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Acoustic Bass setup

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by buldog5151bass, Nov 7, 2003.


  1. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    I just got a Tacoma acoustic bass as a present from my wife (lovely gal she is). I have never played one before (been playing Fenders for about 25 years).

    Simple and quick question. Are there any differences on how the neck should be set up, and what about strings - any problems with using a heavier gauge (I don't intend to do much bending, so I assume a heavier gauge would give a richer sound like with an acoutic guitar).

    Thanks for any ideas.
     
  2. From my limited experience with ABG's I've learned that the right string for the particular instrument is ALL important. You've got to find a string that has enough mass to get the top of the bass vibrating to make sound volume.

    My friend BassMonkee had the very same problem. Incredibly beautiful bass but not much volume. A string change solved that and he's happy now - I think - sometimes it's hard to tell
     
  3. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    You sayin' I'm surly? :mad: :D

    It took me 5 different sets of strings to find something I was truly happy with. And, since my bass is a 6 string, it got to be $$$. :meh:

    I was never a fan of the phosphor bronze bass strings, so those came off almost immediately.

    The TI Acousticores are great, but too little tension for any real acoustic volume at all. They were meant for piezos, but some people have been happy with them on ABGs. I just wasn't one of them--the acoustic didn't sound like an acoustic at all. Sounded fine plugged up, but didn't even sound like a plugged in acoustic. YMMV

    LaBella tapewounds have a great thumpy tone that really works with ABGs. I wanted a little more top end since my 6 string ABG has a high c and I was doing a lot of chord work.

    Rotosound Monel flats had a lot of tension, so I was getting lots of volume. Umfortunately, the Rotos I picked up were making strange wolf tones, and were a bad set that wouldn't intonate at all properly above the 12th fret. So, those went, too.

    I finally settled on TI Jazz Rounds. They have a nice smooth top end, decent tension to get a good acoustic volume (I won't kid myself that I could play with even an acoustic guitar without amplification, though). They sound great for chords, and there are no strange intonation issues anywhere on the bass.

    So, those are my recommendations--LaBella tapewounds (Carvin has the best price that I've seen online), or TI Jazz Rounds if you want some of that roundwound sparkle without going into phosphor bronze tinny territory.

    Now, if I could just find an acoustic pickup system that will satisfy me without feeding back like a banshee live.

    You're right Hammy--It is tough to tell when I'm happy. :bassist:
     
  4. NV43345

    NV43345

    Apr 1, 2003
    I have 4 ABG's and I use the Phospher Bronze strings, on all of them. D'addario and GHS both
    make them. I think there 45-95. They have alot
    more volume that regular steel strings.:) And
    last forever. Be carefull when ordering them, ABG's come in three scale lengths 30" 32" 34".
    I have even seen different scale lenghts within
    the same brand.
     
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Gracias dudes. I actually had never played one of these before (other than fooling around in a store). But this seems to offers lots of possibilities - can get a deep tone (a la the string bass I played all those years ago), and is getting me into playing more chords. Should be a gas.
     
  6. Nah, I'm sayin' that you hear things the rest of us don't - and can play things the rest of us can't. ;)
     
  7. From another thread.


    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Gracias for the info. I'll give them a shot.
     
  9. NV43345

    NV43345

    Apr 1, 2003
    Quote: I just got a Tacoma acoustic bass as a present from my wife (lovely gal she is). I have never played one before.

    I had a chance to play one of these at GC this
    weekend. The strings that came on the Bass were
    just Fine. I am sure there R&D dept did alot of testing with different strings and found these to
    work the best for that Bass. If my wife gave me one of those, I would leave the strings that came
    on it.By the way, very nice Bass, great tone & feel.If I did not have 4 ABG's already I would
    have bought it. :)
     
  10. Cougmeister

    Cougmeister

    Oct 1, 2012
    Any Idea what strings come on them from the factory? I aquired a used olympia bass (almost the same thing) and have been thinking about trying some different stuff. It had phosphor bronze on it when I bought it, but they were pretty much toast and I couldn't get a good feel of them. Right now I have Fender Flatwounds on it.
     
  11. satellite4

    satellite4

    May 23, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    My Fender acoustic bass came with phosphor bronze strings...didn't like them at first, seemed a bit 'cheap' to me...after 4 days of solid playing I love them...great volume and they feel alot less stiff/cheap feeling than when I first started playing.
     
  12. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    IIRC all three of my ThunderChiefs came from the factory with D'Addarios - EPBB170 on the four, EPBB170-5 on my fives. I immediately scrapped them for LaBella black nylon tapes.
     
  13. Cougmeister

    Cougmeister

    Oct 1, 2012
    Any way you could post a sound clip? I finally got my bridge adjusted properly and wouldn't mind comparing that to the Elixirs I just put on it.
     
  14. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I don't really have a way of doing a clip, but IIRC there are YT vids out there of this combination.
     
  15. I bought a Fender AB-1 [ short scale] in late 1998. 3-Band Fishman transducer. It came with bronze rounds, which made it sound like what it is; a bass guitar.

    As expected, it has little volume without amplification and would take the body of a full sized string bass to get adequate volume..I digress...

    I wanted a bass for soft volume practice could be taken anywhere; outdoors, to the park..wherever and without an amp.

    Some months later, I re-strung it with La Bella flats[ nickel?].
    Then it sounded like a Bass.

    Sadly, that bass have never held tuning and intonation is bad, to where I have relinquished it to last choice of 5 basses.

    Sometimes I think of it as no more than a toy bass, which is sad, because I want to love that bass again. Any suggestions about holding its' tuning and beter intonation are appreciated.