In this roundup we're pulling together some of the best acoustic guitars that have a tuner built directly into the preamp. For an acoustic guitar to have a tuner included in its body, it must also have a preamp installed with a pickup system, like we see here:
Read more: Acoustic guitars with pickups
This allows the tuner to hear a signal coming from the body of the guitar, which travel through the pickup and preamp system.
From there, the tuner usually gives a readout, allowing you to make adjustments as you go.
How to Identify Acoustic Guitars with Tuners Built In
Most of the time these tuners will be visible in the preamp, with an LED indicator that can be turned on and off as needed. Usually you can spot the preamp on the outside of the body of most acoustic/electric guitars, as we see here:
These tuners usually run off a 9V battery that also powers the pickup and preamp system. These tuning systems are usually easy to spot just by looking on the outside of an acoustic guitar's body.
If you find the preamp, you can pretty easily find the tuner.
Also note that in most cases the preamp and tuner are going to be on the top of the guitar's body, allowing you easy access to just look down and see/use it.
Top Acoustic Guitars with Built-in Tuners (roundup)
This is a list of acoustic guitars that we like and recommend that also have a built-in tuner, via the preamp and pickup system. If you have questions or you'd like to recommend a guitar be added to this list, feel free to get in touch via the comments section below.
- Ibanez AEG50N Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Taylor GS Mini-e Koa
- Ibanez AEWC400 Acoustic
- Gibson Acoustic Songwriter Standard EC
- Taylor Baby Taylor BTe-Koa
- Takamine TSP178AC Thinline Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Taylor Academy 12e
- Cordoba Fusion 12
- Taylor Big Baby Taylor BBTe
- Washburn Bella Tono Vite S9V
- Taylor Academy 10e
- Yamaha APXT2 3/4 Thinline
- Taylor Academy 12e-N
- Washburn Festival EA15
- Washburn Comfort G15SCE-12 (12-string)
- Epiphone EJ-200SCE
- Gretsch G5022CWFE Rancher Falcon
- Washburn Comfort G55CE Koa
- Cordoba GK Studio Negra Nylon
- Cordoba C5-CE Nylon
- Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat
- Taylor GS Mini-e
- Fender CD-140SCE Dreadnought Acoustic
How well do these tuners work?
Most of the time onboard tuners for acoustic guitars will work fairly well. There are some cheap systems out there, but the guitars we've recommended in this list almost all have a preamp from one of the following companies:
Both Taylor and Fishman make exceptionally good preamp and pickup systems. Since these systems are directly on the guitar, and the tuner is directly on the system, it's going to do a better job of picking up the vibrations and pitch than if you were trying to tune with an external device or even a tuner pedal.
Thus, in most cases, onboard tuners in acoustic guitars are reliable and a preferred method of tuning.
Which companies typically make acoustic guitars with tuners?
Tuners in acoustic guitars aren't really unique to a particular acoustic brand.
However, they are unique to certain pickup manufacturers, where Taylor is an exception that does a lot of both acoustic guitar and pickup/preamp manufacturing. Since the tuner is always in the preamp, it's the preamp brand you want to look for.
Taylor preamps are only ever in Taylor acoustics, so we'll disregard them for now.
The other two brands are:
- LR Baggs
These are the two primary manufacturers of guitar preamps and pickup systems. And acoustic brands that typically install these preamps include the following:
To the best of our knowledge, neither Fishman nor LR Baggs have exclusivity when it comes to a particular acoustic guitar manufacturer, so it's possible for them to show up in a lot of other brands as well. However, the aforementioned six are where we notice them most commonly.
Of the acoustic guitar's listed, we're particularly draw to the Taylor and the Cordoba acoustics.
If we could recommend one, the Taylor GS Mini is one of our favorites, and one of the most popular acoustic guitars on the market. But all of them have an onboard tuner, making the job of tuning your acoustic guitar very easy.
Note that this isn't meant to be a comprehensive list, rather a list that includes some of the best and top-selling acoustic guitars that also happen to have an onboard tuner.
There are others out there that fit this description, but that we simply haven't had as much experience with or are not as popular.
Questions and Comments
If you know of an acoustic guitar with a tuner that you'd like us to include in this list, drop it in the comments section below and we'll have a look. If it works, we'll add it to the list and give you an update credit at the top of the page.