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Should I go ACOUSTIC or SEMI-HOLLOW?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by OmegaZ27, Dec 8, 2005.


  1. Acoustic

    32 vote(s)
    47.8%
  2. Semi-Hollow

    35 vote(s)
    52.2%
  1. OmegaZ27

    OmegaZ27

    Sep 18, 2005
    California
    Should I go Acoustic or Semi Hollow? I'm just looking for something that I can play if I travel. How does a semihollow sound w/o an amp? And what acoustic sounds loud enough to practice w/o an amp?

    I'm not too concerned with tone, but I do like a brighter bass sound. Any suggestions?
     
  2. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Given what you want the bass for, go for an acoustic.

    I have both a Tacoma Thunderchief ABG and a Godin semi-acoustic fretless. Unplugged, the Godin sounds like a toy compared to the Tacoma. It's like the difference between a high school glee club singer and a professional Opera singer. Plugged in, the Godin has a good sound, and its tone is serviceable for practicing, but next to the Tacoma, it's no comparison. A semi-hollow body just won't produce enough volume, though it may sound far better than an acoustic when plugged in. Unplugged, the Godin is loud enough to practice with, and its tone is pretty good, but it's just not in the same league with the Tacoma. As for brighter bass sound, again, the Tacoma has more oomph than the more mellow semi-acoustic.

    Personally, I practice a lot through my Tascam bass trainer using headphones -- it's lightweight and portable, and allows me to jam with any bass and with and CD without waking my daughter (though my wife does complain when I'm playing the Tacoma aggressively -- it's pretty loud). Through the headphones, the Godin semi-acoustic has a great tone.

    Maybe you just need a good headphone amp for traveling??? I'd look into a Tascam bass trainer -- it's a really handy device to have. That way you could take any of your basses with you on the road and practice all you want.
     
  3. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    I second the motion for a tacoma, however,, I like the Olympia (Chinese) versions better. I have owned both and they are less neck heavy, cheaper, and just as loud unplugged IMHO.
     
  4. irjason

    irjason Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    I have an Olympia too. It's a fairly nice acoustic for the money. I wouldn't travel with it though. Mine came with a gig bag, I don't even know if there is a hard case it will fit in. So traveling with it seems a little risky. I did take it on a houseboat trip once though. But I worried about it the whole time.
    I would probably get an SX (or similar price bass) and a headphone amp, or Bass POD for travel if it were me.
     
  5. I have a Fender GB-41 SCE that I'm very happy with. It's a full 34" scale with a large body. This is one BIG bass guitar. It sounds good acoustically, but plugged in it's great. The Fishman electronics give a nice range of sounds.

    Paul Mac
     
  6. OmegaZ27

    OmegaZ27

    Sep 18, 2005
    California
    Wow, the poll is pretty close! Umm... Well, what are your other reccomendations for an Acoustic? I already decided what I would get if I was going Semi Hollow: an IBANEZ ARTCORE.

    So... I'm just trying to keep my price range in between 200-450. Any suggestions for a decent acoustiic around this range?
     
  7. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I'd definitely look into an Olympia. It's the laminated, Korean version of the highly-regarded solid spruce and mahogany Tacoma Thunderchief ABG. I played an Olympia and a Tacoma back-to-back, and while it wasn't quite as loud or sweet, it was a ridiculous deal -- under $400 versus $1K for the Tacoma. To me, the difference was enough that I saved up for a Tacoma, but had I not played the Tacoma, I would have been perfectly happy with the Olympia. In some respects, it was probably a mistake to play the Tacoma for that reason, though I'm really happy now. In dollar terms, the Olympia is a steal. However, it shares the big body that the Tacoma has (which makes it loud, but also is a little awkward to play at first). It also is prone to feedback, as is the Tacoma, or any decently-loud ABG for that matter. Olympias often sell for around $300 or less on the 'bay.

    Here's a link to pictures of the Olympia:
    Olympia ABG

    The Michael Kelly ABGs are also pretty good, and can be had used in that price range. I'd rather have an Olympia than a MK Dragonfly, though I'd rather have a MK Solid AB than an Olympia. The Solid top and bottom on the MK Soild AB make it a sweet sounding bass with decent projection. The more-common Dragonfly was nice, but played back-to-back with the Solid AB, was less impressive in terms of tone and volume.

    You still might want to look into getting a Tascam bass trainer. It's a terrific practice device, and is fun to travel with, as well.

    Good luck, and have fun trying some ABGs out!
     
  8. audiotom

    audiotom

    May 31, 2005
    new orleans
    On Bartman's suggestion on another thread I picked up a Tacoma. Excellent bass, and compared to the Thunderchief I played it was more than adequate for my needs and really projects. THis one was used - but showed up better than some brand new basses I'be seen

    I bought one on ebay for $250 (no case) then found a guy selling the cases online ($150 for a case, but it's the only case that fits this beast and by the time they shipped it to the person I bought from and mailed to me I was only out $400 and have a fabulous bass and a case that a tank could practically drive over. PM me if you want the info on ordering the case.

    I love this acoustic and pratice and play around while watching tv, so I am getting a lot more time in that using my amp etc. Can't wait to jam with my acoustic guitar buddies

    CHeers
    Tom

    Tom
     
  9. klocwerk

    klocwerk

    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    I'd say it depends on your particular situation.
    If you just want to be able to hear yourself and you want a slimmer body for traveling, go semi-hollow. If you want something that will resonate and other people can hear, and you don't mind the fatter body, go with acoustic.
     
  10. UtBDan

    UtBDan Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2004
    Connecticut
    Tacoma's only cost $1000 new. Search the used market, you can get one for 600-800. I got mine for 700 right here :) Well worth the money over the Olympia IMO.
     
  11. irjason

    irjason Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Not trying to start an argument here but...
    I guess I would agree with you if I could say "only $1000". The Olympia at half the price of a used Thunderchief was a better trade off for me.
     
  12. UtBDan

    UtBDan Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2004
    Connecticut