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Accoustic basses, good or bad?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ras1983, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    i'm thinking of getting a cheap accoustic bass just for practicing. are they any good? i haven't really come accross them before, and i have to travel a fair distance to get to the nearest music store.
  2. In my experience, acoustic bass guitars are a great practice aid for many reasons.

    Primarily because they are so easy to pick up off a stand and start practicing. If you find an acoustic bass next to the door of your room, you are more likely to just pick it up then you would sit down , plug an amp and bass, etc.

    Moreover, its low volume allows you to practice at any time of the day, even late at night without disturbing members of your family who might ask you to quit when you've played the same scale 29 times to get it flowing.

    One word of warning. I suggest that you get a decent acoustic bass guitar which will make you want to pick it up as opposed to a cheap one which might put you off.
  3. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    It really depends on each one. I've played several horrific ones that I wouldn't give a second glance to, but I still recall this one...it was all blue stained with a satin finish on the neck, GORGEOUS blue quilted maple top, turtleshell pickguard, gold hardware, low action, and GREAT sound. I can't remember for the life of me what company it was, but if I'd had $500 then, I would've taken that thing home in a SECOND.
  4. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    I have to agree with the other posts on this one. You definitely don't want a cheap one that is difficult to play but you also don't necessarily have to pay an arm and a leg to get a good one. I bought a Larivee' acoustic bass a couple of years ago and paid about $900 for it. It is by far one of the best acoustic basses I've ever played. I even prefered it over the much more expensive Martins and Taylors. But I've also play a few very inexpensive Micheal Kelly acoustic basses which I was amazed at how well they played and sounded for how little they cost. Good Luck!
  5. The comment about playing it b/c it is close by is dead on accurate. I bought a beat up Tacoma Thunderchief for $275 simply to play while sitting on the couch. Truth be told, I spend more hours playing that for that very reason.

    Many of the ABG are junk and discouraging to play. There are a few budget gems, but not many. You should start with a beat up Tacoma. If youwant new, then get the Tacoma lower line "Olympia" series.

    Next thing is to get comfy strings. Most phosphor bronze ABG are horrible. They sound like guitars and are uncomfortable to play. The exception to this is the Thomastic Infeld Acousticores.

    Nylon tape wounds and even regular flat wounds work really well too.

    Thunderchief is Good Medicine
  6. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    $275 for a Thunderchief? :eek:

    I agree - my Thunderchief probably gets as much play as all the rest of my basses combined, most of it casual and in ten or fifteen minute chunks. Hell, if my loo were a little wider, I'd be playing it in there, too.
  7. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    I was given a junker Epiphone El Segundo accoustic bass. It was unplayable as it had a major hump at the base of the neck. So I defretted it, planed it down to a level surface, filled in the holes and put tapewound strings on it for a nice thuddy "upright-like" tone. It's my "couch" bass while watching tv, I run scales and whatever else while watching tv. Sometimes I even put the bass on the floor, making the headstock right at ear level and play it like an upright for kicks. It's not the greatest bass in the world, the pickup/preamp doesn't even work but it serves its purpose.
  8. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    another vote for a decent ABG. I have a recently-purchased Ibanez 5-string, and while it won't blow you away with its acoustic output (in common with every other ABG I have tried), it is loud enough that I can play along w CDs in my studio when I'm learning a new song. It's also light and stays in tune. Much nicer than plugging in my solidbody and turning on the amp every time I want to practice a little.
  9. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    I really like the Elixer acoustic bass strings. Sound good, play great and hold up very well in very humid enviroments.
  10. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    Sorry if I derail the thread, but can you guys recommend some good black nylon tapewounds for my ABG?

    My ABG is fairly cheap (a Cort), but I bought it used for a very reasonable price, and I had a guy that I trust do a bit of work to it, and now it plays very well. It's probably not even as nice as a decent Tacoma, but for what I paid for it, I'm happy with it. I like it particularly because I can bring it to jam with friends (albeit at lower volumes) without hauling an amp, and I always take it with me when I travel to see family.

  11. My 275 thunderchief had a neck repair, missing case and preamp. I replaced it with the L.R. Baggs for $120. I got the case as a gift, but it is so big and heavy, I just use a crumby gig bag.

    ABG are great for acoustic open mic nights, practice, lessons, tv watching or learning songs.
  12. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    You won't find better strings at a better price than these:

    La Bella Deep Talkin' @ $18.99
  13. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
  14. SciFiGuy


    Dec 27, 2003
    Madison, IN
    I got an Olympia (Korean Thunderchief) on ebay for about $240 (no case - got a new Tacoma case for $136). I guess I got lucky because it doesn't have any problems. It sounds good and is pretty loud for an ABG. Don't plan on taking it anywhere unless you have a station wagon or truck or something. In a case it takes up a lot of space.

    I like it because I can play without bugging the family, and a guy I play with sometimes only does acoustic, so it works nice.

    I wish I could leave it out and handy, but I don't trust our cat, so it spends a lot of time in the case.

    Many of the ABGs I tried in stores were short scale, which I didn't care for.
  15. g04t


    Aug 16, 2004
    Sunnyvale, CA
    i have a washburn ab10
    black with slits - no big hole
    it's very dark and quiet sounding.

    i've had it for over 4 years now and it still has the stock strings and I won't ever part with it.

    it smells really really good after playing with it for an hour. must be the spruce.

    it's really really comfortable - something i've noticed with both washburn's i've owned. and it's thin. i would have relations with it but i dont want to damage the wood.


    i've played tacoma's before, they just dont do it for me...too loud.

    i dont like the big gaping hole :eek:
  16. Cathead


    Dec 13, 2002
    Premier, WV
    Hmmm.....I put black tape strings on my Thunderchief and I hated them. I took them right back off and put the Elixers back on. In the meantime, I put some Fender nylon filament strings on my electric fretless and love them. Has anyone tried the nylon filament strings on their acoustic bass? By the way, the Thunderchief is also fretless.
  17. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Another vote for the La bellas. I am puting them on all my fretlesses too.....t

  18. Thomastic Acousticore all the way.

    Didn't know Fender made nylon cores. All the difference b/t a ABG that is fun to play and one that is a chore to play.
  19. Cathead


    Dec 13, 2002
    Premier, WV
  20. mlwarriner


    Nov 8, 2003
    KC, MO, USA
    i can honestly say that i do not believe that my sanity would have survived a year in the desert if Wifey had not given me the go-ahead for the ibanez aeb10 that i bought. the power over here (iraq, lovely camp victory) is all 220 and spiky, so even with a convertor and a cheapo amp, i'm not sure i would have been able to play. but with the ibby, i just grab it out of the case and noodle. sometimes for a couple minutes or so, occasionally as long as an hour or so. i love mine...