There are many famous battles in the music industry. Instruments, effects pedals, amplifiers, and other devices are being constantly compared to one another. This becomes even more apparent when it comes to the units that are somewhat similar. One of the most famous examples of this is the legendary battle between acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars. At first glance, they are the same thing with little difference in their appearance. However, each of them does have certain qualities that are far cry from each other. Today we are going to discuss the similarities and differences between acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars so that you know what you want when it comes to picking out the perfect instrument.

Before jumping into the specifics, let’s find out what is an acoustic-electric guitar. To put it simply, it is an acoustic guitar that has some sort of electronic in it. It can be connected to the amplifier, which makes it more versatile than its “non-electronic” sibling. Now that we have that out of the way, we can move on to the interesting part and finally list down everything these two have (and do not have) in common.

AC Guitar Body

Similarities Between Acoustic and Acoustic-Electric Guitars

As I have mentioned a couple of times, acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars share a lot of qualities. Let’s start this comparison with the similarities.

They both can be played without amplification

You might already know this about acoustic guitars, but acoustic-electric guitars can be played without amplification too. In such a scenario, an acoustic guitar will have its natural sound and be loud enough to be audible to small crowds. When it comes to acoustic-electric guitars, without amplification they do not sound as good as their acoustic siblings, but if you do not have any other choice, they can still get the job done.

They both can be made with the exact same material

Acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars are extremely similar when it comes to building techniques and materials as well. They can be both produced with the same tonewood without any issues and sound perfect. The only thing here is that an acoustic-electric guitar has some additional electronic apparatus built-in.

They both can be played with the same strings

Since acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars have similar properties, they can be performed with the same strings. There is no need to purchase some fancy strings for the acoustic-electric guitar itself.

They both cost the same (well, almost the same)

When it comes to the price of acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars, they typically cost the same. The difference between their prices is quite insignificant and it depends on the brand itself.

Acoustic Electric Guitar Cutaway

Differences Between Acoustic and Acoustic-Electric Guitars

Now it is time to move on to the differences between these two instruments so that you can have comprehensive knowledge about both of them.

Electro-acoustic guitars can be amplified unlike acoustic guitars

As I have already mentioned, acoustic-electric guitars have additional built-in electronics. This means that they have the preamp section (typically with EQ and volume controls) that intensifies your sound before it hits an amplifier. This makes it easy to connect the instrument directly to your amplifier or pair it with some dedicated effects pedals. Now, acoustic guitars cannot be plugged in any device because they do not have an input. However, you can insert a clip-on mic or some unit of that ilk to make them sound louder.

Electro-acoustic guitars are not as portable as acoustic guitars

Since acoustic guitars are made to be played without amplification, they sound the best without any additional gear. This means that they can be taken anywhere – you will just have to put them in a case and you will be good to go. Acoustic-electric guitars, however, need a power source, cables, and amplifiers to be played properly which does not make them the best attributes to camping or traveling.

Size matters more in the case of acoustic guitars

The size of each of these instruments depends on your needs and preferences. However, size is way more important in the case of acoustic guitars, because its loudness largely relies on this feature. Acoustic-electric, on the other hand, can become louder by amplification regardless of its size.


To conclude everything said above, acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars are both amazing instruments for their own purposes. Despite the differences between the two, the similarities are more noticeable and substantial. No matter which one you prefer, they both give you the opportunity to create something spectacular. The sole importance of this information is to make it easier for you to understand what will be better for fulfilling your desires. That’s it. I hope we did achieve this purpose. Good luck!


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