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hydrargyrum
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 1069
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 6:39 am:   Edit Post

Hey Guys,

I've been considering swimming off into the deep end, and picking up an acoustic/electric bass. I'm a guitar player for the most part, but there are occasions where it would be nice to fill the role of bass player, particularly in an acoustic setting. I'm not looking to spend much on it, and probably not going to do anything until the beginning of next year, but I can't imagine a better place to look for advice on the topic than here. I'm considering an acoustic bass partly because I'll mostly be playing roots rock, or blue grass. I also want something I can practice on without amplification, even if it seems unlikely to compete with a hard picker. I'll primarily be using my P/A in a band situation for amplification when I need to compete with other instruments or drums. Eventually I'd expect to pick up something similar to a sans-amp, but for the short term I plan on plugging in direct to the board with no modeling, etc. I've been considering the Ibanez AEB10, and some similarly priced offerings by Dean. Mostly I want an instrument that plays well throughout the neck, without buzzing or the other common problems that seem to plague the lower price end of these instruments. Anyone have any thoughts?
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2146
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 7:38 am:   Edit Post

HI, If you can find a Guild B30E you might like it .
http://www.elderly.com/items/200U-308.htm
murray
Member
Username: murray

Post Number: 73
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 9:41 am:   Edit Post

I have a Fender BG29 (short scale) and a Fender Victor Bailey acoustic/electric bass. Both are great but I think you may struggle to get anything decent below 300/500. You perhaps need to try instruments out at music shops to see what you like. As a guitar player, you will know what to look for in an instrument. Another way round it would be to buy say a Squire Electric Jazz or Precision bass for just under 200 and a small practice amp for at home and you could still plug into the PA! I would buy something with a known name in case you change your mind and want to sell - it will still have a value.
jacko
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 3051
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 4:51 am:   Edit Post

I have a fretless Kelly Dragonfly 5 that I picked up for around $500 plus shipping to the UK from grand central guitars on evilbay. I can't really fault the bass - it arrived in perfect condition apart from one slightly lifting fingerboard inlay that I glued down with a dab of superglue. It also came with a decent quality gigbag. I have it strung with LaBella deep talkin flats and it's a joy to play. Action is perfect (for me at least) and the tone with the flats is very 'Round'. The bridge piezo works fine apart from on the B string where it only puts out about 3/4 the volume of the other strings but I don't amplify it so that doesn't bother me. As it doesn't need amplifying it's probably my most used instrument as it's so easy to just pick up and play.

graeme
hydrargyrum
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 1073
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 6:51 am:   Edit Post

Thanks guys. I appreciate your responses.

I'd love to have a guild (I'm a big supporter of their acoustic guitars, and my first quality electric was a Starfire IV). They may be a bit out my price range though.

It's tempting to buy a used squire or other Fender, but I'm not sure it would fill the role I'm looking for in an acoustic jam. They are just such an electric instrument, if that makes sense.

Graeme,
I've kicked around the idea of a fretless acoustic bass, mostly because that solves about 95% of the problems that seem to be encountered in the lower end instruments (bad fretwork, intonation, etc.). I'm inclined to go for an instrument with a lined fretboard if I go this route.

I've been watching a low end Breedlove on eBay to see how much it might fetch. It seems closest to what I might seek so far.
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 981
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 7:19 am:   Edit Post

When I sat in with an acoustic group, I played my Gibson EB-2 - kind of looks like an ES-335. So obviously not an "acoustic" instrument but I felt like it fit the vibe. I should mention that these guys were pretty "electric" for an acoustic group - they used the PA system and were pretty loud, but maybe something like an Ibanez Artcore bass or some other semi-hollowbody electric bass?

I did a little searching on Breedlove basses - seems like that might be a good option.
mario_farufyno
Senior Member
Username: mario_farufyno

Post Number: 749
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 9:21 am:   Edit Post

This seems interesting...

http://www.vintageguitar.com/7793/epiphone-zenith-fretted-and-fretless-bass/
mario_farufyno
Senior Member
Username: mario_farufyno

Post Number: 750
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 9:29 am:   Edit Post

and expensive... sorry
serialnumber12
Senior Member
Username: serialnumber12

Post Number: 926
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 2:43 am:   Edit Post

This Dean acoustic/electric retails for $150.00 new with gig bag

(Message edited by serialnumber12 on November 17, 2011)
hydrargyrum
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 1076
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 6:30 am:   Edit Post

Hey Keavin,

So how do you like it? I've read some pretty good reviews that say it can't be beat for the price, and compares well to basses costing hundreds more. For the price I don't expect the world's best instrument, but as long as it is easily playable I'd be happy.
tbrannon
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1436
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 8:17 am:   Edit Post

Kevin,

I've played a couple Deans and they were comparable to any of the other acoustics for >$1000 that I've laid my hands on- at least acoustically. I've never played a Dean plugged in, so can't speak to the pickup quality.

Your last post mentions 'easily playable'- which raised the red flag in my mind, being that you're primarily a guitar player. The action on acoustic basses tends to be MUCH higher than I prefer on my electric basses and that combined with the thick acoustic body makes for an uncomfortable playing experience for me. Those two factors are the reasons I don't own an acoustic bass. Since you're a guitar player an undoubtedly own an acoustic guitar, the body thickness thing probably won't be a factor for you, but the higher action and large strings might seem like a major leap for you.
tubeperson
Advanced Member
Username: tubeperson

Post Number: 228
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 8:26 am:   Edit Post

I tried a few Dean acoustic electric basses but to me their necks were too bulky. My Michael Kelly's are more comfortable, and at Chris Guitars in Albany NY (www.chrisguitars.com) they have a used one for $400.00. It needs a case, but it is really nice. My fretless sounds really fine, and the fretted cetainly will work in an "unplugged" setting, especially if you use a Phil Jones Suitcase with it.
hydrargyrum
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 1080
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 9:53 am:   Edit Post

I've owned basses and baritone guitars in the past, so differences in scale length don't frighten me too much. As for bulky necks, for a long time I played nothing but classical guitar, so when I had a custom electric built for me I made sure to have an extra wide and deep neck on it. Most folks think it's huge, but to me it's just right. I can probably find one of these Dean's locally to be sure it's not too much to handle. I'm really digging the look of those Michael Kelly's though. Does anyone have any experience with the club model, or does everyone play mostly the dragonflies?
serialnumber12
Senior Member
Username: serialnumber12

Post Number: 927
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, November 19, 2011 - 5:33 am:   Edit Post

the neck is a 35' scale but other than that its a cool Bass plugged in, it has a 3 band EQ & good Low end the body is a bit Bulky but i love big women so its very comfortable.
benson_murrensun
Senior Member
Username: benson_murrensun

Post Number: 555
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011 - 11:29 am:   Edit Post

I have had two different Tacoma Thunderchiefs. They were both excellent instruments, but suffered from feedback issues far more than most others that I have tried. The only acoustic bass guitar I tried that could keep up volume-wise with an acoustic guitar was a Martin, I think it was a B-65; I didn't buy it because it was beyond my budget at the time. Between the low volume and the feedback issues that acoustic bass guitars tend to have, I no longer keep one around. I could always break out my Jack Casady model Epiphone if need be...
hankster
Advanced Member
Username: hankster

Post Number: 268
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011 - 7:34 pm:   Edit Post

Godin makes a fantastic semiacoustic fretless bass with a great sound, a great player. Not cheap though.
hydrargyrum
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 1082
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 6:53 am:   Edit Post

I'd love to have a Martin, but my Larivee 6'er might get jealous (and my bank account/Sr. Management would probably have some objections as well). I've also been wondering about the feedback issue, but I seem to recall a couple of manufacturers who sold inserts that would dampen the sound hole on an acoustic (which I seem to recall having been done with a coffee lid and masking tape by a few folks as well on the uglier DIY side of things). If I ever needed to play out really loud though, I'd probably consider it.

Those Godins also look pretty nice, but as you say, there's still the financial issues to be overcome.

Thanks guys, I certainly appreciate everyone's responses.
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 2070
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 7:34 am:   Edit Post

I've got a Michael Kelly Dragonfly fretless. It is what it is, I guess that's the best way to put it. Some time spent filing the nut and such and it's a pretty decent player. Not a very acoustically-loud instrument, to be expected with such a small body, and prone to feedback at higher volumes (duh). It is about perfect for a '40s swing band gig I do occasionally, and nails the upright bass tone as well as anything. I guy in town recently sold one for $125, so they are out there if you look.. It's a nice tool to have around for those times when an amp is inappropriate or inconvenient..

John
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 2071
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 8:05 am:   Edit Post

I just threw this bit up onto youtube. It's for a project that never got off the ground, but it should give you an idea of how the Michael Kelly sounds..

http://youtu.be/xRbNBGpA73k

John

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