It is well known that the bass guitar is a fundamental instrument in most music genres, so it makes sense that there are different types of bass guitars you can choose from to fit the specific style of music you are playing. In this article, we’ll be taking a look specifically at acoustic bass guitars.
We’ll start by jumping straight into reviews on the best acoustic bass guitars at each price point, but if you want to learn more about them before reading reviews, check out our acoustic bass guitar information guide at the bottom of the page.
|Name of Product||Image of Product||Description||Price Range||Full Review|
|1. Fender Fa-450CE (Best Under $500)||Body: Maple top, mahogany back and sides|
|$450||Read Full Review Below|
|2. Martin BCPA4 (Best Overall)||Body: Sitka spruce top, laminated Sapele back and sides|
|$1700||Read Full Review Below|
|3. D'Angelico Premier Series (Editor's Choice)||Body: Sitka spruce top, mahogany back and sides|
|$550||Read Full Review Below|
|4. Best Choice EAB (Budget Pick)||Body: Spruce top, laminated wood back and sides|
|$90||Read Full Review Below|
|5. Taylor GS Mini-e (Best Mini)||Body: Sitka spruce top, layered Sapele back and sides|
|$700||Read Full Review Below|
|6. Fender Kingman V2||Body: Spruce top, mahogany back and sides|
|$600||Read Full Review Below|
|7. Takamine GB30CE||Body: Spruce top, mahogany back and sides|
|$620||Read Full Review Below|
|8. Gold Tone Mbass25||Body: Mahogany top, mahogany back and sides|
|$500||Read Full Review Below|
|9. Fender CB60SCE||Body: Spruce top, mahogany back and sides|
|$330||Read Full Review Below|
|10. Ibanez AEB10E||Body: Spruce top, mahogany back and sides|
|$400||Read Full Review Below|
|11. Dean Exotica Quilt Ash||Body: Ash top, ash back and sides|
|$400||Read Full Review Below|
|12. Dean EAB||Body: Spruce top, mahogany back and sides|
|$270||Read Full Review Below|
|13. Ibanez PNB14E||Body: Okume top, mahogany back and sides|
|$250||Read Full Review Below|
|14. Oscar Schmidt OB100||Body: Spruce top, mahogany back and sides|
|$300||Read Full Review Below|
Here Are the Best Acoustic Bass Guitars
1. Fender Fa-450CE (Best Under $500)
Estimated Price: $450
Body: Maple top, mahogany back and sides
My Review: You simply can’t think about bass guitars without thinking of Fender. Leo Fender gave the world arguably the greatest bass guitar ever in the Fender Precision and followed that up 9 years later with another great bass, the Jazz. The 450CE doesn’t look like a Fender bass. The large body with a single-cutaway looks really modern and cool. It does though possess the Fender build quality and sounds really good. It has a lot to offer considering its lower price point. The sound is fat and natural with nice tone qualities.
Key Specs and Features: The bass has mahogany back and sides with a three-shade sunburst maple top, with some attractive cream binding. Solid mahogany is the tonewood of choice for the neck and the fingerboard is made from Laurel, has 20 frets which are quite good. It is a typical Fender long scale neck. With the cutaway, the lower parts of the neck are easily accessible. Fishman provide the pickup and electrics, it has volume, treble, and bass controls situated on the top of the bass for easy use. Fishman brand preamp with a 2-band EQ system gives the bass that maximum punch when plugged in. It also has an integrated tuner and a battery strength indicator which is really cool to have, it keeps you safe during the gig.
Target Customer: The FA-450CE is a budget level model that is great for players who want to try out an acoustic bass, or transition from guitar to bass. With the fat sound, it can work great in many different styles of music.
Bottom Line: As expected from Fender they deliver another quality instrument. Solid sound with great build quality this bass holds its own in the acoustic bass market. In my opinion, this is easily the best acoustic bass guitar under 500 dollars.
2. Martin BCPA4 (Best Overall)
Estimated Price: $1700
Body: Sitka spruce top, laminated Sapele back and sides
Preamp: Fishman F1 Analog
My Review: This is one of my favorite acoustic bass guitars of all time and I really love Martin guitars. This American brand is a real icon on the high-end acoustic market. To get things straight this 4-string BCPA4 electro-acoustic isn’t cheap, but it offers acoustic bassists a real treat in every way. It sounds amazing, it looks superb and is so nice playing. As soon as you pick it up you can feel the premium quality of the bass. The long scale jumbo body packs a lot of sounds. It impressed me both plugged in and acoustically. It is capable of melting together the tones of an upright and electric bass into one. It’s rich and very well balanced, with the solid spruce offering a nice brightness while the Sapele gives some warmth with great bass response.
Key Specs and Features: This solid build acoustic bass features a jumbo body with a soft J-style cutaway. All the materials used are out of wood. The top is a Sitka spruce while the laminated Sapele is on the back and sides. There is an elegant black binding around the top and bottom of the bass. The neck joins the body at the 17th fret and features a solid ebony fretboard with a nut width of 1.58” and a total of 23 frets. Aside from the top, the whole bass is satin finished for a smooth feel. The bass features Fishman F1 Analog electronics and simple volume and tone controls on the upper bout along with a built-in digital tuner for ease of use on stage. On the top of the fretboard is a White Corian nut, while the bottom of the bass is fitted with an ebony bridge. The headstock is fitted with four Gotoh black sealed tuners which are just excellent.
Target Customer: For regular performers and professionals alike, the impressive high-end feel and tone of the BCPA4 will be very hard to pass up. I would recommend this acoustic bass to anybody that has the budget to acquire it, and the skills to use it properly.
Bottom Line: The Martin BCPA4 is certainly not a bass for anybody with a low budget. The bass is of premium quality and superb features and sound.
3. D’Angelico Premier Series Mott (Editor’s Choice)
Estimated Price: $550
Body: Sitka spruce top, mahogany back and sides
Preamp: Fishman Presys Plus
My Review: For the money, the D’Angelico Premier Series Mott acoustic bass is hard to beat. D’Angelico usually makes mid-to-high-end hollow-body guitars, but this guitar here comes in at a surprisingly affordable price point. The preamp system it has is really good, the sound is so good playing it unplugged let alone when plugged in. I’m really impressed with the bass, it looks great and sounds amazing.
Key Specs and Features: The build quality of the bass is impressive. The body is constructed with a solid Sitka spruce top with laminated mahogany sides and back. The Grand Auditorium shape is really cool and has a lot of sounds to give. Single cutaway acoustics are attractive and functional. The body single-cutaway design gives you access to each of the 20 frets. The neck is super solid and strongly made out of solid mahogany and it has a rosewood fretboard. The headstock has Grover Super-Rotomatic tuners that work perfectly and are of high quality. They are incredible in holding key retention as well as precision. The Fishman Presys+ preamp system is the icing on the cake. It gives the bass a ton of fat punchy sound. It contains a 3-band EQ, a phase filter, and a chromatic tuner which is really helpful. There are not many feedback issues with this bass. The sound it produces is massive, but so well balanced that it feels almost surreal.
Target Customer: If you like to perform with the least amount of accessories this is the bass for you. This guitar would be a good fit for players of any skill level.
Bottom Line: Premier Mott in my opinion it may be one of the best values on the market today. In a sea of acoustic basses that do one thing great, D’Angelico Mott does it all. D’Angelico proves once again why their acoustic bass guitars are simply among the best. Considering its price, I would say that this is one of the best acoustic bass guitar out there right now.
Popular Related Article: 14 Best Short Scale Bass Guitars (Reviews and Buying Guide)
4. Best Choice EAB (Budget Pick)
Estimated Price: $90
Body: Spruce top, laminated wood back and sides
Preamp: Built-in preamp
My Review: So I think I found the best budget-friendly bass you can find on the market today that is actually worth it. Considering the price of the EAB the bass isn’t half that bad. It is quite good. Nothing crazy but that is understandable. With the right setup, the bass can sound pretty nice. The overall sound is rather warm with a bit of a sparkle in the trebles, but ultimately decent projection. When plugged in, you get a decent amount of volume as well as a good render of the acoustic sound. Lows are nice and articulated and as you move down the neck, you will find that higher-pitched perform the same. The built-in preamp for the most part does a good job of rendering the natural sound of the guitar and sending it to your amp.
Key Specs and Features: The tonewood they used for this bass is spruce on the top and laminated wood on the back and sides. The quality of the wood is questionable but that is to be expected of a low budget bass. The glossy black finish sits well for the bass. The build quality of the bass is actually pretty solid. The neck is supposedly made out of mahogany and it has a rosewood fretboard. It has a set of die-cast machines which are about average when compared to models from the same market segment. The bridge and the saddles seem to be synthetic. there is a built-in preamp with a 4-band EQ including a master volume control.
Target Customer: This is a great choice for both beginners as well as those who want to dip their toes in this type of bass. If you want to start without spending too much on a new instrument you should consider getting this acoustic bass.
Bottom Line: The EAB offers a good enough way to experience acoustic bass, without spending too much money. You are getting your money’s worth with this one.
5. Taylor GS Mini-e (Best Mini)
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Estimated Price: $700
Body: Sitka spruce top, layered Sapele back and sides
Preamp: Taylor ES-B
My Review: As one of the biggest names in the acoustic guitars industry Taylor, it’s no surprise that they make some great acoustic bass guitars. The GS Mini-e short-scale acoustic bass is everything you ever needed in an acoustic bass. It is comfortable, playable, and at the same time, it carries quite a punch. The first thing I noticed is that the smaller body manages to produce a massive sound. Sure, there’s some difference but nowhere near as much as you would expect when you first see the guitar. Its lows are massive, at least compared to its size, while the mids are present and wide. Once plugged in, Taylor GS Mini-e offers a nicely balanced performance. Despite the lack of a proper EQ, the ESB preamp does a great job of enhancing the natural acoustics. I’m really like this bass a lot, it is so well made.
Key Specs and Features: The tonewood they chose is solid Sitka spruce for the top, while the back and sides are made of layered Sapele. This Sapele shell sounds every bit as good as solid wood, with additional perks such as increased resistance to temperature, wear, and other factors. The Sapele neck contains 20 frets on top of an ebony fretboard. The 23.5” scale length is 10 inches shorter than the average full-size bass guitar scale. When it comes to hardware, Taylor’s GS Mini-e packs the usual. It has a set of great die-cast chrome tuners which are pretty standard. On the other end, the bass is equipped with a West African ebony bridge. Saddle and nut are made of Micarta and Nubone. As for electronics, it has an ESB pickup/preamp combo. It is a simple unit that features basic controls and a built-in chromatic tuner. There’s only a two-band EQ here, but frankly, that suffices. From a purely practical point of view, the hardware found on this guitar delivers consistency and reliability.
Target Customer: Make no mistake about it, this is a small bass. The scale is short enough for guitarists to feel comfortable, and for bassists to enjoy flying around the dinky little fretboard. It’s great for practice and gigging, easy to carry around.
Bottom Line: I think you’re going to have some good times with this instrument. It is a little expensive but you get every pennyworth.
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6. Fender Kingman V2
Estimated Price: $600
Body: Spruce top, mahogany back and sides
My Review: Another Fender on the list, It is no surprise With legendary models like the Precision Bass and Jazz Bass, Fender has earned its reputation as the bass world’s premier manufacturer. The Kingman comes with a stylish construction and serious sound. This bass has a lot going for it. The shape they borrowed from the Fender’s Newporter acoustic guitar, just hits the spot with me. The bass has a unique vibe and a warm natural tone. As the bass doesn’t have that bassy punch as some other heavier electric basses I feel it is probably best suited for pop or rock music. It can hold its own in heavier settings, but mellower moods give the increased mids and highs a chance to shine.
Key Specs and Features: The Kingman V2 borrows its auditorium shape from Fender’s Newporter acoustic guitar. This means the body is a little smaller than a full-size acoustic, and its sculpted cutaway and curves feel great while playing. The top is made of solid spruce, with laminated mahogany used for the sides and back. It has a cool Jazz Bass-shaped headstock which brings out the Fender vibe even more. The mahogany neck is also shaped like that of a Jazz Bass, with a C-shaped profile and a scale length of 30”. The neck is topped with a walnut fretboard and 20 frets. Classic Fender block inlays decorate the fretboard. It has a Fishman pickup and preamp on board to help you plug in and keep up with the band. With 3-band EQ controls, a tuner, and volume, notch, brilliance, and phase controls, it’s certainly one of the most in-depth preamps on any acoustic guitar. The Viking walnut bridge and the Graph Tech NuBone nut transfer the sound perfectly.
Target Customer: The acoustic capabilities are certainly helpful for jamming with friends or for use in quieter situations. It is a great addition for bassists who are looking for a unique option to add to their arsenal.
Bottom Line: The Kingman V2 is one of the top acoustic basses available for players today. With its classic Fender style and warm woody tone, the Kingman V2 is one of the best acoustic basses you can get for the price.
7. Takamine GB30CE
Estimated Price: $620
Body: Spruce top, mahogany back and sides
Preamp: Takamine TK40B
My Review: Takamine acoustic guitars were more of a recent discovery for me. While not the most refined or best looking, their instruments are reliable and solid. The Takamine GB30CE is one of the best acoustic basses you can find out there currently. The bass looks basic but it feels smooth and playable. The built quality and the finish are great, you can just see that the level of craftsmanship they put into this bass is high level. The bass not only meets the expectations but goes pretty far beyond them. The sound is massive on the low end. It is natural and clean, with good treble. When plugged in, this bass shines. The possibilities are quite vast. Onboard, EQ allows for a lot of tone shaping, although you can always tap into the source tone profile by using the available EQ bypass.
Key Specs and Features: The body is a solid spruce top combined with solid mahogany sides and back. The concert body shape has a single cutaway. The tonewood they went with is proven to be the winning combination. The neck is smooth and made out of mahogany. The fretboard is made out of rosewood and is decorated with white dot inlays. It contains 21 frets and the finish is glossy. The headstock houses a set of die-cast chrome tuners that work quite well. For the bridge, Takamine went with pure Indian rosewood. Since this is an acoustic-electric model, you also have Takamine’s TK40B preamp along with their transducer pickup. For the controls, it has a three-band EQ as well as a gain knob, mid-shift, and bass boost.
Target Customer: For players who are looking to go into different music genres this bass is a must. The sound you get from it is great for unplugged jam sessions to regular gigs with a band.
Bottom Line: This Takamine GB30CE offers a great balance of practical style, reliable build quality, and refined performance. In my opinion a really good choice for whatever you need it for. When it comes to build quality, fit, and finish, CB30CE proves why Takamine is an authority in this industry.
8. Gold Tone Mbass25
Estimated Price: $500
Body: Mahogany top, mahogany back and sides
Preamp: Gold Tone
My Review: Gold Tone once again proved why their guitars can hang with the best out there with their Mbass25. This bass stands out from the rest with several interesting details. The first thing you can notice is that it is a short scale bass and that is a surprise considering the sound that comes out from this bad boy. Sound is Gold Tone Mbass25’s best attribute. It has a very wholesome tone. That short-scale paired with a dreadnought body makes the bass unique in terms of sound. You get plenty of wide mids and massive amounts of low end. When you plug it in, that built-in transducer pickup does a great job of conveying the natural sound of this guitar. With some adjustments, you can dial in a wide range of tones. Despite its short scale, the bass section of the frequency range comes through.
Key Specs and Features: The entire body is made out of mahogany which is a very interesting choice. The tonewood they chose for the whole body gives the bass a very unique sound. Despite this guitar looking relatively simple the build quality is top of the line. The neck is also made out of mahogany and the scale length is 25”. The neck has a beautiful satin finish. The fretboard is made out of rosewood with 20 frets. The nut is made out of bone. It has a quality set of die-cast tuners on the headstock and a great bridge/saddle combo on the other end. They went with a transducer pickup and a preamp, both of which are made in house. The preamp allows you to adjust volume as well as bass and trebles.
Target Customer: As a short scale it is much closer to a standard acoustic guitar making it a great transitioning instrument for guitar players who want to learn bass. It is also great for practice as the shorter scale is much less taxing on the hands. Overall, it’s an awesome choice for both intermediate players and those with a refined taste.
Bottom Line: The Gold Tone Mbass25 offers a rich experience in every way. From the way it is built to the sound it produces. It delivers performance that can be used in just about any situation.
9. Fender CB60SCE
Estimated Price: $330
Body: Spruce top, mahogany back and sides
My Review: The Fender CB60SCE an attractive looking bass guitar. The basic concert body look is nice and the cut off features the solid spruce top. It has a great tone and playability. Sound is where Fender CB60SCE really comes to shine. The tone that comes out has definition, clarity, and projection. That mahogany shell delivers a nice edge, which works extremely well with lower frequencies. The tone is well defined, not muddy at all, and pretty warm. The Fishman preamp does a great job of reproducing the natural sound of the guitar with plenty of authenticity.
Key Specs and Features: It has mahogany back and sides and a solid spruce top, like so many of its 6-string Fender cousins. The single-cutaway design is standard for Fender. The neck is also mahogany made with a scale length of 32 making this a medium scale bass. The gloss finish of the neck is pretty sweet. The fretboard is made from rosewood with 22 frets and dot inlays. The nut is plastic. The headstock houses a set of four die-cast tuning machines that hold intonation quite well. Bridge and saddle are simple, yet they come well set up right out of the factory. The preamp is Fishman and the controls include bass, volume, and treble along with a built-in tuner. In a way, this choice fits perfectly with the overall vibe of the guitar.
Target Customer: If you are new and starting to learn the bass, this acoustic bass is the one for you. It is a finely tuned instrument that delivers a baseline, but also more refined performance than a good number of its competitors.
Bottom Line: This acoustic bass guitar goes way beyond the “beginner” label, in terms of the quality and sound. The CB60SCE is easily among the most capable acoustic bass guitars you can get right now. You get much more bang for the buck with this one, in the range of affordable acoustic bass guitars.
10. Ibanez AEB10E
Estimated Price: $400
Body: Spruce top, mahogany back and sides
Preamp: Fishman Sonicore pickup and SST preamp
My Review: Ibanez was always known for bringing great performance and style to the acoustic guitar world. And they did it again with the AEB1OE. I find it to be one of the most elegant acoustic bass guitars currently out there. Not only does it look good but it also performs great. The great choice of materials makes this bass punch way above its weight class. The tone is well defined with plenty of girth in the low range. Mids are present and clear, while trebles come across as punchy. When plugged in Fishman preamp does its thing. You get a very authentic plugged in sound with a good amount of maneuvering space thanks to the onboard EQ. Despite not being a handmade model I’m truly impressed with the Ibanez AEB10E.
Key Specs and Features: No need to talk about aesthetics because it just looks amazing. The concert body design is made out of a solid spruce top and mahogany sides and back. The finish is a beautiful dark stain burst. The neck is also made out of mahogany and it sports pearl inlays, abalone rosette, and pearl binding. Fit and finish are top-notch. The fretboard is made out of rosewood. Ibanez AEB10E features a great set of lockers and a proper rosewood bridge. Ibanez turned to Fishman for the electronics. They have chosen a combination of SST preamp and Sonicore pickup for this build. This combo has been proven to work really well.
Target Customer: This bass can serve well as a practice instrument but that would be a waste considering its looks. The sound you get from it can do well in different styles of playing. Both beginner and intermediate players should consider getting this awesome acoustic bass.
Bottom Line: A truly awesome bass, it can attract attention by its looks alone, but when you pick it up its performance shows the true quality of the instrument. If you are looking for a proper mid-range acoustic bass guitar, chances are you won’t find something much better than this.
11. Dean Exotica Quilt Ash
Estimated Price: $400
Body: Ash top, ash back and sides
Preamp: Dean DMT G05
My Review: The Dean Exotica came as a surprise. I was blown away by the looks of the bass. The finish and the quality are just something else. Not that I’m saying it sounds bad just that the bass is so well made which comes as a surprise considering the price. The striking visual appeal that quilt ash can bring just captured my eyes. Unplugged the sound of the bass is pretty good, but the bass truly shines when you plug it in. You can dial in great tones with relative ease thanks to the integrated 4-band EQ. This setup gives you quite a bit of versatility.
Key Specs and Features: The dreadnought shaped body on the Exotica is constructed with quilt ash for both the top and the sides. The impressive natural gloss finish makes the bass stand out. It has a set mahogany neck that is very comfortable thanks to the D shape profile. The top of the neck sports a rosewood fretboard with 21 frets. The neck is smooth and sleek. As for the hardware, the first thing that stands out is the Dean DMT G05 Preamp system with the under-saddle piezo pickup. You get a built-in chromatic tuner and battery indicator with it which is a useful feature. Dean-designed sealed die-cast tuning machines with a chrome-plated finish keep the bass in tune.
Target Customer: The Dean Exotica Quilt Ash is a good choice for any bass player looking to add an affordable acoustic to their collection. It works great in an unplugged setting or when playing with a small band. The visuals of this bass are for sure going to turn some heads around.
Bottom Line: The Dean Exotica Quilt Ash Bass is an attractive model with some quality features, and proves a good competitor in the acoustic bass guitar market.
12. Dean EAB
Estimated Price: $270
Body: Spruce top, mahogany back and sides
Preamp: Dean passive preamp
My Review: As one of the most affordable instruments on this list, I present to you the Dean EAB. While it is probably the most affordable it is also one of the most interesting. Considering the price its performance stands out. It is a sold instrument with a jumbo body shape but considering the size of the body you don’t get too much sound coming out from it but you do get a massive lower end. The real deal starts when you plug it in. Dean’s passive preamp has proven to be pretty effective. Trebles and mids are present and defined, but they don’t muddy up the sound when you start hitting those low notes. The controls are quite basic. I’m impressed with the bass honestly.
Key Specs and Features: This time Dean went for a jumbo shape. The body is made out of spruce top and mahogany sides and back. The level of detail and build quality are both impressive. The C profile neck is fitted to the body nicely and is made out of mahogany. Rosewood fretboard is decorated with Pearl dot inlays and the scale length is 34” making it a long scale. There is white binding all around the top as well as the fretboard. It comes with a natural or black finish. Sealed die-cast tuners are spot on which can also be said about the bridge and saddle. Dean passive preamp works really well and with the basic controls that come in the form of a volume and treble the bass is simple to use. Overall, the electronics are fairly decent and reliable.
Target Customer: All around good beginner instrument, great for house parties and practicing. I would recommend it to any player who is just starting. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a decent starter guitar, or an intermediate player, this acoustic bass is for you. It is a little big so keep that in mind.
Bottom Line: Dean EAB offers a lot at a very reasonable price. Build quality is great and the performance speaks for itself.
13. Ibanez PNB14E
Estimated Price: $250
Body: Okume top, mahogany back and sides
My Review: The Ibanez PNB14E is a solid acoustic bass as it can get. Given the quality of the instrument, the price is unreal. I was impressed with the sound you can get from this thing. Along with the classy looks and very interesting tonal profile, the PNB14E is a very comfortable instrument too. To be precise it’s not the cleanest sounding Ibanez but overall the level of sound and playability you get from it pretty great. It has a lot of low end with nice mids and as a short-scale bass, it is super light and comfortable to play. Some acoustic basses can be bulky and hard to get used to but not this Ibanez. Despite the compact body size, the PNB14E has an impressively powerful acoustic volume.
Key Specs and Features: The parlor body shape features a mixture of Okume and mahogany. This gives the bass really a unique tone. The top is Okume while the back and sides are from mahogany. The bass looks great with its natural open-pore finish and is very solid too. The scale length is 24.7”. The neck is made out of maple sporting a laurel fretboard with 18 frets. The satin finish of the maple neck is really smooth. The “open pore” finish of the body creates a more vintage feel, allowing the natural texture of the wood to be felt. The bass is equipped with an Ibanez AEQ-SP2 preamp and an under-saddle pickup. The saddle and the nut are made out of plastic and the tuning machines are chrome die-cast.
Target Customer: This compact instrument is ideal for situations such as playing on the couch, outdoors, as well as more informal occasions. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an advanced player you are going to love this thing.
Bottom Line: The quality of features and sound that you get the price is unreal. The Ibanez PNB14E is a comfortable acoustic short-scale bass made to enjoy playing it as much as possible.
14. Oscar Schmidt OB100
Estimated Price: $300
Body: Spruce top, mahogany back and sides
Preamp: Oscar Schmidt Active preamp
My Review: As an older model, the Oscar Schmidt OB100 has stood the test of time well. I love the Venetian cutaway and a concert body. The cutaway lets you access the higher frets like no other acoustic bass which is super cool. I feel like soloing on it the whole time I play it. I feel also that the concert body has quite a loud sound compared to some other acoustic basses. The bass works greatly unplugged or plugged. The built-in preamp may not allow a lot of tone shaping, but the standard calibration creates a good enough tone for a variety of genres. The medium-scale neck is a really cool feature, it is quite playable. The tone you get from it is great for playing jazz.
Key Specs and Features: The Oscar Schmidt OB100 features a Venetian cutaway concert body design. The concert body improves the resonance and allows for more volume. The top is made out of spruce and the back and sides are made out of mahogany. The finish is a super sweet natural gloss. It has a mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard and dot inlays. I would say that the craftsmanship is spot-on and ensures a long-lasting instrument. It has to die-cast chrome tuners. All the hardware comes in chrome. It contains a built-in active preamp and a set of basic controls.
Target Customer: The Oscar Schmidt OB100 player-friendly medium scale bass that can be used for any event. It is playable and I would recommend it to beginner players. You can try it out in different settings and styles of music. The cool addition is that it includes a gig bag which makes it even more player-friendly.
Bottom Line: A solid acoustic bass with a great natural look and the sound that makes your investment pay off easily. The Oscar Schmidt OB100 has its spot in the more affordable acoustic bass guitars market.
Choosing the Right Acoustic Bass Guitar (Buying Guide)
This buying guide is here to assist you in finding the best possible acoustic bass guitar for your needs. Whether you have a low or high budget, there will be a great acoustic bass guitar out there that will be just right for you with all the features that you could need. We are going to go through the most important questions you can ask when getting a new acoustic bass.
What Is an Acoustic Bass Guitar?
An acoustic bass has no electrics and pickups, in some cases they do but we’ll talk about that later. They are often preferred by unplugged players or beginners. There is no need to plug the guitar into anything to play it because the body produces a sound much louder than that of a standard electric bass when played without an amp. You simply pick up the bass and start playing. The main drawback is that the acoustic bass is not a very loud instrument, it can’t compete with a bass that is plugged into an amp, so as soon as you start to try to play with other musicians or if you simply play in a large venue with other people around, you can find that the sound from the guitar is quickly drowned out.
If you want a louder acoustic bass you should look out for the basses that have the largest bodies, as these will produce the most sound. The sound that an acoustic bass guitar makes is similar to that of the double bass and that’s why a lot of people love it. This means that the acoustic bass guitar can produce a resonant sound in the lower music registers. This is what makes the bass guitar different than a standard guitar, as it is much lower in pitch.
Understanding Acoustic Bass Guitars
Usually, when people talk about bass guitars and the best bass players everything revolves around basses like a Fender Jazz or Music Man and the player who plays them. But you must now forget the acoustic bass which is an amazing instrument in my opinion and I love to play it. As a proud owner of fretless acoustic bass, I can’t tell you how much fun it is playing it.
Just as there are acoustic guitars, there are acoustic bass guitars. Acoustic basses are also completely different from their electric counterparts. With their unique tone quality, they can meld music in a different way than a standard bass guitar.
A lot of people see acoustic basses as a mix between an upright bass in terms of sound and electric bass in terms of playability. While not strictly true, we are quite satisfied with this definition for the time being.
Most of the techniques that you can do on a standard basis can be utilized on the acoustic also so the range of possibilities is vast.
If you are looking for an acoustic bass guitar, you should ensure that you know all of the features that you want from it. Depending on the genre of music that you will be playing and your budget, not all guitars are likely to be suitable for you.
Key Specs to Look for in an Acoustic Bass Guitar
Guitar Body Considerations
An acoustic bass guitar is made up of several components. There is a headstock that is attached to the main body using the neck of the bass. A bridge is located towards the end of the body and the strings are attached to the bridge and they run along the fretboard to the headstock.
The kind of body material you want for your acoustic bass guitar is very important. Some guitars are made from laminated wood, whilst more expensive models are made from solid quality wood. The sound that comes from an acoustic bass guitar comes out of a hole that is cut into the side of the body. Due to the shape of this hole, it is often referred to as an “f” hole.
Usually, if you want an acoustic bass guitar that is the loudest, you should choose one that has a bigger body as possible. The easiest way to determine the quality of the bass is by checking out the construction of the bass. In my research, I discovered that the best acoustic basses are made with a body that has a diameter of somewhere around 18 inches and a relative depth of around 6 inches.
The scale length of the bass is measured easily. The length of the strings from the bridge to the top of the neck will determine what the range of the scale is. You should choose the bass guitar that will provide you with the kind of range that you need. Short scale basses are 30 inches long, the medium is 32 inches, the standard length is 34 inches, which is also referred to as long scale basses, whilst extra long is 35 inches. The longer the scale is, the more you will need to extend your arm to reach the area of the fretboard but also you will have more note range and possibilities.
Tuning and number of strings
The strings are tuned to meet the requirements of the person who is using it. Most acoustic basses are tuned to standard tuning. The 4 strings are usually tuned to be E, A, D and G.
Multi-string acoustic bass guitars have more strings on than a standard one, so if you are into music where you need a little bit more range you can get a 5, 6, 8, or even a 12 string acoustic bass guitar, which I think is overkill. Models like this are usually played by the most advanced bassists. If you are just starting out or if you want an acoustic bass guitar to improve your technique, you will find that a 4 string bass is quite enough.
The neck is one of the most important parts of any bass so the neck of the bass must not only produce the sound that you want but also that it is comfortable for you to hold and play. The most comfortable types of bass guitar next are ones that are thinner and flatter. To produce the best sustain and get the best tone quality acoustic bass guitars are made from solid wood material such as maple or mahogany. Maple is most commonly used when building the neck of the bass. It is light and has good tone qualities.
The best way to see if you are comfortable with the neck scale length and radius is by trying out the bass first in the store and not be shy and ask questions. When you strap the bass guitar over your neck and shoulders it should feel comfortable and not too heavy. Also, try standing with it to feel the balance of the bass. It’s not the same when you are playing sitting and standing. If the neck starts going down to the ground, then the bass guitar is too heavy and not well balanced.
This is not the most important part of your bass guitar, but it is still quite important to have an instrument that looks good and shows off your style. If you are going to be performing, the acoustic bass should match the genre that you are going to play as well as your dress style. Make sure that the finish is high quality so that your acoustic bass guitar will continue to look new for as long as possible.
Preamps and Amplification
The good thing about acoustic bass guitars these days is that they usually come with a set of electronics with them. Of course, they are awesome for playing unplugged gigs but this little feature can come in handy when doing other kinds of events.
For example, if you are doing a gig with a couple of acoustic guitars this feature comes in handy because you would probably struggle with getting your sound out and end up hurting your fingers. With onboard electronics, you can match the output levels with different instruments.
Some basses come with rather simple electronics, while others feature more advanced systems. If you want to plug into an amp or PA system directly, a more elaborate preamp with more onboard tone-shaping capabilities comes in handy. You can find one that is going to suit your style.
If you like to meld your tone with different pedals a simple electronic system can get the job done for you.
Short Scale Acoustic Basses
Many players find it hard when making the jump from electric bass to acoustic as it is quite uncomfortable, due to the extra demands on both the picking and fretting hand when playing and the size of the instrument. When you have a long scale acoustic bass it becomes even more difficult to make that transition so that is why many players chose to settle for a short scale version.
The only problem is that there are not many out there, and even those that exist are rare and are hard to find on most marketplaces as the demand isn’t that high. So, if you want to try a short scale acoustic bass, prepare yourself for a bit of hunting around.
Acoustic vs Electric Bass?
There are many differences between an acoustic and electric bass guitar. Because a bass guitar has such a low register, they are quiet instruments. You need to really listen in order to hear the baseline. This is because the bass guitar is so low that’s our ears are not as well adjusted at picking up that sound.
If you choose an acoustic bass guitar, you should remember that it is very easy to drown out the sound when you are playing with other instruments or if you are in a room with many people. If you do want to play in a band, you really should consider purchasing an electric bass guitar, as he will be able to turn the volume up when you need to so that your instrument will stand out.
Some people prefer the look of an acoustic bass guitar. The traditional type of musical instrument does not come with any wires and there is something about the sound of an acoustic instrument that you just can’t replicate with an electric one. If you are only just learning to play the bass guitar, you may find more enjoyment in playing an acoustic than you would an electric bass guitar. If you are only playing your guitar at home to practice it, you will not have any problems with the sound.
Another reason why a beginner may want to choose an acoustic bass guitar is that Electric bass guitars can be quite complicated to operate. If you only just starting, your main concern will be ensuring that you get your technique right. It can start to become very complicated if you need to work out what all of their control knobs and leavers do.
Acoustic basses are also often the cheapest option. Even if sometimes acoustic and electric basses can cost the same take into consideration that for electric bass in order to play it you need an amp which makes the investment quite bigger.
Why Buy an Acoustic Bass Guitar?
There are several reasons you should get an acoustic bass, although the biggest is the experimentation this instrument can offer.
The acoustic bass is a relatively new instrument in the music world. This appeals to many bassists, as they can experiment with playing new styles and techniques, without any preconceived ideas about what they should or should not be doing with it. Its qualities are similar to those of an upright bass.
One of the best perks of an acoustic bass is that you don’t need an amp and you can play it whenever. You can practice or bring it with you and jam with your friend anywhere. Because of the raw nature of acoustic bass, it’s a good instrument on which to perfect your technique. Your playing needs to be tight as it is not so easy to play as a well set up electric bass where your fingers just fly over the fretboard.
Playing an acoustic bass can help you develop how to use your picking hand correctly. As there is no pickup for you to rest your thumb on, you are forced to rest it on the E string or the body. That way you can develop the floating thumb technique which is very useful when you transition to electric bass.
Acoustic basses are great for performing unplugged as well as for practicing. When you are tasked with playing bass in an unplugged setting, you can now play on something with a familiar style, similar to electric bass.
At the end of the day, acoustic bass guitars are an awesome tool, allowing you to express yourself in a completely different way to electric bass. Even though they are not as popular as their 6-string acoustic counterparts, there is still a lot of worth in these instruments.
As you have learned in this helpful buying guide, there are many great advantages, especially to the new bassist, as to why you should choose an acoustic bass guitar. With plenty of models to choose from with high-quality wooden construction, you are sure to find the best acoustic bass guitar for your needs.
One of the best things about buying an acoustic bass guitar is that you have complete portability and you won’t need any additional equipment. You won’t need to worry about purchasing additional items when you buy your acoustic bass guitar and instead you will be able to start playing it as soon as it is delivered.
I hope this guide helped you chose and pick up the best acoustic bass for you. Trust me you are not going to regret it. It will open a lot more possibilities and make a great addition to your bass collection. Just don’t tell your wife!
My name is Chris and I’ve had a passion for music and guitars for as long as I can remember. I started this website with some of my friends who are musicians, music teachers, gear heads, and music enthusiasts so we could provide high quality music related content as well as some of the most accurate and in-depth gear review and demo information on the internet.
I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13 (over 15 years now) and am an avid collector of all thing’s guitar. Amps, Pedals, Guitars, Bass, Drums, Microphones, Studio, and recording gear, I love it all.
I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. My background is in Electrical Engineering earning a Bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University and with my engineering experience I’ve developed as a designer of guitar amplifiers and effects. A true passion of mine, I’ve designed, built, and repaired a wide range of guitar amps and electronics. Here at the Guitar Lobby, our aim is to share our passion for Music and gear with the rest of the music community.