Whenever we talk about words like “Best” when it comes to guitars of any kind we must always remember the ultimate answer is always going to be subjective.
So with that in mind, I have some opinions about what we should consider as the best acoustic electric guitar for the money, that will deliver the best value in return. Electric Acoustic guitars are fantastic things to have, simply because of the versatility they offer, especially if you are a guitar player with some experience.
Another piece of good news is that these kinds of guitars are getting more and more affordable with every year that goes by.
I will do my best to keep the best reviews (in no particular order) to guitars coming in around the $500 range, as that is around the budget most people would be looking at for a good review. However, if you can manage to stretch just a little bit above that – i think you will find a guitar that is well worth the extra push.
|Martin Road series drs1|
|This guitar is ALL about sound.|
|Gives you endless hours of playability and comfort.|
|Yamaha FGX730SC Solid Top Acoustic-Electric Guitar||Perfect Action with greaqt resonance and tone|
|Epiphone EJ-200CE||Stunning guitar with deep and rich tones|
|Oscar Schmidt OC11CE||Not the best finish, but there's not a better starter guitar for the price|
- 1 Top 5 Acoustic Electric Guitar Reviews
- 2 Martin Road Series DRS1 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- 3 Takamine GN93CE-NAT
- 4 Yamaha FGX730SC Solid Top Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- 5 Epiphone EJ-200SCE Solid Top Cutaway Acoustic /Electric Guitar
- 6 Oscar Schmidt OC11CE Classical Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- 7 So what’s not up to scratch?
- 8 Final Thoughts
Top 5 Acoustic Electric Guitar Reviews
I know i’m starting off with a guitar that is a slip above the $500 mark, but for good reason. Martin Guitars is a brand that is arguably the best electric acoustic guitar manufacturer in the industry, and DRS1 acoustic electric is one of the most satisfying guitars to play in the cheap to mid range.
So what makes this guitar so satisfying to play? Well, although it may not be the loudest guitar on the market it produces one of the warmest. There must be a secret ingredient because a lot of owners of this guitar also agree that it’s sound blows even $2-$3000 Martins out the water.
First impressions are simple. But this guitar was not built to impress on looks, it is ALL about sound. No sooner will you strum the strings than you will feel the whole body vibrate and resonate with those warm, rich velvety tones that make Martins what they are. Then you know you have found what could just be the absolute best acoustic electric guitar on the market. This one comes with the highest recommendations. There’s a reason 93% of reviews for this guitar are 5 STARS.
Takamine consider themselves to be real guitar “Artisans”. They pride themselves on the high standards of their craftsmanship, preferring to take the time to get the guitar right, rather than settle for mass production methods.
Featuring the curvaceous NEX style body, this guitar, made of mahogany (neck), rosewood (sides) and Spruce (top) produces a smooth silky tone. And thanks to the low action on the fretboard (apparently they have a laser-guided method of level the frets to with 1/1000 of an inch of perfect) once you pick the guitar up, you have endless hours of playability and comfort.
I know this, because i own it! 🙂 For the price, this is an exceptional guitar: solid build and great sound.
Ok here is the best guitar for the money that I can think of for all you fingerstyle enthusiasts. When I first started to play guitar I never really gave Yamaha the attention that it really deserves. I never thought of it as a REAL guitar brand, since they also make motorbikes and other things too. How wrong of me! Once i got a chance to strum on the FGX730 my tune changed pretty rapidly.
The action is just perfect, allowing the notes to just sing out wherever you go on the fretboard. The shape really allows for great resonance and tone. The only downside, and not a deal breaker by any means is the electronics. Because the rest of the guitar performs so well, you would expect the electronics to be top notch. But then you have to remember the price you are paying for the guitar. At around $500 they are actually pretty darn good for the price.
Not to mention the in-built tuner which is a great bonus.
A really strong piece of kit, and with arguably a better all round sound than most Taylor guitars that cost 3-5 times as much. Go figure. Check her out here:
The acoustic electric beauty definitely deserves her spot in my electric acoustic guitar reviews.
As you may know Epiphone were famed for their production Gibson Guitar replicas for lower end of the market guitarists, but have since gained a strong reputation for quality guitars in their own right and this one is no exception.
Actually this guitar has had some modifications (and in my opinion improvements) on the original J200 model. Originally this guitar was modelled after the 1937 Gibson J-200, which set the standard of excellence among Rythm guitar players and singers across the world. That standard has been continued with the Epiphone.
The slight modification of the CE, compared to the original EJ-2000 is the addition of the fantastic cutaway into the jumbo body, which now gives you all the access you need to reach the upper notes on the fretboard with comfort and ease. Add to that the lovely pearl and tortoise style pickguard and you have a guitar that is stunning to look at.
Another new addition to this Acoustic Electric beauty is the new Epiphone eSonic2 Preamp electronics, which also feature a built-in guitar tuner for extra brownie points.
Soundwise, the maple top jumbo produces excellent deep and rich tones, that make you feel like there’s a full backing band of supporting guitarists with you while you play.
Available in Vintage Sunburst and Black if you feel like paying the extra buck. But it “natural” you will get a serious amount of guitar for the money at around $500 including shipping.
Last, but by no means least i would like to draw your attention to the Oscar Schmidt OC11CE. I have included this guitar because i believe it to be one of the best guitars for beginners and for the money you pay. A pretty cheap buy at around $180-$200 for those of you on a budget, you are getting some great guitar for your money considering the low up front cost.
Obviously,because of how cheap it is, you should not go into this expecting the same kind of craftsmanship and engineering as you would, say, a Martin guitar. That said, if you are just starting out then you probably won’t really hear or appreciate the difference just yet anyway, so there’s nothing lost there.
It comes with Electronics from washburn and the the action is set perfectly and produces a great full sound right out of the box. A great medium sized guitar. You may want to experiment with changing the guitar strings to a different brand if you want to brighten up the sound a little bit, but other than that simply unpack and you’re away. (see a review on our best acoustic guitar strings here)
So what’s not up to scratch?
Well.. some things have been overlooked a little so that they can get this guitar in at the price it sells for. The finish could be improved, the frets on the board are a little sharp, you may need to fret dress the guitar a bit, the electronics are average. But what do you want for a hundred buck guitar? It’s a good sturdy build and a solid sound.
Ideal if you are a beginner and just starting out with a guitar that you can plug in. Or if you need something to practice on, or to throw in the back of the car and take traveling with you. Either way it’s a guitar that is great value for money, and for that reason it had to be included on this list.
Acoustic electric guitars are growing in number and popularity and there are an increasing number of brands and models to choose from. Obviously it is impossible to list them all here, but my objective here is has been to draw your attention to the middle of the range guitars – where i believe most people’s budgets are – and to highlight the guitars that I personally believe are the best value for money on the market today.
Any guitar on this list will deliver more that satisfying results and will give you years of enjoyment and playability. I personally have a Takamine Acoustic Electric in the same price range that has been with me 20 years, and still plays as good if not better than when i first bought it, and I have no intention of replacing it any time soon. I’m certain you will end up the same with any of these guitar picks.
Product images sourced from Amazon.