Acoustic Electric vs Acoustic Guitar: A simple Comparison

Acoustic electric vs acoustic guitar, which is better to use?

Is it acoustic or electro-acoustic? Confused? They may appear the same, but do they sound alike?

Let’s clear up any confusion and get you started comparing the two guitars. You’ll know which one best suits your strumming needs by the end of this! This epic guide will show you the main differences between Acoustic electric vs acoustic guitar.

Acoustic Electric Guitar vs Acoustic: A simple Comparison
Acoustic Electric Guitar vs Acoustic

The Quick Answer

The pickup on an acoustic electric guitar allows you to plug it into an amplifier to boost volume and alter tone, which is the fundamental distinction between one and a regular acoustic guitar. Unplugged, acoustic-electric and acoustic guitars have identical tones.


Regular Acoustic Guitar – Overview

The acoustic guitar is the more versatile relative of the electric guitar. It’s a fretted musical instrument with strings that vibrate above a hollow chamber on the guitar’s body to make sound.

Because the vibrations move through the air, there is no need for electrical amplification, thanks to the sound chamber that generates amplification and tone. A regular acoustic guitar and an electro-acoustic guitar are both acoustic guitars in terms of sound production.

Furthermore, without an inbuilt pickup, a regular acoustic’s volume potential is limited, which is where an electro-acoustic comes into play.

As a result, acoustic musicians who often perform live choose electro-acoustic instruments.

Bedroom players, on the other hand, who aren’t frequent gigging musicians and aren’t fond of the plugged electro-acoustic tone, prefer a traditional acoustic guitar.

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acoustic electric vs acoustic guitar

What is an Acoustic Electric guitar?

What distinguishes an acoustic guitar from an acoustic electric guitar?

Is it acoustic or electro-acoustic? Confused?

We already know what an acoustic guitar is, and as you can see, the two guitar types are very similar in appearance. So, how do acoustic and acoustic electric guitars differ?

The acoustic-electric guitar, also known as electro-acoustic, is similar to an acoustic guitar in terms of design, acoustic qualities, and instrument components. The distinction is the “electronics” that are installed on an acoustic electric guitar.

These electronic components enable an acoustic electric guitar to be connected to an amplifier or soundboard. Components include:

  • Magnetic pickup
  • Piezo pickup
  • Built-in microphone
acoustic electric vs acoustic guitar
acoustic electric vs. acoustic guitar

The Piezo pickup is the most popular type, however there are other more modern acoustic electric guitars that combine a microphone, a Piezo pickup, and sensors.

In addition to requiring a pickup system, an acoustic-electric guitar will also require a built-in preamp to function effectively. A preamp in your acoustic-electric guitar boosts the signal produced by your instrument’s pickup before delivering it to your amplifier.

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A built-in tuner, tone controls, and equalizers are common features of built-in preamps. However, because the preamp system requires a power source to function, batteries of various capacities are usually included with the purchase of an acoustic-electric guitar.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of playing an acoustic-electric guitar?

Why would you want to play an acoustic-electric guitar? Why not, right? While the acoustic guitar is a classic instrument that paved the way for acoustic-electric and electric guitars, it isn’t quite up to par when it comes to performing “live” or anywhere other than your bedroom.

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acoustic guitars

You’re limited to static movement on stage (in front of a mic), poor sound projection in broad regions, and acoustic, harmonic overtones with an acoustic. While the latter argument isn’t always a disadvantage, an acoustic-electric guitar provides more sound options.

Pros of owning an acoustic-electric:

  • You can play your acoustic-electric guitar whether it’s plugged in or not.
  • A larger sound projection will be available to you.
  • You’ll notice that your harmonic overtones have increased in volume.
  • Customization of your sound
  • Are they significantly more expensive than non-acoustic electric guitars?
  • While performing live, you can move around the stage.
  • The guitar still sounds, plays, and looks like a typical acoustic guitar.

Cons of owning an acoustic-electric:

  • To play your instrument while plugged in, you must have access to a power supply.
  • Electronic parts fail frequently.
  • You will need to purchase additional equipment if you want to play plugged in
  • If you want to play plugged in, you’ll need more storage space to accommodate all of your gear.
  • Investing in an acoustic-electric guitar doesn’t really serve many uses if you aren’t looking to play live shows or performances.
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acoustic vs. acoustic electric guitar


Acoustic Electric Guitar vs Acoustic For Beginners

Since it’s about your personal preferences, this isn’t really a discussion at all. The versatility and benefits of having an acoustic electric guitar, on the other hand, lean decisively in favor of the winner.

However, there are several things to consider for a newbie. Let’s have a conversation about them.

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1. Attractiveness

This really is, without a doubt, one of the first things you’ll check for when purchasing a guitar. However, if you expect it to be a make-or-break decision, you will be disappointed. Acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars can be manufactured from the same tonewoods, have the same shape, and even the same finish.

2. Shape/Size

Both acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars are available in the same shape, size, and form that will best suit your playing style. When it comes to acoustic guitars, you have the choice of purchasing a ¾ acoustic guitar to match your smaller stature.

The main drawback of purchasing a 34 acoustic guitar is that, due to their smaller bodies, the majority of 34 guitars lack sound projection.

Acoustic-electric guitars are used to solve this problem. If you want to get your hands on a smaller-bodied acoustic guitar that you can play comfortably but don’t want to lose sound quality, an acoustic-electric guitar will be a great alternative.

3. Playability

Beginners have been playing acoustic guitars for five centuries. How are you going to compete with that? It’s all about the strings and the overall quality of the instrument. Nylon strings are kinder on the fingers, which is why so many novices prefer the electric guitar. However, they don’t produce nearly as much volume as steel strings, which is another problem solved by electric guitars.

Beginners may find steel strings more difficult to play, but this helps to “break you in,” which is where action comes in. Both an acoustic and an acoustic electric guitar with medium to low action and light strings are ideal for a beginner player.

4. Portability

An acoustic-electric guitar is an amazing design that allows it to perform as an acoustic while still being plugged in for optimum volume projection.

We all know a rookie will love this because they’ll want to show off their skills whenever and everywhere they can! When you’re at a bonfire or the beach, however, your acoustic-electric is confined to just that. 

When you don’t know where you’re going or where you’ll wind up, carrying the extra equipment required to plug in might be inconvenient, especially if there isn’t anywhere to plug in. Isn’t it fine if you only play acoustic?

Yes, but because you didn’t plug in, you still have your unused luggage to take around. On the other hand, what about an acoustic? There will be no extra equipment, toting, or baggage. You know what to expect no matter where you end up! Magical acoustic music.

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5. Costs/Price

As mentioned earlier, an acoustic-electric guitar may cost a little the identical as an guitar or a fraction of the value. However, when it involves brands, quality, and features, everything is subjective. So, they’re tied here.

However, you may have to purchase additional equipment to induce amplified sound from your acoustic-electric guitar. Whether you purchase the equipment and extras as a package or separately, you are still paying extra money for more items.

Acoustic Vs Acoustic Electric Guitar: Difference & Other Aspects
acoustic vs. acoustic electric guitar

Final Thoughts on acoustic electric vs acoustic guitar

Was it truly a race between the 2 instruments to start with? They’re both identical in nature, yet one is plugged in. Of course, the advantages of an acoustic-electric guitar may sway you a method or the opposite, but it’s in no way a cause to dismiss the time-honored acoustic.

Consider your guitar’s realistic use and expectations, and selecting an instrument will become much easier. If we will not hear you, we’ll say “amp it up,” and if you cannot, maybe you should’ve gone for an acoustic electric guitar!

Despite their differences, both the Acoustic and Electro-acoustic guitars are incredible instruments that serve their own roles; no matter which you select, both will allow you to form something remarkable. I hope you enjoyed the reading and learned about the similarities and differences between Acoustic and Electro-acoustic guitars.

FAQs about acoustic electric vs acoustic guitar

Is it better to get an acoustic or acoustic electric guitar?

Electric guitars are easier to master. Compared to acoustic guitars, the strings are lighter and more comfy. One among the foremost tempting features of electrical guitars is that they’re much smaller than acoustic guitars, making learning easier.

What is the difference between an acoustic and an electroacoustic guitar?

The power to amplify an electric-acoustic guitar is essentially the difference between a guitar and an electric-acoustic guitar. The short answer is that they’re identical aside from the actual fact that one contains built-in electronics and also the other doesn’t.

Is it worth getting an acoustic electric guitar?

Acoustic electric guitars are fantastic for live performances, but if you just plan on filming yourself playing or never will take your playing outside of your bedroom walls, an acoustic-electric guitar is not sensible.

Barry Moroney

Hi, Barry here. I'm a tech writer and blogger. I write about the latest technology, gadgets, and software. I also provide the best how-to and guides on the latest sound systems. I'm always excited to share my knowledge with others!


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