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It’s tough to find the best acoustic electric guitar, given how many there are. Acoustic electric guitars are any amateur and professional guitarist’s best friend, and the selection is vast. Prices can vary from around $200 to very easily over $3,000, $4,000, $5,000 – the sky is the limit.
But for most people (myself included), the limit is set by budgets, by salaries, by what we’ve got to spare for our hobbies – and not many are willing to part with a few thousand dollars for a guitar. But that doesn’t mean having to compromise on quality or style. “Cheap” guitars – only madecheap in comparison –can still be band-worthy instruments to last you for years to come, and thousands of performances.
But what is the bestacousticelectric guitar? As with most things, opinions differ on the subject – but there are a few rules to finding out exactly what may be the best acoustic electric guitar for you.
Are you sure you need an acoustic electric guitar?
The basic difference between an acoustic electric guitar and a regular acoustic guitar is that an acoustic electric guitar can be made much louder, and has EQ settings – thanks to the, you guessed it, electronics. However, for most people looking for a guitar, you won’t need one with electronic parts. Chances are you’ll do just fine with a great acoustic guitar, and you’ll probably save about 20% of your purchase.
Things change when you’re playing semi-professionally or professionally, however, or if you’re just playing in a band for fun and would like to actually be heard over the singing and drums.
Exactly how much are you willing to spend?
Guitars are worth vastly varied sums of money, from a hundred bucks or so, to thousands of dollars. You’ll have to figure out exactly where in that spectrum your budget falls before starting your search – it’ll narrow down your selection immensely. If you’re looking for an amazing guitar to last you for decades, and are an audiophile to boot, you can definitely count on a 4-digit price tag.
But if your ear isn’t trained, and you’re just starting out, you’ll most probably be comfortable enough with something worth less than half as much as, say, a Gibson.
What are you looking for in your best acoustic electric guitar?
There’s a checklist everyone has to go through before making a purchase of any kind, but this is most especially true for instruments. That checklist involves prioritizing what’s important to you as a guitarist – do you want your guitar to be light, are you looking for a specific sound in the strum, do you only play nylon strings, or are you an exclusively steel-stringed kind of player? Whatever your style or preferences are, they’ll play a big part in how much you’ll learn to love your guitar, so it’s important to take them into consideration.
Remember, mint condition is a luxury.
When you’re buying from a storefront, then generally you’ll want to pick up the shop’s demo guitar. It’ll be the one you’ll be more comfortable with, seeing as how it’s the one you’ve been trying, and you’ll more often than not get a discount for any minor scratches, blemishes or marks. Some people have gotten away with saving hundreds of dollars off an expensive guitar by buying the storefront guitar rather than the mint condition guitar in the back of the store.
Mind you though, you may have to do some insisting to get them to sell it to you.