As its name suggests, an electro-acoustic guitar is halfway between an electric guitar and an acoustic guitar. Although this is the case, it differs from the semi-acoustic guitar, which is an electric guitar like any other, but is inspired by the design of an acoustic guitar. Close-up on the particularities of this famous semi-electric, semi-acoustic hybrid guitar.
Electro-acoustic guitar: what exactly are we talking about?
More concretely, the electro-acoustic guitar is an acoustic-type guitar with one or more microphones implanted to capture the sound of the guitar and amplify its volume. The integrated microphone can be located either inside the guitar, under the saddle or on the bridge. In either case, the pickup is an accessory that allows the instrument to be connected to an amplifier. In other words, it is equipped with a sound box, which can be full or half box, allowing it to generate sounds without having to be amplified.
An electro-acoustic guitar also has a preamp that runs on a 9-volt battery. The preamp is usually a box built into the top plate of the instrument, on which there are several controls, each of which corresponds to a specific function: volume, gain, equalizer, and possibly a tuner with an LED screen. Note that a preamp is designed to optimize the sound signal while ensuring that it is transmitted at an optimal level to the amplifier. What’s more, it is also designed to stabilize it so that no sound distortion occurs.
Like the acoustic guitar, an electro-acoustic guitar can use two types of strings, namely strings and alloys and nylon strings. But in most cases, such a guitar uses steel strings.
Electro-acoustic guitar: how to recognize it
At a glance, an electro-acoustic guitar looks just like a standard acoustic guitar: materials used, quality of the strings, soundboard, design and finish. The difference is that an electro-acoustic guitar has a preamp located on its upper side with which you can customize its beautiful sound. On the lower part of the body there is also an output dedicated to a cable with a 6.35 mm jack plug. This is of course used to connect the instrument to the amp and has a noticeable impact on the sound generated by the guitar. Very often, this hybrid guitar has a notch on the top of its body at the base of the neck known as the cutaway. It should be noted that it is rare to find an acoustic guitar with a cutaway. The reason for this is that without amplification, the fact of indenting the body necessarily has an impact on the resonance of the guitar.
How do you attach a strap to an electro-acoustic guitar?
Unlike a standard acoustic guitar, an electro-acoustic guitar has only one strap attachment. So, to attach a strap to this type of instrument, the hole at one end of the strap must be slid around the knob at the base of the guitar. Then, a string or shoelace should be passed through the hole at the other end and then the strap should be slid under the strings and around the head of the instrument and fastened. Alternatively, you can also install a strap knob yourself on an electro-acoustic guitar, although attaching the strap to the neck with a string or lace can damage the finish. Be careful, however, because installing a strap fastener is a very delicate task. Therefore, you might as well entrust it to a true professional.