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Cheap Acoustic Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by icks, May 30, 2002.

  1. icks


    Jul 12, 2001
    I'm looking for a cheap acoustic bass, around $300
    I red a lot about that in those threats and no one have the same opinion on that point.

    So anyone heard about MOTION acoustic basses?

    I d rather have it in Black finish if it's possible :D
  2. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay

    Just curious, are you planning on playing it acoustically with other acoustic guitars, or plugged in at gigs and stuff?

    If you are gonna play plugged in, I dont really have much that I could tell you since I dont know about those basses acoustic sound, but if you are going to play unplugged with others, I would VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND, that you save up more money and buy a Tacoma. Thats what I did.

    It is the only aocustic bass I have heard that can play loud enough to play with others, and it sounds good. I have heard that Taylor and Guild are also good, but they are much more expensive, and I think Guild stopped making them since they arent on the website anymore.

  3. icks


    Jul 12, 2001
    Mostly i'll play alone, on my bed and so on, but i think frenquently i 'll play with one or two other acoustic...

    I red tacoma is the loudest ABG, but it's also the biggest ?
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Get a guitar playing buddy and go to a shop that has ABGs. Have your bud play an acoustic guitar while you play along on ABG and see what you think about the volume.

    In general you need a BIG body to get volume (this is why the upright bass is so darn big) so if you realy want to play with others stay away from ABGs with smaller bodies.
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Yeah, it's friggin' huge. There's a new budget version made in Korea sold under the "Olympia" name that is supposedly very good. Call around and ask local dealers if they can get you one. I read a pretty exhaustive review here of the Michael Kelley acoustics that are sold most often on Ebay from an authorized dealer. Based on the review I read I would recommend one of these basses, only if you are getting a fretted bass, the fretless MKs are trouble. Lots of bang for the buck.
  6. The Michael kelly ABG are ok. They have a Jumbo body and sound good. however I bought the UNLINNED Fretless dragonfly inlay. It looked really sweet, But the side dots were in the wrong location. They were not placed at the note like they should be, but placed as if it were a fretted bass. This really bugged me. I sent it back for a full refund. The fretted one's should be ok. MK's are getting kind of pricy. I would go with the US Tacoma.:::
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    On a budget, you may want to try an Olympia. It's the Korean version of the USA Tacoma Thunderchief.

    Dean isn't bad, either.
  8. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I forgot about the Olympia, if your on a budget, they get my vote.

    And yeah the Tacoma is pretty big, but so is the Olympia. Believe me its worth it and much better than taking a bass and amp to jam with your acoustic guitar buddies.

  9. pigpen02


    Mar 24, 2002
    i bought a michael kelly as well, an acoustic five fretless w/ inlays. its really reallly a beautiful instrument; however, i have the same problem as you with the fret markers.

    but, i really love the bass, so i'm either going to train myself with it, and play around the annoying nuances in exchange for tone, or re-mark the fretboard myself.

    it sounds absolutely awesome through my new rig (further pics, posts, and reviews soon!) the tone is impressive and is very loud acoustically. construction is solid, neck is tight and straight. one minor gripe is the generic onboard pre, but that is easily remedied and expected at the price i paid.

    all in all i think i got a good deal, and if you see one going at a low price on ebay, go for it, even the fretless is worth it, IMO.

    also, i've always loved the godin hollow body fretless. its not loud at all acoustically, just a bit more so than an electric, but w/ a nice amp it sings.
  10. Pigpin02, Yeah! Sweet looking Michael Kelly ABG. Thats is the same model I had. Ebay Bad!!!!... Its a great sounding bass but I was really pissed because of the side dots being ****ed up. My luthier said it would cost over $200. to fix it right. I play fretless(unlined only) and this was not going to work for me. I hardly look at the fingerboard but it still messed me up. I don't know if it's just me but when I buy a brand spanking new guitar I like it to have the frets or in this case Side Dots in the correct location.....Ick, Don't buy unless you have seen and played it! For 300. I think you should be able to get something playable. Good luck!
  11. icks


    Jul 12, 2001
    so ... who heard about Olympia ??

    I saw the Ibanez AEB10... who own one ?

  12. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I once played the Ibanez.

    I sounds like a bad long necked low volume guitar.

    The Olympia on the other hand sounds almost as good as my Tacoma.

  13. I have a four string fretted Michael Kelly ABG, covered in stickers. Got it on ebay brand new for $200. Not quite loud enough to play with acoustic guitars, but i dont play with acoustic guitars, so that isnt a problem.
  14. IMHO, save another few hundered and buy yourself a Godin A4, get some thomastick infeld acousticore strings as well. That setup has created some of the most beautiful tones i have ever played. If you choose to go that rout and are disappointed, i will give you a hundered dollars. Mr. Valentino, back me up here.:cool:
  15. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    From what ive heard from a wasburn owner (one of the basses with the slits for the sound hole) It isnt loud enough to play with others.

    Either are Godins.

  16. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    let me add my 2 cents. I am a professional bassist, and use a couple of ABGs for my solo work (fretted and fretless Godins).
    There are a few falicies concerning ABGs.......
    They are not really designed to be "true" acoustic instruments. It gets down to simple physics, which some makers have tried to circumvent in some interesting ways. An ABG body, even the big boys like Taylor, Martin and Tacoma, cannot produce enough volume to be viable as an acoustic instrument in even a small ensemble setting. This is not to say that some, namely those three, are not loud enough for solo pratice or even subdued jamming with a guitarist, but the tone and volume neeeded for being a viable performance instrument is not there.

    ....now is when all the Tacoma players start typing their heated retorts!

    But, before you all get going, let me say that I in no way wish to "belittle" (pun intended) Tacoma, Taylor or Martin (or Ovation, Washburn et al) ABGs. They are all great instruments. Consider this, though; in a performance situation, even in what might be considered an acoustic or folk setting, you are not truely "unplugged". I have played a number of so-called acoustic music festivals, and at some there have been some rather severe rules concerning no-amps on stage. Perhaps I can understand this from an aesthetic point, but these same places have no problem with a performer running a cable out of his "acoustic", in my case bass, to a DI som it can hit their 50,000 watt PA.

    In short, the only time you are really unplugged is maybe at a bluegrass hootenanny, or a songwriting session in your living room. In those cases, any of the aforementioned ABGs would work. But, let's face it, if you are gonna spend the money...why not get something that gives you some options...like recording (btw...unless you have some really expensive mics recording an ABG without a pickup can be a real pain!).
    The electronics package in a ABG is a very important option. It gives you the possiblity of throwing a little boost to your signal at those "unplugged" sessions (even a little 60 w practice amp is enough), while still have the versatility to grab yer bass and head to the beach.

    Oh...btw, I have used my Godin's unplugged for songwriting and they work fine...albeit with a diminuative voice. But, plugged in the absolutley sing! And, I do own Washburn, Ovation, Dean and Guild...and just borrowed a Tayor. Godin, tone-wise, wins out.

    I have played the Tacoma's, and they really are outstanding instruments. They do project, and are fun....except they are really BIG, which for me somewhat limits their usefulness (same goes for Taylor).

    And...having played a whole buncha ABGs I can truthfully say that you do get what you pay for in the ABG world. It might be in one's best interest not to jump on something because you can afford it right now...and you think it is good enough...but to seriously evaluate what you want and/or need, and try to save to put yourself into an instrument, which might be just beyond your current price range, will be something you will be happy with....and not want to dump off in 6 months!
    some suggestions which are just above your current price range:
    Tacoma (either model, as I have heard the Korean ones are really good...but get the preamp)

    Dean: The Performer CE is a large body ABG with a Shadow PU...a very good bargain at around $400

    Ibanez: actually identical to the Dean (both made at the Sammick Factory in Korea....32" scale very playable, tho not really loud unplugged

    Washburns...if you want unplugged volume try the ones without the slotted sound channels. Try an AB32 or AB34, both have sound holes and are large bodies.

    Ovation: there are several models and prices availbale

    Larivee: a very high quality ABG...with a price right around the Tacoma. Very sweet, singing tone. Available with a Fishman sysytem installed.

    There are also quite a few models without sound holes which are truely exceptional:
    Godin...you knew that was coming
    Rob Allen...fantasic basses
    Rick Turner Renaissance (amazing tones)
    Azola....stunning, both visually and aurally
    Villette....I really like these, and may need to get one!
    Of those..only the Godin is even close to your price range. They can be found for around $700 used....and yes I DO highly recommend these (and the wonderful Thomastik-Infeld Acousticore strings!!!)

    I have also seen used Washburn and Guilds onEbay quite often....

    Hope that helps....
  17. I really like my Fender A/E Sweet F-hole....
    It does not produce a good unplugged acoustic sound but sound great plugged.... even with the stock piezo!
    I like those Rob Allen's too. Max. I totaly agree with you 100%
  18. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I played a Godin today at Sam ash, and I will admit it was suprisingly loud unplugged. I still could not imagine trying to write or practice a song with my band (minus drummer) with one of those without needing an amp.

    It was loud though. Not the kinda sound I want from an acoustic though.

    Listen to the Nirvana Unplugged in New York album, and you get a better idea of what I want.

    Thats kinda close to the Tacoma sound, even though its a Guild.

    It was nice though.

  19. icks


    Jul 12, 2001
    Thank you very much ....
    I ll probably go for the Ibanez cauz in Belgium it's easier to get this one...

    I 'll use it on my bed when i have the spleen, song writing, and with 2 other classicals guitars at the academy...

    Thank you !

    I'll post pics when i'll get it.. in a month :(
  20. Ill sell you my near mint dean acoutsic preformer plus bass for around 300 dollars.

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