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Recommendation on Accoustic Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by R. Noise, Apr 14, 2001.

  1. Hey people,
    Somewhat of a newie to the forums, and I'm in the market for a good accoustic bass that I can play with my band when we play coffeehouses or something. Does anyone have any knowledge on a good one for me to look at? Thanks for the tips!

  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I was very impressed with the Martin B-15 I test drove, which is rather reasonably priced for a Martin. Another one I've messed with and liked was the Dean, believe it or not - very nice for the money! Tacoma allegedly makes one that is decent, but I haven't seen one yet.
  3. Jake15


    Jan 17, 2001
    USA, PA
    Look into taylors, they can be expensive but you get what you pay for!
  4. What are the prices on the Martin B-15 and the Dean? Beucase I am just a 16 year old kid with a somewhat limited budget. Thanks for the help!

  5. funkastorious


    May 26, 2000
    Mpls, MN.
    You mention you play coffee houses.....

    Are you going to be using an amp?

    If not, an acoustic bass is rarely going to help because although they are louder acoustically than an electric, they will be VERY heavily drowded by a soft-playing acoustic guitar.

    With that in mind and you using an amp, I would highly recommend a Wahsburn AB-34. They retail for around $1000, but used around $325ish. Very good bang for the buck.

  6. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Deans go about $350 as I recall, and the Martin is about $700, I think.
  7. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Even if your budget wasn't limited I'd say definitely check out a Carlo Robelli acoustic at Sam Ash. I won one (the price tag though was only $150) and I swear I like it better than any other one I've ever played. The action is great, it's got 4 band EQ, and it's louder acoustically than many of the others. The intonation is perfect too. I have no clue why this bass was so cheap - I've had it for 2 years now - it's gone camping with me, been all over, been sort of abused, and still plays like the day I got it.

    Only word of caution - I've heard you have really check out Carlo Robelli basses cause some of em are just really poorly constructed. One of the guys at TB used to work at Sam Ash and said every now and then they'd get a really good bass, but lots of em were junk. I'd go play one - if all the knobs worked, the intonation was in, and it felt good - I'd buy it.
  8. Ciaran


    Apr 4, 2001
    I play a John Hornby Skewes "Vintage" acoustic bass.
    And 'tis unbelievably sweet (at 550 Irish pounds it would want to be) and when plugged into an amp the sweetness is intensified 10 fold.
    So there.
  9. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    He's talking about me!!!! I was working when he won the bass!!!!! (Didn't Randy win it :)) He's absolutly right. For every one Good Robelli there were @ least a dozen we thrashed!!! I mean stripped & threw in the GARBAGE!!!!!!! Some played real nice for basses in their price ranges. The Acoustics were the most consistant whan I worked there. It's worth checking out.
  10. Sherman


    Nov 24, 2000
    I've just bought the Cort SJ-B in South Africa for the equivalent of $375. I love it. Its got a Fishman pickup but sounds just as cool unplugged as it does in my amp - great for practice too.
  11. Taylor just came out with an updated line of acoustic basses that look real nice and I'm sure they cost an arm an a leg. I haven't tried them myself but I do have a Taylor acoustic guitar that plays like a dream.
  12. I have a Washburn AB20 that I got years ago used that I really like. I've tried all of the others but stick with this one cause I like the way it sounds and plays in tune.
  13. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    ok, ok.....I just traded away my Washburn AB32, but it was a very Good bass...check around on Washburns as they are not always consistent. AB10 can be found very cheap, and some of them really sound and feel cheap! Others are very nice!
    Martin, Taylor, even Guild, all make fine ABGs...and yes, they are very pricey, too! (Let's face it, if you want an acoustic, you gotta check with Martin and Taylor!)
    No ABG is loud enough to work un amplified. Other instruments (even a mandolin) will bury an unamped ABG...so check into a good ACOUSTIC INSTRUMENT AMP! A regular ol' bass amp just won't do it (the input impedences are just too low) SWR California Blonde and Strawberry Blonde are both good choices...or Ashdown ABM line (it couuld double as a GREAT electric amp too! But these babies cost...) Or look into the new line by Acoustic Image.
    Oh, yes...cheaper (less expensive, that is) ABGs can be found by Ibanez, Epiphone (the El Capitan is fabulous), Tacoma (B10...really big bass sound) and Dean. I just got a Dean Performer Plus model, and I must say I am VERY surprised by the quality. They are quite affordable, and the two I tried (Performer CE and Performer Plus) were both well made and good playing. You might want to check those out!
    BTW I own another Washburn (AB20), Epiphone El Cap, Dean Performer, Guild B4E, and a Renaissance 4 and GodinA4....in addition to a Epiphone Jack Casady and an Azola Jazzman on the way! I really have a thing about acoustic and semi-acoustic basses (looking for a Rob Allen next).
  14. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    If you can handle the size, go with the Tacoma. It has the most acoustic volume of any ABG I've heard. The tone is, well, a little "husky" sounding compared with an electric, but that might be the phosphor strings.

    The Washburn AB3x series have 5" deep bodies. I don't know how loud they are, but they must sound more full bodied than the relatively slim AB2xs they replace.

    The Taylor *looks* like it should be acoustically loud, but I was disappointed by both the volume and tone, particularly since it's Steve Klein's design. Maybe tone varies from instrument to instrument; I've tried two and didn't like either.

    The Rob Allen semiacoustic is absolutely gorgeous, but it feels and sounds surprisingly electric. I loved the four string, which *sang*. Hated the five, though: woolly B, neck-chunky and neck-heavy. The extra string really threw the balance off. But I digress. Go, Tacoma.
  15. jimclark68


    Dec 16, 2000
    Morganton, NC
    I bought a Fender BG-32 2 months ago, and I'm very happy with it. It seems to be a fairly good option if you're looking for a mid-priced AEB with reasonable quality. I tossed the stock strings and slapped on some flats for that acoustic feel/sound. For its price range (I paid $475), it played better than others I looked at. Of course, as others have mentioned, unless you're playing by yourself, you just about have to have it plugged in.

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