Best Electric Bass Guitars of 2017

Acoustic bass guitars sound pure and sweet and anyone can master them pretty quickly. They add a deeper layer to your songs and add a spark to them. Both professionals and amateur musicians can benefit greatly by incorporating this instrument in their recordings and practices.

The fact that you can achieve a balanced sound with this guitar no matter what your skill level is makes it one of the most commonly used guitars throughout the world. Buying such a guitar or any instrument in general requires attention to detail and a lot of thorough research beforehand. Obviously everyone wants to get the best thing they can get at the best price they can find. Here are the essential details that will help you make the right decision and get the best product well suited for your needs.

1. Ibanez AEB5EBK Acoustic Electric Bass Guitar

Ibanez Acoustic Electric Bass guitar is perfect for anyone who wants to add a new layer to their music. It is a good investment considering the make of the guitar is truly high quality. You have a Mahogany neck and Mahogany back and sides.

The 32 inches AEL body, spruce top and chrome die cast turners are all proof of its good value for money. It is great as an acoustic bass or plugged in and anyone can use it. The all-black body of this guitar looks both classic and modern so not only do you get a good bass but also a good looking guitar.

WhyWe Liked It – Guitars can be quite expensive especially for those who are just starting out their music journey. This one in particular offers a lot in a price that is reasonable. The materials used for its construction are good quality and it is durable in every aspect.

2. Sky Electric Acoustic Bass Guitar Black

Doesnt it feel great to find something you are looking for in a price much lower than you expected? You will get that feeling if you choose to buy this particular acoustic bass guitar. And if you are a newbie then this is all the more suitable for you as it is designed to be simple enough for beginners. It comes with a 4 band equalizer so you have another feature in the same low price.

With mahogany sides and back and die cast chrome machine head, it is nothing less than a bass players dream bass guitar. There are 22 frets and rosewood fingerboard, basically everything that you would find in a high quality acoustic bass guitar. The neck is slim and sits comfortably with adjustable truss rod.

WhyWe Liked It – The gloss finished body of this bass guitar is worth every penny you spent on it. Once you unpack it and rub your fingers around it, you will love the feel and look of it. And the best part about this guitar is that it is super affordable. A high school kid can buy it out of his allowance.

3. Ibanez 4-String Acoustic Bass Guitar

This acoustic bass guitar is designed to be truly versatile in terms of different musical styles. It follows Ibanez design philosophy which is about taking a modern approach. It has Ibanez under saddle pick up preamp. There is a inch output jack and 9V of output battery. There are 20 frets and the bridge pins are high quality plastic.

The finish is downright amazing with open pore finish that speaks volumes about its design. It is incredibly lightweight as it only weighs 2.6 pounds. It is great for both professional and non-professional use and you would love the distinct change it brings to your songs.

WhyWe Liked It – Ibanez is a name of quality in the world of guitars and most guitarists prefer their products. This is one such guitar that lives up to its manufacturers name and delivers high quality. And it has beautiful sound that will make you fall in love with it.

4. Fender CB-100CE Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar

Now here is something that belongs in a studio so you know how high quality it must be. Fenders Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic Electric Bass guitar is nothing like your run of the mill acoustic bass. The sound it produces is nothing short of perfection and the many features on this help make it possible.

You have Fishman Isys Pickup system and onboard pre amp and tuner. It has a resonant spruce top made even better with scalloped X-bracing. As for body, you will not be disappointed in the slightest. It has mahogany back and sides and mahogany neck. And this product would feel like a feather when you hold it and play as it is super light even though it is a full size bass measuring 34 inches in length.

WhyWe Liked It – It is something that any guitarist who wants the best possible bass in his songs would love. It has everything you need to learn to play an electric bass guitar. Even if you have not played acoustic bass before, you would master it in no time with the convenience this guitar provides.

5. Electric Acoustic Bass Guitar With Equalizer

This one is downright easy to use and quick to master with its innovative and easy access design. The upper notes can be accessed easily through the cutaway design. Whether you are into jazz, rock or gospel, this will suit any kind of music style you like. For beginners, this is the best thing to practice on and improve electric acoustic bass playing skills.

It has a natural wood finish that looks classic yet has a modern touch to it. The neck is slim and comfortable and all other parts are designed to add comfort to the playing experience. It is quite long and a bit heavier than other acoustic bass guitars. It is 44 inches long and weighs 7.2 pounds.

WhyWe Liked It – For newbies, it is an ideal for mastering acoustic bass. It is affordable and they can practice on it until they are perfect enough for playing perhaps a more expensive model. The look and feel of this guitar is great and anyone with a sense of style would appreciate the intricately designed features.

6. Dean EAB Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar


With this guitar you can play bass with or even without amp. Yes, the Dean EAB acoustic electric bass guitar is exactly what you need if you want to practice a lot. That said, it is great for anyone from beginners to pros as it is easy to use and produces high quality sound. It has a mahogany neck with fretboard made from rosewood and pearl dot inlays, all of which make it look awesome.

Read Also:Top Stands for Sheet Music of 2017

This guitar is a looker and would definitely earn some envy with its celluloid rosette and binding body. Dont be surprised if people come and ask you where you got this guitar from. The Dean turners ensure that you get the best possible tuning whether plugged in or not. Even though it sounds amazing on its own too you have onboard preamp to turn up things and take the control of the sound.

WhyWe Liked It – What is not to like in this great product? Apart from all the technical quality, the look of this guitar is a definite winner for us. The finish on the guitar is nothing less than perfection on a guitar. The body is simple to look at but is full of style.

7. Cutaway Black Acoustic Electric 4 String Bass


If you are looking for something that has sweet sound and does not cost a lot, then this product from DirectlyCheap is the answer. As its name, it is a cheap but quality acoustic guitar that will work seamlessly and produce sound as good as that by very expensive bass guitars. If you go into all the technical specifications, you will find that it is supplied with enough features to make it cost several hundred dollars.

However, you get it for far less and that is why it is ideal for those looking for decent quality on a fixed budget. It has solid wing grover style tuners and rosewood fingerboard. You have independent volume and tone controls which makes the experience even easier. It has a slim body design that would suit any kind of setting whether at home or in a studio.

WhyWe Liked It – It offers great value for money as you get something quite parallel with high end acoustic bass guitars in a price quite low in comparison. You get nice sound and practicing on this one should be easy for anyone. Also, it looks quite awesome too so one more reason to love it.

8. Electric Acoustic Bass Guitar in Blue


This solid wood acoustic bass guitar with blue finish will add style to your music regimen. The gloss finish on high quality wood looks incredibly beautiful. Obviously, when buying a guitar looks are not really your primary focus. But we talked about its finish because its performance is just as good as its look.

Similar Read: Best Bass Guitar Stands and Hooks

It is a short scale 30 inches bass that should be good for regular use and practicing. It is again one of those bass guitars that make a good choice for those with a limited budget. If you do not necessarily want something high end, then this should do the job well.

WhyWe Liked It – It is quite inexpensive but delivers decent quality. It is small and lightweight so quite portable as well. However, for us the highlighting quality is its shinny blue finish which simply is quite attention grabbing.

9. Traveler Bass Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic-Electric


Calling out all those backpackers because here is something they will love: a travel acoustic bass guitar with a gig bag. Since it is designed for travelers, it is super light and weighs only 3 pounds. It is only 30 inches so that explains the low weight. You can plug it into any bass amp with the 1/4 output.

It features a lap rest frame which provides a lot of ease whether you are playing standing or sitting. Its sound is just as loud as an unplugged bass guitar. It has Ebonized rosewood fingerboard with vintage clay dot inlays. It will make your journeys much more musical and allow you to experiment playing bass in different landscapes. A lot of people like to play in serene and inspirational locations and need something portable which exactly what this product is all about.

WhyWe Liked It – It is extremely portable and great for using on your travels. Small and lightweight, it produces sound just as good as any other decent quality bass guitar from a well-known producer. The bag makes it a great bargain because obviously you will need the bag to carry it and it does not make sense to pay more for it.

10. Fender Acoustic Kingman Bass Guitar


This is a truly high quality and high end acoustic bass guitar from Fender that is definitely one of the best you can find anywhere. It costs quite a lot but good thing is it comes with a hard shell carrying case so that adds a lot more value for the price. This is necessary because when you are investing so much in a guitar, naturally you want it protected.

The solid mahogany backs and sides produce some solid tunes that will take your bass game to the next level. It has FishMan Pre-Amp with electronic tuner. There is on and off switch, mid, volume and low battery indicator light. You usually get long hours of battery and replacing it is a breeze. If cost is not really a consideration for you, then buy this one for pure sound and durability.

WhyWe Liked It – Even when you plug it into the Fender acoustic amplifier, the rich tonal characters stay alive and give a much unplugged feel. This makes it great for plug in playing and produces a sound that is mesmerizing, to say the least.

Useful Item Guide

Tonewoods

For most guitarists the sound of the bass would be the single most important consideration during the buying process. That depends a lot on the tonal properties of the wood used in the making. A lot of people think that the top wood has the major effect on the sound of the guitar. However, the type of wood and its position in the body of the guitar has only limited effect on the sound. More important is the quality of the wood regardless of what kind it is. Nonetheless, it is good to know about the different tonewoods to understand things better.

Mahogany

If the sides and back are mahogany then the sound of the bass would be very warm and full. It is one of the most commonly found tonewood on bass guitars. There is low to medium density which allows the lower register of the bass to be more empowered or emphasized so to speak. Unlike ash or alder, you do not really get snappy string attack.

Agathis

This is quite inexpensive so the cheap bass guitars usually designed for beginners are made from this. You can think of it as a little of ash and a little of mahogany. The midranges are more emphasized and you do get a sweet sound.

Ash

Ash provides a lot more balanced tones that are quite rich and harmonic. The grain is quite attractive and the finish on these guitars looks quite spectacular so a lot of bass guitarists go for this. Alder is very similar to ash.

Maple

Maple as you know is a dense wood so the tones are quite crisp. It is a truly beloved tonewood among bass players because the sound is classified as high definition thanks to its clarity.

Basswood

This is yet another popular type and suits a wide range of styles of music. It is an extremely soft wood so the vibrations are absorbed readily. It is well suited for complex techniques and for experienced players who have advanced bass skills.

Plugged in Acoustic Bass

The basic idea of an acoustic bass guitar is to give you a hollow body that resonates and gives a fuller and robust sound that you can produce unplugged. However, many modern electric acoustic bass guitars have the option plugging in to an amp to improve volume.

Passive and Active Pick ups

There are two kinds of bass pickups: active and passive. The former pickups are rather new and most modern bass guitars have these only. There is more clarity and brightness in the tone on these guitars with active pickups. They have built-in preamp that is powered by an internal battery which produces a very loud output. However, the battery needs to be changed but on most guitars it should easily give you hours of play time.

The passive pickups have been around since ages and produce a warm and dynamic full tone. The only major difference is that you have lesser control on the tone of the bass. This is not bad in any sense and is more like a personal preference of the player. Those who like punchy tones prefer passive over active any time of the day.

Travel Bass

Those who travel a lot and want something portable should go for travel acoustic bass guitars. These are smaller basses and are very light weight. These produce the same warm and sweet tones that any other bigger bass would produce in terms of clarity and quality. The Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic-Electric Travel Bass with Gig Bag is the perfect travel bass guitar that is high quality and has all the features you would need to produce music with some inspiration from your travels. The gig bag and the removable lap support make it very convenient for the traveler guitarist. If you travel a lot, then this is the perfect thing for you.

Pricing

Money matters a lot when buying musical instruments because the prices vary greatly for guitars in general and acoustic bass guitars are no exception. While most guitars would cost you upwards of $100, it is not too difficult to find a decent quality one in a price lower than that. As for the high end ones, expect to pay $300 or more for acoustic bass guitars from well-known brands like Fender. The quality has a direct link with price and usually the high end ones have good sound and great finish. Nevertheless, the more affordable options are decent enough for practicing and adding a new layer into your music.

Value for money

When buying music instrument, your choosing criterion is value for money then go Electric Acoustic Bass Guitar Natural Solid Wood Construction With Equalizer. It has mahogany back and sides and comes with a 4 band equalizer. The wooden finish with glossy qualities makes it quite irresistible. The sound it produces is warm and soft and just as good as on some of the most expensive bass guitars. It is great for most styles and can be played by both beginners and professionals alike.

Highest Quality

For those who are not bound by their budget, the highest quality acoustic bass guitar is the Fender Acoustic Guitars California KINGMAN BASS SCE NAT W/ Hard Case Dreadnought Acoustic Cutaway-Electric Bass. This is without any doubt the top quality guitar you can find anywhere because it is made from truly premium quality materials. With this you get a lot more control then you would with most acoustic bass guitars. The dual truss rod allows it to be adjusted to your liking. And the sound it produce is phenomenal and you can plug it in Fender amp to turn things up a bit. Fender needs no introduction when it comes to guitars and this one is definitely one of their best efforts.

Other Parts of the Guitar

Neck

As you know bass necks come in many different shapes but it depends on your hand which is best for you. There are oval, flat back, slim and round shapes.

Tuning machines

The enclosed tuning machines are better as compared with open ones. They can resist corrosion and rust. You will find that most of these guitars have enclosed tunings.

Scale Length

The scale lengths vary too on acoustic bass guitars but longer necks usually produce better defined low strings. On the other hand, shorter scales basses are good for small hands. 30 inches would qualify as a short scale bass.

Fingerboard

The coated fingerboard are usually not that great and guitarist prefer uncoated ones better as they have a warmer and more natural tone. The coted one produces trebly and fretless sound which is not exactly high definition.

Number of Frets

This is more of a personal choice because most of the bass playing occurs on lower strings. Usually bass guitars have 21, 22 or 24 frets. There is no significant difference between these numbers though.

Question

1. Can you slap an acoustic bass guitar?

There is no simple yes or no answer to that as some guitarists argue that acoustic bass guitars are not exactly the best for techniques like slapping or popping while some do it and find it pretty good. It depends a lot on your acoustic bass guitars and the strings in particular. Generally speaking, these guitars are big in size and have long necks which make them unfeasible for slapping or popping. However, those that are high quality and have a good make are fine for these techniques.

The best advice for trying to slap your acoustic bass guitar would be to focus on strings. You would need very high quality ones from preferably a well-known brand name. If the strings on the bass guitar you just purchased are not good enough, you can choose to replace them with a brand name ones. It would not hurt to try several before getting the absolute best. You should try gauges 40-95 as they will sound percussive. Acoustic bass guitars are great and produce warm and sweet sound. A lot of guitarist like their sound and include them in their songs. As for slapping, you can try out this technique on some bass guitars as the results on them would be better.

2. Can you hear an acoustic bass?

Acoustic bass guitars are not as loud as a plugged-in bass but nevertheless, they do have a considerably audible sound. It depends mainly on the size of the guitar as those that are really big sound a lot louder than those that are standard size. The acoustic guitars Ernie Earthwoods manufactured back in the 70s had huge bodies and were very loud. They were just like upright basses and the strength of the sound was similar.

Most acoustic bass guitars have outputs for plugging them in and playing with an amp. Even though most acoustic bass players like it for its unplugged sound, plugging them in to an amp does not necessarily affect the sound quality. You get more or less the same quality provided you have a decent quality guitar.

If you take general physics into account then most acoustic bass guitars would not be loud enough because instruments usually get bigger as they get lower. Nevertheless, amplification is the answer to this concern.

3. What scale acoustic bass should I get?

The scale of a bass guitar is measured from the bridge to the nut which basically the vibrating length of the strings. The length has a direct effect on the pitch of the guitar as higher pitched guitars are smaller than basses. So as a general principle, the lower the pitch you need the longer the string you get.

Most electric basses are 34 inches scale which qualifies as long scale. 30 inches is what is usually considered as small scale. Those in between them classify as medium scale ones. For acoustic bass guitars you will find similar scales. The small scale ones are usually travel basses that are designed to be portable.

The scale length affects the distance between the notes as the longer the length the further apart the notes are along each string. As they are further apart, there is need for stretching and moving around to play them. That affects the playability of the bass guitar. If you have small hands then this situation would be uncomfortable for you. A bass with a scale of 35 inches would be a bit bigger for you. If you have very small hands or if a child is going to play it then a scale length of 30 inches is enough.

Another problem in this regard is that a lot of players do not really know if their hands are small or big. Some people have normal sized hands that are good enough for a large scale bass but they have a perception that that would be too big for them. Nevertheless, even if the bass is big for your hands it would not take long for you to master it and improve your skills. You can start off with a short or medium scale and as you improve move on to a bigger one.

 

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