acoustic basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Albino_Ryno, Dec 5, 2001.

  1. Albino_Ryno

    Albino_Ryno Guest

    Sep 17, 2000
    Knoxville TN
    I'm not exactly a fan of most of the acoustic basses out there. In fact there really hasn't been a single one that I've played that was anywhere near loud enough with out being amplified. But all that aside, I need something at home that I can bang around on without disturbing the neighbors at night but also something that sounds good plugged in. I'm not wanting to sink a big chunk of change into this bass so I was looking in my good ol' musician's friend catalog and saw a Rogue for about $250. Also I figured while I was at it I might get the fretless version so I'll have something to practice my fretless skills (of which I have little to none) on. Now my question is for anybody out there that has this Rogue bass or a similar cheap acoustic/electric bass that they would suggest. I just want an idea of what kind of sound it's going to give me and whether or not I should get the fretless version or not.
  2. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    But if thats the case isnt a quiet acoustic bass a good thing?
    And acoustic means exactly that, acoustic, un-amplified.

    Ah well thats just my 2 cents
  3. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Seems to me you really want a solid body and a headphone amp (e.g. C-tech)
  4. I just played around with one at Guitar Center the other day and it was sweet.
    When I first wanted to get a Bass i looked around for an acustic because the guys I was practacing with all played acustics, tried several different brands and they all came up lame ( realy disliked the sound of the Ovation even though the body makes it very comfortable to play) none of them had any kind of Volume and they sounded like I was playing them inside a blanket. But not the one I picked up the other day it was bright and loud( heck the salesman even slapped on it).
    Bad news is it cost 900$ retail.
  5. Si-bob


    Jun 30, 2001
    High Wycombe, UK
    Focusrite / Novation
    i'v played a few crafter ones in bass center in london, both the 4, 5 and fretless models, very nice indeed...well, fer the money, the 5 was £399, the 4 was £299 and the fretless was about £320 i think. i was gonna get a 5 with a high C, but my new Bass Collection beckoned! :)

  6. Don't know how you set your basses up, but if you are anything like me, it is going to be difficult to find a "new" acoustic bass for under $350 - $400 that is comfortable. You can probably get a good deal on a used one, but you have to try them out - at least, I would.
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Mike it sounds like you've gotten your hands on a Tacoma Thunderchief. I own one and absolutely love it. Loud acoustically, records GREAT with a microphone. Fantastic bass. And $900+.

    Albino, anything but the Tacoma will not be loud enough. Sounds like you are looking for a practice amp.
  8. 72beetle


    Jun 10, 2001
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I got my acoustic/electric off ebay new for about $170. It's made by Johnson, and although I wouldn't call it a high-end instrument by any means, it suits my needs just fine - playing at home, playing in parks, any place where an amp isn't practical. It's loud enough to hear when accompanied by an acoustic guitar (nylon or steel), the action's not too horrible (although it is on the high side), the body's a little on the largish side, but for what I paid for it, it was a good deal.

  9. Philbiker
    Yeah It may have been a Tacoma, Natural finish with a F-Clef(think thats the right term) shaped hole where the Ovation has em. Had to leave fast before I took My credit card out haha.
  10. JeremyC


    Oct 5, 2001
    Berkeley, CA
    I have a Hohner ABG that I bought cheap in a pawnshop. However, I think that all ABG's are stupid instruments (why not be controversial? <g>(said while donning flameproof underwear)). They are too soft to play without amplification and they feedback too much to play with amplification.

    I you want to practice quietly, get the smallest amp possible or a headphone amp and practice using your main bass. I have a 15 watt guitar amp that I sometimes use for that purpose.

    You could put the peghead of your bass against the wall and use the natural amplification. Try it and you'll see what I mean. You could also touch part of your bass to a hollow door.

    If you really want a bass to practice with no amp at low volumes, I would recommend getting something like a Hofner Beatle bass or a Jack Casady Epiphone. They are semi-acoustic, might solve the problem and then you'd have another cool bass to play in your band (and in your music videos.

    Jeremy Cohen
  11. JWBass


    Jul 20, 2001
    Levittown, PA
    I own a Guild B-40 and it sounds great unplugged or not! You must remember, acoustics aren't supposed to be "loud". Acoustic music is meant to be "intimate" and subtle. When you plug them into an amp, that's only to allow more volume to fill a room or a hall.

    Don't lose your perspective on what you're playing, or trying to accomplish. If you want loud, then plug inthe electric. If you want quiet, the go with the ABG.
  12. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Best audible cheapies IMO are the new deep-bodied Washburn AB-3xs. For about 300 more, you can get yourself the best ABG on the market right now in terms of volume and tone, ie. Tacoma Thunderchief.
  13. Oh, relax, I'm not gonna flame anybody. But really, I have to say that I disagree. Many people post similar things, and I think what they really mean is that they just don't like acoustic basses. Heck, I'm not interested in trumpets, but I can't say they're stupid. I just don't care much about them.

    An acoustic bass is not the same instrument as a solid-body electric. It's also not a double-bass, though it sometimes has a similar voice. And like 72beetle said, they're great for playing in lots of unelectrified places. I take mine camping, and it stays on a stand in the living room. If I have 5 minutes between doing other things, I pick it up and play. I wouldn't bother to plug in my electric for that, but with the acoustic I probably pick it up 10 times a day.

    It's true that I don't disturb neighbors with it, but if my wife is asleep I usually play the electric with a headphone amp. The acoustic is loud enough to wake someone up in the next room, I think.

    Albino_Ryno, I was also very interested in that Rogue fretless. I live in Korea, though, so shipping was going to be a hassle. I ended up buying a different acoustic here, a real cheapo, which I soon defretted. After playing a fretless acoustic in a store, I fell in love with it, and I've since gone to fretless on all 3 of my basses. I hope you do try it, and let us know how you like it. It's a cheap instrument, why not experiment with fretless?
  14. Oh, another thing. I think that Rogue is a 32 inch scale, if that matters to you. It doesn't much to me--makes it a little smaller and more portable, and the finger spacing isn't that different. It's just like playing the same thing on a 34 inch, only a little higher up on the neck.

    My acoustic amplifies fine, but I've never tried it at high volume. For that, a thin hollow body works better, I think.
  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I used to agree with this. I was convinced that the ABG was a flawed concept at the core. I was not interested unless I could sit on the porch with my brother playing guitar and singing, and keep up volume wise. I played acoustics from Epiphone, Martin, Taylor, Ovation, etc., etc., in music stores and in people's houses. I was totally convinced that ABGs were all really just hollow body electrics that feed back a lot.

    Then I played a Tacoma Thunderchief. Plugged it in and controlled feedback with the fine Fishman Prefix Plus.

    Three days later I bought it. It is currently one of my favorite basses.
  16. JeremyC


    Oct 5, 2001
    Berkeley, CA
    I guess I'll have to try one of those Tacoma Thunderchief thingies. Or find one of the legendary Earthwood basses.

    But Philbiker hit the nail on the head...if it were a real acoustic instrument I could sit on the porch and play a duet with my brother. Currently his Martin guitar drowns out my ABG and there is no bottom end coming from the ABG. It's a more satisfying experience for me to pull out my (gasp) Gibson guitar if we need to play unamplified duets.

    I do enjoy playing my ABG solo in the living room but I end up playing guitar type stuff on it, lots of chords, chord melody stuff, bossa nova guitar style things. I had the ABG strings on it, trying to get more volume, but I switched to the Thomastic nylon strings and now I get a really mellow acoustic sound.

    I still haven't figured out any way to use my ABG with amplification if there is a drummer. It sounds fine if there is just me and a guitar. But of course if I have to bring an amp, I might as well use an electric.

    And I have an electric bass sitting on a stand next to my computer, plugged into an amp and everything, which I pick up while waiting for downloads to complete, installations to finish, scans to scan, photoshop to do its thing, etc.

    Jeremy Cohen