#1
well i got to thinking and is there any real advantages to buying acoustic over acoustic electric? please explain to me as i am a huge noob to acoustic and acoustic-electrics. thanks in advance.
#3
acoustic electrics have a hole cut in the side for the electronics. the more solid wood throughout, the better it sounds.
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#4
Quote by legallydead
Regular acoustics, sound WAY better in general



Balogna. I've got a couple of acoustic electrics in my collection that would put some acoustics to shame. Don't make blanket statements like this without having the facts/proof to back it up. The fact that a guitar is acoustic, or acoustic electric has absolutely zippo to do with its sound. Did I say zippo? Let me say it again. It has absolutely zippo to do with its sound.

If you but an acoustic electric, you get a guitar with a pickup, or pickups and the electronics already installed. Simply plug it into an acoustic amp, or PA and play. If you buy an acoustic guitar, no electronics are installed, so if you decide you want to amplify, or record, that guitar, then you need to mic it, or install an aftermarket pickup system. There's nothing wrong with going either way. Buy a guitar without a pickup and electronics certainly allows you to buy the pickup system you want and install it yourself. I prefer having it already installed from the factory.
#5
i haven't found any of the above to be the case. the advantage of acoustic over acoustic electric is simple - if you buy a guitar with electronics, a lot of what you're paying for is the electronics and the installation. if you pay the same amount for an acoustic guitar, all the money you're paying in goes to the guitar, which means that you can get a better quality guitar.

in price ranges in the $500 to $650 area, and often higher, it often means the difference between an acoustic electric with laminate back and sides or an all solid acoustic. it can also mean different finishes and bracing.

if a guitar has electronics you just LOVE the sound of, or you're on a serious budget, it can be worth it to buy an acoustic electric. otherwise, to me it makes sense to get the best guitar you can afford and mic it or use a soundhole pickup till you can afford a pickup you really like the sound of. after around a grand, you run into more good sounding guitars with built in electronics where there's no trade-offs, although to get an all solid all gloss taylor with electronics will cost more than that by quite a ways.

my opinions here do change across the board when you get up to the more expensive factory guitars - say $2000 and up. at that point, the cost of the electronics are a smaller overall part of the cost, and often you can get a very good quality guitar and pretty good electronics, too.
#6
I'll never buy an acoustic with built in electronics because I like the simplicity and peace of mind that you get in the absence of amplifying hardware.

Quote by KG6_Steven
The fact that a guitar is acoustic, or acoustic electric has absolutely zippo to do with its sound.

That's not far from the truth, but the essence of the guitar is much more important to me.
Last edited by GC Shred Off at May 17, 2010,
#7
Quote by legallydead
Regular acoustics, sound WAY better in general


No. If your guitar is built right, the difference is negligible.

Basically, the only real difference is that with a pure acoustic, you spend all your money on the guitar itself. With electronics added in, a noticeable chunk is going towards the electronics (and often cutaway as well).

Example: For the Martin 16 series guitars, electronics and cutaway add about $400 to the price. That $400 could have been put towards a more expensive pure acoustic.

That's the only real difference.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#8
Seems like the people that claim to hear huge differences in acoustics with and without electronics are the same people that claim to hear a huge difference with and without cutaways. Kinda like the PCB Vs. PTP argument when it comes to electric amps.

I understand what GC Shred Off means about the essence of a guitar with no electronics, though. THAT is a legitimate reason to pick acoustic over acoustic-electric!
-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
#9
i've never heard the difference between a guitar with a cutaway and one without, nor have any of the luthiers or players i've known. btw, if you look over at agf, this subject has been discussed periodically. some of the most experienced folks around can't hear the difference.
#10
^ yeah I've read some of those topics over there. I mostly read and post in either the Taylor or Electrified sections so I'm sure I've missed a few.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
#11
I personally do not like cutaways on acoustics. I don't use them, and they just don't look that great to me. I can't tell a difference in sound, it just is something I don't like.

For that reason, the last three guitars I have bought have been all purely acoustics that I have added aftermarket pickups to.
#14
If you buy two guitars of the same price and similar quality, one acoustic-electric and the other acoustic, the acoustic one will usually have better sound quality.This is because of factors like the cost of the electrics goes to other things in the regular acoustic guitar, and the transfer of vibrations could be different because of the construction.

I would always buy an acoustic before an acoustic electric, of course there will always be exceptions.
#15
Quote by legallydead
Regular acoustics, sound WAY better in general


No offense, but that's an opinion, and actually, false.

However, what you might have been trying to say, is that for X amount of money, you can get a better acoustic guitar in terms of build quality, wood, etc, whereas for the same amount of money, X, the build quality, wood, etc. would not be as high quality because electronics are installed into it. Also, generally once you get into nice solid tops and all solid guitars, electronics do not alter the acoustic sound when unplugged*. It mainly gives you the option to plug into an amp, PA, or other similar device to amplify your sound without mic'ing your instrument.

The only advantage of buying a regular straight-up acoustic as opposed to an acoustic electric is what you want/your budget. The advantage is that if you're just looking for an acoustic guitar, you can get more acoustic guitar for your money as opposed to paying for a guitar AND electronics. It's mainly a value for the money advantage.

*Physically, yes, the tone of the instrument is altered because a piece of the wood is taken out, thus altering the vibrations in the instrument. However, this alteration of vibrations is most likely unnoticeable to almost everyone, thus being insignificant.
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#16
Quote by legallydead
Regular acoustics, sound WAY better in general



NOT!

A pick up should make no difference in sound with the possible exception of the under the saddle pick up. I prefer the transducer pick ups they sound great.

Buy what ever guitar you want and have a K & K Western Mini Pick up put in it. I put one in a guitar I built. I was at an Open mic last night and a friend of mine played my guitar and it was by far the best sounding guitar there last night. IMHO of course.
#17
I have found that with regular acoustics the projection you get is better than an acoustic-electric if the latter isn't plugged in.
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#18
Quote by Frets-On-Fire
I have found that with regular acoustics the projection you get is better than an acoustic-electric if the latter isn't plugged in.



this would have to be compared to the same model of guitar with and without electronics. body shapes, tone woods, strings, and construction quality have more to do with projection than electronics mounted to a guitar, espcially something as small and inobtrusive as the Expression System for example.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
#19
Electronics can be nice when you want to play live, but when you are at home jamming, you truly dont need it. Cap summed it up perfectly like usual. The tonal difference shouldn't be noticeable if it's a well made acoustic, so dont listen to people saying "Natural acoustics sound better". Many acoustics now have internal mics and pre-amps that have no holes cut into the guitar, only a hole in the strap button for your patch cord.
#20
price mainly i guess

same price acoustic vs acoustic electric = better acoustic prob

but it also depends on the guitar itself
#21
Quote by ePOWsa
I like a well miced straight acoustic over any acoustic-electric anyday, just sounds better

I always found that to be a pain in the ass in live settings. On a small stage it can be so difficult to keep your guitar close enough to the mic while still keeping your face in the vocal mic.

AS for the whole acoustic versus electro-acoustic debate, i recently had a Fishman matrix fitted into my Yamaha FG450SA. I did find that my acoustic sound was diminished a tiny bit but to be honest it was nothing worth complaining about. However, I do believe that electro acoustics that have built in equalisers which require cutting a large hole in the side of the guitar can be quite damaging to the guitars acoustic sound. I have a classical guitar which uses this type of system and even though the tone is great it really doesn't seem to resonate as well as a fully acoustic guitar
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#22
Quote by Bossman123
I always found that to be a pain in the ass in live settings. On a small stage it can be so difficult to keep your guitar close enough to the mic while still keeping your face in the vocal mic.


That's generally why people will sit down if they're micing the guitar. It's near impossible to keep the mic at a consistent distance/place from the guitar if you stand up.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#23
Quote by captivate
That's generally why people will sit down if they're micing the guitar. It's near impossible to keep the mic at a consistent distance/place from the guitar if you stand up.

Even so, i just find that i like to move the guitar around too much to use a mic
MIA Fender Strat
Yamaha FG-450S
Crafter 12 string
Orange Rocker 30 combo
Vox AC30CC2
Epi Valve Junior
Fulltone Clyde
Danelectro Free Speech
T.C. Electronic Vintage Dual Distortion
Boss MIJ GE-7 (c1987)
Boss TU2
MXR Phase 90
Artec delay
#24
Consider this as well when trying to compare acoustics wth electronics.cutaways to acoustics that dont have them...We often talk on this forum about the fact that one model of guitar will sound different from other guitars of the exact same model. This is due to minor differences in the woods, construction, etc...

So then knowing this (and i know we can all agree on this here because its said all the time!), how can a difference in tone between 2 guitars of the same model be attributed to the fact that one has electronics/cutaway and one doesnt? They're going to sound different either way because of wood inconsistencies!! You can't abandon one rule of thumb just to try and coax up another one that has much less basis than this one.


There are differences in tone from one guitar to another within the same model! Consider the extreme hit and miss property of Koa. Some Koa guitars are incredible, other Koa guitars are complete duds.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
#25
I really like my tak acoustic electric. Its really nice for playing gigs but if you dont ever have a situation where you would need to amp your acoustic then dont get an acoustic electric. One other thing for me is that I really like the cutaway and surprisingly use it alot
#26
Quote by KG6_Steven
Balogna. I've got a couple of acoustic electrics in my collection that would put some acoustics to shame. Don't make blanket statements like this without having the facts/proof to back it up. The fact that a guitar is acoustic, or acoustic electric has absolutely zippo to do with its sound. Did I say zippo? Let me say it again. It has absolutely zippo to do with its sound.

If you but an acoustic electric, you get a guitar with a pickup, or pickups and the electronics already installed. Simply plug it into an acoustic amp, or PA and play. If you buy an acoustic guitar, no electronics are installed, so if you decide you want to amplify, or record, that guitar, then you need to mic it, or install an aftermarket pickup system. There's nothing wrong with going either way. Buy a guitar without a pickup and electronics certainly allows you to buy the pickup system you want and install it yourself. I prefer having it already installed from the factory.



Thank you.

My Ibanez EW Acoustic Electric is amazing, and it could probably kick my ass in a fist fight.
#27
Quote by Funk Monk
Thank you.

My Ibanez EW Acoustic Electric is amazing, and it could probably kick my ass in a fist fight.

I hear alot of bashing over Ibanez acoustics, and I understand why, sometimes you pay good money for a fancy looking guitar that has a laminate top etc... but my little nieces Ibanez exotic wood series acoustic sounds very good. I was worried cause her parents and her picked it out without any research or even asking my opinion since I'm the token guitar player in the family, but it actually sounds good, the tuner works great, hardware seems sturdy, and it looks great, which is the most important thing to her right now since she's had it for 6 months and can't play a single chord yet. I'm not gonna go out on a limb and say it rivals 1000$ solid wood guitars or anything, but it sounds as good as any other guitar in that price range that I've tried.
#28
I don't really know my shit. But I'm guessing an electric acoustic would be designed to play mostly plugged in. So as well as the actual money you're spending on the electrics, there is going to be less care gone into the sound of the thing unplugged(to some degree I'm sure anyway.)
There is blatantly some degree of snobbery in it, too. I like the idea of a "pure acoustic" guitar.

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