Editor’s Note: My previous top choice, the Yamaha APX500iii, is now replaced with a newer and better model, the Yamaha APX600. What make’s it better, you ask? Well, there were some complaints regarding the previous model for having a lack of bass response and a “bland” sound when unplugged. Yamaha addresses this issue by changing the guitar’s bracing pattern, thus improving it’s overall sound response, making the APX600 a good choice for an acoustic-electric guitar. I suggest you go check this bad boy out.
When you are just a newbie or beginner, playing at home is already a feat.
You have your bedroom as a studio, while your living room transforms into your own stadium. However, as you become better and better, performing for a crowd is becoming a must.
You realize that you home is too small for a performing star like you—you need a larger venue and a larger crowd to play and share your music, passion and soul to.
An acoustic guitar will not suffice, you need something that you could plug to those ginormous amplifiers and just blast your symphony through—an acoustic electric guitar is proper.
Below are some of the best Acoustic-Electric guitars from various different brands available in the market that would probably suit your taste and needs.
VIEW: Our full list of best acoustic guitars
5 Best Acoustic-Electric Guitars in 2018
- Thin-line cutaway Body design for exceptional playability
- 25" Scale Length and narrower string spacing for Enhanced comfort
- New scalloped bracing pattern for increased bass response
- Abalone sound hole rosette
- Stage-focused pickup system for shaping your sound in the mix
This model’s thin-line body gives the player incredible comfort, top-fret access, and a perfect sound for on-stage use.
The newly designed bracing maximizes the full potential of the body resonance for that whole, clear, and natural tone, without compromising much on the guitar’s durability.
Meanwhile, the under-saddle piezo pickup with 3-band equalizer, adjustable mid-range frequency control, topped with a state of the art precision makes this guitar an all-star in its class.
- Affordable for the feature it has
- Stays in tune for a long period
- Has a great and balanced sound
- Action is high, need to be setup
- Sound is not good when unplugged
- The scale is relatively small
- Cutaway dreadnought acoustic-electric guitar
- Fishman Isys III pickup system with active preamp, tuner, volume and tone controls
- Figured laminated maple top with quarter sawn scalloped "X"-bracing; laminated mahogany back
- Bound maple neck with "C"-shaped profile; 20-fret rosewood fingerboard
- Graphtec NuBone nut and compensated saddle
This is a guitar that will surely get your attention with its amazing aesthetics that is sure to be a definite head turner.
However, aside from great looks, this guitar also boasts a better sound.
Featuring a scalloped X, a Fishman Isys III System, a Rosewood bridge with compensated saddle and chrome die cast tuning keys, a body with laminated Mahogany back and sides and laminated Maple top, a cutaway design with dreadnought body shape with a wide choice of color and design, and to top it all off, a Fender FTE-3TN Preamp with Tuner, this guitar surely has it all and it’s not even that expensive!
- Great Aesthetics
- Feels light
- Great pick up
- Wood material has a bad tone
- Expensive for an entry guitar
- A large size for a dreadnaught
- Dreadnought body with cutaway
- Solid mahogany top
- Mahogany back and sides
- Rosewood bridge and fretboard
- Ibanez AEQ210TF preamp with onboard tuner
This guitar combined the aesthetics of classic beauty with the technology that is needed for today’s players to make their music better than it already is.
This visual masterpiece features a solid mahogany top as well back, sides and neck, and a natural finish that really highlights the mahogany’s beautiful woodgrain that contributes largely to its renowned beauty.
Accessorizing the already magnificent charm is a black and white multi-rosette, a cutaway that helps the entire rosewood fingerboard be accessible, a rosewood AW bridge with bone saddle, a tortoise pickguard and chrome die-cast Grover tuners to complete this assemble.
The choice of mahogany wood as material for construction is responsible for the abundant warmth naturally making it a good unplugged guitar. However, once this thing is plugged in, the Fishman Sonicore pickup and Ibanez’s AEQ210TF preamp takes this guitar to a whole new level.
The said mechanism boasts a simple 2-band control, making the sound adjustment easy. And to make things easier, has a phase switch for reducing feedback and user-friendly onboard tuner.
- High quality and easy to use electronics
- Great quality of wood
- Great sound
- Not so great stock strings, needs replacement
- Limited options in the electronics
- Fast deterioration of good sound
- Dreadnought cutaway body style
- Fishman low-profile pickup/preamp
- Solid mahogany top with scalloped "X"-bracing
- Mahogany back and sides
- 'Easy-to-Play' neck with rolled fingerboard edges
Fender has always been making great guitars in every price range. Fender CD-60SCE is no exception.
This acoustic electric guitar offers a solid foundation to anyone looking for a good beginner guitar.
It is no secret that this particular model is among the most popular and best performing beginner acoustic guitars on the market.
It features the standard dreadnought body with a cutaway. It has laminated mahogany all around.
CD-60SCE comes with scalloped X-bracing, which is a big plus. The body is well made, well fit together.
Neck is also a mahogany piece which features a nice rosewood fretboard and compensated saddle.
It is equipped with fishman Isys III. Going out of the tune will surely not be a problem for CD-60SCE.
This system comes with a decent on board active pre-amp as well as a tuner. In terms of tone shaping, you get a three-band EQ to work with.
CD60SCE brings a fairly surprising performance. Steady throughout the frequency range, this Fender delivers very good and enjoyable sound which will satisfy most guitar players.
- A very durable guitar
- Great pick up system
- Aesthetically pleasing with its beautiful mahogany top
- The strap pegs are only glued
- The built in tuner is not that good
- The entire guitar looks cheap, IMO
- Solid Sitka Spruce Top
- Nato Back & Sides
- Rosewood Fingerboard & Bridge
- Diecast Tuners
- System 66 feature an under-saddle piezo pickup with a 3-band EQ, an adjustable mid-range frequency control, and a precision chromatic tuner for optimum sound tailoring.
This is another masterpiece from Yamaha. In this model, Yamaha did not disappoint in consistently and successfully incorporating good aesthetics, better sound, and great price range.
This model features a solid sitka spruce top while having nato back and sides to deliver fine but full tone that is just good to the ears.
It also uses a lovely rosewood fingerboard and bridge, making it suitable for long hours of playing—rather good for both practice and performance.
It is also quite good to note that this guitar has an adjustable truss rod for optimal playing experience. This model comes with an under saddle piezo pickup with a 3 band equalizer, an adjustable mid-range frequency control, and a precision chromatic tuner making it a competitive guitar to those rather expensive ones.
- Clear, crisp and full sound
- Light and easy to play
- Includes great electronics already
- Stock strings are not that good, needs replacement
- Choice of wood is not that great
- High action, needs setup
To Wrap Things Up
When choosing a guitar for a larger crowd, it is really important that you know what type of venue you will be playing because, although the guitars mentioned above are acoustic-electric guitars, they have different characteristics, for different venue, and for different players.
It is material that you know your style, your preference and your budget in order to get the most out of the guitar that you will purchase.
Unless you get the guitar that is great for all types of venue, knowing your venue is highly recommended as you might be buying a guitar that has features not suitable or useless to your venue, not only will you be wasting great features for not using it, but you will also be paying for the said features which you will not be using anyway—not practical at all.
Related: Best Acoustic Guitar Amplifiers