Resonator Bass or Acoustic Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Danilixo, Jun 24, 2017.

  1. Danilixo

    Danilixo Guest

    So my band's beginning to become a lot more acoustic and I've been struggling to be heard. Right now I'm using a Kala U-Bass and I honestly can't even hear myself when everyone else chips in. I like the U-Bass for traveling and practice, but it honestly can't stand up against everyone else.
    I know most people suggest simply plugging in and playing, though where we practice acoustically there is absolutely no access to power and I'm not keen on constantly buying batteries (I have a battery powered Yamaha combo amp but playing by bass just drowns the batteries out in two days of practice)
    So this finally brings me to my question, what do you guys recommend for an unplugged bass that can be heard over everyone else? I've seen some resonators but there's a much larger selection of acoustics. Give me your thoughts.
  2. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    Upright or SOL.
  3. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    Nothing but upright will matter. There's no resonator, banjo, or acoustic bass that will be able to be heard over any other instrument.

    Here's the answer I found works best in your situation. The pignose 30 rechargeable amp.
  4. I have a Dean Playmate EABC5 that is a huge ABG and can get pretty loud especially when playing octaves or a pick but still if there is too much going on it will get lost. If you have an amp that runs on batteries then get a rechargeable battery.
    B-Mac and McG like this.
  5. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    There's a reason upright basses are big.
    MarshallAC50Stack and Zenbassie like this.
  6. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    How many in an "everyone else"? You may get away with a quiet rehearsal in a living room using a jumbo body ABG; but live, with mics and a PA, in a small public venue, nope.
    After a certain point, ABGs have to be plugged in, that's why they come with on board electronics.
    Find an ABG that sounds/feels good to you and play it for its tonal and visual properties. Just plug it in.
    lomo and jd56hawk like this.
  7. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Exactly, just like they used to do on MTV's Unplugged.
    You simply need to buy an amp like this with a rechargeable battery. 2z52exv.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
    Zenbassie likes this.
  8. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    Iff you're gonna be out in the boonies with no chance to so much as recharge a battery, a resonator is not such a bad idea. Since resophonic basses are indeed few and far between, here's an idea, recycled from another thread:
    Emphasis added.
    (On second thoughts, a stiff pick such as ceramic picks recommended further on in the thread might be even better.)
    The general idea for the strings would be to use gauges typical of B-E-A long-scale (sub)sets; instead of the Fernandes set you could custom-order them in the required length (try contacting La Bella via or attempt unravelling normal bass strings (you may need something to stop them where you want them to - between nut and tuner -, such as superglue or heat shrink tubing).
    Also, intonation would be almost certainly bad up the neck: you might then ask a woodworker for a custom biscuit bridge, with the saddle slanted and set a little back from center (or possibly order prototypes with different positions).
  9. I found that a jumbo ABG worked with a nylon string guitar, but that was about it.
  10. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Playing with a pick helps a ton....but I suck with a pick.
  11. The biggest acoustic bass you can afford and tell them to play softer. All acoustic means there are no faders so everyone becomes their own fader.
  12. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    If you plucking the living **** out of the strings on a resonator bass, I think it would be heard over other instruments. It'll sound terrible, but I think it would be audible.