Getting an acoustic bass.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FranticBass, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. FranticBass


    Feb 15, 2014
    I already have an electric bass and I was thinking about getting a acoustic bass. I want one because they save hassle eg having to plug them in, only being able to play in the room with my amp in. They just seem easier to just pick up and play. Is this a good idea or... Thanks in advance!
  2. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I often play solidbody basses on my own without an amp--although with others an amp is normally needed
    But if you want more volume without an amp for playing on your own--sure go for it.

    But you may still need an amp in other settings.

    Personally the bodies on most are too big to be comfortable to me, but I'd still like one.
  3. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I want one of these...:

    They sound really good and do not feel big to me.
    The ones I played also were quite loud. Certainly holding their own in a two guitars/vocal/cajon/bass, set up
  4. FranticBass


    Feb 15, 2014
    How different do you have to play them?
  5. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Not very at all.
    Set up right it's an easy transition.
    It's intuitive.
  6. I have a Martin B1- It's perfect for exactly what you talking about - I hook it up to a Peavey Minx with a bass equalizer when I want to practice with a band tape -and the equalizer gets me the tone I want.
    there are good models out there that are cheaper -Breedlove, Dean, Epiphone, Fender, Godin
    but you have to play them to see how they feel/sound to you
  7. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I have a Breedlove but also have an Ibanez AEB5 that I enjoy very much.
  8. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    i may get slayed for this comment....

    I think acoustic basses are great for picking up to work out a line and play around the house. I would recommend getting an inexpensive one though. I have played reputable budget AEB's and some fairly expensive ones, and they all are about the same when thumbing around. of course, the expensive ones are better to an extent, but not worth it at all when you are just looking to play around the house.

    Also, IMO i think the sound of most acoustic fretted basses when amplified is gawd-awful. fretless....that's a different story. they can sound incredible....even my defretted cheapo squire AEB sounded fat, dubby, and great...til the jack went out. with sounded like all the others amplified...bad IMO.
  9. Jeff Elkins

    Jeff Elkins Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    East Tennessee
    It really depends on your application, IMO; I had a cheeeeap one for years--Carlo Robelli--and have played a few others...
    Great for grabbing to work out a line in your bedroom/home studio/living room/etc.
    If it has a decent preamp, you can get a pretty good signal for recording something quick with little fuss if you're looking for an organic sound.
    Good for songwriting sessions with one other instrument.
    Cool to take to a show or session where you actually WILL have some sound support, even if just a tiny combo.
    Could NEVER hold my own in an acoustic jam with more than one other instrument. Especially bad for bluegrass or against a banjo or driving fiddle in any genre. Acoustically there's just not enough volume or thump. It seemed to sound closer to playing bass lines on a guitar--which is certainly fine in some settings--than true bass.
    I will also echo the fretless comment--I converted my fretboard to fretless, and got way better acoustic tones out of it. It was definitely a different palette, though.
  10. generation zero

    generation zero

    Jul 24, 2012
    The Dean exotica series are great for around 300 to 400, depending on if you find one used. I think they run 399 new. The Fender Kingman has basically the same neck as a Jazz bass, and isn't a super big body... Almost seamless transition from electric, especially if you're a Fender player already. Downside to that one is it's not really loud unplugged, playing along with more than one acoustic guitar you might get drowned out. They're around 500 new. Ibanez has a few nice models in roughly the same price range, but the few I've played had pretty fat, clunky necks... I went with the Dean, but I'll probably eventually get a Kingman as well. I'd like to find an inexpensive but halfway decent 5 string acoustic, but I haven't seen one yet. I'm with the poster above who said not to go high end on an acoustic electric bass, unless you're going to be using it as your main stick in a paying gig setting for some reason... It's like buying a really high end moped. Sure, it's a bit nicer than a cheap moped, but it's still just a moped. You're not going to get a speeding ticket on it. An acoustic bass guitar, in my experience, has really only three purposes... Home solo practice, low volume band rehearsals or writing sessions, and the occasional full band "unplugged" gig. Only in the gig setting is anything more than a low low end acoustic bass even remotely necessary, and even at that most guys just use an electric anyway. At least half of the MTV Unplugged shows I remember, the bassist was still using an electric and nobody seemed to mind.

    Still, they're fun to mess around with, and worth having one in your stable. :)
  11. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    keep an eye on . they have good deals on the dean AEB's all the time. the standards were on there for $198 previously and they have coupon codes regularly.
  12. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
  13. Sav'nBass

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

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    How would you compare the two tone wise and electronics wise? What do you think about that Breedlove deal at TPB? I had a Tacoma and a Michael Kelly .. and I have played on a Dean Exotica and an Ibby AEB10 that some friends had.. and to me just in terms of pure sound including volume the Breedlove Atlas was hands down the better bass.. Another thing I like about the Breedlove is the bridge. I don't like a pinned bridge on an ABG... a string through bridge is more to my liking.

    It's a great deal.. add in the TB discount and at $475 you can't beat that bass.. The Ibbys, Deans and Fenders in that price range do not sound as full IMO.. That case is a big plus for that bass as well.. so are the electronics.. That is the best $475 new ABG you will find at the moment.
  14. johnnynitro


    Jan 14, 2012
    I have a "cheap Dean" I use just to practice at home. Works Great ! I just pick it up and play,Use it to stay limber, And it's good for all around practice @ the house without pluging in and all that. Plus it's a tad harder to play (action.sustain ect) So when I get on my main bass I can do more !!!!!!! Really helped me with my Clink & Clank !
  15. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Actually, I think you're thinking about buying an ABG for all the right reasons. For just having one to pick up around the house and pluck away without amp needs makes perfect sense. For that application just about any ABG that's been properly set up will work. If you want to take it another step further and actually get good tone as well I can recommend a Tacoma Thunderchief and the Breedlove Atlas brands. Others will chime in with other recommendations but I've those brands a lot with happy results.

    But, if you're also thinking about a duel purpose that has to do with gigging, be forewarned that ABG is a different beast than EBG.
  16. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Here's the thing. One's in Florida at my parents' house and the other is in Oregon. Hard to make a direct comparison. All I can say is that I like the sound of both of them when I pick them up to play. I have never plugged in the Ibanez so can't comment on the electronics. The Breedlove is outstanding amplified. Either bridge is fine to me.

    I bought mine direct from Breedlove 7 years ago since they are a few miles from my house but I paid more than $475 for it. Can't beat that price.
  17. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000

    True. & the real right reason YMMV, is you like the tone. ;)

    It has made me a much better electric player. Whether we restart the debate here, not my intention but my experience, is that the eb is an acoustic instrument first and if you "hear" that, you can derive tone from your electrics that your knob twiddling peers only dream of.

    Practicing on your ABG will hasten the process. You'll be more sensitive in your touch, enabling hard & soft playing. You will become more dynamic. You will intuitively use techniques that never occurred to you on an eb. Then! You will return to the eb with these new techniques which work quite well. You will be considered by your fans and peers as the next bass innovator.

    It could happen. :):)
  18. Webskipper


    Dec 2, 2013
    Anyone make a production 6-string?
  19. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.

    I think Warwick builds a 6.
    Maybe some low end on ebay.
  20. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    NJ or Pa
    I have the Dean EABC (used, $125 at Guitar Center) and it sounds and plays great, plugged or unplugged. I like it so much that I'm going to buy a Dean Exotica...the Dean DMT I2EX preamp, Aphex Aural Exciter and Big Bottom Circuitry make it sound incredible.
    There's a nice quilt ash one on ebay for $250 and a trans black one for under $300. I just bought an Epiphone Thunderbird Pro today or I'd but one of those Exoticas at that price...$100 plus less than the regular $399.