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Acoustic bass guitar

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kevinod, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. kevinod


    Jun 29, 2002
    Cork, Ireland

    I'm currently playing with a 3 piece, me on bass, singer + guitar and a drummer. We're talking about doing a couple of acoustic gigs in some of the smaller venues around town,so I'm thinking about getting hold of an acoustic bass guitar.

    I don't want to spend much on it as I'm not planning on using it that much, I already have 2 electric basses (Tanglewood Rebel 4K + my latest baby a Schecter Elite 4, excellent bass IMO! :bassist: ), but at the same time having played for a couple of years want a reasonable bass, good full sound, and with good sound projection, that I can plug into an amp if needed.

    Can anyone suggest a good acoustic bass that fits the bill? I've looked at a Tanglewood (a bit muffled, poor sound projection), Vintage (never a fan of Vintage, these didn't change my mind) and one other that was not bad at all but I can't think of the name... (think it begins with P, they do cheap electric basses too).

  2. kevinod


    Jun 29, 2002
    Cork, Ireland
    Been driving me mad all evening... Stagg is the make I was thinking of. Beautiful looking guitar and excellent sound with good projection too.

    Anyone tried these or know of any other acoustic bass guitars that are good? Budget somewhere up to €400...

  3. Steve-O18


    Feb 19, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I have an Ibanez AEB-10 and I find it has a great sound. I often play unplugged with my friends and you can hear it well through the guitars. It also has Fishman electronics if you want to plug it in. I got mine used off of ebay for a little under 200$ US.
    I've also heard that the Tacom Thundercheif is an excellent acoustic bass. I haven't tried one of these but i'm sure someone on here can fill in some details about them.
    good luck.

  4. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Kev, try searching the archives for "ABG" - you'll find days of reading!

    If you're short of time, just buy a Tacoma Thunderchief - IMO the best ABG that's mass produced. I have no idea what they'd sell for in your part of the world, however.
  5. Thunderchief is Good Medicine

    Try to get a beat up used U.S. model. If not, try to find the Olympia korean ones. Mine was abused and I bought it from an ebay store for 275. I think it was Oklahoma guitar center or something like that.

    These things are great. I use TI Acousticores and they sound and feel awesome. But these things can feed back if you stand too close to a sloudpeaker. Just have to be careful. They are designed to vibrate loud enough to project unplugged. The downside is that the top gets excited and resonates when playing them plugged.
  6. mburd


    Aug 20, 2004
    For Tacoma Thunderchum feedback issues try this gizmoe:
    $25 + ship. Haven't tried his, but using a cheezy homemade replica greatly reduced feedback on mine. Careful use of the phase switch (on the LR Baggs equipped unit) helps too.
    And Acousticores are the only-est strings I use on mine..
    Thinkin of stringing it BEAD for grins.
  7. Yeah the TI acousticore are the only choice. I hate regular phosphorus on steel strings. They are painful to play and sound more like a guitar. I would consider conventional tapewounds though. I noticed Chuck Rainey with a Thunderchief and black tapewounds.

    I only use the phase switch in an emergency. I don't want the lows cut. I have the Baggs pre too. Killer sound with the ribbon tranducer thing.

    thanks for the link.
  8. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    First of all, most ABGs will not hold up to a three piece unamplified, so you may want to consider another route. There's a lot of inexpensive pieces of trash out there, but I found a nice one amongst them. It's ugly, it's cheap, but it sounds and feels good. Don't rule out ANYTHING. I have a Brownsville (cheap Sam Ash beginner brand) Acoustic Bass Guitar that was discontinued AND was a floor model, so I walked out with it for $99 cash. They wanted $115 for the case, so I started laughing, and they felt bad and threw in some strings. Dummies.

    Anyway, enough about my cheapo ABG, if you can find one, check out a Thunderchief, or an Olympia copy like said before. Buy used, check out the ones that look beat up (they were probably played a lot, which probably means they project well) and last but not least, strings matter a LOT!

    Play a lot of 'em, and don't rule anything out.

    Play with a pick, and you're gonna be fine.
  9. kevinod


    Jun 29, 2002
    Cork, Ireland
    Thanks for all the feedback guys, keep 'em coming! :)

    Ibanez AEB-10 sounds interesting alright, I'll keep an eye out for those, and the Tacom Thunderchief.

    BEAD sounds like a good plan, I've only played 4 string so far but would like the lower reaches of the b string I think.

    I searched for "acoustic bass guitar" and didn't get very far, thanks for the ABG hint.

  10. kevinod


    Jun 29, 2002
    Cork, Ireland
    Now that would be a problem, but 3 piece isn't much... With an abg you're not likely to be soloing it, and amplifying it more or less defeats the whole purpose of it being acoustic. If I was only amplifying it I'd just use one of my electrics and not buy an acoustic... Surely it would hold up to that???

    Thanks for the advice... makes sense that the much played ones are likely better, once they're not badly abused I guess!

    Main problem with play a lot of them is the music shops where I am (Cork, Ireland) are pretty poor when it comes to selection, most shops will have a few electric basses but one or 2 acoustics at most if at all. So many times I've heard the assistant tell me "we don't have it in stock but whatever you want we can order it in". Usually I just won't buy a bass without playing it first, but could be willing to take the risk for this one, if I get a good deal on one highly recommended to me...

    I'm in the US every so often with work too, picked up my Schecter there, brought it all the way back from LA (hardcase, Skyline I think?), not a single customs guy asked me about it on the way back! :smug:

    Thanks, any other suggestions welcome, I'll have a scan on ebay, but current plan is to check out the january sales... tempted to visit NY in Jan too, so could find something then...

  11. Just one word of advice. Steer clear of Stagg. They are in the same league as squire. I agree with the above and suggest you should try and go for used.

    I have a Da Capo fretless ABG and couldn't be happier. Had a tanglewood before which was ok I guess. Look around.
  12. kevinod


    Jun 29, 2002
    Cork, Ireland

    thanks for that, but curious why not Stagg?The electric basses don't look the best, don't think I'd fancy those alright but of the ones I've tried the Stagg acoustic impressed the most, or rather was the only one that impressed of the 3.

    A fretless or 5 string would be cool alright but prob more expensive, still though if I came across one...

  13. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Hey, I got a Kramer Ferrington that I can part with, seeing as how I just picked up a Dimeslime due to today's cirumstances.

    I had a thunderchief, great ABG, and this thing has all that volume that had. If you should play with a pick, I think you would be heard quite well. Its not in the best condition, but it is solid and sounds great. If you don't mind the headstock, this is a sweetie.
  14. You should not pick this unplugged. You need to put muscle into it about three fingers from the bridge using TI acousticores. They have nylon cores so they permit this. Steel cores don't. You can dig in and get great bark. If you stand by a corner in a room with tile or wood floors, you will be amazed.
  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I tend to dig in hard like you're describing on my Thundercheif to get big bark. But I don't go three fingers from the bridge, I anchor my thumb on the heel of the neck and play more with the sides of my fingers like an upright. I'm actually plucking over the neck/cutaway. The only problem with this technique is that like an upright it required very high action on the bass in order to get good vibration and big sound. However, the extra effort the high action requires really makes it worth it when those strings get going. The Thunderchief sounds wonderful this way. I have never used TI acousticores nor do I have any inclination to to so. I'm very happy with LaBella black tapewound acoustic strings. They are really nice, and Carvin sells 'em online for really cheap! I liked the original D'Addario Phosphor Bronze and Elixer bronzes as well, but I like the LaBellas better.