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Martin BCPA4

4-String Acoustic-Electric Bass

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Best Acoustic Bass Guitar

Martin BCPA4

  • Don Makoviney
  • Last Updated: April 5, 2016

If I needed a new acoustic bass, I would get the Martin Performing Artist Series BCPA4 4-String. It has Martin's renowned build quality, user reviews indicate they sound great both acoustic and when plugged in. If you want the best, the Martin BCPA4 is the one to get.


What makes a great acoustic bass?

To be honest, most acoustic basses have a thin, hollow bass sound. For that reason, we feel that in the case of acoustic bass guitars, you get what you pay for, with few exceptions.

  • Full acoustic bass sound.
  • Good onboard preamp and electronics
  • Solid build and playability.

Maybe those things sound pretty obvious, but the reality is the quality of many acoustic bass guitars are questionable in my experience.

The great thing about the Martin BCPA4 is that it hits all of these bullet points and then some.

One customer review noted:

I love the neck it’s fast and the ebony fretboard gives it a nice dark tone.I had been looking for a long time for the right acoustic bass guitar. I loved the plugged in tone the preamp is very adjustable

A reviewer with a lot of bass experience at Sweetwater Sound says:

“The Spruce top and Sapele body give it a naturally ‘big’ and harmonically complex unplugged acoustic sound. It’s also a lot louder than another (very similar-looking) bass I own from a different manufacturer. It’s also a great bass for unplugged practise or acoustic jams! The Fishman pickup system gives me a lot of the natural acoustic tone from the bass, sounding a lot closer to an upright bass than instruments with a more percussive ‘attack’.”

Budget Acoustic Bass Guitar Option

If price is an issue, and you’re looking to spend under, say $500, the Fender T-Bucket Acoustic Bass is the best deal for your money. User reviews indicate they feel like they are getting a lot more bass for their money, and Fender is one of the originators of the fretted acoustic bass.

And not that it matters much, but they are also really pretty.

Accessories

When you decide on an acoustic bass that’s right for you, check out our picks for best budget bass amps, and our selection of the best instrument cables. Or after all this research, you decide against an acoustic bass, check out our best budget electric bass guitars.


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Best Acoustic Bass Guitar

Martin BCPA4

Best Acoustic Bass Guitar

Important Specs

Materials Solid Sitka Spruce top; solid sapele back and sides
Electronics Fishman F1 Analog
Accessories Martin 360 hardshell case included
Body Style J-14 fret cutaway
more specs

Synopsis:

If I needed a new acoustic bass, I would get the Martin Performing Artist Series BCPA4 4-String. It has Martin's renowned build quality, user reviews indicate they sound great both acoustic and when plugged in. The Martin BCPA4 is the one to get.

Fender T-Bucket Grand Concert Bass

Budget Option

Fender T-Bucket Grand Concert Bass

At MSCGR, we like gear that gives you more value for your money, and this is exactly what the Fender T-Bucket does. The preamp and 3-band EQ sound great, and even though a relatively new addition to the Fender line, has loads of ecstatic user reviews. If you're looking for acoustic bass options in the under $500 range, this is definitely the one to get.

- M

Sources

  1. Staff, SlapTheBass.net, 20150406
    The Pros and Cons of Acoustic Bass Guitar
    “You will discover that it pays to get a nice, playable bass guitar to learn on. Going too cheap gives you a guitar which is difficult to learn on. ”
  2. Rich Osweiler, Premier Guitar, 20130811
    Martin BCPA4 Bass Review
    “The Martin BCPA4 is a fine instrument. The craftsmanship is just what you’d expect from Martin. The playability is sweet. It can serve up nice, woody tones via its simple but effective onboard preamp. Unplugged, it’s one of the loudest and fullest-sounding acoustic basses I’ve tried.”
  3. Mjac28, Musician's Friend, 20140316
    Martin BCPA4 Acoustic Bass Review
    “I love the neck it's fast and the ebony fretboard gives it a nice dark tone.I had been looking for a long time for the right acoustic bass guitar. I loved the plugged in tone the preamp is very adjustable”
  4. Nick Church, Sweetwater Sound, 20150406
    User Review
    “The Spruce top and Sapele body give it a naturally 'big' and harmonically complex unplugged acoustic sound. It's also a lot louder than another (very similar-looking) bass I own from a different manufacturer. It's also a great bass for unplugged practise or acoustic jams! The Fishman pickup system gives me a lot of the natural acoustic tone from the bass, sounding a lot closer to an upright bass than instruments with a more percussive 'attack'.”
Originally published: April 6th, 2015

Important Specs

Materials Solid Sitka Spruce top; solid sapele back and sides
Electronics Fishman F1 Analog
Accessories Martin 360 hardshell case included
Body Style J-14 fret cutaway
more specs



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