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Affordable, Acoustic Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by darkfish01, May 18, 2005.

  1. darkfish01


    Feb 11, 2005
    San Marcos, Tx
    Hello all. I'm on a rather tight budget (my wallet is in the thousands, however I'd like to keep it that way). Next year, my friends and I (whom of which are also a band) plan on taking over the school's FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). Basically, we play worship songs and have mini-talks. The room is small, think living room size. Being the bassist, and being an acoustic atmosphere, I figure that I should have an acoustic bass for such the occasion. As I've stated, I'm on a VERY tight budget and would like to spend as little as possible on an acoustic bass. I've looked at the Dean Playmate EAB on Musician's Friend, and the price is extremely low and reviews give praise to such an instrument. I know Dean's a great company for low to mid-end basses, and was wondering what yall's thoughts were on this particular model. Also, I'm open to suggestions on other models. Thanks guys!
  2. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Michael Kelly Dragonfly...
  3. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Olympia ABG, which is the Korean version of the highly venerated Tacoma Thunderchief. There's one on ebay right now for $225, but the guy wants $80 for shipping. :rolleyes:

    I played one, and while it wasn't quite a Tacoma (which is what I'm holding out for -- costs around $1K new), it was very well made, and I personally liked the tone better than that of the Michael Kelly -- it had a greater ability to project (more volume) which is crucial when you're trying not to be overwhelmed in the mix by acoustic guitars. In terms of playing feel, the Kelly was equal to the Olympia, and is available in a 5-string version, which the Olympia is not. :(

    The Tacoma is the only bass I've heard that has enough acoustic volume to hold its own with acoustic guitars. The Olympia, though, is second, and a heck of a bargain.

    They're hard to find in stores, but I think you can also find them at www.elderly.com for around $390 shipped: Olympia
  4. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    The Michael Kelly Dragonfly is probably a better instrument, but I think it costs more. I tried the Dean model once, and was surprised how well it played, and how good it sounded considering the price. It seemed like a high quality piece to me. (For reference, I mostly play Am. Ser. Fenders.) I almost bought it on impulse. Ibanez makes an inexpensive ABG too, which might be worth a look.
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The Dean Performer bass is worth a look if you have a Dean dealer nearby. Very nice ABG for a modest price.
  6. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    The Dean is a nice bass for the bucks ..... doesn't really project as well as the Kelly or Thunderchief, though. Will you be playing it strictly acoustic? If so, you may find the Dean to be lacking in volume .......... try it first :cool:
  7. I've been playing my Dean Performer for several years. Unplugged, I can be heard with guitar, mandolin and banjo. It can't be beat for the price.
    Oh and I strung it with TI Jazz flats for that nice "thumpy" sound. :cool:
  8. teej


    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Another vote for the Dean -- $149 on MusiciansFriend. Can't really beat that price for a good, solid instrument.
  9. DonovanBankhead

    DonovanBankhead Banned Commercial User

    Aug 25, 2001
    Springfield, MO
    Owner - FretSpot.com; Vice President - Springfield Music
    Check out the Breedlove Atlas bass. It's the best under $1,000 acoustic bass I've played. And I've just about played them all.
  10. dkb, I'm not seeing an Atlas bass on the Breedlove site--got a link or other info you could pass on? Thanks.
  11. darkfish01


    Feb 11, 2005
    San Marcos, Tx
    There aren't going to be a lot of other instruments playing alongside me. It'll just be one (sometimes perhaps two) acoustic guitars and a djembe, and it's a rather small room with only about 30-40 of us, so I don't think that it'll be hard to be heard. With that in mind... any more suggestions?
  12. DonovanBankhead

    DonovanBankhead Banned Commercial User

    Aug 25, 2001
    Springfield, MO
    Owner - FretSpot.com; Vice President - Springfield Music
    The bass is new this year, which is probably why you aren't seeing any info on it. I'm not trying to sell gear here, but it has a MAP of $649 (yeah, I'm a dealer). It's the loudest, most articulate bass that I've played. Check w/your local dealer. If you can't find one, drop me a line if you want to play one.
  13. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Djembe eats into the sonic space of a bass a lot more than you might think. I play DB but I've had to work harder to be heard over a djembe than over five acoustic guitars.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Michael Kelly/ Ibanez/ Sigma.
  15. Check out Agiles. From Rondomusic.com? I got one last year. GREAT BASS FOR THE PRICE. Incredibly loud for its size. Louder than some fenders, and ibanez's I've played. Let me know if you want to know more about it.
  16. darkfish01


    Feb 11, 2005
    San Marcos, Tx
    I've been looking at the Agile, but I breezed right past it because one thread on this forum said it was too small to really have much volume. I'd love to hear more about it!
  17. For the heck of it I've been looking into an acoustic bass myself. From what I've found Dean sofar has made the nicest one, or so I think. The local music store has one, but I'm not sure of the model, for $400. I tried out 4 Fenders at GC and a Takamine too, they all played like crap compared to that Dean, and I didn't like the tone on them either.
  18. Nadav


    Nov 13, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I'm very interested in hearing some more details on your experience with the Agile acoustic. I've really been GAS'ing for an ABG lately!
  19. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    In that environment you will absolutely need amplification, even with the mack daddy of loud ABGs the Tacoma Thunderchief. All you'll need is a little practice amp, but you'll need it, believe me. The Agiles are nice, I tried one last time I was at Rondo and they were OK. The Dean Performer is orders of magnitudes better though.
  20. I played a fretless 5 string Michael Kelly acoustic last weekend for about an hour. I was very favorably impressed. I actually went in the shop to try out a Lakland 5, but got distracted by the Kelly due to all the inlay and the fact that I had never seen the brand before. Now I'm trying to convince myself that I don't need an acoustic fretless 5 and to stick to my original mission.

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