10 Best Bass Guitars Under $500 in 2020
Would you like to know what are the best electric bass guitars under $500? Well, for you, this is the right place. It is difficult to determine which one is better than the others with so many quality bass guitars on the market. Unfortunately, as fun as it might be, going out and playing a few licks on each bass in your local music shop is not really possible until you find the right one. Well, unless you want the shop owner to become very unpopular, that's it.
The bassline is the key to any good song, and you need to invest in a quality bass to do it right. Luckily, some amazing bass guitars are available for less than $500.
1. Goplus Electric Bass Guitar Full
The Goplus Electric Bass is right for you if you're looking for a beautiful, stylish bass. The wooden body has a shiny, polished surface, giving it this look of fashion. But it's not just looking good. A versatile tone is given by piezoelectric pickups. The rosewood fretboard can be played on both light and comfortable.
Considering that the price is well below $500, buying the next John Entwistle at the beginning of your journey is a great bass. It's also hard to beat the durability. More than a few knocks it can withstand and still work just fine.
+ Beautiful design
+ Hard-wearing and long-lasting
+ Clear tone
+ Light as a feather
+ Warm sound
Why We Liked It - It's light and durable, two elements you don't often find with a starting bass. Whether you're playing rock-n-roll or blues, this bass will give you great sound, and you won't have to pay more than $500 as well.
2. Davison Guitars Electric Bass Guitar
This Davison full-size bass guitar is ideal for any budding bass player. It packs a punch despite being targeted at beginners. The neck of the maple is easy to move. The neck is actually similar to those found on Fender basses that are more expensive. There's solid hardware. It has a single pick-up split-coil. A bass guitar for beginners means simplicity. It has only two master volume and master tone controls. Being a budget, starting bass means there's a bit of buzz, but if you're paying less than $500, that's always a risk. It's a solid product that you're expecting from Davison.
+ Simple, solid setup
+ Sustainable maple neck
+ Great value for money
+ Neck has tension bar adjustment
+ Comfortable weight
Why we liked it - it's the bass of a solid beginner who doesn't break the bank to buy. Because it's aimed at new bassists, you can take it out of the box and immediately start playing. A big investment for less than $500.
3. Yoshioe Electric Bass Guitar Full Size
You'll be struck by its lightness when you take this bass out of the box. Then how well it looks. There is no sprouting of fret at all. It's ready to leave. You'll notice, once you start playing, that it's a little top-heavy. You will find that the p-bass pickups give a good warm tone once you plug it in. It's not the strongest bass. It still sounds wonderful.
You may want to reverse the neck or change the height of the saddle. It depends on what you want from your bass, but going out of the box is pretty good. It's also a steal for less than $500, so you're not going to mind making the few changes.
+ No fret sprout
+ Great paint job
+ Lightweight body
+ Electronics works well
+ Very good sustain
Why We Liked It - Manufacturers are clearly proud of their products. You will find very few imperfections if you take it out of the box and study it, which can be rare when you buy a bass for less than $500.
4. Squier by Fender Bronco Bass
Fender has been producing high-quality products that attract musicians of all levels since 1946. The Squier series is designed for beginners, but you still get the same high quality you're expecting from Fender. The fingerboard of the maple is an absolute dream. It features a pickup with a single coil that gives great tone.
And the two controls–one for volume control and one for tone control–make set-up easy to get the sound you want. You're not shelling out the same kind of money as you would for the higher-end basses from Fender, of course, but if you want to pay less than $500, it's really one of the best basses available to you.
+ Constructed to a very high quality, as you would expect from Fender
+ Excellent value-for-money
+ Stays in tune
+ Great, Fender sound
Why We Liked It - It's a Fender. And with Fender, you can't go wrong. Because it costs less than $500, you're going to struggle to find another bass with this one's quality. You also have to love the sound of Fender.
Related Review: Best Guitar Cheap Bass.
5. Crescent Electric Bass Guitar Starter
With twenty frets and a maple neck, this four-string bass comes in. The fretboard consists of rosewood. It uses a decent tone of magnetic single-coil pickups. If you get it out of the box, it requires a tune. But it seems to maintain a good tune. You may notice a buzz or a rattle, but if you pay for a bass under $500, that's the risk you're running. The neck is not varnished, meaning it can be easily customized. It's the bass of a beginner, and it's a good place to start for the combination of price and quality.
+ Great rosewood fretboard
+ Very affordable
+ Ready-to-go one you open the box
+ Decent tone
+ Can customize it to look like
Why We Liked It - If you're buying your first bass guitar, then you want to know it's going to be easy to use and sound great. For your first bass, the Crescent offers everything you need.
6. Squier by Fender Vintage Modified
This is the second Fender on the list. You get that high-quality Fender feeling for less than $500, like the previous one. It's a short-scale bass like the Ibanez 4 String, but it's 30.' Each of the three single-coil pickups has a volume control knob. So, you can get a lot of sound control.
It's versatile and appeals to all-level bassists. It also offers superior tone and playing smoothly. The shorter frets make playing very easy. It features a rosewood fretboard and a maple neck that makes it look good and sound good.
+ High-level performance on a budget
+ Small-scale makes it easy to play+ Superior tone
+ Three volume controls
+ Fender's proven quality
Why We Liked It-produces the best tone available on this list of best bass guitars for under $500. The small scale makes playing an absolute dream.
7. Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar
There's almost endless list of Ibanez bass players. You've probably heard an Ibanez bass playing on one of the albums of your favorite band. This one is a small-scale, 28.6 "scale version. This makes it easier to play, like the Fender Squire, than other models on this list.
The fact that a quality bass like this Ibanez is available for less than $500 is mind-blowing. Happily, expert bassists let their fingers dance across the fretboard of Jatoba. The sound is clear and crisp, as you would expect from Ibanez. And the pickups from the magnetic-combination may look basic, but they offer a sweet, killer sound.
+ It's an Ibanez, which means great quality
+ Small-scale, so good for those with small hands
+ Sweet sound
+ Unbeatable value
Why We Liked It –It's an Ibanez and you get a professional quality bass for less than $500. The sound is amazing. And the small-scale means playing is easy.
8. Ibanez Talman TMB100 MGR 2015
Another great Ibanez product. The Talman has a passive P / J configuration, beautiful tone is assured. And then looks great the classic, old-school design. It's much bigger than the small-scale version, but even if you have medium-sized hands, it's still comfortable to play.
Its huge sound is the number one thing about this bass. This makes playing loud a lot of fun. To create this rich, classic sound, the DXP neck pickup and the DXJ bridge pickup combine perfectly. It even has a custom2-band equalizer, so there are endless options for tonality.
+ Powerful, rich sound
+ Vintage design
+ Amazing range of tone
+ Big bass for a low price
+ High-quality hardware
Why We Liked It - If you're looking for a bass under $500 that offers the sound of a much more expensive bass guitar, then this is the one for you. Incredible tone range too.
9. Best Choice Products 22-Fret Full Size Acoustic
This is a 4-band EQ-7545R acoustic-electric bass preamp. This provides a lot of volume and tone control. You will easily find the right sound for you after fiddling around with the controls. It is also beautiful. Believing it costs less than $500 is hard to believe.
The mahogany is as visually appealing as it is in sound creation terms. It has a perfect finish. But what matters is the sound. You can be assured that playing this 22-free acoustic bass will knock out clear, crisp basslines. Perfect for your band's acoustic jam session.
+ Acoustic sound
+ Beautiful design
+ Ability to create ideal sound through the control system
+ Flawless finish
+ Suitable for beginners and pros
Why We Liked It - It is a five-star acoustic bass that costs well under $500, so it offers an easy alternative to your electric bass, which means you can join when your lead guitarist picks up their acoustics too.
10. Ibanez 5 String Bass Guitar
Another Ibanez is the last bass on the list. However, this one is a 5-stringer. It also has a short-scale of just 28.6.' However, don't worry. Even if it looks small, it produces a huge noise. The tone given out by the bass is similar to Ibanez's more costly versions that are not accessible for less than $500 like this one.
The slender, maple neck implies you can play quickly. The size of it makes it really user-friendly and is particularly useful for smaller bassists or bass players in restricted spaces.
+ Easy to carry
+ A five-stringer provides you more choices
+ Ready to rock the box straight out
+ Great bridge pickup
Why We Liked It - It's small, but it's sounding huge. It's ideal for anyone looking for a 5-string bass that isn't large or unfavourable. A excellent buy for less than $500!
Bass Guitar Under $500 Buyers Guide 2020
There are a number of things to consider before a fresh bass guitar is selected. You need to comprehend the different requirements that are accessible and what they mean before you spend your cash. The bass guitar may seem a relatively simple tool to look at. But it's surprising the range of materials that a bass guitar can make of. Every aspect of the bass is important, particularly when it comes to the instrument's tone and strength.
When it comes to bass necks, there are three options. The most common is a bolt-on neck, which offers great stability. But from a set neck, you'll get better support. The drawback to a set neck is that adjustment can be very hard. The third kind of neck is the neck of the thru-body. There is no joint, as the name indicates, and it passes straight through the body. On high-end basses you will discover these, as they give the greatest support and tone, but they are more priced to create.
The primary option between a strong or hollow body when it comes to a bass body. The most common is the solid body. Despite this, the wood from which they are built could be anything from maple to swamp ash and mahogany. The more money you pay, the better the wood, and this will create a deep difference to your bass tone.
A hollow body is the other choice. Sometimes they are called semi-acoustic bass guitars because they have an acoustic's hollow body and an electric's pickups. Jazz and blues musicians prefer hollow bodied bass guitars, while rocking requires a strong body.
You need your fretboard to be solid and durable. Ebony, rosewood and mahogany are the finest woods available for this purpose. That's where your fingertips are going to spend all their time, so make sure they're comfortable.
The two options here are Humbucker pickups or single-coil pickups. Humbuckers are offering a cleaner sound, but most bass guitars under $500 have single-coil pickups. These operate very well, but they tend to be a little more noisy and may give you a rattle. Depending on the place of the pickups, if they are near to the fretboard, you will either get a reduced noise or a greater sound if they are further away from the fretboard.
This depends on the bass guitar's material and size. Most bassists are playing around your neck with the bass. That implies you have to be at ease with the weight. However, if you're choosing a lighter bass, you might find that the tone isn't as profound as a heavier bass.
There are three popular bridge kinds, the location where the strings end on the guitar. Whether you prefer a cross-bridge, a string-through body, or a mixture of bridge and tailpiece is a matter of taste. Everyone tends to do a good job. It's more essential to choose a larger and weightier bridge as you get better noise from your bass.
This is a rod in the bass guitar's neck. Because of the tension of thick bass strings, it can become bowed or even twisted. A nice bass will have an readily adjustable truss rod.
Let's not forget one of a bass's most fundamental components. It looks like that. You have to choose a suitable type of body, color, and style. Especially if you dream with your bass guitar to get up on stage. Looking around at what's accessible and working out what you believe would look best strapped over your shoulders is the best thing you can do here. But this specification is the least significant. Much more essential is sound and solidity.
Do you have to choose a bass with four strings or a bass with five or six strings?
Four strings come with the normal bass. Starting with a four-stringer is suggested because learning on is simpler and provides you all the versatility you need when you first start playing. The more strings you have, of course, the more range you can get out of the instrument. That's why bassists like 5-string or6-string bass guitar are sophisticated. It also implies that you have a wider neck, so consideration should be given to your hand size.
What's the best scale for me?
As the name indicates, short-scale bass guitars are much lower. Choosing a short-scale model is perfect for larger hands. For younger bassists, this makes them perfect. If you're a kid and a beginner, a short-scale bass would likely be best selected. If you're older or have big hands, it would be better to choose the periodic scale.
Do I want an acoustic bass or an electric bass?
It relies completely on what kind of music you want your bass to play. The electric bass means it's amplified, so you need an electric bass if you're playing with a group. Well, this is unless you're an acoustic group that's low-fi. Then choosing an acoustic bass guitar would be a much better idea.
Tip A great bass with lots of knobs and extras doesn't have to be over-complicated. Go for simplicity and durability when selecting your first bass. Then you can have an instrument that you can learn and develop with you on your bass-playing trip as you go further down the path.
You knew that?
In the 1930s, inventor and musician Paul Tutmarc created the first bass guitar. But it wasn't until the 1950s that Leo Fender and George Fullerton developed and sold the first mass-produced bass guitar. Actually, this was placed up for eBay auction!
There are innumerable bass guitars on the market, but for under $500 you can find a true quality bass. The most significant factors to consider when selecting a bass guitar are size, amount of strings, body material, fretboard, and neck, besides price.
All of these items also add to the weight. Younger players need to make sure they're going for a lower model. There are some wonderful short-scale versions around, particularly those that Fender and Ibanez have featured in the list. But you have to choose a bass made of quality materials for the more skilled player.
It also needs nice pickups–preferably humbuckers–which will not generate a rattle. Only then will you be sure to get a killer tone, a sustained sound, and play the kind of licks you love.