acoustic bass. is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TOMINATOR, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. ive been considering getting an acoustic bass so that i can play it at school and other places easily where a regular bass cant. just wondering if its worth spending a fair bit of money to get a good one?
  2. I own an Ibanez AEB10 - and I love it and play it as often as I can.

    For noodling between classes and taking it to the beach for a non-electric bass and playing around the campfire - well, it's OK - but just barely. It's big. It's fat. it's delicate. It's also quiet.

    Loud it is not and there are no acoustic basses that can really do what most proclaim they can. Without an amp, you might as well play your slab and no amp as an AEB with the same result ----- no projection.

    BUT - on an amp - the same amp you use for your other basses, is great!

    It's a specialty tool - one everyone should own -------------- but not for a metal player.
  3. rsbassist420


    Jun 25, 2011
    I have an Ibanez AEB5, and it's a phenomenal instrument. It's easy to transport and sounds great. I wasn't too excited with the electronics though, so i installed my own pickup, which now, it sounds like heaven. Playing it through my amp without the pickup made it sound flat and lifeless, but it was a great deal. I got it for $200 and it's still in excellent condition. I definitely recommend getting one
  4. chuck65

    chuck65 Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2010
    Orange Park FL.
    I have a Takamine EGB2. It has Fishman electronics and a built in tuner. Sound is great. I have a Hartke 30 watt amp I use just for this bass. The best part about the acoustic (IMHO)is that when you learn to play a riff on it and can finger it clearly and smoothly,you can rip it up on your electric.
  5. acoustic basses still have to be amplified. that's the bummer of it. if you like the sound/feel then go for it, but don't expect it to free you from needing an amp. even an unplugged acoustic guitar will overpower most acoustic basses.
  6. Ursus Tyrannus

    Ursus Tyrannus

    Oct 9, 2010
    Oh man, nothing is better than sitting in my backyard on a hot summers evening grillin some hotdogs, drinkin some iced tea and playin an acoustic bass watchin the bats swoop and swirl until the lighting bugs come out.
    VWbug likes this.
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    An acoustic is handy for practice. That's all I use mine for, but it's enough.
  8. rockscott


    Aug 28, 2010
    I play my epiphone el capitan every chance i get, its tone is amazing! Well worth the money!
  9. staindbass


    Jun 9, 2008
    if your playing alone, its fine. if your playing with another acoustic guitar., you get drowned out. acoustic principals say for an octave down you need 4 times the radiating area (body size) to make the same volume of an octave up. thats why they have them giant mexican triangular acoustic basses.
  10. pbass2

    pbass2 Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    The mexican one (not triangular) is a guitarron, which I play. They project amidst a mariachi band of guitars, trumpets, violins, etc. It's a unique sound (originally it was designed to be a portable "bass harp")-- i actually use mine a fair amount on quirky recording projects. However, playing one is a bear. It's a weird tuning, and the action is crazy high. Intonation is a real struggle (on the short little fretless neck). You don't use regular bass guitar technique on it at all (well, you CAN, but then you lose all your tone and projection). You typically pluck 2-note chords, usually octaves, in a big bold manner with thumb and alternating fingers (in fact, you use your fretting hand thumb too, to "fret" the bottom low A string--it's an instrument that needs to be grappled with gusto)--that's how it gets the traditional booming sound. What some of the real mariachi players can pull off on a guitarron blows my mind.
    You can get em pretty cheap--pretty cool thing to mess around with and have in your quiver.

    The triangular one is a Russian instrument, either the bass balalaika and contrabass balalaika. 3 strings I believe. Wouldn't mind trying one of those out--I bet they'd be cool!
  11. BassIsFun17


    Jan 16, 2006
    ive got a tacoma thunderchief 5 string acoustic/electric. mine was about $1050 brand new, though i think they have been discontinued now. You could probably find one used for like $750 or so. It is an outstanding bass though. Great tone, that gets better with age. As far as overall volume, it holds up pretty well in unplugged jam sessions. though, once a banjo comes in, you're better off with an amp to plug into.
  12. noahw1


    Jul 22, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I bought a Dean acoustic from Musicians friend for 2 bills and have been really happy with my purchase. as already stated they're not loud but for sitting around noodling they're really great. plus, because of the body build i end up playing differently than I do with my regular electric. i wouldn't spend too much money on one though.
  13. Fendr1320


    Jun 14, 2007
    Definitely worth it! You can usually find a pretty workable one on CL or eBay for $200 or so. It is important to know that unless you plug them in they can't keep up volume-wise with acoustic guitar (Thunderchiefs I've heard are a bit louder).
  14. Fendr1320


    Jun 14, 2007
    Whoops, just saw you're in Australia, so I don't know pricewise what's available. They are fun though, and often are really useful. Pickup gigs, campfire singalongs, streetcorners, radio interviews, etc.
  15. Tom Howland

    Tom Howland Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    You have to pay big money for a ABG that will produce volume unplugged.
    Off the rack will not cut it.
    There are no more "Earthwood Bass" or Taylor ABG. or Guild AB50.
    You must go custom and that will cost in the $3000-$5000 range.
    How many people will shell out this kind of bread?
  16. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    Endorsed by K.B. Guitars, Nordstrand Audio Pickups, Von York Strings and Gallien-Krueger Amps.
    I also have an Ibanez AEB 10 and love it. For the money it really can't be beat. It has a good acoustic sound, balanced feel and playing it in pure acoustic form, it has decent projection. With the high end acoustic basses, you may get some nicer features on them but to me it really wasn't worth the extra money.
  17. Demonator

    Demonator Guest

    Jun 14, 2009
    I would buy one, great for practice as said above, plus a very unique sound.
  18. LowB-ing


    Aug 3, 2005
    Do like I did. Buy a guitarron and have it modded. You should be able to get away with a lot less.

    Mine cost me about $800 IIRC, but that was 15 years ago. Less than $2k should be doable today, unless you're looking for fancy quality.
  19. LowB-ing


    Aug 3, 2005
    Oh, and I actually gigged it Friday. Competed with two acoustic guitars and two female vocals and judging from comments from the audience (about 50 people total) I was "loud" in the mix. :D I didn't even mean to, but this thing tends to be louder out in front than to the one playing it.

    ...and I had already had a few so my judgement might not have been at its peak. :p