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Ozzy Biz 10-14-2007 01:26 PM

Acoustic Bass Guitar
A couple of years ago my room-mate at boarding school had a bass that I used to play around with a bit, and got reasonably good. I've been playing a fair bit of acoustic guitar lately and I'm getting the itch to get back into bass now. I like the idea of an acoustic bass so I don't have to worry about amps, especially as I'll be playing in 'unplugged' settings with other guitarists here at college, not too mention not having to buy an amp. The portability is a nice feature I think too.

Does anyone have experience with acoustic bass guitars? I've heard they struggle a bit in the volume department, unless you get a one with a huge body or a 'resonator' built in.
Is it worth it, or should I just look at getting an electric and small practise amp?

If you've had sucess(or vice versa) with one (or played with/witnessed someone who has) I'd love to hear about it.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.


Mediocrefunkybeat 10-14-2007 02:14 PM

Re: Acoustic Bass Guitar
To be honest, they lack definition and cut in an acoustic situation, unless you play them with a pick. I guess a short scale may cut more as well due to an harmonic emphasis on the upper frequencies, but really I would advise you to play an electric bass. We have a few acoustic basses in college, but we nearly always end up using the electric ones anyway. When you're competing with two guitars, which have a lot of frequency crossover with a bass you're not going to be heard.

That Guy 10-14-2007 02:37 PM

Re: Acoustic Bass Guitar
I have never owned one before, but I do agree with MFB that some can lack in an acoustic setting. But on the otherhand, I have heard some tremendously awsome sounding acoustic bass's before too. If I may make a suggestion... buy a "pick-up." Eventually you will want one. I'm sure that your going to find yourself in a situation where you will need one.

Put up some pics my friend, I would like to see it.

nosuggestion 10-14-2007 03:33 PM

Re: Acoustic Bass Guitar
My dad used to have a semi acoustic - unfortunately I forget the make - and as MFB says, unplugged it would just get lost in a jam situation. It was ok to practice solo with though and actually had quite a nice warm sound when amped, so that might be an option to explore.

crlujan 10-14-2007 04:22 PM

Re: Acoustic Bass Guitar
I am a former bass player and have to say that the others are correct. Those acoustic bass guitars look great and are okay to play solo. But they really don't get very loud at all. I've played quite a few of them at Guitar Center just dorking around and I've got to say that altough the idea of an acoustic bass guitar is a good one, I have yet to hear one with, at the very least, a decent tone. They all sound like garbage to me.

Mr. Pasquini 10-14-2007 05:08 PM

Re: Acoustic Bass Guitar
I remember when I went to New York earlier this year I was in a Mexican restaurant there was a live Mariachi band walking around. The bass player had an acoustic bass with a Giant body that was audible but it was hard to hear if he was more than 15 feet away. I've only messed with one of them (I'm no bassist but who doesn't like to noodle with an instrument when they get the chance?). I'd say go electric or a pickup; my dad plays a violin with a pickup at all of his gigs and if you buy a decent one it will carry the tone very well. For all intensive purposes the acoustic bass will just plain be too quiet.

fourstringdrums 10-14-2007 05:11 PM

Re: Acoustic Bass Guitar
I used to play bass and I agree with the others. The volume is really lacking unless you play with a pick. Of course if that's the tone you want, they have acoustic electrics, but then that pretty much defeats the purpose of having an acoustic.

There may be some more expensive acoustics out there with larger bodies that resonate more and have a stronger tone.

I never liked them. The action and playability was never that good and the larger body took a while to get used to, plus the lack of volume.

SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ 10-14-2007 08:06 PM

Re: Acoustic Bass Guitar
Our bassist had an acoustic bass some years ago. From what I remember, it was very nice, though we never used it at a gig (always amp'd). You can get an acoustic baas with a pickup, but acoustic instruments with pickups don't sound quite the same as a dedicated electric one. Of course, this entirely depends on the pickup being used, but you will pay for a nice one.

You could find a great electric and just buy a small practice amp with a 12" speaker - low watt. My favorite bass amp would be a single 15", but that's a lot to lug around if you don't really need it. I have an OLP bass and a small Crate practice amp for it. Works great for just noodling around here. When I record, I go direct through my Bass PodXT. A 15" is great for gigging, but even with a 12" you could mic it or get an amp with a line out to feed the PA. In a small acoustic setting, a practice amp would be ideal I think.

Ozzy Biz 10-15-2007 06:38 AM

Re: Acoustic Bass Guitar
Thanks for the replies. I was pretty set on an electric before I made this thread, and now I'm cemented to that view I think. I'll just start scanning ebay and the local trading post for a half-decent and reasonably priced electric. Any recomendations?

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