Best Acoustic Bass Guitars in 2018

As a musician, there are times where you'll be required to play a ton of acoustic gigs. I'm pretty sure that it will be hard to figure out your new role in your band. How will you make it sound good and keep it grooving? You can achieve all this if you have the best acoustic bass guitar.

You have to be prepared with an amplifier because ABG's, as they are commonly known, can't usually be heard in a live situation unless they are plugged in. It's good to know that there is no such thing as a loud ABG. It's a lie. When unplugged, they'll sound good when playing at home. But when plugged in, this is when the question of which is better comes in.

I prepared this comprehensive review and guide to help a beginner or experienced guitarist select a top quality ABG. Keep reading to find more details and the best recommendations.

How We Choose Top Products 

We spent several hour testing and researching on different acoustic bass guitars. Here are some guidelines that helped us land on the best acoustic bass guitars.

The number of strings.  Bass guitars come with four, five and six strings. New players should probably start with 4-string guitars as it is adequate for most musical styles. They have smaller necks than five and six-string basses which makes them easier to handle and learn with.

 Consider scale length.  The most common scale length is 34". For players with small hands, a short-scale bass, such as the 30" Fender Mustang, is best.

Fretted or fretless bass? The necks of standard bass guitars are fretted. These frets, where the fingerboard is divided by metal frets into half-step increments, make it easy for new players to see where each note is played on the neck.

A fretless bass, on the other hand, has a smooth neck as that of a violin. Players who play a fretless bass rely on a well-trained ear and muscle memory. A fretless bass has a smooth and warm sound.

Bass tone woods. The resonance of your bass guitar will be highly impacted by the type of wood used in the body of the bass guitar. Some of the wood used in bass guitars include:

  • Ash- this wood produces a bright and full sound. There are several species of ash wood but swamp ash is more desirable because of its beautiful grain.
  • Mahogany- this is quite popular for bass guitars. The sound produced is soft and warm. It is heavier on your shoulder due to its density.
  • Alder- creates a balanced tone. The sound is clear and very full.
  • Maple- a dense wood. The sound produced is well-sustained. The clear and bright tone produced is valuable in a studio setting.
  • Basswood. This is usually used on less expensive bass guitars. The wood does not resonate as much as the others because it is softer. It may produce a flat sound.

Best Acoustic Bass Guitars Comparison

Product Name

Body material

Weight

Price

Electric Acoustic Bass Guitar Black Solid Wood

Solid wood

6.61 pounds

EAB Guitar- Blue Solid Wood Construction

Solid wood

6.7 pounds

Dean EAB Acoustic- Electric Bass Guitar- Satin Natural

Solid wood- spruce

7.75 pounds

Ibanez GSR200 Electric Bass Guitar

Basswood

9 pounds

Dean Acoustic-Electric Bass Cutaway 5 string Satin Finish

Spruce

5 pounds

Top 5 Best Acoustic Bass Guitar Reviews

1. Electric Acoustic Bass Guitar Black Solid Wood

An exquisite bass guitar made to deliver a clear sound of the highest quality. This is a full-size acoustic bass which features a rich black finish with a beautiful inlay.

Electric Acoustic Bass Guitar Black Solid Wood

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Specifications

  • Weight: 6.61 lbs.
  • Product dimensions: 45.5" (L) ×18.3" (W) ×49" (H)
  • Material: composite hardwood.
  • Color: black

Features and benefits

  • A 22-fret hardwood fretboard: It has a high-quality rosewood fretboard which has a spongy feel to it with a smooth fingerboard edge.
  • Die-cast chrome tuners: Die-cast tuners are the basic and simplest tuners out there. This bass' tuners are chrome-colored which is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
  • Adjustable truss rod: The truss rod installed is adjustable so you can adjust to tighten or loosen the neck as needed.
Pros
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    4 strings. This means they have a smaller neck thus making them easier to handle and learn with.
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    With this 22-fret bass, you are sure to learn how to play it faster since you can see where the notes are on the neck. Good for beginners.
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    Nice, warm and rich sound from this mahogany tonewood bass.
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    A slight bow is desirable with some and with your handy adjustable truss rod, you will be able to set it properly.
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    34" scale length, which is the standard scale length means that this guitar can be played by anyone.
Cons 
  • It is a bit heavy since it is made from mahogany which is a dense wood.
  • It 34" scale length means that people with smaller hands will not be able to play this instrument comfortably.
  • Small range because it is a 4-stringed guitar. This means that they do not have low B string and high C string like the 6- string bass which has an extended range.

For beginners, this a good start then you can gradually proceed to more complicated bass guitars with more strings and even fretless.

2. EAB Guitar- Blue Solid Wood Construction

You will want to strum your favorite tune once you get your hands this classic instrument. With its attractive inlay and blue high gloss finish, you'll fall in love with this bass.

 EAB Guitar- Blue Solid Wood Construction

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Specifications

  • Weight: 6.7 lbs.
  • Product dimensions: 45.5" (L) ×18.3" (W) ×49" (H)
  • Color: blue
  • Material: composite hardwood
  • Guitar pickup configuration: humbucker

Features and benefits

  • 22-fret hardwood fretboard: It is a perfect complement to this bass guitar's mahogany body. It is mellow with a spongy feel. The sound produced will be warm and spacious.
  • Blue high gloss finish: Beautiful and classic finish which draws people in. and also acts as a protective coating.
  • Adjustable truss rods: Can be adjusted to create backbow or underbow on the neck. Good for relieving tension on the neck.
Pros
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    22 frets bass guitar means that it is ideal for beginners and pros alike
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    Humbucking pickups mean that your guitar has a fatter sound. It cancels the noise or hum that is produced by the single-coil.
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    Adjustable truss rod to allow your bass to be straightened when it bends or twists
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    Made from mahogany which gives it a warm and soft sound.
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    Wide or extended range due to its low B string and high C string.
Cons 
  • Wide neck due to the 6 strings. This may make it a bit difficult for many players to handle especially beginners.
  • Muddy sound at higher volumes due to its humbucking pickups.
  • Heavy due to the density of the mahogany it's made from.

All in all, this masterpiece of a guitar is aesthetically pleasing with its blue high gloss finish and a rich, warm sound with every strum. It is quite popular with jazz, metal and even hard rock.

3. Dean EAB Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar- Satin Natural

If you are a beginner bass player, consider this guitar as the best. It is loud enough such that you might not need an amp. This bass guitar suits jam sessions especially when you are playing with other acoustic guitars without fear of being drowned out.

Dean EAB Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar- Satin Natural

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Specifications 

  • Weight: 7.75 pounds
  • Body material: spruce
  • Product dimensions: 6 ×18 ×51 inches
  • Color name: satin natural
  • Guitar pickup configuration: piezoelectric

Features and benefits

  • Diecast dean tuners: The tuners ensure that your guitar stays in tune all the time for the best sound quality.
  • Celluloid rosette and rosy binding: This will enhance the overall appearance of your bass and provide a visual contrast to the rest of the body. This rosy binding will protect your guitar edges from impact and moisture damage.
  • Dean passive preamp with volume and treble controls: For a clear sound, this is the perfect preamp for you. It will clean up the signal coming through the amp for a better sounding sound.
Pros
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    With its preamp which has volume and treble controls, you can be sure that your sound will sound better coming through the amp because the signal will be cleaned up.
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    With its piezoelectric pickups, your bass will not pick up any other magnetic fields such as feedback from monitoring loops.
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    It is loud enough to be played without an amp.
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    Rich, soft and warm sound due to it mahogany body.
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    34" scale length means that it can be played by beginners and pros as well.
Cons 
  • People with small hands will not be able to play this instrument comfortably because of its 34-inch scale length.
  • You can get unnatural tones because piezos mostly detect movement of the string and not the soundboard.

This is a versatile acoustic-electric guitar which is perfect for beginners who are ready for a jam session in their living rooms. It is loud, with clear and rich sounds and best of all, you can play with or without an amp.

4. Ibanez GSR200 Electric Bass Guitar

This 4-string bass is a pretty hot number with its nice balance and feel. And it has a pretty friendly price.

Ibanez GSR200 Electric Bass Guitar

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Specifications

  • Item weight: 9 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 40 × 3 ×12 inches
  • Body material: basswood
  • Color: black
  • Guitar pickup configuration: combination

Features and benefits

  • One piece maple neck: Maple is known for its durability and strength. So, in this, you have a strong guitar. It is more vibrant than let's say, mahogany.
  • Rosewood fretboard: The go-to material for the fretboard. Gives your sound a smoothness and warmth.
  • Single-coil and split-coil pickup combination: For a bright and focused sound, this combination is the best. With the split-coil, you'll have a high-frequency response with a little less hum canceling though.
Pros
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    Perfect for beginners with its 4 strings
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    Well-sustained, clear and bright tone from the maple it is made from
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    Little resonance from the basswood body because it is a soft wood.
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    34-inch scale length. Perfect for everyone.
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    Bright and focused sound from the combination pickup configuration.
Cons 
  • May produce a flat sound due to the soft basswood tonewood.

This is one of the most straightforward bass guitars with its finish and body shape. It is inexpensive with its Agathistonewood. So, if you are looking for a bass on a budget, this is the perfect for you.

5 Dean Acoustic-Electric Bass Cutaway 5 string Satin Finish

If you would love to have an experience with a five-string guitar, try this model from Dean. It is best suited for beginners who prefer playing it plugged or not.

Dean Acoustic-Electric Bass Cutaway 5 string Satin Finish

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Specifications

  • Item weight: 5 pounds
  • Product dimensions: 6 ×18 ×51 inches
  • Body material: spruce
  • Guitar pickup configuration: piezoelectric
  • Color: satin natural

Features and benefits

  • 34-inch scale length: The most common scale length for most bass guitars, this is a perfect instrument for beginners as well as pros.
  • Neck: This guitar is designed with a mahogany neck featuring rosewood fingerboards. It feels very comfortable when you are holding.
  • Dean passive preamp with volume and treble controls: Since it's a passive preamp, the pickup you use will not require power.
Pros
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    Deep and full sound
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    Very light as compared to other bass guitars.
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    No frets which give warmer and smoother sounds.
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    Wide range due to its low B string.
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    No pickup of hums or feedback from monitoring tools due it is piezoelectric pickup configuration.
Cons 
  • Challenging for beginners because it has no frets.
  • Wide-necked to accommodate the 5 strings. Makes it difficult to play it comfortably.

This is a great bass for jazz bassist or rock bassist. The sound is deep and is perfect to rock with your friends.

What to consider when acoustic bass guitar.

For you to find the best acoustic bass guitar, here are a few things you should check before you buy that new ABG you've had your eye on:

  • Maintenance: Invest in humidifiers to ensure your guitar is the right condition. That hollow body of the guitar requires humidity. The recommended room temperature should be between 45-50 degrees.
  • A nice amp: Those tiny 25-watt speaker combos will make your enthusiasm for playing your bass wane. Invest in an amp with at least 60 watts of power will make your bass sound good and it will motivate you to play it.
  • Fret wrap and fump: These are recommended though not necessarily a requirement. You'll need them, especially when you are in a loud environment and there will be feedback from the bass.
  • Gig bag: Not all the bags you find will fit your acoustic bass guitar. You may need a custom-made one for your bass' specs.

Final Verdict

In playing your bass, you should always put the music first. When there is no drummer and you are playing an acoustic gig, you should take slightly more rhythmic roles in such a situation. The best acoustic bass guitar should provide a nice melodic bed for everything else. You can try any of the above guitars for the best sound quality.

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