2. Acoustic or electric

It began with the double bass

Thomann Rockabilly Flames BKE 3/4

Everybody knows the acoustic bass in its original form of the double bass in an orchestra, which may be played with a bow or finger picked. The double bass (also known as upright bass) is also well established in the world of jazz. Many virtuoso double bass players have forever secured their places in music history, for example Scott LaFaro, Dave Holland, Eddie Gomez, Paul Chambers, and John Patitucci, among others. The double bass was also used extensively in early rock music like Rock'n'Roll and Rockabilly, and is still used in these genres as an authentic stylistic element.

The double bass was developed from the violone of the 16th century, the lowest-sounding member of the viola da gamba family. These early string instruments were developed in parallel to the violin family and the violone is widely regarded as the transitional instrument to the double bass.

The modern orchestral double bass is often up to 1.8 meters tall. It usually has four strings, but five string versions also exist. On some four string models, the range can be extended downwards through the use of a special mechanism (C extension), a mechanical lever which makes the lowest string sound even lower.

The acoustic bass guitar

D'Angelico Mott Acoustic Bass

From a distance, these instruments look like acoustic guitars, but they aren't! Sonically, acoustic bass guitars are characterized by a voluminous tone with a strong acoustic colour, because the vibrations of the strings resonate in the large hollow body of these instruments and reach the listeners' ears through the sound hole.

Due to its limited volume, the acoustic bass guitar is normally only used where it can hold it's own alongside other acoustic instruments. The looks of these instruments often play an important role in the decision to use them. Acoustic bass guitars have seen an increase in popularity sparked by the TV series "MTV Unplugged", which featured live performances with a minimum of amplification.

If acoustic bass guitars are used alongside electrically amplified instruments, they will invariably also have to be amplified sooner or later using a small bass combo amp, a bass rig consisting of an amplifier head and a speaker cabinet or by connecting them directly to the PA system. To achieve this, special pickup systems are used, which ideally preserve the individual acoustic character of the bass. But even alongside an unamplified steel string guitar, the acoustic bass reaches its volume limitations rather quickly. You may well find yourself wanting an amplifier sooner than you think!

The electric bass

Marcus Miller V7 Swamp Ash-4

The electric bass has become the standard in rock and pop music from the second half of the last century. Even jazz players often use electric basses in amplified styles such as jazz rock or fusion.

Everything you've heard about electric guitars regarding the types of wood, construction and electrics, generally also applies to basses. Certain differences exist in the areas of pickups, tuning mechanisms, bridges and electronics, which have been adapted to the larger size of the bass and its sonic characteristics.

Wood is still the most widely used material in electric bass making. In the 1980's, bass makers experimented with alternatives such as carbon fibre and graphite for the body, neck, and fingerboard, but these materials didn't prove to be successful. Some manufacturers (e.g. Marleaux) still use graphite to reinforce the neck.

Like guitars, electric basses are available with solid and hollow bodies. Fully acoustic instruments are charactized by a deeper body, while half acoustic basses have a body thickness of about five centimetres. Many instruments of this type have a so-called sustain block underneath the bridge, which prevents unwanted resonances of the top at higher volumes. This greatly reduces the risk of feedback.

As with guitars, the neck is screwed or glued to the body. There are also necks which extend through the full length of the instrument. In this case, the body is formed by glueing two "wings" to the sides of the neck. You will find more information on this type of bass later in this guide.

The variety of bass styles has been developed in parallel to electric guitars. A number of tried-and-true standard styles were invented by classic manufacturers such as Fender and Gibson, and were late imitated and modified by other companies. The Fender Jazz Bass is a good example of this: It has been copied countless times down to the smallest detail, and several manufacturers have modified it to fit into their range of instruments.

In addition to the established standard styles, which are available in all price ranges, there is also a high-end market dominated by a number of companies specialising in luxurious basses. These instruments are of meticulous quality, but can come with a rather hefty price tag. Again, more on that later.

Your Contacts
Phone: +49-9546-9223-20
FAX: +49-9546-9223-24
Question!
Question! Give the right answer and win 1x Stairville Quad Par Profile 5x8W RGB WW worth €63.
Who was the first to write important operas?
Conditions of participation
Terms and Conditions for participation
in online competitions

Note: Participation in an online competition runs independently from any purchase at Thomann GmbH. The following Competition Rules apply when participating in any online competition run by Musikhaus Thomann:

  1. Competition

    1. The competitions are organised by Thomann GmbH, CEO: Hans Thomann, Hans-Thomann-Straße 1, 96138 Burgebrach, Germany.
  2. Participation

    1. Competitions are only open to persons of full age.
    2. To take part in the competition you must answer all questions correctly, fill in the registration form and submit your entry to Thomann GmbH by pressing the "send" button.
      By pressing the "send" button the participant accepts the aforementioned terms and conditions.
    3. The participant is responsible for entering their email and/or postal address correctly. Entries to the competition will be logged electronically.
  3. Qualifying Entrants

    1. Staff of Thomann GmbH and any cooperation partners and their dependants are excluded from participation.
    2. Should these conditions of participation be violated, especially by using illegitimate means, Thomann GmbH reserves the right to exclude persons from the competition. In case of such violations prizes can be withdrawn and claimed back subsequently.
  4. Announcing the winner

    1. The winners will be notified by Thomann GmbH by email or in writing and their names may be published on the homepage www.thomann.de. The winner accepts this form of publication explicitly.
      Should for whatever reason the winner not claim their prize, then a new winner will be drawn.
    2. The prize presented to the winner may not be identical to the item description. There can be deviances regarding the model, colour etc.
    3. The merchandise prizes will be sent by Thomann GmbH or by one of its contracting delivery companies, per freight forwarder, courier or postal service to the postal address indicated by the winner.

      The delivery is free of charge. Only extra transport costs and customs/duties must be covered by the winner. In the case that the delivery has to be made through a freight forwarding company the freight forwarding company will contact the winner to arrange delivery timings.
    4. An exchange, cash alternative or replacement prize is not possible.
    5. The claim to the prize or replacement of the prize cannot be assigned to a third party.
  5. Data protection

    1. The participant accepts explicitly that Thomann GmbH saves all necessary data for the duration of the competition and forwards them exclusively for purposes related to the winning process to the respective cooperation partner, who is also permitted to save the personal data only for the duration of the competition. The participant is free to withdraw his entry at any time. Please direct the withdrawal to:

      Thomann GmbH
      to the data protection officer
      Hans-Thomann-Straße 1
      96138 Burgebrach, Germany
    2. Thomann GmbH is obliged to consider the regulations for data protection according to the Federal Data Protection Law (BDSG) valid at the conclusion of the competition. In this context the general data protection regulations under notes regarding data protection should be noted.
  6. Liability

    1. Thomann GmbH will be released from any obligations by handing out the prize.
    2. Thomann GmbH is not liable for the insolvency of a cooperation partner and the resulting consequences for the implementation and processing of the competition.
  7. Other

    1. Legal proceedings are barred.
    2. The law of the Federal Republic of Germany applies exclusively.
One of our Fans
Thanks for sending my order so quickly. I am very impressed with the items and with your service. Vielen Dank !
A. S., 17.04.2018

Bass Guitars overview

Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 Alesis Surge Mesh Kit Adam T5V Subpac M2X Roland R-07 black Yamaha Stagepas 600BT Arturia Minibrute 2 Focal Listen Professional Heritage Audio HA-73 EQ Elite Focal Shape Twin Sound Devices MixPre-3 Yamaha Stagepas 400BT
(4)
Recommended
Alesis Vortex Wireless 2

Alesis Vortex Wireless 2; USB/MIDI Keytar Controller with Accelerometer; Portable Performance Keyboard with Shoulder Strap, 37 touch sensitive keys with aftertouch; Eight touch sensitive RGB illuminated Performance Pads, Eight illuminated faders for volume or parameter control; Programmable tilt sensor with...

to the product
€249
Recommended
Alesis Surge Mesh Kit

E-Drum Set 385 Sounds, 40 kits, 60 songs, Additional input for a fourth tom and a second crash pad, 2 Master outputs 6.3 mm mono jack, Headphone output 3.5 mm stereo jack, Aux input 3.5mm stereo jack, MIDI input...

to the product
€585
(1)
Recommended
Adam T5V

Active Nearfield Monitor Equipped with: 5" woofer and 1.9" U-ART ribbon tweeter, 2x Class-D amplifiers: 50W RMS woofer, 20W RMS tweeter, Frequency range: 45 - 25000 Hz, Crossover frequency: 3 kHz, Maximum input level: 106 dB (1m/pair), Rear bass...

to the product
€169
Recommended
Subpac M2X

Subpac M2X, Mobile tactile bass system, SubPac adds real depth, connection and enjoyment to whatever you play through it - your music and media comes to life with the added dimension of physical bass. Frequency Response: 1hz-200hz, Wired Input: 3.5mm...

to the product
€385
(1)
Recommended
Roland R-07 black

Portable MP3 / WAV Recorder with Bluetooth Functionality Stereo recordings up to 24 Bit / 96 kHz in WAV format or up to 396 kbps in MP3 format on microSD / SDHC card, Built-in stereo microphone, Integrated hybrid limiter,...

to the product
€225
Recommended
Yamaha Stagepas 600BT

Mini-PA System with Bluetooth Function Consisting of 2x passive 2-way boxes and 10-channel power mixers, Power mixers and speaker cables can be stored in the boxes for transportation, Successor of the Stagepas 600i, Including 2 speaker cables, each 6...

to the product
€799
(2)
Recommended
Arturia Minibrute 2

Arturia Minibrute 2; analog semi-modular Synthesizer; Combination of classic and modular Synthesizer; 25 note Keyboard with Aftertouch; Brute-Oscillator; Steiner-Parker-Filter; additional Loop-Envelope; linear FM; Hardsync; two free assignable LFOs; integrated Step Sequencer; Arpeggiator; 48 point Patchbay; Pitch- and Modulation Wheel; Connections:...

to the product
€649
Recommended
Focal Listen Professional

Headphones Closed, Circumaural, Conversion technology for acoustic transparency and dynamics, Impedance: 32 ohms, Sensitivity (@ 1 kHz - / 1 Vrms): 122 dB SPL, THD (THD, @ 1 kHz / 100 dB SPL): 0.3%, Frequency range: 5 Hz to...

to the product
€249
Recommended
Heritage Audio HA-73 EQ Elite

Heritage Audio HA-73 EQ Elite; 1-Channel Mic-Preamp wit EQ; based on the 1073; hand wound Carnhill Transformers; 3 stage fully discrete class A mic preamp; max. Gain: 80 dB Mic and 50 dB Line; -20 dB Pad; LO-Z switches the...

to the product
€945
(1)
Recommended
Focal Shape Twin

Active Near Field Monitor Tweeter with low directivity for flexible listening position, Closed design with two passive membranes for easy installation near the wall, 2.5-Way concept for optimal control of the bass and lower mids, Optimal integration through extensive...

to the product
€849
Recommended
Sound Devices MixPre-3

Sound Devices MixPre-3; portable audio recorder with USB audio interface; 5 tracks: stereo mix + 3 isolated tracks; Kashmir microphone preamp with 76db gain; equivalent Input Noise: 128dBu max (A-weighting, gain=76dB, 150 Ohm source impedance); limiter per channel; low cut...

to the product
€745
Recommended
Yamaha Stagepas 400BT

Mini-PA System Bluetooth Function Consisting of 2x passive 2-way boxes and 8-channel power mixers, Power mixers and speaker cables can be stored in the boxes for transportation, Successor of the Stagepas 400i, Including 2 speaker cables, each 6 m...

to the product
€555
Feedback Found an error or want to give us feedback about this page?

We're looking forward to hearing from you and aim to solve any problems as soon as we can.

Please leave a comment. Please enter your e-mail address.