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Searching for a 4 string acoustic bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by psubassist, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. psubassist


    Feb 13, 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ive played several different acoustic basses and turned them down because of my cash flow at the time. I played a fender acoustic bass, it was around 350 at guitar center and really enjoyed it but i passed it up. i'm not looking for one and i was curious about what anyone would recommend. i'd like to keep the cost under 400. also, while i was searching for an acoustic bass, i came across one on ebay for $95, its a titan 4-string. if any one has any input on that particular bass, let me know. Thanks
  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
  3. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Um, this is the bass guitar forum after all..... :)
  4. Nadav


    Nov 13, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    He said he would like to keep it under $400.
  5. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    How much acoustic volume do you need to produce? In other words, what sort of instruments do you need to keep up with and how many? Depending on that, the answer may well be "save your money and get a double bass". But if you only need to keep up with your own voice or a ukulele, or maybe just need an electric bass that sort of looks like an acoustic guitar - then you might have some other options.
  6. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    Used Carvin AC40, or a used Michael Kelly maybe.
  7. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I have a really cheap Carlo Robelli that I won many years ago, and would have never bought as I prior to this I had little if any respect for Carlo Robelli. This bass has been through just about anything imaginable and I'm still in love with it. It's probably gotten more play than any of my other basses as for the longest time it was the only bass I played in the house. I gig with it weekly, it's been camping, to the beach, on big stages, small stages... just about everywhere. The action is amazing, the intonation still perfect, acoustic sound loud and clear - the amplified sound was fine, until I had something to compare it with (a Michael Kelly which sound way better plugged in). The plugged in sound of the Carlo Robelli is fine however, the volume from string to string is slightly off, and it's not as warm as the other.

    That being said - if you're looking for something to play around the house that won't be plugged in much I'd suggest going to stores and playing as many cheap ones as you can until you find one that fells and sounds good to you. Some of the cheap ones kick butt. If you want it to sound really good plugged in I think you may have to spend a little bit more, and you might want to listen closely when they're plugged in. I think the cheaper basses are also hit and miss. Some of the same models are a lot better than other, I believe I scored bigtime with mine.

    Last note - when checking the acoustic sound out be real conscious of how new or old the strings are. Dead string on a great bass can make it sound like crap, while new strings can make a garbage bass sound really loud and amazing. The difference is really huge.
  8. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005

    Great advice. This one is wise beyond his years.
  9. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    +1 Great post, Joe.

    *shrug* Cremona, then ;).

  10. I actually bought one of the Carlo Robellis, I've never won anything :bawl: , and agree with Joe's review. I payed around $200 a couple of years ago. I've actually seen them going cheaper recently :meh: I haven't treated it very nicely either and it still plays great. Well worth the money.
  11. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    About a year or so back, I tried a JB Player 5-string acoustic bass guitar in a mom-and-pop music store where I used to take lessons. The neck was thin and fast, and the low B was easily one of the clearest low B's I've ever experienced. Even with my less-than-perfect technique, it never buzzed out or anything.

    Of course, this being a mom-and-pop store, the bass was likely well taken care of and well set-up. It was about $450 and if I wasn't looking for an electric 6-string at the time, I'd have snatched that puppy up.

    So yeah, try out as many in your price range that you can. While many cheap brands have loads of lemons, sometimes you will find a diamond in the rough.
  12. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005
    As one previous poster stated, check out the used market as well. Martin, Takamine, Tacoma, Washburn, Fender and I'm sure there are tons more, all make great ABGs around the $1000.00 price point. You should be able to find some real contenders in the used market near your price range. Also, waiting until you've saved more cash will help you to get the ABG of your dreams. You have lots to consider. Good luck.
  13. picknslap


    Sep 9, 2004
    I have a takamine es100c, It is quite good, if not a little hard to find. I picked mine up at the swap meet for $150 with case, new condition.
  14. I got a Washburn AB-20 from Ebay for about $200. It retailed for about $700 I think. Had a couple minor dings on it, but still was great overall. Looks good, plays good, sounds good, but don't expect to play it unplugged with anyone else. When my friend pulls out his acoustic guitar, I might as well be humming because you can't hear this thing over it. You take a big chance buying things off Ebay, but sometimes you get lucky, as I did.

  15. v-12


    Mar 3, 2005
    FL Panhandle
    an olympia 0b3ce! not quite as good as the tacoma line, but can be had new for just over $400, and found used for quite a bit less..... just a great bass, i don't think there is a better acoustic for under $600, especially one that can hang with a martin without an amp during an acoustic jam.....
  16. I bought one brand new off some german online store that isnt TOOO bad, its enough for what I want it, but It aint that great either as far as construction quality is concerned.
    it WAS cheap though... the brand is Keytone.
    The construction is OK, the finishing shows lack of attention to detail, but hey, It plays.... It stays in Tune... It has a functioning truss Rod... and it has a piezzo pickup and 4 band equalizer.

    for me, its fine, its just to play around with...
  17. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    I just picked up one of these via ebay. I bought it to have something to play while watching tv, cooking on the grill outside, or when it's not convienient to use an amp - things like that. I didn't get it to be my main player! also, given the price point of these things, I wasn't expecting a collector's piece or anything top quality. I was not dissappointed in those regards! here's the issues I've found with it:
    1. while it intonates ok in the lower registers, it's off at the octave and it gets worse the higher up you go.
    2. the saddle was not cut accurately and the string spacing is not equal as a result.
    3. in some places, the finish is less than perfect. you can see some bare spots here and there, although nothing that really jumps out at you. some of them I really had to look hard before noticing, others caught my eye when light hit it a particular way.

    other than that, it does sound ok when plugged in. I was pleasantly surprised in this area, but I would never bring it to gig with. it is fun to play and if you can accept it's faults, it's not *that* bad! I got it without a case or gig bag and I've decided that it's not worthy of either - this one stays in a stand. the neck is probably the slimmest I've ever played but feels ok. I guess it all depends on what you're after.
  18. Ovations are really great acoustic guitars, I was looking at one of those when I bought my Washburn, but the auction went over $600 which was beyond my price range at the time. A friend of mine has an Ovation guitar that is soooo nice to play on.
  19. ztpbassman


    Apr 11, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've played them all: boutique jobs, Guilds, Takamines, Carlo Robelli's...you name it. I drove myself crazy until I played a Martin. The Martins are the only ones with real tone and feel. You can play with a guitar player or two and not get killed; play with acoustic piano and not get drowned out unless he's really hitting it. I keep the action up a bit for sound purposes so it gives me a bit of a workout, and that's kind of nice when I switch back to my Fodera's - feels like I'm Victor Wooten ( I wish!) At around a thousand bucks they're not cheap, but they're so much nicer than some boutique acoustics I saw at 3 times that money. Probably find a used one for 650$ or so.
    Because money is an issue with you, save up and buy a Fender Bg-41, the new one with the 34 inch scale. I've seen them reasonable on e-bay. The few bucks will make all the difference in terms of tone, intonation, and construction. That's my 2 cents.