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Acoustic bass... limited volume?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I was at my local bass shop and tried an Ovation acoustic bass (4 string). I have tried other acoustic basses as well and always walk away thinking the same thing. These things aren't loud enough. If someone is playing acoustic guitar and i am playing an acoustic bass I am going to get drowned out. Sure, often they have the option of being amped, but then it sort of defeats the purpose of having an acoustic bass which you dont have to plug in or deal with any cables.

    I would like to be able to follow my toddler around the house while playing bass, but in order to do so I must be cable free.

    I was thinking of one of those mini Marshalls or Fenders that have a two inch speaker and a belt clip, and are battery powered but I dont know if they would be that great sounding. I doubt it. The acoustic bass would be a better option but again very low volume.

    Any thoughts?
  2. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    i own a carlo robelli acoustic 4. only way ti can keep up with anacoustic guitar alone is if u hit the strings VERY HEARD with a pick. otherwise, no good.

    i don't recommend it. don't like mine at all. plus it lasted a year then the neck warped to hell (and no truss rod) and then the tuners ALL broke.

    yea, its kindle now. next bon fire is gunna be colorful. :)
  3. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Go back up to the store and have someone else play the ABG. Walk away and listen. You'll probably notice a big difference - most ABGs project pretty well once you're away from it.

    Have you tried a Tacoma yet?
  4. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Yes, even the best acoustic basses have "limited volume"...but if all you're worried about is being able to hear it while following your toddler around the house, why do you care whether or not it can keep up with an acoustic guitar or not? Even the cheapest acoustic bass is loud enough to practice with unplugged.

  5. Get an upright... your kid will love you... and so will you...

    no seriously... theres a reason why upright basses were around before acustic basses... because they CAN produce that sound...

    a bit more costly but,

    they shure as heck can produce it
  6. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Every tried roaming around the house carrying an upright bass? :eyebrow:

  7. and you havent? :eyebrow:

    I mean, they even make endpins with wheels on them... why not use them, and whats not to love?
  8. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Yes I have, and I know what a pain it is, and that's why it seems like not a very good option for what he seems to be wanting to do.

  9. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    yeah, i couldnt imagine following around my toddler with an upright. i also have a hard time imagining playing it.:smug:

    my son really likes it when i play the bass or the guitar and is always hammering away on it as i play... often dampening the strings. This forces me to stand up and then he cries cause he cant touch the bass anymore. A future musician for sure.

    Anyway, following my toddler around isnt the only purpose. From time to time I like to just pick up the bass and play even if for two minutes while waiting for my wife etc. It would just be so much the better to have something without the hassle of cables, amps etc.

    The projection of the acoustic bass across the room may well be true. That said, if I can barely hear what I am playing it diminishes my enjoyment.
  10. I think that you are correct that most ABGs aren't very loud compared to a similar acoustic guitar. I have been playing a Tacoma for years and it is pretty loud as ABGs go, but still not as loud as a good acoustic guitar.

    +1 on the fact that you aren't in a good position to hear the ABG while playing it. I've used the old sax player's trick of facing a wall and listening to the reflection. Most ABGs project sound so it is a lot louder sitting in front of one. Technique also makes a big difference. If you aren't putting some pop into your left hand technique it will sound very quiet.

    But, I think that you are overstating the volume problem in all you want to do is play unplugged around the house. They aren't that quiet. I have owned a few other ABGs, and they were all good for just picking up and playing. Those include a Ferrington, and a Hofner-branded korean ABG.
  11. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    hmm... well I would like to use it for acoustic jams too. About once per month I jam with two guitarist friends. In that situation i guess i could just use my electric.

    The Tacoma sounds interesting but I am guessing they are pretty expensive for what I intend to use it for.

    Would string choice affect volume? Maybe heavy strings would be louder? Rounds too I suppose.
  12. Check out the Ibanez AEB10 should be perfect for what your doing only cost about $350 new. I love mine use it for writing with my guitarist lug it in for full band. It projects fine by itself and with one guitar.
  13. Resonator. Loudest ABG on the market. Mine rocks.

    AND it sounds sweet plugged in. Note this Ozark is about 1/3 price of a National, and is still louder.
  14. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    The idea of an acoustic bass guitar is kind of flawed from the beginning. There just is not enough volume in the chamber to reproduce the low frequencies with any efficiency.

    Even a DB is smaller than it really should be to work perfectly. It's just that any larger would be impractical.

    I have flirted with the idea of buying an ABG for years. I just don't think they are loud enough, nor do they sound very good.

    If this were not a problem, Leo would have stuck to six strings.
  15. Man, that Ozark resonator sure looks cool. I'd love to check one out. Looks like they're only available in the UK. I'll be there this fall, must think of a way to get my wife into a music store while on vacation.
  16. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    If your problem is to hear yourself, have a look at http://www.angelfire.com/la2/elloree/custom.html.
    The top item there has an extra soundhole towards the player. Cool idea.

    There's also this german fellow, with the soundholes in the neck direction, and some "transmission line" inside of the body...what's the name, now....:confused:
  17. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    get a guitarone, those project.
  18. AUTUMN.

    I got mine from this place, which is now on the little street with practically all the other guitar shops in London. It's very central, if shops, theatre land and trendy Soho can occupy Mrs Wunderful.
  19. Earwigger

    Earwigger I'm a Roland man now.

    Aug 23, 2005
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I play a Takamine acoustic bass, not sure the model but it has Fishmans and a pre-amp on it. It plays awful, but is the loudest acoustic bass I've ever played. It CAN NOT compete with a single bad acoustic guitar, though. I'm also searching desprately for an acoustic bass that can at least be heard through 2 acoustic guitars. A Fender high-end model I played at Guitar Center came pretty close to it but not enough to warrant the 800$ price tag. There's got to be ONE of em somewhere that can produce volume.... keep looking?
  20. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    And what about that Halfling thingy?

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