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acoustic bass-guitar

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:08 am
by Buffalo_Bill
I like acoustic allot, how many of you play in public using your acoustic bass guitar. I love standup but I'm curious about acoustic bass guitar, because I'm not sure they appear much. Also, I use Fender nylon tapewound strings, what strings do you use?
Bill

Re: acoustic bass-guitar

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:57 am
by multisounds
Hi Buffalo,

The only time I've seen acoustic bass used was a duo "folk" gig awhile back. It did sound very decent and full. Very woody and resonate abit. However, if you take the high's out of it from mixer it'll sound very chunky and meaty. I've not seen a metal rock band use it, but perhaps others might have seen it done.

I think acoustic sounds is what it's meant for. But to be honest, it'll depend on what you're playing and how you want it to sound. Therefore, I think double bass is abit more flexible. Or PACE BASS!!! LOL.

Have fun and jam well bro

cheers
multi

Re: acoustic bass-guitar

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 1:27 pm
by Les R Forgue
The only acoustic bass guitars I ever seen or heard where in Mariachi and ranchero bands;
is that the type you all are talking about?

Re: acoustic bass-guitar

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 9:36 pm
by Buffalo_Bill
Les R Forgue wrote:The only acoustic bass guitars I ever seen or heard where in Mariachi and ranchero bands;
is that the type you all are talking about?
That's the guitarron, and it reportedly inspired Ernie Ball to develope a production acoustic bass guitar in 1972. Before him Kay made an acoustic bass, and 4 string baritone archtop guitars, I've seen those on eBay just this spring.
You been nappin' a little while Mr.Van Winkle?
Bill

Re: acoustic bass-guitar

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:06 pm
by davecanady
The only acoustic bass out on stage I can think of is in The Violent Femmes. It works for them.
I just picked up a used Rogue acoustic bass for $60 and put an active pickup in it for another $25. That model came off the same Korean line as the Deans, Epiphones, and a dozen others we all know. It has a small body and 32" scale. Since I play 30" (Epiphone Viola) and 34" (Ibanez SR800) scale, this one fits right in.

In addition to playing it at acoustic jams, I use it to practice. I can't hear my other basses unplugged with the TV going but with it, I can sit on the sofa with my wife, watch TV, and work out songs.

I'd like to try flatwounds. I have them on my Viola....love the tone.

Re: acoustic bass-guitar

PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:50 am
by MakaInOz
I just picked up a 'Freedom' (= cheap Chinese) acoustic bass for my youngest (currently plays electric bass), but it will be hidden until Christmas. My eldest (plays electric and upright bass) checked it out before we hid it - it was straight and sounded pretty loud unamped. I was surprised, as volume seems a frequent issue with acoustic bass reviews. Its not as loud as an acoustic guitar and I guess that's where the problem might be - the relative volume difference when they play together.

In Oz the chinese ones start at around $300, the Fenders are around $1200 and the Matons are about $2500

Re: acoustic bass-guitar

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:55 am
by goldbrick
I tried an Ibanez out for a while and it had a nice sound--However volume is very low unamped which kind of limits its usefullness

Re: acoustic bass-guitar

PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:11 am
by bottleneckjohn
goldbrick wrote:I tried an Ibanez out for a while and it had a nice sound--However volume is very low unamped which kind of limits its usefullness


I guess they have to have extra heavy bracing under the top to keep it from breaking under string tension.
That kills the volume.. I have a Chinese made and it sound great when amped and almost nothing acoustic! :)

Re: acoustic bass-guitar

PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:26 pm
by jeffl
Our bass player started using an acoustic Alvarez bass and it too sounded like crap until he turned the volume up; then it was fine. Wouldn't be a first choice for me, but it takes up less space than some basses, which can be a plus on stage. His comfort with it stems from the fact that he's a guitar player, not a bassist.

Re: acoustic bass-guitar

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:57 pm
by lpdeluxe
A few years ago, when I was playing with a group of folkies (guitar, dulcimer, banjo, fiddle, mandolin) I bought an Ibanez 5-string ABG to accommodate all the capo-enabled keys they played in and to match the look of the ensemble. It didn't have any acoustic usefulness, and, once I started playing in a dance hall band I went back to electric solid body. Recently I found a Martin B-1, with Martin's jumbo body and a 34" scale neck, so I traded an SG Special Faded I had sitting around for it. I strung it with LaBella nylon tape flatwounds, and it has a decent acoustic tone. I plan to take to an acoustic-only reunion of old graduate school friends in Austin, TX next spring. I currently play bass with a rhythm guitarist/singer and a loud drummer, and it doesn't work for that: acoustically it's 'way too quiet, and amplified, it feeds back long before I can get the level up over the drums. But it has its niche.

Had I not been able to trade, I don't think I would have gone for it. I can see playing it with a relatively quiet acoustic guitar, and I'm looking forward to hearing how it does with the anticipated couple of steel-string and possible nylon string guitars at the upcoming reunion. I might take along my Genz-Benz Shuttle 3.0-10T rig (19 lbs!) but there's a chance that amplification will not be welcomed.

Acoustic bass guitars are a bit more awkward than solid bodies, too. Luckily I'm in a position where I can afford both. I would not recommend anything that didn't have a deep body (the Martin tapers from about 4-1/2" at the heel of the neck to about 5-1/2 at the butt) because it's difficult to get any volume out of a small or thin one. Besides the Ibanez I mentioned, I've played a Guild B-4 (both of them had 32" scales) and neither one did the job without an amp.

Re: acoustic bass-guitar

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:25 pm
by old mojo
I've had and played several. The best of the lot, IMHO, was the Guild. It had a half-decent acoustic tone for small practice sessions, set up nicely, and with a Fishman, was OK in certain, but definitely not all, stage situations.