Even after all these decades, the world of guitar is still full of innovations. Year after year, manufacturers bring something new, even if it’s just a slight change or improvement of aesthetic features. But the biggest innovation takes some time and often brings a lot of stuff with it.
Since its invention, electric guitars have seen a lot of changes. However, acoustic guitars got somewhat neglected and you still needed a good microphone for them if you wanted to do something for live shows. But after some time, manufacturers began implementing piezo sensors that served as pickups.
Located under the guitar’s saddle, these pickups could be amplified and can even come with their own preamplifiers integrated into the guitar’s body. These days, acoustic-electric guitars are a pretty common sight and many of them have a really convincing tone when plugged into any regular PA system.
What may present a problem here is the price. The rule is always the same – if you want a good tone, you need to pay a lot. But what if we told you that you can actually find some amazing acoustic-electric guitars within the budget-friendly territories? Of course, it may not be always the easiest task to find one out there, but it’s still far from an impossible task. We went deeper into this topic to bring you the list of the best cheap acoustic-electric guitars.
Known for their super-cheap yet quality and reliable pedals, Donner also has some pretty interesting electric and acoustic guitars. As for acoustic guitars with Piezos and electronics, they have a pretty nice model called DAG-1CE. It’s intended as a full-sized guitar for beginners. However, we have a few features and other qualities that make it very suitable even for intermediate or advanced players. First, its body is made of spruce and it features mahogany back and sides. The neck is also a mahogany one, with a “C” profile and 20 frets in total. It also comes with a pretty decent preamp and piezo system that has its built-in tuner and a very useful 3-band EQ. For this price, there’s hardly any chance that you’ll get a better deal.
Carlo Robelli CRF600CES
Although not exactly the most famous brand out there, Carlo Robelli still has some nice instruments to offer. This simple guitar with a dreadnaught-shaped body comes with a laminated linden top and laminated Agathis back and sides. While this is most certainly not a luxurious option, the build quality is pretty amazing, making this guitar very reliable and durable. It has an Okoume neck fitted with a rosewood fingerboard that comes with 20 frets. Carlo Robelli CRF600CES also comes with a scale length of 25.5 inches and a very useful and comfortable cutaway for easier access to higher frets. Its preamp and piezo system come with 3-band EQ, volume, and presence controls, as well as a bass cut button. It’s a pretty versatile combo for players of any genre.
Fender is an unavoidable brand in pretty much any category of instruments or gear. Surprisingly enough, they also have some pretty cheap instruments to offer that still manage to retain basic qualities and features of those more expensive examples. From their collection of acoustic-electric guitars, we’d like to single out FA-125CE for this particular category. It’s a single-cutaway guitar with dreadnaught body shape, featuring a spruce top in combination with basswood back and sides. We can also find a very comfortable nato wood neck that has a fantastic walnut fingerboard with 22 frets. It has a very simple yet amazing preamp with volume, bass, and treble controls, along with a built-in tuner. Knowing its qualities and a surprisingly low price, we can safely say that you can’t go wrong with this one.
Ashthorpe Full-Size Cutaway Thinline Acoustic-Electric Guitar
There are plenty of those “generic” brands out there, and there’s even some good stuff in this category of instruments as well. Ashthorpe is not exactly a guitar brand that you’ll often find, but they have a pretty nice full-sized single-cutaway acoustic-electric guitar worth checking out if you’re operating on a budget. This one comes with a preamp with some very useful controls, including a 3-band EQ and a presence knob. Although very cheap, the guitar can even come in handy for some live gigs.
Of course, it was really difficult not to include at least one more Fender acoustic-electric guitar model on this list. Although standing somewhere right on the edge between the inexpensive and expensive, the FA-235E model outperforms its price range. You can see that right away with its unique and aesthetically pleasing design. It has a concert body-shape and a somewhat unusual headstock design. But its build quality, materials, and tone are unmatched for this cost. With a flamed maple top and mahogany sides, you’ll get a very rich and resonant tone that covers both high and low-end of the spectrum. But the most exciting part is that it comes with Fishman electronics and pickup that get the best out of this fine instrument. The idea behind this one was to have great looks, comfort, as well as the tone for a fairly cheap price.