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Good cheap acoustic bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Unknown1, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Unknown1


    Jan 15, 2013
    Hey there, I've been looking for a decent acoustic bass for a rather cheap price. I was checking out the Applause AE140 and
    Ibanez AEB10E. Anyone know if those are any good? Just looking for a bass that is fairly loud (even though that's not the case for a lot of acoustic basses), has a decent tone, and a nice build. So around 400 dollars is my spending area.

  2. Amara

    Amara Fumble-Fingered Beginner

    Jan 13, 2014
    I have the $150 Dean. It sounds great, and I can get some volume from it. I'm pleasantly surprised by it, and it's completely taken away my GAS for medium-range acoustics.

    Another option: It's a little above your $400, but this is on sale for $475 with the Talkbass.com discount: http://www.theperfectbass.com/Breedlove-Atlas-Studio--BJ350SMe-Bass.htm .
  3. Poodles


    Jul 2, 2013
    I had a Washburn acoustic, AB5 I think it was. That was decent. Now got a Breedlove...they do some lower priced acoustics too..
  4. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
  5. randyripoff


    Jul 12, 2008
    I own the Applause. I like it. I enjoy it's unplugged sound quite a lot, but it may not be to everyone's tastes.
  6. JennySuzuki


    Dec 18, 2013
    I think this is one of those "pick any two" type things. Can't be all three.
  7. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    NJ or Pa
    I have the Dean acoustic cutaway and I like it so much I'm going to buy the Dean Exotica...there's one on ebay right now for $250.
  8. There's a nice older Dean for sale here on TB for about $200 delivered. It is much better than the one they are currently selling new, and actually a pretty decent instrument. I gig one pretty regularly and have no complaints with it.
  9. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    I second the Dean Playmate, mine was dirt cheap and quite loud, especially with stainless steel strings. The pickup is quite low gain, but for the backyard it is fine.
  10. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    None of them are going to be very loud, at least enough to play in an ensemble by themselves without some amplification even if it's just from a little practice amp or something.

    However, most any ABG is going to be plenty loud enough to practice, noodle, and just play solo in your living room.

    Before I make any recommendations, I like to ask how exactly you plan to use your ABG and what you hope to get out of it.

    There are very different criteria for someone who, say, wants something just to practice with, or record with, or to gig with, or who wants the holy grail which is to actually (attempt) to play unamplified along with a couple of guitarists and drummer in an outdoor acoustic setting.

    So generally speaking, the loudest ABG is going to have the biggest, deepest body, and relatively high action on the strings. It's going to have to be plucked hard, or usually strummed hard with a pick, so the higher action keeps the fret buzz to a minimum. Such basses are not the most comfortable things in the world after a 3 hour set, mind you.

    Needless to say, a ginormous guitar with high action is NOT going to be the easiest thing in the world to knock out fast, articulated bass lines for a complicated bass parts, so if recording or just practicing your electric bass chops is your goal, then look for something with a smaller body and lower action.

    And particularly if you think you're going to be playing through an amp, then actually a large body will be working against you, because the "louder" a bass is naturally, the more it's going to be prone to feedback. An ABG primarily through an amp can be a bit smaller with lower action, with an emphasis more on tone, comfort, and decent quality electronics.

    Of course, we all want our ABGs to be able to do it all, but it's going to be a compromise one way or another, particularly an ABG we don't want to cost an arm or a leg.

    Get to the acoustic room of your local guitar shop and try a few, they're pretty different from one another, and WAY different from an electric bass.

    Good luck and happy hunting!
  11. Sav'nBass

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

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    If your budget is $400 .. check this out: Breedlove Atlass Studio BJ350/SMe4 Bass $499 @ The Perfect Bass ... If you use the TalkBass discount (Type in TalkBass @ check out where it asks you for Promotion Code after you add it to your cart..) the price drops to $475. I have played around with some of the other basses mentioned in this tread.. and I have owned several ABGs .. This Breedlove is the absolute best ABG that you can get in terms of tone, build and loudness .. at that price. I went to my local GC looking at a bass for my grand daughter and that same bass is selling for $799 there.. and that was one reason why I did not buy it.. until last month. If you are willing to spend $400 .. consider dropping $75 more and getting a much better instrument than anything else you will find in that price range or below.
  12. Got to GC or somewhere they have some kind of selection. Take a little $100 Ampeg practice amp into the acoustic room and just start trying em out. I've played a couple of the cheapest Dean Playmates and one was really good and the other was a POS. Like anything else the higher up the food chain you go the more consistancy. I've played a Michale Kelly that wasn't bad. Like wise a Fender Kingman. Best one I ever owned was a little small bodied Guild shortscale, but they don't make em anymore and are pretty pricey on the used market. The Wasburns are pretty nice for a mid line bass. My opinion is Martins or Guilds are at the top of the heap for sound and workmanship but you pay for it.
  13. Unknown1


    Jan 15, 2013
    Thanks everyone! I'll take this all into consideration. I'm taking a trip in a few days to a guitar center to try some basses out. Hopefully they'll have some of the ones you guys suggested.