The electro-acoustic guitars are just like standard acoustics, but with one significant difference – they contain electronics inside that are similar to those of an electric guitar. This feature allows you to hook up your acoustic guitar into an amplifier and boost the volume.
In this article, we'll present to you some of the best electric acoustic guitars that are available on the market right now. Also, in the later section of this article, you'll find a brief buyer's guide that we compiled to aid you in finding the best guitar for you.
Below you can see our pick for the best electric acoustic guitars.
10 Best Acoustic-Electric Guitars in 2020:
When it comes to making acoustic guitars, there’s over 130 years’ worth of experience behind Washburn. This guitar manufacturer from Chicago has rightly earned its place among the top-ranking names in acoustic-electric guitars. Their C5CE model combines the classical style and guitar tone with electro-acoustic flexibility.
This model's primary build material is laminated wood, a combination of catalpa for the sides and back, and layered spruce on the top. There is a mahogany neck with a fretboard made of engineered wood that features a 25.5” scale length and 19 frets in total.
The electronics are housed on the upper arch of the body, allowing for easy, quick adjustments and maintaining the guitar's sleek look. These electronics include a built-in EVT preamp and a pickup, a tuner, and volume controls.
Epiphone Hummingbird PRO
The Hummingbird PRO is an excellent example that Epiphone can always be trusted to make an affordable iconic guitar. This model from the Gibson subsidiary is an electro-acoustic successor to the classic Gibson Hummingbird used by famous players such as Lenny Kravitz, Kid Rock, and Keith Richards.
The Hummingbird's dreadnought body is built from laminated mahogany for the sides and back, and a solid spruce top. There is also a beautifully decorated pickguard made of imitated tortoiseshell that keeps the vintage appeal. The neck is also made from select mahogany with a sweet rosewood fretboard at a 24.75" scale length and 20 frets.
Besides the iconic look, this model also features impressive electronics, which include the NanoFlex pickup and ePerformer preamp by Shadow. This system is battery-powered, and it allows you to control the volume, treble, and bass, but it also has a convenient mute button. The sound that this guitar offers is vibrant and warm thanks to the excellent combination of the preamp system and the tonewoods.
The amazing APX500II is a best-seller when it comes to Yamaha's electro-acoustic guitars, so it's only natural that they made a smaller version of it. That is where the APXT2 comes into play, which is excellent for musicians with smaller hands. This steel-string model retains the slimline feel, elegant look, and high-quality electronics that made the APX500II so famous.
The APXT2’s body features a 3/4 scale thinline shape with a single-cutaway and a laminated spruce top. The sides and back are made of meranti, a dark wood which is essentially an inexpensive version of mahogany. The neck is made of nato, and it sports a rosewood fretboard with 21 frets. It’s joined at the 14th fret, and its small size is best suited for beginners and small adults.
The electronics of this model include a pickup and a preamp that features a simplistic control panel with only two knobs for tone control and master volume.
Martin LX1E Little Martin
The LX1E is a very popular affordable acoustic, and it's regarded as one of the best on the market when it comes to sound, quality, and feel. It's a right-handed six-string instrument, but if you're left-handed, you can quickly reverse the order of the strings.
The Little Martin's body features good-quality materials and a durable build. The back and sides are constructed of laminate mahogany, with a solid Sitka spruce on the top. The neck is also made from mahogany, and it features a Richlite fretboard along with 20 frets.
Given that this is an electro-acoustic guitar, it requires electronics, and it features ones from Fisherman Sonitone. These include a capable pickup and a preamp, along with tone and volume controls. Due to the enhancing abilities that the mahogany and spruce have on the tones of a specific range, the sound the LX1E offers is perfect.
Fender is known for producing high-quality guitars ranging from affordable to the limited edition, which rock stars like to use on stage. But you can always trust Fender to deliver a guitar of great build-quality that won’t leave you disappointed. Some of the famous players that believed in the quality of Fender's guitars include Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton.
The CD-60SCE’s dreadnought body shape with a Venetian-cutaway is made from a combination of mahogany for the sides and back, and a solid spruce top. The neck is also mahogany, featuring a beautiful walnut fretboard with rolled edges, which makes it very easy to play.
This model has Fishman Isys III electronic system, which is pretty standard for beginner guitars. Some of the features include a chromatic tuner, as well as controls for bass, volume, and treble. This system keeps the tone intact and delivers the sound without any noise or buzz.
Cordoba is among the best producers of electric and acoustic guitars, and for a good reason. Their primary focus is on making guitars that are functional, affordable, and overall attractive, which makes their instruments very popular among players. And because they use a traditional Spanish method for their designs, their guitars are incredibly resonant, durable, and lightweight.
The C5-CE is a nylon-string electro-acoustic guitar that is very affordable. The build is a combination of Canadian red cedar on top and mahogany for the back and sides. This combination gives it a rich tone and makes it look lively. The neck is a solid mahogany piece, and it's slightly thinner with a beautiful rosewood fretboard and 19 frets.
The Fishman Isys+ system that the C5-CE features make it sound great when you plug it in. There are standard knobs for the volume, treble and bass, and tone control.
Many of the guitars made by Fender have relatively small prices; however, the models from the FA series are probably the most affordable ones.
The FA-125CE’s classical dreadnought body is made of basswood on the sides and back with a laminate spruce top and glossy finish. The laminated wood all around might concern some of you, but Fender managed to pull it off. Usually, an all-laminate instrument doesn't sound as good, but that is not the case with the FA-125CE. The neck is made of nato with a walnut fingerboard and a standard scale length of 25.3".
For the electronics in this model, Fender put a Fishman unit that has a minimalist design but does its job with no hiccups. For the controls and features, you have a built-in tuner and a dual-band equalizer with treble, volume, and bass controls. The sound that this model offers is surprisingly good, considering the materials used in the build.
When it comes to Donner, they always keep high requirements when making their guitars. They stick to the belief that a high-end instrument must maintain perfect and precise craftsmanship, comfortable grip, lasting stability, and sweet sound.
The DAG-1E features a 41” dreadnought body constructed of a spruce top and laminate mahogany sides and back, while the neck is made of African mahogany. The sound this model offers is powerful, vibrant, and clear. The strings that come with this guitar are bronze, which is known for producing a bright and somewhat quirky sound.
This model has a built-in preamp together with a three-band EQ and a die-cast tuner. The equalizer requires a 9V lithium-ion battery for optimum efficiency.
Vangoa 41” 12 string
The Vangoa’s 12 string guitar is meant for players of more than one kind of playing style. This means that whatever your play style is, there is a chance that this is an excellent instrument for you. This fantastic 12 string is probably the least expensive 12 string acoustic guitar available on the market.
One of the best features of having 12 strings is the fact that there are two strings for each octave. That means that two strings can play the same note at the same time, offering a much richer sound.
The body of this beautiful single-cutaway model is constructed of mahogany for the sides and back with a laminate spruce top, with a mahogany neck, and rosewood fretboard. These materials allow the guitar to produce high-quality sound, as well as to have a nice, stylish look.
This model features a built-in preamp and a 4-band equalizer with treble, middle, bass, and presto controls. It also has a volume knob and an integrated tuner.
Last but certainly not the least on this list is another Yamaha, and as it happens, it's one of the best that they have to offer. This compact model is the APX500III’s successor, but with a few improvements and upgrades that enhance the style and playability even further.
The APX600 is very similar in design to its predecessors, retaining the same slim body shape. The difference is that the scale length is now shorter coming in at 25”, which makes it very popular among beginners. Materials used in the build of this guitar are a combination of a spruce top and eastern mahogany on the sides and back.
The electronics in this model are a piezo pickup and preamp system made by Yamaha. They offer simple 3-band EQ controls, a volume knob, and a mid-range slider.
A Short Buyer’s Guide
To help you decide what the perfect guitar is for you, we’ve made a brief buyer’s guide. Here you will learn some essential information about electric acoustic guitars that you need to know when it comes to buying one.
Build materials – The body may feature a wide range of different tonewoods. Some materials offer a better sound, while others are more durable. There is a choice between a solid and a laminate soundboard/body. Several layers of wood glued together to form a laminate top produce a less rich tone, compared to the ones provided by a solid piece of wood. But laminate woods are more affordable and, therefore, more beginner-friendly.
Type of pickup – The sound of a guitar can be captured in several ways, and there are three primary types of pickups used just for this. Piezo systems detect how the strings vibrate, and this changes the voltage inside them, resulting in direct, clear sound. The soundhole (magnetic) system is the same as the one found on the electric guitar. It works on the principle of a magnetic field that is disturbed when the strings vibrate. Microphone - there's a small microphone in the guitar. It's essentially the same as putting a microphone in front of you when you play.
Built-in preamp – Electric acoustic guitars have installed equalizers and preamps that allow you to tweak and play around with your sound. Some models can have pre-set effects that emulate iconic songs. The overall quality of the electronics directly affects how long they can last, as well as the quality of the sound produced.
We hope that this article has helped you in choosing the best electric acoustic guitar for yourself or someone you love. Finding a perfect guitar shouldn’t be that hard, just don’t rush it and do your research, the right one will eventually find you.