Jump to content
MS93

Acoustic Basses

Recommended Posts

Hi guys, I know this might not be everyones cup of tea but curious as to you guys that use em, what acoustic basses you have?? I have a fender cheapo, can't remember the exact model but it was about £180 from PMT's. I love playing it and rarely take the time to plug in my electric, as for me I don't need to wake the street up every time I fancy playing. However, I find it lacks low end and most notes on the low E string are not very clear. So just wondering if any of you have an acoustic that you think does a better job in the low end? Or if this is just something I will have to live with?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, MS93 said:

Hi guys, I know this might not be everyones cup of tea but curious as to you guys that use em, what acoustic basses you have?? I have a fender cheapo, can't remember the exact model but it was about £180 from PMT's. I love playing it and rarely take the time to plug in my electric, as for me I don't need to wake the street up every time I fancy playing. However, I find it lacks low end and most notes on the low E string are not very clear. So just wondering if any of you have an acoustic that you think does a better job in the low end? Or if this is just something I will have to live with?

I have owned about 10 acoustic basses over the years.

The best were Guild B30e from the 1990’s it was absolutely stunning and loud. But they’re rare and not cheap.

A Tacoma Thunder Chief was the original intended purchase but it arrived smashed...(cheers TNT) - even broken, I could tell it would’ve been amazing; easily on a par with the guild.

I had a Breedlove 5 string which was nice too.

A Sigma was a cheep and cheerful surprise, I’d have another of those if I needed an ABG.

I tried loads of strings with ABG’s and found that the phosphor bronze strings were generally crap.

I loved the warmth of Thomastik’s - they’re mad expensive and feel a bit rubbery but the sound was beautiful.

To mimic an upright, I used roto trubass.

I have access to a Fender BG-32 which happens occasionally...

97DEC4DB-1E37-4A81-AEFC-98D1EF8C185F.jpeg

Edited by AndyTravis
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input, so there not all doomed then I take it? What strings would you suggest as an upgrade to the phosphor bronze, as that is exactly whats on mine?? As I say I really enjoy playing mine, even though it is nothing special. But I think when the budget allows it, it is nice to know that something better can be had.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just looked at the first Guild B30e I could find on ebay, although I would like to think that's not the most expensive instrument in the world, it is alot for something just to mess around with. Does look nice tho, but I am a bit impartial to the cutaway style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, MS93 said:

Thanks for the input, so there not all doomed then I take it? What strings would you suggest as an upgrade to the phosphor bronze, as that is exactly whats on mine?? As I say I really enjoy playing mine, even though it is nothing special. But I think when the budget allows it, it is nice to know that something better can be had.

I generally used what I use on electrics...40-100 d’addario XL nickels.

it’s been a while though.

Added some photos I’ve found

4A386A9C-7CB2-4E77-B0F2-E7248F88E5B2.jpeg

276EA3AD-15DE-49DC-8940-2D4D5EE9726E.jpeg

24799E14-D71E-4D8C-ADE7-592F3006EC2B.jpeg

08FF97B6-3EA8-4B33-9678-33BD4B24A533.jpeg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently picked up a Guild B-240E after being without an acoustic bass for a while. I used to have a Fender BG-32 that I used for acoustic jams/open mics. I like having something in the living room to play on. The Guild is fitted with TI flats so it feels similar to my gigging bass. I think it’s ace and pick it up every day. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right cool, I will pick up some new strings and see how it feels :) got to admit, I do like the look of an acoustic. I came from guitars and always prefer to play acoustic guitar compared to the electric as well. It's always funny when the misses walks in and looks at me funny play Malevolence on an acoustic. Never quite sure what's going on I think haha. Kristo that is exactly how I feel about them, my acoustic just sits in the corner of the living room. Anytime I want to jam I can lean over grab it and be off. As I say always seem so much of a faf setting the amp up, digging me T Bird out and finding my cables. I have usually lost interest in the want to play by the time I have lugged all my gear from upstairs to the living room haha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a super cheapo £50 Harley Benton back in the day that I loved plunking on. It wasn’t sophisticated, but was surprisingly good for the price. I used it on radio once and the preamp was too noisy, so they banged a mic on it. You can hear it here if it’s any use. 

 

Edited by gafbass02
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds good miced up. Never really plugged mine in to see how it sounds, so not too sure how the preamp on mine is. Might have to give it a go when I next can be bothered getting the amp on ha.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a jumbo no brand ebony acoustic bass that I strung with flats. It sounds pretty decent. Acoustically you lose a little volume but I find rounds on an acoustic bass tend to sound pretty horrible. (personal view) I have never been a fan of Fender's acoustic range as it isn't their strong point. Some of the cheap brands can sound just as good, if not better than the Fender range when it comes to acoustic basses. My bass was only a shade over £100 but I would never sell it as it is not worth it for the resale. I'm used to mid to high end electric basses so I guess it must be halfway decent. It was recommended by a well respected player locally and I have taken it out on some pretty big shows. It's mostly sat at home in the bedroom and I use it to play along with the Alexa speaker. Big bodies and flatwound strings seems to be my preference with acoustic basses.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So again, try some different strings to see what I can get out of it. As I say, not upset with mine just lacks a little on the low end. Other than that it sounds good acoustically, just really putting the feelers out there as to what you guys play and how you find them :) that is the same with this one, not worth selling but also for sitting in the corner I am not worries about it getting knocked and the odd bits of abuse it may take. So definately be keeping until it dies haha :) but again it is nice to hear that not everyone hates acoustic bass. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a mid-range Sigma strung with La Bella white nylon flats.  There was a lot of love for these strings a couple of years back so I got some to try - not cheap! - and they are, for me, perfect and every bit as good as folks were saying.  Pretty bright, by nylon standards, and with a really nice feel to them.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought an acoustic about 20 years ago - tried loads in shops til I found one that sounded decent.  Can’t remember what is was though!  Sold it ages ago.

Funnily enough, I came across an old picture the other day with part of it in (just the body visible on the left).

2E80950A-94B6-41D0-AFB7-B603D302A463.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I now have a cheap Bryce acoustic bass.  Needed a bit of a fret job, but is otherwise a pleasant instrument.  I like to just be abke to grab it for immediate, opportunistic practice, such as when theres an ad break on tv. I don't use it for any serious purpose, butni ammwithout doubt a better electeic bass player for having had some time playing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, MS93 said:

Right cool, I will pick up some new strings and see how it feels :) got to admit, I do like the look of an acoustic. I came from guitars and always prefer to play acoustic guitar compared to the electric as well. It's always funny when the misses walks in and looks at me funny play Malevolence on an acoustic. Never quite sure what's going on I think haha. Kristo that is exactly how I feel about them, my acoustic just sits in the corner of the living room. Anytime I want to jam I can lean over grab it and be off. As I say always seem so much of a faf setting the amp up, digging me T Bird out and finding my cables. I have usually lost interest in the want to play by the time I have lugged all my gear from upstairs to the living room haha.

I came from guitars too, which is why I think I have a soft spot for an acoustic bass. Plus I play with a pick so I think that helps get a bit more volume from them. It's not the best example, but I have a video of my Fender at an acoustic jam (I'm pretty sure the bass had TI flats fitted). 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a love/hate relationship with acoustic basses.  Very few have decent volume acoustically, although the handmade Brook Otter 5 I had did a decent job, and depending on what electrics are fitted many feedback when plugged in.

My current bass is an Epiphone Masterbilt Archtop bass.  It’s actually quite loud unplugged, but the original Shadow piezo sounded horrible so I added a Krivo magnetic pickup and it now sounds fabulous at any volume.

990A42AF-592B-481A-9185-E3CEB3A50EC1.jpeg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, AndyTravis said:

I loved the warmth of Thomastik’s - they’re mad expensive and feel a bit rubbery but the sound was beautiful.

To mimic an upright, I used roto trubass.

 

Playing always plugged on an amp, 0n my Takamine TB10, I used the La Bella 760N Black Nylon Tape which sound really  great. You could give a try:
https://www.thomann.de/fr/la_bella_black_nylon_760n.htm
And I would have kept them if my strings were not quite high from the fingerboard, so I found the gauge to be a bit too strong, so I put Thomastik JF344 low tension which sound great too and I keep them.
To minimize the cost of changing strings, I bought this small ultra sound machine to clean them from time to time. It doesn't make them new, but it looks like they have been around for a month. 
https://www.amazon.fr/iTronics-Nettoyeur-Professionnel-Inoxydable-approfondi/dp/B01D148KGC
 

Edited by Aalin
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a Washburn AB5 fretless which wasn’t cheap. It was also useless unless plugged in. Both the low B and the E were little more than a thud acoustically and it would have struggled to hold its own against a soprano uke. To add insult to injury the neck was a proverbial tree trunk. As you can guess it’s put me off them for life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve actually got 2. A custom one I had made 30 odd years ago by the Welsh luthier, Tony Revell, which is now a bit too fragile to take out of the house...

82E5CDB5-C358-4A54-9AD3-17B53B505ACD.jpeg.50937b002d8f3edf199da8b8d4f6df25.jpeg
8F916EAE-F7CD-4C60-B91B-875D1443ECF4.jpeg.d561fd09d851bedf1dd2ad65667699aa.jpeg

8BD9FC5A-C5C6-45E3-97F0-2776F7ED1E27.jpeg.0c33513d12c234bc6575ea10279d3597.jpeg

And a Faith Titan Neptune which sounds and feels great and works nicely fo “unplugged” style events...

3CD02BBC-23CB-420E-B47A-6EE986BEEBA6.thumb.jpeg.005021a6151c3a587bb75525a42ff569.jpeg

 

Here’s the Faith in action (apologies for the very mildly God-botheringness of the tune’s lyrics). Love the Celtic vibe to this song and the bass (resplendent in black tapes) comes through nice and clearly in the mix!

 

Edited by TrevorR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, MS93 said:

Thanks for the input, so there not all doomed then I take it? What strings would you suggest as an upgrade to the phosphor bronze, as that is exactly whats on mine?? As I say I really enjoy playing mine, even though it is nothing special. But I think when the budget allows it, it is nice to know that something better can be had.

I put some La Bella Black Tapes on mine. Really like the sound and feel. Tried Whites... they were far too floppy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had an Ovation Celebrity (The cheaper, Korean-built one) electro-acoustic.

It had phosphor bronze strings on. My acidic sweat turned them black in a very short time.

It could never keep up with acoustic guitars, and was basically inaudible unless you leant right over so you could hear what was coming out of the sound-hole.

I never used the internal pre-amp until I sold it. It sounded pretty good through that. 

I'd never have another,  but it did help me realise the potential of full-range piezoelectric  pickup systems. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My ABG is a Tanglewood TRB-CE 'Rosewood Reserve' which Herself got me for Xmas one year... one of those incredible totally out of the blue gifts that leaves you welling up and speechless for about half an hour. I, too, hated the bronze strings and ditched them in favour of a set of played-in Elixir nickels (i.e. about 18 months old! :lol: ). Instantly played and felt about 1000% better, even more so after I took a file to the nut slots and deepened them a bit. In an ideal world I'd take a skim off the bottom of the bridge saddle too, but I don't have the nerve to tackle that myself :D .
Acoustically it's never going to keep up with anything more than a gently-fingerpicked acoustic guitar in an ensemble setting,
 but I don't care... it sounds great plugged in and of course is lovely just to sit and noodle about on. And frankly with all that rosewood it looks DDG as just an objet d'art.

image.png.ab5f6f055b0ce1ebe074d190645e91e3.png

Edited by Rich
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...