acoustic-electric basses..

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rob_d, Aug 16, 2001.

  1. rob_d

    rob_d Guest

    Jun 14, 2001
    Hey all,
    Hoping somebody who owns one of these can throw some advice my way. I'm looking to get one. It won't be my main bass, just something I use from time to time on some of the more mellow gigs I might do, and for practicing in my apartment so I don't get evicted. I've never owned one and havent really played them much but am definately interested. As this won't be my main bass I would like to stay under the 500 dollar mark while hopefully not getting stuck with a rickety piece of rotten wood. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Hey Rob, I don't own a real ABG, but, if you ever get a chance to try an Epiphone Jack Casady, please do! It's a thin hollow body (as you probably know) but has a kind of hybrid acoustic/electric tone. Truly beautiful sounding. If you turn ALL the midrange off on your amp, it sounds like an upright with frets. Sorry I can't give advise on any real acoustics, but, if you check out a Casady, it'll probably go home with you.

    Good luck in your search,
    Mike J.
  3. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    yes, I will second MJ's opinion on the Casady. I tried one out at Steve azola's shop back in April, and wasn't about to leave until it was mine! Of course, now it is. It is not a true acoustic, but has an incredible tone nonetheless.
    As far as ABGs go there is a wide variety to choose from. The thing to remember is that a bass, contrary to what anyone says, that is just largerthan a jumbo acoustic guitar, cannot produce enough fundamental tone to cut thru otherinstruments (read:guitars) unamped. Some folks will say that they can, but I have several ABGs and none produce enoug tone to carry without amplification. And...with most piezo systems, yer normal bass amp will not produce an acceptable tone without some serious tweeking. But ABGs are fun to just play and practice on.
    Before you some serious shopping and try to find the one that suits you best. There are a number out there, and some used and very good ones can be had for around $500. Remember that these are acoustic instruments so woodwork is a primary factor.
    For volume and quality in a semi-tarditional ABG check out Epiphone El Capitan's or Tacoma. The Tacoma model has a Fishman system in it so that is a bonus.
    new those go for around $900
    Washburn makes some decent ABGs also. If you want maximum unplugged volume (but remember what I said) go for the big, full bodied models. The smaller bodies are comfy and nice but really do not produce any fundamental energy...iut usually the 2nd harmonic disguising itself as a fundamental.
    Also of interest would be the hybrid acoustic-electrics such as Rob Allen or Rick Turner make. These are fantastic basses, but pricey!
    Then there is Godin. I have a Godin A4 and it is a very sweet instrument. I used it exclusively on the Solo Bass Looping Tour with Michael Manring and Steve Lawson recently, and got nothing but rave reviews on my tone (mostly from other bassists in attendance)...even Michael and Steve loved the sound of the Godin. It has a L.R. Baggs system in it which is wonderful sounding and very pure.
    Used Godins can be found down around $600 and new they only list for around a grand. The quality of these basses is way beyond anything in that price range. Very well made, hand made necks and all....worth checking out.
    Also due to the design of the Godin, feedback (and on ABGs it is a very ugly low end howling kinda thing...and quite a problem with open soundhole designs) is non existent.
    Max Valentino
  4. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Don't forget the round-back Ovation ABGs - the do have nice sound projection unplugged, and sound sweet plugged in.