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Amplifying an Acoustic Bass Guitar

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ii7-V7, Apr 20, 2015.


  1. ii7-V7

    ii7-V7

    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I know very little about amps in general, and even less about amplifying acoustic instruments. I'm considering getting an Acoustic Bass. But, I don't know what I'll need to amplify the bass. I'm going to use the bass mostly at lower volumes. If I do use it on a larger gig I'll likely go straight into the board.

    Can I use a regular combo amp? I know that Piezo's can be noisy. Should I get a high pass filter? What can I use without making an investment in a new $1K rig to get an ABG to sound decent? Ideally I want to spend as little as possible and run it through my own amp. But, I don't know if that will work. I'm assuming that it will?
     
  2. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Why do you want an ABG, first off? Unless you spend a lot, the playability and volume aren't going to be great.

    If you insist on getting an ABG, just get a preamp to go in line between the bass and any combo amp. Make sure the preamp is made to handle piezo signals. Go check out the Kala U Bass thread(s) for recommendations on good preamps for piezo equipped acoustic basses.
     
  3. ii7-V7

    ii7-V7

    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I've wanted an acoustic bass guitar for years. I started out playing acoustic guitar. I can do some pretty cool percussive things on an ABG. Also, I like the tone. But, I'm aware that the volume isn't very good. But, when I'm at home and playing alone or with my wife on ukelele it's fine. And that's what I want it for.

    But, I still haven't decided yet...for all the reasons that you mentioned.
     
  4. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    Use a regular bass amp. Don't buy an ABG that doesn't have an onboard preamp.
     
  5. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I play an Olympia Thunderchief copy (fretted) and a Boulder Creek fretless. I run a GK mB2-500 into 2 1x10's stacked, as opposed to 21 10's stacked ;-) You don't want to be very loud, but I can carry a small pub with just the rig. Add 3 voices, a couple of dreadnoughts, a mando and banjo in the PA and I can hang ... Check out Boulder Creek and their suspended top. Way better than I expected for the dough...

    ABG is somewhat limited use for me but for some gigs it is perfect. I really enjoy owning them.
     
  6. BazzTard

    BazzTard Banned

    most ABGs have onboard pres these days, just plug into your amp
     
  7. ii7-V7

    ii7-V7

    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    So, having a tweeter isn't necessary? Also, I've heard that ABG's and 15" speakers don't mix well. But, my main amp is a 1x15. Does that really matter?
     
  8. ii7-V7

    ii7-V7

    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Does it?
     
  9. iualum

    iualum

    Apr 9, 2004
    60453
    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes :thumbsup: .
     
  10. iualum

    iualum

    Apr 9, 2004
    60453
    Nope on both accounts. Who told you such foolishness? Whomever it was, he has no idea about what he's speaking.
     
  11. ii7-V7

    ii7-V7

    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Gotcha. Good to know. Thank you!
     
  12. iualum

    iualum

    Apr 9, 2004
    60453
    The main concern with ABGs when plugged in is feedback. Just be aware.
     
  13. ii7-V7

    ii7-V7

    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Yep. I'm sure I'll be getting one of the sound hole covers. That's why I've ruled out any with an odd shaped soundhole.
     
  14. iualum

    iualum

    Apr 9, 2004
    60453
    If the model you're considering happens to have a notch filter on the preamp, that'd be a plus, too.
     
  15. ii7-V7

    ii7-V7

    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I don't even know what a notch filter does.
     
  16. A notch filter eq's out a narrow band of frequency. I haven't seen one on a bass guitar. It would be handy if there was one bad frequency feeding back.
     
  17. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    I have a Michael Kelly fretless ABG. Key is to get a sound hole blocker and USE the on board eq.
    I run mine through my rig no issues feedback can be hard to control at stage volume watch the bass frequency and a notch filer is helpful but not necessary.
     
  18. AndreasK

    AndreasK

    Jun 11, 2014
    Northern Norway
    I sometimes plug my ABG into my Ampeg PF350 and SVT210AV. Sounds very good! The cab doesn´t have huge lows, which I think helps the feedback issue. But I can in no way crank the amp loud. Haven´t tried a hole cover. If I was getting an amp just for my ABG it would probably be a good small 8"-10" combo.

    Oh, and get tapewound strings. Unamplified alone/one guitar practice has never been better:thumbsup:
     

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