Most of us think that semi acoustic and electro acoustic (electric acoustic) are basically the same thing. After all, they feature both electric and acoustic properties. Here at Gopandy our tech experts will explain the differences and help you decide which is best for you.
Semi-acoustics are essentially electric guitars with certain acoustic features, whereas electro-acoustic are acoustic guitars that can be amplified built-in connectors. They are essentially box guitars with built-in amp connectivity. The semi-acoustic guitar has a hollow or semi-hollow body into which standard electric guitar pickups are fitted but has a thinner sound hole than the electro-acoustic guitar.
Why does the sound hole size matter?
In guitars, the resonance of sound in the sound hole is what determines the tone and volume of a guitar. The true tonal qualities for a semi-acoustic come out when it’s amplified. The thinner sound hole means that the sound produced can be relatively quiet when unplugged.
Another major contributor to the tone and volume is the quality of the wood used. The wood used in the electro-acoustic is less thicker than that of the semi-acoustic thereby allows the sound to resonate much more in the sound hole producing a louder sound.
Its more of a question on Pickups vs Microphones
The pickups on semi-acoustics are usually humbukers and are typical of an electric guitar. They lie under the strings on top of the sound board. The tone controls are in a similar position to those on a solid-body electric guitar.
On the electric acoustic, the microphone or pickup is normally located under the saddle inside the body of the guitar. There may also be a control panel for EQ, volume and tone built into the top of the upper bout. The cable plugs into an adapted strap button on the end of the guitar.
In conclusion, an electro-acoustic guitar will sound just as good unplugged as it does when plugged in. However a semi-acoustic could produce more volume and tone than a solid body electric guitar when not plugged, but will still need to be plugged into an amplifier to get the best out of it. Click here to check out our selection of Electro Acoustic and Semi Acoustic Guitars available at Gopandy Musical.