acoustic-electric guitar under 500

10 Advice’s That You Must Listen Before Studying Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Guitars come in many shapes and sizes. But when it comes to pricing, the best deals tend to attract a higher price tag. That however does not mean it’s completely impossible to spot the best electric guitar under 500. 

If anything, technology has enabled manufacturers to adopt cost-effective strategies. These strategies mean quality trickles down across the board. Therefore, even a low-priced guitar can provide you with many benefits.

All you need to do is refine your search criteria. Taking a few parameters into account, the task of finding a new guitar becomes easier. The point of this write-up is to help you find the best possible options. 

While at it, the tips given herein will help you maximize on your value for money. The end goal is to achieve a win-win situation as far as buying options are concerned. Therefore, whether you’ve just started playing or simply want to upgrade, this guide will help you out.

Acoustic electric guitars are awash with options. They are usually equipped with preamplifiers and pickups. These allow them to be plugged into a sound system to enhance their rich sound. But to find the best acoustic electric guitar under 500, you need to look closer. Here's a run-down of 10 such options to help you narrow down your options.

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Product Name

Product Summary

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Epiphone EJ-200CE

Excellent finish, Wider variety of controls, powerful punch of energy, gets rid of the “popping” noise.

Fender CD-140SCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Aesthetically appealing for a high-end appeal, Thinline concert body with cutaway, Solid guitar priced cheaply & Value for money.

Fender CD-60SCE

High-end gloss body, Enhanced neck shape for “East-to-Play” handling, Offers great projection, Recommended for beginners.

Ovation AB24-5 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Value for money, Retains a traditional, authentic look, mid and base controls, player-friendly.

Danelectro Electric Guitar Mini Amplifier, Aqua (N10A)

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Danelectro Electric Guitar Mini Amplifier, Aqua (N10A)

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Danelectro Electric Guitar Mini Amplifier, Aqua (N10A)

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Danelectro Electric Guitar Mini Amplifier, Aqua (N10A)

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Danelectro Electric Guitar Mini Amplifier, Aqua (N10A)

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Danelectro Electric Guitar Mini Amplifier, Aqua (N10A)

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No doubt, the EJ-200CE is among the world’s most famous acoustic guitars. Known for its majestic looks and complex sound the EJ-200CE promises a balanced tone. It has a radical new design which is both bigger and bolder compared to its other siblings. 

EJ-200CE’s classic shape comprises a solid Spruce top complete with maple backs and sides. The cutaway is amazingly striking providing total fret access. Its rosewood fingerboard provides a vintage-style pearloid crown with a 1.68 nut.

One thing that makes the EJ-200CE an instant darling to many guitarists is its tone. The acoustic electric guitar comes with a classic rosewood bridge and bone saddle. That, complements a tortoise-style pickguard. 

Epiphone EJ-200CE

This pickguard gives you a sort of iconic-status when playing. So whether you are a rhythm guitarists or singer, you’ll feel like you’re working with a full band. 

The “plug-in and play” guitar further comes with an eSonic2 preamp system. This is made using German technology. Some of its advantages include ease-of-use, better tuning and built-in stability.

Once engaged, this guitar automatically mutes. This effectively gets rid of the “popping” noise. It’s therefore perfect for use on live stage. What’s more, you can play around with the tuner button without worrying about a distractive “pop” sound.

To make sure you are solely focused solelyon playing, the guitar has a low battery indicator. Its pre-amp component is powered by two lithium watch batteries. These are not only efficient but also lightweight.

Things We Like

  • Excellent finish with crown inlays.
  • Synthetic done saddle for improved tuning quality.
  • Wider variety of controls thanks to presence of eSonic2.
  • Packs a powerful punch of energy.
  • Produces organic mid sounds and trebles.

Things We Don't Like

  • Its bridge needs to be shaved down a lot for improved playing
Epiphone EJ-200CE

The Fender CD-140SCE may not look like your ordinary low-priced guitar. In fact, it is hard to believe that it goes for under 500 given its slick visual appeal. Its fingerboard is made of rosewood which gives it a high-end appeal. It has a cutaway dreadnought, which means it’s just ready to hit the ground running. This acoustic guitar therefore presents a suitable option for those craving for uniqueness.

Its top wood is made from laminated flame maple. That's complete with laminated mahogany sides. It has a Thinline concert body with cutaway. That’s a pleasant surprise as most low-end guitars come with cheap plastic. As far as electronics are concerned, the Fender CD-140SCE seems well loaded. 

Looking to hit the stage one of these days? This guitar comes with an onboard Fishman Isys III. You’ll find this complete with an active tuner, preamp, tone controls and volume. So whether you want to shape the sound or create a signature style, this instrument might just be what you need.

One thing we like about this guitar is that it incorporates quartersawn bracing. This is thoughtfully arranged to back up the crisp-sound maple top. At the same time that creates room for better responsiveness and projection. 

Fender CD-140SCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar

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Thanks to this improved balance, you can go ahead and create a detailed tune. Most importantly, it gives you the freedom to create better notes and chords.

Things We Like

  • Aesthetically appealing for a high-end appeal.
  • NuBone saddles for improved tonal consistency.
  • Ability to bring out detailed and balanced tones.
  • Solid guitar priced cheaply & Value for money.

Things We Don't Like

  • Its tuners are not really the best

The Fender CD-60SCE claims to bring that oomph into music careers. But does it? Offering a redesigned design, it lines up a variety of features for you. For instance, it provides solid spruce top and rolled fingerboard edges. Besides that, there is a cutaway body for easy upper-fret access. 

Looking for more flexibility? This unit comes with an onboard pickup, tuner and preamp. Its dreadnought sized body does not disappoint in providing a rich tone either. Further, the guitar provides much needed projection. The learning process is therefore much more fun.

In a nutshell, CD-60SCE offers improved playability, quality and flexibility. Thus, the guitar is suited for beginners as well as intermediate players. And as far as looks are concerned, this unit is above average. 

It comes with mahogany finish, which looks pretty high class. Its neck and body are intelligently bound together. The unit comprises of chrome-tuning knobs with a complete acrylic design. It also features Fishman Isys III System electronics.

Perhaps the most interesting thing with this guitar is that it has a Fender hard-shell case. Everything from the picks, strings, strap to polishing cloth is well thought-out. The fact that these accessories are included also gives you an opportunity to save big.

If you are planning to improve your playing skills, this is the guitar to go for. First, it comes with a DVD which offers simple instructions. You can even get it for your little ones. 

The only thing they need to do is follow the steps and start learning. So to put it simply, this is the kind of guitar to go for when learning and perfection are top priorities.

Fender CD-60SCE

Things We Like

  • High-end gloss body finish with mahogany back and sides.
  • Offers great projection thanks to its dreadnought size.
  • Enhanced neck shape for “East-to-Play” handling.
  • Cutaway body for improved access to upper register.
  • Recommended for beginners as well as intermediate learning.

Things We Don't Like

  • Bridges need adjustment to avoid vibration on strings.
  • Its strap generally looks poor

One thing that the Ovation AB24-RR promises is a host of great features. Because this is probably not as expensive as you’d expect, it’s easy to imagine it with low-end features. But that’s not necessarily the case here.

Apart from improved sound quality, this instrument is available in many basic configurations. For instance, the ovation comes with a Lyra chord body shape. This makes it not only eye-candy but also quite effective in sound production. Besides that, the manufacturer added a cutaway style. This is a huge plus particularly for beginner players. 

If you’re thirsting for some aesthetics, the Ovation certainly will not let you down. It has a laminated spruce top. That comes alongside laminated sides and back of the guitar. The neck has something unique as well. It comes with an actual nato piece paired with a rosewood fretboard.

Indeed, the Ovation may not be too detailed in its material selection. Its overall output is however still reliable. In other words, if you’re looking for something petite, this is the way to go.

Standing at just 43 inches by 6.5 inches by 18 inches, this unit is small and light enough for easy handling. A surprise gift included in this package comprises ChromaCast accessories. These include four pick samplers and nylon guitar strap.

Other beauties in the package are 20 strings, ChromaCast80 and online guitar lessons. 

Ovation AB24-5 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Things We Like

  • Retains a traditional, authentic look.
  • Great projection for improved sound depth.
  • Easy shaping of tones with treble, mid and base controls.
  • Ranked by customers as very player-friendly.
  • Value for money.

Things We Don't Like

  • Unreliable neck quality.
  • Some shipping's arrive with extra components not ordered for.

This all-mahogany guitar is likely to win over your heart and soul with its great looks. The only issues is – does it back this up with effectiveness? Well, as you might be aware, mahogany is known for creating mellow sounds. And although the CD-60SCE only has mahogany laminates, it still does a decent job. 

While its failure to use solid mahogany makes it a bit cheap, there are some benefits. A solid mahogany dreadnought would be too heavy for a beginner to handle. What is encouraging is that the laminate used does not chip off. In case you’re worried about keeping it safe, there’s a free hard shell to use.

If you’re playing in a band, then the guitar’s dreadnought size will impress you. Its design allows you to enjoy more play flexibility. The volume and tonal quality is also something worth writing home about. It’s easy to fall in love with its accessories as well. Bronze strings and mahogany finish make it a fantastic choice for ladies. 

Planning to go fully electronic? The guitar has a Fishman Isys III pick up system. This comes with an active tuner, preamp and tone/volume controls. Of course, this gives you the green light to simply plug in, then tune up and strum away like a boss.

Things We Like

  • Awesome mellow sounds thanks to mahogany laminates.
  • Built in electronics for user friendliness.
  • Aesthetically appealing thanks to a thoughtful design.
  • Comes with hard-shell case for added durability.
  • Provides great learning platform for beginners.

Things We Don't Like

  • The strings don’t blend well.
  • Only designed for right-handed players.
Fender CD-60SCE Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar - Natural Bundle

This “Player Pack” claims to be among the best acoustic electric guitar under 500 options. A closer look at it reveals an instrument that makes serious attempts to go beyond the basics. 

However, it is easy to be skeptical at first. Epiphone is a brand known for quality, hence the cheap price tag attracts curiosity. You know, guitars are like shoes. You have to walk in them to judge them. In this case the PR-4E impresses with its 15 watt amplifier.

This not only makes it a good choice for bands but also great for practicing. Looking to add a chorus effect to your performances? This guitar has a 3-band EQ section just for that.

The guitar though is not full size. It’s actually more of a 3/4. That’s however not a major issue. We like the fact that the PR-4E perfectly serves its purpose. It is encouraging to note that it comes with an extra pack of strings, tuner and cable. Connect these to the amp and you have a 5 star rated guitar experience.

Truth be told, the amp is not as big as you would expect. However, it cranks up really well when pushed. Don’t forget that the guitar comes with a headphone port which is pretty cool. Let’s also say that the PR4-E is attractively priced. Considering the kind of features it offers vis-a-vis its price, it’s definitely a steal.

Things We Like

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    Great for live performances.
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    Ideal size for easy handling.
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    Cutaway style for improved access to the frets.
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    Additional controls provided through Studio-10 amp.
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    User-friendly and therefore recommended for beginners.

Things We Don't Like

  • Despite deliberate efforts to improve the cutaway, the frets are still too high on the neck.
  • Its top-wood is made up of cheap veneer and plywood.

There is something unique about this T-Bucket. Its holographic rosette inlay and compensated bridge saddle. The two promise to deliver enhanced tone and easy playability. Delving deeper, we see a new quilt ash top, this is complemented by a GraphTech Nubone nut. Being a low-priced unit, one would have expected this guitar to come with a cheap plastic nut.

But that’s not the case. In fact, this unit’s flame and quilt maple top bear witness to the fact that this is an above-average unit. No questions can be raised about the guitar’s aesthetics, but can the same be said about its quality of play? Well, The T-Bucket certainly does not offer outstanding, professional-grade quality.

Considering its price tag, it really offers an attractive package. It is the kind of guitar you can simply plug in and hit the stage like a rockstar.

It’s a fact – the T-Bucket 300CE lends itself quite well to the neophytes. That’s definitely a plus for mages and adepts looking to diddle with improved frets. Moreover, its laminated mahogany back and sides provide rich sound. On-board is a Fishman Isys III System, complete with an active preamp and tuner. 

The Fender’s classic dreadnought however suffers a setback due to its single cutaway. The cutaway is needed among those looking to experiment with high-end strings. This also contributes to production of thick, creamy lows as well as complex highs. Significantly, this enables you provide well-rounded sound.

If looks are anything to go by, this T-300 series guitar deserves some credit. Its natural glossy finish is likable and charming. 

Things We Like

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    Available in 10 color options to choose from.
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    Has balanced action for comfortable playing.
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    Has mahogany laminates for improved sound quality.
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    High quality Nubone nut for enhanced tonal adjustment.
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    Three-band EQ alongside volume control options equaling more flexibility.
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    Comes with a free amp system for practice.

Things We Don't Like

  • Its mahogany laminate top is a far cry from solid mahogany top.

Sporting a single cutaway slimline body with a 3/4-size scale, the APXT2 boasts stylish looks. Its small size makes it kid-friendly, and ideal for practice and travel.

Equally important is its wallet friendly price tag. But that doesn’t mean compromising on quality. On the contrary, the guitar is fitted with quality electronics. This ensures you get great sound and playability.

Speaking about its electronics, it's fitted with an ART-based System 68 contact pickup. This comes along with a built-in tuner. As a result you enjoy greater sensitivity and accuracy for quick tuning. 

Yamaha APXT2

Its pre-amp comes with an intuitive control panel with a basic master volume and tone knob. This makes it beginner friendly. 

But how does it hold up against the day-to-day abuse from a child? Let’s get into the nitty gritty. 

First off, the top is made of solid spruce which is of course laminated. This ensures more versatility and tonal range for players of different styles. Second of all, the back and sides are constructed from meranti. Meranti is more cost-effective than mahogany.

Up the neck, the guitar features six strings based on a nato neck. That contains a fully accessible rosewood fingerboard and bridge with 21-frets. Also included is the typical dot inlays to complement the fingerboard design. Rosewood has a natural feel that imparts warm effect on the tone.

Things We Like

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    Includes a gig bag for easy maneuverability.
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    Available in different finishes.
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    Great sound quality.
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    Offers great fret-action right-out of the box.
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    Stays in tune.

Things We Don't Like

  • Limited controls
  • Designed for players with small hands.

Ibanez is known for good things. And the AEWC32FM is often ranked in the best acoustic electric guitar under 500 reviews. It boasts some unique and innovative features including its AEW body. 

Aesthetically speaking, the guitar is available in different finishes. There is Glacier Blue, Glacier Black and Glacier Violet finishes. This gives you several options to choose from and all are finished in low gloss.

Thanks to its soft Florentine cutaway design, you can easily access all the way to the 17th fret. Its Ibanez AEQ-SPR preamp and the Fishman pickup with satin finish comes handy. These ensure easy operation of the guitar as well as control of tonal variations. The preamp also works to deliver great reproduction.

Moving on, the guitar’s back and sides are constructed from flamed maple. Simply put, it is an elegant and exotic tonewood. The top is quality spruce. The tonewood gives the guitar a very distinctive tone and appearance.

The 24.9 inches neck is mahogany and sports the AEW profile at the back with a C-thin nut. As a result, it feels effortlessly comfortable while playing. It also contributes to the beautiful tonal quality of the guitar.

Additionally, its fingerboard boasts rosewood construction with 20 frets. So what you get is great sound, bright, sweet and warm tones.

Besides that, it includes a non-scalloped X-type bracing pattern. This allows the top to vibrate while keeping it stable. You can thus enjoy rich and well-balanced tones. 

Things We Like

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    Great instrument for gigging and singer-songwriters.
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    1/4 inch and XLR outputs for various direct plug-in options.
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    Solid tonewood.
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    Covers a wide range of style.
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    Easy to play.

Things We Don't Like

  • The rosewood fingerboard requires conditioning.

Owning an acoustic electric Fender guitar does not have to take you into the triple zero digit range. The Tim Armstrong Hellcat can attest to this. Featuring an exquisite body made from solid wood, this guitar can take decent amount of abuse. 

The solid top is mahogany whilst the back and sides boasts laminated mahogany. The mahogany gives the guitar a warm resonance with adequate bottom end. 

Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat Acoustic-Electric Guitar

When it comes to hardware, the guitar includes a rosewood fretboard and bridge. Rosewood is quite durable offers the ability to level-out the high-end harshness. Consequently, you can enjoy a darker tone, warmer and softer sound.

The bridge utilizes a Urea nut and compensated saddle made from quality materials. In addition, the black headstock features a set of accurate die-cast tuners. These tuners are fairly good at keeping the Fender Tim Armstrong in key.

To top it all up, it has a decent set of electronics. It’s fitted with Fishman’s Isys III preamp system. The system provides a well-balanced performance at an unbeatable price tag.

Equally important is its 4 Ply Tortoise shell pickguard and Hellcat position inlays. Additionally, it boasts the famous scalloped X Bracing design. This keeps it from collapsing under string tension and shapes the guitar's sound. As a result, the guitar becomes more responsive, has more bass and produces balanced sound.

Things We Like

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    Built solid with creamy body-bindings.
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    Offers balanced tone with no fret buzz.
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    Produces warm and rich tones with an amplifier.
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    Best for mids and strumming as well.
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    Offers great value for money.

Things We Don't Like

  • It only uses steel strings
  • The guitar set-up is more towards the upper-end of frequency-range.

Secrets That You Shouldn't Know About Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under 500

The main factor to consider when shopping for a guitar is price. You can either go for a professional-grade guitar or start small with a budget unit. But since we are talking about the “Under $500” category, price is not really an issue. So let’s focus on some other crucial pointers.

Body and Style

The body of the guitar plays a big role eventually. For instance a full body offers more tonal flexibility than say a 3/4 body. Likewise, there’s remarkable difference between dreadnaught and jumbo shapes. At the core of it all is comfort.

A good guitar is one with a cutaway for better reach to the frets. Slim guitars give you an easy learning time but may lack the magic of jumbo guitars. 

In general, dreadnaught guitars are popular. They generally have rich sound and provide a fantastic learning platform.

How Electric Is It?

There are many acoustic-electric guitars out there in the world. However, logic recommends gathering as much info about them as possible. Information makes it easier to implement a wise buying choice.

In that regard, you want to go for an electric acoustic that’s rich in electronics. Look at its tuners, are they advanced? Look at its built-in features. A good deal in this regard would be a guitar that comes with an amp. You also want to pay attention to the battery. 

Go for a unit that allows for battery changes without removing guitar strings. As a beginner, simplicity is paramount. In that regard, go for a guitar with an on-board tuner. Stick to guitars with ready-made electronics. Consider buying a unit with Fishman components also.

At the end of the day, you want to make full use of the term "electric". So be sure to go for a unit that's reputed in that field. 

Neck Body Joint

Low-end acoustic electric guitars are known for having cheap components. However, that does not mean you have to compromise on everything.

Reputable manufacturers always go a step further to provide quality components. For instance, you can always go for a NuBone nut instead of some cheap plastic. 

The neck-body joint also deserves to be well crafted. Be on the lookout for any indicators of poor workmanship. It takes a bit of patience and expertise to create a good neck. Companies like Fender and Epiphone have achieved a great reputation in that.

The Set Up

It doesn’t matter the guitar model you settle for. The key thing is that it plays comfortably. You therefore want to avoid units whose action is too high. Of concern are guitars whose strings are too far from the fretboard.

Such would or show a poorly constructed neck. It is recommended to go for low action and reachable fretboard. A good indicator of this is that the strings should be higher at the 12 th fret. Only go for high action if you are a pro player.

Benefits of high action include a punchier and clearer sound. 

Type of Wood Used

No doubt, there’s a shortage of wood across the world. That has forced guitar manufacturers to evolve their methods. It is therefore not uncommon to see cheaper varieties being used.

A common scenario is the use of mahogany laminate. Although this does not provide similar sound quality as solid mahogany it does a decent job. Aesthetics of such a guitar are also not questionable. So you end up with a good looking, cheaper but lighter guitar. 

Not all manufacturers use mahogany, though. Some use veneer in combination with plywood. To be honest, this looks cheap. That’s however not to say that the end goal is missed. Indeed, some veneer/plywood guitars still do a good job.

While laminates are seen as cheap, they have many benefits. Solid mahogany is heavy and clumsy to carry. Laminates maintain the same classic look but for lighter weight.

Benefits of Buying Acoustic Electric Guitar

There are quite a few benefits that come with owning an acoustic electric guitar. But given the difference in designs and makes, it’s worth having a candid discussion on these. 

Easier Playing, Learning

Acoustic electric guitars tend to hold down chords with ease. They tend to have a small width around the neck making it easier to access the fretboard. 

Strings of such guitars also tend to be generally soft. That alone makes them nicer and easier to play around with. What’s more, it’s much easier to play bare chords on acoustic electric and plain acoustic guitars. 

This is because of the lightness of strings in particular. Looking to practice in private? Acoustic electric instruments allow you to plug headphones. You can therefore explore the limits without driving your entire neighborhood crazy.

Cost Benefit Point of View

No doubt, acoustic electric guitars offer good value for money. In fact, by doing thorough shopping, you can get a good unit for between $300 and $500. Looking for a gem?

This range of guitars offers one of the most sought-after value proposition. So you can begin playing like a pro without breaking the bank.

Additional Features

Some acoustic electrics come with built-in tuner ability. Others present you with notch filters. A few others provide phase buttons for reversing the phase. 

Indeed, there are even some with sweepable mids which can help you introduce ideal tones. Even better, some guitars come with Fishman Platinum Pro features. Such, give you added adjustability meaning you can take your skills a whole notch higher. 

Improved Volume Controls

Understanding how to control guitar tones and volume requires patience. That’s however different with acoustic electric guitars.

These allow you to turn the sound down for low volume playing. The vice versa is true. These guitars can achieve incredible volume levels when called upon.

Want to grace impromptu public shows? Investing in an acoustic electric guitar would be a nice idea.

Final Words

Electro-acoustic guitars are a boon for guitarists at any level. Compared to their standard acoustic counterparts, these are easier to amplify. 

That doesn’t mean they are beyond your budget-reach either. Thanks to modern technology, you can get a decently priced unit. Our list of best acoustic electric guitar under 500 reviews is meant to inspire you. You don’t have to break the bank to kickstart your career.

Since not all acoustic electric guitars are equal we can only have one overall winner. Topping our recommendations is the Fender CD-60SCE. It is known for its mellow sound and great aesthetics. Were it not for its non-blending strings, this would top international charts any day.

That said, nothing is perfect in this world. We laud Fender for providing such a decent guitar for beginners and intermediates.

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