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Best bass under $500 you’ve ever played

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassestkkm, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. Pretty self explanatory. I’ve always played basses under $500. Some have been hits and others spectacular misses, so what are some of the ones you’ve loved. I’m talking playability, feel, and “stock performance” so string changes and electronic swaps count but only if the total was under $500. And yes, used basses can sneak in here

    I’ll start.
    My Classic Vibe 60’s precision in the correct fiesta red is probably still my favorite bass. It’s fun to play, sounds great, and cost $300. My road worn jazz I snagged at 450 and I have a MIJ Jag that I grabbed for 450 as well. I consider both to be stellar deals.

    I thought i liked the Sterling SUB Ray 4. But, I played the new Sterling Ray24ca yesterday and know that’s a bass I’ll probably be investing in soon miles better then the Ray4 as far as comfort and ease of playing. It’s right at $500 so on the used market it’ll be great unless somehow I get a deal on a new one.
    zon6c-f likes this.
  2. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck

    Sep 19, 2006
    Plainfield Illinois
    I had a Squier JJ sig Jazz and a 1998 MIM Fender Jazz both under $500 and were both great basses. Every other $500 bass and below I had was a bit wonky.

    I prefer Fender maple necks and P basses so all my basses are around the $1K range.

    I have a brand new MIM Road Worn that I play exclusively now.

    I love that bass.
    Spidey2112 and bassestkkm like this.
  3. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    I don't think any of my basses cost more than 500€ (due to the price differences in EU, I guess we could call it $500).

    My ESP Ltd 5 string is excellent, so is my VM Jag, but my favourite was actually free (a gift from a fellow TBer), it is a Westone body ('80 or '81) and a Samick short scale neck. The feel is perfect for me.

  4. MordBass


    Nov 1, 2017
    As far as my experiences go, Soundgears own the sub $500 as far as playability and tonal versatility
    baddarryl, WillieB, Jscriv and 7 others like this.
  5. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    My Sire M3 hands down.
    bassestkkm and mobdirt like this.
  6. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Excellent basses I've used, bought new for under $500 (unless otherwise noted):

    Hofner Ignition Club
    Squier VM Jaguar SS
    Silvertone (Dano) Model 1444
    Gretsch 2220/2202
    Epiphone EB0 (used $50 at a yard sale)
    Epiphone Rumblekat
    Ibanez SR-500
    Fender MIJ '51 P RI
    Fender MIJ "Blue Flower" SCPB
    Fender MIJ Sting Sig SCPB
    Fender Performer (used)
    Multiple Fender MIA Ps (used $99 - $400 all now "vintage")
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
    Spidey2112 and bassestkkm like this.
  7. Karlson541

    Karlson541 Banned

    Jun 9, 2018
    The Ibanez Mikro GSRM20 I bought used a couple of month ago.

    Really stable neck and perfect fret work, and after I swapped the stock pickups with a pair of P/J EMG Geezer Butler pickups it sound killer too, as good as any 1000$+ bass I owned, really comfortable to play too due to it's slim neck and short scale.
    ObsessiveArcher and bassestkkm like this.
  8. Rojd

    Rojd Supporting Member

    May 29, 2018
    Rocky Mountains
    My LTD B-206SM. It was a tad over $500, but close enough. :bassist:
    bassestkkm likes this.
  9. G&L tribute M-2500 used 390€.
    dbbltime, Luigir and bassestkkm like this.
  10. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Used- it's a tie between the Lakland 55-01 I used to have and the MIA P I'm playing in my avatar.
    Spidey2112 and bassestkkm like this.
  11. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    Squier Classic Vibe Sonic Blue
    ivorytower, BigJohnny and bassestkkm like this.
  12. I would say a G&L L2000 tribute which is a sweet bass. But I just bought a Hohner B2a steinberger copy, the one that only has the active passive switch and it has been amazing, sounds phenomenal, especially in a band setting such a sweet sounding and playing bass. Light as anything and looks super cool, it really does stay in tune forever and the double ball end system makes string changes a 2 minute job, loosen the strings lay the new ones in and tighten to pitch.
    bassestkkm likes this.
  13. Do you have a picture for the Blue flower? That for less than $500 sounds like a steal.
    TrevorOfDoom likes this.
  14. Mark_70


    Dec 31, 2013
    Sterling by Musicman sub

    ..and a fretless Squier Jazz that I should've taken home with me for having a remarkable amount of mwaahhh

    I think both were below 300 bucks iirc.

    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
    bassestkkm likes this.
  15. Darc


    Sep 21, 2017
    I have a Jackson JS2 that is one of the nicest basses i've played.
    bassestkkm likes this.
  16. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    I've only ever paid more than $500 for bass once. It was a 1998 MIA Jazz and nothing special. Everything else I've owned has been less. I don't see the extra value in the extra expense. None of the boutiquey stuff ever made me want to spend crazy money on a bass guitar.
  17. gt96g

    gt96g Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Philly Area
    I own 2 90's ibanez TR basses. One Korean made and one Japanese. They are both outstanding for the money I paid, well under 500.
  18. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Sorry I don't, but there are images of them on the 'net.
    bassestkkm likes this.
  19. 12BitSlab

    12BitSlab Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2016
    In 1968, I paid $50 for a late 50’s Precision. It was fantastic.

    Like the moron that I am, I traded it - plus cash - for new, shiny, pretty Epiphone in the early 70’s.

    If I still had that bass, it would be worth slightly more than the $50 I paid for it.
  20. I have two.

    1) EBMM Sub (paid under $500) for the two I had. Not sure if they are below $500 now.

    2) Godin Shifter Classic4. Incredible neck.
    bassestkkm and Mark_70 like this.

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