The choice among acoustic electric guitars is obviously quite vast and ultimately depends a lot on the specific preferences of a particular person. Whether someone prefers an acoustic guitar for live performances or for the rehearsal setting, and the specific sound preferences deriving out of the playable genre.
The first important aspect to look at in particular is the tonewood of the guitar, as well as the overall build quality. Another important aspect is understanding what kind of preamp and pickups you prefer. So to say it is all down to a selection of certain specific features in the end.
In order to make choosing the best acoustic electric guitar easier, this list here aims at bringing out some of the best guitars currently out there. The list includes guitars in the medium, as well as in the higher price range.
1. Fender Sonoran SCE Acoustic Electric Guitar
This nice Fender comes with a solid spruce top and laminated mahogany back and sides. It also has a pretty nice maple neck with a 20 fret rosewood fingerboard and a rosewood bridge with compensated saddle. Other nice features include scalloped X bracing and dual action truss rod, while it also comes with a pretty good Fishman Isys III pickup system with an active onboard tuner and preamp.
This guitar is suitable for the live setting as well as for the rehearsal room. Its price is also relatively moderate, which makes it a great value for money deal.
2. Cordoba C5-CE Iberia Series Acoustic Electric
This nice acoustic electric guitar features a solid cedar top and mahogany back and sides with soft cutaway. The rosewood bridge and fingerboard look pretty nice as well, while other features include a hand-carved headstock, fan bracing system, and bone nut and saddle. The neck is pretty thin so it is easily playable, while the Fishman Isys+ 2band pickup system works pretty fine as well.
All in all it is a great guitar for any live shows, while it also stays in tune well, and has a good rich and warm all-round sound.
3. Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat Acoustic-Electric Guitar
This great Fender features a solid mahogany top along with laminated mahogany back and sides. It also has a 20 fret maple neck and a nice rosewood bridge with compensated saddle. Other features include chrome die cast tuning keys and scalloped X bracing, while it also has a very good Fishman Isys III system with active onboard preamp and tuner.
It is a pretty nice 60s era acoustic electric guitar and works well in any live setting, while the price of this guitar is pretty reasonable as well.
4. Taylor 214ce Deluxe Grand Auditorium
This pretty expensive Taylor has a solid sitka top along with layered rosewoord back and sides. It has a sapele neck with a satin finish, as well as a nice 20 fret ebony fretboard. The guitar also features an Indian Rosewood headstock overlay and truss rod cover, while having some pretty good chrome tuners and a tortoise pickguard.
What makes this Taylor special however is its electronics. The Taylor Expression System electronics are really good and amplify the warm sound of this high end guitar really well, making it perhaps the best live gig guitar on this list.
5. Alvarez Artist Series AF70CE Folk Acoustic-Electric Guitar
This Alvarez acoustic electric guitar features a solid sitka spruce top and rosewood back and sides. It also comes with hand sanded scalloped bracing, and Paua abalone and mother of pearl inlays.
The electronics are pretty good as well, as the guitar features a SYS650, blend system EQ with a tuner. It is a pretty versatile acoustic electric guitar that suits the live setting pretty well, and its price is quite competitive as well.
6. Seagull Performer CW Flame Maple HG QI Guitar
This great Seagull acoustic-electric comes with a 3-layer hardwood laminated body and a solid spruce top. It also has a 21 fret Indian Rosewood fingerboard and bridge and an integrated silverleaf maple set neck. The guitar also features double action truss rod, chrome hardware and a Quantum I pickup for any live shows.
All in all the electronics on this guitar are great, as is its overall sound and tone. The price of the guitar is in the middle range, so the sound to price ratio is quite well-balanced.
7. Yamaha A3R A-Series Acoustic Electric Guitar
This great Yamaha acoustic electric guitar comes with solid rosewood back and sides, and a solid sitka spruce top, while also featuring a mahagony neck. Additionally the guitar features an ebony fingerboard and bridge and die-cast tuners. The electronics include the SRT System 63 Modeling Preamp and SRT Saddle/Piezo Pickup.
The Yamaha A3R is a high-quality dreadnought with great sound and great electronics. The only drawback might be its relatively high price.
8. Martin DRS2 Road Series Acoustic Electric
The Martin DRS2 comes with a solid sitka spruce top, a nice solid sapele body and a modified low oval mahagony neck. The guitar also features a 20 fret black richlite fingerboard and bridge along with chrome tuners. The electronics include the Fishman Sonitone onboard preamp system, which works really well in live show settings.
The Martin DRS2 is one of the best acoustic electric guitars on the list, but the price of this guitar is rather hefty as well.
9. Epiphone EJ-200CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
This nice Epiphone comes with a select maple jumbo body, a solid spruce top and a set Slim Taper maple neck. It also has a nice rosewood fingerboard with crown inlays and a rosewood bridge with synthetic bone saddle. The electronics include an eSonic2 preamp with a built-in tuner along with some nice NanoFlex/NanoMag pickups.
The price of this guitar is pretty moderate, while the sound it can give is well beyond its actual price. This is why the Epiphone EJ-200CE would possible be my favorite guitar on this list.
10. Breedlove Atlas Stage D25/SR
This nice dreadnought comes with a solid sitka spruce top along with a solid rosewood back and laminate sides. It also has a rosewood bridge and fingerboard along with compensated saddle, dovetail neck joint and double action truss rod.
The guitar also features some nice chrome tuners and a L.R. Baggs LR-T CV Tuner Preamp pickup, while also featuring a 3-band EQ section, plus presence and volume controls.
The Breedlove Atlas Stage D25/SR is a pretty good guitar for any live setting and has tons of features in the electronics department.