The 5 Best Acoustic Electric Guitars

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best acoustic electric guitar is, then I’d recommend the Martin D-28E Modern Deluxe Acoustic Electric Guitar as the best one.

Worship music is as synonymous as a guitar. In every song, you hear guitars because the strings can convey a wide variety of emotions into the melody. The most popular guitar in worship songs is an acoustic guitar. Musicians use it to practice and record their songs. And it is also the preferred instrument for tours and travels.

This guitar is also very easy to learn and use. This fretted instrument produces sound via the vibration of its strings upon a hollow chamber in its body. It is also versatile, offering its sounds to everything from classic rock to ballads.

Acoustic electric guitars are in essence acoustic guitars with electronics. These electronic components amplify the natural sounds of the guitar. A regular acoustic guitar and an acoustic electric guitar are the same in their aesthetics. 

An acoustic electric guitar is fitted with pickups. These components transform the vibration of the guitar strings into electrical signals magnified into amplifiers. They also include microphones for the performance. 

An acoustic-electric guitar can be your lifelong partner on stage. It can take the great potential of your music to finer heights.

Here are the Best Acoustic Electric Guitars we will be reviewing:

What are Acoustic Electric Guitars?

Acoustic electric guitars are acoustic guitars designed with electric components. You plug them into a power amp. They boost guitar volume and offer versatility with other instrumentals. So these guitars are ideal for live performances, both individual guitarists and bands. And musicians also use them to record and produce their songs in studios.

Main Types of Acoustic Electric Guitars

When it comes to acoustic electric guitars, they vary in design and string range. The types of acoustic guitars are the same as acoustic electric guitars.

Flat-top Acoustic Electric Guitars

The most common type of acoustic guitar comes with a flat top. They work on all music styles.

Arch-top Acoustic Electric Guitars

These guitars have an arch-top design. They have holes shaped like treble clefs on both sides. These unique holes are called f-holes. You can use them for jazz, blues, and rock music.

12-string Acoustic Electric Guitars

If you’re an advanced guitarist, the 12-string acoustic guitar might be for you. The 12 strings are designed in six pairs. Tuning these strings take a long time because of the string tune differences. The highest strings, the B and E, tune to the same note. But the other four differ by octaves. These guitars are great for rock, country, and pop music. But they are not beginner-friendly. They are sensitive so you cannot play them well when set up wrong.

Benefits of Using Acoustic Electric Guitars

Acoustic electric guitars offer a lot of advantages to the guitarist. You can play live without practical compromise. As you learn to play the guitar, your musical capacities expand. And getting such a guitar is easy because it is relatively affordable.

Lessens the hassle in live performances

Usually, guitarists use a condenser, ribbon, or dynamic microphone during a live performance. But those also work best in quiet recording studios. Live venues are often noisy, with lots of moving around involved. So any external guitar accessories are not suited to performing live in indoor and outdoor venues. If you want less hassle in setting up your performance, invest in an acoustic electric guitar.

Expands your musical capabilities

Unlike other guitars, an acoustic electric guitar expands the musical capacity of your performance. You can take on a wide range of genres. You no longer limit your performance to the volume of the guitar. Nor do you have to worry about the performance post-processing such as equalizing out the sounds of the vocals and instrumentals.

Better for learning to play the guitar

You learn better guitar playing habits with an acoustic electric guitar. This guitar makes it easy for you to see your errors. Then repeat the playing until you no longer make the mistakes.

Affordable

Acoustic electric guitars are not that more expensive than regular acoustic guitars. They can go from around a hundred bucks upwards to a thousand. You can find one that suits you and your budget easily.

How do Acoustic Electric Guitars Work?

Acoustic electric guitars work similarly to standard acoustic guitars. What makes them different are the pickups, preamps, and EQ controls. The pickups transform the guitar string vibrations into electrical signals. The preamps transmit the guitar sounds. They amplify your guitar sounds without using magnets.  

You can also change the EQ controls in this guitar. Note that you should also have power in your venue because the preamp needs electricity to work.

Types of Acoustic Electric Guitar Pickup

Acoustic electric guitars come with different types of pickup systems. They pick up your guitar sound from the string vibrations in varied ways.

Undersaddle piezo

The most common pickup is the piezo which you place under your guitar’s bridge saddle. This pickup finds and sends the string vibrations to the preamp into electric signals. They work noiselessly.

Mic blend

Want to remove the harsh noise from overloaded guitar playing? Get a mic blend pickup system. This system blends with the guitar sound. It also adds a natural vibe to the plugged-in acoustics. But just beware of feedback issues from the mic.

Transducer

Are you a percussive player who likes to tap the body of your guitar while playing? Then a transducer pickup system would work for you. You place inside the guitar to pick up both the guitar string vibrations and your body vibrations. 

Magnetic

You fit it in your guitar’s soundhole so it picks up the string vibrations via a magnetic field. Magnetic pickups come in active or passive, and humbucker or single-coil. They produce a more metallic sound.

Things To Consider When Choosing Acoustic Electric Guitars

Here are the factors to examine when you’re on a hunt for an acoustic electric guitar.

Body Shape and Size

Choose your guitar based on what shape and size fit your body. Prioritize comfort so you don’t compromise your performance.

Smaller guitars provide delicate dynamics and feedback. Larger ones, including symphony and jumbos, sound fuller due to enhanced bass. 

Type of Wood Used

The type of wood that your guitar is made of also plays an integral part in its tone. The most common wood used is spruce. It gives the guitar natural choice, fast feedback, and solid clarity. Cedar is less dense but brings darker tones, warmer and rounder sounds that fingerstyle player like. Mahogany and Sapele woods offer natural and woody sounds. The most expensive guitars are made from Brazilian Rosewood.

Type of Strings

Guitar strings matter because they influence the guitar sound. They form the core of the instrument because their vibrations deliver the sound. Guitar strings come in two types: steel and nylon strings. Nylon strings offer softer volumes and tones, especially for classical and flamenco music. Steel strings, on the other hand, are best for acoustics. Guitars with these strings are popular in many genres from rock to folk music.

Guitar Styles

Consider your guitar playing style. Find the tones you want to play. Search what your favorite musicians use in their performances. Choose the guitar that suits the way you play. 

Preamps

For tone shaping and control, get a preamp with EQ controls. This aspect helps you advance to the next level of guitar playing.

Budget

Lastly, find the guitar that fits within your spending limit. Expensive models offer versatile features. But what matters is that you can play the guitar well. You can always invest in a more advanced guitar when you have the money.

Here are the best acoustic electric guitars for you.

Martin D-28E Modern Deluxe Acoustic Electric Guitar

Are you looking for a professional-sounding guitar? Then the best acoustic electric guitar for you would be the Martin D-28E Modern Deluxe Acoustic Electric Guitar. Martin created this deluxe guitar with exemplary craftsmanship and the latest electronics.

My favorite feature of this acoustic electric guitar is its ergonomic design. It is very easy to play. Martin made the D-28E with the finest woods. The top is Sitka spruce with a gloss coating finish. Martin also used East Indian rosewood for the back and sides. Other captivating parts of its design are its dovetail neck joint, tapered neck, open gold tuners, carbon-fiber bridge plate, and scalloped X-brace. Its dreadnought body style fits the two solid kinds of wood and adds deep, rich sounds to the guitar.

Another excellent feature that I love with this guitar is its clear, crisp sound. It offers a fine rhythm with balanced tones. It has more treble and midrange. But less bass. It delivers powerful tones with Martin’s  Vintage Tone System Fishman Aura HD Imaging technology. As a fingerstyle player, I love using this guitar. Its impressive sustain, overtones, and dynamics help me perform worship music.

Martin created the D-28E as a deluxe guitar that is sturdy enough for long performances with consistent enjoyable playing.

Pros:

  • Bigger sound, including humbucker
  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • Ergonomic design
  • Tones are well-balanced
  • Sturdy hardshell case

Cons:

  • Big and bulky
  • Expensive

Fender American Jazzmaster Acoustic Electric Guitar

Are you looking for a versatile guitar? To take you through intense live performances? The American Acoustasonic Jazzmaster would be a fine choice. Fender created this acoustic-electric guitar with the latest innovations. These include the Fender and Fishman-designed Acoustic Engine.

I love that Fender designed the Jazzmaster with an impressive selection of tones for endless musical possibilities. It can do everything from acoustic shapeshifting to electric rhythm tones.

You can access the acoustics with the guitar fretboard. Overdrive pedals enable a rock sound to blend with earthy fingerpicking. It also works with helpful features such as Master Volume, “Mod” Knob, five-way Switch, Modern Asymmetrical Bridge, and Fender Standard Cast/Sealed Staggered Tuners.

Another fine feature of this guitar is its enjoyable design. The Jazzmaster has a 25 and a half inch Modern “Deep C” Mahogany Neck with Ebony Fretboard. It even has a sturdy hardshell case to carry it during gigs.

For serious guitarists and live band members, the Jazzmaster will be a serious investment.

Pros:

  • Great humbucker
  • Wide range of tones for easy dialing
  • Rich, unplugged sound
  • Ergonomic neck design

Cons:

  • Big and bulky

Little Martin LX1E Acoustic Electric Guitar

Are you a beginner at guitar playing? Then the Little Martin LX1E would be a great instrument to add to your repertoire. Coming from the brand that set the standard for premium string instruments, the L1XE packs a lot of power in its lightweight frame.

Its best feature is its portable, novice-friendly design. Martin created their smallest guitar with a Sitka spruce top and the back and sides have mahogany HPL with a warm satin finish. They are sustainably made, both in sourcing woods and handmade artisan craftsmanship. 

I love its versatility in sonic possibilities. Its enhanced playability includes a natural playing experience with beautiful sounds. You can play everything from rock to jazz with this little acoustic-electric guitar. It works even in long music sessions.

Pros:

  • Flexible in musical styles
  • Beautiful sound
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Lovely smell
  • Beginner-friendly

Cons:

  • Some tuning issues
  • Some fret buzz

Taylor 214ce Deluxe Grand Auditorium Acoustic Electric Guitar

Another beautiful guitar with crisp sound is Taylor’s 214ce Deluxe Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar. It’s a fine all-purpose guitar with an impressive balance of tone.

I love that Taylor made this acoustic-electric guitar with a Sitka spruce top and Indian rosewood back and sides. This guitar has a versatile body shape – midsized between a Dreadnought and Grand Concert. It also comes designed with a small diamond fretboard inlay, Venetian cutaway, and treble-side frets. 

It delivers a versatile selection of clear, well-defined tones. The harmonics and the sound projection are amazing. It suits both strumming and fingerstyle playing techniques. 

Pros:

  • Attractive design
  • Cris, deep sound
  • Easy to play
  • Excellent electronics
  • Sturdy hard case
  • Great customer service

Cons:

  • Narrow nut width
  • Fret buzz
  • Pricey

PRS Paul Reed Smith SE T60E Tonare Acoustic Electric Guitar

Paul Reed Smith SE Acoustics honed its acoustic innovation capacities through many years of experience in the industry. Their acoustic instruments have impeccable workmanship and enjoyable playability. 

Paul Reed Smith created their Tonare Acoustic-Electric Guitar with Solid Spruce wood (top) and Ziricote wood (back and sides). Its cutaway body shape offers a comfy playing. Guitars players can enjoy this guitar with a pick or fingerstyle techniques. 

Another thing to love about this guitar is its tonal versatility. It is very easy to play. It works with Yamaha’s patented SRT2 system. The piezo pickup and mic help you find the right notes from the Elixir NANOWEB 80/20 Bronze Light strings.

Pros:

  • Impressive workmanship
  • Clear, guitar sounds 
  • Incredible sustain effects
  • Topnotch, hardshell case
  • Easy to play

Cons:

  • You need to adjust the saddle for intonation stability

Conclusion

If you want to have a versatile playing experience, get an acoustic-electric guitar. This guitar is an acoustic with electronics. It boosts your guitar’s performance with fuller volumes, harmonics, and consistent stability for live performances.

The best acoustic-electric guitar I’d recommend is the Martin D-28E Modern Deluxe Acoustic Electric Guitar. Its ergonomic design offers enhanced playability. Martin made it with the finest woods, Sitka spruce, and East Indian rosewood. It is sturdy and durable for long hours of music performances. It delivers a powerful range of tones for worship music. So this guitar is the best instrument if you want to enjoy playing with clear, crisp sounds.

Alex Shute
AUTHOR
Alex Shute
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow. In his free time, he enjoys perfecting pour-over coffee, smoking meats, and discovering new cycling routes around Southern California.