Let’s be honest; without bass, a track feels soulless. Without the bassline, something about any track will seem off. That’s why bass is fundamental. So, if you’re in the market for the best acoustic bass guitar, this guide is for you.
I rounded up the 8 best models you can buy. And yes, there’s something for everyone here – even if you like small-scale bass guitars. At the end of this guide, you will know exactly what you need and how to spend your money.
Top 8 Acoustic Bass Guitars Review
With so many options in the market, the best way to shop for an acoustic bass guitar is to study its specs and what you get with it.
While you read my review, keep your own needs in mind. That way, you can see how each of them will benefit you. Without anything to do, let’s dive into the review.
If you have talked to some of your guitarist friends, you might not be surprised that Fender is first on the list. The name is simply legendary. And this specific guitar is among the top acoustic bass guitars you can buy now.
However, this one is a controversial pick. You see, the silhouette of the guitar might not be iconic Fender, but the build quality and sound are. The back is made of mahogany and is as solid as possible.
One thing is for sure. This guitar will last you a long time. Moreover, the sound itself is phenomenal. It’s rich and smooth at the same time. The neck comes in the common C-shape, which means most people can play this one comfortably.
The neck scale is extended, by the way. Therefore, it might be a bit of trouble if you have smaller hands. But really, you can’t go wrong with the Fender FA-450CE.
- Rich sound
- Great build quality
- Has amplification
- Good electronics
- Not traditional Fender look
Don’t be surprised to see more guitars from the artisans at Fender. My second pick is another one of theirs. This time it’s the V2. The V2 is a bit of a premium option. And the way it looks shows that.
If you like playing rock and pop, this guitar will be perfect. The bass is warm but isn’t as punchy. However, it sounds natural. In the right hands, this can create magic. I also quite like the shape of this.
Let’s just say it draws inspiration from the Newporter guitar’s design. I am not complaining, though. It looks great. It’s a fantastic option for those looking for relaxed jamming sessions. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick this one up.
- Great looks
- Warm tone
- Works well for pop and rock music
- Good build quality
- Uses mahogany in some areas
Another legendary name in the guitar scene is Ibanez. Although their PCBE12MHOPN isn’t much of a looker. But it’s a solid choice for anyone looking for a reliable acoustic bass guitar to jam with the boys (and girls).
The construction is fantastic! Its top, back, and sides are made from mahogany. So, you can be sure that this thing screams quality. As for the sound, it’s a very balanced sound with a nice tone. It simply resonates.
I think the high-quality electronics that this one has been getting to work. Speaking of which, the amplification on this guitar is excellent too. If you want, you can get a full sound. You also get Ibanez’s bass and treble control.
Its design might not be everyone’s cup of tea. The natural wood look does need some getting used to. However, this is a good guitar.
- Comfortable to play
- Resonant and rich tone
- Comes at a good price
- Good electronics
- The design may be polarizing
4. TS-Ideen 5350
This TS-Ideen guitar might be the most stylish bass guitar on this list. It’s black with a lacquered finish that looks and feels gorgeous. The sound is beautiful, with nice low tones. This guitar’s amplification system is good too.
Its sides and back are made from Sapele, contributing to the sound. This material makes the bass sound clear, making a big difference when playing. Moreover, the fretboard of this guitar is made from rosewood.
The general build quality is pretty good, and it should last longer if you take good care of it. One additional thing a lot of you will appreciate is the included case. You get a decent guitar case. It will help keep the guitar safe from shocks and dirt if you travel a lot.
Of course, you can buy a separate carrying case. But having one in the package is a definite value add for customers.
- Clear sound quality
- Perfect design
- It comes with a carrying case
- Has good electronics and amplifications
- It doesn’t use mahogany for its build
This guitar is a unique one. While the playability and design are excellent, the sound volume could be better with some of the other options in this list. But more on that a bit later. The color scheme we have going on here is sunburst tobacco. And I like it very much.
It stands out from the crowd. Bassists that love to have a well-designed guitar that turns the head should look into this one. The sides are built from mahogany. And you know how I feel about that.
Mahogany is one of the best materials to make a bass guitar with. It features a solid build. Moreover, it’s easy to play. A cutaway makes accessing all of its 22 frets a breeze.
Okay, onto the sound now. The sound is decent. Let me make that clear. However, the gripe I have with this one is the volume. This Boulder Creek Guitars EBR1-TB4 bass guitar’s unamplified sound could be better.
So, if you’re playing in a band or have other instruments, it will surely be drowned out. However, the electronics are subtle. There’s an AB4-T preamp. You can control the treble and bass with it.
There are many options you can tweak. However, this one hits it out of the park when it comes to sound customizability. If you are okay with a slightly quiet bass guitar, this one will be perfect. It’s ideal for a jam session at home or for beginners.
- Durable build quality
- Attractive design and color scheme
- Clear, rich sound
- Easy to play with a cutaway
- Unamplified volume is low
Next up, I included this as a wild card guitar. Gold Tone isn’t a household name for bass or usual guitars, for that matter. But don’t scoff at this one. It’s an excellent guitar and suits well in certain situations.
Almost all models in the market are in the traditional large-scale format. But if you like short scales, this is the one for you. The short-scale neck makes it easier to play the high notes. Bassists with small hands will like this one.
The sound quality is impressive as well. Gold Tone used a body shape that’s very similar to the dreadnought. That gives you a deep, resonant, warm, and rich sound – perfect for an acoustic bass guitar.
Another impressive thing about this one is the build. It’s high-quality and durable. The tuners are die-cast, which leads to accurate sounds. In addition, the body is made from durable mahogany, which adds another layer of quality.
Moreover, Gold Tone took another bold move here – they used Aquila rubber strings. See what I mean by this being a bit of a wild card? Is silicone rubber a strange choice for strings? Yes, they are. Have other brands ever used this kind of material? Yes, Fender did. Do they sound bad? No, they don’t.
And that’s the main takeaway here. This guitar doesn’t get anything horribly wrong; it just goes against the grain. What you end up with are strings that are loud with a substantial bottom end. It’s also elementary to play.
- Durable build
- The loud and resonating sound
- Decent design
- Very easy to play
- Comes with a low scale which caters to a small niche
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7. Martin BCPA4
If you can spend money, Martin will happily take it and give you a fantastic guitar in exchange for it. You might not have heard of the brand before. They’re a premium American manufacturer. It’s known for making premium guitars with a premium price tag. This one cost a cool $1,700. Yikes.
The price is an eyebrow-raiser. That’s one of the main reasons I included it at the bottom of the review. It sounds and performs phenomenally, though. You’ll feel the sheer quality from the moment you put your hands on it.
I have a buying guide coming up. There I mentioned how important it is for guitar brands to sweat the small stuff. And Martin did sweat the small stuff. The sound is loud and rich. It’s very warm. Exactly the sound quality you’d expect from a guitar this expensive. Martin paid attention to every little detail here.
In addition, it’s also effortless to play. The spruce is solid and contributes to its bright sound. What about the design? Oh, it’s gorgeous. Think of what an ideal high-quality acoustic bass guitar would look like. This one looks even better – it’s a classic design.
As you can tell, I quite like this one. But let me be clear; avoid this if you’re a beginner. Although it’s a great guitar, the price isn’t worth it for those still learning to play. If you get it as a gift, let the person who got it for you know how much you appreciate them.
- Excellent sound
- Superb build quality
- Great electronics and amp
- Gorgeous design
- Comes with a hefty price tag
If you have small hands, this one will be a perfect choice. Taylor is another reputed name in the bass guitar scene, and this GS Mini-E carries that pedigree over. In addition, it packs a punch in its small body.
The sound is excellent and surprisingly loud. The tone is clean and rich too. Since this guitar is on the smaller side, I also found it quite comfortable to play. Moreover, the build quality is outstanding as well.
However, it doesn’t feature an EQ. Its preamp makes up for that, though. In addition, the ESB preamp enhances sound, so you won’t have to hurt your fingers to get a decent sound.
- Solid spruce top
- Loud and clear bass
- Very comfortable to play
- Decent design
- Doesn’t have a proper EQ
Difference Between Acoustic Bass Guitar and Bass Guitar
The thing with acoustic bass guitars is that other instruments can drown them out. So, they might not be the best choice for playing in a band unless your group is going for a very specific sound.
But acoustic bass guitars are fantastic beginner guitars. They’re more enjoyable to play compared to electric bass guitars. And that means accosting ones are perfect if you haven’t played bass before and don’t want to shell out the money just yet.
That’s also a great reason you should go with an acoustic bass guitar instead of an electric one. They’re certainly the cheaper option. But that doesn’t mean acoustic bass doesn’t sound good. On the contrary, they still sound excellent and are perfect if you want to jam out in your house.
If you want to play in a band, that’s possible too. Just make sure you get one that’s loud enough.
Factors to Consider When Buying an Acoustic Bass Guitar
There are a lot of acoustic bass guitar models out there. Therefore, it can get confusing. The best approach when buying one is to look at the key features and specifications. Then see how all of that fits into your play style and needs.
Build and Construction
The build and construction play a vital role other than making the guitar durable. The hollow body of an acoustic bass guitar is responsible for the sounds. And if the manufacturer didn’t stress the minor details, your guitar could end up sounding worse.
Things like a solid top will always be better than a laminated top. However, some materials can raise the cost significantly. For example, rosewood fingerboards sound great. But they are costly.
If you’re on a tighter budget, you can go for substitutes like maple. As for the body, mahogany will sound the best. But then again, they can be expensive. So, it’s a balancing game.
Sound is also very critical (duh). Apart from the body construction, the electronics inside your guitar will impact the overall quality. Good quality sounds also mean low finger squeaks, which doesn’t sound nice.
Number of Strings
Usually, bass guitars have 4 strings. However, some acoustic bass guitars come with 5 or even 6 strings. The extra strings can help certain players to find different chords and hit different frequencies.
However, purists prefer 4 string guitars. They claim all you need are 4 strings and that bass guitars with more should be removed. Well, they’re purists for a reason, aren’t they? At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. So, there’s no correct answer here.
Choosing a scale length that suits you can make it easier to play the guitar. Models with short scales have the frets closer to each other. As a result, you don’t have to move your fingers too much – incredible if you have smaller hands.
Traditionally, acoustic bass guitar’s fretboards are typically full-scale. And ones with shorter scales are rare. But if that’s something you like, you can choose one with a small scale length.
Another thing that also dictates how well the guitar will sound is the neck. Not only that. The neck can also affect the comfort and durability of your guitar. There are primarily 3 neck types.
Firstly, you have the most common C-shaped necks. It’s an oval shape, and most guitarists find it comfortable. You can also play a lot of different styles of music. Secondly, U-shaped necks are great if you have big hands.
Lastly, some guitars come with V-shaped necks. You can play fast with V-shaped bass guitars when hitting the higher frets. They’re pretty comfortable too. Honestly, the neck shape will depend on personal preference as well.
You should go to a guitar shop and try different neck types if this is your first time buying an acoustic bass guitar. You will get a much better understanding of which one suits you.
Acoustic bass guitars have advanced quite a lot over the past few years. And so has good electronics in them. A good set of preamps will come in handy in certain situations. For example, when you need to play louder.
Without good preamps and electronics, you’ll end up hurting your fingers. Advanced models have complex electronics which you can plug into a PA system directly. However, those might be expensive. Don’t worry, though. Some options with standard electronics sound pretty delightful as well.
You can pick any of the models I reviewed, and you can rest assured that you’ll end up with the best acoustic bass guitar in the market right now. The thing to remember is always to buy something that fits your needs.
If you aren’t sure or have never bought one, read the buying guide section to make an informed decision.