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Best Electric Bass under $500

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tunewriter, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. tunewriter


    Jul 26, 2012
    For a beginner who will still be able to use it for a while. Not looking for a toy.
  2. Bassisgood4U

    Bassisgood4U Banned

    Jan 30, 2014
    That amount of money could get you a used U.S. Fender. Look it over real good, check the neck for twists and overbowing. Maybe take a knowledgeable friend with you to buy it.
  3. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    G&L L2000 Tribute.
  4. If you're looking at a new bass. then the Yamaha TRBX 504 will knock your socks off.
  5. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    tunewriter, that is such a subjective question, that it would probably help if you fill in your profile as complete as you are comfortable, and tell a bit about yourself and your expectations, interests, LOCATION, genre's of interest, etc, etc ...

    ... you wont find much of anything talked about on here that are 'toys', but with that said there are definitely better values than others, but it doesn't matter how good they are if they do not fit/meet your needs ... especially if your 'for a while' carries you into playing live and gigging regular, etc ... I generally tell newcomers to find the best USED $150-200 bass that is comfortable for them to play, and then once they figure out what it is they will need/like/want for the longterm, sell the first bass for what you paid for it (you bought it used), then get what is required down the road when that time comes ... never know, it may be that $200 buy you learned on ;) ... JMHO
  6. Completely depends on what you like brother. Theres the Squier classic vibe series,vintage modified series, MIM fenders, as said before used american fenders, yamaha TRBX, almost any ibanez, G&L, musicman SUB series
  7. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Yamaha BB series are great, and good values.
  8. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    Used. Whatever you like, used.
  9. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Orange Park, Florida
  10. Reddog01


    Nov 3, 2013
    Georgetown, TX
    Whatever you get needs to fit YOU. When I first went shopping for my first bass, I went into my local GC to look at the Squires. After playing the Squires, Yamahas, etc. I walked out with an Ibanez. You need to hold them, see what the action feels like to you on the neck, listen to the sound, and select it for yourself. Frankly, we can all vote all day long on what we like, but this is going to be your bass. I play golf and nobody I play with has the same set of clubs. Each of us looked for what felt right, the proper loft for our swing, and other factors that suit us. Selecting a bass is the same way. There are a lot of good brands out there. Find the one that is right for you. With your budget you should be able to find a very nice. playable bass. Don't rush it -- play as many of them as you can.
  11. DistroHopper


    Feb 18, 2014

    ^ This. Best option is to just go to stores and play them. You do that and you'll get a good feel for what sound you like, what pickup layout you prefer, etc. For ~$500 you have plenty of options available to you.
  12. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    Id get a sub ray4 I love mine. For a cheaper bass they are great.
  13. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Troll the used market, you'll be amazed what you can get sometimes at that price. US and Japanese Fenders, German Warwicks, Lakland Skylines and so on. You just need some patience and persistence. If you absolutely MUST buy new, then Squier Classic Vibes are a pretty good way to go, and you'll have money left over to upgrade the pickups.
  14. tnosam


    Sep 2, 2012
    Fayetteville, GA
    The best is any Tribute Series G&L bass you can find. I bought a Tribute Series SB-2 online for under $500 because it was blemished. I've had it for three years and I still have located the blemish. And it plays and sounds wonderful. :hyper: Do a little research into the G&L company and you will be surprised at what you will find. I am presently considering purchasing my second G&L bass.
  15. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass What the .............. Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    ^^^ This... Take your time.. I do recommend that you get a 5 string though.. Cut to the chase .. You should be able to get a decent bass new for $500 .. a very decent bass used for that price..
  16. SlingBass4


    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City
    Personally I think the Epiphone Thunderbird Classic at $499 (I have 2) is a killer deal. There are a world of good products out there (new) in your range - and even more of a selection IF you consider pre-owned. To name just a few:




  17. Reddog01


    Nov 3, 2013
    Georgetown, TX
    Don't ever talk bad about a person's dog, their shotgun, or their bass!!
  18. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    Squire jazz basses are very affordable. Add in about $100 for a pickup-upgrade and your in at under $500 easy.
  19. JennySuzuki


    Dec 18, 2013
    When I was making the switch to bass, I had narrowed it down to the Epiphone EB-3, the Epiphone Thunderbird Pro-IV, or the Gretsch Junior Jet, based on my research and the appeal of the body shapes to me. I ended up getting a Gretsch Junior Jet II (G2220) because a luthier friend of mine made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

    But I strongly suggest sitting down at a website such as Zzounds, doing a search for what's available at your price point, and looking at what appeals to you visually. Then read the reviews of those instruments. Then find out where you can go to actually handle and play them. Don't make a purchase until you've actually strummed the strings on the ones that interest you.

    You have the rest of your life to play this guitar... don't rush into a relationship that you're going to regret later.