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Electric and Acoustic Electric Guitar

Acoustic electric guitars come in various shapes and sizes but have some commonalities. Unlike the eminently recognizable instruments played by most rock bands—which usually have solid bodies—acoustic electric guitars normally have hollow or “semi–hollow” bodies.

NOTE: Models such as the Guild Savoys are often referred to as semi-hollow body guitars, since they are not as deep as traditional acoustics and are constructed somewhat differently.

Like their solid-body electric relations, however, acoustic electric guitars include onboard electronic pickup systems. This not only simplifies the process of amplification, but also avoids (or at least greatly reduces) the inherent feedback problems experienced when micing acoustic instruments.

Pickup Types

Three different types of pickup systems are most used with acoustic electric guitars. Magnetic pickups employ a coil of wire wrapped around a central magnet. These will not work with nylon string guitars and sound the least like an unamplified acoustic guitar.

Piezoelectric pickups, fastened underneath the guitars bridge or attached with adhesive to the guitar’s body, produce a tone more like a traditional acoustic guitar but require some type of preamplification due to their low output.

Finally, condenser microphones can be permanently mounted within the body of the instrument. While they are typically the most expensive of the varieties of pickups, they also provide the truest acoustic tone and require no additional preamp equipment.

For more information, read our full article on Acoustic Electric Guitars.

Additional Resources

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