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Do Electric Acoustic Guitars Have Pickups

Electric acoustic guitars do have pickups, which allow them to be amplified and produce sound when connected to an amplifier or sound system. These pickups are usually built into the body of the guitar, picking up the vibrations of the strings and converting them into electrical signals.

With the help of these pickups, electric acoustic guitars can be played both acoustically and electrically, making them versatile instruments for various musical settings. Whether you’re performing on a stage or recording in a studio, electric acoustic guitars with pickups offer the flexibility and convenience of amplification while still maintaining the natural and resonant tone of an acoustic instrument.

Do Electric Acoustic Guitars Have Pickups


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What Are Electric Acoustic Guitars?

What Are Electric Acoustic Guitars?

Electric acoustic guitars, also known as electro-acoustic guitars, are versatile musical instruments that combine the acoustic sound of a traditional guitar with the amplified sound of an electric guitar. These guitars are specifically designed to be played both acoustically and plugged into an amplifier or sound system, offering guitar players the best of both worlds.

Brief Explanation Of Electric Acoustic Guitars

Electric acoustic guitars are essentially acoustic guitars with built-in pickups, preamps, and output jacks. The pickups capture the vibrations of the strings and convert them into electrical signals, which can then be amplified and reproduced through an amplifier or PA system. This allows guitarists to achieve a louder and more powerful sound, making them ideal for live performances or recording situations.

How They Differ From Traditional Acoustic Guitars

While traditional acoustic guitars rely solely on the resonating sound produced by the body of the guitar, electric acoustic guitars have the added capability of amplification. This fundamental difference sets electric acoustic guitars apart from their acoustic counterparts, offering guitar players greater versatility in terms of sound projection and tonal possibilities.

Unlike electric guitars, which require an external amplifier to produce sound, electric acoustic guitars feature built-in electronics that allow players to produce amplified sound without the need for additional equipment. This makes electric acoustic guitars a preferable option for musicians who want the convenience of an acoustic instrument with the ability to perform in venues of various sizes.

Overview Of Their Unique Features

Electric acoustic guitars come with a range of unique features that enhance the overall playing experience and offer greater control over the instrument’s sound.

  • Built-in Pickups: Electric acoustic guitars have specialized pickups that capture the vibrations of the strings, allowing the sound to be amplified.
  • Preamps: These guitars are equipped with preamps that feature equalization controls, volume knobs, and sometimes even onboard tuners, giving players the ability to shape and adjust their sound.
  • Output Jacks: Electric acoustic guitars have output jacks that enable the instrument to be connected to amplifiers or PA systems for amplified sound projection.
  • Acoustic Sound: Despite being designed for amplified performances, electric acoustic guitars still retain the rich and warm sound found in traditional acoustic guitars, making them suitable for both intimate acoustic settings and larger performances.

These unique features make electric acoustic guitars a popular choice among guitarists of all genres and skill levels. Whether you’re playing in a small coffee shop or rocking out on a big stage, electric acoustic guitars offer the versatility and convenience that musicians crave.

How Do Electric Acoustic Guitars Work?

Explanation Of The Pickup System In Electric Acoustic Guitars

Electric acoustic guitars are a fascinating combination of traditional acoustic guitars and modern electric guitars. They have the ability to produce both the warm and natural sound of an acoustic guitar and the amplified sound of an electric guitar. So, how do electric acoustic guitars actually work?

At the heart of an electric acoustic guitar is its pickup system. The pickup is a crucial component that converts the vibrations produced by the strings into electrical signals. These signals are then sent to an amplifier or sound system, allowing the player to project their sound with greater volume and control.

Role Of Pickups In Converting String Vibrations Into Electrical Signals

Pickups play a vital role in the functioning of electric acoustic guitars. They consist of one or more magnets wrapped with a coil of wire. When the strings vibrate, they create a changing magnetic field around the pickups. This changing magnetic field induces a current in the coil of wire, generating an electrical signal. The strength and characteristics of the vibrating strings directly affect the electrical signals produced.

The electrical signals from the pickups are then transmitted through a cable to an amplifier or sound system. The amplifier processes and amplifies these signals, which are then converted back into sound by speakers. This entire process allows the player to control and manipulate the sound of their guitar, creating a unique and personalized tone.

Discussion On The Types Of Pickups Used In Electric Acoustic Guitars

There are several types of pickups used in electric acoustic guitars, each with its own unique characteristics and sound qualities.

  1. Piezo pickups: Piezo pickups utilize the piezoelectric effect to convert vibrations into electrical signals. They work by placing a piezo crystal or strip directly underneath the saddle of the guitar. When the strings vibrate, they transfer their energy to the piezo element, generating an electrical charge. Piezo pickups are known for their bright and rich sound, often resembling the natural tone of an acoustic guitar.
  2. Magnetic pickups: Magnetic pickups, also commonly found in electric guitars, use a magnetic field to pick up the vibrations of the strings. They consist of magnetic pole pieces wrapped with a coil of wire. When the strings vibrate, they disturb the magnetic field, which induces a current in the coil. Magnetic pickups are known for their warm and vibrant sound, often associated with classic rock and blues genres.
  3. Combination pickups: Some electric acoustic guitars feature a combination of both piezo and magnetic pickups. This allows the player to blend the characteristics of both types, creating a more versatile and dynamic sound. The combination of piezo and magnetic pickups provides a wide range of tonal possibilities, from crisp and articulate to warm and punchy.

Overall, the pickup system in electric acoustic guitars is what gives them their unique sound and versatility. Whether you prefer the warm resonance of a piezo pickup or the gritty tone of a magnetic pickup, electric acoustic guitars offer a wide range of options to cater to different musical styles and preferences.

Advantages Of Using Electric Acoustic Guitars

Electric acoustic guitars have gained significant popularity among guitarists of all levels due to their unique features that offer several advantages over traditional acoustic guitars. With the ability to combine the acoustic sound with the versatility of electric pickups, electric acoustic guitars open up new possibilities for musicians. In this article, we will explore some of the key advantages of using electric acoustic guitars.

Enhanced Versatility In Sound Options

One of the primary advantages of using electric acoustic guitars is the enhanced versatility they offer in terms of sound options. These guitars not only produce the warm and resonant tones associated with acoustic instruments but also allow you to experiment with different types of electric guitar sounds.

With the built-in pickups, you can easily switch between acoustic and electric modes, giving you access to a wide range of tones. This versatility is particularly useful for musicians who play in various genres or styles, as it allows them to adapt their sound to different musical contexts.

Ability To Plug Into Amplification Systems For Larger Audiences

Unlike traditional acoustic guitars, electric acoustic guitars have the advantage of being able to plug into amplification systems. This feature is highly beneficial when performing for larger audiences or in venues where acoustic projection might not be sufficient.

By connecting your electric acoustic guitar to an amplifier or PA system, you can boost the volume and easily project your sound to reach every corner of the venue. This ensures that your performance remains impactful and reaches a wider audience, regardless of the size of the space.

Greater Control Over Tone And Volume

Another notable advantage of using electric acoustic guitars is the greater control they provide over tone and volume. Traditional acoustic guitars have limited means of adjusting these elements, relying solely on the player’s technique and the guitar’s natural resonance.

However, electric acoustic guitars offer built-in controls, such as tone and volume knobs, allowing you to fine-tune your sound according to your preferences. This level of control enables you to adjust the tone to suit various playing styles or musical arrangements, enhancing your overall performance.

Additionally, electric acoustic guitars often feature onboard equalizers, which enable further tonal shaping. These equalizers let you adjust frequencies such as bass, midrange, and treble, providing a tailored sound that suits your specific musical needs.

In conclusion, electric acoustic guitars offer several advantages over traditional acoustic guitars. Their enhanced versatility in sound options allows guitarists to experiment and explore different tones, while the ability to plug into amplification systems ensures their music reaches a larger audience. Moreover, the greater control over tone and volume empowers musicians to fine-tune their sound and achieve the desired tonal characteristics. With these benefits in mind, it’s clear why electric acoustic guitars have become a popular choice among guitarists looking to expand their sonic possibilities.

Disadvantages Of Using Electric Acoustic Guitars

While electric acoustic guitars have become increasingly popular among musicians due to their versatility and amplified sound capabilities, they do come with a few drawbacks. It is important to consider these disadvantages before making a decision to invest in an electric acoustic guitar.

Additional Weight And Bulk Compared To Traditional Acoustic Guitars

One of the main disadvantages of electric acoustic guitars is their additional weight and bulk compared to traditional acoustic guitars. This is because electric acoustic guitars are equipped with built-in pickups and preamps, which add extra components and weight to the instrument.

This additional weight can make the guitar feel less comfortable to play, especially during long performances or practice sessions, as it may cause strain on the shoulders and neck. It may also affect the overall balance of the guitar, making it harder to find a comfortable playing position.

Potential Feedback Issues At High Volumes

Another disadvantage of using electric acoustic guitars is the potential for feedback issues at high volumes. The built-in pickups and preamps in electric acoustic guitars are more susceptible to picking up unwanted feedback and noise when the volume levels are turned up.

This can be particularly problematic for live performances or recording sessions where high volumes are necessary. Feedback can create an unpleasant and distracting sound, compromising the overall quality of the performance.

Additional Maintenance And Setup Requirements

Electric acoustic guitars also require additional maintenance and setup compared to traditional acoustic guitars. The built-in electronics need to be regularly checked and serviced to ensure optimal performance.

Additionally, adjusting the guitar’s setup, including the action height, intonation, and truss rod, requires more attention and expertise due to the added complexity of the electronics. This may result in additional costs if professional setup services are required.

Moreover, the battery life of the built-in electronics needs to be monitored, and batteries need to be replaced periodically to ensure uninterrupted performance during gigs or sessions.

While electric acoustic guitars offer enhanced sound projection and versatility, it is essential to be aware of these disadvantages and consider them before making a decision. Understanding the potential drawbacks can help musicians make an informed choice about the type of guitar that best suits their playing style and needs.

Different Types Of Pickups Used In Electric Acoustic Guitars

When it comes to electric acoustic guitars, one key feature that sets them apart from traditional acoustic guitars is the addition of pickups. These pickups are what allow the guitar to be amplified and produce sound when connected to an amplifier or PA system. There are different types of pickups used in electric acoustic guitars, each with its own unique characteristics and pros and cons.

Brief Overview Of Magnetic Pickups

Magnetic pickups are the most commonly used type of pickup in electric acoustic guitars. They consist of one or more magnets wrapped with a coil of wire. When the guitar strings vibrate, they create a magnetic field which is picked up by the coil, resulting in an electrical signal that can be amplified. These pickups are known for their warm and full-bodied sound, making them a popular choice among guitarists in various genres.

Magnetic pickups are typically mounted under the guitar strings, either on the body or within the guitar’s soundhole. They are effective at capturing the natural resonance and sustain of the guitar, but they may also produce some unwanted feedback or interference when played at high volumes. Some popular magnetic pickup brands include Seymour Duncan, Fishman, and DiMarzio.

Explanation Of Piezo Pickups And How They Differ From Magnetic Pickups

Piezo pickups, also known as piezoelectric pickups, are another type of pickup commonly found in electric acoustic guitars. Unlike magnetic pickups that rely on magnets and coils, piezo pickups utilize crystals that convert mechanical vibrations into electrical signals. These pickups are usually located under the bridge saddle or within the guitar’s body.

Piezo pickups offer a different tonal quality compared to magnetic pickups. They are known for producing a bright and clear sound, highlighting the acoustic characteristics of the guitar. They are also less prone to feedback and can handle high volumes without causing unwanted noise. However, some guitarists find that piezo pickups lack the warmth and richness of magnetic pickups.

Introduction To Hybrid Pickup Systems

As the name suggests, hybrid pickup systems combine both magnetic and piezo pickups to capture the best of both worlds. These systems often have separate controls for each type of pickup, allowing guitarists to blend their characteristics and create a unique sound.

Hybrid pickup systems offer versatility and flexibility, which is why many professional guitarists prefer them. They can produce a balanced sound that combines the warmth of magnetic pickups with the clarity of piezo pickups. Some hybrid systems even incorporate microphone pickups to capture the guitar’s natural sound more accurately.

Ultimately, the choice of pickup type in an electric acoustic guitar comes down to personal preference and the desired sound. Some guitarists may prefer the classic warmth of magnetic pickups, while others may lean towards the crispness of piezo pickups or the versatility of hybrid systems. Whichever type you choose, be sure to consider your playing style and the genres of music you enjoy to find the perfect fit for you.

Choosing The Right Pickup For Your Electric Acoustic Guitar

When it comes to electric acoustic guitars, one of the most important considerations is the pickup system. The pickup is responsible for converting the vibrations of the strings into an electrical signal, which can then be amplified and projected through an amplifier or PA system. With various types of pickups available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your guitar. In this post, we will discuss the factors to consider when selecting pickups, explore the tone and sound characteristics of different pickup types, and learn how to match pickups to your playing style and musical genre. Let’s dive in!

Factors To Consider When Selecting Pickups

When selecting a pickup for your electric acoustic guitar, several factors need to be taken into account:

  1. Playing Style: Consider how you typically play your guitar. Are you a fingerstyle player or do you use a pick? Different types of pickups can offer different sensitivity and dynamics, so choose one that complements your playing style.
  2. Musical Genre: The genre of music you primarily play will also impact your pickup choice. Each pickup type has its own tonal characteristics that may be better suited for specific genres. For example, single-coil pickups are often favored in blues and rock, while humbuckers are popular in heavier genres like metal.
  3. Installation: Different pickups have different installation requirements. Some may require professional installation, while others can be easily installed by yourself. Consider your comfort level with installation or factor in any additional costs if you plan to have it professionally installed.
  4. Budget: Budget is always a consideration when making any guitar-related purchase. Determine how much you are willing to invest in your pickup system, as higher-end pickups often offer improved sound quality and performance.

Tone And Sound Characteristics Of Different Pickup Types

Let’s take a closer look at the various types of pickups available:

Pickup Type Tone Characteristics
Single-coil Clear and bright tone, with good note definition. Often associated with blues, country, and rock music.
Humbucker Thicker and warmer tone, with reduced noise and hum. Ideal for heavier genres such as rock and metal.
Piezo Natural and acoustic-like tone, providing a clear representation of the guitar’s original sound. Suitable for a wide range of genres.

These are just a few examples of pickup types available, and each may produce variations in tone based on factors such as magnet type, coil configuration, and overall construction. It is recommended to try out different pickups or listen to sound samples online to determine which tone characteristics you prefer.

How To Match Pickups To Your Playing Style And Musical Genre

Matching the right pickup to your playing style and musical genre is crucial in achieving the desired tone. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:

  • Experimentation: If you can, test out different pickup types before making a purchase. See which one resonates best with your playing style and genre.
  • Research: Read reviews and listen to sound samples online to get a better understanding of how specific pickups sound in different musical contexts.
  • Consultation: If you’re unsure or overwhelmed, consider consulting with experienced guitarists or knowledgeable salespeople who can provide valuable guidance based on your preferences.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when selecting pickups for your electric acoustic guitar. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and the sound you want to achieve. By considering the factors mentioned and exploring the various pickup options available, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect pickups that enhance your playing experience.

Cleaning And Protecting The Pickups

Proper Cleaning Techniques For Pickups

Keeping your electric acoustic guitar’s pickups clean is essential for maintaining their performance and prolonging their lifespan. Dust, dirt, and grime can accumulate on the surface of the pickups over time, affecting their sensitivity and overall sound quality. To ensure your pickups stay in top condition, follow these proper cleaning techniques:

  1. Use a soft cloth: Start by gently wiping the surface of the pickups with a soft cloth. This will help remove any loose particles or smudges without causing damage.
  2. Avoid excess moisture: While cleaning, it’s important to avoid using excessive moisture. Dampen the cloth slightly if needed, but make sure it’s not dripping wet to prevent any potential damage to the pickup’s electrical components.
  3. Be gentle: When cleaning, remember to be gentle and avoid applying too much pressure. The pickups are delicate, and excessive force can result in scratches or other damage to their surface.
  4. Dry thoroughly: After cleaning, make sure to dry the pickups thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth. Any residual moisture can lead to corrosion or rusting, which can affect the pickup’s performance.

Using Protective Covers Or Guards

Protective covers or guards can be highly beneficial in keeping your pickups safe from accidental damage. These coverings are typically made of materials like plastic, rubber, or metal and help shield the pickups from scratches, impacts, and dust. Here are some advantages of using protective covers:

  • Prevents scratches: A cover acts as a barrier, preventing the pickups from getting scratched when placed on a surface or in a case.
  • Minimizes impact damage: Accidental knocks or drops can happen, especially when transporting or playing your guitar. A protective cover absorbs some of the impact, reducing the risk of damage to the pickups.
  • Keeps out dust and debris: Protective covers help keep dust, dirt, and other debris away from the pickups, which can affect their performance and sound quality over time.
  • Easy to install: Most protective covers are designed to be easily installed and removed without requiring any additional tools.

Tips For Preventing Damage To The Pickups

Preventing damage to your electric acoustic guitar’s pickups is crucial for maintaining their functionality and ensuring optimal sound quality. By following these tips, you can minimize the risk of accidental harm:

  1. Handle with care: Always handle your guitar with care, taking extra caution when placing it down or picking it up to prevent any accidental bumps or drops that could damage the pickups.
  2. Store appropriately: When not in use, store your guitar in a suitable case or stand to protect it from potential knocks or falls.
  3. Avoid extreme temperatures: Extreme heat or cold can harm the pickups’ electrical components. Avoid exposing your guitar to prolonged exposure to these conditions.
  4. Regular maintenance: Schedule regular maintenance and inspections by a professional guitar technician to ensure your guitar is in optimal condition and to identify any potential issues early on.

By following proper cleaning techniques, using protective covers or guards, and implementing preventative measures, you can keep your electric acoustic guitar’s pickups in excellent shape. Caring for your pickups not only enhances their performance but also helps maintain the overall quality of your guitar’s sound.

String Selection And Replacement

When it comes to electric acoustic guitars, one crucial aspect that often gets overlooked is string selection and replacement. Investing in the right strings and knowing how to properly replace them not only ensures optimal sound quality but also enhances the functionality of the built-in pickups. In this section, we will discuss the importance of choosing the right strings, provide step-by-step instructions for replacing them, and share recommendations for string maintenance and longevity.

Importance Of Choosing The Right Strings For Electric Acoustic Guitars

Choosing the right strings for your electric acoustic guitar is paramount for achieving the desired tone and maximizing the capabilities of the built-in pickups. The type of strings you select can significantly impact the overall sound quality, sustain, and playability of your instrument. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • String Gauge: The gauge of the strings refers to their thickness. Light gauge strings (e.g., .010-.046) are generally preferred for electric acoustic guitars as they offer easier playability and better responsiveness to the pickups. However, if you prefer a thicker tone or play with a heavy hand, medium or heavy gauge strings could be more suitable.
  • String Material: Strings are made from different materials, such as nickel-plated steel, stainless steel, and bronze. Each material imparts a distinct tonal characteristic to the guitar. Nickel-plated steel is popular for its balanced tone, durability, and versatility. Stainless steel strings deliver brighter tones and increased longevity, making them ideal for players who want a bright and lasting sound. Bronze strings, on the other hand, offer warm and rich tones often preferred in acoustic settings.
  • Coated or Uncoated: Coated strings come with a thin layer of polymer coating that protects them from moisture, dirt, and corrosion, resulting in increased lifespan and improved sound quality. Uncoated strings, on the other hand, provide a more natural and vibrant tone; however, they may need to be replaced more frequently.

Steps For Replacing Strings With Pickups

Replacing strings on an electric acoustic guitar equipped with pickups requires a bit of care and precision. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth and hassle-free string replacement process:

  1. Loosen the tension of the existing strings by turning the tuning pegs until the strings are slack. This will make it easier to remove them without causing any damage.
  2. Starting with the low E string, unwind it from the tuning peg and gently pull it out from the bridge. Repeat this process for each string until all of them have been removed.
  3. To install the new strings, insert the end with the ball into the bridge and pull it through until the ball sits securely in the bridge’s pin hole. Note that some electric acoustic guitars may have a different type of bridge, such as a tailpiece, requiring a slightly different string installation method.
  4. After inserting the strings, guide each one through the nut and carefully pull them towards the tuning pegs. Make sure each string fits snugly in the corresponding groove of the nut.
  5. Begin winding each string onto the tuning pegs, turning them in the direction that tightens the string. Ensure the strings are properly seated in the nut and bridge before tightening them.
  6. Tune the guitar using a reliable tuner, making slight adjustments to each string’s tension to achieve proper pitch.

Recommendations For String Maintenance And Longevity

Maintaining your strings appropriately not only extends their lifespan but also ensures consistent performance and tone. Consider the following recommendations:

  • Wipe down your strings after every playing session to remove sweat, dirt, and oils that can contribute to corrosion.
  • Use a string cleaner or conditioner to protect and maintain the integrity of the strings. This helps to prevent rusting and extends their longevity.
  • Regularly check for signs of wear, such as fraying or discoloration, and replace any damaged strings promptly to maintain optimal sound quality.
  • Store your guitar in a suitable case or gig bag when not in use to protect the strings from environmental factors that can contribute to corrosion.
  • If you intend to change string gauge, make sure to adjust the truss rod and setup of your guitar accordingly. Consulting a professional luthier is recommended for such adjustments.

By following these guidelines for string selection, replacement, and maintenance, you can ensure that your electric acoustic guitar with pickups delivers the best possible performance, maintaining its sound quality and playability for a long time to come.

Frequently Asked Questions For Do Electric Acoustic Guitars Have Pickups

Where Is The Pickup On An Electric Acoustic Guitar?

The pickup on an electric acoustic guitar is usually located near the soundhole or inside the guitar body to capture the vibrations of the strings and convert them into electrical signals.

What Kind Of Pickup Is In An Acoustic-electric Guitar?

The kind of pickup in an acoustic-electric guitar is typically a piezo pickup. It allows the guitar to be amplified by converting the vibrations of the strings into electric signals.

Do Electric Guitars Have Pickups?

Yes, electric guitars have pickups.

Can I Use Electric Guitar Pickup On Acoustic Guitar?

No, electric guitar pickup cannot be used on an acoustic guitar. Acoustic guitars require a different type of pickup called a piezo pickup, which is designed to reproduce the natural sound of the acoustic guitar.


So, there you have it – electric acoustic guitars do have pickups! These devices play a crucial role in capturing the natural sound of the guitar and transmitting it to an amplifier or PA system. With the help of pickups, musicians can easily amplify their acoustic sound and achieve a greater range of tone and volume.

So, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, an electric acoustic guitar with pickups can be a versatile and valuable addition to your musical arsenal.

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