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Acoustic Bass guitar advice?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TenorClef, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. I'm looking for a acoustic bass guitar which i intend to use with a roland cube 30. Its fixer for me as i my double bass is a real pain in taxis and buses. So i'm looking for an acoustic bass which will be portable and a whole lot easier to manage with the dinky cube amp. Gig situations, nothing loud just quiet jazz trio/quartet type stuff.

    So questions-

    Anything to avoid?
    What is worth looking for?
    Bear in mind its gonna be amped anyway but i want to hear some acoustics from the thing thats why i'm not looking for a slab.

    Thanks for any help in advance. :)
  2. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Definitely check out a Turner Electroline. It's not exactly an "acoustic", it's a fretless with piezo's (at least mine is), but it sounds much better than any "acoustic" bass I've ever played. I picked one up off eBay recently, and I'm very VERY impressed with it. It's a fiver, 35" scale, with only two knobs, volume and tone. But the range of sound this bass can produce is simply astounding. I can get that jazz upright thing going with no problem at all, then switch over into the sweetest Jaco sound you ever heard (except maybe if Jaco was playing). :D Definitely worth a checkout. :)
  3. Thanks for that, but i'm definetly heading more towards the fretted bass than frettless (don't want to learn two frettless positions,DB & F'less Guitar, one is bad enough!).

    Anyway i saw this for i think about $300 in USA-


    also i had a look at this one two-


    The latter is a fender with no cut away which i like because i don't do that Jaco stuff anyway! Also i see their is a ton of acoustic guitar basses on ebay. They are so much cheaper than double basses which is cool as i don't want to spend a fortune. Fender basses any good?
  4. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Okay, sorry, my bad. I read "fiver" instead of "fixer". Actually, both of those basses look nice. I like the idea of flexibility in the EQ, that's always a good thing. On the other hand, more knobs to tweak, right? Are you going to get a chance to "try before you buy"?
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Try a search here for the term "ABG". Generally the best acoustic out there is generally recognized as the Tacoma Thunderchief family. Some people prefer some other models, but the Tacoma is consistently praised. It's got a ginormous 16" body and is a bit of a beast to lug around (but surely not compared to a doghouse!!!) so it may not be the bass for your situation. I liken carrying my Tacoma in the hard case with a shoulder strap to carrying a Cello. It's a bit larger than a Cello case, but about the same volume. The Tacomas feedback like hell unless you get the top-of-the-line preamp option which is a Fishman prefix plus. Highly recommended! You can feel and hear the bass really nicely when you play it.

    I absolutely adore my thunderchief more every time I play it. There's a budget Korean model from Tacoma's budget brand "Olympia".

    I've read good things about the Dean Performer bass also, and the one I tried briefly impressed me. Most ABGs like the ones you've linked sound really nice plugged in, but very few sound loud acoustic. If you're planning on plugging in anyway, this isn't a problem. I like both options that you've linked.
  6. BassFelt


    Mar 26, 2002
    I know you mentioned fretted, but for replacement of a double bass, I've found the Takamine B10 to be a fantastic solution. You can hear me play one on www.deborahjcarter.com if you're interested. I carry it around in a gigbang, but it also fits in a cello case, which is easy for flying.
  7. If i read that right the body depth is 16inches? :eek: That made me measure my db which is half that depth! Ok so even taking that into account my db is still huge. The Tacoma is really only something i'd consider if i was going to use it acoustic only, not really the situation for me. Their is a guitar shop in my town but i think they have only one ABG, i'll have to check it out to get a feel of the thing. A lot of places don't seem to advertise the specs on ABG, once their amped any way i reckon the whole acoustic thing becomes subject.
  8. I checked out the fender site apparently the ABG32 is only 4-5 inches in depth but looks great from the pictures. How does it sound when amped? Anybody tried one?
  9. I've had a Dean Performer for several years for the same reasons you want an ABG. For the money, it's hard to beat. In my exploring, the only ABG that was louder unplugged was a Martin for about $600 more. Mine is fretted and strung with TI Jazz Flats. Nice and thumpy. Just my $.02
  10. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I agree! If you can find a shop that has a B10 to try out it may be a good solution. You can play it arco and it has a stand for upright playing. It looks like an ABG but works like an upright. It's another fretless scale to deal with, though, and it is pretty pricey also. It's a really beautiful and unique instrument.

    The Tacoma isn't 16" deep it's 16" wide at the body top to bottom. The depth is about normal acoustic guitar depth, a little deeper.
  11. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Not really. These basses, even if very quiet, get their amplified sound from the same vibrations as you hear. Even if they're quiet unamplified you're still hearing the acoustic properties of the bass when amplified.
  12. cat_saltnpepper


    Aug 15, 2004
    check the rob allen deep 3/4 bass...I tried it and sounds really sweet, exceptionally light. short scale eased my arms:)
    or yamaha custom acoustic bass. I saw nathan east and abraham laboriel play it, sounds good in either fretless or fretted.
  13. I checked this bass out it looks really good, i just think the cut away is not necessary for my needs which is why i'm leaning towards the Fender ABG32.

    Interesting info though and insights.
  14. So what other acoustic basses are worth considering?
  15. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Well, this is probably a given, but an ABG is going to sound nothing like a DB. Have you considered an Electric DB? They are far more portable than a traditional DB.
    As far as ABG's...

    Dean made one called the Exotica Del Sol in 2002 and 2003. They are rather hard to come by and sold for about $600 new when in production. They sound really great, good volume, and are a great looker- BIG improvement over the Performer. Hard to find though...

    Tacoma's are a great choice as said, but are around $700-$1000 new for the USA models. The USA Tacomas kick the crap out of the Korean ones that cost half the price. If you go Tacoma go USA.

    Martin makes an awesome ABG, but they are very pricey. You will likely pay at least $1,000.

    The Epiphone El Capitan doesn't have great acoustic volume, but has a really good amplified sound. It amplifies much better than most ABG's I've tried. They sell for $400-$500 new in most cases.

    Ibanez makes a couple acoustic models in teh $300-$500 range, but they are kind of hit and miss- some are great, some are annoying.

    I have had nothing but bad experiences with Fender's ABG's- hgih action, bad volume, and poor tone, at least with the factory strings. Not worth the $300. The Squier models are around $200 and are practically unplayable.
  16. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I have an Ibanez 5 ABG and, frankly, it does what I expected, which is to look cool in an acoustic setting while only sounding good when amplified. I think most ABGs are that way, the Tacoma Thunderchief being a possible exception. The I is nice looking, has decent action, a usuable amplified tone, and that's quite a bit of under $500US.
  17. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Well, you can see mine in my profile picture:
    Martin ALt-X

    Pretty nice, but mainly a plugged in deal.
    It really doesn't project loudly, but it sounds like a souped up P-bass when plugged in.

    If you want something that throws...Epifone El Capitan, Tacoma Thuderchief, or a Taylor (though I think they are discontinued).
  18. Quality


    May 7, 2003
    Long Beach, CA
    I have the five string version of this one.


    Good tone plugged in and not too bad unplugged. I've been using it for about 3 years now with no complaints. I tried the Fenders but liked the feel of this better (personal preference I guess).

    I guess it depends on what price range your in.
  19. I don't think i'll spend more than $600 USA dollars.
  20. ksukev


    Aug 24, 2004
    Spam deleted