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Good Acoustic Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sk8inbassist17, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. I was wanting to know of a good acoustic bass, that sounds good unplugged and plugged in. I was playing some at GC today and none of them sounded good unplugged, and the whole reason I want an acoustic bass is so that I can play it and hear unplugged. So I would like to know some brands that are good, and sound good unplugged. I have heard good things of Micheal Kelly. I would like to spend $500-$550, prefferably including a case so I dont have to spend that extra cost.

    Thanks in advance.

    I was looking at this bass by Micheal Kelly, any coments, it would add up to be around a little over $500 with a case.
  2. Bump?
  3. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    Well, for what it's worth, I haven't played that particular bass, but I played a Michael Kelly five string fretless yesterday (Dragonfly was the model name I believe) and it played and sounded awesome. Reasonably priced, at $729 CDN. It's definatley going on my GAS list, it seems like a great bass.

  4. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    never played that one, but ive found that acoustic basses usually either suck or cost alot, and i think the reason is that there is very little demand for them. no demand, no reason to invest in improving them or making them more affordable at the same quality.

    thats my take on it
  5. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    I've read you can't have the AB sound good unplugged because it's just not big enough.

    Having said that, I went to a Mexican restaraunt last night. A girl had a birthday & in comes the mariachi band. The bass player was playing an acoustic bass that sounded awsome & filled up the 25' x 25' room w/huge amounts of bass. It was a 6 string w/large classical strings & a huge body w/deep V back. I have to get one!
    Anyone know where they're sold?
  6. well thanks for everyones help.
    could anyone recomend a bass to me that sounds good unplugged with in my price range.
  7. Human Bass

    Human Bass

    Aug 26, 2005
    That one which Mike Inez uses in the Alice in Chains Unplugged sounds amazing
  8. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    I think what people are trying to hint is that there are none.
  9. ^^oh i see.

    thanks for that hint.
  10. beadgc


    Oct 10, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    There were some other threads on this not too long ago that you might search for if you want to read more. I tried a bunch a couple of years ago and bought a Tacoma Thunderchief (which is a little over your price range, at least new). It was the loudest ABG I came across. I never got really comfortable with it. I found it awkward to play, and even that one is not loud enough, IMO, to sound like much if your're playing with an acoustic guitar. I wound up getting a Rob Allen, which looks nothing like an ABG but sounds very acoustic, plugged in.
  11. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I'm betting that he was playing a guitarron. Do a search for "guitarron" and you'll find out more. They are about the only acoustic bass (except for upright) that will really fill a large room unamplified.

    My Tacoma is loud, but it's not as loud as a guitarron.

    The Michael Kelly is OK. Personally, I like the Solid AB model the best, followed by the ST-AB. The Dragonfly has too little projection/volume to be very useful unamplified, unless you're playing with a quiet acoustic guitarist or just in your home, IMO. The Dragonfly model is laminated construction (Solid AB has solid spruce top and solid bottom, and ST-AB model has solid top), so it doesn't have as much presence.
  12. alright i will search the things that yall suggested.

    I was talking to my dad about this subject and he insists on buying me an upright so i think i will go with that. ;)
  13. I tried a Godin A4 fretless the other day and it had good sound. I liked the feel of it but I just don't have the need for an acoustic bass.
  14. audiotom


    May 31, 2005
    new orleans
    the tacoma thunderchief (I've played it in the same room with the Mike Kelly's - big difference)

    there's a barely used one on ebay at $759 buy it now
    if you can stretch for it, buy it

    the alternative is the Olympia OBC3E which is Tacoma's Korean counterpart to the thunderchief
    there's one on ebay ending today under $400 new
    that's what I have on the way in an ebay buy
    (my post Katrina transplant - need for something without amp)
    awaiting a case to ship to the seller (any suggestions there guys?)

    That Olympia ebay price is a little steeper than I paid - if you are patient you can get one used in the $250 - $350 range (more with case which is around $150 but will protect in shipping)

    good luck in your search

  15. audiotom


    May 31, 2005
    new orleans
    I noticed you said upright

    1) the technique is very different

    2) anything even worth starting on will be 3-4 times the price of the Thunderchief
  16. ^^yea i was thinking that.
    i would love to have both an upright and an acoustic.
    i want an acoustic b/c they are more practicle for traveling
    i want an upright b/c who doesnt want one.
  17. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    An upright bass is an awesome choice -- just an outstanding tone, and I'm ALWAYS impressed by a good player. However, it also takes a LONG time to learn, whereas you can play an acoustic bass from day one, without any problem. I'd love to learn to play upright someday, but they're also pricey. :(

    As for acoustic bass, if you want to play unplugged, a used Tacoma is one of the best choices if you can afford it -- they sell for around $900 new, and $600-700 used. Unfortunately, it will feedback some when plugged in, though careful management of the controls can largely eliminate this problem. A Kelly bass would be a more affordable option, as would an Olympia, which is the laminated, Korean version of the solid USA Tacoma.

    Plugged in, the Godin A4 is a killer bass -- it has incredible tone. Unfortunately, while its unplugged tone is decent, it's pretty quiet unplugged -- you'd have trouble keeping up in volume with a single acoustic bass and couldn't play it for more than a few people. However, as a traveling practice tool or couch potato accessory, it's tough to beat because it's compact, lightweight, and extremely comfortable to play.

    I find myself reaching for both my Tacoma and my Godin while I'm watching TV all the time. In fact, I'd say I hardly ever watch TV any more without playing bass, which has expanded my practice time dramatically, and more importantly, is just a real pleasure -- that's actually what acoustic basses are most useful for, IMO. They're just great to play while you're hanging out -- really easy just to pick up and start groovin' :bassist:

    By the way, I was just digging the heck out of the unplugged tone on my Tacoma last night. I stayed up and hour or two later than I usually do, because I just couldn't bear to put it down; it sounds soooo nice, and the craftsmanship is top-notch. :D
  18. alright
    thanks for all your help guys.
    im going to try to convince my dad to insist on buying me the tacoma thunderchief. LOL ;) ;) ;)
  19. Roostor


    Jul 28, 2005
    I have the Olympia obc3e, I tried the Fender Victor Bailey, Michael Kelly, and the Samick AB2, but the Olympia is the one for me...considering price vs sound...it won hands down against the rest.
  20. Chili


    Mar 8, 2005
    yeah after i get my new electric, i am goin on the hunt for an acoustic, and this topic has just shortened that hunt lol, the tacoma thundercheif is the one that is laud not plugged in right? abit pricey but ill probs get one second hand