Re: Acoustic Bass recommendations?
- From: --D-y <dustoyevsky@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2011 19:37:26 -0700 (PDT)
On Jul 13, 10:09 am, GoHabsGo <spambreakerNOS...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
de...@xxxxxxxxx (Derek Tearne) wrote in news:1k4c6h2.1pkcj2b1e495b4N%
GoHabsGo <spambreakerNOS...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
My son is looking to buy a 'cheap' acoustic bass.
I saw an Epiphone El Capitan which I thought was pretty
decent but he is looking for something cheaper.
Any good cheap ones worth looking at?
No. There are no cheap ones worth looking at. The El Capitan, which Ifrom
have, is about the cheapest model worth considering, and that is
assuming that the current models are the same build quality as mine
15 years ago, which I kind of doubt.
Bass acoustic guitars are difficult instruments. The sound box isn'tprojection
really big enough for the job, being the same size as a jumbo guitar,
rather than being closer to the size of an upright bass. The scale
length also really needs to be a bit longer to get any decent
out of the strings. Which is why they all need to be amplified toa
compete with anything louder than a parlour acoustic guitar. To build
halfway decent one a manufacturer/luthier has to put some seriouseffort
into making it work as an instrument, as they have to bend a few lawsof
physics in the process. Most of them don't, and they just stick an
oversized neck on a jumbo acoustic guitar body. That's not going to
work that well.
It sounds like he wants it as a second instrument, so is thinking itbasses
should be cheaper than his main electric bass. However, electric
are easier to build, and much more common, so mass production bringsthe
cost down even lower. To get a bass acoustic guitar down to the same
price point or lower than a mass produced solid bodied electric guitar
requires that a few laws of economics need to be broken too.
While buying new instruments is always compelling, buying a cheap
version of something that can't be built cheaply is not such a great
idea. If he buys a 'cheap' one just to knock around the house with, it
will be dissapointing to play and he probably won't bother. Even if he
buys an expensive one he'll probably find it dissapointing to play and
Furthermore, even though the bodies are too small for the job, they end
up being uncomfortable and difficult to play, and you need to develop
new techniques to get the best out of them.
That doesn't sound like the goal your kid has.
If your kid has an iPod, iPhone or iPad already there are a whole bunch
of adapters which let you plug a guitar into one of these. Like the
iRig, Peavey AmpKit ranging from $20 to $200 - all of which are cheaper
than a bass acoustic guitar. Or dedicated units like the C Tech pocket
Rock-it or Rockman Bass Ace, for a similar price range.
For practising electric bass around the house one of these is a muchcube
better option. Or a small portable practice amp - the Roland micro
costs less than even a 'cheap' bass acoustic guitar, and you can the
small Peavey practice amps for <$100
Great reply, Derek. I'm not so sure if my son will go for the 'no new
guitar' options but may be really what he needs. I'll pass this on to
I've played a couple of acoustic basses that had-- barely, IMHO--
enough E string for solo bedroom practice. One of them was pretty
inexpensive, but I don't know how long-term stable such an instrument
would be in regard to top warping and so on. But at least there are a
couple that might work for convenient solo practice, and, as has been
noted, having a working acoustic bass can be useful in certain playing
situations-- maybe even large enough to conceal a Pignose for "strict
unplugged" gigs <g>. But the size problem is real, as even an upright
bass doesn't have much power compared to "anything" amplified. And
yeah, even for an upright player, those acoustic flattops are
cumbersome to play.
(FWIW) I have a Dean Bass in a Box headphone amp, for "silent"
practice, and an old Dean Markley K20B amp (alleged 20w and 8"
speaker) that works very well for quiet solo practice with a bass
guitar, and has just about enough oomph to use for copping licks from
amplified music. Got the Markley for a top-dollar price of $40 years
and years ago at a garage sale because I liked the sound; there should
be something on Craigslist that would work for solo practice at a
cheap price but those are usually offered with the bass they were
bought with when someone's bass playing career doesn't take off.
Standard hearing damage warning applies to using headphones; I use
only open-air phones (Phillips SHS5200, $20 at Target, CVS pharmacy,
efficient and good bass response for practice or iPod use) and put the
phones on my ear but away from the ear canal to reduce blasting even
at low levels. "Ask Pete Townshend about using headphones and hearing
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