#1
I've been looking into buying an acoustic guitar for quite some time. This will be my first acoustic so my question is, should I buy an acoustic or acoustic-electric? Which would you recommend? (considering that this is my first acoustic). Is there any major differences between the two besides the A-E being able to be played through an amp? And finally, do I have to buy a seperate amp specifically for an acoustic-electric?

Any help would be great
Gear
Schecter C-1 Artist
Vox AD15VT
Epiphone EJ-200 Acoustic
#2
whether or not you get an acoustic electric or just an acoustic depends on two things.
1. what is your price range? electronics put at least $75+ on the price. the more expensive the guitar, the more expensive the electronics. Cheap $300 acoustic electric guitars arent worth buying.
2. do you use it often enough to be justifyable? if you dont use it often then really... why bother buying onboard electronics? buy seperately.

There is only a very slight tonal difference that is barely noticeable. Generally(but certainly not always) AE guitars come with cutaways as well, which adds more price onto the guitar. You can play AE's through any kind of amp, but preferably solid state instead of tube. it really doesnt matter though, you can honestly play it through anything.

As for my recommendation... it depends a lot on your price range and the usage of electronics. if you have $400+ and use the electronics, then go for it.
#3
I like the A/E because of the cutaway, it allows for access to upper frets. other than that I never plug it in, I do use the built in tuner though, but not all A/E come with those
#4
Take the money you would have payed for the built in electronics and invest in a better quality standard acoustic. Unless you plan on frequently playing plugged in, permanent electronics are just a burden and may worsen the guitar's unplugged sound. I vote acoustic all the way.

Edit: Also, if you need a cutaway, there are still plenty of non-electric acoustics that come with them.
#5
Alright, so apparantly i'm going for an acoustic now.

So...what do you guys suggest for a guitar around or under 600 USD?
Gear
Schecter C-1 Artist
Vox AD15VT
Epiphone EJ-200 Acoustic
#7
The first two lines that come to mind are the Epiphone Masterbilt and Alvarez Masterworks guitars.
#8
If you are going to play shows with it, it will be worth it to get an Acoustic Electric, otherwise you can if you can get the cash, but you don't really need it. You can use a regular amp on an acoustic electric too.
#9
IMO don't buy an electro if you're not going to use it as one, and don't let the cutaway convince you either, its not all that necessary. Its easy enough to get up to 15-17th fret area with a full body, not as convenient but its worth keeping the body shape for the resonance.
Let me tell you about heartache and the loss of god
Wandering, wandering in hopeless night
Out here in the perimeter there are no stars

Out here we is stoned
Immaculate.
#10
i have a feeling that in the future, it may be more worthwhile to buy pickup systems seperate from the guitar. with systems that leave a giant hole in the side of the guitar, it's hard to upgrade when the technology gets old. with non-instrusive systems that sit within the guitar, you would be able to swap out old electronics for new ones easily when the time comes that your pickup technology is out-dated. i think that this may become an important factor in the future because technology is really starting to get to the point where the amplified sound of an acoustic is very true and realistic of the actual guitar.
#11
Agreed. On my last guitar purchase I actually had the shop install L.R.Baggs' Dual Source instead of a "default" preamp system. I decided that I could live without the EQ control on the guitar itself (as that could be done on the amp), and I'm pleased with the decision, as not only does the guitar look great but the pickup performance is not too shabby either.
#12
Quote by TokyoNeko
Agreed. On my last guitar purchase I actually had the shop install L.R.Baggs' Dual Source instead of a "default" preamp system. I decided that I could live without the EQ control on the guitar itself (as that could be done on the amp), and I'm pleased with the decision, as not only does the guitar look great but the pickup performance is not too shabby either.


Same here. I bought my Martin D-16RGT and then just added an LR Baggs M1 Active soundhole pickup and had it perma-installed. the pickup with my guitar sounds better than any electro-acoustic guitar i've ever played. The fact that i can change up my electronics in the future is also a very attractive thought to me because I do NOT plan on buying another steel 6 string for a very very long time.
#13
Just about any Alvarez guitar will suit your needs.

I play an Alvarez RD20SSB and it sounds/plays divine. $321 USD, and it outplays both of a good friend's $800 Yamaha acoustic (which is actually the best playing Yamaha I've played) and his dad's $1200+ Taylor
Quote by gilly_90
Hi, I'm looking for some fruit, I can't decide between apples and oranges.
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Thanks
#14
This is a good question to be asking for a lot of reasons. Both of my guitars were given to me so I didn't have a choice in what I received. Now I love them both to death but over the years I developed a real liking for the acoustic. I have a seagull s-6 acoustic and it doesn't plug in. This is fine and all for everything except when it comes to recording. I really just want to plug in to record but I can't. If you plan to record and want a nice sound without having to buy the huge microphone and ****, get an acoustic-electric. That way you can just buy the usb port thing to plug it into your computer for that beautiful recording sound.
The times they are a changin'.....
#15
get an acoustic-electric..
it will add versatility to your playing.. you need not buy another amp.. an electric guitar amp would do, hust find the right tweaks for the EQ..
also, if you get an AE, you wouldn't worry about buying a pick-up and eventually misplacing it since it's not built-in..
mostly, AEs come with pick-ups an tuners which can be very helpful at times..
#16
I'm a rather recent convert, but I would highly recommend a straight acoustic... then add a non-intrusive pickup later, for the following reasons:

- You can get any pickup you want, as opposed to being forced to use a particular model.
- You don't have that gigantic hole on the side, which is a tonal/aesthetical detriment.
- You're most likely to actually save some money at the end, for equivalent guitar models.

About the only benefit an AE can get you are EQ control onboard, which isn't really needed if you have an even finer control on your amp or the PA system.
#17
Quote by TokyoNeko
I'm a rather recent convert, but I would highly recommend a straight acoustic... then add a non-intrusive pickup later, for the following reasons:

- You can get any pickup you want, as opposed to being forced to use a particular model.
- You don't have that gigantic hole on the side, which is a tonal/aesthetical detriment.
- You're most likely to actually save some money at the end, for equivalent guitar models.

About the only benefit an AE can get you are EQ control onboard, which isn't really needed if you have an even finer control on your amp or the PA system.


On top of these great reasons that TokyoNeko stated... heres some more.

- if you want EQ, buying a preamp can usually help you out and wont be too expensive as you can get some decent ones for around $100.
- A non-intrusive system that just sits in your guitar without the need of any holes(except the 1/4 inch jack) can be upgraded when newer and better sounding systems in the future.
- My LR Baggs M1 Active soundhole pickup sounds incredibly realistic. There has yet to be an A/E guitar that i've heard that sounds better than it.

as for the advantage of an in-guitar tuner... unless you're a professional, just tune the guitar before you play. If your guitar cant stay in tune that long then you've bought a crappy guitar.
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.
#18
i'd still go for an AE if i were you my friend.. it would be too bulky carrying many stuffs (guitar, tuner, pick-ups, EQ).. wherein you can get them all in one AE guitar.. also, if emergency calls that you might want to plug in your guitar to an amp.. what if you forgot your pick up?.. then it would be very sad.. also, if you are still learning how to play and you accidentally detune your guitar, the built-in tuner would really come in handy.. i agree that with those many holes and plastic parts of the AE (due to electronics and EQ), a bit of sacrifice to the tone would be made.. but you can live with that.. buying several separate gadgets would cost you more than buying an AE which has got it all.. this is just my opinion.. the decision is yours my friend..
#19
Quote by deltacross
i'd still go for an AE if i were you my friend.. it would be too bulky carrying many stuffs (guitar, tuner, pick-ups, EQ).. wherein you can get them all in one AE guitar.. also, if emergency calls that you might want to plug in your guitar to an amp.. what if you forgot your pick up?.. then it would be very sad.. also, if you are still learning how to play and you accidentally detune your guitar, the built-in tuner would really come in handy.. i agree that with those many holes and plastic parts of the AE (due to electronics and EQ), a bit of sacrifice to the tone would be made.. but you can live with that.. buying several separate gadgets would cost you more than buying an AE which has got it all.. this is just my opinion.. the decision is yours my friend..


its not nearly as bulky as you think O__o... also... you cant forget your soundhole pickup if it's permanently installed in your guitar. my pickup stays in my guitar at all times and has a hole drilled at the strap pin for a regular 1/4 inch jack.

as for a tuner... if you're a beginner, you wouldnt be playing on stage. so arguably, you wouldnt need a tuner in a live situation. it's handy for sure, but a lot of times the tuners built into these electronics arent even accurate.

As for EQ, i can adjust the pole heights for the pickup sensitivity of each string. EQ shouldnt be something constantly messed around with anyways.

i can also assure you that the cost of buying all those seperate items is MUCH less than some factory electronics. If i had bought my Martin D-16RGT with electronics it would have costed me about $400 for electronics alone. I bought separate electronics and it costed $200 + $40 for installation. a tuner costs no more than $20. With electronics not including tax my guitar would have costed $1700(tax is 13%). Adding my own electronics costed $1700 total w/ tax included.

So arguably, i think i saved money on my electronics.
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.
#20
^captivate, I'm curious, what type of amp do you play that through? I think i read somewhere that soundhole pickups work well through electric amps, have you plugged it into a tube amp?

I'm thinking of gettting a soundhole pickup for my acoustic, but only if i could play it through my electric amp. Lord knows I can't afford to buy an acoustic amp as well.
#21
Quote by slidething31
^captivate, I'm curious, what type of amp do you play that through? I think i read somewhere that soundhole pickups work well through electric amps, have you plugged it into a tube amp?

I'm thinking of gettting a soundhole pickup for my acoustic, but only if i could play it through my electric amp. Lord knows I can't afford to buy an acoustic amp as well.


I play through a Peavey solid state(not sure what model. it's not mine) and/or a PA system usually. I havent played it through a tube yet though. Usually tube amps dont work as well with acoustic guitars because you get a bit of distortion when you start cranking the volume up, but honestly... it should still sound fine.

I've plugged my guitar through my small 30 watt Randall bass amp at home and it actually sounds quite similar to my guitar as well except it gives a bit of additional bass. I was quite surprised... its not a good amp by any means, but it still held the sound decently well.

so... yea. feel free to plug it into any sort of amp you want. they should all work relatively well.
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.
#22
i bought a cheap crate acoustic amp for 150 us i wish i had bought the thirty watter so i could use it as a monitor and run it right into the pa but it is plenty loud to piss off the poeple living above and beside me not to mention my wife it deffinitly wouldnt play over a drum kit though well it would if he was using brushes and staying out of the kick drum. like i said not the best in the world but there are cheap optoins out there.