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Amazing Cheap-o Basses of TB

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GravyGoodness, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. I was playing this morning and thought to myself how excellent my Yamaha RBX-250 sounds and plays. It's TOTALLY not my style but was my late Grandfather's that I ended up with. I keep it with NYXL's and tuned to BEAD and it's just got "the sound" - grindy raw P-Bass filth. And it plays and sounds as good or better than many "nice" basses I've played.

    This is, IIRC, the most modestly priced bass Yamaha offered at the time and I swear for the money, it has to be the best I've ever had the pleasure of noodling with. I love my Squier V/M P bass as well, but that's been upgraded with GZR's, flats and a bunch of work to make it as good as it is. Granted, it was not bad out of the box as well.

    It made me think that other members may have basses that wildly exceeded their expectations as well. What other basses do you own or have played that were cheap "Entry Level" basses that just blew you away? It's always nice to be pleasently surprised and I'd love to know the thoughts of other TB'ers.

    View attachment 3194705
    TolerancEJ, SlimS, bearfoot and 3 others like this.
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    there's lots of joy* on TB for cheapies which exceed expectations! it's common. about the only folks who don't buy into that possibility are those who are struggling with their own cognitive dissonance: "i paid a lot for this instrument so it has to be better than the cheap axes..."


    glad you're finding love for your ax! good luck explaining your experiences to the next guy! :thumbsup:

    * i have that joy and then some! :laugh:
    Hues, SlimS, clickclack and 5 others like this.
  3. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2017
    Yep. This is a $59.99 shipped no-namer. I have since dropped Seymour Duncan QPers in it. Unfinished neck feels great. Super low action with zero buzz. 7 pounds. Finish is nice. Played it at a Halloween party last night. It's a winner! SAM_7448.JPG
  4. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Ellicott City, MD
    Endorsing: Spector Bass Guitars
    D94DE8DF-2B3A-42C0-8027-FF14AD5E7045. E81D4FDC-450A-4389-A1FF-C66C80255254.
  5. We had a TRBX PJ when I was in school. Desperately needed new strings and I never played it through a proper bass amp but that thing was light and easy as hell to play on. Not a fan at all how it looked but it did have a nice finish, a walnut stain or some sort. Amazing value for money.
  6. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    One of my cheapest, 50€ brand new (some years ago) Harley Benton Shorty P.

    I upgraded the pickup in it for a while, but then realised the factory one was just as good.

    Only "upgrade" is LaBella Flats.

  7. hondo4life


    Feb 29, 2016
    Hondo. With some upgrades. Plywood is the best tonewood! :smug:

  8. This was not only the best "cheap" bass I ever played, it's also one that got away. I loved the maple neck on this baby. $100 Short Scale SX jazz bass from Rondomusic. Played great, the only thing I ever changed on it from the day it arrived was the strings.

  9. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    oh good gravygoodness! there goes another $100 I need to save cos you luv your YAMAHA so much and one has been sitting locally, but the 250 got slammed when I posted about it and gave me cold feet. now I'm interested again... how did it compare to your Squier VM PJ before the mods? I got a nice Squier VM PJ for $150 that has been getting far more playing time since perma-muting the strings at the bridge, but the YAMAHA might be redundant unless it's giving your Squier a good race. their looks are totally my style and is the only reason I want one unless it can compare to yours cos ''it's just got "the sound" - grindy raw P-Bass filth'' lol I could stand for my Squier to exert even more of that! what mods have you done to your blue P?

    regarding your op, my apartment is filled with inexpensive success stories, I'm a cheap and curious bastid who's done well with basic gut instinct, research, and good luck in scoring beauties which live up to their looks in great action. I'd have 2 of everything if I could afford it without compromising other purchases just so I don't have to change strings that I like to try flats etc. some basses are too good to mess with at all, even string changes.
    my #1 is a Peavey Zodiac BXP w/ EMG-HZs, got it for $200 after doing the muting trick it's even better.
    the Squier is #2 with a choice Dean 4 Fretless burst behind that @ $200
    then there's the forlorn crowd jockeying for position behind those 3, the fine $160 Lotus L-750 in my avatar, a Cort Curbow Retro for under $250 and may be the most J-sounding J style bass out there other than my Japanese Fender Power Jazz Bass Special ($300) which despite the disagreements is all Jazz Bass on steroids to the point of the P PU sounding pure JB as well. that will change when I mod the crap out of it.
    after that we have my beloved Epiphone Toby Standard IV, I could live with just that bass alone, or a nice Peavey T-20FL ($260) that just needs the single coil noise tamed and it'll be perfect.
    my more costly and far more respected basses don't get the luv they deserve but I keep improving the tonal issues had over a very pretty blonde G&L L-2000 T that I scored for relative peanuts, and as for the big boy in both girth and $$ spent... my gorgeous 1983 Peavey T-40, it needs more quality time in my hands too, and @ $400 + shipping it damn well better! I just like petite and comfortable basses now.
    for $60 I nailed a black YAMAHA RBX AR2, it's fun as is and no doubt can be modded even better.
    last but not least, I recently got a minty purple sparkled Peavey Milestone III for $50, it surprised with some real kickassiness and of course a killer Peavey neck. Peaveys are my favorite Fenders.
    the only risk buy that I kinda lost the gamble on was a cool old Cort PJ tanker for cheap with a body shape like the YAMAHA 250 that was truly great except for one silly issue after another, then I probably snapped the frozen truss rod... it's become scavenger bait but will get an overhaul eventually and be a major thumper once again.
    film at 11.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
    mikewalker likes this.
  10. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I'm a closet Hondo fan and regret not nailing every one I've ever come across, or any for that matter, but a nice Deluxe P is available locally for $300 (which is $300 more than I should spend) and even with a plywood body it just screams tone from it's looks alone. I want it.
    Johnny Crab and hondo4life like this.
  11. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    Looks very cool. Is the pickguard original?
    hondo4life likes this.
  12. hondo4life


    Feb 29, 2016
    The pickguard is original, but everything under it has been replaced.
    JakobT likes this.
  13. Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
    Runnerman, JRA, Bass V and 1 other person like this.
  14. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    Hard to beat an old US Peavey for cheap AND awesome. They pretty much dominate the catergory.
  15. gt96g

    gt96g Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Philly Area
    This one cost me $300, I play it out a ton. Will probably drop some nordys in it, but its a solid bass for not a lot of money.

    Attached Files:

    FugaziBomb likes this.
  16. InternetAlias


    Dec 16, 2010
    My $100 sx jazz bass
    I took some money and time to fix it up, but now it's pretty much irreplaceable.
    WI Short Scaler likes this.
  17. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    Your Grandpa was a badass. Respect. :bassist:

    I believe we are still in a Golden Age of guitar/instrument making. Even Fender acoustics don't suck.
    GravyGoodness and saabfender like this.
  18. audreycashin

    audreycashin Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    long island, ny
    200 dollars, love it to pieces... IMG_20160227_175859.
  19. swarfrat


    Sep 23, 2014
    I got a 25.5" scale Stedman P-bass under $ 100 for my kiddo. Before we figured out he was left handed to the point he refuses to hold instruments right handedly. So I guess its mine now. Its a hoot because its so tiny


    And the Rondo (plus new body)
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
    Monterey Bay-ss and mikewalker like this.
  20. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Playability-wise, by SUB Ray 5 can hold its own with my boutiques and high-enders. Tone is subjective. Hardware and build...it is a $300 bass.

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