An acoustic-electric guitar is an acoustic guitar fitted with a magnetic or piezoelectric pickup, or a microphone. They are used in a variety of music genres where the sound of an acoustic guitar is desired but more volume is required, especially during live performances. The design is distinct from a semi-acoustic guitar, which is an electric guitar with the addition of sound chambers within the guitar body.
Usually, acoustic-electric guitars are fitted with piezoelectric pickups, requiring a preamplifier incorporated into the guitar body to amplify the signal before it travels to the main guitar amplifier. These preamps may also come with an integrated tuner and tone controls of varying types; equalizers with up to six frequency bands may be used.