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Acoustic Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tjglfr, Apr 22, 2002.

  1. tjglfr


    Apr 22, 2002
    Sierra Madre, CA
    A group of friends from work,want to get together and start playing Beatles acoustic songs.
    What's a good, but not too expensive acoustic bass.
    Perhaps in the $500 or less range. Or a good used one for this price.
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    IME, to answer your question specifically, there is no such thing as a good, inexpensive acoustic bass.

    The topic has been discussed at great length.

    A common abbreviation for this instrument is ABG. So, a search for ABG and acoustic bass should yield a significant amount of reading material for you.

  3. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    "Good" is, of course, the issue.

    If you are planning to play strictly acoustically, you should go to your nearest Sam Ash and check out the two models they have. I have yet to hear anything costing less than a grand play louder acoustically than the Carlo Robelli ABG's, and they sell for $220 and $250.

    I have not plugged these things in yet so I can't comment on that facet. They are also lighter in weight than anything else I've tried; that may actually be why they are louder. I also haven't ever seen a 5-year-old one, so I don't know how they hold up.
  4. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    The Regal resonator bass is the loudest one I have heard. I tried one out recently, IIRC they wanted $350. It seemed kinda cheaply made, so I don't know how well they will hold up in the long term. The Regal was much louder than my Washburn AB20. No matter what you get, I think you will need some kind of amplification to be heard over two guitars and vocals.
  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    In the sub-$500 range, I've liked Dean and (gasp!) Carlo Robelli (Sam Ash house brand). However, after a year of trying all the different ABGs I could find, I decided I liked the Tacoma much more...mine arrived today. Wow! Bass to die for...

    Suggestion - buy one at a store that has a return privilege, and try it in the situation in which you'll be using it. Even a Tacoma sounds weak in a barn!
  6. Check ebay. There are usually some fairly nice ones for not too much cash.
  7. Jiimy


    Mar 3, 2002
    Athens AL, USA
    I really dig Tacoma and Ovation acoustic basses, I dunno how much they usually cost though.
  8. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    I did read a review that said while these resonator basses are indeed louder overall, they have very little in the way of bottom end, being nothing more than a long neck and bigger strings on the maker's regular guitar body.

    So you definitely want to listen to that one before you buy it!
  9. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay

    Ok mine (five string, special order) cost me $788, but on my last visit to Guitar Center I saw a budget priced Tacoma bass (cant remeber the offical brand name). Well anyways I was skeptical, but it was really impressive. I would go for that, it does good battle with my Tacoma. It seemed well built, and sounded good. Had they been around when I got my Tacoma, I probably wouldve gotten one of those.

    I stongly believe that Tacoma is the only true ABG (the others cant even be heard with an acoustic guitar). Go for the budget Tacoma.

  10. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    That would be an Olympia, Tacoma's Korean brand. I saw one yesterday - very nice! $425 or so at GC - It would definitely be on my short list for sub-$500 ABGs. I had forgotten all about it when I posted earlier.

    (Back to the bedroom to fondle the Thunderchief again...)
  11. I bought an Epiphone El segundo on Ebay for $230.
    I haven't seen anything about the Epi's here, but I am very pleased with mine.
  12. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    The Ibanez AEB30-LG is a medium-scale bass that is surprisingly good considering the moderate price (well within your range). It's also equipped with a downright spectacular sounding Fishman piezo system. Try one through your rig and you'll probably be blown away with the tone. A rubber sound-hole mute is a necessity however, otherwise, it'll feed back like mad. You'll also likely need to shave the bridge down on the bottom side in order to make it playable--they come with impossibly high action from the factory.

    In all, a really quality Korean-made instrument.
  13. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I dont doubt that the Ibanez would sound good through your rig, but what about unplugged.

    I believe thats what he's looking for.

  14. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Sounds great unplugged. The other detail was offered as a way of comparing it to other basses.
  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Another brother. Welcome to the "real" ABG world. Current population: 1 (Tacoma). :D
  16. MikeD


    Aug 28, 2000
    Upper Midwest
    I currently have a Washburn AB-10 that I've re-strung with tape wounds. It sounds pretty good ,and is faily loud for an acoustic bass. Though the action is still a bit high. And I'd prefer a shorter scale. But there wasn't much available when I bought it.

    If I had to do it over I'd buy a Fender BG-29 (out-of -prod). Short scale (29-3/4) and a great sound for around $500 new. They have since replaced it with the BG-32, but there may be a few out there yet. I don't know what retail is on the 32. Nor have I played one yet.

    Fender has done some great things with acoustic instruments as of late. Their GA-45SCE is one of the finest A/E I've ever played. Acoustic or amplified. Great look and feel also. Quite heavy for an acoustic. Great sustain. Just a sweet guitar. And for less the $700 retail.

    Given this I'd guess the BG-32 ain't bad either.
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Hey, MikeD, looks like you win the award for longest time between registration date and your first post!:)
  18. MikeD


    Aug 28, 2000
    Upper Midwest
    Sorry. Didn't mean to take so long. Life has kept me busy. :)
  19. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I saw a second Olympia Thunderchief yesterday.

    If you have any interest in these, try before you buy! The first one was fine, but the second was a train wreck - lots of visible glue slop, a crappy plywood top, a chubby neck.

    It's interesting to see how they make the Chinese (it's not Korean) Olympia compared to the Tacoma original - glued-up neck block from plywood vs. one-piece, ply vs. solid top, etc.

    One of the Olympias could be a good deal - if you shop carefully!
  20. MikeD


    Aug 28, 2000
    Upper Midwest
    Just a note:

    My nephew has an Oscar Schmidt OB100, w/Sunburst finish. It's a 32" scale and sounds dang good, both plugged (he plays through a Peavy TKO 115) and unplugged. MSRP is about $750 but I think you could find one cheaper somewhere. I almost bought a used one for $400 just before I came across the AB10. (I paid $350 new w/case)

    I was very impressed with the sound through the Peavy. Tons of bottom. And being 32" much easier to play than my AB10. (short arms) I'm thinking of offering to swap him.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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