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Acoustic Bass Advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MrBassman17, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. MrBassman17


    Dec 30, 2011
    Brewster, NY
    I'm looking to buy an Epiphone Masterbuilt De Luxe Acoustic/Electric bass, but, I guess because they're so new, there aren't any in stores by me to 'test drive'.
    Do any of you all out there in TB land have one, or have played one? Looking for reviews and impressions before I plunk down my $1k!
    Thanks in advance for whatever info you all can provide!
    jd56hawk likes this.
  2. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Plenty of good acoustic basses for half the orice.
    Anything special you like about this one?
    Not putting it down, Epiphone makes some very nice basses, but some of the prices of the new ones are getting quite high.
    I'm guessing you're not going to use it without an amp for an acoustic jam.
    Will you be using it on stage?

    Regardless, here's the only video I could find.
    Sorry he doesn't actually talk about it.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
    MrRubi04 likes this.
  3. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Not trying to discourage you, I'm just one of the biggest acoustic bass fans around and like to talk about them.
    Soon as I see the De Luxe I'm going to give it a whirl.
    MrRubi04 likes this.
  4. mikeoso

    mikeoso Acoustic Curmudgeon

    Feb 14, 2014
    eastern Iowa
    Looks nice, and the Masterbilt line are usually very well-made. If a nice hollowbody electric bass is what you want, it should be good. It won't do much as an acoustic.
    MrRubi04 likes this.
  5. MrBassman17


    Dec 30, 2011
    Brewster, NY
    What I'm looking for is the tonal quality of an upright bass, but with the ability to have some control over that, call it in when necessary, and change it when not. At this price point, unlike several of my other basses that I purchased without playing first, I really need to play it; see how it fits on me; the neck; the playability; etc. I will be bringing it to jam's, practicing and using it on stage. I think it would make a great compliment to my band mates' Epiphone Archtop for some of the 'jazzier' tunes we do (want that woody 'thump' vibe). It would be nice to be able to actually play unamplified with another acoustic guitar as well.
  6. MrBassman17


    Dec 30, 2011
    Brewster, NY
    I already own a Jack Casady Signature 20th Anniversary and absolutely love it for so many reasons - just want an acoustic electric to fill in some gaps!
    Old Blastard likes this.
  7. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I know what you mean. It's definitely best to try out basses, especially acoustic basses.
    I bought mine without doing so but it turned out to be one of the best purchases I'd ever made… I used to own the same model so I knew what to expect.
    I bought it for open mic nights and smaller venues…my buddy sings (some nice originals) and plays a 12-string Guild acoustic. I prefer my Exotica not only for the sound (my G&L L2000 can't quite do that tone) but for the looks, too.
    I'm a big believer in the MTV Unplugged school of thought…plug in!
  8. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    To get close to an upright sound (you'll never get all the way there), use tape wounds and a mute. The bass should be fretless. The rest is EQ.
    craig0316 and mrcbass like this.
  9. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Headphones are recommended.
    D'Addario black tapewounds and sound hole plug.
    DaveKirkpatrick likes this.
  10. I own a AEBC 5 string Dean. Despite a couple hundred in mods and several string changes I think you can get maybe 7/8 of the way to sounding like an upright but because of string length, body size, fret less neck, and general construction differences you will find it can get you close but not quite there. Acoustic basses do have there own unique sound and issues. You may want to start on a cheaper model and mod to taste like I have. Don't expect it to keep up with 2 or more acoustics, unless they can control their volume.
    MrRubi04 likes this.
  11. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    80% of getting an upright vibe (sez a former upright player) is how and what you play for a bass line. The longer scale length, very different note bloom and sustain, and the relatively short note attack and decay in the upper range all dictate a different technique for playing the upright, and your note choices when you do. Those differences in technique and style are what most people equate with the upright’s unique sonic character. (Its upright character? ;))

    So regardless of what you end up getting, be sure to approach it with an upright player’s mindset and style and you’ll get that much closer to its sometimes elusive quality.

    FWIW the closest I’ve ever gotten to an upright sound with an acoustic bass guitar is with a set of old and totally de-zinged phosphor-bronze rounds on an Epihone El Capitan. I’m sure the huge all maple body and the Shadow pickup and preamp do their part as well. I put it through a small full range keyboard combo amp and it’s close for what I’m aiming for. It’s not that much like the real deal. But it does strongly suggest and bend its knee to the whole “upright thing.”

    Either way it’s close enough to keep me happy until such time as I’ve got about $30-50K burning a hole in my pocket for a real concert quality upright.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  12. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Kala U-Bass through an amp is hard to beat for a fantastic acoustic bass tone.

    Roll that tone off and you're in Uprightville.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  13. If you have the chance, check out the Godin acoustic-https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/A4UltraNSGFL
    Has acoustic/electric, electric and a midi out for all kinds of sounds (including double bass). I have never played one but these look interesting as a literal do it all bass.
    spvmhc likes this.
  14. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    i picked up a Masterbuilt acoustic guitar within the last couple years when they came out ...

    i quickly learned 1 thing ... Masterbuilt & made in china = oxymoron
    Worldeeeter likes this.
  15. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    As previously mentioned you'll be able to approach the DB feel, but never quite get there. Not familiar with that specific instrument, but my jazz band mates are pretty sold when I thump on my Breedlove FL ABG with flats.

    I think the things to look for to get where you want are big bodies and long strings.
    BassManKK, macmanlou and MrRubi04 like this.
  16. MrBassman17


    Dec 30, 2011
    Brewster, NY
    I agree - that's why I want to play one before I shell out the dinero!
  17. MrBassman17


    Dec 30, 2011
    Brewster, NY
    I, too, have the Dean 5 Acoustic. As you mentioned, I did some mods as well, to no avail. It is next to silent without an amp, and for some reason, the B string is half as loud as all the other 4! Can't figure that one out! Installed a better preamp and piezo pickup under the bridge, still no help. That's why I'm looking at the Epi.
  18. BobDeRosa

    BobDeRosa Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 16, 2012
    Penfield, NY
    Owner, Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camps
    The only instrument that will give you the tonal quality of an upright bass is an upright bass. Much of the tone comes from the immense cubic footage of the sound box, which cannot be duplicated in an instrument that fits in your lap. Playing upright certainly has its drawbacks -- daily practice to achieve and maintain great intonation, and carrying around a huge piece of furniture wherever you go -- but it's the only way to get that wonderful sound and to play unamplified.
  19. jaymelewis


    Jan 6, 2010
    Fillmore, CA
    I've never liked acoustic bass guitars because you really need to plug them in before they sound full (the bodies are just too small - think of the size of an Upright Bass). And at that point, since I'm plugging it in anyway, I always think Why don't I just play a regular electric bass guitar? Just my thoughts :)
    BobDeRosa and triode6L6a like this.
  20. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    That Epiphone is beautiful, but the closest I've come to "upright sound" is with the Breedlove Solo Jumbo Fretless.


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