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Which acoustic/electric bass??? ($400-500

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by afroman, Apr 1, 2005.


  1. afroman

    afroman

    Aug 31, 2000
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hi, I've been thinking of getting a mid-priced acoustic/electric bass to use on some acoustic shows and maybe jamming or even recording. I've done a good amount of searching and I've narrowed it down to either a:

    Takamine EG512C (spruce top, Nato back & sides, TK4NT preamp, hardshell case) = $500 aprox.

    or

    Michael Kelly ST-4 (solid spruce top, mahogany back & sides, Fishman preamp, body & neck binding, no case) = $400 aprox.

    I've read good reviews from both basses. I like the Michael Kelly's look: the binding and just the overall look of the instrument. I've read that the Takamine is kind of big and a little unconfortable, but I have long arms and big hands so i'm not so scared of it being unconfortable to me. I've also read some reviews that say the Takamine is the "best" and comprarable to a high end Taylor and that it's better than Martins'. I really have no idea where to go from here. I'd have to buy w/o trying them first. I know both seem to be very good basses in their price range, but I'm king of torn between both. Any help or opinions are welcome.

    I feel sound is more imp. than cosmetics, so I'd like to know how this two compare soundwise. I'd go for the Takamine if the sound is just that much better than the Kelly. But if the sound is very similar I'd probably go for the St4, because of the look and it's $100 cheaper even though i'd have to buy a case.

    Any help is welcome.
    Thanks...
     
  2. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Michael Kelly for sure. They had some quality control issues a couple years back, but they corrected that a while ago. I have the 5 string dragonfly and it's an amazing AEB for the money. Bass Player meg and Bass Guitar mag have both reviewed the MK's in the last couple of months and gave them VERY high marks too. I tend to agree with them. Pictures don't do them justice, they are stunning in person and the Fishman pickup, pre-amp and eq work nice too! Don't wait, go get yourself one!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Oh, I bought the Michael Kelly gig bag from musiciansfriend.com for $56. It was well worth it. It's BY FAR the best gig bag I've over owned or seen. VERY thickly padded, big pockets, very classy looking, etc.
     
  4. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Are strings for Acoustic Bass Guitars hard to find?, i dont think i have seen them in most of the stores i have been in.
     
  5. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    MAJOR METAL, ABG's don't necessarilly need to use different strings like acoustic guitars do. Maybe it's because acoustic guitars need more massive strings than electric guitars to sound good and bass strings have enough mass no matter what, but IIRC, most ABG players string up with their favorite rounds or flats.
     
  6. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    And now since I completely forgot to offer my feelings on the topic, add another vote for Michael Kelly basses. They are imports but they're very good quality, especially the newer ones. They changed from 32" to 34" scales a few years ago, and this is my personal favorite feature. I've had problems find a decent 34" scale ABG that projected but MK's certainly fit the bill.
     
  7. afroman

    afroman

    Aug 31, 2000
    Brooklyn, NY
    wow, seems that the Kelly's are the way to go.
    Thanks for all your help, but keep your comments pouring in.

    Thanks.....
     
  8. afroman

    afroman

    Aug 31, 2000
    Brooklyn, NY
    Are the Dragonfly's very different in quality/sound than the ST-4 or ST-5
    ??? Aside from the Dragonfly's fretboard inlays, is there a major difference in quality of construction??? I would probably go for a ST-4 or ST-5 because their cheaper and I dig the normal dot fretmarkers. I'm not too fond of the beautiful yet unpractical, IMO, inlays on the Dragonfly series.

    Any more help is welcome.
    Thanks...
     
  9. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I don't know all the differences, but you can call Michael Kelly and ask them. I've called them before and they are VERY helpfull...
     
  10. NoNoise

    NoNoise Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    I know I'm the only one, but I went through this same search a few weeks ago and decided on the Takamine. I found a Takamine EG512CGAMQ which has a amber flame top, and I love it. I chose it over the Kelly, because the Tak has a 35" scale which keeps the strings from getting "flappy" (technical term :smug: ). If you are going to get a fretless or 5-string, I would definitely say to go with the Kelly (though I guess you could defret a Tak for the former situation), but I think my Tak has a great tone and can keep up with two or three acoustic guitars unplugged. My main complaint is that the nickel strings that came on it clang if I play too hard, but I'm changing them to La Bella's, and I expect to have no more problems in that area. Also, they really should have put gold hardware on it ;)
     
    selowitch likes this.
  11. skunkrawk

    skunkrawk

    Apr 25, 2003
    DC
  12. lewa_88

    lewa_88

    Jan 9, 2005
    I have a Michael Kelly Dragonfly Fretless 4, and love it. But its not the loudest thing in the world so its kinda hard to jam with guitars, but besides that its great.
     
  13. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I found that using a pick makes a HUGE difference on the MK. I almost exclusively use a pick with this bass. With a pick, it's quite loud. Don't know why it's not fingerstyle. Different strings might help!
     
  14. NoNoise

    NoNoise Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    I'd really like to hear the Tobias, but I don't know if I could play a 34" unless its different from every other acoustic bass I played with that scale length :)
     
  15. afroman

    afroman

    Aug 31, 2000
    Brooklyn, NY
    ThatTobias sure looks interesting. I'm worried about the comment that the Kellys are not too loud. I dont play pickstyle and want to be heard if i'm jamming with 1 or 2 guitars. I'm really now more undecided.

    Anymore comments are welcome.
    And thanks so far.
     
  16. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I've played with other guitars and can be heard just fine, granted I use a pick. No issues here...
     
  17. afroman

    afroman

    Aug 31, 2000
    Brooklyn, NY
    That just what Im saying, if it isn't loud playing fingerstyle, what goo is it??

    It could sound great plugged or with a pick, but how is it fingerstyle that's my biggest concern.

    Thanks for the reply.
     
  18. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    The truth is that almost no acoustic bass is going to be loud enough fingerstyle to jam with a couple guys playing acoustic guitars with picks. I've had my Takamine EG512C for well over a year now and I still like it a lot. For what it is it's great, a wonderful practice tool that's quiet enough to play anytime yet has good tone. Plus it can be plugged in and sounds quite good. But it's not going to be loud enough to break and jam with a couple guys on acoustics playing pickstyle guitar. I doubt any acoustic bass would be.
     
  19. Cathead

    Cathead

    Dec 13, 2002
    Premier, WV
    My Tacoma is loud enough to jam with 2 guitars, but it also costs almost twice as much as the MK.
     
  20. I bought a Galveston accoustic/electric over the internet ( I had played a Galveston before) for about $200.00. I don't think I would would want this to be my primary bass but it serves my purposes well as a third (accoustic) guitar. I'm not a real sound fanatic but, as far as an accoustic bass goes, I think it sounds pretty good - better than some "hi-end" names I've played.
    :bassist: