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Need Advise - Looking for an Acoustic bass with decent volume

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DutchBass, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. DutchBass

    DutchBass

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    Hey everyone!

    I have been a member of these forums for a long time now. I don't post very often but I read the topics here on a daily base.

    Some might call me a lurker :bag: hehe

    I would really appreciate your advice. There are so many people here with extensive knowledge of these things. I'm sure you guys can help me out with this.

    I'm looking for a fully (no semi) acoustic bass guitar which has a decent volume. Me and my band have been brainstorming about doing more gigs outside and in some of these places I do not have acces to electricity.

    I have played on a few acoustic basses sofar but when I jammed on these with our guitarist the bass could not be heared at all :mad:
    The volume was way too soft...

    Can you guys give me some advice on nice fully acoustic bass guitars to try out?
  2. JennySuzuki

    JennySuzuki

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    It takes roughly three times as much energy to generate bass sound as to generate treble guitar sound. A conventionally guitar-sized guitar is not going to generate that energy without some sort of boost from electricity. That's why most "acoustic bass guitars" are actually acoustic / electric basses.

    If you truly need an acoustic option, you should look at a guitarron or an upright bass.
  3. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

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    What JS said is probably the best idea if you want to go fully acoustic but if you are looking for a good ABG as a place to start you can't go wrong with the Breedlove Atlas Studio now on sale at The Perfect Bass for well under $500 with the TB discount applied (normally sold to $900). I am considering getting some kind of small battery/electric amp like a Roland cube or something to augment the sound in just such situations but the bass itself is a great bass.
  4. Grissle

    Grissle Supporting Member

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    Battery powered amp maybe?
  5. old-fashioned

    old-fashioned

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    Forget about gigging with a fully (no semi) acoustic bass guitar. You must amplify it.
  6. DutchBass

    DutchBass

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    So basically there are no fully acoustic bass guitar on the market that can be heared properly when playing along with someone on an acoustic guitar and a drummer that's on a cajon?

    I wasn't expecting that, hmm, that's really dissapointing. I already envisioned myself being able to stand my ground without amplification :(
  7. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member

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  8. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

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    If I use a pick and play super aggressive with my Morgan Monroe ABG, I can almost hear myself over an acoustic guitar. Not a great solution in any case.

    Am amp of some kind is really needed IME. Even a small battery powered one.
  9. Jefff

    Jefff

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    I owned a Tacoma Thunderchief that could hold it's own with a couple of acoustic guitars unamplfied, with no problem.

    I tried them all before I bought, even the Taylor. The Tacoma was the only one that could handle it.

    It was very string sensitive however. It only really liked Elixers at about 50.00 a set.

    I got about 6 months out of a set.
  10. donn

    donn

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    "They said it couldn't be done ..."

    But of course it can be done. All you need is to build a "guitar" approaching the size of an upright bass.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=383be9J0zPk

    In my opinion you'd get better quality sound from a real upright bass, but I guess this thing is slightly easier for guitar players, and it's easier to get it into a car - I believe the neck is detachable.
  11. IronSpatula

    IronSpatula

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    I agree - better quality sound from an upright. WAY better in my opinion. The Rigel is a beautiful instrument and a very cool idea, but I'm not digging all that fret noise in the video. I guess the action could be raised, but at that point why not just learn to play on a real DB?

    A serviceable DB can be had in the same price range as the Rigel, and would be much more versatile. It will be a greater time investment to learn to play properly but well worth it considering all the new possibilities it would open up. :)

    Otherwise, the ABG + battery-powered amp idea gets my vote. But having not used a battery-powered bass amp, I have to ask, how is the low-end extension on those?
  12. mjac28

    mjac28 50th Anniversary Ed Sullivan February 9, 1964 Gold Supporting Member

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    I bought the new Martin BCPA4 it's pricy but I love it loud and rich sounding even with stock strings.
  13. MD

    MD

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    I think string height and a different approach to right hand technique by the player would go a long way to coaxing a nicer tone out of that Rigel. I'd skip the frets as well, IMO.
  14. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it. Supporting Member

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    I've been down this exact same rabbit hole. I'm in an acoustic band, and I wanted a an ABG to keep up. Ended up getting a Dean. Not even remotely loud enough unamplified. I ended up dumping about $1,500 on a DB and never looked back. It's actually possible for me to play too loud now without being plugged in (try playing a DB in a corner facing out to the audience. Damn!). I wish I would've just got the DB sooner and got an extra 5 months of time in on it.
  15. Spent

    Spent Supporting Member

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    I've had the same experience with the Thunderchief and it sounds good plugged in too.
  16. DogBone

    DogBone

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    Most ABG's, nope.

    A couple of unique ones like the Tacoma Thunderchief, or Ernie Ball Earthwood (good luck finding one)...probably.

    An unamplified ABG will have the best "chance" with a full body, bit higher action and played aggressively with a pick. It won't be deep or bassy, but it MAY at least be audible! :)

    Alternatives: Battery amp, upright bass, washtub bass, or give up and strum chords on acoustic guitar.

    Good luck!
  17. Scott1

    Scott1 Supporting Member

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    I am far from an expert but I have been trying out acoustic basses for a couple of years, with the same thought in mind. I have come to the conclusion that if you need to be wholly acoustic a double bass is the only thing that will be heard in the mix.

    I chose to stay with my electric and will be purchasing a battery powered amp to play in those instances that will be now 'mostly acoustic' at acoustic volumes.
  18. Whit Townsend

    Whit Townsend

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    Been there done that and the answer is no. I owned a Westerly Guild B50, just about the biggest one there is. Maybe Tacoma has one about the same size. Great tone and build quality, but unsatisfactory without amplification. I sold it because it put my arm to sleep reaching around the thing.

    So no, there is no such thing. I know nothing about the Guitarron other than my experiences in a Mexican restaraunt. They seem to be louder, but still pretty unweildy.

    So sorry, you need one of these. Get a decent quality plywood upright and you wont regret it:
    [​IMG]
  19. Packinton

    Packinton

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  20. mark beem

    mark beem Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    Or similar..

    But even then it may have to be mic'd.

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