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Best Acoustic bass strings for sound alba Mike Inez on Alice in Chains Unplugged

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Da Funky Fish, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. Hi all,
    I'm in the market for a 4 string acoustic bass, Fender Kingman or something in that $500-$600 range. I'm going to change the factory strings and was wondering what type of strings I should purchase as I will be recording stuff ala Alice in Chains.
  2. Was also wondering which strings may produce the least amount of fret noise, if possible.
  3. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    I'm not familiar with that album in particular.
    (Ahem, which means I couldn't blame you if you skipped the rest of my message...)

    If it's of any help, I use these:
    Silver-plated copper -wound on a nylon silk core.
    The correct length version for the Kingman or other full-scale ABGs would be this:

    What do these have to do with Inez?
    My micro-review on them:
    (I was referring to the original recording on JoF, so YMMV.)

    They are a little squeaky, but I mostly use flats now so I might be both biased and not accustomed to rounds anymore. Also, the fact I haven't heard them through an amp is no small detail. Still, here's my 2 eurocents.
  4. Thanks for the reply. Rotten Apple is a great tune.
  5. Wagz


    May 2, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    I have a Washburn AB-20, great acoustic if you want to play heavier stuff like Alice in Chains. The Equis II pre-amp can give you a bit of dirt when you bump up the gain, the Washburns don't have much volume when played unplugged though.

    You can get an old AB-20 (discontinued) for around $400, a black one would fit the stule of music you play. Or you can step up to an AB-40 or a Stu Hamm AEB for a couple hundred more.

    As for strings, I like the D'Addario tapewounds. Almost zero finger and fret noise, even when you're really digging in.
  6. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Listening to AIC Live I'm hearing a little finger noise and the punch typical of regular bronze ABG strings. What comes stock on any bass you buy will get you real close. If you do buy strings the D'Addario bronze set is a reasonable choice for not a lot of money.
  7. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Here is another somewhat irrelevant suggestion. I have a boulder creek lined fretless. I have it strung with TIjF's. Tonally, it smokes my old fretted Thunderchief. The Tacoma had the Fishman prefix system. I pulled that out and went K&K using a few different off board preamps. The relatively cheap BC bass just blows the old TC out of the water. TheTacoma is a lovely instrument. Problem for me is the tone. It sounds like a lot of other fretted basses. You get none, absolutely none of the beautiful acoustic tone.

    The diff ? Fretless vs fretted. Having owned a couple of fretted ABG's and now the fretless, I wonder if there is any that application for a fretted ABG other than a couch... The f'less just has a much more organic kind of sound. And if you dig in hard, it can take on a very aggro character.

    Yes I know fretless is a different thing, with lines... Unless you're aiming at Geddy lines, its a better thing. At least for me... YMMV
  8. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass What the .............. Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    First off.. if you want a great ABG in this price range you cannot go wrong with this:

    Breedlove Atlas Studio BJ350/SMe4 Bass @ The Perfect Bass $475 with TB discount..

    You will not find a better ABG at that price point and if you are fortunate they will have some left... I had a Tacoma and a MK Dragonfly and I have played a Dean, and an Ibanez and a this bass blows then all away. Not only that this bass has a bridge that is pinless.. it is a string through bridge.. On a bass with a pinned bridge changing the strings can be problematic.. at least it was for me.

    This Breedlove is a bass that I had been gassing for for years.. and I forgot all about that until I checked my priofile to update my GAS list.. When I bought my MK I wanted a Breedlove but I couldn't afford one at the time as it was going for $900 ... at this price it is a steal.. and if you are in the market for an ABG you would be absolutely NUTS to pass on it.. and I guarantee you that there is not another ABG anywhere on the planet that you will get for that TPB price that will sound better or play better.

    As for the strings.. get the bass and try it.. I think it comes with some D'Addario Reds.. EXP 170s .. but you might want to try some tape wounds on it.. but get that bass if you are in the market for one.. You can thank me later.
  9. Sav'n, thanks I will look into this.
  10. Wow hard shell case included that is nuts
  11. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass What the .............. Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    It is a great deal man.. Tell ya what.. go by a local GC and play one.. play all of the ABGs in there.. including the Martin if they have one.. and then play the Breedlove.. You will be convinced. That case is better than the Tacoma case I had for my Tacoma bass or the TKL case I bought for my Dragonfly.. it is very well made.. and the bass is killer.

    Acoustically it is almost as loud as the Tacoma (going from memory here) but it sounds better.. it has a more robust tone to it and going through an amp it actually sounds better.
  12. I'm gonna call them about return policy etc and prob pull the trigger on this one tomorrow. Thanks a lot for pointing it out to me.
  13. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings
    I agree wholeheartedly. I have a Warwick Alien fretless 6, and the nuance and character of the fretless combined with the woodiness and tone of the ABG make it a really special instrument.

    To the OP, I use a set of GHS Pressurewound on my ABG, and they have much less fret noise and a good tone. You lose a little acoustic volume when you switch from phosphor strings, but given that you're going to be plugged in 99% of the time, it's a non-issue.
  14. jazzyitalian

    jazzyitalian Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    Lawyer and Hobbist Bass Maker
    I am hands down sold on the Dobro's from the Original Musical Instrument Company. This company made the best acoustic strings in my opinion ever and they were based out of Huntington Beach CA. But as I understand it, the owner died or retired and then Gibson bought it and later the production was moved and subsumed into Gibson's plant in Nashville. So the stuff that was made in Cali I don't think is the same from Nashville. There were only a handful of people making them when the plant existed in Cali. There are some remaining sets from the original facility being sold on ebay at half of what they used to sell. I bought 20 sets myself. You might want to get yourself some before the rest go. Here's the link... http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bass-Guitar-...item2a34a24053 and if you can't get a page to populate, just enter this ebay item number:181271674963
  15. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Okay, this is weird, my youngest son and myself just this evening discussed putting together a quick acoustic rock gig ala Alice In Chains unplugged.

    I love it when the universe comes together.

    Anyway, Alvarez ABG, "normal" electric roundwounds (XL's or similar), and a cheap chorus pedal of some sort.

    Otherwise don't overthink it or you'll miss the less-than-serious vibe that really nailed their unplugged sound and the whole incredible performance. :bassist:

    Also here's this:

  16. I ordered the Breedlove bass from The Perfect Bass today. Psyched, can't wait.
  17. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass What the .............. Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    I think you are going to really like that bass.. It is a cut above any other ABG in the $475 and below price range... Thed preamp in it is pretty good too. The battery is installed through the bottom where the cord goes at the starp pin. No screw driver required. I may try a set of tapes on it eventually biut for now I am happy with the Reds that it came with. A very well made instrument.