#1
I know I know I know, everyone hates comparison threads, but I'm chasing an acoustic bass and have come across two, evenly priced. An Alvarez RB30SC vs Washburn AB-10, the Alvarez has a solid top, but the Washburn seems like it cost more new. Anyone have experience with either?
#2
The Washburn AB-10 was a neat acoustic bass that was clearly designed to be played through an amplifier (it has no sound hole; just a series of diagonal slots). It has a thinner body than do most acoustic basses. If you plan to play amplified all of the time, go with the Washburn. But if you want an acoustic bass to play unplugged with friends or while noodling around the house or studio, the Alvarez is the way to go. You can also look at the acoustic basses from Ibanez; they are pretty good, too.

One very good way to get better tone and playability out of an acoustic bass is to install flatwound electric bass strings on them. Those have greater tension, and they definitely cause the top to vibrate better. I got that one from an old sixties folk guitarist, and he was absolutely right.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley