Whether an intermediate player or a beginner, an electric acoustic guitar is just the guitar to have. And because of their usefulness, they’re a go-to guitar for almost everyone, which has caused their sales to increase even more than the regular acoustic guitars.
With this guitar, either as a beginner or an intermediate player, you don’t necessarily need to upgrade to another guitar when you’ve moved to a different level in your playing.
When searching for the best cheap electric acoustic guitar, you have to note that some of these guitar models have deep, full-bodied tone and don’t need to be plugged in at all times but only as a backup once in a while, while others have tried bodies but work perfectly after being plugged-in.
So you need to buy an electric acoustic guitar, but your budget is $500 or less, and you’re wondering if you can get one that has a wonderful quality and doesn’t need much adjusting before you can fully start using the guitar. Worry not; we have worked out a list of the best cheap acoustic guitars under 500 dollars available.
Good Read: Best 12 String Acoustic Guitar under 1000
Should You Go For A Used Or New Guitar?
There’s a lot to consider before deciding if it’s a new guitar or a used one. I cannot choose which you should go for; it depends on your preferences and budget.
The plus for a new guitar is that it doesn’t need adjustments or repair, but if your budget can cover a new guitar cost, or you don’t know much about guitars, a new guitar is a way to go.
As a beginner, you shouldn’t buy a used guitar because, as a beginner, you don’t know much about what you are buying.
You should opt for a used guitar if the quality is much better than what you can afford as a new guitar. If you know your guitars and know what you’re looking for, a used guitar might be a safe bet for you.
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Top 10 Best Cheap Acoustic-Electric Guitars
These are the handpicked cheap yet quality electric acoustic guitars we have for you:
Cordoba Mini II EB-CE, Spruce Ebony, Small Body, Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar
This affordable electric acoustic guitar has a deep body depth, and this projects a perfect, well-rounded tone.
It is built with a spruce top and a mahogany body; it has a cutaway that allows for ease of access to all the frets and comes with a cordoba pick up.
- Guitar sounds great, has good harmonics
- Intonation is spot on
- Overall playability is just right
- Amazing sustain and reverb
- Strings carry less tension
Gretsch G9520E Gin Rickey Acoustic-Electric Guitar with Soundhole Pickup
This Gretsch features a top wood layered with spruce while the body is built with mahogany. Technicians always inspect the guitar’s quality, tone, and playability before it is shipped out.
This affordable guitar is equipped with medium-light strings.
- Built extremely well and produces excellent sound
- Frets are top-notch
- Action is just right, and no buzz sounds
- Bridge pins fit too tight
Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic Acoustic-Electric Guitar
This compact traveler guitar is small and light and the best travel companion ever. It fits in tiny spaces and can be carried inconspicuously without calling too much attention.
Originally built to include standard strings and tuners. The action and sustain are fantastic.
- It is suitable and helpful in all situations
- It holds its tune well
- A companion for guitar lovers who travel a lot
- Durable and versatile
- It’s a little bit too quiet
Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar with Accessories Bundle
This electric acoustic guitar is budget-friendly; the manufacturers focused on its playability, musical tone, and body make with quality material.
It projects its sound loud, strong, and clear.
- It continually stays in tune during multiple sessions
- Produces warm sounds
- Frets are inbuilt near the strings
- Have to stretch the strings before use; if not, it will produce a buzzing sound.
Fender CD-60SCE Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar – Black Bundle with Hard Case, Tuner, Strap, Strings, Picks, Instructional DVD, Polishing Cloth
This lovely fender product has a spruce top, and the body is made with a single-cutaway dreadnought.
The sides and back are made with walnut and cones with 12strings. Action is low, and the neck is easy to go around, and it comes with a roll neck that makes it comfortable for playing for extended periods.
- Versatile and durable
- The pickup, amp, and tuner works excellently well
- Action is a little bit too high
Best Choice Products 22-Fret Full-Size Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar
This affordable electric guitar is built with quality materials that are long-lasting and can undergo a lot. It comes with an amp that produces high-quality sound. All the frets are fine and at the right height.
- Overall playability is good
- It comes with high-quality strings
- Tuner pegs work fine
- It doesn’t come along with a hex wrench for the truss rod
Ibanez Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar Dark Violin Sunburst
This Ibanez model looks stunning with its solid mahogany body and cutaway dreadnought wood. Also, the cheap acoustic electric guitar comes with an amp system. The sound it produces is corroborated with excellent reverb and echo.
- It can be used with or without the amp
- The sound produced is bright, loud, and clear
- No fret buzz
- Action is spot on
- You need to change the pickup
Cordoba Mini II EB-CE, Spruce Ebony, Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar
This is a small-sized guitar with standard tuning. It also has a solid spruce top with a striped ebony back and sides. The sound it produces is nice and pleasing to the ears.
The instrument is truly not a loud one, but the tone it produces is clear-sounding enough; it needs an amp if one will use it on life stages or studio recording.
- It is small-sized and suitable for people with small hands
- It’s small and very light
- Intonation is marvelous
- Overall playability is good
- The finishing is not perfect enough
Fender FA-235E Concert Acoustic Electric Guitar, Indian Laurel Fingerboard, Lilac Burst
The fender concert acoustic electric guitar offers a big sound at an affordable price. It is strong enough to withstand any form of mishandling; it is durable and versatile enough for every occasion.
- Overall playability is good
- No fret buzz
- Action is low enough
- The sound isn’t perfect
- We need to change the strings
Ibanez AEG50N Acoustic-Electric Guitar (Right Hand, Black High Gloss)
This guitar is perfect for anyone ready to play on the stage. It has the style and sound, which are perfect combinations of a stage guitar.
Although it is cheap, it is not made of run-off-the-mill materials but rather high-quality materials. Lastly, it comes with an inbuilt amp.
- The 7th frets stand out more than the 3rd, 5th, 9th, and other inlays.
- The built-in tuner is very effective
- The guitar looks stunning
- The action is a little bit too high
Good read: How Many Frets Does a Guitar Have?
Things to Consider When Buying a Budget Electric Acoustic Guitar
When buying a cheap electric acoustic guitar, it should be of high quality and within your budget; you can even buy used guitars produced by leading brands. Quality, overall playability, and well-functioning body parts should be your focus when getting your guitar.
Guitar choice can also be dependent on the style and genre of music you’re into. For most guitars, you adjust the necessary parts like the intonation, action, or other settings to something more suitable or comfortable for you.
When buying either a used or new guitar, take note of the following;
- Guitar set up
You can either choose to use the pick that comes with your guitar or change the pickup that comes with the guitar. An intermediate guitar usually works okay but changing it will produce better results.
The Best Acoustic-Electric Guitar under $500
Any acoustic-electric guitar that should be qualified as the best should be crafted with high-quality materials, the overall playability should be excellent, action should be just right, and it should produce tones that are warm and pleasing to the ear.
An acoustic-electric guitar should be able to be played with or without the amp, and the fact that you’re buying a cheap acoustic electric doesn’t mean you can’t get one that has the above qualities.
The guitar that I believe contains all these markers is the YAMAHA FS800 Small Body Solid Top Acoustic Guitar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should My First Guitar Be Acoustic Or Electric?
We really can’t choose for you as your choice should depend on your preferences and style and the type of music that interests you.
Electric guitars are easier to play, while acoustic guitars, on the other hand, are harder to play but will harden your fingers more quickly.
Electric guitars are mainly for rock music and other styles, while acoustic guitar is basically for folk music and slow rock music. Acoustic guitars also project more loudly than electric guitars.
Are Acoustic-Electric Guitars Necessary?
If you are looking to play outside the four walls of your bedroom and be invited to play in gigs or join bands or studio recordings, they are worth it. If you’re looking to go far in your musical career, this guitar is an excellent choice.
Can I Play Acoustic-Electric Guitars without an Amp?
Naturally, acoustic guitars can be played without an amp, while electric guitars need to be played using an amp, especially if you’re going to be playing on live stages.
Likewise, some acoustic-electric guitars project as loudly as acoustic guitar.
An acoustic-electric guitar is suitable for almost all kinds of genres, styles, songs, and moods. This guitar is a three in one guitar, and with it, you have the certainty of it going anywhere with you.
These guitars are reliable and dependable for every phase of your musical journey; they have style and class.
Either you’re getting a used guitar or a new one, buying an electric acoustic guitar is still the best choice to make and despite your budget, buy the best cheap acoustic electric guitar listed above.
Don’t forget to focus on the fretboard, tonewoods, pickups, and body shape when choosing your budget acoustic-electric guitar.
The fretboard always has an impact on the action and sound the guitar produces, and also, frets must not be too sharp or uneven.
While the woods used to build the guitar, usually have an impact on the sound the guitar generates. Most guitars are made with spruce tops and mahogany bodies.
The quality of the tone the guitar produces is dependent on the integrity of the pickup. Also, the shape of the guitar affects the all-around sound the guitar elicits. Bigger and thicker guitars generate low and more defined tones, while thinner and smaller ones accentuate high keys and are much easier to play.
Continue to have fun in your musical career and continue to work on your musical prowess.