Often forgotten when it comes to in-depth reviews, the best acoustic electric guitars can be pretty tricky to find. Guitarists often know what they’re looking for when it comes to a standard electric or acoustic guitar, but there are some additional things to look out for when it comes to the fusion of the two.
The good news right now is that you’re truly spoiled for choice when it comes down to acoustic electrics. There are the higher-tier instruments, often made by companies like Martin, Guild or Taylor, designed with carefully selected woods to delicately balance their response across the frequency spectrum.
But it’s worth remembering that some of the more moderately priced electro-acoustics these days have come incredibly close to those high standards, at sometimes under a quarter of the cost. Here’s our guide to the best acoustic electric guitars to help find the right one for you…
Acoustic Electric Guitars Prices
Acoustic electric guitars start around $100. At this price, you see many entry-level bundles that include essential accessories. The idea at this range is to get you everything you need to begin playing on a tight budget.
As you move into the $200 to $300 price range, the focus falls more on the instrument. You find fewer bundles and more name-brand guitars with a higher level of craftsmanship. Moving beyond the $300 price range, you will find acoustic electric guitars for individuals who are serious about music. These guitars are durable, finely tuned instruments that, with proper care, should hold up well for a lifetime of playing.
5 Best Acoustic Electric Guitars 2021:
Yamaha might not be considered one of the more luxury brands of the acoustic world, but time and time again they’ve managed to deliver instruments that appeal to the ear as much as they do the wallet. The FGX820C models, for example, might not look like much at first glance but anyone that’s picked one up will attest to their sheer volume and resonance.
The mahogany back and sides add warmth to the solid spruce top punch, making for an incredibly wide sound with Yamaha’s under-saddle piezo pickup and System66 analog preamp ensuring it all translates fully when plugged in. There’s also a chromatic tuner, an adjustable mid-range control and 3-band EQ for total control in just about any live environment.
- Excellent value for money
- On-board tuner, mid boost/cut and EQ controls
- Slightly unassuming to look at
The Martin LX1E is proof that size doesn’t always matter when it comes to an acoustic-electric guitar. The tone offered by this acoustic-electric guitar is so good because of a combination of a solid Sitka spruce top, mahogany high-pressure laminate back and sides, as well as a satin finish.
These high-grade materials give this guitar a very smooth sound. The small size makes it convenient to take out and about – perhaps to the park or beach – but it doesn’t stifle the volume that you can get out of it. Of course, smaller hands gain easier playability thanks to the size too.
It is undoubtedly one of the best acoustic-electric guitars around because of its small size, high-quality materials, and warm, powerful tone.
- Warm, powerful tone
- Made from sustainable wood
- Easier to play for small hands
- Definitely an expensive option
If you want a budget acoustic electric guitar with all the projection and resonance of a dreadnought, it’s hard to top the Epiphone Hummingbird PRO.
This vintage-inspired dreadnought takes cues from Epiphone’s ‘60s heritage, but updates it with all the amenities you’d expect from the best acoustic electric guitars today.
Visually, the Hummingbird PRO is one of the most arresting acoustic electric guitars that you’ll find anywhere. The faded cherry finish paired with the decorated pickguard and parallelogram inlays creates a stunning guitar that’s sure to turn heads.
Underneath that finish, you also get some great tonewoods for the price. This guitar combines a solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides for a punchy, mid-range focused sound that cuts through live mixes well. The mahogany neck with Epiphone’s SlimTaper “D” shape and pau ferro fretboard keep it smooth and comfortable to play.
The onboard Fishman Sonitone pickup provides a durable, affordable preamp system that gets the job done. With soundhole controls for volume and tone, you can tweak your output while playing live as well.
- Breathtaking tones all round
- LR Baggs pickup system is faultless
- Beautiful faded cherry finish that stands out from the pack
- One of the more expensive options
Starting off this list, we have an affordable acoustic electric guitar by the most well-known guitar brand – Fender. Fender is known for their electric guitars like Strats and Teles, they have been producing acoustic guitars for a while now.
Although they weren’t able to catch up to brands like Martin or Taylor in terms of high-end acoustic guitars, Fender has been steadily producing well-made affordable and mid-range priced acoustic guitars. The Fender FA-135CE is a versatile, all-around acoustic electric guitar that offers solid construction and warm sound. Considering the build quality, the price of this guitar is quite unbelievable.
This guitar is recommended to anyone looking for an acoustic electric guitar under $500 and is looking for extreme value. This guitar will serve you well.
Fender FA-135CE is a solid, all-around acoustic electric guitar by the legendary company Fender with a warm sound.
- Incredibly versatile and innovative
- Covers more tones than virtually any other acoustic out there
- Might be too daring for some
Entry-level guitars have no right sounding this good! When you’re looking for a beginner option, you’re looking for something that will encourage you to keep picking it up. At this stage of your playing career, you don’t need to spend lots of money.
You do, however, need to keep in mind that if the guitar you’re learning on sounds terrible, or is hard to play, then you’ll likely give up. The market is awash with sub-$100 own-brand acoustics, however proceed with one of these at your peril.
Instead, consider a reliable acoustic like the Epiphone DR-100. Built by one of the guitar world’s biggest brands, the DR-100 is an entry-level acoustic with the feel of something far more prestigious. Here you can expect solid tones, reliability and a guitar that will inspire you to keep playing it. Forget the low price. This is a well-made guitar that will set you up nicely for the musical journey ahead.
- Great sound
- Quality belies the price
- Neck is a joy to play
- Not much for the price
Best Acoustic Electric Guitars: Buying Guide
Buying a new acoustic guitar is a big and exciting step. In an ideal world, you’re making an investment in something that will define your sound, style and playing experience for years. So it’s important to make sure what you buy is right for you.
On that note, there are a few questions you need to answer before you commit. Are you looking for something to help you progress as a player, for example? Alternatively, perhaps you’ve been playing for a few years already and you’re looking to get to the next level with your next instrument.
Acoustic guitars, while largely the same on paper, do offer significantly different experiences the more you spend. Entry-level acoustics tend to be less robust and, if we’re being honest, aren’t as easy to play as a higher-end model.
The action – the height the strings sit from the fingerboard – is usually higher, making them harder to play. Sometimes this can be solved by paying for a good setup, but by that stage, you might have ended up paying over the odds.
Tips To Buy An Acoustic Electric Guitar
If we put it out in a simple way, when an acoustic guitar is partially modified for plugging into a power Amp, it is called an acoustic electric guitar. Many guitarists prefer to use acoustic-electric guitars for recordings, stage performances and more.
Unlike an acoustic guitar, the acoustic-electric ones offer more volume and control features and that is why they are so popular among professionals.
There are not much difference between these two guitar types. If you play an electro-acoustic guitar without any electronics, it will sound just like an acoustic guitar.
Are you looking for good suggestions to pick the best acoustic-electric guitar under $100. Then, you may go through the below buying guide to police your knowledge about acoustic-electric guitars.