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TechTalk – Electric VS Acoustic Strings

One of the great benefits behind the Emerald Virtuo is that it was designed to be the ultimate do-it-all stage guitar and so delivers fantastic acoustic and electric tones when plugged in. The slimline hollow carbon-fiber body paired with the onboard piezo pickups provides great acoustic tones while the dual Fishman Fluence humbuckers cover classic and modern humbucker options as well as single coils for a wide range of electric tones.

One of the questions that we get asked alot is what the differences are between acoustic and electric strings on the Virtuo. You have the ability to use standard electric guitar strings or acoustic strings with the Virtuo, depending on your own personal preference and whether you might lean towards more acoustic or electric guitar playing.ย 

While you can use the Virtuo with regular acoustic strings such as 80/20 phosphor bronze which you might normally use on an acoustic guitar, however the low magnetic content in these types of strings does not work well when using the magnetic pickups on an electric guitar

For those looking for the best of both worlds, there are some acoustic sets available with a higher magnetic content in the strings which make them suitable for use with magnetic electric guitar pickups such as the Fishman Fluence pickups in the Virtuo.

We use and recommend the Newtone Double Wound strings for those who are looking for the best of both and if requested we can provide these on the Virtuo when being set up in the factory.ย 

When switching between different string types or string gauges, the intonation and action can be easily adjusted on the graph tech saddles, giving you the freedom to switch up your sound based on your own preference.

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Acoustic sounds:

String gauge (thickness) will always play a big part in the acoustic tones from a guitar. Heavier gauges will produce a fuller sound with more bass response while the trade off is that some people find the .12 or .13 gauge strings normally favored on an acoustic guitar to be difficult to play with the extra tension leading to playing fatigue. The use of lower gauge strings is favored by those who prefer the slinkier feel and more high end treble response associated with them.

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The newtone strings have more volume and body when played acoustically VS the electric strings. This is due to a combination of the heavier strings and the materials used.

Plugged in tones:

When using the piezo output, the acoustic strings bring a slightly fuller and rounder sound that you would expect compared to the electric strings. The addition of a wound G string in the acoustic set adds more bass and rounds out the mids. The electric strings have slightly more clarity in the upper mids compared to the Newtone Double Wound acoustic strings.

As you can hear in the video, there are only slight differences in tone between both types of strings when using the magnetic pickups, with the Newtone strings’ extra magnetic content letting them produce great electric tones from the magnetic pickups. The addition of the wound G making bends more difficult and the feel of the acoustic strings however may be not what players who are used to playing electric are looking for.


The unplugged acoustic sound is slightly louder and fuller on the acoustic strings as you would expect from the slightly heavier gauge and materials used. 

The player’s preference of acoustic vs electric over another may be the biggest decider in choosing which type of string to use. 

You can find out more about the Virtuo on the model page here and get in touch with us via the live chat or via email to for any further help. 

Emerald Guitars, to make and inspire music.

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