Taylor 214CE Acoustic Electric Guitar
Guild F55E Acoustic Electric Guitar
Epiphone Hummingbird PRO Guitar
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From the stage to the studio, acoustic-electric guitars are one of the most versatile tools in any player’s arsenal. But with complex electronics and many acoustic variables, finding the perfect model can be tough.
If you don’t love the Taylor, there are 11 other amazing acoustic-electrics worth a look. So, read on to find the perfect model for both your budget and playing style.
The 12 Best Acoustic Electric Guitars:
Taylor 214CE Acoustic Electric Guitar
Taylor guitars are famous for their ringing, bright sustain and innovative construction, and the 214CE is no different. This electro acoustic utilizes Taylor’s signature grand auditorium body shape with a solid Sitka spruce top and layered rosewood back and sides.
Together, they create a versatile guitar that’s got plenty of chiming and smooth highs, but it also preserves warm bass. The rosewood offers rich harmonic overtones, which give the guitar a lush, sparkling character.
The tropical mahogany neck and West African ebony fretboard feel smooth under your fingers and add some snap to your tone. The Venetian cutaway makes every fret accessible and its smooth rounded edges are comfortable whether you’re sitting or standing.
To top the package off, you get Taylor’s ES2 pickup and preamp system with sleek control knobs for volume, treble, and bass. This pickup does a good job transmitting your natural acoustic tone with minimal electronic coloring, and it gives you enough control to optimize your tone in any live setting.
Epiphone Hummingbird PRO Acoustic Electric Guitar
If you want a budget acoustic electric guitar with all the projection and resonance of a dreadnought, it’s hard to top the Epiphone Hummingbird PRO.
This vintage-inspired dreadnought takes cues from Epiphone’s ‘60s heritage, but updates it with all the amenities you’d expect from the best acoustic electric guitars today.
Visually, the Hummingbird PRO is one of the most arresting acoustic electric guitars that you’ll find anywhere. The faded cherry finish paired with the decorated pickguard and parallelogram inlays creates a stunning guitar that’s sure to turn heads.
Underneath that finish, you also get some great tonewoods for the price. This guitar combines a solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides for a punchy, mid-range focused sound that cuts through live mixes well. The mahogany neck with Epiphone’s SlimTaper “D” shape and pau ferro fretboard keep it smooth and comfortable to play.
The onboard Fishman Sonitone pickup provides a durable, affordable preamp system that gets the job done. With soundhole controls for volume and tone, you can tweak your output while playing live as well.
Guild F55E Acoustic Electric Guitar
Guild is known for its vintage acoustic guitars — but the F55E is a modern jumbo electro acoustic that rivals any of its classic models in sound and style.
That jumbo body shape is made from a solid Sitka spruce top, paired with solid rosewood or maple for the back and sides. The premium Spruce offers tight, straight grain, which maximizes projection and preserves bright, ringing trebles.
The rosewood balances out the spruce, with lots of low-end thump and plenty of harmonic overtones. However, if you want a punchier feel with a brighter, clear tone, then maple will provide more sparkle.
Whichever tonewood you pick, the jumbo body and scalloped “X” bracing provide plenty of low end and mid-range projection. The mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard feel smooth and graceful.The “v-block” inlays and gold Gotoh open-gear tuners add some vintage class.
This guitar also includes an LR Baggs Anthem pickup, which is a favorite of touring pros thanks to its clarity and dual-source design. The volume, tone and phase controls help you create a dynamic picture of your unplugged sound while fighting feedback with the phase switch.
Yamaha FGX820C Acoustic Electric Guitar
For more than 50 years, Yamaha’s folk guitar (FG) series has provided outstanding tonewoods and build quality to players on tight budgets. With solid spruce on top, mahogany back and sides and Yamaha’s System 66 electronics, the FGX820C carries on that legacy with modern, dynamic style.
This guitar offers a classic Western dreadnought body shape, with a smooth cutaway so you can reach the highest frets easily. The solid spruce used for the top gives you lots of power and punch while the scalloped interior bracing adds extra resonance and projection.
The mahogany body emphasizes the mid-range and the rosewood fretboard offers smoothness and good low-end depth.
To keep your guitar controlled at all times, the System 66 pickup includes a 3-band EQ with sweepable mids. This feature comes in handy on stage because it lets you tailor the mid-range control to boost or cut more specific frequencies. You also get a built-in tuner so you always sound clear and accurate.
Fender American Acoustasonic Stratocaster
Most acoustic-electric guitars embrace traditional acoustic voicings but, if you want a model that can play and sound like an electric guitar without sacrificing acoustic resonance, the Fender American Acoustasonic Stratocaster is a good choice.
This unique instrument features a set of three specially designed Fishman pickups that offer a broad palette of both acoustic and electric tones across the five pickup positions.
Each position also comes with two different voicings, which you can blend together using the “mod” knob for further tweaking.
Of course, you still get a fully acoustic mahogany body with an inlaid solid spruce top. But, the mahogany neck feels just like a traditional Stratocaster for easier playability and faster runs.
You can also connect the Acoustasonic Strat through electric guitar amps and pedals. Unlike other acoustic guitars, it responds well to overdrive and distortion, with rich saturation and plenty of bite. That versatility makes this one of the best acoustic electric guitars both for playing live and in the studio, where adaptability is key.
PRS SE A50E Acoustic Electric Guitar
Paul Reed Smith’s SE A50E combines inventive tonewoods with its unique hybrid X bracing to create an acoustic guitar with a bright, chiming tone and plenty of resonance. If you want an acoustic electric guitar that will stand out in a mix and provide outstanding articulation, this guitar is hard to beat.
The A50E combines a spruce top with figured maple for the back and sides. Compared to other tonewoods like rosewood and mahogany, maple offers a crisp, cutting sound with plenty of top-end sparkle and good clarity.
The unique hybrid X bracing adds some sustain and balance; it marries a vintage “X” brace with a fan brace found on classical guitars for a more resonant top and body with powerful sustain.
You also get a mahogany “wide fat” neck and ebony fingerboard, which give you plenty of dynamic range and a smooth, comfy feel.
To plug in live, you get a Fishman Sonitone GT1 pickup, which offers a fluid amplified sound that captures the resonance and airiness of your acoustic tone. To further tweak your sound, you get volume and tone controls mounted in the soundhole.
Taylor K14ce Builders Edition Acoustic Electric Guitar
If you want a high-end electro acoustic guitar that offers a sublime playing experience without sparing any expense, the Taylor K14ce Builders Edition is for you. Its Koa and grand auditorium cutaway body and “V” bracing create a sonic signature that’s one of a kind.
The solid Sitka spruce top keeps the tone sharp and crisp throughout the range, with good string separation. Koa is renowned for its stunning looks and dynamic tone. Not only is it brighter than rosewood and mahogany, it carries a sweet mid-range and complex overtones in the trebles.
For ultimate comfort, you’ll receive a smooth Venetian cutaway paired with bezel armrests and edges. These smoothed edges feel comfortable against your body, allowing you to maintain the same hand position the whole way up the neck.
Like the 214ce, you also get Taylor’s ES2 pickup built-in; if you want to play live or apply some effects to your tone, you can plug in instantly and maintain your natural acoustic tone.
Ovation Celebrity Elite Plus Electric Acoustic Guitar
Ovation is known for its innovative acoustics made with Lyrachord bodies, a synthetic material that’s designed to maximize vibration. Combined with its premium electronics and outstanding top woods, these acoustic electric guitars are made to be plugged in.
The Celebrity Elite Plus uses a spalted maple top for a beautiful look and dynamic, responsive feel. It’s braced with quartersawn scalloped “X” braces that maximize projection and clarity.
The guitar uses Ovation’s multi-soundhole design to enhance top-end clarity without sacrificing low-end punch. It also gives your guitar a completely unique look that’s sure to stand out.
The mid-depth body shape also provides good projection without the feedback problems associated with large acoustic electric guitars. The electronics system offers a 3-band EQ with a separate volume/gain control to adjust your signal into an amp or direct-in box. You also get a built-in tuner for precision.
Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45ME Acoustic Electric Guitar
Drawing on the heritage of the Gibson J-45, Epiphone’s Masterbilt AJ-45ME provides a more affordable acoustic electric that combines classic flair with outstanding value.
The AJ-45ME is made entirely of solid wood: the top is solid Sitka spruce, while the back and sides are solid mahogany. Paired with the slope-shoulder dreadnought shape of a J45, the solid tonewoods maximize resonance and provide a warm, airy sustain that sounds good in any type of music.
The neck also uses mahogany, with a pau ferro fretboard and 20 medium jumbo frets. It attaches to the body via a dovetail joint, which is renowned for its sturdy connection and smooth sustain.
The AJ-45ME also includes a Shadow NanoFlex pickup and preamp system. It’s got a lovely dynamic response, and only adds minimal electric color to your sound. You get a two-band EQ and volume control mounted in the soundhole.
Takamine GN93CE-NAT Acoustic Electric Guitar
Takamine’s GN93CE-NAT is a balanced, thoughtful model that can reward players of all styles. From the body shape to the sound and electronics, it’s nuanced in all the right ways without an exorbitant price tag.
The guitar uses solid spruce on top, with walnut and maple for the body. These woods are arranged in a beautiful triangle pattern for contrast. It also broadens the tonal response thanks to the combination with the brighter, crisper maple.
You’ll get Takamine’s popular TK-40D preamp, with standard three-band EQ and premium amenities like a notch filter, mid-contour control and EQ bypass switch to skip the circuit entirely.
The extra features let you eliminate feedback wherever it occurs on stage and tweak the overall voicing of your output by adjusting the mids.
These touches make the Takamine one of the most performance-ready instruments you’ll find. Combined with its dynamic unplugged sound, the electronics package is a killer value.
Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat Acoustic Electric Guitar
The Tim Armstrong Hellcat is an acoustic guitar that captures all the swagger of its namesake in a versatile concert body.
With a solid mahogany top, mahogany body, and scalloped interior bracing, it produces a loud and muscular sound with good power for all players.
If you’re looking for a unique voicing in your acoustic, the all-mahogany construction might do the trick. It helps the Hellcat punch through any mix and dominate the mid-range frequencies. It also keeps the guitar dry and focused, without a lot of harmonics to muddy the sound of fast strumming.
A built-in Fishman Isys III system handles the electronics, with an onboard tuner and 3-band EQ. It’s surprisingly clear for the price, with only a bit of electronic dampening in the bass and mid-range. You’ll also receive a Tim Armstrong custom guitar strap, so you can rock out comfortably on stage.
PRS SE Parlor P20E Acoustic Electric Guitar
Paul Reed Smith (PRS) is known for its impeccable fit and finish on its electric guitars and full-size acoustics. Its new SE Parlor P20E condenses that attention to detail into a smaller acoustic body that’s perfect for young players, home guitarists and professionals.
With an all-mahogany body, the P20E is smooth and dynamic, with a bit more warmth than spruce and maple guitars. There’s also a heavy mid-range emphasis, which complements the “boxy” sound of a parlor guitar and makes this good for playing blues and folk.
The mahogany neck uses PRS’ “wide fat” shape to give you plenty of space to grip chords and notes. With the ebony fretboard, it’s chunky but good for experienced acoustic players.
The Fishman Sonitone GT1 pickup and preamp gives you a flexible way to adjust your tone and volume on stage. It combines an under-saddle piezo with soundhole controls so you can plug in without sacrificing your open, airy acoustic sound.
Choosing the Best Acoustic Electric Guitar For Your Budget
If you’re looking for a great electro-acoustic guitar, you’ll need to consider factors from sound and build quality to tonewoods, pickups and neck shape.
To help you find the guitar that’s right for you, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide so you can pick the perfect acoustic without any of the hassle.
Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $1,000
If you’re willing to spend up to $1,000, you can find some fantastic acoustic-electric guitars. In this price bracket, you should look out for factors like build quality, tonal character and responsiveness.
Solid tops are extremely common in the under-$1,000 market, and for good reason. Solid wood vibrates more efficiently, transmitting your sound out of the guitar for better projection and character.
This bracket is also where some manufacturers branch into specific styles of acoustics, beyond jack-of-all-trades beginner models. The Epiphone AJ45ME is a great example. It’s designed to nail the mid-rangy, nasal, slightly compressed sound that the Gibson J45 made famous.
Like the AJ45ME, many of the more expensive acoustics are optimized for one style or genre of music. While these guitars might not appeal to every player, they’re perfect for guitarists who want a specific sound. Looking for guitars that are built for your specific style can help you get the most out of your purchase.
You’ll also find guitar manufacturers starting to use different styles of tonewoods at this price, like maple for the back and sides. However, some companies include only a light veneer of the wood, or swap out the tonewood but leave the bracing pattern unchanged.
Look for a guitar like the PRS SE A50E, which combines a maple body with innovative hybrid bracing to maximize the bright, sweet sound of the maple back and sides. These guitars, which are tailored to the specific qualities of the tonewoods, are some of the best acoustic electric guitars that you’ll find in this bracket.
Overall, you should check out the Taylor 214CE for the best model under $1,000. It’s got amazing sustain and clarity, with ringing, bright trebles and a tight, controlled bass response. The Taylor ES2 onboard pickup and preamp is another plus. It offers some of the clearest, most natural tones for a pickup at this price.
Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $500
Under $500, you’ll find a lot of mediocre acoustic-electric guitars on the market. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a fantastic electro-acoustic guitar here — you just need to prioritize factors like build quality and versatility as you search.
You’ll often find a solid top on an acoustic guitar under $500, but it’s extremely rare to see a guitar made entirely with solid slabs of wood. Thankfully, the top provides a lot of your guitar’s tone, so a solid top will help your guitar sound good regardless of the body woods.
If you want better sound, look for “layered” body woods that are laminates of only one wood type. These offer better tone than cheaper multi-wood laminates, and they’re still very durable.
It’s also tougher to find clear, accurate electronics sets under $500. Stick to brands like Yamaha and Fishman that produce good affordable pickups for brands like PRS, Washburn and Fender. Fishman preamps often provide a 3-band EQ and a tuner as well, so you get the most control over your sound.
The Yamaha FGX820C is one of the best acoustic electric guitars under $500. It provides a solid piece of spruce on top, with mahogany back and sides for vintage, snappy tones. You also get scalloped bracing, a premium touch that allows the top to resonate freely and enhances your projection. It’s relatively rare to find scalloped bracing on a guitar at this price.
On top of the tried-and-true tonewood combo, you also get a handy cutaway and a Yamaha System66 preamp with a 3-band EQ and sweepable mids control.
This lets you adjust which frequencies the mid-range dial controls, so you can boost or cut the exact frequencies that optimize your guitar tone on stage. Considering how the dreadnought body shape boosts bass and mids, the sweepable control is a welcome upgrade.
If you want a more detailed look at affordable acoustics, you might also appreciate our article on the best cheap acoustic guitars.
What is the Best Acoustic Electric Guitar For Beginners?
Acoustic-electric guitars make awesome stage instruments for seasoned players, but they’re also good choices for beginners. Compared to standard acoustic guitars, electric-acoustic guitars are more versatile, which is perfect for a new player who might grow into a gigging pro someday.
However, if you’re picking an electro-acoustic for a beginner, you’ll want to keep a few tips in mind. A smaller body is essential, because it makes it easy for beginners to get their strumming arm around the guitar. The Takamine GN93CE and PRS Parlor P20 SE each offer balanced, comfortable bodies for new players.
New players also struggle with the thick necks and high action on acoustic guitars. That’s because higher action and wider necks require more pressure to fret each note without buzz. Along with the Takamine GN93CE, a guitar like the Taylor 214CE offers a thinner neck, which makes it easier for newer players to grasp chords.
You might also consider the Epiphone Hummingbird PRO, which features Epiphone’s “SlimTaper” neck shape. This neck profile is relatively thin and flat for the length of the neck, which provides a comfortable, consistent platform for beginners.
If you want more picks, check out our in-depth guides on acoustic guitars with low action and acoustic guitars with thin necks. For younger players, you should also take a look at our article on the best guitar for kids.
We settled on the Taylor 214CE as one of the best acoustic electric guitars available today. Its build quality, dynamic projection and smooth sound and feel placed it above the competition.
Do you prefer acoustic-electric guitars or traditional acoustics? Do you use your electro-acoustic on stage, in studio or for noodling around the house? Let us know in the comments below.