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AC/EL Basses


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I sold my Ovation 4 string AC/EL because


1> It was too pretty and expensive to take out to the campfire.


2> The round back made it uncomfortable to play sitting down.


3> I really never liked the tone.


I have been saving for a Carvin acoustic/electric 5 string bass for awhile. I got to plunk on one at a Scott Joss show when I met his Bass player (who got it free from Carvin the bastard).


Sidenote: My guitarist covers the brands of his guitars with the arguement "I pay them, they don't pay me." Almost as bad as drummers . . .


Anyway, I have played a Dean, Ibanez, Martin and Rogue and while the Carvin was an all around better instrument it is very pricey for a guy like me. To be honest, the rest of the pack had minor differences in playability and at worst were half the price.


Anybody out there play an AC/EL and if so (or not) what is your opinion of yours or others you have played?

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76


I have nothing nice to say so . . .


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Keep in mind that I've been playing bass seriously for about 9-11 months.


I recently bought a Michael Kelly Dragonfly 5 string, and while I was at the store, I got to try out the new Ibanez series of AE's and there was an Alvarez fretless.


The Alvarez was leaps and bounds above the Ibanez series and the Michael Kelly in terms of playability, but it was very old and priced at $600.00 (and of course, any attempt at fretless would get me killed by the intonation police). MK's sell new for around 400-500, I think, and the fit and finish are really good, and I think it sounds great. The transducer records really well, and the body isn't obnoxiously huge.


The Ibanez series all sounded a bit thin, and they sounded terrible plugged in. They were all over the map setup wise, but that's probably the fault of the store. They were really cheap, though.

"For instance" is not proof.


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Here's my old guy, crotchedy opinion.


Don't even bother with an acoustic-electric bass.


They are generally too expensive to play by the campfire. And they aren't loud enough or bassy enough anyway.


If you got an acoustic bass loud enough to play outdoors unplugged, it might be an Ernie Ball Earthwood Bass (a collector's item, almost impossible to find), a Taylor (for $3000), or an Epiphone El Capitan (for $1500).


And if you are going to plug it in and play it with a band, it will feed back. Big time.


If you like the acoustic bass sound and want to play it in a band context, well then now you are looking at a Godin, a Turner Renaissance, or a Rob Allen. None of them are cheap. And they all need to be plugged in.


I own an inexpensive AEB, a Hohner, got a great deal on it at a pawn shop. Once in a while I play it sitting on the couch. And a few times I have played it outside it the park with an acoustic folk band and no one heard me except for me and the guy standing next to me. It looked good, though.

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