By Ara Ajizian | August 01, 2014
For me, the acoustic bass is an instrument that has never seemed to click. I've played several over the years that I enjoyed, but never could find one that provided the proper balance between acoustic sound, plugged-in options and playability that suited me. I've always liked the idea of an acoustic bass though, so I was excited to get my hands on the Studio Bass from Breedlove, a company that has been making huge waves in the world of acoustic instruments over the past several years.
What You Need To Know
• The Studio Bass is part of Breedlove's Studio Series of acoustic instruments, designed and built with an emphasis on being studio ready at an affordable, mid-level price point.
• The Jumbo body of the Studio Bass, along with Breedlove's bass bracing system, makes for a bass that projects incredibly well across the spectrum, from its bold and rich low end to the crisp midrange cut as you move up the neck.
• Despite its size, the Studio Bass is incredibly comfortable to hold and play in either a standing or sitting position, making it ideal for live performance as well.
• The tonewoods used are premium—solid Sitka spruce top, nato neck, laminated sapele back and sides, rosewood fretboard.
• Breedlove also employs their Bridge Truss System, a technique that relieves strain on the top while promoting a balanced tone and more sustain. Some purists feel that this impedes the soundboard's ability to vibrate, but I didn't notice any evidence of this and found the Studio Bass to be very resonant. The Breedlove Pinless Bridge also aids in keeping the instrument's sound pure by eliminating the need for holes in the soundboard to hold strings in place.
• All this adds up to an exceptional-sounding acoustic instrument in its natural state, setting the stage for its amplified sound.
• The Studio Bass employs an LR Baggs LR-T CV preamp and undersaddle pickup system.
• The preamp has responsive Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble and Presence controls for precise shaping of the amplified sound, allowing you to tailor your tone on the fly in any application. A phase switch reduces feedback and keeps your tone intact in various settings.
• The onboard tuner works great and makes tuning quick and easy.
The Studio Bass from Breedlove is a well-built acoustic-electric bass that sounds great and plays wonderfully. Despite my misgivings about acoustic basses, the Studio Bass held its own when played with two acoustic guitars, cutting through when it needed to and delivering a balanced, focus bottom end that blended well with its six-string counterparts. When it's time to plug in, whether in the studio or a live setting, the Studio Bass has you covered with its LR Baggs electronics and plenty of tone-shaping options. It's also a pleasure to play thanks to its slim-profile neck and comfortable body, making it a great partner for both stage and studio. The "little things"—chrome tuners, ivoroid binding, abalone rosette—tie it all together in a simple, classy package. And though it's made overseas, the Studio Bass is given the Breedlove touch by being quality-checked by hand in their Bend, Oregon factory, ensuring your instrument lives up to the standards Breedlove has come to be known for. In every regard, the Studio Bass is a winner, making it a great mid-priced option for players who play acoustic regularly as well as those looking to add some new sounds to their palette.