For this short article a few insights about what kind of acoustic tone your electric guitar produces.
Acoustic tone from an electric guitar you may wonder. “Does the sound not come out of my amp?” Yes it does, hopefully, but the guitar which produces the sound coming out of the amp does have an acoustic tone as well, and this tone also controbutes to the overal sound of the electric guitar.
If you have a few electric guitars around try the following: Tune all the guitars up and play the same musical ideas on all of them, play without using the amp and just listen to the tone, go with your ear near the body, even put your ear on the body and listen, put your ear to the neck of the guitar and listen.
Good, quality guitars will produce and even tone, not matter where you listen, you will hear a similar sound. Lesser quality guitars may not sound even in all places: The neck may produce a different tone compared to some parts of the body.
There is no difference in fixed bridge guitars and guitars equipped with tremolo units, even Floyd Rose guitars will give you these results.
Try using a slide: This will give you the most natural sound of string and wood combined: The string will be amplified by the wood and will produce an overal tone. When you play using a pick, or fingers, there is the attack of the strike of the string with the pick or finger, this will also contribute to the sound. Listen through this and see if the sound is similar to the sound when using a slide.
Quality guitars will produce a somewhat similar sound when using slide or fingers or pick.
The tone we just looked at get amplified by the pick-ups and amp. Lesser quality guitars the acoustic tone may not be that great, may lack a bit in bass or body, may be too light or whatever you feel is lacking. The pick-ups may make up for whatever was lacking in acoustic tone. They may add more brightness, bass and spark to the overal sound coming out of the amp.
The amplifier is the final part in the overal sound of the electric guitar: A quality amp you will be able to compensate for whatever weaknesses the acoustic tone of your guitar had and you may be able to get a happening tone.
Once you know what is lacking acoustically from your electric guitar you may be able to cure this matter without any additional help of amplifier: You could change the neck of the guitar (depending on what type of guitar your have) You may be able to change the body of the guitar (again depending on the type of guitar you have)
Modifying an electric guitar to your own needs is all fine and well: It takes time and effort and money, it may be better to find a guitar which is fine from the start, and produces a happening tone without any worries.
If you have never altered any of your guitars, any custom work you may undertake may open your eyes and mind to whatever is responsible for the tone of your electric guitar, It cetainly is a interesting and satisfying process.
Happy Tone Hunting