[formerly titled: "Inexpensive 4-string Acoustic Bass Guitars"] Introduction OK, Ive just read all the threads, and it seems that most favour the Olympia by Tacoma. However, I dont want such a big ABG as the Tacoma. Btw, the US Tacoma sells locally *from* ~US$1750. I quite like the idea of the Godin A4 fretted (~US$1350), but I cant afford or even justify one of them, and I wonder if unplugged volume would be sufficient for my purposes. Planned Usage I plan on using an *unplugged* ABG mainly for *fingerstyle* practice by myself, playing along to CDs, occasionally practicing with a friend on keyboard *or* acoustic guitar, or occasionally accompanying an acoustic guitar at a BBQ. Playing *plugged* on a gig would be *very* occasional, and Im going to get a Fishman Pro-EQ Platinum Bass (for acoustic and electric use). Unplugged, Id play a wide variety of styles. Plugged, it would probably be limited to mainly Latin and country rock maybe jazz, acoustic soul so the upright end of the tonal spectrum. Playability Playability-wise, Id like as close to electric bass guitar feel as possible. Im primarily an electric player, and currently my only acoustic guitar is a thinline double cutaway Ibanez Talman. Choices I live in New Zealand, so theres a limited choice, and prices are quite a bit more expensive than in the US, especially on brand-name stuff. So, for me, the choices seem to be: New Choices: Ibanez AEB10 (32" scale, maple top, back and sides, high gloss finish, local price ~US$450). I havent seen or played one of these, but I can get especially good deals on Ibanez, and the AEB10 already retails at the cheapies end. ...The AEB30 (32" scale, spruce top, mahogany back and sides, semi-gloss finish, and ~50% more expensive) is seemingly unavailable here (similarly the Takamine EG512C isn't easy to find). I've got access to the range of Cort ABG's, which seem a cut above from the middle of the range to the top (34" scale), with better electronics. SJBCE has a local price of ~US$625; NTLB has a local price of ~US$750. I saw a nice quality Crafter thinline bass that I could probably afford, but it seemed very loose feeling and quiet. Though Ive seen plastic back Crafter guitars, I recall this ABG being wood. (local price ~US$500) Used Choices: Ive only seen an Applause within my price range, and it wasnt quite as loose as the Crafter (I guess the Crafter is a shorter scale), and was a bit louder, but not as loud as I expected a "plastic fantastic" to be. In fact, there's been quite a nice black one hanging in a store here for some time now for US$350. I havent made up my mind regarding the bowl back, but most Ovation guitars Ive heard plugged sound pretty good, so if theyre a good option for an ABG I can probably get used to the bowl back. So... The Ibanez ABGs seem to have some standing at TalkBass, so Id like to read more about them and the differences in tone and volume between the two 4-string models - especially with the AEB30LG being 50% more expensive (though seemingly unavailable to me here). And, of course any input on the other choices Ive presented would be welcomed, especially with regard to the Applause ABG (which seems to be the same spec as the "deep bowl" Ovation, except instead of a solid spruce top it has a laminated spruce top).