The world of guitar holds its many secrets. There are so many different instruments, magnetic pickups, piezo pickups, pedals, effects, amplifiers, and other devices that all hold the same purpose – making your instrument sound better.
And it’s usually pretty hard to find what can fully suit your needs. The more complex instrument, the more options you get. On the other hand, with more complexity also comes more difficulty in choosing the right instrument for your needs. It’s so easy to chase the best sounding acoustic electric guitar and end up regretting your decision for ever.
While acoustic guitars might be simple, acoustic-electric ones can get a bit tricky. So if you’re having trouble finding the best one for you, here’s the guide for the best acoustic-electric guitars for the money that you can find on the market these days.
You won’t need to spend a fortune to lay your hands on a good acoustic electric guitar but there are a few things to consider here, as these guitars have additional pickups, mostly piezo ones. In some cases, we have passive electronics, but these guitars mostly feature active electronics that are powered by 9-volt batteries. So, you need to pay attention to the different materials that impact the tone, different types of pickups, how the instrument feels in your hands, and the price. We tried to put a little bit of everything, so here’s what we came up with.
Of course, it’s hard to not mention Fender in any list about guitars, both acoustic and electric. But as far as acoustic-electrics go, the one that caught our attention was CD-60SCE, which is an improved version of their CD-60. This is a dreadnaught-shaped instrument, featuring a body made of the standard combination of spruce and mahogany. On top of that, we have a very elegant Venetian-cutaway that allows you to reach those higher frets more easily. But most importantly, the guitar comes with wonderful Fishman pickup and electronics. It’s a great deal for its price, holding up to Fender’s legendary name.
The body’s top is made of a quality layered spalted maple. Meanwhile, the back and sides form one whole piece that’s made of fiberglass. This is the company’s famous Lyrachord that they’re known for. Being a mid-depth instrument and featuring these materials, you can get some really “sharp” tones out of it. As for electronics, the sound is reproduced through its CP-100 pickup and OP-4CT preamp. This is a fully professional instrument intended for lead sections.
In the world of acoustic guitars, Ovation holds a really special place. These guitars feature a very innovative design, which results in a very unique, sharp, and very defined tone. Such is also the case with their CE44P-SM acoustic-electric guitar. This piece is one of the best tools for virtuosos of all genres. Although bearing a specific tone, it can find implementation in a lot of genres as a lead instrument. It features a very peculiar-looking body with an ergonomically designed cutaway.
Fender Newporter Classic
There’s a reason why Fender is so popular, and we can’t help but include at least another one of their guitars here. From the very first look, it’s pretty much obvious that Fender’s Newporter Classic is designed as a lead instrument. This acoustic-electric guitar pays honor to the company’s classic design, featuring the well-known Stratocaster headstock. The body shape is also interesting, which is an exclusive one by the company. At the same time, the neck is pretty comfortable, as if you’re playing an electric guitar. Somewhat of an unusual thing is the body and neck material, which is mahogany. This gives the guitar a mellower tone, which is kind of unexpected from a fender guitar. Nonetheless, it works like a charm and bears Fishman’s pickup and preamp. Aside from basic controls, it also has an onboard tuner.
We were rather surprised by Ibanez’s PS15ECENT acoustic-electric guitar. Not that you wouldn’t expect anything other than amazing from them, but the instrument is pretty cheap for its quality. This guitar has the so-called “grand concert” shape, which adds more volume and resonance. The top is made of spruce, while the sides and the back are from mahogany. The neck is also made from mahogany and has a nandu fretboard. Compared to the basic version, the PC15, this guitar also has an onboard AEQ-2T preamp with a pickup. Also, it has a nicely designed cutaway that helps you reach higher frets more easily.
Paul Reed Smith SE Angelus A50E
Although they’re well-known by guitar players, Paul Reed Smith guitars never seem to get enough attention and love that they deserve. Looking at their A50E, this instrument is proof of the company’s greatness. But the very first thing that we notice about it is the design. Just like many of their electric guitars, we can see the famous bird inlays on the fretboard. This is followed by a wonderful body design.
The body is made from spruce and maple, delivering a very bright and defined tone. This is all, of course, pronounced with the guitar’s Fishman GT1 pickup system.
With a list like this one, we just can’t avoid Yamaha. Here we have their FGX800C guitar. It’s a continuation of their acoustic FG800, and bears the same basic features, like the solid Sitka spruce top, nato back and sides, and a very comfortable neck with a rosewood fretboard. Since this is an acoustic-electric guitar, it has an onboard System 66 piezo pickup and a preamp. Powered by a 9-volt battery, you also get a volume knob and a 3-band EQ. It’s a very simple instrument, not very expensive, and it brings out all the best features of this instrument’s natural tone.
Lastly, we would also mention Taylor’s magnificent 214ce guitar. Now, this one is a bit more expensive. Nonetheless, it’s a fully professional instrument, with the finest Sitka spruce top and layered Indian rosewood back and sides. The body is relatively large, which lets the guitar resonate, adding a very rich harmonic content to the tone. Its onboard preamp and a pickup are top-notch quality, and they allow you to shape the tone for any musical style that you need.
To conclude, these are the best acoustic electric guitar for the money in today’s market. Do let us know what you think of any other guitar that should make it to this in the comments section below.