Today’s guitarist doesn’t want options. Whether on the pedalboard or through your guitar amp’s modeling technology, there’s seemingly no end to the ways we can transform our sound in an instant.
But what if we want an acoustic voice from our electric guitar? Well, again, there are options, and not all of them conform to one design. Here we’ve collected seven seemingly electric guitars, but thanks to inventive constructions, each offers an unplugged option right next to its magnetic electric voice.
No two are the same, and there is a range of technologies deployed for secondary acoustic voices. But can we even call them secondary voicings? Not so when it comes to Fender’s Acoustasonic designs, which revamp the Telecaster and Strat archetypes with forward-looking acoustic construction that blurs the lines between electric and acoustic guitar.
Now, if that’s too much of a future, the following guitars show that there’s no one size fits all when it comes to finding sounds that bridge the electric-acoustic divide.
1. PRS II hollow bodies
With the exception of the rarely seen 12-string Hollowbody I, the long-running Hollowbody II and non-piezo McCarty 594 Hollowbody II are the only American-made guitars of the many models we’ve seen since the late ’90s.
It’s crafted from all solid woods (no laminates) and features Phase III locking tuners, TCI-tuned 58/15 LT humbuckers and, of course, its own piezo system that the SE version is based on.
2. Taylor T5Z Classic
Effectively a scaled down version of the original T5, the T5z is more solid but still fine acoustics here with a braced mahogany top, 305mm (12 inch) radius and jumbo frets.
There is only one visible pickup, the thin bridge humbucker, but there is also an acoustic body pickup and a concealed neck humbucker. The five-way switch offers combinations of this trio, plus we have a top-mounted master volume and treble and bass EQ.
3. Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty
One of the most advanced guitars money can buy, this John Petrucci signature has a piezo-loaded bridge for acoustic-like textures.
The neck-thru-body design has alder wings and a sumptuous figured maple top, with new digital pickup switching capabilities to “eliminate the delay between pickup selection”, says Music Man.
There’s a 20dB boost onboard, Dimarzio Dreamcatcher and Rainmaker magnetic humbuckers and a seven-string option.
4. Fender American Acoustasonic Stratocaster
Of all the electro-acoustic hybrid options here, Fender’s Acoustasonic is the most radical. It cuts a familiar sillhouette, but its Stratocaster body is semi-hollow, the guitar is stringed with acoustic strings with a “doughnut” rosette projecting an acoustic voice that might lack volume but not detail or musicality.
Construction-wise, the spec reads like a typical acoustic, with solid Sitka spruce top, mahogany back and sides. It’s strung with acoustic strings, so the 3rd is wound up, and yet the feel is electric. It’s strange.
The Acoustasonic’s unique N4 magnetic pickup is complemented by an under-saddle Fishman transducer and deck plate body pickup, and a five-way voice selector lets you cycle through a range of classic acoustic tones while position 1 is fully electric. The Mod control offers two sounds for each voice, making the Acoustasonic format one of the most versatile options for acoustic-electric or electro-acoustic sounds.
5. Godin Summit Classic Havana Brown A/E
With more two-voice (magnetic, piezo) and three-voice (magnetic, piezo, synth access) electrics than any other brand, Godin has long seen the benefits of piezo-charged hybrids.
This model is a traditional single-cutaway design with a chambered mahogany body and swamp ash top, LR Baggs T-Bridge (and Control-X preamp) for its “acoustic” voice, and Seymour Duncan Custom Custom at the bridge and Jazz on the neck for its magnetic electric sounds.
6. Savor Jane
Another company pushing the boundaries of design, Relish has a pretty futuristic vision.
Jane’s piezo acoustic sound is just one feature: there’s also the aluminum frame body construction with flip-up rear cover, instant pickup swap, bolt-on maple neck with 254mm woven bamboo board ( 10-inch) and 17-inch touch sensitive blend control switching system. The cheapest Swiss-made relish is also piezo-loaded: the €4,827 Mary One.
7. Duesenberg Starplayer TV+
Not all piezoelectric electrical devices have a futuristic stance. Duesenberg’s deliciously retro range includes this piezo-loaded single-cut semi-cut that combines a fully laminated centerblock construction (spruce top, maple back and sides) with a Duesenberg DP90 Domino single coil at the neck and a Grand Vintage humbucker. at the easel. . It’s iced out with a Duesenberg Diamond Deluxe tremolo, and the price includes a hard case.