Best Acoustic Electric Guitars Under $700

Best Acoustic Electric Guitars Under $700

The best acoustic electric guitars under $700 are all the instrument you need to take your performances to a professional level.

These are beautiful sounding acoustics with high-quality electronics and bodies made of premium-grade woods.

If you’re ready to hit the stage or studio, check out our recommendations for the best acoustic electric guitars under $700.

Our Recommendation

For under $700, I think the best acoustic electric you can get your hands on is the Yamaha FG-TA TransAcoustic.

It sounds amazing with its built-in effects and is one of the most unique guitars I’ve ever played.

At this price range, it’s hard to find a bad guitar. Ranking these definitively is no easy task, but I have a slightly negative bias against Martins, so I’m giving the last spot to the Martin DX1AE.

Mainly, this Martin loses points with me for being made of mostly synthetic woods. Though a quality guitar in all regards, I think it would be better priced at about $150 less than its market value

The Top 5 Acoustic Electric Guitars for Under $700 – Overview

#5 Martin X Series 2015 DX1AE Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural

Specs

  • Top – Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Body – High-Pressure Laminate (HPL)
  • Neck – Rust Birch laminate
  • Fingerboard – FSC-certified Richlite
  • Electronics – Fishman Sonitone preamp; Sonicore pickup

Pros

  • Sustainable-wood certified
  • Highly warp-resistant construction
  • Smooth-finished comfortable “Performing Artist” neck profile

Cons

  • Mostly synthetic woods
  • No EQ system

Construction

Although only the top of this guitar is made from actual wood, in most ways it’s hard to tell that the majority is synthetic materials.

HPL, the material used on the back and sides, is a composite wood product; basically, sawdust mixed with an adhesive and treated with high heat and pressure. You can read all about HPL in this article.

This might be a turnoff to some guitarists, but in a blind touch test between this Martin and another guitar I don’t think I’d be able to tell which is real wood and which is HPL.

Sound

The Sonitone/Sonicore combo comprising the DX1AE’s electronic system does a good job reproducing the natural acoustic tone. As such, this acoustic electric sounds much the same unplugged as it does amplified.

The tone you get is rich and resonant. The lows, rounded out by the Sitka spruce top, come through with the power you’d expect from a dreadnought. Highs are smooth, and the midrange is crisp and well-defined.

Playability

Would I prefer a real wood fingerboard? Of course. But, the Richlite construction feels good enough and responds with a pleasant articulation up and down the neck.

All in all, this is a fine choice for a lower-cost Martin for anyone seeking to own one an acoustic from one of the biggest names in the guitar world.

#4 Taylor Academy 10e Dreadnought Acoustic Electric Natural Maple Neck

Specs

  • Top – Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Body – Sapele
  • Neck – Hard Rock Maple
  • Fingerboard – West African Crelicam Ebony
  • Electronics – Taylor ES-B pickup/preamp combo

Pros

  • Slightly short scale length great for smaller-framed players
  • Comfortable armrest design built into the bottom bout
  • Great Taylor tone

Cons

  • Short-scale neck not preferred by some players

Construction

Taylor’s Academy series was designed for dedicated beginners. We covered the non-electric version of the Academy 10 in another article, but now we’ll take a look at its acoustic electric cousin.

This Taylor model is made with high-quality woods, including a solid Sitka spruce top and a hard rock maple neck.

Focusing on comfort and playability, Taylor built the Academy 10e with a reduced scale length of 24 ⅞ -in and included their signature fatigue-reducing armrest in the lower body bout.

Sound

Featuring a full-size dreadnought body, this is a loud, powerful acoustic electric. The spruce top paired with sapele back and sides come together to give a tone that has a hearty bass and a clear, focused midrange.

The ES-B pickup/preamp system recreates the tone with a great clarity that could only be outdone by the presence of an internal mic.

Playability

The short-scale neck and armrest do a lot for the playability of this guitar, greatly reducing player fatigue.

Its ebony fretboard is lively and bouncy, giving you an articulate playing feel no matter your style.

All of this is tied together with a varnished hard rock maple neck cut into a soft V profile that makes chording or riffing pleasurable in any position.

#3 Takamine GJ72CE-12NAT Jumbo Cutaway 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Specs

  • Top – Solid Spruce
  • Body – Flame Maple
  • Neck – Maple
  • Fingerboard – Laurel
  • Electronics – Takamine TK-40D pickup/preamp

Pros

  • The large jumbo body provides a huge sound
  • 12 strings on a comfortably slim neck
  • Spruce + Maple combo creates a beautiful high/low mix

Cons

  • Tone too bright for some players

Construction

The GJ72CE is a huge acoustic electric 12-string, both in voice and in size. With 12 strings, you get a natural chorus-like effect added to your tone. Pair this with a Jumbo-sized body and you’ve got quite a lot of guitar on your hands.

The solid spruce top looks great paired with the maple sides, while the hard maple neck is able to straight under the pressure delivered by the 12 high-tension cables.

Sound

Takamine’s GJ72CE can fill a room with no problem. It has a huge amount of resonance that can make your rhythm playing shine with power.

The spruce + maple combo adds up to a beautifully balanced voice that is great for solo work or for accompanying other instruments.

The dual-input TK-40D preamp does a great job of bringing your acoustic tone into the electric realm and allows you to tweak your tone thanks to its onboard 3-band EQ.

Playability

Even with 12 strings, Takamine manages to keep the neck of this guitar on the slim side.

It’s got a natural finish that’s silky under the palm and a laurel fretboard that is gentle on the fingertips.

Small-bodied players might have some trouble managing the Jumbo build of this guitar, but don’t let that stop you from trying this beauty out.

Do you like the sound of Takamines but not the feel of 12 strings? Their GN30CE made our cut for the best acoustic electric guitars for the money.

#2 Seagull Coastline Momentum

Specs

  • Top – Solid Cedar
  • Body – Wild Cherry
  • Neck – Silver Leaf Maple
  • Fingerboard – Rosewood
  • Electronics – Fishman Sonitone pickup/preamp

Pros

  • Cedar top makes a warm, traditional sound
  • Handmade by skilled luthiers
  • Sustainably crafted

Cons

  • Heavy construction can cause player fatigue

Construction

Seagull guitars routinely rank high with me. The Coastline Momentum is no different.

Like all guitars under the Godin family, this is handcrafted with care by a team of luthiers who really know their stuff.

Seagull uses only top-quality tonewoods and ensures that every piece is fitted to flawlessness.

The Momentum’s tapered headstock keeps you in tune and reduces strain on the neck, so this is a guitar that needs very little maintenance.

Sound

The cedar and cherry combo create a tone that is traditional but full-bodied. It’s harmonious and rich, with a lot of grassroots earthiness.

In a full-size dreadnought design, you get a loud, punchy tone that’s transmitted perfectly through the Fishman electronics system.

Playability

Maple and rosewood combine in this model’s neck for a smooth and responsive playing field.

Your hands can glide freely over the slick high-gloss finish while your fingers fret painlessly on the naturally-oiled rosewood fingerboard.

Like Seagull but need something a little cheaper? We’ve reviewed the cost-friendly S6 Original here.

#1 Yamaha FG-TA Transacoustic Guitar w/ Chorus and Reverb, Brown Sunburst

Specs

  • Top – Solid Spruce
  • Body – Mahogany
  • Neck – Nato
  • Fingerboard – Rosewood
  • Electronics – SYSTEM70 TransAcoustic + SRT Piezo Pickup with built-in Reverb and Chorus effects

Pros

  • Amazing effects with no amp needed
  • Reliable Yamaha quality construction
  • Unique Yamaha-designed scallop bracing for added volume and resonance

Cons

  • Batteries only last for 8-10 hours of playing time

Construction

The FG-TA is, like all Yamaha acoustics, built to perfection. It has a solid spruce top that only gets better with age, a well-crafted mahogany body, a sturdy nato neck, and a rugged rosewood fingerboard with natural oils.

With convenient electronic controls designed to minimize sound-loss, the FG-TA is a really special acoustic electric despite its average looks.

Sound

Yamaha is really known for their electronics, and they combined that mastery with their acoustic know-how to create a guitar that has unplugged effects.

With no external equipment you can turn a knob or two to get absolutely stunning reverb and chorus effects in your tone. This is made possible by an internal actuator mounted to the back of the acoustic. This is explained in detail here.

When you play, the vibrations of the strings activate the actuator, which vibrates the guitar body to produce natural reverb and chorus effects that are truly mind-blowing.

Playability

In general, this is a pretty typical acoustic playability-wise. It’s totally standard-sized from the body to the neck.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to play. Sometimes, classic is best, and you’ll probably be so taken aback by the built-in effects that you’ll barely pay any mind to the average playability.

If you like what you’ve read about the FG-TA, check out our review of its cousin, the FG830.

Buyer’s Guide

What to Look for in an Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $700?

$700 is a lot to spend on an instrument, and when you buy a guitar at this price you won’t end up with a piece of junk.

All these guitars are high-quality music machines that should have no issues in overall construction.

When exploring other models, check to make sure you’re getting something with a solid top. Laminate at this price point is inexcusable.

Higher-end guitars will have better electronics, no doubt. This will include internal mics paired with piezo pickups.

But for $700, you should get reliable preamps and pickups that have no crackle and static and make your plugged-in tone just as good as the natural acoustic voice.

Who Should Buy a Guitar in This Price Range?

Unless you’re really well off financially, I wouldn’t recommend these guitars to an absolute beginner. Many players don’t stick with the hobby after a few months to a year. You don’t want to drop a lot of money into a pastime that turns out to not be for you.

These guitars are in the “intermediate” price range but are fine for most professionals. I’d feel comfortable taking any one of these guitars on the stage or into the studio.

If you’re an intermediate player looking for your life-companion acoustic, this is a great starting point.

Pros looking for another road-worthy axe should have no issue with any of the models listed.

Can I Play an Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $700 Professionally?

I’d say you can play an acoustic electric guitar for just $500 professionally. At least, I have.

$700 guitars are, in my opinion, 100% stage- and studio-worthy.

You don’t need a multi-thousand dollar instrument to rock the world, but you do need a guitar that sounds good and plays well.

All the acoustic electrics in this article are bound to be crowd-pleasers. Plus, their electronics are good enough to suit a studio whether miked-up or plugged in.

In short, you should have no hesitation in taking one of these models on the road.

The Final Word

If it’s time for you to upgrade from your beginner acoustic to an instrument that will last you a lifetime, these best acoustic electrics under $700 are great-sounding guitars that won’t let you down.

I’m completely enamored by the Yamaha FG-TA and hope to add it to my own collection soon. Even if you go with my lowest choice, the Martin DX1AE, you won’t be disappointed at all.

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