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Semi-Acoustic Bass for New Player

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jck911, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Jck911


    Mar 12, 2013
    I've decided to learn bass again after a hiatus of some thirty years.

    I want a semi-acoustic, as I don't have an amp, and will just be playing along with the stereo.

    I've narrowed it down to a few possible choices as follows:

    o Hofner 500/2 Club
    o Hagstrom Viking
    o Epiphone Jack Casady
    o Ibanez AFB200

    The main criteria are playability (considering I'm a fat-fingered newbie) and sound (non-amplified).

    I'm very happy to hear of any opinions and suggestions.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Those "semi-acoustic" basses will have virtually zero tone or sound without an amp. The Hofner, the Epi, and the Ibanez, at the very least, are not acoustic instruments in any real sense of the word. You will have problems with pitch differentiation even with a quiet stereo playing in the background.

    I'd get a real Acoustic Bass Guitar, or a small amp along with any of those basses.
  3. Jck911


    Mar 12, 2013
    Is the Hagstrom different?

    So what are your recommendations for an acoustic?

    What do you think would be the best instrument given my needs?
  4. My steady workhorse, Crate practice amp cost me $40, 25watts x 12" spkr,
    more than loud enough and even used for small venues.
    IMHO, buy a used Squier. They are cheap, easier to play than acoustic and can easily sale later
    for what you bought it for.
    Had it not been for "MTV unplugged" I doubt 90% of the acoustic basses would have ever been bought.
    A true acoustic is a stand up bass.
    If you have to plug in an acoustic bass guitar, what's the point?
  5. Jck911


    Mar 12, 2013
    OK thanks guys.

    If I were to persist with my idea of a semi, does anyone have any opinions on the Club versus the Viking?

    Or even the Club versus the Hofner Beatle Bass?
  6. Pimpernel Smith

    Pimpernel Smith Supporting Member

    May 25, 2012
    In the Pond
    I think any of the basses that you chose will work for your needs if you have roundwound strings on them. I own a Hofner Ignition (violin) and a Jack Casady bass - both fine basses.

    Acoustic now makes inexpensive small amps that you might be interested in, later.
  7. I own Hofner Club basses and violin basses, they have a nice unplugged tone and volume, but that is just to jam on your own, with no other instruments or music.

    Acoustic basses just don't work for me. I figure if I need a bass in an acoustic setting, my Hofner will work fine, plugged in at low volume.
  8. I am wondering about this. I don't really want to become a collector, but there are two pushes toward acoustics. One is that you CAN play them without an amp, and there are situations where that would be good, assuming the ABG is good enough, such as at smaller parties and family stuff. The other reason is that of travelling -again without the amp would be good, a bit smaller case maybe. I am drawn stylistic to the frame guitars like the Yamaha Silent but there is the amp problem. But I have not got my hands on any of them yet to see about the sound.
  9. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    Ottawa, Canada
    Personally I love acoustic basses. But seriously guys if you want to learn get yourself a decent cheap electric bass and a small amp. The bass and the amp combined will cost you much less than any decent acoustic bass, particularly one that is good enough to play unplugged with an acoustic guitar or two. The electric will be easier to play and actually much easier to transport because an electric bass in its case takes up a lot less room than an acoustic bass.
    As for traveling, get an Amplug or other headphone amp and you can practice in any hotel room in the world with your electric. Later if you find you love the bass you can add an acoustic for practicing on the couch unplugged or maybe even get one capable of more than that. You can also add a hollowbody, a backup electric, a white bass for playing at night, a red one for emergencies, a pink one for punk shows, a P bass, a Jazz and a violin bass... you're on Talkbass now so eventually you're bound to end up owning way more basses than you will ever need.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  10. Thanks for that. My jam partner likes to swap his Fender strat for an acoustic for some songs and it would be good to join in with that with an acoustic bass, although he is always telling me to turn my Jazz bass up louder! A local pub group are all acoustic folk and that is another spot for an acoustic. In Australia there is a problem with guitars getting baked in cars but that is no less a problem for an ABG as a solid body guitar. Any opinion of the frame or silent guitars/basses? Yamaha and Aria have them.
  11. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    You need an amp, or a way to plug headphones into the bass. The choice in bass is meaningless without that. You'll develop horrendous technique unless you can properly hear yourself.
  12. MD

    MD Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Consider an ABG. For the $$ you're planning on spending on the basses on the list, you can pick up a good acoustic. No need for an amp. Plenty loud to play with the stereo or in front of the TV, or a guitar duo. Any room of the house, on the front porch, back deck or patio... hell, take it to the head if your have some serious business. Take it camping, play it around the fire, under the trees, sitting in a stream. No cables, no cords, no power needed, other than what's in your hands.

    Of course there is this...

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