How an acoustic electric guitar works? Experts Guide

How an acoustic electric guitar works?

Acoustic guitar uses an electronic medium to resonate and projectile physical vibrations. It contains some unique systems as compared to a general acoustic guitar. First, it has an electronic sound pickup with an onboard microphone. Secondly, it has a built-in amplifier to play the sound in high-frequency. Hence to become a pro-player, you must know how an acoustic electric guitar works.

The guitar is a way to conduct emotions and energy into melodies. Whether it’s about “John Cummings” or “Jimi Hendrix,” the debate of acoustic vs electric acoustic guitar is a never-ending subject. Although both forms are pretty similar, the primary working mechanism makes them different. Therefore, we describe here the operating mechanism of the electronic acoustic guitar and how an acoustic electric guitar works.

1- Electronics of Acoustic-Electric guitar

The acoustic electric guitar uses acoustic electric preamp and pickup. First, pickup converts the physical sound vibrations into electronic signals. Next, the acoustic electric preamp amplifies the sound to high frequency. 

Ultimately, you hear loud and crisp tones with the least energy.

Role of Acoustic-Electric Pickup

The pickups have magnetic and electric sensors that convert the fluctuating sound waves into electric signals. Later the electronic signal travels to the output jack via a cable to an amplifier.

Acoustic guitars with electric pickup use microphones to get the mechanical signals. Later it transforms the fluctuating vibrations into a harmonic electromagnetic motion. However, the sound intensity depends upon the natural inductive qualities. 

Since there are two types of pickups that are common in Best acoustic electric guitar brands. 

  • Magnetic:

You can use magnetic pickups to turn the acoustic guitar into electric. However, the only drawback of using magnetic pickup is that it does not work well with nylon strings. Magnetic pickups can not pick the nylon strings’ vibrations.

  • Piezoelectric:

Piezo pickups are the default structure of electronics acoustic guitars. Usually, the bridge or a place between bridge feet and the top has Piezo pickups. It can work well with nylon strings and removes additional magnetic waves.

Role of Electric Acoustic Preamp

A soundboard on the electro-acoustic guitar has an amplifier. When pickup sends the transducer signals to the amplifier, it first passes through a pre-amplifier known as a preamp.

Preamp contains:

  1. Equalizer
  2. Tuner
  3. Tone adjustment Control

Anyhow there is a vast difference between acoustic and acoustic electric guitar. Since general acoustic guitars can not modify or amplify the sound, the preamp can modify the generated tone. 

A quality electro-acoustic guitar needs a highly functional preamp. Usually, transducers or pickups send the vibrations to the amplifier or loudspeaker. But in such a situation, additional noises will distort the harmony. Therefore a quality preamp helps in obsoleting the extra notes and stabilizing the tones.

2. Setting in Acoustic-Electric Guitar to play

Besides choosing the perfect kind of guitar regarding size, shape, and specifications, accessible settings are necessary for a good guitar. Here are step-by-step procedures to help a beginner set the acoustic electric guitar.

  1. Truss adjustment; You can adjust the truss rod according to your playing style. You can choose back-bow, concave-bow, or neck straight.
  2. Bridge Height Adjustment; You can fix the screws and sand the bridge saddle.
  3. Checking electronics; Before attending a live performance, double-check pickups and preamp. You must check the battery or power source before setting the fire on stage.
  4. Tuners Checkup; the tuners adjust the tension in the strings. Pull strings and then tune the tuners with screwdrivers.
  5. Polish and Cleansing; fret needs more often cleansing to resonate the sound in a broader spectrum.
  6. Setting Intonations; Strings must sound at a suitable pitch according to each fret length. You can adjust the bridge to set the intonations.

3- Converting an Acoustic guitar to an Electric-Acoustic guitar

Right after you know how an acoustic electric guitar works and basic skills to play the tones, you might have a few questions in mind. For instance, 

  • How to make an acoustic guitar electric?
  • How to amplify an acoustic guitar?

Precisely, the answer is “Yes.”There are several ways to add electronics to acoustic guitars. However, it’s impossible to get the same sounds, yet it can change your abandoned guitar into something worth playing.

The most basic is setting a mini microphone inside the soundhole and connecting the source with external sound systems. Therefore even if you don’t have a budget to add an electro-acoustic guitar to your collection, modify the available acoustic guitar.

Meanwhile, many people ask, ” can you play an acoustic electric guitar without an amp” to play the guitar in lighter tones. Again, the answer is “yes” as it might sometimes happen that people have confusions to evaluate the fact  “Do acoustic electric guitars sound good unplugged or plugged.” It depends all on the type of guitar you use and the skills to create new tones.

4. Advantages of Electric-Acoustic Guitar

Regardless of the kind of guitar you own, you can use an installed pickup system to enhance the sound volume and quality. With some essential modifications, you can convert acoustic guitar to electric guitar. However, there are several advantages of using acoustic electric guitars. 

  • Amplification and Versatility:

Although you know how to amplify an acoustic guitar, yet the manufacturer-assembled amplifiers and preamps are more accurate and precise. You don’t need external microphones. Meanwhile, besides boosting the sound volume, it also enhances the good quality with the preamp. As mentioned before, preamp reduces the additional noises. It adds tonal versatility to the stringed instrument.

  • Pickup and Consistency:

You can plug in the guitar, and the pickup is responsible for capturing each vibration. Later send it to convert it into electromagnetic signals. The sound energy turns into electromagnetic energy. Consequently, it produces consistent tones and sends them to mixing consoles or amplifiers. It reduces the extra efforts you need to adjust the external microphones. All you have to do is to connect the loudspeaker or amplifier with the pickup output jack.

  • Portable and Hassle-free:

Electric acoustic guitars have many benefits over traditional acoustic guitars. In the debate about acoustic vs. acoustic electric guitar, portability is an outstanding feature of acoustic electric guitars. Not only a better sound but a hassle-free system of acoustic electric guitar saves a guitarist from on-stage embarrassment. You don’t have to restrict the movements and move around with total energy.


So, here we concluded the guide and hoping that you’ve got a lot of new points and massive information about how an acoustic electric guitar works. We’ve discussed each and everything after proper research to provide our readers with a unique experience.

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