I love the results I’m getting from both my Majesty and my LTD BB-600 through the AxeFxII with a nice IR of someone’s mic’d up acoustic (Martin, I think?) and compression and EQ to allow it to carry in a full band situation.
As long as you don’t let the notes ring out long (the solid bodies have WAY too much sustain,) it sounds as convincing as a plugged-in acoustic would.
If you want an electric that does acoustic sounds, get any number of electric guitars with a piezo system. I have one such guitar, a Kiesel Sh550, and it can do faux acoustic sounds. If you want a good plugged in acoustic that can do some electric sounds, get a Fender Acoustisonic or a Taylor T series. It is a compromise either way, even down to what kind of strings you use. There is no one perfect guitar that does both.
Two different pickups and two different amps are required.
Putting a Strat single coil in the sound hole direct out to a typical electric guitar amp will give you an authentic electric guitar sound. You can't push the distortion/gain too high or the hollow body of the acoustic will howl with feedback (somewhat avoided by stuffing t-shirts inside and hanging onto the body when playing).
Putting either a stick-on button acoustic pickup or an under saddle compression wire pickup with a pre-amp on the guitar or a pedal hooked to an acoustic amp will make your guitar sound like an electrified acoustic guitar. Using this type of pickup on an electric guitar to a pre-amp and acoustic amp gives you the regular acoustic-electric tone too.
There are some pedals that simulate an acoustic guitar sound with a standard solid body electric guitar.
All of which after you try them ... makes the arguments for "tone wood" laughable and you'll smirk every time you see a thread asking what kind of wood should they get or they are worried some wood choice could be too dark or too bright.
I don't know if this is the "BEST" guitar for this purpose, but it has served me well:
Carvin (Now Kiesel) AE185: It is a semi-hollow guitar that comes with an acoustic bridge that has an acoustic Piezo pick up beneath: (Just like most Acoustic-Electric guitars).
It also has 2 Humbucking pick-ups similar to a Les Paul (or other H-H Guitar).
It has two out-put jacks so that you can send the separate signals to an acoustic amp and an electric guitar amp. Or you can have both signals go to one amp. There is a blend knob to blend the two signals: you can go all acoustic, all electric or anywhere between.
It has the regular switching for two humbuckers (Bridge-Both-Neck) as well as separate volume and tone knobs for both electric and acoustic signals. All of these controls are active circuits because there is an active acoustic pre-amp (as in acoustic electric guitars)
It also has mini toggle switches to split the humbuckers and to switch their phases.
For reference to the comparative size: The Carvin AE185 is on the far left:
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I have used this guitar extensively for small bar gigs usually with an acoustic amp and a small (5 Watt) tube amp. The Acoustic tones are not perfect, (but neither are any Piezo Acoustic tones perfect).
The most authentic acoustic tones are from just the piezo pick up under the bridge into an acoustic amp, but my favorite acoustic tones have a little bit of the humbucker tones blended in, sometimes with the neck pick-up out of phase with the bridge pick-up for kind of a chorusy-phasey swirl.
The straight up electric tones depend mostly on the type of pick-ups that you select.
The basic electric tone is a nice semi-hollow tone that can be pushed toward ES-335 - Les Paul or Tele-thinline or archtop depending on the pick-ups that you choose.
As with all Kiesel guitars, you can choose your wood options, electronics, etc. I chose a mahogany body and neck with a KOA top and a bird's eye maple fingerboard. I chose the smaller 3 + 3 headstock also with KOA. Burst finish. I chose a PAF(ish) neck humbucker and a bridge humbucker designed for Carvin by Allan Holdsworth.
As with everything, there are trade-offs and compromises but this guitar covers a lot of bases.
I played a PRS hollow body (2 f holes) today.. SE model that I thought was American that’s set up with a piezo bridge and 2 Humbuckers.. not a PRS fan, but this guitar was pretty amazing.. if I needed that combo, that’s what I would Buy
I had a Piezo plus HSH. You think the piezo sounds like an acoustic when played through an acoustic amp for awhile, and it does sound nice. But then you pick up an acoustic guitar and realize how big the difference is.
I don't have a DI nor eq box. Which people say helps.
Father in law has a really nice Cort which is sort of a PRS copy kind of thing. Seymour Duncan Pickups, fairly convincing piezo. He uses a Boss Acoustic Preamp pedal on the peizo output to give it a little air. It's not amazing, but it's pretty convincing and would work just fine in a covers band. The guitar itself is really nice, far better than I though a Cort would be
Variax, when used with any POD HD gear into FRFR it will automatically switch between Acoustic or passive electric guitar models, or with ABY you can send it to a regular guitar amp and a dedicated acoustic amp.
Graphtech Ghost piezo system can be installed into most any electric guitar giving you very good acoustic tone, but the need for the ABY cord and the Electric amp and Acoustic amp remains. I put one in a Partscaster, stereo out and a Y cord eliminates the ABY box. Here's a pic of the Partscaster, all the Vol/Tone knobs are dual-concentric to save space, metal mini switch is the standard Tele 3-way, the tipped mini is 3position piezo: down is off, middle is on, up is piezo combined w/passive Tele pup's.
Morley Twin Mix (or the like)
Electric out to A, A to Electric Amp
Piezo out to B, B to Acoustic Amp
In short, it allows you to fast switch to Piezo and back without messing with guitar volume knobs. You can't do this with an ABY.
Take a look at Peerless "Retromatic 131" sounds good plugged or unplugged. But, (there's always a but) its not going to sound like a full size acoustic.
I have one and think its beautiful and sounds great with Monty of UK pickups Humbucker bridge and P90 neck.
Good Luck and have FUN looking for your new guitar, TISH