Thanks for the advice, Wout.
Since I don't really play bass (I can fake it since I play guitar, but my technique is really lacking) I can't tell how the action is. It seems pretty good, for the strings even up the fretboard are not too high. I haven't formally tested the intonation, but I think I would have noticed problem if it were obvious enough.
It's good to know I might not have to use my pinky much, but my hands are not that large, so we'll have to see. I've been working on strengthening my pinky for dulcimer and guitar playing, so it can't hurt to keep working on it.
In my initial post just below the picture I have a link to a review of 4 or 5 ABGs by a bass guitar website. According to them, the only one that could really function in an acoustic setting without being amplified is the Boulder Creek. So although you may be right that it seems louder to the player because of the soundhole on the top (Boulder Creek's "signature" design), it appears that it really is louder than most of the others. I think it is a bit bigger than the others, too, which might be part of the reason for the volume, though Boulder Creek tries to credit their bracing system.
I'll have to look into your suggestions on strings. The Shop gave me a free set of phosphor bronze strings since the ones on there are a bit old, but I was planning on picking up some Elixir or other "squeakless" strings. I'll have to experiment a bit. As I've said, this is all new territory to me. Thanks again for the advice.
Dusty T., Northern California
As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie