Acoustic-electric guitars are excellent hybrid instruments that get the best of both worlds – an acoustic tone, with electric power.
Today we are looking at the Best acoustic-electric guitar under $400. If you are in the market for one of these instruments, this guide is here to help you out!
Acoustic-electric guitars can completely change the way a musician works. These instruments help to combat the issues faced with both electric and acoustic guitar. For acoustic guitars, it overcomes the issue of amplification and volume. For electric guitars, it solves the issue of portability and playing without an amplifier.
If you want to find out about acoustic electrics, you’ve come to the right place.
This guide shows some of our favorite budget-friendly guitars!.
I tested 7 products and found the Yamaha APX600 Thin Body to be the best acoustic-electric guitar under $400.
This high-quality slimline guitar is an excellent choice for anybody in need of an acoustic guitar under $400. This is easily one of the best acoustic-electric guitars on the market, let alone under $400. One cool feature of this guitar is its thin body shape. It has a sound similar to classical guitars but uses steel strings. The unplugged acoustic tone of these guitars is fantastic and usable by many guitar players.
I love acoustic-electric guitars.
Throughout my time playing guitar, I’ve had the luck of playing some of the best acoustic-electric guitars on the market. I know what great guitars feel like, what they need, and what they sound like. I’ve gone through tonnes of guitars in my time too, too many… I understand the importance of finding the right guitar. There’s no better feeling than “This is the one” when you are looking for a musical instrument.
We picked the Yamaha APX600 as our favorite electric acoustic guitars for under $400 for several reasons!
The thin body shape makes this guitar incredibly comfortable to play. It’s light and takes minimal effort to hold. The solid Sitka spruce top feels durable and has excellent projection. The slim mahogany neck and solid mahogany body use high-quality wood, which increases both strength and resonance and creates a warm, bright sound.
Lots of different elements go into deciding what makes the best acoustic-electric guitar under $400. Each guitar has a unique personality and sound. This is particularly true for acoustic guitars. Each of the below guitars has its own character and distinctions from the others. Ultimately, any guitar will do the job, but some are better suited for some situations.
Keep reading for our full exploration of the best acoustic guitar under $400 with electric features.
Alternatively, interested in reading about the best electric guitars? Check out our post!
If you’re interested in smaller guitars, check out our post about the best half-sized electric guitar
Best acoustic-electric guitars under $400 in our tests
- Ibanez AW54CEOPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic/Electric Guitar
- Fender CD-60SCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Yamaha APX600 NA Thin Body Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Takamine GD11MCE-NS Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Gretsch Guitars G5024E Rancher Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Ibanez AEG50 Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Oscar Schmidt 6 String OG10CE Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar
7 Best acoustic-electric guitar under $400 reviews in Details
The Ibanez Artwood Series provides a rich, balanced sound from a comfortable body.
The Artwood guitars have been used by David Bowie, Noel Gallagher, and others, which is a testament to their quality. This particular model has a dreadnought body with cutaway and features mahogany back and sides, rosewood bridge, and fretboard, with a solid mahogany top.
This Dreadnought acoustic guitar provides a deep, rich sound that will satisfy your ears, and is perfect for folk and blues. The mahogany top brings out the richness in your playing style, while the rosewood fretboard and bridge deliver a smooth precision that won’t go unnoticed.
The Ibanez Artwood Guitar is a fantastic acoustic-electric guitar for any musician. This guitar feels a step above other guitars at the same price. You can see that a lot of work has gone into the design and manufacturing process.
The electronics of this guitar use an Ibanez AEQ210TF preamp with an onboard tuner, and 3-band EQ to help you sound your best. The pickups of these guitars have a strong, full sound quality, and aren’t scratchy or thin like cheaper models. There was a tiny hint of noise, but this is barely noticeable in most situations.
Overall the Ibanez Artwood series is a range of beautiful electric acoustic guitars. These are on the more premium end of the range, and sound and feel just as stunning as they look. We recommend this guitar for any serious guitarist. It will be able to hold its own busking, at open mics, or on stage.
Pros and Cons
- The Dreadnought body provides richer, fuller sound.
- A solid mahogany top enhances the sound waves.
- Mahogany back and sides provide a deep, resonant tone.
- Rosewood bridge and fretboard provide comfortable action.
- Equipped with the Ibanez AEQ210TF preamp with onboard tuner
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Cut your teeth on the player-friendly CD-60SCE dreadnought guitar. Fender’s best-selling cutaway dreadnought offers an affordable way for beginners to get started on steel-string guitars. Features include a single-cutaway maple body with spruce top, mahogany back and sides, easy-to-play neck with rolled fingerboard edges.
The Fender CD-60SCE Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar is a high-quality electric acoustic that will stand the test of time. The CD-60 range is a classic beginner to mid-range level acoustic guitar. The CD-60 was actually my first acoustic guitar, and still one of the best acoustic guitars I have played.
Using a simplified body design, the CD-60SCE is a great guitar for beginners and novices looking to explore the world of acoustic music.
This is the electrified version which comes with a built-in pickup and electronic circuit.
This guitar features a Fishman Classic Design pickup with a built-in tuner.
The Fender CD-60SCE Acoustic Guitar is a great-sounding, solidly built instrument that features all the renowned fender quality you expect.
The sound quality and feel are better than most budget acoustic guitars, although there was a little fret buzz, and the action needed to be tweaked. The gloss finish is also a little squeaky, but this soon wears away.
Overall, I think this is a fantastic, budget-friendly mid-range guitar. It has a full, bright tone, and can be played acoustic or electric. This is higher quality than many entry-level acoustic guitars and has the name of the Fender brand behind it.
Pros and Cons
- A full dreadnought body style guitar to produce a rich, powerful sound.
- Fishman Classic Design pickup/preamp & tuner for an authentic acoustic experience when plugged in.
- The body of this guitar is made from solid spruce with scalloped “X”-bracing for an optimal tone.
- Mahogany’s back and sides provide warm lows with a subtle mid-range bump perfect for strumming chords or fingerpicking.
This guitar also comes in a 12 string variety.
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The Yamaha APX600 guitar is an all-new thin body electric acoustic guitar that brings a powerful sound and easy playability together in a smartly designed package.
This thin line cutaway body design gives players exceptional comfort and access to the upper frets for effortless soloing. Yamaha’s exclusive thinner D-shaped neck profile provides improved comfort over previous models, while the 25″ scale length and narrower string spacing give the APX
The natural tone of the APX600 guitar is more mellow and sweet than that of a traditional acoustic guitar. The thin body and cutaway design make it easier to play and the narrower string spacing ensures that players will not experience as much hand fatigue as they would on a traditional acoustic guitar.
The body of this guitar is noticeably thinner than most acoustic guitars. This is a nice change, where sometimes acoustic guitars feel too big and comfortable. This is somewhere between the width of acoustic and electric guitars.
Yamaha APX600 guitars are a breakthrough in electric guitars, with a sleek body design to make them easy to play from the first moment. Designed for comfort and performance, it will give you a louder, more full-bodied sound with every fret.
The electronic pickups amplify the sound of the guitar well and are very clean and clear.
This guitar has a sophisticated look, feel and sound. The sound of this guitar is versatile and will suit many genres.
Not only is this a great-looking acoustic guitar, it feels and sounds great too. We recommend this for anyone in need of a solid top electric acoustic with the excellent build quality. It’s in the higher price range but definitely reflected in the quality.
Pros and Cons
- This lightweight, thin body electric acoustic guitar is perfect for musicians on the go.
- The narrow string spacing and shorter scale length make it easier to fret notes, chords, and scales.
- The scalloped bracing pattern increases the bass response for a richer sound.
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Meet the Takamine GD11MCE-NS Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar, with a natural finish. This high-quality guitar has a mahogany top, back, and sides. It features an all-mahogany body for plenty of body warmth, sustains, and tonal richness. The mahogany neck has a rosewood fingerboard with mother-of-pearl dot inlays
Takamine’s first dreadnought series for beginners and professionals alike, the GD11MCE-NS is a beautiful and affordable guitar with traditional style. With its dreadnought shape body, reinforced neck joint, and Takamine TP-4T electronics package you can be sure you’re getting a quality instrument for your money.
The Takamine GD11MCE-NS is a dreadnought-shaped guitar designed for the player looking for lighter weight, smaller size, and greater comfort. Takamine are known to produce excellent acoustic guitars, and this japanese mada model is no different. Hand-crafted by Takamines experienced luthers, these guitars are beautifully made, and do not feel mass produced.
The slim neck felt comfortable to play, and the solid top also felt sturdy and could handle percussive playing.
They have a full, resonant sound thanks to their dreadnought body shape. The warm tone will be suitable for most musical styles, and compliments other musical instruments well. This rivals more expensive guitars in terms of volume and sound, so this is a really good guitar for solo performance, whether plugged or unplugged. It may be a little too expensive for a beginner instrument, but this is a sweet choice for the pros.
Pros and Cons
- Dreadnought Cutaway Body is perfect for playing any style of music.
- Rosewood fingerboard and Mahogany neck & body give this guitar a rich, warm sound, with unrivaled stability, sustain, and tone.
- Takamine TP-4T electronics offer the best of both worlds: classic acoustic sound via onboard preamp/EQ, plus distortion/overdrive effects.
- The Natural Finish provides a distinctive look and feel that will stand out in the crowd.
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If you are in the market for a new acoustic guitar, you have come to the right place. The Gretsch G5024E Rancher provides beautiful sound quality and gorgeous aesthetics. Look at the shape of that sound hole!
This dreadnought acoustic has great tonal quality, durability, and good customer ratings. It also includes an electro-acoustic pickup that allows you to plug in without having to use an amplifier, which is especially convenient for the traveling musician.
This solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides dreadnought acoustic guitar is perfect for the player looking to get into the world of acoustic guitars.
The arched laminated mahogany body will provide you with a strong, focused tone that will give you great projection.
The 20-fret rosewood fingerboard provides you with an easy-playing surface that will allow you to explore the world of fingerstyle playing.
When it comes to quality, Gretsch never disappoints. From the excellent craftsmanship of this Rancher dreadnought guitar to its solid Spruce top, to the Arched Laminated Mahogany back and sides, every detail is executed with excellence. This Gretsch guitar is the perfect companion for the musician who wants it all.
Gretsch’s G5024E Rancher dreadnought acoustic-electric guitar features a stunning gloss violin burst finish and a variety of other features that make it an outstanding value. This guitar has a wonderfully balanced tone and enough projection to handle almost any performance situation. The electronics include a Fishman Sonicore pickup/preamp system.
This comes particularly recommended for the blues, folk, and country guitarists out there, thanks to both its look and sound.
Pros and Cons
- A solid spruce top delivers a great tone with plenty of projection.
- Rosewood back and sides produce a consistently rich sound.
- Ivoroid binding for a traditional touch.
- Compensated saddle for more reliable intonation.
- Solidly constructed, beautiful Sunburst gloss finish.
- Fine construction quality.
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It is a good time to be an acoustic-electric guitar player. With styles spanning from Delta Blues, Rock, Pop, to Metal, there’s no shortage of music to play.
The AEG50 acoustic-electric guitar is equipped with an Ibanez AEG pickup system, Walnut Fingerboard, and Spruce Top, which together produce a full-bodied sound. The AEG pickup system features a built-in preamp with switches for on/off/phase and independent volume control to accommodate any playing style – while the phase switch removes the hum caused by ground loops. The Ibanez electronics
Ibanez AEG50 is a full, bright, and rich-sounding acoustic guitar with noiseless electronics and a high gloss finish. The Ibanez AEG50 acoustic-electric guitar is offered in Indigo Blue Burst high gloss. It has a walnut fingerboard and Nato neck for warm tones with a great playing feel.
These are reliable instruments that are seen on stage time and time again. From open mics to stadium shows, these acoustic-electric guitars can handle the heat. Ibanez guitars are always a good choice in my opinion, and this guitar is no different. This is comparable in quality and price to the Fender CD60 range. The only deciding factor is your personal preference and manufacturer really. They are both fantastic acoustic-electric guitars.
Pros and Cons
- Great for country, rock, jazz, or anything you could imagine.
- Make learning new chords easier than ever with a walnut fingerboard and Nato neck.
- Tuned to pitch with the unique Sapele back and sides.
- The Ibanez-exclusive pickup system, developed in conjunction with Seymour Duncan, features an under-saddle pickup plus a Fishman Sonicore pickup for amplified tones
- Features an Ibanez exclusive high gloss finish
- Equipped with RGBIV controls for easy sound shaping
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Meet Oscar Schmidt’s OG10CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar: a concert-size guitar that’s perfect for live performances of any size. The fully adjustable truss rod, chrome die-cast tuners, and the Vintage 10 preamp/tuner system ensure you’re always on pitch and sounding great.
The Oscar Schmidt OG10CE Concert Guitar is the perfect guitar for both beginners and experienced musicians alike.
The OG10CE is a concert size, the fully adjustable acoustic guitar that comes with a Meet-10 preamp and tuner system. The guitar has a spruce top and mahogany back and sides, which gives it a deep, rich sound. The body has a natural finish with an ebony fingerboard for a smooth feel.
This guitar is more towards the lower range of quality and price. It has a mid-range sound that was a little boxy, but still defined and clear enough for most performances. The finish was incredibly eye-catching, but I think this guitar looks better than it felt and sounded.
The unplugged sound was moderate to good, but the electrified sound was a little underwhelming.
These are recommended for anyone looking for a budget acoustic guitar with electric functionality.
Pros and Cons
- The concert size body has the same basic design as the dreadnought and is common in folk and country music.
- The fully adjustable truss rod is necessary for adjusting the instrument neck.
- Chrome die-cast tuners ensure quick and easy tuning.
- Meet-10 preamps/tuners provide clear sound with plenty of power to make sure you’ve heard on stage.
- Bad action, needed setting up.
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What Makes a Great Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $400?
There are a few elements that go into making a great acoustic-electric guitar.
Material Quality: The quality of materials and hardware affects the feel, sound, and durability of a guitar.
Feel: Guitars should feel nice to play, particularly in this price range they should be noticeably refined. This includes a well-tuned action, smooth frets, and no unwanted physical issues with the guitar.
Acoustic Sound: The guitar should sound great unplugged. A good acoustic has a full range tone, with a long sustain and expressive articulation. Typically acoustic guitars have a fairly bright orange. You should also consider the volume level the guitar can create. Some guitars can be too quiet/loud.
Electronic Sound: The guitar should also sound great when plugged in. This is largely defined by the quality of the electronics. You should also expect to get some more than basic features on electronics at this price, including tuning and an EQ circuit.
Tuning: Guitars in this price range should have stable tuning. They should hold their tuning for most of a session, and not slip too far when left out of use.
What to look for when buying an electric acoustic guitar
There are a few important factors that you should consider when looking for this style of guitar.
There are two main components of this style of guitar.
- The guitar itself
- The pickups
The quality of both of these components has a large effect on the overall sound (when plugged in). It’s great having a really nice guitar, but if the electronic pickups are bad, the full sound will be bad.
The reverse is also true. If you have great pickups, but a low-quality guitar, the sound will be bad again.
Generally aim for a guitar that sounds good in itself. This is a good starting point, you can always upgrade the electronics later.
If the budget allows, I’d recommend choosing a guitar from a reputable brand like Ibanez, Taylor, Fender, Epiphone, etc. There are other cheaper brands available, but often the quality is not as good, even at the same prices.
Another important choice is string style. Steel-string and nylon string guitars have a completely different sound. Nylon strings are warmer and darker, where steel strings are brighter and more cutting. It depends on the style of music you want to play though. I’d recommend a steel-string guitar for most players.
Who Should Buy Acoustic guitars in this Price Range?
Of course, more expensive guitars are generally made better, but it doesn’t mean they are always the best choice for you.
For a guitar between $300-400, I’d recommend this price range to intermediate to professional guitarists. Guitars at this price are somewhat of a commitment, and should only really be bought if you know it’s going to get played.
Guitars in this price range should be suitable for on-stage performance, so they should meet the needs of a professional musician. Guitars in this price range will also have a more distinct and refined sound. Cheaper instruments tend to have a washy, generic sound that lacks any definition or wow factor. Instruments in this price range should be a little higher quality and have more attention paid to their construction process in the way it influences their sound
Beginners are probably worth using guitars a little cheaper to start with. It wouldn’t hurt to learn on a nice guitar in this mid-range, but it might be overkill for some new players. If it’s your first guitar then avoid paying more than $100 unless you have the spare cash.
If you’ve been playing guitar for 3-4+ years, you could be ready to use an instrument at this price.
If you can afford better instruments early on, it can sometimes be a good idea. Learning on low-quality instruments can inhibit the learning process. It can make practice harder or even unpleasant. Playing a nice instrument is more fun.
Overall the best acoustic-electric guitar under $400 was…
the Yamaha APX600NA Thin Body Acoustic-Electric Guitar.
This acoustic guitar from Yamaha is a truly fantastic instrument. This is one of the best acoustic guitars we’ve seen, let alone an acoustic guitar under $400. What sets this instrument apart from other instruments is its thin body. It has a thinner body than most acoustic guitars which creates a unique and comfortable feeling, somewhere in between an electric guitar and an acoustic.
The thin mahogany neck has an excellent build quality, and feels super smooth and satisfying, like an extension of your body. The overall build quality is high, with every element feeling well polished and designed.
The electronic pickup is of decent quality. It comes with a built-in tuner and eq which makes practice a lot easier. The eq gives you more flexibility in your sound, letting you sculpt it in further detail, and adapt to the amp or room you use.
For the price, you could probably pick up a decent quality martin guitar, which is known to be better acoustic guitars than Yamahas. Although it wouldn’t have electronic features for this price, and the rest of the design would be basic.
Thanks to the high-quality solid wood used throughout this guitar, the acoustic sound quality is excellent. This has a clear and warm sound that would be suitable for any style of acoustic music. The guitar has an excellent dynamic range and articulation, with an overall professional feeling when played.
If you’re looking for an acoustic guitar under $400 that has a great sound and is compatible with electronics, this could be the right choice.