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recommend me an acoustic

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by EvilVOG, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. In the market for an acoustic to practice on and for campfire jams. Looking on the lower price end of the spectrum. Ideal would be fretless...

    I tried out an Applause one i really liked but didn't have the $ at the time and now it's too late and i haven't seen another like it.

    I hear bad things about the Dean EAB but haven't come across one to try.

    I've seen the poll about how much people play them and the other thread about how well you can hear it, i'm past that, and still want an acoustic. So recommend some to me please.
  2. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    There's usually a Michael Kelly or three on ebay.
  3. I had a dean playmate for a while, used it for practice and around the campfire. I thought it was great, very well constructed for the price. It's only downfall was the built in electronics were useless. The couple times I gigged it, I sent a mike signal to my amp.

    For messing around, I highly recommend it.

    Not a fretless, though.
  4. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Find one with a big body that projects and plays well, I don't think the brand has much importance.
  5. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I had a Boulder Creek bass for a while. Very well made with a large sound. Very nice preamp for an acoustic bass too.
  6. rockscott


    Aug 28, 2010
    Imho you need to spend a few bucks to get a decent abg! I played a cheap fender and a few others that did not play or sound very good! I went with the epiphone, it plays well & sounds great. It was around $500.
  7. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    I don't want to recommend one brand over another, but I will share my opinion.

    If you are comfortable doing your own setups, and ESPECIALLY if you understand the basics of how to set up an acoustic guitar, then for your purpose I would just get the cheapest ABG I could find (Johnson/Dean/whatever) and be happy, and don't sweat any bad reviews.

    If you are not used to setting up your own bass successfully, or would not know how to file nuts or sand a bridge saddle, then you may want to be a little more picky and spend a little more money on something ready to go right out of the box.

    Not trying to paint with a broad brush, but IMO a LOT of inexpensive gear gets an undeserved bad wrap, when if they would only have been set up properly they would have been perfectly functional and enjoyable instruments.

    And this is especially true for a simple "kick around" ABG.
  8. Agreed....for the most part.

    Lower end ABG's can be setup by a pro to play pretty decent if you're not comfortable doing it.

    My very first ABG was an Applause. Can't remember the model but, it was pretty inexpensive. I had a pro setup on it and it played pretty good.

    Over the years, I've owned several brands and models of ABG's and EVERY one of them needed to be plugged in to play with more than one acoustic guitar, regardless of what anybody else tells you......with the possible exception of the new Rigel ABG.

    Beyond that, I would HIGHLY recommend going fretless and installing tapewounds. You can EQ up some nice, deep tones.....very "earthy" sounding.
  9. gigslut


    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    A fretted acoustic will give you more volume.
    When looking for my first ABG, I considered the Dean. With the large body and light satin finish, it actually projected quite well and the acoustic tone was not bad. I chose a different bass an account of the electronics, but wouldn't mind having a Dean for a "campfire" bass. There are larger and more expensive basses on the market that will be more audible in an ensemble setting, but I'd hesitate to take such an instrument to an event where fire and liquor were involved.
    Set it up with high action, heavy round wound strings and play it hard and you might be heard in a mix with a guitar or two.
  10. BassGen


    Mar 15, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    My wife got me an Ibanez for my birthday a few years ago. I took it in for a set-up and I have to say it plays very well. The only hard part is getting your plucking hand around the body when you are sitting as it is very deep. The neck plays great. It also came with a really good HSC.

    Now I will admit I don't play it much now. I used to use it for practice so I didn't disturb the house so much but now I have the Amplitube iRig and run that through my iPad with one of my electric basses when I want to practice. But I do still take it for the cottage or around a campfire.

    Mine seems to be pretty sensitive to humidity. I used to keep it in the living room on a stand so I could grab it anytime I wanted to but I noticed the neck starting to change (in the winter with furnace and gas fireplace in use) so I put it back in it's case with a guitar humidifier. Seems fine now.

    I can't really speak to the electronics in it as I only use the built in tuner. I've never run it into an amp.
  11. randyripoff


    Jul 12, 2008
    Is this the Applause you were looking at? I own one. It's decent, and I like the unplugged tone. However, I will say that if you're playing with others, you're going to need an amp. It projects reasonably, but I doubt it can keep up with more than one acoustic guitar.
  12. Ken J

    Ken J Hartford Hot Several Brass Band

    Aug 19, 2011
    Middlefield, CT
    My first bass and still in my position is an Ibanez EWB10. Its flat black and open pour. This one is fretted and acoustic/ electric. I play it once in a while because I love the feel of the full size body and its resonating feeling into my chest. I found this one on EBay as a demo in mint condition from a Buffalo NY music store and picked it up for $210.00 shipped. The neck is a 1.6, if you prefer a wider neck the Michael Kelly neck has a baseball bat feel. I tried the lower end Fender but I preferred the EWB10 tone better. Hope this helps.
  13. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    I have a cheap ABG (Hondo H1000) strung with D'Addario Chromes.

    If and when playing solely acoustically, I grab a pick, dig in, and can easily be heard along with an acoustic and singer.

    As far as practice, an ABG is hard to beat for conveniece and most any brand will do.

    Also want to throw this out whenever the "campfire/acoustic jam session" question comes up. Consider a small battery powered amp like a Pignose Hog 20/30 or Crate Taxi as part of your ABG total package.

    Yeah, it's an amp and a chord to schlep, but it's portable and a nice, elegant, and confident solution to the big question of whether you're ABG be heard.

    It will. :)
  14. The Applause was a pretty plain natural finish ABG, Guitar Center only wanted $150 for it and it wasn't beaten or scratched or anything.

    I can play pretty loud, i could almost take one of my p basses to a campfire and be heard without an amp.

    I do own a little Marshall mini pignose-sized amp.

    A guy on Craig's list has an Epiphone El Captian 5 string i'm looking at, but it looks different than the ones i can find online to compare it to.

    Thanks for all the advice so far.

    *edit* was just browsing the basses on that site, and seen it comes in a natural finish. i guess it could be the same one. When i tried it out at the store it sounded way better than the $700 fancy bass that was all quilted maple with inlays all over it.
  15. mattj1stc

    mattj1stc Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2009
    Dallas, TX USA
    I have the Breedlove fretless and I love it. Pretty loud unplugged and sounds amazing through my REDDI.
  16. gigslut


    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    I love my Breedlove fretless, too. Tone is awesome with chrome flats and I gig with it. But it's not my first choice for "campfire" situation. My fretted Johnson with rounds is louder unplugged and I don't have to worry about dinging it.

  17. For cheap it's hard to beat a Dean Playmate, I really like my EABC5, even the B string has a nice clarity and presence. As has been stated the factory electronics are pretty poor but with a preamp they're not too bad. I have a Highlander Insider in mine but that is more than the bass is worth just happened to have one.
    Volume wise it will keep up with a classical or finger picked acoustic and i use a pick when playing with more or a small amp.
    Fretless would be cool but you trade tone for a significant decrease in volume, I had a fretless Washburn AB20 for a while that was a lot quieter than my fretted AB20. .
  18. MD

    MD Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Same here... gig on left, camping on right. With string height ~1/4" off the board at the octave, I can be heard over two finger picking guitars and quiet singing. Can also be heard in a neighboring campsite 70' away.

  19. gigslut


    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    TB10 ... I'm jealous
  20. MD

    MD Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Well, older B10, but still a wonderful tone both live/amped and on recordings. Interestingly enough, the Takamine EG512 at a fraction of the price is much louder acoustically.
    I wonder if the preamp modules are interchangeable. One would think so.

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