Who Plays Ed Sheeran Signature Guitars Besides Ed Sheeran?

Sheeran by Lowden W04
Sheeran by Lowden W04

I’m not really sure who else plays Ed Sheeran Signature guitars, other than Ed himself. I’m sure there are plenty of guitarists who have bought one and use it, but I just don’t know who they are.

However, Mr. Sheeran would like to increase the number of young guitarists who own these signature instruments, according to a recent report.

Continue reading “Who Plays Ed Sheeran Signature Guitars Besides Ed Sheeran?”

What Is an Acoustic Guitar?

Yamaha CGX102

An acoustic guitar is one that does not have electric amplification of its sound.

But it’s not as simple as that. If it were, I wouldn’t be writing this article for you.

This article is really going to be a comparison of what is traditionally known as the acoustic guitar versus the classical guitar and the acoustic-electric hybrid guitar.

Let’s first look at what is generally considered the oldest of the three, the classical. Then we’ll see what makes up an acoustic and finally the acoustic-electric guitar.

What Is a Classical Guitar?

There are two main distinguishing features of what we call a classical guitar.

One is that it uses nylon strings. Strings made of nylon exert less pressure on the guitar neck, so the maker doesn’t need to reinforce the neck structure in any way. The neck can hold its own versus the pressure the strings produce when you tighten them with the tuning knobs.

I managed to explain that first feature without comparing it to one of the other types of guitars we’ll be looking at later, but I really can’t get away with that when talking about the other main distinguishing feature which is the guitar’s overall size.

A classical guitar is smaller than the standard dreadnought acoustic guitar. It’s usually about ¾ the size of an acoustic guitar. True, I could have said that a typical classical guitar measures between 38 and 40 inches, but I don’t think that gives you as much information (when you don’t have one in hand) as the comparison does. In any case, now you have both pieces of information.

There is another feature that is often true of a classical guitar. The neck is usually wider than that on an acoustic guitar. There I go again making a comparison, but I think it’s another good one to know.

It almost goes without saying, but I better mention it anyway. A classical guitar does not have any electrical amplification on board. If you need to broadcast the sound far and wide, you have to place a microphone near the sound hole where you’re strumming the chords or picking the melody.

Now, on to the acoustic guitar.

What Makes Up an Acoustic Guitar?

For the description of an acoustic guitar, I’ll go full bore into the comparisons.

An acoustic guitar uses steel strings instead of nylon. Because the steel strings exert much more pressure on the neck, the maker inserts a metal truss rod inside for reinforcement. Otherwise, the neck might just collapse on you when you tighten up the strings.

An acoustic guitar comes in several sizes but is normally larger than a classical guitar, especially when you’re talking about the most common style, the dreadnought.

An acoustic guitar has a narrower neck than a classical guitar. Acoustic necks do come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, though.

An acoustic guitar has no electric amplification built in.

Or does it?

That brings us to the final type of guitar, the hybrid acoustic-electric guitar.

What Is an Acoustic-Electric Guitar?

An acoustic-electric (sometimes called an electric-acoustic) guitar is the same as an acoustic in every aspect, except that it does have electric amplification on board. You can plug it into an amplifier and be heard for miles around, if your amp is big enough.

Unless you make special adjustments, either to the guitar itself or to the sound after it travels out the electric cable, your acoustic-electric will still sound like an acoustic guitar, not like an electric guitar.

For many players, this is what makes an acoustic-electric so valuable. When you’re practicing at home, you don’t need to be plugged in to hear yourself play. When it’s time to go on stage with the rest of the band (or solo), you can easily amplify yourself so your whole audience can hear you (and maybe even sing along).

What Acoustic Guitars Do the Pros Play?

Speaking of singing along, that’s what professional guitarists hope you’ll do when they write songs with lyrics. So you might be wondering at this point, “What guitars do the pros play?”

Many of the stars play both electric and acoustic guitars. After all, that’s a huge part of their business, so why not play both kinds?

I did a little research and found some acoustic guitars that some of the more popular artists of today (and the recent past) have been using?

These stars have been seen playing these guitars. These aren’t the only ones each of these artists have ever played (or own), but it gives you a good idea of what the pros tend to go for. (Note: These are probably more expensive than anything you’ll want to get for yourself.)

John Mayer plays…

  • Martin 0045
  • Martin OMJM – 45SC (Stagecoach Edition)
  • Martin ECHF Belleza Nera
  • Martin D-45

Bruce Springsteen plays…

  • Gibson J-40
  • Gibson J-45
  • Takamine EF341C
  • Takamine EF350SMCSB

Dave Matthews plays…

  • Taylor 914CE (Grux) – his “signature” instrument

Brad Paisley plays…

  • Gibson J-45

Noel Gallagher plays…

  • Gibson ES-345
  • Gibson ES-355

Slash plays…

  • Martin D-18
  • Gibson Sheryl Crow
  • Taylor 616CE

Paul Simon plays…

  • Yamaha LS400
  • Martin OM-42PS

Dave Grohl plays…

  • Gibson Elvis Presley Dove
  • Martin D-28
  • Taylor 612CE

Neil Young plays…

  • Martin D-45
  • Martin D-18
  • Martin D-28

If you look back at that list, you’ll see that Martin, Gibson, and Taylor are rather dominant. That doesn’t mean they’re the best guitar makers around for every occasion – though they are very good.

The guitar you like best might be made completely differently from those the pros play. Much of what makes a player like his or her guitar is in the wood(s) used in construction.

So before leaving the topic of acoustic guitars, let’s examine the kinds of wood that they (especially the tops) can be made of.

What Is an Acoustic Guitar Made Of?

Some types of wood are much more commonly used than others, both because of their sonic qualities and their availability.

Note that it’s especially what the top of an acoustic guitar is made of that gives it its special sound.

Spruce is the most common wood for an acoustic guitar top. (The top is the area where the hole is, where you strum or pick the strings.) Makers can use a relatively thin piece of spruce that will still be both strong and resonant.

Cedar isn’t as strong as spruce, so it’s often used for classical guitars as well as for the sides and backs of the instruments.

Rosewood is a dark material that gives you more warmth and richness of tone than the above. It’s also more expensive and is popular for fingerboards and bridges.

Mahogany falls somewhere between spruce and rosewood, tone-wise. Many country western and blues artists like its sound.

Maple is commonly used for sides and backs of guitars because it has a lower resonance than the other woods. It won’t interfere as much with the tone that the top wood is trying to produce.

Cocobolo is also used for sides and backs. It’s a Mexican hardwood that produces a bright sound.

Ebony is great for your fretboard.

Koa is another pricey wood that can be used throughout a guitar but is most often employed as side, back, neck, and bridge material.

Ovangkoi is an African wood that gives you the warmth of rosewood but the brighter midrange of mahogany or koa. As such, it’s great for backs and sides.

Sapele, another African wood, is similar to mahogany and is used primarily for sides and backs.

Walnut is a decent alternative to mahogany and koa. It works well for all parts of the body.

Then there are the synthetics. Makers like Ovation and Rainsong, for example, use a fiberglass composite and graphite, respectively. Other makers may use other non-wood materials. There’s nothing wrong with this, per se. The main thing is that, while woods tend to improve with age, synthetics do not. That said, synthetics are less susceptible to climate changes. If that’s important to you, go for it.

Choosing Your Acoustic Guitar

I’m not going to actually give you any specific advice here about selecting an acoustic (or classical or acoustic-electric) guitar. That’s really beyond the scope of this article.

However, based on what you’ve learned above, you should be able to search for a guitar that would suit your purposes and desires in a knowledgeable way. For example, if the guitar you’re researching has a spruce top, you’ll know that’s not unusual. If it doesn’t have a spruce top, you might want to find out what the maker was trying to accomplish with that particular design.

You saw that even the pros don’t all agree on a “best” guitar. Each of them have guitars they like for different reasons.

You will too.

Little Martin Acoustic Electric Guitars: Ed Sheeran 3 Divide

LX1E Ed Sheeran 3 Divide Little Martin acoustic electric guitar
LX1E Ed Sheeran 3 Divide Little Martin

Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

It’s hard to argue against owning a Martin acoustic electric guitar, if you can afford it. The Little Martin acoustic electrics are the slightly more affordable models. The Ed Sheeran custom model mentioned above is a variation of one of the two basic Little Martins.

In this overview and review, I’ll look at these two (or three, depending on how you count) models to help you decide which one you’d like best. Continue reading “Little Martin Acoustic Electric Guitars: Ed Sheeran 3 Divide”

Paul Reed Smith (PRS) Acoustic Electric Guitars Review: Birds Everywhere

Paul Reed Smith SE Angelus A20E acoustic electric guitar
PRS SE Angelus A20E acoustic electric guitar

Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Are you tired of those little, round pearloid dots running up and down your fretboard? If so, you should look at a Paul Reed Smith (PRS) acoustic electric guitar, because it has birds of various shapes, sizes, and species along its neck.

PRS guitars’ signature, other than the Paul Reed Smith name itself, are the decorative, in-flight birds that replace the standard dots marking the frets in the usual positions. Continue reading “Paul Reed Smith (PRS) Acoustic Electric Guitars Review: Birds Everywhere”

Mitchell Acoustic Electric Guitars Review: See What Came In under the Radar

Mitchell Exotic Wood MX420 acoustic electric guitar
Mitchell Exotic Wood MX420

Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Have you ever heard of Mitchell guitars? Don’t be ashamed if you haven’t. Mitchell is not yet one of the better-known brands like Martin or Gibson or Fender. Someday they might be if the Element and Exotic series acoustic electric guitars they currently offer are any indication of what’s to come.

Mitchell makes several lines of guitars. In this review, I’ll concentrate on just the acoustic electric models in the Element series and the Exotic series. That makes a total of 4 guitars. Continue reading “Mitchell Acoustic Electric Guitars Review: See What Came In under the Radar”

Seagull S6 Acoustic Electric Guitars Review: Canadian Quality at a Good Price

Seagull S6 Spruce Sunburst GT
Seagull S6 Spruce Sunburst GT

Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

You may not be very familiar with the Seagull brand of guitars. I wasn’t, but I wish I had known about them sooner. They sound amazing, especially for the price. The Seagull S6 line of acoustic electric guitars seems like it was among the first, if not the original, line produced by Robert Godin back in 1982.

Here is a brief account of the origins of this brand as told on the Seagull website. Continue reading “Seagull S6 Acoustic Electric Guitars Review: Canadian Quality at a Good Price”

Fender Acoustic Electric Specialty Guitars Review: 4 Names You Need to Know

Fender Stratacoustic
Fender Stratacoustic

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Fender makes guitars. You knew that.

Fender makes very good guitars. You knew that too.

In this review, I’ll look at some Fender acoustic electric guitars that you could call specialty guitars, especially because they have special names. With apologies to Dana Carvey, now isn’t that special? Continue reading “Fender Acoustic Electric Specialty Guitars Review: 4 Names You Need to Know”

Yamaha Acoustic Electric Guitars Under $300 Reviews: Pick from Just a Few

Yamaha FSX800C guitar
Yamaha FSX800C guitar

Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

If you glance at the list (below) of Yamaha acoustic electric guitars that will be featured in this review, you would think at first that there are 6 models from which to choose. Technically, you would be correct, but there are really only 3 different styles there.

You can probably guess by looking at the first letter of each model why this is so. In this article then, I’ll group similar models together but still show you the differences among them. Continue reading “Yamaha Acoustic Electric Guitars Under $300 Reviews: Pick from Just a Few”

Ovation Acoustic Electric Guitars under $300: Not Many Choices, Sorta

Ovation Applause Balladeer
Ovation Applause Balladeer

Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

When I started looking for Ovation acoustic electric guitars under $300, I thought I had found a handful of models I could choose from. Unfortunately, it looks like some of them are no longer available (new). Of the several models I did find, they all boiled down to just two – the Applause Balladeer AB24II and the Applause Elite AE44II.

You can get more than one color of each Applause model, which is why it looked like there were more available originally. The Balladeer and the Elite don’t differ all that much from each other, so your options for an Ovation guitar under $300 aren’t all that great.

I’ll take a look at what you will be able to find and show you the differences among them in this review. Continue reading “Ovation Acoustic Electric Guitars under $300: Not Many Choices, Sorta”

Ibanez Acoustic Electric Guitars under $300 Review: Colorful Choices for Not a Lot of Cash

Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Are you looking for a quality, inexpensive, acoustic electric guitar and want some variety in your color options? If so, you’ve come to the right place. The Ibanez acoustic electric guitars I’ll look at in this review should each be available for less than $300, and you will have 9 colors from which to choose.

I’ll look at 8 guitars here, which at first seems like a lot, but we can put 6 of them into two groups because they are very similar models. So in the end this will feel more like we’re comparing just 4 guitars instead of 8. Continue reading “Ibanez Acoustic Electric Guitars under $300 Review: Colorful Choices for Not a Lot of Cash”