LOUD acoustic basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by clef360, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. Since I was a guitar player before I was a bassist, I always check out the acoustic guitars in any music store I go to, and there's usually one or two acoustic basses, but they always sound so small i can barely hear myself play even by myself in an enclosed room. Are there acoustic bass guitars that can actually project?
  2. Kicklow


    Jun 28, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    Check out a Tacoma. I tried every ABG I could find before buying a CB10C. It's not only the loudest one out there, but has great tone too.
  3. Think about how big a double bass has to be to project. There's the problem! :(
  4. Guild B4CE is very loud, without amplification.


    BTW, if you do a search, you'll find this topic has been discussed before!

  5. did a search for "acoustic". didnt find anything useful. that's the broadest term i can think of. I mean, if they're talking about "acoustic basses" it's gotta have the word "acoustic in it, right?:D
  6. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
  7. Cathead


    Dec 13, 2002
    Premier, WV
    I agree with kicklow. The Tacoma is awesome. I recently played an informal "gig" where we all sat in a circle...2 acoustic dreadnought guitars, a banjo,a mandolin, and me on the Tacoma. We were all unplugged and the Tacoma cut right through the crowd. Everybody was amazed and commented on how good the bass sounded.
  8. Try jacking the action on the Tacoma up about 1/4" inch off the board at the 12th fret. A simple tweak of the truss rod should accomplish the job.
    I recently played a Tacoma with high action. It howled!
  9. bwbass


    May 6, 2002
    The Tacoma's probably the best commercially available ABG today. For "exotic" stuff, Jay Hargreaves' BlueJay projects across the room, although I'm not a huge fan of the 30" scale... I did a redwood ABG a while back that sounds pretty great....one of these days I'll get around to doing another one:
    I hear if you have Steve Klien's shop shave down the braces in a Taylor it really opens up and gets loud. The old Ernie Ball Earthwood was the king of them all, and the Guild B30 was a close second.
  10. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    I found the Sam Ash house brand Carlo Robeli to
    be very loud. It is a knock off of a Martin.
    I liked it so much I went and got another and
    had it De-Fretted. I use the Phospher Bronze
    strings on both of them, these strings have way
    more volume than steel or nickel strings. I use them alot and have never had
    a bit of trouble out of them. If you plug in they
    have a nice EQ, but feedback real easy. I just
    use the Acoustic, and they keep up fine with
    a drummer & Guitar player. And I did not go broke
    buying both of them. Check them out if you have a Sam Ash store in your area.
  11. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    here is a little better pic of the Fretted one.
  12. I have to agree with NV43345. I bought my Carlo over a year ago and have had no problem with it. Of all the ABG's I've tried she was the loudest.
    For under $200 I think she was a steal!!! Heck I bought another for my stepdad, vet bass player and the man who gave me my 1rst bass. He loves his. Hey Gary!!! He lurks here sometimes
    That said I think all ABG's are challenged unplugged. Playing with a pick has help though.
    I bought mine on a wim and have never regretted it.

    :bassist: :bassist:
  13. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    Quote from Fletch:That said I think all ABG's are challenged unplugged. Playing with a pick has help though.

    I also play with a pic sometimes for more volume.
    When I bought the first one they also had the
    Martin in stock, it was $1000.00 my Neice was with me, she plays alot of different instruments
    and has a great ear, we did the side by side
    comparison with the Martin and the Carlo,needless to say the Carlo was a steal at just under 200
  14. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    I was at legends Guitars in Tampa Fla saturday, and they had an exact copy of the Carlo Robeli/Martin type ABG. It was made by Dean and called the Playmate. It was Only $179.00:)
  15. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I agree. I can't imagine a acoustic bass that is as loud as a Dobro or and agressively strummed steel string guitar. I also haven't played a Tacoma either.

    Instead of an acoustic bass, I might consider a Guitarron. It's an acoustic bass that is used in Mariachi bands. The one's I have heard are much louder than any ABG that I've ever heard. I haven't been able to find one for a decent price, but I think it will project better than most ABGs out there. If they can be used to hold down the bass in mariachi band with loud trumpets, I imagine they can keep up with an acoustic guitar. Although I hear they are hard to intonate, and are tuned differently, and have six strings, I think they could be a great option.

    If anyone knows where I can get one cheap, or has any info on them, it will be appreciated.
  16. bentem


    Oct 18, 2002
    Rockville, MD
    Are guitarrons those instruments that look like huge acouastic guitars? In the movie, once opun a time in mexico, one of them had somethinmg like that. Ive been wondering what it was
  17. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    That's it
  18. bwbass


    May 6, 2002
    Guitarrons project like cannons, but they have a few drawbacks. First, they have very short necks, with only about 12 fret positions on them. They have really high action, and are meant to be played in octaves, with two strings plucked at once, so it's hard to do anything very complicated. Mariachi bass players are essentially playing tuba lines on those things.

    Also, they produce so much sound because the tops are very lightly braced. They're a "live fast, die young" instrument, and the tops often warp and cave in on themselves after a few years. On the bright side, you can hear one in a festival crowd over a huge horn section!

    Try Lark In The Morning for one of these: http://www.larkinthemorning.com/product.asp?pn=GUI027

    I have seen some student ones in the southwest that were in the $200 range, but I don't know where you'd find one online.
  19. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    The guitarron I picked up once had more like *seven* positions available, if even that many.

    - very thick nylon strings
    - six of them
    - mile-high action
    - thumpy tone
    - extremely deep bodies (10"-12"), though curved

    Good for mariachi, but probably not much else.
  20. tymbrewolf


    Nov 10, 2003
    Also looking for loud acoustic. Does anyone have a comment on a solid top Johnson cutaway or the best economical cutaway model. Looking for something under $475 including hard case. Takamine 512 also looks promising but all laminate body. Any thoughts on it? Thank you.