Last Updated on December 5, 2023 by Justin Thomas
Electric guitars with a piezo pickup don’t really get enough hype. They are amazing. The fact you can have electric sound, and acoustic-like sound, and on top of that, some electric guitars with piezo have a layered sound that mixes the tone of a magnetic and piezo pickup. The amount of versatility all this brings to the table is outstanding.
I’m a huge fanboy of versatility. And the fact that you can play the acoustic intro, then move to the main stuff with the electric tone, then play the acoustic bridge section, and finally move to the electric outro with the same instrument, and just by flicking one switch…this is amazing. And because I’m a huge fan of versatility and electric guitars with piezo pickups, I was pumped to put together this article gathering together all the top-notch electrics with a piezo pickup. I also reveal the 3 best ones.
If you have any questions, just check the FAQ section or leave a comment.
Let’s get started!
Author: Teemu Suomala
I first grabbed the guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I love guitars and have played dozens and dozens of different guitars through different amps and pedals over the years, and also, building a website interested me, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website.
I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have also been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as Songsterr, Musicnotes, GuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar.
I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog (I guess that went the right way…).Hide The Rambling▲
26 Electric Guitars with Piezo Pickups
Line 6 JTV-59 Variax offers nice tones with its vintage-voiced Alnico Humbuckers alone. But its use of model technology and piezo pickups unlock the ultimate versatility. I didn’t include it in the top 3 since I have not played it, but it’s definitely a great option for some players and worth testing.
Price Range Icon Meanings:
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|Model||Pickup||Body Style||Price Range||Check Current Price (affiliate links)|
|Harley Benton Custom Line ResoKing – Cheapest||1 Mini humbucker and 1 piezo pickup||Resonator||$||Thomann*|
|Harley Benton Custom Line Nashville||Piezo system (bridge) and Lipstick single coil (neck)||Hollowbody||$||Thomann|
|Harley Benton Hybrid Steel||Custom System with a combination of piezo, magnetic pickup, and preamp||Hollowbody||$||Thomann|
|Traveler Guitar Pro-Series Standard||Magnetic Single-coil & Under-saddle Piezo||Travel||$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Traveler Guitar Pro-Series Mod-X||Dual-rail Humbucker & Under-saddle Piezo||Travel w/ Mod||$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Epiphone Alex Lifeson Les Paul Standard Axcess Outfit||Epiphone Ceramic Pro Humbucker|
& Epiphone ProBucker 3 Humbucker & Piezo
|Single-cut||$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Danelectro ’59 Resonator||’56 Lipstick Single-coil, piezo cone||Resonator||$$||Sweetwater|
|Dean Colt Bigsby with Piezo – Best Hollowbody||2 x DMT Design Chrome humbuckers & Piezo||Semi-Hollowbody||$$$||Guitar Center|
|Line 6 JTV-59 Variax – Really Versatile & Cool Guitar||2 x Vintage-voiced Alnico Humbucker & LR Baggs Radiance Hex Piezo System||Single-cut||$$$||Sweetwater|
|ESP LTD EC-1000 Piezo QM – Best Overall||Duncan ’59 Humbucker|
& Duncan JB Humbucker
|Single-cut||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Dean Colt with Bigsby & Piezo||2 x DMT Design Gold humbuckers & Piezo||Semi-Hollowbody||$$$$||Guitar Center|
|Schecter C-1 E/A||2 x Schecter Diamond Plus & Fishman Powerbridge (Piezo) with TonePros T1Z Tailpiece||Modern Stratocaster||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Fender Acoustasonic Player Telecaster||N4 Magnetic Single-coil|
& Under-saddle Piezo
|Acoustasonic Telecaster||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Godin XTSA – Ultimate Versatility||1 x Godin Single-coil & 2 x Godin Custom Humbuckers, transconductor saddles (not usually listed as Piezo, but works with the same principle and provides the same end result)||Single-cut||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD BB-600 Ben Burnley Baritone – Rare Baritone Electric With Piezo||Duncan ’59 Humbucker & Duncan JB Humbucker & GraphTech Ghost Loaded Resomax NV with a piezo pickup||Single-cut||$$$$||Sweetwater|
|Fender American Acoustasonic Stratocaster||Fender Acoustasonic Noiseless Single-coil |
& Fishman Under-saddle Transducer (Piezo), Fishman Acoustasonic Enhancer
|Acoustasonic Stratocaster||$$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Relish Mary One Semi-hollow||2 x Relish XV Bucker Humbucker & Piezo||Relish Mary Semi-hollow||$$$$$||Sweetwater|
|Taylor T5 Standard||Hidden Samarium Cobalt Humbucker & Dynamic Body Sensor (Piezo)||Hollowbody||$$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Godin Summit Classic||Seymour Duncan Jazz SH-2N Humbucker|
& Seymour Duncan Custom SH-11p Humbucker & LR Baggs T-Bridge piezo
|Semi-hollowbody||$$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Godin Montreal Premiere||Seymour Duncan Jazz SH-2N Humbucker & Seymour Duncan Custom SH-11p Humbucker & Piezo||Semi-hollowbody||$$$$$||Sweetwater|
|Duesenberg Starplayer TV Plus||Duesenberg DP90 Domino single coil & Grand Vintage humbucker & bridge piezo||Semi-hollowbody||$$$$$||Thomann|
|Relish Mary Semi-hollow||2 x Relish XV humbuckers & Piezo||Semi-hollowbody||$$$$$||Sweetwater|
|Ernie Ball Music Man JP15 – For Dream Theater & Petrucci Fans||DiMarzio Illuminator Humbucker & DiMarzio Illuminator Humbucker, Piezo pickup||John Petrucci Modern Strat||$$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Signature Majesty – For Dream Theater & Petrucci Fans||DiMarzio Rainmaker Humbucker & DiMarzio Dreamcatcher Humbucker & Piezo||John Petrucci Majesty||$$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|PRS Custom 24 Piezo||2 x 85/15 Humbucker & Piezo||PRS Double cut||$$$$$||Sweetwater|
|PRS Hollowbody II Piezo||2 x PRS 58/15 LT Humbucker & LR Baggs Saddle Piezo||PRS Hollowbody||$$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
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3 Best Electric Guitars with Piezo Pickups – My Favorites
Best Hollowbody – Dean Colt Bigsby with Piezo
What I like
- Grover tuners hold the pitch
- Great quality Bigsby Original Tremolo is great to have
- Comfortable C-shaped neck
- A relatively thin body is easy to handle
What I don’t like
- Plastic nut (I would prefer bone, NuBone, and Tusq over this)
Who is it for?
If you are after a reasonably priced semi-hollowbody guitar with a piezo pickup, Dean Colt Bigsby with Piezo is one of the top choices. Its DMT Design humbuckers offer versatile sound, and pair this with piezo and you got a great number of options in your arsenal. I would like to see different nut material than plastic, but still, this Dean offers really high value for the money.
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Best Overall – ESP LTD EC-1000 Piezo QM
What I like
- Great metal tones
- Stunning looks
- Spot on the action and smooth neck make this axe comfortable to play
- Works well with small hands too
- High quality
- Tons of different color options are available
- Piezo adds a ton of versatility
What I don’t like
- Upper fret access is not great
- The use of plastic nut feels a bit cheap for this price
Who is it for?
I’ve been lovin’ this guitar since I first tried it out a couple of years ago. With this axe, you get excellent value for money. It’s built for metal but can handle different music too. And this model with a piezo just brings that extra notch of versatility to the table.
For people who mostly play metal, but want to explore other genres too, this guitar is definitely worth the money.
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Ultimate Versatility – Godin XTSA
What I like
- Versatile pickup configuration
- Great Acoustic guitar-like sounds
- Really warm and thick tones from humbuckers
- Single-Coil pickups add tons of tonal options
- Really comfortable to play
- Solid value for money
- Tremolo bar
- Synthesizer access gives you endless tone options
What I don’t like
- For some people(me), guitar synth access is not so important feature
- You need to buy a guitar synthesizer if you want to use the synth access
- Upper fret access is only OK
- Not the easiest guitar to play(still comfortable tho)
- Cable jack comes loose sometimes
- Single-coil sounds are not the strongest aspect of XTSA (IMO)
Who is it for?
If you have room in your budget and you really need the features of this guitar (synth access, piezo, and versatile tones with magnetic pickups) this is a great choice. It is worth the money and there is a high chance that you are not going to be disappointed. Plus this is a North American-made guitar.
Personally, some of the features of this axe are not so important for me(guitar synth). With a tight budget, paying for these features isn’t probably worth it if you don’t need those. But at the same time, I can’t argue that with synth access, you can do some really cool stuff.
You can read my full review of this guitar here: Godin XTSA Review in 2022 – Before You Buy
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What Are Piezo Pickups Good For?
Piezo pickup senses the pressure when the strings, bridge, and body vibrates and transforms this into an electric signal. This makes them a good choice with nylon strings for example.
But what about electric guitars?
When an electric guitar is equipped with a piezo pickup, usually it’s placed inside or under the bridge. Piezo pickup can sense the actual sound of the guitar, not just the vibration of the strings like magnetic pickups do. Piezo pickup senses the vibration of the strings, yes, but it also senses the vibration of the body, bridge, etc. So we can say that with Piezo pickup, the body materials do affect the tone of a guitar.
Piezo pickups offer very articulate, snappy, and clear sound. And I agree, it’s acoustic-like. This is why Piezo pickups are usually used with electric guitars to achieve an acoustic guitar-like sound.
Are Electric Guitars With Piezo Pickups Worth It?
Piezo pickup system captures “the real sound of the guitar”, this pickup actually picks up the vibration of the strings and the body, and the hardware. If this sounds good, an electric guitar equipped with a piezo system is most likely worth it. It’s a really good pickup system when acoustic-like sound is wanted.
Who Should Buy An Electric Guitar With Piezo Pickups?
In short, if you want to get an acoustic guitar-like sound out of your electric guitar with a flick of the switch, Piezo pickup is a really good option. Some amps can do this for you too, but the fact that you can just hit one switch on your guitar and start fingerpicking beautiful acoustic melodies is a great benefit with a piezo pickup system.
Hear how piezo pickups sounds with an electric guitar:
- Adds a ton of versatility
- Piezo picks up “the real sound of the guitar” (vibration of the strings, body, hardware, etc.)
- Enables you to achieve acoustic guitar like sound with electric guitar
- Convenient, change the sound with a flick of the switch
- Some people don’t like the sound of a piezo pickup (I do)
- Can increase the price of the guitar
- Few electric guitar models available with a piezo (great that you have this article helping you out)
Can You Install a Piezo on an Electric Guitar?
Yes you can. But it requires some DIY skills for sure. You can also let professionals handle the installation, but it will cost more. Here’s a video where piezo is installed under the Tune-O-Matic bridge:
Will Pedals Work with an Electric Guitar with a Piezo Pickup?
You can use piezo pickup with pedals. But of course, the sound will be a lot different than with magnetic pickups.
Which Brands Use Piezo Pickups On their Electric Guitars?
Here are a couple of brands using piezo pickups on some of their electric guitars:
- Harley Benton
- Ernie Ball Music Man
I’m currently in the middle of moving and I had to sell a bunch of my guitars, so right now I lack an electric guitar with a piezo pickup. It sucks. Once we are settled in the new city we are moving into, I would like to get an electric with a piezo ASAP. I just need to ask permission from my family comity…aka. my wife, haha.
I hope this article helped you out, and maybe you even decided to get one of the guitars featured. If you have any questions, leave a comment, I and the GND team are here for you.
Now go, my son, and Rock!
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