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acoustic bass help for newbie

 
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unconventional rebel



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 2
Location: Wakefield UK

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 10:18 pm    Post subject: acoustic bass help for newbie Reply with quote

Intro - I play guitar at a jamming session at a local pub, easy listening, acoustic with a Knopfler sound alike and no bassist. Last week someone brought a (Fender) acoustic bass which I borrowed for an hour or so. I have played a bit of electric bass a number of years ago but am reluctant to play now as I'm currently no good & do not wish to mess up the sound. The acoustic allowed me to mess around without doing this, & I want to buy one!

Advice needed - What should I look for? I don't want to waste money on a cheapie, but don't have money to burn, how much need I pay? Any recomendations?

all advice greatfully received, Neal
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1bassleft
Lowdown Cack-hander
Lowdown Cack-hander


Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 4035
Location: "Hit The North"

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Neal,

I only have one EAB; a 5-string, fretless "Starfire" I bought s/h off eBay. The sound is absolutely fine (it feeds back if I point it at the amp, but that's electro-acoustics for you. You can get soundhole plugs). The problem is pretty shoddy factory quality. It was a lefty bass, but came fitted with a righty nut. Nuff said. I notice that someone on FleebUS (ebay.com) is selling one with a BIN of $40 because the bridge is lifting up from the body. A simple fix for a decent tech, but it doesn't say a lot about them.

I think these are worth a look;
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Electro-Acoustic-AB020-Bass-c-w-Gig-Bag_W0QQitemZ130165394380QQihZ003QQcategoryZ4713QQcmdZViewItem

as they can be easily had for 60 or less and p+p, which isn't a lot of money. Spruce top (good) but nasty, phosphor bronze strings by the looks so I'd budget for a decent set of nickel roundwounds to replace them straight away. I think it'd be worth trying without risking any big loss of money. With bass acoustics, I don't think tone is such a huge issue; the playability is more important. Look for a return/refund policy.
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Tim
Low Frequency Out
Low Frequency Out


Joined: 14 Aug 2005
Posts: 1221
Location: Probably at the bar.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ebay is definitely worth looking at.

I got a 'Vintage' Acoustic for 110 (I think) it's ok for the money. One thing it has, and I would recommend looking out for, is a dreadnought size body, I've heard and played a few acoustics (I go to quite a few acoustic nights) and many just don't hold up against a guitar and voice stick a bongo/bodhran or whatever in there and you may as well go sit down.

My Phosphors lasted about 3 mins, nasty nasty sound, agree on the nickels.

Main problem with mine is the electrics, the G makes no sound through the amp, at all! Never got to the bottom of it, but it does support the arguement for checking out returns policy.
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unconventional rebel



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 2
Location: Wakefield UK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the comments, interesting opinion re: the tone, worth thinking about.
Any comments about the Hohner HAB-40N currently on ebay?
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1bassleft
Lowdown Cack-hander
Lowdown Cack-hander


Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 4035
Location: "Hit The North"

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim's absolutely right that an unplugged acoustic bass doesn't come through. Perfect if you don't want mistakes to be heard, but a little amp is required if you want to get even slightly noticed.

I haven't got a useful op on the Hohner you spotted. EABs are fairly rarely spoken of so there isn't even much commentary on the web. The only things I can say are (1) phosphor bronze strings again - yuck and (2) those sides look suspiciously like tackywood. I don't recognize that grain at all. The EQ is the standard, generic type that you get on this price level and does its job OK. I wouldn't throw in a bid much above 50 for it myself.

The trouble is, I don't think there's a lot of quality EAB out there for less than 300. Unless you want to go for it, I'd settle for something at almost throwaway money just to see if it lights your fire. If not, you haven't lost much. Ergo, the Chinese-made, 70 guitars are a good trial.
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