Can an Acoustic Bass cut through well?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Airsick Pilot, Aug 16, 2003.

  1. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    Just curious. Can an electric acoustic bass cut through well in a live situation when your bandmates are using electric guitars and a non-acoustic drum kit? I'm thinking about getting the Tacoma Thunderchief bass and I'm wondering if it can be used in that situation. Cheers.
  2. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    The main thing I have seen when playing ABGs live is that at high volume, you may have feedback issues.
  3. My immediate feeling on this is NO, NO, NO!

    Distorted electric guitars and acoustic delicacy do not mix. I spent time trying to make it work with a Rob Allen MB2, a Fender BG29, a Washburn of uncertain parentage (and I mean that as an insult!)

    ...and more DI boxes EQ pedals and preamps than you have had hot dinners.

    Electromagnetic slab goes best with the distorted guitars.

    YMMV. An opinion only, or course.
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Well, you'll definitely need an amp. Not sure if you understand that or not. Acoustic bass guitars can't even keep up with agressively played acoustic guitars, never mind electric guitars and drums.

    Like any amplified acoustic instrument, at some volume level you will have a problem with feedback.
  5. tea...of the times I've played an acoustic bass, the cutting through wasn't so good, and that's why I haven't purchased one....

    If and how you guys know how do get one to cut through, please say how, cuz that'd be awesome, the sound is nice!
  6. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun

    ...but the Thunderchief is a nice choice none the less.
  7. .........yea.......never have had 'em cut through nicely with even against an acoustic guitar.......even when both were amped up :bawl: :crying: :bawl:

    wish there was another way to get the nice sound while getting a nice cut into the mix.
  8. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    Hey thanks for the feedback guys. I assumed that it could cut through well. I saw a live Incubus performance and Dirk's Thunderchief cut through the guitar and drums well. I'd still get it anyways.
  9. I've never tried a Thunderchief but if it seems to cut through well in that vid, try it yourself and tell us what you think......I'm desperately looking for a nice acoustic bass that can cut through as well.
  10. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    The best setting for an ABG is when the whole band goes acoustic. Otherwise, it's just asking for trouble.
  11. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I've been toying with the idea of getting one of these abortions and seeing about finding some mindless gig adding stage presence behind some solo folkie chick or something, but someone - was it FunkyCarnivore? - said that this whole acoustic bass guitar thing was essentially a joke with an inadequate punchline. They don't really do squat.

    Fender seems to be seeing how far they can take the gag with a new bass version of their truly dreadful and maldesigned FR-50 resophonic.

    If anyone has any convincing arguments in favor of these flattop acoustic bass guitars, I'd love to hear them, as I'd like to get one if they work and aren't just a stupid gimmick. Unfortunately, everyone I know seems to regard them that way. It seems to me like there would be some pretty awful resonances and dead spots.
  12. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I have played successfully with one acoustic guitar before. You have to play pretty hard though. We also didn't amplify the vocals.

    But you need a bass body of enough size to project a suitable volume. The loudest ABGs I have seen have had the biggest bodies.

    That said, if you can get away with it, its a lot of fun. :)
  13. I tested a Tacoma Thunderchief (unlined, fretless) a little while ago. One of the funnest (sp?) basses I have ever played but it couldn't compete with the other acoustic guitars in the demo room. :(
  14. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Yeah, I very briefly doinked around with one in GC a while back and I couldn't hear myself.

    I could feel it, but not really hear it.

    Seems like these really are in the joke category unamplified, and if you're going to be using an amp then what's the point of not using a real bass anyway?

    I had thought these could be worthwhile for "unplugged-only" venues, but not without more grunt. They're nothing like an upright bass, that's for sure!
  15. CDuff


    Sep 14, 2002
    If you mic it up instead up amping it, you get a brand new bass sound.
    1. fretted
    2. fretless
    3. acoustic

    The three chapters of bass-tone.
    I love mine to bits, gorgeous tone and all that, but it certainly doesn't cut through guitars unless you mic it up.
  16. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    I forgot to mention that Krist Novoselic's acoustic bass cut through extremely well during their live acoustic performance but that being said, Dave wasn't banging the drums real hard and it was an all-acoustic set.

    I went to my local Tacoma dealer and played the Thunderchief. I had a blast. Theyre really fun to play and the tone was amazing. Are there any normal bass guitars that have the same tonal characteristics as ABGs? I'm guessing the semi-hollow ones could replicate the ABG sound. What are some good ones?
  17. I love how an acoustic bass sounds's a unique loud trebly sound..can those strings take a similar beating to normal electric bass strings?
  18. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    This reads exactly like my attitude the day before I played My first Tacoma Thunderchief. The next day I bought it.

    To answer the original post.....

    If you buy the Thunderchief with the Fishman Prefix Plus preamp, (my model is CB10E4) you can dial out the feedback with your "Notch" knob. If you buy the one with the Baggs "Tacoma" preamp you will be in feedback hell. This is based on first hand experience. If you have a good bass amp either of them will cut through fine depending oon how you EQ the bass.

    The Thunderchief with the Fishman sounds very good. And for recording the bass sounds wonderful with a good vocal mic placed at about a 45 degree angle in front of / above it.
  19. hujo


    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I'd say yes. I've heard bands with ABG's and they cut through just fine... You just have to EQ it right.
  20. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Still, it seems like everyone is saying these have to be amped or miked, which is specifically what I was talking about avoiding.

    I'll keep checking and will specifically try to find a Tacoma to try out, but so far I don't see one keeping up with and cutting through the sound two - or probably even one - acoustic guitar in an unamplified/unreinforced act.