Updated by Bobby
Updated on March 4th, 2023
Added the Line 6 Variax (JTV-59). Also added three guitars, the Michael Kelly Special Hybrid, Duesenberg Starplayer TV+, the Dean Colt, and the Epiphone Axcess Les Paul (Alex Lifeson signature). Thanks and hat tip to Andrew and Mike in the comments section.
We're going to present this content in two phases. First, we're going to list all of the electric guitars we could find we a piezo pickup installed. This means they're guitars that ship with a piezo pickup, and don't require any kind of modding or upgrading.
These guitars have a piezo pickup under the bridge and a second output jack dedicated to that particular pickup.
This gives you the following:
- The traditional magnetic pickups with their own output jack
- The piezo pickup with its own output jack
These pickups aren't visible on an electric guitar because they're usually installed under the bridge, so they can directly pick up the vibrations of the strings off the guitar's body. This is how piezo pickups project their sound. But for more of the technical info behind piezo pickups, feel free to read on below our list of guitars.
Electric Guitars with Piezo Pickups
This is a list of all the electric guitars we could find that ship with a piezo pickup. It's not a ranking or review, but just a list of guitars that have this unique and peculiar feature. Note, again, that it will mean you'll see two output jacks on each guitar: One for the magnetic pickups and one for the piezo pickup.
Also note there could be other electric guitars with a piezo pickup that I simply haven't been able to find.
If you know of one that I missed, feel free to let me know via the comments section below.
Otherwise, enjoy the list and use the compare button to look at pricing and spec details.
PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezeo
PRS Hollowbody II Piezo
PRS Custom 24 Piezo
ESP LTD EC-1000 Piezo
PRS Custom 22 Piezo
Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Majesty
Schecter C-1 E/A Electric Guitar - Cats Eye
ESP LTD BB-600 Ben Burnley Baritone
Godin Montreal Premiere
Michael Kelly Hybrid Special
Duesenberg Starplayer TV+
Dean Colt with Piezo
Line 6 Variax (JTV-59)
What is a piezo pickup and how does it work?
A piezo pickup is a type of guitar pickup that relies on the vibrations of the strings rather than a magnetic field.
In the more common passive and active pickups, you have a magnet with coil wrapping that produces a magnetic field above the guitar strings. Piezo pickups make contact directly with the bridge and project a sound based on the vibrations of the strings on a guitar's body.
This makes them a popular choice for acoustic guitars and especially nylon string guitars where magnets are not a workable option.
In an electric guitar, the piezo pickup can give you a more acoustic-centric sound that comes from the natural vibrations of the guitar's body.
For more info, checkout this article on piezo pickups by ESP LTD.
Which electric guitar brands most often make guitars with piezo pickups?
There are four electric guitar manufacturers that currently produce electric guitars with piezo pickups installed. They include the following:
- ESP LTD
- Ernie Ball
PRS, by far, has the largest inventory of piezo electric guitars, with ESP LTD in second place. Outside of these four brands, there doesn't seem to be a significant market presence for this particular feature.
Benefits of a Piezo Pickup on an Electric Guitar
Piezo pickups produce a brighter, less warm sound that's more natural than the sound you get from a magnetic pickup.
On an electric guitar, it's probably too much to say that "it turns your electric guitar into an acoustic." But it definitely brings out some of the acoustic-ness of the instrument, giving you a tone that's based on the body of the guitar and the string vibrations, as opposed to the electrical current created by magnets and wiring.
This gives your electric guitar a significantly more versatile tone profile, able to project through the magnetic pickups or the piezo pickup.
And in some cases, you can blend between the two.
Conclusion and Questions
A piezo pickup can open up a lot of tonal variety for your electric guitar, especially if - like some of the PRS models - you have a blend knob that can adjust the balance between piezo and magnetic pickups. This list is about collecting all the electric guitars with a piezo pickup in one spot, which means we could have missed a few during our research.
If you know of an electric guitar that ships with a piezo pickup, feel free to mention it in the comments section below.
Other questions and thoughts are welcome there as well.
We'll talk then.
Alex Lifeson has a model by Epiphone called Axcess. This is a great read, thanks, Mike
Bobby Kittleberger says
Thanks, Mike. Discontinued, but still a great find. Added.
Mark K. says
I had the opportunity to play the Michael Kelly live last night at a show. As the article says, it doesn’t sound 100% acoustic, but it was very passable and a very good guitar. I was sold on it.
If you are in a single guitar band and play songs that jump from acoustic to electric, a guitar with a piezo pickup is an extremely useful tool.
Thanks for sharing, Mark. Michael Kelly acoustics are great.
Carvin/Kiesel Guitars have been making hybrid electric/acoustic guitars for 30 years. The AE185 6 and 12 string models. My 12 string is very good.
Also Godin’s been making them for that long too. Godin A6 Ultra.
Line 6 Variax
Added the JTV-59. Thanks much.
Godin A6, Michael Kelly Hybrid Special, Duessenberg Starplayer TV+, Airline Folkstar, Eastwood Delta 6, Dean Colt, Crafter SA not forgetting the Fender Acoustasonics…
Hey, Andrew – thanks for this list. I added three of the guitars you recommended: The Michael Kelly, Duesenberg, and Dean Colt. The other three, plus the Acoustasonics, struck me more as hybrids that leaned into being more acoustic guitars than electrics.
The Lifeson Axcess Les Pauls, both Gibson and Epiphone, have piezos.
You talking about this one? I don’t see any mention of a piezo pickup. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LPXC7EBGF1E–gibson-custom-les-paul-axcess-custom-floyd-rose-ebony