Fast FactThe acoustic electric guitar was invented in the early 20th century, when telephone transmitters were fixed inside string instruments like violin and banjo, for sound amplification. The subsequent experiments resulted in the fixing of electric pickups inside hollow bodies of acoustic guitars.
I mean, the sound of an amplified guitar in a room full of people was so hypnotic and addictive to me, that I could cross any kind of border to get on there. ~ Eric Clapton
Yes, electric guitars are enigmatic! Be it Green Day, Metallica, or Guns and Roses, once the bands start performing, the harmony of these multi-stringed instruments enthralls the audience. Electric guitars have always been the most dominant musical instrument in bands, since the last century. The amazing sound effects produced by them are a reflection of the perfect synchronization of the available sound controls with all other instruments. These guitars have a sound modification system connected to an external electrical device (like an amplifier), creating an explosion of electrifying music.
The main feature of acoustic electric guitars is that they have an input jack. This makes it possible to play them by connecting their jacks to electric amplifiers. Of course, they can also be played in the normal way, i.e., unplugged. Some guitar brands are also equipped with other electronic features and controls like pickups, tuners, sound settings (volume, bass, treble, and tone), etc.
If you wish to buy this instrument for yourself or as a gift for someone, you must have knowledge about the top brands of acoustic electric guitars available in the market. Here we give you ten good models that you could choose from.
Gibson is one of the most popular guitar brands, and has held its position since many decades. The Hummingbird pro is available with a mahogany body and a fine coating of Sitka spruce for a better amplified sound. The fretboard is made up of Rosewood and consists of 20 frets. The model is equipped with a scalloped bracing and dovetail joint. With the best electronics offered by the company, this dreadnought-styled model is among the finest ones ever produced. The only drawback is its cost. With a price of USD 2,500, it burns a hole in the buyer's pocket.
The name says it all. The Japanese brand Ibanez is very popular among youngsters and beginners. Most products of this company are quite affordable, and have their own style and charisma. The Steve Vai signature model (named after the great guitarist) is available with a mahogany body layered with Engelmann spruce. It is designed more or less for players who have a hard or aggressive style of playing. The model is equipped with Fishman acoustic pickups, and also with additional volume and tone settings. Its price is tagged a bit above USD 1100.
This low-priced model (around USD 900) is available with a spruce layering on top of a mahogany body. The fretboard is made up of rosewood or ebony, and the model is equipped with bird inlays and a classic style of bracing. With a three-band equalizer, an anti-feedback looping, a PRS pickup system, and an adjustable truss rod, Angelus is a very good choice for the budget-conscious.
This is one of the premium models on this list of best guitars. The Songwriter is a top-notch electro-acoustic guitar with a rosewood body and a spruce topping. It produces a warm and mellow sound, which is highly appreciated by musicians with a taste for old classics. Costing around USD 2500, this model is available with gold Grover tuners, an ebony fingerboard, abalone rosette, and mother-of-pearl inlays. A good-quality hard case is also included with this model. The 'X' shaped scalloped bracing ensures that the sound is concentrated more on the body's center, resulting in a brighter and pronounced amplification of the notes. It is a dreadnought-shaped guitar model.
Epiphone is a subordinate company under the giant Gibson. It manufactures guitars that are affordable versions of the premium Gibson models. The Masterbilt DR-500 is a favorite among experienced musicians, and is a perfect choice for small gigs and concerts. The fretboard is made up of rosewood, and imparts a smooth feel to your fingers. This series of guitars is known for their warm, rich, and vibrant tones. Priced at around USD 600, it is not so expensive, and is well worth an investment for music enthusiasts. The best features of this model include the NanoFlex pickup that has a low impedance, several volume and tone controls, an amazing preamp with a built-in tuner, a battery indicator, etc. The NanoFlex pickups along with the preamp options ensure that there is an automatic zero noise reduction (ZNR), and also the production of clear harmonics, especially important on stage.
Formed by several professionals, Ovation is a company that manufactures lightweight guitars that have better resonance and sound amplification than other round body guitars. Known since long, Ovation came up with the Al DiMeola Signature model, which is available with a preamp designed by himself. With abalone inlays and gold-plated tuners, this model is slightly on the 'expensive' side (around USD 2500). Other features include a Sitka spruce body layering, a bracing of the Ovation A style, and deep cuts at the fretboard for ease in reaching the last frets. This model is one of the best and finest ones ever made by Ovation. Another design by the same company is the Applause AE128 RR guitar, which is equipped with a 3-band equalizer and several tone, treble, and bass controls.
This brand is well-known for its quality and construction. Some guitars are very difficult to play, while others can be mastered easily. The APX 500 is one of the best products of Yamaha, and is available with a piezoelectric pickup and a built-in tuner. A three-band equalizer ensures an amazing sound, both for offstage, as well as onstage playing. A great choice for people who have budget constraints, this model is available between USD 250 - USD 300. The fretboard and bridge is made up of rosewood, and consists of 21 frets. The body is made up of spruce, which provides an excellent handling ability for the instrument.
This stunning model is available with a koa layering on the body, and attached with it is a rosewood fingerboard. The specic 'F' cut body allows to easily reach the last frets. Appearance-wise, the snowflake inlays, natural sheen, and gold tuners are just enough to make any musician go crazy by looking at this model. Equipped with a 3-band equalizer, Takamine's original pickup, and a superb built-in tuner, this guitar produces an amazing bright, warm, and melodious sound. The preamp makes this instrument, an apt choice for onstage performances.
This new entrant in the block of acoustic electric guitars is fast becoming popular especially among Jason Mraz's fans. Designed on the lines of this legend, the JMSM-CE model comes with a body and headstock made up of rosewood while the neck consists of mahogany. The rosette is designed in the form of a cypress piece attached on a ring of Koa around the sound hole. It has an ebony fretboard with Jason Mraz's original inlay, and the new ES-N pickup assures the player of an awesome and vibrant sound. This guitar is available with nylon strings, and an adjustable truss rod. It is a bit expensive (around USD 4500), but is well worth the price. Other key features include a deluxe hard case, gloss finish, nylon series bracing, built-in tuner, etc.
The last one on this list belongs to a 180-year-old company called Martin. Its body is made up of strong HPL material, and is layered with spruce. This model is available with Fishman electronics (pickups), and the Stratabond neck and Richlite fingerboard provide the musician with an absolutely amazing ease of playing. Costing around USD 600, it is affordable for youngsters and even beginners who want to invest in a good instrument in their early years of learning.
As of this year, the following list briefly describes the most popular electro-acoustic guitar models, which are available around USD 1000, especially for the budget-conscious musicians and hobbyists.
With an Adirondack spruce layering on a mahogany body, this model is famous among those who are attracted to instruments that have a strong and durable construction. The fretboard is made out of ebony, and this instrument offers a warm and mellow sound. It is priced at around USD 900.
This model comes under the category of jumbo-body, and is available with a rosewood fretboard and mahogany body. Priced at USD 1000, it is an absolute favorite of musicians who prefer treble and high-pitched tones.
Manufactured by a less-known company, this guitar produces a good resonant sound. It costs around USD 1200, and is available with a Sapele body and an ebony fretboard. This instrument is equipped with its own preamp.
This guitar is available with the company's usual feature; a Richlite fingerboard, and a Stratabond neck. Priced at USD 1000, it is a good option for budding musicians.
This is a well-known company, and the 210 is a model that is fast gaining popularity among musicians. It can be said to be a stripped-down version of the aforementioned JMSM-CE model, and it offers good, warm, and clear tones with amazing strength or bite.
The guitar models described above are subject to changes in prices and designs, according to market fluctuation and customer demands. For details of the specifications of these models and to know how they look, you may visit the official websites of these brands.