Good & Cheap Acoustic Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by WowSuchPunx, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. WowSuchPunx


    Feb 17, 2014
    I'm starting to play acoustic sets with my band and I need acoustic bass. The only problem is I have next to no money. Is there a good acoustic bass I can buy for under $300?
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I think pretty much all of the cheap acoustics available in the online stores (musiciansfriend, music123, etc.) are decent. I would strongly advise however to NOT buy one of the super cheapos (like under $100) on amazon, or eBay. I have experience with 2 of those and they don't even make decent toys. Don't ask yourself, "how bad could it be". It could be real bad. Just trust me on that.
  3. Jefff


    Aug 14, 2013
    You can't get what you want for the money you have. Many people will tell you that you can't get what you want for any amount of money.

    Instead of a 300.00 bass, buy a small 300.00 combo amp and play quietly amplified.
  4. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Get one of those $150 Dean acoustic basses. Louder than most, and about as good as any of 'em.
  5. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    NJ or Pa
  6. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009

    If you want a new bass, it's hard to beat any of the Dean offerings.

    Used in your price range, look for anything with Ibanez or Washburn on the headstock and you'll be fine. The Fender T Bucket would also be a contender.

    Keep in mind you will STILL need an amp of some sort.

    Oh, if you think you'll be playing anywhere near gig volumes, you'll need one of these too:


    If you can, get to a music store that has a decent selection and try several out, they are usually quite different animals from each other.

    Good luck. :)
  7. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I've tried them, they play & sound good.
    The only problem I had was the body size.
    Standing with a strap I'd be okay-but sitting I couldn't do for very long having to reach over the body.

    that's the main reason I don't have an acoustic bass--I've found a few good deals on them when I had the cash for one.
  8. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    Dean maybe used Fender or used Kala ukelele bass. They still require amplification. If you're not plugging in at all get a guitarron or a double bass but then there's no such DB worth $300.
  9. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    I'll assume... yea, yea, we know... you'll be plugging in along with the guitars, while calling it an acoustic set?

    Make sure you have decent electronics. It used to be the lower tiered Dean ABG's had passive elecs and were very weak amplified.

    Lot of people here like their Ibanez ABG's.
    Takamine make a good ABG, EG512C. Maybe you can fine one on the bay for around your budget.
    Read through the Acoustic Bas Fetish Club thread.
  10. DarkCherry


    Feb 21, 2014
    Lincoln, CA
    Good & Cheap Acoustic Bass?
  11. Amara

    Amara Fumble-Fingered Beginner

    Jan 13, 2014
    I don't have trouble with mine sitting down, and I just finished spending a couple of hours with mine. The strap I ordered for it isn't in yet, so I only play sitting down. I'm not really reaching over the fat part of the instrument, and I find it natural to play over the end of the fretboard, using the side of it as a thumb rest.

    The electronics aren't very strong on it. I ordered a soundhole plug which also hasn't arrived yet; we'll see how it does amplified with that. But mostly, I bought it to play in our living room with my wife, and it does just fine (and has a very nice tone) unamplified for that purpose.
  12. There is great contentious debate as to whether an acoustic bass guitar capable of producing volume capable of competing w/a mildly-annoyed mosquito even exists. Jes sayin
  13. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    No, there really isn't.
  14. randyripoff


    Jul 12, 2008
    See if you can find an Applause AE-140. Smaller body size, with a strap it's comfortable to play sitting down. It projects reasonably well, but if you're playing with more than one acoustic guitarist you'll need amplification.
  15. Amara

    Amara Fumble-Fingered Beginner

    Jan 13, 2014
    I had a chance to try some other ABGs today (Fender Kingman, Ibanez, Takamine); they're all much smaller than my Dean. I get it now why folks think ABGs are so quiet... and my bigger Dean really does kick out a lot more volume acoustically. (I haven't really plugged it in much.) It matches well with my wife's acoustic guitar, and I play fingerstyle. I haven't tried to be heard over hand drums, though.
  16. SBassman likes this.
  17. Amara

    Amara Fumble-Fingered Beginner

    Jan 13, 2014
    Ooo, a U-Bass competitor, and one that only gives up one fret, not 4. How does it sound? My U-Bass sounds really, really bassy, surprisingly so for such a wee little thing. What does the Microbass sound like?
  18. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    Yes. I picked up a Luna for $150 brand new and it's FAR nicer than it should be. Place nice, sounds nice and looks strangely VERY nice.
  19. I definitely recommend the Fender T-Bucket, which retails for $399, but I have seen them cheaper. Ed Friedland likes them too as below:


    "Fender’s new T-Bucket Bass is a small-bodied entrant to the genre, with tasteful hot rod-inspired graphics and electronics by Fishman. An unplugged Bucket won’t send you running for earplugs, but its smaller, Grand Concert-style laminated mahogany/ maple body works well for close-miking in the studio, and when you do plug it in, its diminutive profile also helps reject feedback. The 1.650” nut width gives the 32"-scale neck a comfortable feel, and the dual-action truss rod makes accurate adjustments easy and effective. The onboard preamp is Fishman’s Isys III system, with volume, bass, mid, and treble controls, as well as a built-in tuner/mute function. The EQ is flexible enough that you’ll only have to twist a knob to go from bright grind to warm, upright-like thump.

    I took the T-Bucket out for several acoustic-oriented gigs and was pleasantly surprised at how well it fulfilled the bass function, and how easy it was to play. On a Django-esque guitar trio gig, rolling off the highs, bumping up the lows, and plucking by the fingerboard gave me a texture that came close to an upright tone—the medium scale length gives the bass just enough tubby-ness to help simulate the doghouse. (A set of nylon tapewound strings would have nailed it.) On an acoustic singer-songwriter gig, I played with more treble; the zing of the factory-supplied Fender Phosphor Bronze strings blended nicely with the acoustic guitar, while still supplying a welldefined bottom in support.

    To be honest, I am not usually a fan of acoustic bass guitars. I’ve found only a few that I enjoyed playing, and I wouldn’t take most ABG’s to a real-world gig. But the T-Bucket is an exception: A modest, laminated acoustic instrument whose easy playability, familiar neck, and flexible electronics go a long way toward making this hot rod ready to race."


  20. Mediocrity Man

    Mediocrity Man Master of Mediocrity Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2014
    Stillwater, New Jersey
    I like mine a lot. It is quiet but that's okay.