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loudest acoustic bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nate 0 jt, Sep 6, 2002.

  1. What is the loudest acoustic bass you have come across? I play with a pick toward the neck and i play agianst one acoustic guitar and a violen. I am looking for a five string version. Thanks, nate
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Taylor, most likely.
  3. The Tacoma is the loudest one I've played. I had a Taylor AB-2 (just sold it) and I have an AB-4 on the way. These are great basses but they aren't loud. The bracing is way too heavy; my understanding is that Bob Taylor modified Steve Klein's bracing design because he (Taylor) didn't want a bunch of basses coming back with sunken tops, etc. Klein will redo the bracing, and replace the relatively horrid pickup system, for a fee and it might be worth doing, as it's a real nice bass.

    Not loud though.
  4. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Nate I hope you find what you need. I have discovered that any AGB would not work in an acoustic setting. Being unplugged of course. The only thing that will come close to reaching the ears of the audience is a Double Bass. I gave up on the idea of being heard by accoustics alone and always bring an amp or go through the PA. This is totally my opinion. It's just that an AGB does not have the size to produce the volume needed to be heard well, even by itself. Hell, my plywood upright isn't really loud enough up against a fiddle and guitar. Now to answer your question. Sigma by Martin was the loudest AGB I've ever played on. It didn't sound all that great but did project some. I'm not trying to piss you off or anything. I wish the they worked like that. Just wanted to offer you some advise on this subject. If the room you are playing in doesn't have any electricity, use a VERY heavy pick.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I stand corrected. I do agree that the Tacoma is pretty loud, and is good quality for a decent price.
  6. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    My Tacoma 5 string has served me well for pretty close to a year.

    It stands up to two guitars without breaking a sweat.

    It also didnt cost nearly as much as a Taylor, and definetly less than a Martin (mine doest have [doesnt need] electronics).

    I feel you dont need to put in the money for the electronics as long as you are prepared to mic it.

  7. Gil Escalera

    Gil Escalera

    Jan 17, 2002
    Upland, CA
    I'm interested in this thread also since I too am looking for a loud ABG. It would be used outdoors at a farmers market type thing and we would be moving around. Totally acoustic: one or two guitars, bass, cajon and two or three vocals.

    I've been advised by others who have done this to go with a battery powered amp and an electric bass if I want to be heard. They said that they never found an ABG loud enough for this type of gig.

    -- Gil
  8. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I'm one of the Tacoma Thunderchief's biggest fans, but I tend to agree with your friends. Playing one acoustically outdoors in free space is probably going to be underwhelming.

    If it were me, I'd look at an ABG and a battery powered amp, like a Crate or Pignose. You don't need much amplification, and an amplified ABG would sound more at home in this context than a Jazz or P, IMO.

    If you're determined to do without an amp, maybe one of those huge Mexican bass-like instruments, or an old Ernie Ball Earthwood?
  9. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    No one will hear that.

    Ive played them a few times in the acoustic room at guitar center, and was always drowned out my my friends. I couldnt even really hear it too well when I played by myself, and there wasnt much bass in the sound either.

    IMO IME, Its not worth it.

  10. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Yeah Tacoma Thunderchief
  11. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I forgot to add, that when speaking about acoustic basses, not worth it really means not worth it.

    When you buy a less than great bass, or less than great amp, it can still serve its duty and despite the fact that some people say its not worth it, by serving its duty, it is worth it. With an acoustic bass, its a completely different story. When an acoustic bass doesnt do a great job, it cant be haerd, and thus cant be used.

    I did alot of testing before deciding on my Tacoma. It is the only one (Out of Martin Epiphone Ibanez Hohner and others I cant remember) that did the job it was supposed to. As a bonus, it did a great job.

  12. IMO none of them will do a bass's full job unplugged. Not one. Some can't be heard; others can be heard, but not with much bass presence (that is, you know something's playing, and you get some of the harmonics, and you can hear the pitches, and you can maybe even tell it's supposed to be the bass, but it doesn't *hit* you like you expect a bass to--not enough impact). But a lot of uprights can't do it either. I tend to be from the school that says, forget about chasing the loudness bus, you'll never catch it, so rely on an amp or a PA.

    All that said, the Tacoma comes closest in my book to what you're looking for.
  13. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Sounds like my attitude......

    Until the day I played my Tacoma Thunderchief the first time. I proceeded to eat my words, then put my money where my mouth was. It's now one of my main basses as I play in acoustic settings often and it fits perfectly.

    That said, there's no way the Thunderchief holds up outdoors in an open environment (streetcorner, farmer's market as described here). It will handle a porch, deck, or patio setting with one quiet guitarrist no problem, but that's about the limit (and that's exactly what I was after).

    So I recommend a ThunderChief and an external amp. Since the Tchief does make some noise on its own the amp will not be the only source of sound. This will be nice. And it's a damn fine sounding bass.
  14. I've never run across an AGB that would be loud to serve on it's own acoustically. Guild, Martin, Tacoma, Hondo, Takamine, and Ovation are the brands I've tried. None of them were able to project.
  15. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I've always been partial to the Martin B4.
  16. Futurebass


    Jun 22, 2005
    By far the loudest and deepest is the Ernie Ball Earthwood. Played properly it can compete with other acoustic string instruments, brushed drums, woodwinds, etc.
  17. BassFelt


    Mar 26, 2002
    In my experience (I haven't heard the Earthwood) a guitarron would be the best candidate.
  18. bearfoot

    bearfoot Suspended

    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    Being a folk-rock-etc. upright player, one thing I find when I compulsively try every ABG I see, is that you really have to play the hell out of them as I have to on my upright, which is loud enough to make other musicians think its in the PA before it actually is, during sound check. But the bridge is very high on it, the whole action is brutally panifully high. So I'm curious to try this with an ABG - set it up with a high action and play it very hard.
  19. Beav

    Beav Graphics Whore

    Jul 17, 2003
    Middle Tennessee
    Designer: Beav's Graphics
    I'm pretty sure this got solved 15 months ago...

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