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Acoustic Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Trist6075, Sep 6, 2002.


  1. Trist6075

    Trist6075 Guest

    Mar 6, 2001
    I just became interested in buying an acoustic bass today. We have this great courtyard at my work and I always thought about bringing my bass in but never did. Today I'm coming back from my lunch break and this guy is playing acoustic guitar. After talking to him I realize that I should have been doing this all along.

    We're gonna jam tomorrow at lunch, but the one thing I hate is playing with an unplugged electric bass up against an acoustic guitar. I can never hear myself play. So I am really considering buying an acoustic bass. It would be great for unplugged jam sessions, would be quieter for practicing in those no loud noise situations, and could even be used during coffee house gigs(which is what I plan on playing before anything else)right? I don't want to spend more than about 400 dollars on one though. Can I get a decent one for that. Are Carlo Robellis any good, I know they're inexpensive. Can you guys give me any helpful hints I need to know? Thanks.

    Tristan
     
  2. icks

    icks

    Jul 12, 2001
    Charleroi, Belgium
    there are a lot of threats about ABG, the problem is "Is it loud enought" the loudest is the tacoma but it is 400$ ... I choosed a unknown brand, i pick uo the ceapest I found, it's a "motion" and costs 250$

    In usa it's cheaper so with 400 bucks you can affort a Ibanez or Epiphone el capitain... I don't really know about them but... You have to try the one you want....
     
  3. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have an Epiphone El Capitan, and it is barely loud enough unplugged to play with one acoustic guitar. It helps to play with a pick, the added attack makes it cut through a little better than fingerstyle. It is great for practicing by yourself, but you would still need to plug in for a coffee house gig. It would work OK for jamming at work, but don't expect a lot of volume. That is true of most ABGs. The body just isn't big enough for the low frequencies of a bass guitar. What you generally hear unplugged is the note with very little fundemental.

    Another option would be to get a small battery operated amp like the Pignose, and use your electric bass instead of spending the money on an ABG.
     
  4. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The Tacoma is the only acoustic I've ever experienced that can play along with an acoustic guitar. Unless the acoustic guitarrist is playing hard (or playing a Larrive) then it will get drowned out. They make a budget model "Olympia" that may be in your price range. Do a search.
     
  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Yep, I'd look at the Olympias, but play before you buy. Like most imported basses, some are great, some suck, and the majority are OK. You may also want to check out the different versions of the Dean ABG.

    Do you play with a pick? If you do, any ABG will probably work just fine. I can keep up with one guitar fingerstyle, but if I use a felt pick, I absolutely bury him.

    The Olympias I've seen have been $400 ~ $450. The Deans can be had for a lot less. As a matter of fact, someone here is selling a Dean for cheap - check out the "for sale" threads. It was in the last week or two. (And ignore my post to that thread - I have no interest in the sale, financial or otherwise!)
     
  6. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I have a Jasmine by Takamine. I play hear at work with one acoustis guitar. We play in my photog studio. He's doing the piedmont blues finger picking style and I still have to use an amp because it's just not loud enough. I bought one of those little battery powered Pignose amps. It sucks but at least I can be heard.
     
  7. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    Another vote for the Pignose bass/keyboard amp. I have a Rob Allen which is semi-hollow which is better than a solid body, but still gets drowned out by 1 Acoustic guitar. The Pignose works great.
     
  8. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    I have a Washburn AB20 and it is barely loud enough to hear over one guitar. I think you would probably be better off with (as suggested) a small battery-powered amp. The loudest one that I have played is the Regal resonator ABG.
     
  9. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
  10. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    About a month ago, I got a Pignose 30 for $139.
     
  11. What about the playability of the ABGs? Does the large body make them clumsy and unweildy? I heard a fretless El Capitan on a jazz gig and the player got a really nice sound for jazz (amplified, of course). I've been thinking about buying one for that application.
     
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Yes. At least this is true for my Tacoma. But it´s worth it.
     
  13. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    It's definetly more of a sit down and play kinda thing. As far as tone goes though I get great tone from it out of my gig rig. But as with most hollow body instruments feed back can be a problem on a gig. If you do get one, change those aweful phosphor bronze strings to the LaBelle black tape wounds. Much deeper and smoother tone, I think anyway.
     
  14. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Yep - I agree!
     
  15. Erm... I don't. I've tried tape wound strings on my 5 string ABG and really was not at all happy with the resulting intonation. The give a nice "thump" but the benefits didn't match up in my opinion. I now only use TI Acousticore. Expensive, and an aquired taste (low tension=a little rolling around) but their sound is awesome and the intonation problems I had are now gone. Maybe not so hot on projecting sound, but the quality is all there.

    Of course, YMMV.
     
  16. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    My Epiphone El Capitan came from the factory with nickel plated roundwounds, so I changed them immediately (you know, an ABG shouldn't have nickel plated electric strings on it...). I tried Phosphor bronze, tape wound, and flat wound, and to my surprise I liked the nickel plated steel better than all of them. I now have nickel plated in taper wound, which give me a little lower action.
     
  17. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    My Tacoma 5 string does fine against two acoustic guitars. I am actually told to play softer sometimes (usually when I really dig in).

    My new band is planning on playing some coffee house gigs soon, Im not bringing an amp with me. I feel fine playing it unplugged.

    Peace
    Nick
     
  18. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Everyone should be miced including your bass for a coffeehouse gig IMO. You will probably just need a little practice amp, but you should definitely bring something.

    BTW I love the Elixers on my Tacoma.
     
  19. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Ive played it around enough and I feel comfortable with its volume. I dig in ALOT on most of this bands stuff anyways.

    Peace
    Nick
     
  20. BluePinkGreen

    BluePinkGreen

    Feb 24, 2002
    Auburn, CA
    Hey, I know exactly how you feel, I was in the same place a couple months ago. I ended up buying an Ibanez AEB30LG (they also make a five string, the AEB305) and it holds it own against 1 guitar, i haven't tried it against 2. But my budget was lower than yours, tacomas are the loudest thing you can get, and their sub-company Olympia is just about as loud. I assume this wouldn't be like a nice take-perfect-care-of-it-every-waking-moment bass, and more of something to haul areound so you can play unplugged (that's what i got mine for). In this case I'd say just go to guitar center and pick yourself up a nice Olympia (or Tacoma if you want to spend the money).

    Hope you get a good one!