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How do acoustic bassists go about amplification?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ndrly, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. I know how some acoustic guitarists go about amplification. They can record direct, or use amplification.

    But what about their low-end counterparts? Do acoustic bass amplifiers exist? If so, what can anybody recommend?
  2. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I'd suggest checking out the Double Bass Forums down the hall.
  3. sublime0bass


    Aug 2, 2007
    Boone, NC
    yes, acoustic bass amps exist. SWR makes them iirc, as im sure other companies do
  4. full_bleed


    May 27, 2005
    just food for thought here, but in most acoustic bands the bassist still plays with an amplified electric.

    Otherwise, as said before, check out the DB forum and try out an SWR acoustic bass amp.
  5. Jazzman


    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I vote for Acoustic Image amps...amazing.
  6. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Daytona beach, Fl
    They install a pickup, buy a cable, and an amp. They then plug them together.
    Hope that clears up your question.
    you're welcome. :)
  7. I'm talking about acoustic bass guitars, not double basses.
  8. phat daddy

    phat daddy

    Jun 16, 2006
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Any decent bass amplifier would amplify a simlply "acoustic" bass guitar. It's all a matter of what you want to hear. As long as you're not talking about that big thing with no frets....
  9. richnota

    richnota Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    hudson valley
    I've had good luck with three rigs:

    acoustic image + bergantino
    acoutstic image + accugroove Tri110
    Phil Jones Briefcase (my all time fave)



  10. tremblap


    Aug 6, 2007
    Can you comment further? I've got the Focus 2R with the AI speaker, and I think it is a little nasal. I can see that you have a 'preamp pedal' on your AI as well...

    I would be more than happy to hear more from you about amplification of ABG


  11. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    not sure what your question relates to. Other than potential feedback issues in live playing situations, ABG's are pretty much just like electrics as far as amplification goes.

    For example; I have both a Turner Renaissance fretless 4 (a slimline chambered "semi-acoustic") and a cheap Rogue fretless Acoustic Bass Guitar. These basses are both piezo pup loaded. I run them straight into my Mesa Walkabout amp with fairly flat EQ settings and have no problems at all. FWIW both basses are strung with TI Acousticores (which ends up meaning that the strings represent 30% of the total cost of the Rogue :p ). The Turner is active and pretty hot, and the Rogue is not. Either way the amplification and tone works pretty much like an electric.

    I do tend to roll off the high end a bit on both basses as the piezo's are characteristically sort of clacky on the high end. YMMV.

    good luck
  12. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    The SWR BBII is excellent for this. Almost any EA combination of speakers and heads will give you very accurate reproduction with great tone shaping. You may configure your gear by whether you are wishing to amplify exactly the tone of the instrument or present your voice and tone.
  13. joninjapan


    Aug 13, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    I run my Tacoma into a Paracoustic DI and into the mains... and listen via the floor monitors... no amp.
  14. DonBox


    Aug 30, 2006
    Seattle WA
    Based on reading the DB forum over on the other side for the past 9 months, I can say with great authority that you will buy, sell, or trade one of each of the following:

    Head: { Acoustic Image Focus or Clarus, Walter Woods, EA iAmp (or Micro 300 if you like the "buzz" of being an early adopter), Markbass Little Mark II }

    Cab: { EA Wizzy 12, Wizzy 10, Wizzy M-Line 12, Berg HT112, EA VL208, Epi UL110/112 }

    Pickup: { David Gage Realist, Fishman Full Circle, whatever K&K products URBBOB.com has for sale }

    Combo: { Acoustic Image Coda or Contra, Phil Jones Briefcase or Flightcase, SWR Baby Blue }

    Mostly, double bassists pine about how they want a ten pound rig that doubles as a music stand and sounds like mid-1990's Walter Woods ultra through a EA VL 208 and will stand up to some guy named Uncle Toad.
    Bassmunnky likes this.
  15. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    schenectady, ny
    My current understanding is that Amps designed for ABG are out there, though expensive ?
    but that you can use any bass amp you like, though probably through a direct box which will modify the piezo's output.

    I have a set of the TI Acousticores that really do wonders for the amp'd sound, my only problem with them is I wish they were heavier guage, they are easily overplayed.
  16. After cleaning spewed coffee from my monitor:
    Nice summation.

  17. Well, I was thinking of using a combo for studio use. Maybe it would also work for "unplugged" gigs.

    The Ampeg Flip Top, IMO, is the standard by which others are judged. Perhaps I shall try out that, along with equivalents by other companies.
  18. Didn't you read my post? Acoustic bass GUITARS not upright double basses.
  19. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005
    I amplify my Martin ABG with the same Carvin combo I use for my solid-bodied electrics. It sounds good to me. YMMV, of course.
  20. richnota

    richnota Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    hudson valley
    The AI combined with a Bergantino or Acugroove puts a bit more output than the AI speaker offerings. Never thought of the AI speakers as nasal.

    I often combine the AI with a preamp like a Demeter, Tech 21 or a Phil Jones Bass Buddy (but im a tone-monkey and like tweaking).

    The EA gear is really nice for ABG. Very nice stuff.

    I tend to look for very high-fidelity, balanced systems for ABG--something that will accurately reproduce the sound of the bass without a lot of color.