Acoustic Vs Acoustic Electric Guitar – Differences

Looking to buy a guitar but unsure whether to go for an acoustic or an acoustic-electric? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars to help you make an informed decision.

Acoustic guitars have a rich history, known for their warm and crisp tones.

Acoustic-electric guitars offer more versatility, with the ability to be plugged into an amplifier for greater control.

Join us as we dive into the world of acoustic vs. acoustic-electric guitars.

Key Takeaways

  • Acoustic-electric guitars have built-in electronic components that allow for amplification and customization of sound.
  • They provide bigger sound projection and amplify harmonic overtones.
  • Acoustic-electric guitars require additional equipment (such as an amplifier) for amplified sound.
  • They offer the advantage of sizing and shape customization without sacrificing sound projection.

Sound Projection

When it comes to sound projection, acoustic-electric guitars provide you with bigger volume and amplification options. With their built-in electronic components, such as Piezo pickups and built-in preamps, acoustic-electric guitars allow you to amplify your sound and project it to larger audiences.

This amplification can be achieved through various methods, including using a microphone, a wireless preamp system, a clip-on pickup system, or installing a pickup. These amplification methods give you the flexibility to customize your sound and achieve different tonal differences.

Whether you prefer a warm and crisp tone or a thinner tone, acoustic-electric guitars offer you the versatility to adjust your sound to your liking.

Electronic Components

If you’re considering an acoustic electric guitar, you’ll be interested in the electronic components that are fitted into it. Electronic components play a crucial role in the functionality and versatility of an acoustic electric guitar.

One important component is the pickup, which is responsible for capturing the vibrations of the strings and converting them into an electrical signal. There are different types of pickups available, including built-in microphones, magnetic pickups, and Piezo pickups.

The most commonly used pickup in acoustic electric guitars is the Piezo pickup, which provides a clear and natural sound. Each type of pickup has its own pros and cons in terms of sound quality and performance. It’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing the type of pickup for your acoustic electric guitar.


You’ll find that playability is an important factor to consider when choosing between an acoustic and an acoustic electric guitar.

Both types of guitars offer adjusting action, allowing you to set the string height to your preference. This feature is particularly beneficial for beginners, as it ensures a more comfortable playing experience.

Additionally, acoustic electric guitars often come with beginner-friendly features such as built-in tuners and onboard controls for volume and tone adjustments. These features make it easier for beginners to get started and experiment with different sounds.

Whether you choose an acoustic or an acoustic electric guitar, ensuring good playability is crucial for your enjoyment and progress as a guitarist.


When considering purchasing an acoustic or acoustic-electric guitar, you’ll want to compare pricing options to find the best fit for your budget and needs. Electric acoustic guitars typically have a similar price range to non-electric acoustic guitars. The pricing may vary slightly depending on the brand, features, and materials used.

It’s important to note that acoustic-electric guitars may require additional equipment for amplified sound, which can increase the overall investment. However, the sound quality of acoustic-electric guitars is generally comparable to non-electric acoustic guitars. The choice between the two types of guitars ultimately depends on individual preferences and additional equipment needs.

Cosmetic Appearance

When it comes to choosing between acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars, cosmetic appearance is an important factor to consider. While both types of guitars have equal cosmetic appeal, there are certain differentiating factors in appearance that may sway your decision.

However, it’s crucial to note that cosmetic appearance doesn’t affect the sound produced by the guitar. Ultimately, the choice between acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars should be based on other factors such as sound projection, versatility, and personal preferences.

Cosmetic Appeal Importance

The cosmetic appearance of acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars is equally important. While the focus of choosing a guitar should primarily be on sound quality and playability, the aesthetic appeal of the instrument can’t be overlooked.

Differentiating factors in appearance include the body shape, wood grain, finish, and decorative details such as inlays and bindings. These elements contribute to the overall visual appeal of the guitar and can enhance the player’s connection to the instrument.

Whether you prefer the classic and timeless look of a traditional acoustic guitar or the sleek and modern design of an acoustic-electric, finding a guitar that matches your personal style and resonates with you visually is an important part of the guitar-buying experience.

Differentiating Factors in Appearance

To truly understand the differences between acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars, you must consider the various factors that differentiate their cosmetic appearances.

One of these factors is the customization options available for each type of guitar. Acoustic guitars offer limited customization options, with most models featuring a traditional wooden body and minimal decorative elements.

On the other hand, acoustic-electric guitars often have more options for customization, allowing players to choose from a variety of finishes, inlays, and binding styles.

Another differentiating factor is the size variety offered by each type of guitar. Acoustic guitars come in various sizes, including dreadnought, concert, and parlor, each with its own unique sound and feel.

Acoustic-electric guitars also offer a range of sizes, allowing players to find the perfect fit for their playing style and comfort.

Does Appearance Affect Sound?

Does the cosmetic appearance of a guitar affect its sound?

When it comes to the tone produced by a guitar, the cosmetic appearance has no direct effect. The sound of a guitar is primarily determined by factors such as the type of wood, the construction, and the pickups or microphones used.

However, personal preference plays a role in the overall experience of playing a guitar. The aesthetic appeal of a guitar can influence how connected you feel to the instrument and can enhance your enjoyment while playing. Whether it’s the color, the shape, or the overall design, choosing a guitar that you find visually appealing can enhance your playing experience and inspire you to create music that resonates with you.

Ultimately, while the cosmetic appearance doesn’t directly impact the sound, it can have an indirect effect on your overall satisfaction and connection with the instrument.


When considering portability, there are certain advantages to both acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars.

Non-electric acoustic guitars have the advantage of being more portable due to the absence of extra equipment and the reliance on electricity.

On the other hand, acoustic-electric guitars provide the option of amplification, which can be beneficial for live performances.

However, the need to carry additional equipment for amplification may be cumbersome and unnecessary in certain situations.

Portability Advantages

If you prioritize portability, non-electric acoustic guitars have the advantage due to the absence of extra equipment and reliance on electricity. Portability benefits include the ease of carrying the guitar without the need for additional gear. This makes non-electric acoustic guitars ideal for musicians who are frequently on the move or who prefer to travel light.

The impact on live performances is significant as well. Non-electric acoustic guitars allow for spontaneous performances in any location without the need for power sources or amplification equipment. This enables musicians to connect with their audience in a more intimate and authentic way.

Equipment and Power Source

When it comes to equipment and power source, the portability of acoustic electric guitars is influenced by their reliance on additional gear and access to electricity. Acoustic electric guitars require additional equipment such as amplifiers or preamps for amplified sound, which can add to the overall weight and size of the instrument. This can be a disadvantage when it comes to portability, as it may require extra storage space and make it less convenient to carry around.

Additionally, acoustic electric guitars need access to a power source for plugged-in playing, which can limit their portability in certain situations where electricity isn’t readily available. On the other hand, non-electric acoustic guitars don’t have these requirements and can be played anywhere without the need for additional equipment or power source.

In terms of maintenance and repairs, acoustic electric guitars may require occasional maintenance of their electronic components or replacement of parts if they fail. This can be an added cost and inconvenience compared to non-electric acoustic guitars, which generally require less maintenance.

Impact on Live Performances?

For live performances, the portability of acoustic electric guitars can have a significant impact on your convenience and ease of transportation. Electric acoustic guitars offer several benefits for live performances. They provide the convenience of direct amplification, allowing for more control over volume and tone. This is particularly helpful in situations where increasing the volume could cause feedback with microphoned acoustics. Electric acoustic guitars also allow for easy amplification and can be connected to sound systems, making them versatile for live performances.

However, there are drawbacks to using electric acoustic guitars in recording situations. The tone produced by electric acoustic guitars may be thinner compared to microphoned acoustics, and traditional acoustic guitars may be preferred for recording clean guitar parts. It’s important to consider these factors when choosing between acoustic and electric acoustic guitars for live performances.

Features and Benefits

Electric-acoustic guitars offer a range of features and benefits that enhance your playing experience. One of the main advantages is the ability to amplify your sound, making it suitable for live performances or playing with other musicians.

These guitars provide more control over volume and tone, allowing you to adjust your sound according to your preferences. When it comes to amplification methods, there are several options available, including using a microphone, a wireless preamp system, a clip-on pickup system, or installing a pickup. Each method has its pros and cons in terms of sound quality and convenience.

While electric-acoustic guitars offer the convenience of direct amplification, they may produce a slightly thinner tone compared to microphoned acoustics. However, they’re still versatile and suitable for a variety of musical genres and playing situations.

Choosing the Right Guitar

If you’re unsure which guitar to choose, consider the differences between an acoustic and acoustic-electric guitar.

When it comes to guitar selection, it’s important to consider beginner-friendly features. Both acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars can be suitable for beginners, but electric-acoustic guitars may offer more features to entice beginners to practice more.

The additional features of electric-acoustic guitars, such as built-in pickups and preamps, provide more control over volume and tone, making them versatile for live performances.

However, the choice ultimately depends on factors such as the genre of music, playing alone or with others, and the frequency of live performances.

Take into account your preferences and needs to make the right decision in choosing the guitar that suits you best.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Different Types of Electronic Components That Can Be Found in an Acoustic-Electric Guitar?

Different types of electronic components found in an acoustic-electric guitar include built-in microphones, magnetic pickups, and Piezo pickups. These components affect the sound by amplifying harmonic overtones, providing bigger sound projection, and allowing for customization of the sound.

Are Acoustic-Electric Guitars More Expensive Than Non-Electric Acoustic Guitars?

Acoustic-electric guitars have pros and cons compared to non-electric acoustic guitars. The advantages include more control over volume and tone, versatility for live performances, and direct amplification. However, they may be more expensive due to additional electronic components and equipment needs.

Do Acoustic-Electric Guitars Require Additional Equipment for Amplified Sound?

Yes, acoustic-electric guitars require additional equipment for amplified sound. This includes a built-in preamp and the option to connect to an amplifier or sound system. The benefits of amplified sound include increased volume, control over tone, and versatility for live performances.

How Does the Playability of Acoustic and Acoustic-Electric Guitars Compare?

The playability of acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars is comparable. Both offer comfortable playing experiences and allow for medium/low action and the use of light steel strings. There are no significant differences in playability between the two types.

What Factors Should Be Considered When Choosing Between an Acoustic and Electric-Acoustic Guitar?

When choosing between an acoustic and an electric-acoustic guitar, factors to consider include sound preference and playing style. Think about what type of sound you want and how you like to play.


In conclusion, when deciding between an acoustic and an acoustic-electric guitar, it ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and needs as a musician.

Acoustic guitars offer a timeless and natural sound, perfect for those who appreciate simplicity and tradition.

On the other hand, acoustic-electric guitars provide versatility, control, and convenience, making them ideal for live performances and those looking for more options in their sound.

Consider your playing style, intended use, and budget to make the best choice for you.

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