7 Best Acoustic Bass Guitars of 2024

When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

From "Blister In The Sun" to backyard barbecue jams, the acoustic bass guitar has been a surprisingly pervasive instrument in certain musical circles for decades now.

With a unique timbre and tone of its own, the acoustic bass offers a bridge between worlds and provides players the flexibility to adapt to any number of musical situations.

In this list, we'll look at seven of the best acoustic bass guitars on the market today. You'll be ready for that next "unplugged" set in no time.

We're kicking off our list with our top pick for the best acoustic bass guitar, the Fender Kingman Bass V2.

Quick Summary of the Best Acoustic Bass Guitars

  1. Fender Kingman Bass V2 (Most Stylish)
  2. Kala U-Bass Nomad (Wait, Does This Count?)
  3. Taylor GS Mini-e Bass (Best Portable (Non-Uke) Option)
  4. Guild Jumbo Junior Flamed Maple Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar (Best "Jumbo Shrimp" Bass)
  5. Fender CB60SCE Acoustic Electric Bass Guitar (Best Value Acoustic Bass)
  6. Martin BC-16E Acoustic Bass (Highest Quality)
  7. Takamine GB72CE Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Bass (Best “Middle of the Road” Acoustic Bass)

Best Acoustic Bass Guitars

1. Most Stylish – Fender Kingman Bass V2

Fender Kingman Bass V2

SPECS

  • Top Wood: Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Back & Sides Wood: Laminated mahogany
  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard Material: Walnut
  • Neck Style: Jazz bass
  • Electronics: Fishman Presys+ Preamp System

One thing that can be said for acoustic basses (and not always positively) is that they tend to have a certain look.

The Fender Kingman v2 bucks the trend with a stylish adaptation of the classic acoustic bass guitar look. With its black solid Sitka spruce top, synthetic bone saddle, and sleek jazz bass style neck, the Fender Kingman is an acoustic-electric bass ready for the spotlight.

The Fishman onboard electronics help capture the bass's natural sound. Another perk- there's a gig bag included! This gets our vote for Best Acoustic Bass Guitar.

2. "Wait, Does This Count?" – Kala U-Bass Nomad

Kala U-Bass Nomad

SPECS

  • Top Wood: Mahogany
  • Back & Sides Wood: Mahogany
  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard Material: Laurel
  • Neck Style: C/D shape
  • Electronics: U-Bass Active EQ with tuner

A nice alternative to the traditional acoustic bass guitar, the Kala U-Bass is a relatively newer addition to the world of low-end.

Its warm sound can be reminiscent of upright bass, thanks in large part to its thumpy Aquila's Thunderblack polyurethane strings.

Sitting at just around $200, the Kala U-bass is a value-packed instrument that can be played acoustically or plugged in, as it also features an onboard EQ, a built-in tuner, and a gig bag.

This uke bass is a must-have for travelers or hammock strummers.

3. Best Portable (Non-Uke) Option – Taylor GS Mini-e Bass

Taylor GS Mini-e Bass

SPECS

  • Top Wood: Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Back & Sides Wood: Figured maple
  • Neck Material: Hard rock maple
  • Fingerboard Material: West African Ebony
  • Neck Style: GS mini
  • Electronics: ES-B with Tuner

The Taylor GS Mini is another pint-sized instrument with a big bass sound. The 23.5" scale length makes it very comfortable to play, and its custom D'Addario nylon core strings help give it a great sound.

Perfect for travel, camping, or festivals, the Taylor GS mini has an onboard tuner and comes with a soft gig bag.

ES-B pickup produces a top-notch tone, helping amplify the resonant sound of its solid spruce top and maple body and neck.

4. Best "Jumbo Shrimp" Bass – Guild Jumbo Junior Flamed Maple Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar

Guild Jumbo Junior Flamed Maple Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar

SPECS

  • Top Wood: Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Back & Sides Wood: Flamed maple
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Fingerboard Material: Ebony
  • Neck Style: Junior
  • Electronics: Guild AP-1 Active Piezo pickup

Coming in at a scale length of just .25" longer than the Taylor GS mini, the Guild Jumbo Junior Flamed Maple Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar is another great portable instrument with a huge sound while carrying the trusted acoustic brand name of Guild.

These are also more affordable acoustic bass guitars than the aforementioned Taylor. Boasting a maple neck, jumbo body shape, solid wood top, and Piezo pickup, this is an acoustic-electric bass guitar fit for the stage or studio.

5. Best Value Acoustic Bass – Fender CB60SCE Acoustic Electric Bass Guitar

Fender CB60SCE Acoustic Electric Bass Guitar

SPECS

  • Top Wood: Solid Spruce
  • Back & Sides Wood: Laminated mahogany
  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard Material: Walnut
  • Neck Style: Fender "Easy-to-Play" shape
  • Electronics: Fender Classic Design

The Fender CB 60SCE is the perfect acoustic bass guitar for those players looking for a bargain.

Featuring the patented Fender "easy-to-play" neck and free access to Fender Play lessons, the CB 60SCE is a great option in your transition to a beginner's electric bass guitar.

You may be wondering, "Wait a second, how is this the best value acoustic bass? I've seen cheaper ones out there."

While that may be true, the Fender CB 60SCE combines playability with reliability and is a well-built instrument carrying the Fender name.

6. Highest Quality – Martin BC-16E Acoustic Bass

Martin BC 16 E Acoustic Bass

SPECS

  • Top Wood: Sitka Spruce
  • Back & Sides Wood: East Indian Rosewood
  • Neck Material: Select hardwood
  • Fingerboard Material: Ebony
  • Neck Style: Martin bass
  • Electronics: Fishman Matrix VT Enhance NT2

If money is no object, you can't go wrong with the Martin BC 16e, a beautiful, quality instrument from one of the top names in the world of acoustic instruments.

The BC 16e's rosewood body helps produce warm and smooth sounds with a distinctive midrange. The spruce top adds definition and brightness, while the onboard Fishman electronics faithfully reproduce the instrument's powerful tone.

Arguably the all-around best acoustic bass guitar on our list, its only downside is the price point, which could be considered a wise investment.

7. Best “Middle of the Road” Acoustic Bass – Takamine GB72CE Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Bass

Takamine GB72CE Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Bass

SPECS

  • Top Wood: Solid Spruce
  • Back & Sides Wood: Flame maple
  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
  • Electronics: 3-band EQ (with bypass), gain and mid-shift controls, bass-boost switch

Rounding out our list is the Takamine GB72CE Jumbo acoustic-electric bass. This is a great acoustic bass guitar with a super playable mahogany neck and a rosewood fingerboard.

The rosewood provides warmth, while the solid spruce top and jumbo body help with resonance and tone.

Speaking of tone, the GB72CE's onboard electronics include a 3-band EQ and volume and tone controls such as bass boost, gain, and mid-shift.

Takamine has long been a trusted name in the world of acoustic guitars, and the GB72CE is a worthy addition to the arsenal.

Best Acoustic Bass Guitar Buyer's Guide

When shopping for an acoustic bass guitar, there are several factors you should consider to ensure you choose the right instrument for you. Here are some important things to look for:

Sound Quality

The sound quality of an acoustic bass guitar is crucial. Listen for a balanced and rich tone with good projection.

It should have a deep and resonant low end, clear midrange, and well-defined highs. Most of all, you should like the sound and feel inspired to play your instrument.

Playability

The playability of the instrument is important for your comfort and ease of playing.

Check if the neck feels comfortable and if the string action (the height of the strings from the fretboard) is comfortable for your playing style.

Body Size and Shape

Acoustic bass guitars come in various body sizes and shapes. Consider the size that suits you best in terms of comfort and portability.

Larger bodies generally produce more volume and low-end response, but they can be less comfortable for some players.

Thankfully, there are some fantastic smaller-bodied options available, including the Kala U-Bass or Taylor GS Mini.

Build Quality and Materials

Examine the overall build quality of the instrument. Look for solid construction, tight joints, and quality materials.

Solid woods (such as spruce, cedar, or mahogany) are preferred for the top (soundboard) to enhance the tone and resonance.

The back and sides can be made of solid wood or laminates, which affect the overall sound and durability.

Electronics

If the acoustic bass guitar comes with built-in electronics, test them out.

Check the quality of the onboard preamp and pickup system, ensuring it reproduces the natural sound of the instrument accurately when amplified.

Price Range

Determine your budget before shopping and look for options within that range.

Acoustic bass guitars can vary significantly in price. While higher-priced instruments (like the Martin BC-16E) often offer better quality, you can still find great options at more affordable prices (such as the Fender CB60CSE).

Brand Reputation

Research the reputation of the brand you are considering.

Established and reputable brands like those featured in this list have a track record of producing quality instruments. Still, it's always wise to read reviews and seek recommendations from other musicians.

Try Before You Buy

Whenever possible, play the acoustic bass guitar before making a purchase. Each instrument has its unique feel and sound, and personal preference plays a significant role in choosing the right one.

By considering these factors, you'll be able to find an acoustic bass guitar that suits your playing style, preferences, and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How loud are acoustic bass guitars compared to electric bass guitars?

Solid-bodied electric bass guitars need an amplifier to be heard.

While semi-hollow body basses are a bit more audible, acoustic basses are the best option for those looking to play bass without the need for an amplifier.

However, due to the frequencies of the bass, even an acoustic bass may be drowned out in a full ensemble, which is why most acoustic basses come with pickups and electronics.

Can I use regular bass guitar strings on an acoustic bass guitar?

Many acoustic bass guitars have specialized or custom strings provided by the manufacturer, but generally speaking (unless specified), regular bass guitar strings will work just fine on acoustic bass.

Though some string options, such as bronze strings, are actually more prevalent in the world of acoustic bass guitars.

Are acoustic bass guitars suitable for live performances or only for practice and recording?

If you're considering buying an acoustic bass guitar and consulting this list, you probably understand their limitations.

While they can prove useful for acoustic jams or playing solo at home, acoustic basses will generally need amplification to be heard in concert.

So, if you're going to end up plugging in any way, why choose acoustic bass? It really comes down to personal preference and style.

That being said, semi-acoustic basses from brands like Hofner, Harmony, or Kay offer a nice alternative to acoustic basses and have a more time-honored and versatile sound. But, to each their own.

Are you looking to recreate Nirvana Unplugged? Then, yeah, you'll probably enjoy an acoustic bass.

Conclusion

Whether you're playing at a coffeehouse or just on the couch, acoustic bass guitars offer musicians the ability to be heard without an amplifier.

With a distinctive look and tone, acoustic bass guitars can be an asset to a number of musical situations, and with this list of best acoustic bass guitars, you'll be well-equipped to hunt down your next axe.

The Fender Kingman Bass v2 is our top pick, while the Fender CB60SCE offers an alternative for players looking to test out the world of bass playing without breaking the bank.

Now it's time to start working on those calluses. Rock on!

Leave a Reply

9 Best Rap Duos of the 90s