With improvements in technology and advances in electronics and designs for musical instruments, guitar models that can be plugged in and sound as good as their acoustic counterparts are being produced. Not too long ago, the concept of amplifying the sound of an acoustic guitar did not exist.
However, the demand for better-quality shows created a need for innovation. The acoustic tones were well received, but feedback became an issue when players moved around during performances.
This innovation started when Charles Kaman created the Ovation guitar in 1966. This round-backed combination of plastic and wood was made with the same fiberglass technology that is used to make rotor blades on helicopters. Alone, they sounded like plastic, but when plugged in, these guitars were able to produce amazing acoustic guitar sounds.
In the Age of Rock, one of the greatest quests is finding the perfect acoustic guitar sound. Because of the advancements in technology, makers were able to place electronic fittings on fine acoustic guitars by clipping, screwing, and gluing microphones, transducers, and magnetic pickups inside.
These makers were trying to find a way to replicate the unique sound of an acoustic guitar while maintaining the integrity of its structure and without putting a dent in the beauty of its finish.
By placing an “ashtray,” or a custom-fit rubber in the guitar’s sound hole, they were able to tame feedback, but this method crushed any hope of letting the beautiful sound come out of the instrument.
With the perseverance of these makers, a whole class of acoustic-electric guitars was created from a new technology. A wide range of tone control and amplification was allowed by onboard electronics, and some models even had a built-in tuner.
In finding a beautiful-looking acoustic guitar that has a spectacular sound and plays wonderfully whether plugged or unplugged, it is important to know your needs and keep trying different brands and styles.
The main difference between these two guitars is quite obvious – electronics. Adding electronic components to an acoustic guitar gives it an added capability of using an amplifier or a soundboard to project the guitar’s sound.
When there is no electronic component added, an acoustic guitar relies solely on the vibration of the body to project the sound.
These factors allow the makers to build instruments with smaller and shallower bodies that do not project as well as their acoustic counterparts but sound better when plugged into an amplifier.
Acoustic-electric guitars are basically the standard acoustic model, and the only difference is that electronics are added. This way, you have a guitar that is perfectly functional acoustically but with an advantage of being able to be plugged in.
Another advantage of acoustic-electric guitars is that a tuner is included in most good built-in preamps. This is especially useful when you are in situations where you don’t have any tuners readily available.
An added hassle to going electric is having to think about a soundboard or an amp. Guitarists usually have a few pedals that are used in tweaking the sound.
Pedals are usually for volume control, tuning, choruses, delays, and clean boosts. To keep it simple, you can just consider plugging straight into the soundboard to have fun with that amplified acoustic sound.
If you are in a band or if you are usually out with your guitar and playing in public events, an acoustic-electric guitar is incredibly handy.
Because they are equipped with electronics such as pickups and preamps, they can be plugged into an amplifier or a sound system without compromising their beautiful acoustic sound and still give you enough room to move around.
When acoustic-electric guitars are not plugged it, they can be played like normal acoustic guitars. The popularity of these hybrid guitars is increasing, and a wide range of options to match any kind of budget is available.
For beginners, an acoustic-electric guitar is a great choice if you are having a hard time deciding whether you need an acoustic or an electric guitar. Maybe you like to sound of the acoustic guitar but prefer the power of the electric guitar.
The great thing about this hybrid guitar is that it’s the best of both worlds. Beginners will not need plenty of time to adjust to whichever style suits them best. An acoustic-electric guitar is also a must for guitarists who play in gigs.
Because they are easy to amplify, it’s so convenient to have them around. Finding the right guitar that is suited to your needs and style is important so that you will have a great musical companion for many years and gigs to come. These hybrid guitars are a great partner in your musical journey from a beginner to a seasoned guitar player.
A Buying Guide to an Acoustic-Electric Guitar