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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MaskedJackal, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. I searched and only found a few threads that mentioned it. I want it not only because it's cheaper than the more aesthetic-inclined models, but because it's less flashy as well. I'm wondering specifically about the unplugged volume- how is it? I'd be playing it unplugged. And to make the tone chunky bright- think Violent Femmes-style tones- would I HAVE to play pickstyle? Or should I just get strings that have more focused treble or what? THANKS!
  2. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    One thing you should be aware of is there is a definite difference in the tone/volume of the laminated versions vs. the Solid top Kelly ABGs, which have solid spruce tops and solid mahogany backs, while the Dragonfly models have laminated construction throughout. I had the chance to play a Dragonfly and a Solid AB model back-to-back and the difference was not subtle. The Solid AB model simply smoked the Dragonfly in tone and ability to project (volume). Some people may prefer the flashy quilting on the Dragonfly, but it doesn't do much for me, and I'm a hundred times more concerned about tone than appearance, YMMV.

    I ended up holding out for a 5-string Tacoma Thunderchief, which I found out today is not going to come until August; it was originally supposed to arrive this week. :bawl:

    However, the Solid AB was nearly my favorite on value alone; it was nearly the equal of the Tacoma, for hundreds less.

    I haven't played a ST-AB model, which differs from the Solid AB model mainly in that it has a laminated back (as opposed to a solid mahogany back on the Solid AB model) and dot markers instead of block inlays on the Solid AB. I'd guess that tone-wise it's probably somewhere in between the all-laminate Dragonfly and the Solid AB, and since the top seems to be the most important, probably slightly closer to the Solid AB in tone, though that's just a guess.

    I found I was able to get a good tone fingerstyle out of the Solid AB, though if you want maximum volume and ability to cut through, you might have to use a pick. New strings help immensely, as does a well-adjusted setting on the Fishman preamp. Be aware that two or more acoustic guitars will drown out most any ABG unless it's plugged in, with some support from an amp.
  3. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    One more thing. The Michael Kelly website has sound clips for all the models. I have no idea how they were miked/recorded, etc., but at least it's a start.

    I'd also advise trying to find a nearby store that carried ABGs to find out if one will be loud enough for what you're planning. Many people are pretty disappointed by the volume a typical ABG puts out. That's why I went with the Tacoma; it really SANG for me. :D

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