adept at handling lower, bass tones; this is because it is the largest of guitar styles and features a large and deep body.

Parlor style guitars are smaller than concert style guitars and easier to transport.  One of the biggest differences for classical guitars and the other types of guitars is the fact that they use nylon strings instead of steel strings. They’re also designed for a fingerpicked style and subsequently produce a very different sound than the other kinds – much warmer, and better suited for styles such as flamenco and, of course, classical.  Classical guitars also have a wider fretboard than any other type of guitar.


While most acoustic electric guitars amplify their sound using a compact piezoelectric microphone attached to the body of the guitar, they also employ other features working to produce the final sound. These models require a preamplifier that amplifies the audio signal before routing to an outside speaker like an amplifier or a PA. This device is built into the guitar’s body as well, and also allows players to adjust parameters such as volume, EQ, and tone.

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