Need Advise - Looking for an Acoustic bass with decent volume

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


  1. DutchBass

    DutchBass

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    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

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2013
    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

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    Northern Va.
    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

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Battery powered amp maybe?
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  6. old-fashioned

    old-fashioned

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Location:
    Ankara
    Forget about gigging with a fully (no semi) acoustic bass guitar. You must amplify it.
  7. DutchBass

    DutchBass

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    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 :(
  8. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
  9. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Disclosures:
    Nobody is stupid enough to actually pay me to play their gear.
    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.
  10. Jefff

    Jefff Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Location:
    Chicago
    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.
  11. donn

    donn

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    "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.
  12. IronSpatula

    IronSpatula

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    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?
  13. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    I bought the new Martin BCPA4 it's pricy but I love it loud and rich sounding even with stock strings.
  14. MD

    MD

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2000
    Location:
    Marin Co. CA.

    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.
  15. Fat Steve

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

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Ventura County
    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.
  16. Spent

    Spent Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I've had the same experience with the Thunderchief and it sounds good plugged in too.
  17. DogBone

    DogBone

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Location:
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    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!
  18. Scott1

    Scott1 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Location:
    Grants Pass, Oregon
    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.
  19. Whit Townsend

    Whit Townsend

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Location:
    Hartselle Alabama
    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]
  20. Packinton

    Packinton

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
  21. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2001
    Location:
    New Hope, Alabama
    [​IMG]

    Or similar..

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

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