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Help with a custom acoustic bass...

Discussion in 'Maddrakkett's Caffe' started by BenF, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. BenF

    BenF

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    Hey everyone

    I've lately been gasing for a custom acoustic bass...

    The only thing is that I don't know of a company that could make what I'm looking for.

    basically...

    6-string
    Warwick thumb string spacing (forgot what the exact measurements were)
    34 scale
    Thin body profile (guess thats what you would call it)
    possible custom shape

    This has just been a thought in my head for the past couple of days, I just need some sort of direction to go in.

    Thanks.
     
  2. ThirdthumB

    ThirdthumB

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    That would be 16.5 mm string spacing..................I don't bump into many 6 string acoustic basses...........
     
  3. BenF

    BenF

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    Thanks for reminding me on the spacing btw!

    Well on talk bass everyone is telling that a company called Kinal is perfect...

    I know another member on tb has a 6 string Kinal acoustic on order.. I'll have to see what he says...

    Too bad theres no way to afford this or any custom bass as of now... but thats just between us. :p
     
  4. flipper_gv

    flipper_gv

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  5. sethsbase

    sethsbase Warwick Endorser

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    The subject of the Acoustic Bass Guitar is a bit of a heartbreaker, I'm afraid...

    the first question you need to ask yourself is: Will you be upset that you are unable to be heard in a group playing situation without plugging the acoustic bass guitar into an amp?

    the second question is: If you are NOT upset about having to plug the acoustic bass guitar into an amp, are you REALLY sure you care that much about committing to an instrument that all-too-often sounds like a ping-pong ball being dropped into a bucket of water when played? Especially considering the price-tags on the "good" ones?

    It's just a fight against physics. A few years ago, I was obsessed with the idea of using an A.B.G. Given that I do so much on the singer/songwriter scene, I thought it would be a perfect fit for me. I enjoy the tone of a well-made A.B.G., and did a lot of homework on the subject.

    First of all, most companies just won't make a big-enough BODY to move enough air to make an A.B.G. useful. You know how big a double-bass is, right? Those upright doghouses are that big because that's how big the resonating chamber needs to be to really reproduce and project a low E-string. And anyone who plays upright will attest to how hard one needs to pull the strings to be heard in a band without an amp.

    Some companies make the bodies a little bigger... one in particular is big enough to throw down a nice, solid open A-string, but they're expensive as all get-out.

    To address the issue of sound-reproduction: it is, of course, very realistic to say that one could want an A.B.G. and still intend to plug it in and amplify it. If you were to want this, though, you would want to make sure that the tone the instrument gives out is something worthy of being made louder. 90% of A.B.G.s have pickup systems that are complete [email protected] To make an instrument that is not big enough to accurately reproduce the note you are trying to play, and then to export the sound of that instrument only through a piezo pick-up... the sound is, nine times out of ten, complete misery, and nothing anyone would want to listen to.

    The worst is when I see well-made, expensive A.B.G.s with these pickup systems... why would you pay thousands of dollars or euros for that when it sounds the same as a hundred-dollar A.B.G. when you plug it in?

    The problem is that a piezo pickup doesn't transmit anything but vibration. The nuances of the wood; the air resonating in the body... NONE of that comes through a piezo pickup. They are made of ceramics, and that is what they sound like.

    The best acoustic guitar pickup systems have a combination of piezo-pickup AND a small microphone somewhere on or IN the body of the instrument (Fishman used to make a really nice one; I think they still do). If you could install one of those in an acoustic bass guitar that was made to a reasonably large scale, then and ONLY then would you have, in my humble opinion, an instrument worth spending any money at all on.

    Bass notes are all about moving MORE AIR. Long necks, big bodies, and microphones are the keys.

    Good luck.



    :wink:
     
  6. JanVanHove

    JanVanHove Artist

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    Hit that one right on the head, Seth!

    A B-string on an ABG is pretty much useless... If you plan to go 6-strings with high tuning: EADGBE or EADGCF, then it makes more sense...

    Personally I'm pretty happy with my Stagg ABG. Very big body, very nice sound, but it's not very loud... Ideal for grabbing the bass and practicing at home without disturbing anyone, maybe even jamming with one acoustic guitar, but not much else unless you plug it in...

    Another thing to consider: ABGs are big and unwieldy, and can't really be played in any way other than sitting down... On a strap they make you feel like a Mariachi playing a guittarron...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. BenF

    BenF

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    Thanks for the responces everyone

    One of the reasons why this forum is great is the honisty.

    Seth, thanks for running that all by me. Really makes me think about it... Even though I'm not about to make any huge purchace like a custom bass its very help full knowing both good and both sides.

    Now that it would almost be useless for what I would want to use it for.. Acousticly and would have problem getting heard with out an amp I think I'll just keep saveing for the 6 string Infinity NT :twisted:
     
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