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Top 3 Cheap Acoustic Electric Guitars


When searching for good cheap acoustic electric guitars, keep in mind how much time will be spent plugged in vs unplugged.

Many models have a deep, full bodied tone that can be lost through the pickups, making the electronics suitable only for backup or extra line support, when a stage mic isn't available, or for minor band support.

Others have thinner bodies with more dynamic onboard EQs and only truly shine when amped up.

So, this guide to the best cheap electro-acoustic guitars has been compiled with both elements in mind. Choose what's best for you.



Cheap Acoustic Electric Guitar #1 - Huge Unplugged Sound

Takamine are renowned for their big sounding, great value G Series. The beautifully crafted EG340SC features a solid spruce top that will sweeten with age, and a TP4T preamp with onboard tuner that will give you that extra line volume when required.

Takamine EG340SC Acoustic Electric Guitar

Overall Rating

9 / 10

Reviews


Harmony Central - Amazon
Zzounds - Musicians Friend

Key Features
  • Solid spruce top
  • Mahogany back and sides for deep, full, warm sound
  • TP4T preamp with built-in tuner


Specs

Solid Spruce Top / Mahogany Neck / Mahogany Back and Sides / TPT4 Preamp with Onboard Tuner

What users say

A full dreadnought body with solid top and mahogany sides sets up the overall tone - big, warm and resonant. Users note the 340's high quality fit and finish and playability out of the box, although some did take it for a quick setup, as expected with most new instruments you want to get the best out of.

Unplugged, the Takamine has plenty of natural volume, deep bass presence and good sustain thanks in part to the mahogony back and sides.

The TPT4 electronics are very capable, but unfortunately do not authentically represent the true beauty of the 340 unplugged. For that reason, the 340 is really only a plug-in electro for when you need that extra line volume in a live situation. Mic'ing up is definitely the first choice, although there is of course the option of investing in a decent stage mic and stand.

However, the onboard tuner is useful and simple to use, and the preamp's 3 band EQ gives you adequate control over your tone.

Overall, the EG340SC is for those who seek a rich, warm and bassy unplugged sound with the preamp as a reliable backup or line support, even a show-saver for non-mic'd venues (I've had plenty of those "so... you can't mic it up?" moments before shows).



Cheap Electro Acoustic Guitar #2 - Great Preamp

A smaller bodied electro acoustic that comes alive through its dynamic preamp. If most of your time will be spent plugged in, and your music demands a strong, clear acoustic presence, the Yamaha APX500 has the electronics you need for a big acoustic sound in a live setting.

Yamaha APX500 Acoustic Electric Guitar

Overall Rating

8.5 / 10

Reviews


Harmony Central - Ultimate Guitar
Amazon - Music Radar - Musicians Friend

Key Features
  • Slim body
  • Low action
  • Adjustable midrange frequency for extra control
  • Built-in tuner
  • Bright, crisp and clear sound


Specs

Spruce Top / Nato Neck / Nato Back and Sides / 55T Preamp (1-way, 3-band EQ, adjustable midrange frequency, chromatic tuner)

What users say

With a thinline body and slim profile neck, the AXP500 is, in true Yamaha style, built for ultimate comfort and playability. The build quality also meets the standards we've come to expect from Yamaha.

Naturally, given the slimmer and nato dominated cut, the 500 is more towards the bright end of the spectrum, with a very full and crisp high end range - great for those more attacking, punky-folk styles that require more clarity and penetration in the mix.

Users also note the responsiveness of the AXP to strumming/picking attack, especially when the preamp is activated. The extra mid-range control on top of the standard 3-band EQ is useful for finding that often elusive sweet spot in different acoustic environments.

The onboard tuner is equally responsive and accurate.

In a nutshell, this acoustic is perfect for anyone who wants more control over their amped sound and more high end presence to cut through the mix during live shows. A good compromise (as in trade off between unplugged/plugged tone) between a full bodied dreadnought such as the above Takamine and the ultra slim as featured below.



Cheap Acoustic Electric Guitar #3 - Ultra Light Roundback

The roundback or "bowlback", Ovation's signature body design, is preferred by many studio and stage performers for their lightweight comfort, similar to electrics. Plug in the Ovation CC28 for a truly unique sound with plenty of volume.

Ovation Celebrity CC28 Acoustic Electric Guitar

Overall Rating

9 / 10

Reviews


Harmony CentralAmazon
Zzounds - Musicians Friend

Key Features
  • Ultra slim body
  • Slim neck
  • Ultra lightweight
  • Built-in tuner
  • Bright, crisp and clear sound


Specs

Varying tops (Maple, Spruce, Amba Waterful Bubinga) / Nato Neck / Super Shallow Cutaway Body / OP-4BT Preamp with 3 Band EQ and Onboard Tuner

What users say

Ovation roundbacks are known for their bright, zingy, yet punchy sound that really cuts through the mix. They are especially good for smaller guitarists and even children, as they are lightweight and closer in size to a standard archtop electric.

The CC28 bears these distinctive features and has met players' expectations who are specifically looking for that brilliant bowlback tone on a budget.

Plugged in, the CC28 has the support of a simple but flexible preamp with onboard tuner. Notch up the bass to get a magnificent punch for some of the most satisfyingly percussive acoustic strumming you'll hear.

Worship musicians have praised the Ovation for its clarity and projection in large, acoustically dispersed venues. It also works great with effects, like a splash of chorus. Nothing can muddy up the tone of this thing.

Overall, the CC28 gives you that unmistakable, powerful Ovation zing and high quality fit and finish for less than $350.



Compare the Electro Acoustic Guitars on This Page

Let's take a look at these 3 guitars side by side. Each one offers a unique look and sound. Which one would you choose?

EG340SC APX500 CC28
Best For Guitarists who want a full, deep body solid top with a full deep sound and only need the preamp as backup. Guitarists who want a light, bright sounding acoustic with a small body. A good compromise between plugged/unplugged. Guitarists who want an ultra slim roundback guitar that feels more like an electric yet retains its acoustic character.
Defining Features Solid top. Deep mahogany body. Small body, bright, crisp sound. Ultra slim roundback and neck.
Top Solid Spruce
Spruce Maple, Spruce or Amba Waterful Bubinga
Back Mahogany Nato Lyrachord Bowl
Sides Mahogany Nato Nato
Neck Mahogany Nato Nato
Preamp & Electronics TPT4
3 Band EQ
Tuner
55T
3 Band EQ
Extra Mid Control
Tuner
OP-4BT
3 Band EQ
Tuner
Est. Price $400 $300 $340
Best Deal link to buy guitar at discounted price
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