I've narrowed the best acoustic electric bass guitars down to five for this article. You can review the range of these products easily. There are definitely more expensive instruments on the market. Takamine makes a beautiful fretless instrument that sells for around $3000. However, I've tried to hit the lower and midrange priced products for this review.
There are pluses and minuses with these instruments. Kind of like anything else in life. It's nice to sit down and practice without having to deal with an amp, cords, and that buzz that you'll get from a cord that isn't what it should be. You can even go outside and sit under a tree if you want. The sound is nice too. Especially when you're plugged in. You'll get rich lows and nice punch throughout the range. They're light to hold which is nice for an achy back. They look great too.
On the down side, the first time I played one of these, I was disappointed in the fact that they weren't very loud. Even playing with other unplugged instruments, they just aren't much on volume. They do tend to feedback more than a solid body. However, this can be fixed by a sound hole cover.
The bottom line is they're great for practice and fine for gigs. As soon as you plug into an amp, you'll hold your own when your bandmates are rocking out. Read on and you might be surprised by what is out there these days.
From the title you can see that this is a guitar that's supposedly for new players. I disagree. This is an instrument that is a sweet guitar for new players and veterans. The fact that it's made by Fender is always a plus.
The body is a cutaway allowing you to reach frets near the body. Speaking of the body, the back and sides are made of mahogany and the top is spruce. You can also get this instrument in black.
The price is mid range for these guitars and when you combine quality and price of a little less than $300, this is definitely a high value instrument. Included is free shipping with Amazon.
However, the sound the dreadnought shaped body produces is wonderful. You can get quite a range with the preamp settings, but the instrument itself has great warmth of sound.
I haven't played this one, but I've heard it and it stands up in an acoustic or big room setting. This is a short scale instrument which just means a shorter neck. The body is 100% mahogany. The uniquely warm and soft sound might be due to the mahogany and shorter neck. Gold Tone isn't a well known company yet, but this guitar shines as one of the best in its niche.
Yes, it's very good looking, but that's just part of the appeal. Sound is nice throughout the range. The lows have a nice warm bottom and you'll get punch at the higher ranges if you want it. Priced in the middle compared to the others on this page, you'll love the looks and sound of this fine instrument.
It's a jumbo body styled instrument and it's very nice looking. It has a mahogany neck and body except the top which is spruce. The fretboard is made of rosewood with inlays of pearl dots.
The sound is good. It excels with the lower end of the scale which could be due to the jumbo body shape. I've played this one through an amp and I can't say it roars when amplified.
I wouldn't say this is my favorite of the guitars listed, but many owners love it for busking and for it's acoustic qualities. It's priced in the lower mid range for these guitars. Like all of the instruments on this page, the sound they produce is favored by some musicians and not by others. Check it out.
The looks are okay for an instrument in its class. However I'm not sure what the wood they use is. The description is just "wood". The reviews I read were pretty consistent. Owners who were veteran bass players were surprised at the sound and the guitar itself. Many said they had to do a little additional setup, but others said it was pretty much okay right out of the box.
This probably isn't your main bass instrument, but if you're a beginner, it's going to be fine. If you are an experienced player, this is a nice instrument to get a feel for what a hollow body bass is like. Again, for less than $100, it seems to exceed expectations.