Best bass for $1,500

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tom Dessaint, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. Tom Dessaint

    Tom Dessaint

    Jun 14, 2020
    New to the bass about 3 months. Looking for advice on basses to look at. I like to play classic rock, blues, Motown, metal. Started with a cheap Jackson micro as I have short fingers. Tried the Ibanez SR500 now have the SR650. Looking at the SR2400. Do like the thinner neck on these and tonal options. Open to all makes. Thanks for helping the new guy.
    ConfoundedBridg likes this.
  2. Thegrandwazoo

    Thegrandwazoo Supporting Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    West Virginia
    Used, US Music Man or G&L or German Warwick. New, probably a $1500 Yamaha BB (whatever model that would be)? Kiesel also comes to mind, if you're not too wild with the options you can have one built for around $1500. Just my opinion.
    GitmoMango and songwriter21 like this.
  3. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    The Fender Geddy Lee Jazz (US) is around $1500, and covers a lot of the ground you are looking at. Ibanez basses are very nice. The Jazz bass has very different sound.
    lowdownthump, Dedalus69, garp and 4 others like this.
  4. if you like thinner necks i wholeheartedly recommend one of the premium ibanez basses, i’ve got a sr2605 that is my main player,also got a neck thru sr1400. both are beautiful and play very well,are very well made and the titanium bars in the neck give me confidence the necks won’t warp or twist down the road. I really love the feel of wenge necks,hopefully you have access to try one.
  5. Sean150


    Jul 18, 2018
    Make sure you look at the Yamaha TBRX series; with your budget you can easily afford the 604/605. Beautiful slim neck, passive/active switch, battery indicator light, and it does Jazz, P and modern active really well. It was my second bass after a Squier Jazz and I could not give a solid excuse for the basses I have bought since then. The mid tier Ibanez basses are nice to but Yamaha has a good vibe for me.
  6. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    Kings Bay, GA
    I just got an SR1105B, and I’m satisfied..
  7. Ace Of Bass

    Ace Of Bass A Rooster Illusion

    Jun 27, 2006
    For $1500 I’d go with a used Fender Beck V....there’s probably no style if music you can’t adapt it to...the most versatile passive bass I’ve could probably get Keisel to build you a PJ4/5 for less than that and that would work too..
  8. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh-ish, PA
    Get a Yamaha BBP35. You can't go wrong, seriously...simplicity, phenomenal sound, and effortless playability. For an all-passive bass, it's insane, and I used to be an active 2/3-band eq-only guy. My BBP35 can get any tone from a thumpy Motown or reggae sound, all the way to a gnarly Spector or G&L wannabe...all from 2 volumes and one tone knob.

    This is way cheaper than a new one, too:
    Yamaha BBP35 Five String Bass - Midnight Blue | eBay
    PJ Muzikmansky likes this.
  9. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    IMO, reading your request, you could probably stay in the $500 / $700 price range and pick up something used in the Ibanez SR series, Sire,or Schecter that is really nice. Your playing habits and styles will progress and leave you with more cash once you learn more about what you need and suits you.
    ex-tension and garp like this.
  10. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Why do you want a more expensive bass? What is the SR650 not doing you want it to?
    btmpancake, Relayer71 and Justinian like this.
  11. jkazam


    May 25, 2007
    Sandberg! There's a good deal on a VM4 in the classifieds. I almost couldn't resist buying it but I have a VM5 on the way.
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  12. dune

    dune Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2019
    Spot-on. That Sandberg is a very good deal.
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  13. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    I was going to recommend a USA Musicman used, but if you like the thinner necks of the Ibanez that might not be the way to go. OTOH the Musicmans are amazing basses. You might want to try out a 4-string used Lakland Skyline, their necks are amazing.
  14. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    I'd only suggest that if at all feasible in this day and age of pandemicness, as part of your exploration process, check out something Fenderish...maybe a Squier '70s Classic Vibe Jazz or a Fender Player Jazz. To @DigitalMan's point, a Jazz is definitely a different flavor coming from a Jackson or an Ibanez. And these days, IMHO, you don't need to spend anywhere near $1,500 to get a high-quality instrument.
    btmpancake likes this.
  15. Relayer71

    Relayer71 Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2009
    I say, slow down! 3 months in and you're looking at a 4th bass? Why don't you enjoy what you have and put in at least a year of learning and practice before you even consider a new bass?

    The SR650 is a pretty good bass (fantastic for the price). Is it not "doing it" for you somehow? You'll have a better idea on what kind of bass works aftee you've been playing a while.

    All that being said, there is no shortage of great basses in the $1500 price range. And if you buy used, you're getting even more value.
  16. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    You can play anything with these, I didn't make it bold on purpose:laugh::


    American Performer Precision Bass® | Electric Basses
  17. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    If I absolutely had to spend $1500, I'd go a little above that and do the regular ol boring meat & potatoes Fender AP jazz or precision bass. Another at that price point is the G&L JB jazz bass which has the G&L features and is probably about the same in terms of overall quality.

    Otherwise, I'd definitely consider just sticking with Ibanez. They make these just amazingly well made and super sounding basses for just dirt cheap.

    Probably what you already got is as good as you can do at $1500. So maybe consider buying another one lol.

    I'm mostly a Fender/G&L/Rickenbacker type of guy, tho so that's what I'm most familiar with. But there are lots of great alternatives like Ibanez, Cort and others that are great basses for really cheap.

  18. sleepingEB0


    Jun 10, 2020
    I’d recommend the Gibson EB4/5 if either style from 2014 and 2016+. $600-$1000, great pickups, great ergonimics.

    I lersonally don’t like Fender Basses as they are too big to be comfortable vs the Warwick style stuff.
    I think Warwick is huge for a reason. They’re simply better designed for playing than fenders.

    I chose this Gibson becuase it’s affordable, high quality, but taps in to that shape and style that makes Warwick a great choice.
  19. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Try out a FenderjFender and see how you like that neck. If so, try to classifieds here. You can find a used one for under a grand.
  20. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    You like Ibanez. I would stick with that.