Best Acoustic Electric Guitars

15 Best Acoustic Electric Guitars – Complete Buyer Guide

Music! They say music heals the soul, and I say music is life. I have to confess, I love music to death. Reason being; after that stressful schedule, all I have to do is tune into my best genre, and the soothing can go on and on. An acoustic guitar happens to play me that infectious music. In fact, a week can’t elapse before I create some time for my guitar.

It’s crazy, right? Well, that is my secret way to connect to the other world of music. I might not be a renowned musician, though, and I’m not into staging either, but playing guitar can be for personal indulgence or to entertain others.

Well, if you love playing guitar like me, to get the most from a quality guitar, sometimes it’s a personal gut feeling. It can be your inside world taste of music that you want to compliment, by getting the best acoustic electric guitar, that will execute what exactly is in your mind.

I take you through a quick fruitful journey, on how you can get that guitar. It should be less strenuous for you to choose what you adore, from the many brands out there.

So, you want a guitar that badly? It’s alright, one thing for sure; you will find acoustic electric guitars available in different tone woods, material designs, body style, action, neck size, tuners pickups, and unique styles of craftsmanship.

But in the process, don’t be surprised to find yourself trapped into preamps at some point. Whether you are new to playing guitar or been there done it for quite a while. Whichever is the case, chances are, what my best acoustic electric guitar is, might not be necessarily your best or what you need.

So, identify your lifestyle, music style or both and go for what exactly you are looking for. Remember; don’t let the price keep you a step away from the quality sound you want when settling for your playable acoustic electric guitar of your interest.

But strike a balance between your budget and the limit price you can go for.

Recommended Best Acoustic Electric Guitars

Having gone through what you need to understand about features, types and what goes into selecting the best guitar. Making that choice to close in, on one or so, can be a hell of a task.

Of course, brands are commanding a reputation in the market like Fender, Ibanez, Ovation, Yamaha and even Seagull, but the truth of the matter is, it settles down to what is perfect for you.

Well, after messing up with my pitches with quite a number, even though I succeeded in producing the best songs, my research ended up with these top brands in the guitar industry; an accolade to many luthiers.

1. Martin Road Series DRS1 Guitar

1. Martin Road Series DRS1 Guitar

Since 2001, never has the guitar industry ever remained the same, thanks to the invention of this top class acoustic electric guitar.

This one durable body design, made of solid sapele, to embrace the best quality of sound that you need.

It comes with a well-crafted top, back and sides, for a solid shape to help you achieve the most of your resonance and projection. Are you that guitarist always on the move?

Well, you will find this a stylish acoustic electric guitar design, for quite some bold show-off. Martin Road Series DRS1 Guitar made of multi laminate Strata bond, be rest assured you have the most rigid and long lasting guitar in the industry.

The fingerboard and belly bridge might tempt you to think it’s ebony. The DRS1 has a fishman sonitone, to ensure your sound reinforcement is superbly awesome. It comes with a preamp too for volume and tone control.

Worried about power system? Relax, expect a 9-volt battery system with an end-pin jack for the best power supply to run see you through the entertainment, smoothly.

Pros

  • Has an elegant, superb finish
  • Light in weight for easier and long period portability
  • Nice low oval neck shape
  • Has a solid / standard headstock taper
  • Excellent fingerboard position
  • Comes with chrome enclosed buttoned tuning machines
  • Superior paper label
  • The electronics are Fishman Sonitone
  • Has a safety hard shell case

Cons

  • Has no binding

2. Takamine GN93CE-NAT Nex Guitar

Takamine GN93CE-NAT Nex Cutaway Guitar

I just like taking a look at the design and intelligent finish of this acoustic-electric guitar. It is one sleek and curvaceous NEX-style body that has a solid top, dedicated construction for that unique sound.

It has a solid spruce top, the sides are rosewood and maple back is an elegant 3-piece rosewood cover. The neck is a stylish mahogany.

For those of us who like stunning looks of guitars, you have it all in one Takamine GN93CE-NAT Nex Cutaway. Expect high top class performance for the best of your time.

Playability of a guitar, is everything to the best sound, you will be thrilled by its fingerboard, meant to provide you that great feeling as you go about rubbing the strings to climax to the right intonation.

You stand a chance to be sorted, courtesy of its preamp system with an in-built tuner, 3-band equalizer, controls, notch filter and versatile switches for the best of your pitching.

Pros

  • Has a great maple body, neck and headstock binding
  • Elegant rosewood head cap
  • Gold diecast tuners
  • Beautiful gloss finish

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with case

3. Dean Exotica Cocobolo Guitar

Dean Exotica Cocobolo Guitar

I had to beg my brother to give it back to me when I was doing my sampling with my favorite luthier. Its outlook is eye catchy, thanks to its detailed design.

Spoil yourself a little bit to the music, with the Dean Exotica Cocobolo’s great craftsmanship, meant to provide you with quality sound and effective performance.

We love those guitar necks that leave a mark. It has a mahogany neck, able to last long, a bound 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, so you don’t have to worry about the sound produced and guitarists stand a chance to enjoy its stunning finish, that complements the ultimate style.

Be assured the controllable sound can be heard from a distance away, with much clarity.

Pros

  • Powerful Aphex Aural Exciter preamp with Big Bottom circuitry
  • Comes with a great under-the-saddle piezo pickup
  • Has fine control tuners
  • Durable and quality Cocobolo Top, Set Neck and Chrome Hardware

Cons

  • It is not a solid top guitar

4. Yamaha FGX720SC Solid To Guitar

Yamaha FGX720SC Solid To Guitar

Are you into great functionality when it comes to acoustic electric guitars? If yes is the answer, the Yamaha FGX720SC Solid To, is the perfect for you.

You can’t wait to stand a chance to enjoy its adjustable midrange frequency control effects plus its built-in chromatic tuner.

For more flexible sound control, it has a preamp system that you can rest assured will not let you down in any of your events. It comes too, with a 3-band accommodation EQ. This means you stand to benefit from diverse versatility for tailoring your best sound.

Your band mates will be thrilled by its hi-gloss finish. This is why the Yamaha FGX720SC Solid To, is the outstanding choice for those who want to throw in a little bit of fashion.

Pros

  • Quality material construction
  • Has great die-cast tuners
  • Comes with built-in tuner and a system 55T Piezo Pickup
  • Stunning finishing

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with two-strap buttons

5. Jameson Blue Full-Size Thinline Guitar

Jameson Blue Full-Size Thinline Guitar

Have you ever been a fanatic of high-gloss finish when it comes to guitars? With the Jameson, Blue Full Size Thinline, that is exactly what you get.

The functions are out of this world. It comes with a superb fingerboard for the variety of your sound needs and tuning pegs plus enclosed die cast gears.

This means you can make adjustment to the intonation that strikes your beat is at your fingertips. The body is rosewood with a Nato top, Spurce Truss Rod and a Yes Pickup, you never have to doubt whether your guitar is versatile enough for every tone and pitch.

Pros

  • Comes with a high gloss top finish
  • Made of quality Rosewood
  • Suitable for newbies and the seasoned
  • Comes with a free gig bag case
  • Has diecast tuners and built-in equalizers

Cons

  • It doesn’t use batteries

6. Fender CD-140SCE Guitar

Fender CD-140SCE Guitar

Never has the guitar industry been such creative, thanks to the Fender CD-140SCE.

If you plan to make the next weekend stop at your neighborhood gig, check into the next concert run or practice some sessions, this is an acoustic-electric guitar you can count on.

It embraces an excellent sound system, with diversity of most genres play. The Fender CD-140SCE credited for its dreadnought cutaway shape, and that stands out.

It is a natural or edgy black finish for the versatility of your lifestyle. You will find the solid spruce top, fashionable with nice laminated mahogany back and sides.

Pros

  • Comes with an onboard preamp
  • Has a tuner
  • Great volume and tone controls
  • Rosewood bridge with a graph Tech Nubone saddle
  • Easy plug in electronics

Cons

  • Not a thin Nack or body guitar

7. Epiphone EJ-200SCE Solid Cutaway Guitar

Epiphone EJ-200SCE Solid Top Cutaway Guitar

The Epiphone EJ-200SCE Solid Top Cutaway is one acoustic-electric guitar that sets standards of excellence when it comes to the guitar industry.

With a classic shape and solid spruce top, it’s that one guitar that will impress you with its complex sound that breaks the silence for the right reasons.

You don’t want to be constrained by the fret while trying to deliver the much-needed results; it achieves an amazing striking cutaway for you to enjoy full fret access. All of us like going for durable instruments, value for the money.

You will get not only this acoustic long lasting guitar but also a rosewood fingerboard vintage stylish crown inlays. Expect the best tone, thanks again to its rosewood and synthetic bone saddle. This one guitar music lovers will find just out of this world.

Pros

  • Easy tuning control
  • Perfected sound system
  • Master volume preamp system
  • Battery indicator
  • Low-impedance pick up
  • Wide range harmonics

Cons

  • Doesn’t sound as good as a Taylor Grand Auditorium 214ce to me

8. Epiphone HUMMINGBIRD PRO Guitar

Epiphone HUMMINGBIRD PRO Solid Top Guitar

Since its inception in the 1960s, the Epiphone HUMMINGBIRD PRO acoustic-electric guitar still commands great performance in and off the stage.

Nothing comes close to its preamp and shadow Nano Flex pickup system. This is to help you negotiate your way into perfect sound adjustment, for that required intonation.

I found its cutting edge pickup system interesting, though, it is one mammoth size that can run you through those big gigs, and yet deliver the best quality sound all through. The Solid Spruce tone wood is amazing; it is rich and advanced for the best of the playing.

Some of us are keen on the body and neck too, for this guitar, it is made of mahogany, implying quality has been emphasized. The fingerboard is rosewood, with inlays of pearloid parallelogram. This is an absolute entertainment guru you can’t miss to experience.

Pros

  • Has smooth action and intonation
  • Easy to spot pickup system for any gig
  • Easy to handle master volume control
  • Treble-bass and EQ control
  • Battery indicator
  • Beautiful color finish

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a gig bag

9. Epiphone PR-4E Guitar

Epiphone PR-4E Guitar

One thing for sure, the fact that this guitar comes with a value-packed electric player back, it’s a plus. It also has a gig bag, so you don’t have to worry of its portability around that crowd.

It brings you a strap for your body hanging, cord, and tuner, just to ensure you have the right adjustment, at your fingertips.

With balanced inputs, for the microphone, you are sorted on audio adjustments too. I liked the size and a shape of the Epiphone PR-4E Guitar, it commands looks in your studio at any given time. For beginners who want more control, the future of your music is well sorted with this guitar.

For durability, it is a mahogany neck and body, with a spruce top. To some, us the fingerboard has to be the best bridge to making that final choice of an acoustic electric guitar. The fingerboard is mahogany made too. You will like the chrome hardware, for the test of time.

Pros

  • Impressive passive piezo pickup, with volume control
  • Fast comfortable access to frets
  • Dual cutaways for quality sound
  • Versatile for your style of play
  • 10-wattage solid state amp for practice
  • Incredible functionality

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a left -handed version

10. Yamaha APX500 Thinline Cutaway Guitar

Yamaha APX500 Thinline Cutaway Guitar

Do you want more in your guitar? Well, if it’s positive, the Yamaha APX500 Thinline Cutaway has your sound taken into perspective. It is reliable, easy to use and worth the value.

Expect more power, if you are that musician who wants more of energy into the lyrics.

The toning is great and outlook, incredibly stylish for the test of the time. We don’t like ugly looking guitars, for this one its more of a unique shape that not only compliments the tone control, for the best but also fits in and delivers the best performance.

I had more fun with its easy top-fret accessibility, and you can literary achieve any of your sounds smartly, clearly, with flexible balancing during those infectious highs and lows.

Pros

  • Maximized resonance for quality sound
  • Designed for sensitive clarity of sound
  • Comfortable to handle and access fret
  • Adjustable Under-saddle piezo pickup with 3-band equalizer
  • Adjustable mid-range frequency control

Cons

  • Not a nylon string guitar

11. Fender T-Bucket 300CE Guitar

Fender T-Bucket 300CE Dreadnought Cutaway Guitar

I had to take a moment to handle the upgraded features of this acoustic-electric guitar. It is stylish, versatile and comfortable to go about when playing.

The outlook is eye catching; you can check into your band with the fashion that fit in.

It is the ultimate T-Bucket 300CE dreadnought cutaway acoustic that gives more for longevity, thanks to its mahogany back and sides. You never get to come across a Graphtech Nubone that is accompanied with a saddle for the best tone, this Fender T-Bucket 300CE Dreadnought Cutaway, has it all, just for your taste and preferences.

The fingerboard is rosewood, for the best sound production and the guitar comes with additional strap-pin and end-jack pins, all in one guitar.

Pros

  • 3-band equalizer for flexible adjustment
  • Fishman Isys III pickup/active preamp system with built-in chromatic tuner
  • Fine volume control system
  • Compensated bridge saddle gives enhanced tone

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with case

12. Ovation AB24-4-KIT-1 Applause Guitar

Ovation AB24-4-KIT-1 Applause Balladeer Guitar

If performance is what you want your guitar to compliment you with, then the Ovation AB24-4-KIT-1 Applause Balladeer offers nothing less.

The sound is amazing, design style unmatched and finishing unparalleled.

We love that well-tuned voice from the guitar during our convenient sound seeking for the new lyrics or style, which is why this guitar, is a superb functionality, for any adjustment to the best sound.

Your playability when it comes to using the guitar will never be the same whether you are a beginner or a seasoned guitarist.

Pros

  • A laminated spruce top for a coherent tone
  • Guitar straps for portability
  • Spruce top with superb natural finish
  • Fine OP-4BT Preamp, with built in Guitar Tuner and EQ
  • Durable body design that is fashionable
  • Comfortable to use and balance controls

Cons

  • Not easy to replace the strings with 2 pairs of regular 6 string

13. Seagull S6 QI Guitar

Seagull S6 QI Guitar

Stand to experience the best sound quality with this amazing and fine guitar.

It brings you one unbelievable experience that will transform how your music is done for a lifetime.

I happened to like the sound quality, fine neck finish, and its superior versatility to achieve the best pitch. But you may be sure for more, especially, when it comes to its cedar top and custom polishing.

For you play stunningly, you need a great saddle, the Seagull S6 QI, achieves this very easily leaving you for more of the fun. The saddle transducer too can equally fit in your side mount electronics, for that required volume control.

It has a rosewood fingerboard and bridge. The neck is simple-leaf maple. This ensures you not only stay with a durable guitar but also a carefully designed one.

Pros

  • Easy to handle control
  • Great sound production
  • Superb EQ and frequency control range
  • Excellent tone wood
  • Long lasting mahogany neck and silver leaf maple

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with case

14. Martin DX1AE Guitar

Martin DX1AE Guitar

My second last but not least in the Martin DX1AE, designed to ensure sound quality, this is one show stopper acoustic electric guitar that will bring the energy into your sound enhancement, for ultimate results.

It is one good looking guitar, what most of us like in guitars, that is creatively designed and easy to go along with.

If you are unplugged or not, it doesn’t count, all it does is give you the best. Expect magnificent resonance, clarity and tailored sound quality, thanks to its unique features.

The tenon neck joint and Mortise compliment great resonance and precision we all like in music versatility. The Fishman Sonitone system has the ability to amplify the classic martin acoustic sound to the top of your expectations. Thanks too to its perfect fretboard.

Pros

  • Has high-pressure laminate wood fibers, for durability and unique design
  • Comfortable and easy to use
  • Sonicore pick-up technology and Fishman Sonitone system for tone adjustment
  • Stunning and elegant neck and body

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a case

15. Yamaha APXT2 Guitar

Yamaha APXT2 Guitar

For music enthusiasts, you can never wrong with the Yamaha APXT2, if high performance is your interest and consistent quality sound is at the heart of your music.

I just couldn’t help myself with the amazing body construction of this guitar.

Its pick up system is incredibly superior to the tune and responds more sensitively to needed precision when it comes to pitching and frequency.

As if it is done yet, expect a gig bag, so you don’t have the headache of carrying your Yamaha APXT2, during those moments of the after-party performance. If you love quality in a guitar, it is well placed in its long -lasting body construction, more specifically, the rosewood fingerboard and bridge.

Pros

  • Comes with a gig bag for portability
  • Has a system 68 pick-up
  • Durable stylish body design
  • Comfortable to use
  • Great compliment to adjustable sound quality controls

Cons

  • It is not a nylon string guitar

Things To Consider - Best Acoustic Electric Guitar

For beginners, you might not necessarily have to go for a very pricey acoustic electric guitar, but another option you can consider is if you can start with a less expensive one, learning up the way, which is ideal too.

Just imagine being new into guitars, you end up spending a huge amount of money on one piece, only to realize, it is not exactly what you intended to have, this can be so frustrating. Avoid such regrets, and you can even borrow one to start training with, before investing on your own, as you learn more. Besides this, keenly take into account the following.

Cost

Can you comfortably afford it? If the answer is yes, go for it. But don’t forget, acoustic electric guitars will be priced based on the type of wood, quality of the wood, choice of electronics to be accompanied, skills and design used. I believe when it comes to guitars, you pay for what exactly you want.

Protection Case

Now this is important too. If you want your lovely guitar, you have to invest heavily to serve you for long. Consider buying it a good case.

This can be an addition on top of the plastic or boxes they come packed in. You will be able to secure your guitar, mostly from physical damage when it is not in use or when taking a rest from that engaging gig. You don’t want to replace guitars every other time.

Condition Of Guitar

Before buying that guitar, even though it could be brand new one, check for any possible cracks and dents on its body. Being in that store for long, tested by many, they could suffer from possible scratches or marks.

They might not affect the performance of the guitar, but some unnoticeable cracks might not be good in the long run quality sustainability. This could help you too in negotiating for the price before you pay for it.

Straight Neck

Keenly with a careful eye, have a good glance on the neck of your guitar to confirm there is no twisting or deformation of any sort. You don’t want to have a twisted neck that could get worse, affecting the sound quality and use of the guitar.

Neck Size

For those of us who have short fingers, going for an acoustic electric guitar with a wide neck could give you that edge, especially when you want it to fit into your classical style or finger style.

Timbre

This will involve, how well the guitar does, stay in tune in variant styles of play. Test it in different pitches to check on this, be sensitive to the harmonization, notes on whether they give you’re the quality of sound you expect.

Acoustic Electric Guitar Body Styles

There are various body styles, depending on where you fit in. The jumbo body style is ideal for a classic body style, a sound similar to that of the dreadnought. They have a wider body size, with a strap to hang it on your body can come with medium or light strings.

Like those common with performing arts. The Dreadnought provides more bass, being more sound preeminent than the classic body style. Not a best idea for those who like heavy hammering, though. Classic body styles enable you to achieve medium sound projection, especially during those high and low pitches.

It’s ideal you go for lightweight gauge strings since they have less tension on the neck of your guitar. That is not to say medium gauge strings can’t be adjusted to fit into your preference.

Tune Uniformity

You will probably have to taste this before you buy your guitar. Check whether when you play it maintains the tune you require.

Some cheap guitars have poor a consistency, something you don’t want to lead to a replacement of your guitars more often. Ensure the strings of the guitar are good too for the intonation you will be versatile with.

The Action

This is the space between the strings and the fretboard. You should not struggle to rub the strings down to the fretboard when playing, if this is the case due to low-slung action, you might not be able to achieve the right sound. Consider asking for a replacement if you like the guitar anyway.

Fretboard

You don’t want frets, off the edge, that mess up with your fingers as you move them up and down striking the strings. Playing guitar should be fun out of this world. It is entertainment in the first place. You should be comfortable doing it again and again.

Tonewoods

This is the wood forming the top part of the guitar. It plays a big role a soundboard. Different types of soundboards produce different sounds. We have the laminated veneer top, which isn’t so good in producing the best quality of sound, no wonder laminated veneer made guitars are cheaper.

Those with solid tops tend to produce better sound, with the best clarity, than a laminated veneer one, they tend to be pricier, though, but if it is worth it, don’t shy away from them.

Final Words

Choosing the best acoustic-electric guitar, you realize not only a critical analysis but also a keen affair. Guitars can be expensive especially when the demand for the best quality sound and performance, is at the peak.

So, the last thing you would expect is to invest in a guitar that will cost even more to replace. Get any of these classic and high-rated guitars, for excellent sound quality, performance and stay tuned to the music that will heal the souls, thanks to your need for the best.

Maintain your guitar for longevity, check on what exactly is your music style, versatility for the right choice. For sure, you can never be on the wrong side of music anymore.

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About the Author Michael J. Bass

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