In the guitar world, acoustic guitars are the go-to instrument for many players. But did you know there’s a version that allows you to amplify your acoustic sound for the stage? Acoustic-electric guitars can be hooked up to amps for a better sound on-stage and in the studio. But they’re not just for experts.
Have you been looking for the best acoustic-electric guitar? Your search ends here. We’ve rounded up 25 guitars for every type of guitar player.
How We Made Our Picks
Editors from the BYJU’S FutureSchool blog researched the most popular acoustic-electric guitars and cross-referenced them against ones that were recommended by music experts. The result: a list of vetted guitars for beginners to help get you started strumming like a pro.
[Read: How to Hold a Guitar]
- Martin HD-28E
Martin is credited with developing the dreadnought design and some of the most iconic guitars. The HD-28E is one of them. It takes inspiration from the pre-war era D-28 and has 14 frets with the highest quality Sitka spruce top. For electronics, it features the Aura VT Enhance system plus volume and EQ controls inside the soundhole, among others.
- Martin LX1E Little Martin
If the HD-28E is a premium offering, Martin has the LX1E acoustic electric guitar for beginners. It’s more affordable with a Sitka spruce top and high-pressure laminates for the sides. It’s much smaller than a regular dreadnought but offers a similar quality sound. There’s a Fishman pickup and preamp plus 1-band EQ.
- Yamaha APX600
Another affordable acoustic-electric guitar on the list, the Yamaha APX600, carries forward Yamaha’s reliable reputation. Its body is comfortable to hold, and the cutaway gives access to higher frets. It comes with Yamaha’s System 65A pickup, 3-band EQ, and built-in tuner. The guitar is easy to use for both beginners and experts.
- Taylor 214CE Deluxe
The 214CE Deluxe falls within high-end and budget guitars, making it a popular choice for beginners and experts. It comes with a Grand Auditorium body shape that is more comfortable to play with when seated. The Venetian cutaway gives access to higher frets. Taylor has its Expression System 2 fitted in with hidden control knobs.
- Fender American Acoustasonic Jazzmaster
The Jazzmaster may be an electric guitar at heart, but its sound falls slightly to the acoustic side. When plugged in, there are five positions that you can blend. The guitar uses an ‘Acoustic Engine’ to do so. The ‘Shawbucker’ can cover several tones, and the body sensor helps recreate acoustic sounds.
- Gibson Hummingbird Standard
The Gibson Hummingbird is one of the most popular models in the higher price range. Not only does this acoustic-electric guitar look stunning with traditional Hummingbird pickguard drawings, but it also produces excellent quality sound. Hidden pickups and control knobs plus LR Baggs electronics round up the impressive features.
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- Epiphone Dove Pro
While Gibson produces the top-end guitars, Epiphone produces the more affordable counterparts. The Dove style guitar was first introduced in the 1960s and has been popular ever since. The top is solid spruce giving out fuller and more resonant sound with Pearloid inlays on the fretboard. It comes with Fishman Sonicore and bass, treble, plus volume knobs.
- Taylor 114E
Most guitars come with a cutaway for accessing frets, but this guitar doesn’t have one giving it a classic feel and more tone. The 114E is durable with sturdy construction. It comes with the Taylor Expression System 2 behind-the-saddle pickup. This technology lets this acoustic-electric guitar vibrate fully, producing better sound.
- Paul Reed Smith SE Angelus A50E
PRS is popularly known for quality electric guitars. And the A50E is one of their highly-rated models. The guitar comes in a PRS shape that’s called angelus. The top is solid spruce producing an overall good sound. Its electronics include the Fishman GT1 – a discrete preamp and pickup – with controls for volume and tone.
- Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat
It’s not just the name! This acoustic-electric guitar has stunning aesthetics with a vivid color scheme. It’s perfect for hard rock-lovers and metalheads with skulls and spooky cats on the frets. It gives out a balanced tone and sounds good even when unplugged.
- Yamaha FGX800C
Yamaha is well-known for building affordable guitars that young players can use. The FGX800C is no less. It’s part of the brand’s Folk guitar line coming with a traditional design. The top is Solid Spruce, which gives good sound projection, and the neck is easy on the hands. It also has Yamaha’s System 66 with a 3-band EQ.
- Martin D-10E
The Martin D-10E upgrades the classic dreadnought design with electronics. There’s a Sitka Spruce top with the famous square tapered headstock associated with the brand. In addition, it comes with a discrete preamp and pickup system. These are mounted inside the soundhole with volume and tone control.
- Cort Little CJ Walnut OP
For those guitarists who love traveling, Cort is one of the most affordable and favored choices for an acoustic-electric guitar because of its compact size. There’s a Sitka spruce top with laminate Walnut back and sides. The onboard electronics include Fishman Presys II, which transfers strength through an amp alongside bass and treble EQ.
- Yamaha Storia II
One of the guitars providing the best value, the Taylor Storia series is an affordable guitar range. It comes with a clean and contemporary design, slim neck, and good quality resonance. There’s no onboard preamp, though, so you’ll need to change the EQ externally.
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- Gibson SJ-200 Standard
The Gibson J-200 is a premium and legendary choice for an acoustic-electric guitar if you’ve got the budget. Its large body with an impactful design shows quality. Guitarists who love to perform on stage will find this one particularly useful. It comes with an internal LR Baggs pickup system and built-in tuners.
- Takamine GJ72CE
Featuring a jumbo cutaway body, this Takamine guitar provides extra projection and full-bodied sound. The back and sides have flame Maple, which enhances higher frequencies. The brand’s distinct split saddle design is prominent, improving overall sound and intonation. It has a built-in pickup and preamp and 3-band EQ with mid contour.
- Epiphone PR5-E
Another affordable choice from Epiphone, the PR5-E, has been around for more than 20 years and is still popular. It’s a Florentine-style guitar with a unique cutaway giving access to higher frets. There’s an eSonic preamp and NanoFlex pickup as electronics. All this without loss of resonance.
- Gretsch G5024E Rancher
The first thing you’ll notice in the Rancher is its triangular soundhole and stunning pickguard. This acoustic-electric guitar has the features to back its design. At an affordable price, you’ll get a conventional acoustic guitar with a Fishman Sonicore under-saddle. This is standard with several good acoustic-electric guitars.
- Seagull S6 Original Burnt Umber QIT
Seagull is known for its attention to detail and providing premium quality instruments at affordable prices. The S6 is no different. Its tonewood selection includes a pressure-tested compound solid top. Plus, it comes with a modified dreadnought body that’s easy to play. For electronics, it’s equipped with Quantum I, 2-band EQ, and a built-in tuner.
- Washburn Woodline O12SE
This acoustic-electric guitar comes with a Mahogany body that’s orchestra-shaped. The solid top with scalloped x-braces provides overall clarity and more resonance to the sound. There’s also a Fishman Isys+ electronic preamp and pickup system plus a built-in tuner. This combination is generally featured in top-end guitars, but the Woodline has it all for an affordable price.
- Breedlove Solo Concert
Breedlove follows environmentally conscious practices and picks alternative woods that are not endangered. The Solo Concert was designed for solo guitarists and singer-songwriters. With a unique body shape, it produces a more mellow and sweeter sound. Electronics are from LR Baggs with volume and tuner controls.
- Yamaha A-Series A3M Dreadnought
The A3M features excellent tonewoods with solid Sitka spruce on the top. The cutaway is deep, giving access to higher frets. It’s pre-aged, so you get a resonant and balanced tone out of this acoustic-electric guitar. Electronics on the A3M include Yamaha’s SRT, preamp, and 3-band EQ.
- Ibanez V70CE
This guitar is priced well below $200, making it a popular choice among beginners. However, it’s been around for more than a decade and is trusted. Good quality tonewoods – the combination of Mahogany and Spruce – produce a full and loud sound. It comes with a simple Ibanez preamp and pickup.
24. Taylor Academy Series 12e
This acoustic-electric guitar comes from another affordable range from Taylor. It rates high among players for comfort and performance with its slim neck, low action, and armrest. In addition, it comes with impressive ES-B electronics that can help you prepare for a live performance, too.
25. Gretsch G9520E Gin Rickey
The G9520E comes in a compact parlor body with a magnetic soundhole pickup. The petite body is easy to play and produces a warmer tone for midrange frequencies. Also, the Gretsch Deltoluxe soundhole gives a unique gritty and amplified tone best for folk, blues, and rock.
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, the best acoustic-electric guitar will make the best guitar players, too. Use this list from BYJU’S FutureSchool as a guide to get the right acoustic-electric guitar for yourself. And if you want to take your guitar skills to the next level, sign up for a FREE trial class now.