Last updated: August 16, 2021

Welcome to this new edition of Monederosmart! This time we want to introduce you to the best electro-acoustic guitars on the market. Those that allow us to play acoustic melodies at a powerful and enveloping volume.

This type of guitars mix the best of two worlds, providing the sound of an acoustic guitar and the power and volume of an electric guitar. Making them one of the favourite choices for guitarists. Between so many models, choosing can be a confusing task. So which is the best electro-acoustic guitar?

At Monederosmart we give you more than just a review, we want to help you and that's why we will show you the most commercially available electroacoustic guitars, their features and recommendations, so you know which one is perfect for you. We'll also show you the factors you can compare, where to buy them and their value, so don't miss out!




Summary

  • It is a stringed musical instrument which allows the sound to be louder because it can - or cannot - be connected to an amplifier. Its electric signal can be modified with effects pedals, giving way to a range of saturation and dynamic sound effects.
  • There are different types of electro-acoustic guitars, which can be classified into body types, four of which stand out: Dreadnought, Jumbo, Parlor, and Auditorium. Each one presents variations in the sound they produce due to their structure and size.
  • Relevant factors when comparing and choosing an electro-acoustic guitar that best suits your tastes and needs include: neck profile, preamp, microphone types, and body type.

The Best Electro Acoustic Guitar: Our Picks

Buying guide: what you need to know about electro-acoustic guitars

Many people might easily choose an electro-acoustic guitar based on price or design, but those who are musically savvy are aware of the many factors that go into making the right choice. Therefore, in the following sections you will find information that will help you choose the right one for you.

Boost the sound of your melodies with an electro-acoustic guitar. (Photo: LaughingRaven / pixabay.com)

What is an electro-acoustic guitar and what are its advantages?

It is a musical instrument that, like an acoustic guitar, has a hollow wooden body, a circular hole in the centre and a neck through which the strings extend and at the end of which the tuning pegs are located, but with the difference that it can be connected to an amplifier to boost the output volume.

This difference allows the sound of the guitar to be much louder for live or band use. In addition, as the signal becomes electric, it can be modified with effects pedals and other equipment, giving way to a range of saturation and dynamic effects, among others.

This type of guitar - unlike electric guitars - does not need an amplifier to operate, although it will have a lower volume and no control over effects, making it a mix of the best of a classic acoustic guitar and an electric guitar.

Advantages
  • Improves concentration and memory
  • Stimulates motor skills
  • Generates new brain connections
  • Use not conditional on an amplifier
Disadvantages
  • Requires constant string tuning
  • Requires amplifier for more power
  • Tuner must be purchased if not built into the preamp

Dreadnought, Jumbo, Parlor or Auditorium Electroacoustic Guitar - What should you look out for?

Different types of electro-acoustic guitars have emerged over the years, with new variations, manufacturing materials, design, built-in electronics and more. Four of the most popular types of electro-acoustic guitars stand out: Dreadnought, Jumbo, Parlor, and Auditorium.

These models vary in their shapes, sound production and size. Attributes with which they deliver different nuances. These are just some of the differentiating characteristics between these four guitar models. Below, we show you more details of each type:

Dreadnought. This is the typical shape of an electro-acoustic guitar, the most widespread. The sound projection is optimal and the bass sounds very good. The body shape is slightly squarer than on classical guitars and has a very slight angle between the top and the back, making the guitar deeper at the top than at the heel.

Jumbo. The shape is rather rounded and with a slightly larger "size". Although the Jumbo often has a smooth and balanced tone, the shape was really intended to provide maximum volume. For this reason it is very popular with American Country and Folk singers.

Parlor. The shape is slim and small-bodied, similar to a classical, usually with a slotted headstock, no pickguard and the neck to body joint at the 12th fret. This type of electro-acoustic, which is portable, comfortable to play and sweet sounding, has regained some popularity in recent years.

Auditorium. This type of electro-acoustic guitar is also called Orchestra. Its shape produces a balanced sound, good qualities for finger technique, making it an ideal type of guitar for plucking music as its greater depth - in comparison to the other types - enhances the short frequencies.

Dreadnought Jumbo Parlor Auditorium
Length 51 cm 51 cm 46 cm 45 cm
Depth 10 cm 10 cm 10 cm 10 cm
Upper body 29 cm 28 cm 24 cm 24 cm
Lower body 39 cm 41 cm 28 cm 38 cm

You can buy the electro-acoustic guitar you want in musical instrument shops or online. (Photo: Jefferson Santos / Unsplash.com)

Purchasing criteria

When choosing which product to buy, it is important to take into account features and functionalities that suit your tastes, and not choose only by the design and shape of the electroacoustic guitar. Below, we show you the main factors to consider in order to make a good purchase choice:

Neck profile

The neck profile corresponds to the shape of the back of the neck. Although it is a purchasing factor unknown to most people, the shape of the neck can help you to play the guitar in an easier way, as it allows a more comfortable grip.

There are different types of necks, each with shapes to suit different types of users. Among the most common are six types: Baseball Bat or U; Modern Flat Oval or D; Oval or C; Soft v; Hard V; and Asymmetrical. Below, we give you more details about each one:

Baseball bat or U. This type of neck has a U-shaped back. Its profile is thick with rounded edges and a flat centre back, very similar to the neck of a classical guitar.

Modern Flat Oval or D. This type of neck is similar to the U-shaped one, but with a thinner profile, favouring a faster fingering. They are usually accompanied by a flatter fretboard.

Oval or C. Its shape is similar in width to the D-shape, but with a more rounded and uniform curvature between both sides of the fingerboard. This type of neck is usually quite comfortable and versatile when playing.

Soft V. The soft V profile is similar to the thick U profile, but with lowered edges, giving it the shape of a soft V, which provides a grip with more freedom when playing chords.

Hard V. Within the V-profiles, the Hard V has a hard or marked V-shape, this neck shape is recommended for more advanced players.

Asymmetric. Asymmetrical profiles are custom made by luthiers. This allows a comfortable grip for your hand, ensuring that the measurements do not fatigue or complicate chord playing.

We suggest you test the neck grip of all guitar models, so you can make sure that it does not cause fatigue in your hand. If you have large hands, a thin profile may make your movements more complex when changing chords, while a thick profile on small hands may make it more difficult to grip the instrument.

You can try the guitar grip of your choice in a musical instrument shop or check the measurements in online shops. (Photo: Ahmed Rizkhaan / unsplash.com)

Pre-amp

The preamp is a device capable of amplifying the sound that the electro-acoustic guitar emits. They usually include a tuner and an equaliser. In short, the preamp defines the signal, treats it and pre-amplifies it to generate more power and volume. There are two types: Active and Passive. Below, we detail each of them.

Active Preamps. They are those that use batteries, most of them usually have a tuner. When the signal is active, the energy is higher and more defined. When the signal is in the preamp, it is in the phase prior to amplification.

Passive Preamps. This type of preamp has no equalisation. They usually have volume and tone settings, what the tone does is to play with the brightness of the guitar, it does not work with batteries and it is connected directly to the amplifier.

If you are looking for an electro-acoustic guitar that delivers full tone and sound adjustment, we recommend buying one that has a preamp that integrates a tuner and EQ, so you won't need to make extra adjustments to the amp. Remember that the more complete the preamp, the higher the price of the guitar.

a guitar that has a preamp with a tuner and EQ will give you a more accurate tuning range. (Photo: CloudyPixel / Unsplash.com)

Types of microphones

When playing any type of instrument, a clean, easy to pick up sound is an essential requirement. The microphones in electro-acoustic guitars pick up the sound waves and transmit them to the amplifier. There are three types of microphones: electric piezo, pickups in the soundboard, or internal mics.

Electric piezo. The electric piezo is a microphone in the bridge of the guitar that picks up the vibration of the strings, the Hertzian waves and the harmony that comes out of the centre of the bridge, when the strings resonate on it.

Pickups. This type of microphone picks up the vibrations caused by the sound waves in the wood, transmitting them in a clean and detailed way to the preamp or external amplifier in case of use.

Internal microphone. As its name suggests, this type of microphone picks up the sound generated inside the soundboard of the electro-acoustic guitar.

When it comes to choosing an electro-acoustic guitar for its type of microphone, there are many opinions and preferences, so the choice depends entirely on the taste of each user. If you are looking for a high impedance microphone, we recommend a pizoelectric microphone.

If you are looking for a sound that generates a sound more similar to that of a classical acoustic guitar, we suggest you opt for a guitar with a pickup microphone.

While, if you are looking for a more neutral sound, the internal mic will give you good results without much effort.

Body type

As we saw earlier in the electro-acoustic guitar types section, there are different body sizes for guitars, the most popular ones on the market are the Dreadnought, Jumbo, Parlor, and Auditorium.

The shape, depth and dimensions of each of these guitars will provide a different sound for each model, however, the body type is a key factor when choosing a guitar due to its size in relation to the user and the comfort it provides when playing.

We recommend you to try the different sizes of guitars -seated and standing- with one hand on the neck and the other on the soundboard, emulating the act of playing it, in this way you will be able to check that the distance between these two points allows you to manipulate it in an optimal way without straining or fatiguing your shoulders and forearms.

Body size Recommended body type
Small Parlor
Medium Parlor, Auditorium
Large Dreadnought, Jumbo

(Featured image photo: PeterKraayvanger / pixabay.com)

Reviews