An acoustic electric guitar is an acoustic guitar which has microphones, transducers or pickups fitted into the guitar. When using these hybrid guitars, one gets to enjoy the music of the acoustic tones along with the advantage of its electric capabilities. Acoustic guitars no doubt produce melodious tones, but when it comes to the volume levels and rocking music, they cannot compete with the electric guitars. Achieving the desired volume levels is possible by fitting a specially designed pick up into the acoustic guitar.
Acoustic electric guitars are also known as electro-acoustic guitars and often these electro acoustic guitars are confused with semi acoustic guitars. Semi acoustic guitars are entirely different from acoustic electric guitars since they are electric guitars which have hollow bodies of acoustic guitars. Remember electro-acoustic guitars are acoustic guitars with electric parts.
One of the major features of electro acoustic guitars is that, they can be used just as acoustic guitars to produce acoustic tones or can use electric capabilities too, when necessary. Most of the acoustic electric guitars either have piezoelectric pickups which are installed under the bridge of the guitar or have microphones which are fitted inside the guitar body. These pickups convert the vibrations in the body of the guitar to electric signals. These electric signals in the body of guitar are amplified by the preamplifier fitted into the guitar body and then fed to the main amplifier.
The preamplifiers used in the body of the guitar are usually equalizers with up to six frequency bands. Some of the guitars also have preamplifiers with various tone controls. The use of preamplifiers eliminates the necessity of using microphones and hence the electro acoustic guitar is often referred to as plug-in acoustic guitars since they can be directly plugged into the speaker system.
The electro acoustic guitar has more of the acoustic guitar principles than the electric guitar principles. Unlike the electric guitars, in which the vibrations of strings are converted into electric signals, electric signals in the acoustic electric guitars are generated by the vibration of the guitar body or the top. Thus it is the acoustic body of the guitar which is responsible for the tones produced and amplification of the tones is done by the electric plug-ins. The body and other features of the electro acoustic guitar resemble that of the acoustic guitar.
Acoustic electric guitars are commonly used in folk, classical styles of music and also various bands and modern music like rock, pop etc. These hybrid acoustic guitars allow playing of various types of songs, be it a quiet melodious song or a high pitch rock song.