Bass guitar is an instrument that has made its way into all genres of modern music. Be it a band playing live, or a new rock song, you are almost sure to find a few basslines establishing the beat for the rest. While a bass guitar is a super cool instrument, it has one drawback - it makes the amp your master! Without an amp it’s just not loud enough and you feel like a slave!

Does it have to be so, though? An acoustic bass guitar, called an ABG, solves exactly the problem many bassists face. Of being loud enough to be heard without an amp. On this page you are going to find all the information you need to know about the best acoustic bass guitar, if you are looking to buy one. We have also taken the pain of creating a buying guide for you, so that you know exactly what to look for when you spend your hard earned money.

Anatomy of an Acoustic Bass Guitar

Unlike the electric bass guitar, an acoustic bass resembles more to an acoustic guitar in its build. It comes with a hollow body through which it produces the sound, but like the bass guitar, it usually has four strings. The standard tuning is E-A-D-G. An acoustic bass is usually larger than a normal acoustic guitar, and has a warm tone. You can pluck with your two fingers in the traditional way, or you can strum it if you like.

Advantages of an Acoustic Bass

An acoustic bass offers the same advantages an acoustic guitar offers over an electric guitar. Since the sound comes from the soundhole, you don’t need an amp! That’s great if you want to practice your basslines at home without disturbing others, or if you want to play at campfires without amps. The sound is loud enough for your music to be heard and enjoyed in a small group.

It also gives you the option of plugging it into an amp. You will find a built-in pickup( for most models ) at the rear end of the acoustic bass and turn your instrument into the best acoustic electric bass guitar just like that! This ability makes these guitars extremely versatile, and an instrument you will love to have. You can also use it to play some folk and bluegrass music. So if you want to practice outside, or play at your church, the acoustic bass has your back.

Different Types

Whatever be your needs as a bassist the acoustic bass is versatile enough to provide it. It comes in a lot of varieties that you can choose from to perfectly fit your requirements. For example, you can go with the fretted ones that give you a strong idea of position or fretless ones that closely emulate the double bass sound.

Based on the number of strings present, the acoustic bass can be of the following types:

  • Four Stringed ABGs : A standard ABG comes with four strings in the standard tuning of E-A-D-G. You can tune the strings lower if you need to.

  • Five Stringed ABGs: Like the name suggests this guitar has an extra string. This extends the range of the notes you can hit with the standard tuning B-E-A-D-G.

  • Six Stringed ABGs: These ABGs come with six strings just like an acoustic guitar but toned to lower notes. The standard tuning is B-E-A-D-G-C.

  • Multi Stringed ABGs: Acoustic Basses can have eight or twelve strings. Such instruments are used mainly to play double bass.

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1. Ibanez PCBE12MHOPN

Our #1 recommendation to anyone who is looking for the best acoustic electric bass guitar. Ibanez have maintained the quality they are known for over the years, and you know when you see an instrument from them.

Incredibly low priced for the sound quality it offers, the Ibanez PCBE12 is extremely lightweight, and comes with the Ibanez under saddle pickup. It has a mahogany body with a maple neck. The fretboard is made up of rosewood. Inspiring in every way, this guitar will push your creativity to its limits.

 

2. Ibanez AEBE5EBK

You will be nothing short of impressed with this guitar. Exceptionally well built and with a great value for price, this black guitar has a beautiful finish that will make you instantly fall in love with the product. Wait till you hear how warm and resonating sounds it produces. It just adds life to your performances, says a customer.

Another feature we love is that it comes with a built-in tuner, so if you are in the heat of a performance or just starting out, you have a reliable buddy in your hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Michael Kelly MKDF4SKB

We love everything about this guitar except the price, which makes it the most expensive product on our list. The sound quality is great, and the finish is perfect! Michael Kelly has been making ABGs, for more than a decade and a half and his products have always been targeted at bassists just like you.

No doubt the quality is top-notch, and if you can afford it, this is the best acoustic electric bass guitar you will find. It is made of quilt maple, and has a rosewood fretboard with 22 frets. You can play any kind of music the bass guitarist in you can imagine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Dean EAB Acoustic Electric Bass

If you are looking for a budget bass guitar, check out the Dean EAB. It is incredibly cheap for the features it offers. It comes at a price slightly above $150! The nicest thing about this guitar is how playable it is, even if you are a beginner. It has a rosewood fretboard, and a mahogany body with a spruce top. Customers we talked to, raved about how comfortable the product was with its 34-inch neck, even when playing for long hours.

5. Fender CB-100 CE

This is a great product for amateur musicians. It has a laminated spruce top along with a laminated mahogany back. It comes with a pre-amp and tuner, and a 22 fret fingerboard made with rosewood. A top choice among jazz enthusiasts and professionals alike, it is also packed with Fishman isys pickups but we found it to be slightly overpriced for it’s features at $349.

Other Alternatives

All the products on the above list are favorites among professionals and amateurs alike, but if you want to explore more before you make your decisions, here are some other products that met our benchmarks.

Dean Acoustic Electric Bass

A full-sized ABG, this product has a solid black finish. It is extremely popular for being an easy to play instrument among starting guitarists.

Best Choice Electric ABG

Another great guitar for beginners. It has a glossy finish, but what we loved the most was it’s extremely cheap price. Just above $70 for a mahogany body and a 4-band equalizer - this guitar is a bargain!

Sky Enterprise Electric ABG

This guitar is similar to the Best Choice electric, but comes in black color and that adds an extra $10 to the price.

Traveler Guitar Ultra Light ABG

Truly a guitar you can take anywhere, & play anywhere! We’re in love with its amazing design and you will love it too. Ultra-light and Ultra cool. If you’ve got the cash, click buy now!

Cutaway Natural Electric ABG

A solid product with 24 frets, and a tone controller, the Cutaway natural produces a warm sound owing to its thin body design. 

Buying Guide - What you need to know!

When you’re out there looking for the best acoustic electric guitar, here are some tips you can follow to make the best decision for yourself.

#1. Pick the biggest size that fits you.

How loud your acoustic bass is, depends upon the width of the sound hole and the depth of your instrument. A bigger body means you can produce a louder sound. While you can strum a normal acoustic guitar, bass guitars are generally plucked with your fingers. This naturally decreases the sound level, but with a wider hole and deep big body, it can be amplified.

#2. Does it come with a built-in pickup?

Most acoustic basses do, but it doesn’t take a lot of time to just make sure there is one. You won’t be playing your ABG at home or in a park all the time. Sometimes you will want to use it during a performance where a pickup can come handy. It also makes your instrument more versatile.

#3. What’s the wood quality?

For a bass guitar you should generally look for mahogany/rosewood on the back, and spruce/pine on the top. Maple fretboards work the best, with rosewood also being a good option to have.

#4. The Finish.

This is mostly a matter of taste, and you should go for what appeals to you. It should be the least of your concerns however.

Always go for a better sounding guitar than a better looking one.

#5. Finally, what’s your budget?

Are you a beginner bassist just trying to get your hands wet before purchasing a more expensive electric bass guitar? Or are you a professional who’s trying for a different tone than your normal bass gives you? Maybe you just want a practice buddy when you’re at home? Ask yourself these questions, and then settle on a budget depending on your needs.

For all the versatility that they offer, ABGs aren’t that expensive and you can get a decent instrument with a budget of about $200.

If you want to know more about acoustic bass guitars and how they sound, check out this video below:

Conclusion

The best acoustic bass guitar gives you the flexibility to play anywhere you want, without needing an amp. It’s great if you are a musician with kids or family at home who don’t like to be disturbed by your loud practicing. You also get to perform outside, solo or with a group, and it will generate a sound loud enough for your audience to enjoy.

It makes for a great purchase when you are just starting out, because you don’t have to worry about that extra cash you need for the amp, and just start playing. Our well-researched buying guide and proven reviews will help you get the best acoustic bass guitar for you. Get one and start walking those basslines!