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Looking to buy a new bass guitar around $300-350

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gfreax, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. gfreax


    Jan 12, 2018
    Hello people,

    I'm looking for some help please. I want to buy a new bass guitar and my budget is around 350 dollars. I'm looking for a 4 string bass and after some research, I'm between a yamaha TRBX 304 or an Ibanez SR300. My problem is the following.

    Both these basses are using active electronics and personally I would prefer passive electronics (hate having to switch batteries). As far as I know none of them provides an option to switch to passive (like the yamaha TRBX 504) I know that the yamaha TRBX 204, RBX 174 and Ibanez GSR200 offer passive electronics but I was hoping to buy a model that is a step forward from a beginner's bass. Any proposals from you guys? Should I settle for one of the cheaper models instead or is there a model within my budget that I ignore? I mainly write music themes for video games and play some rock on my spare time. No touring, no gigs.

    Thank you
  2. HesslerGerard


    Jul 18, 2010
    Active basses are not too bad with batteries. All of my basses are active and I only change batteries twice a year for all of them just to be sure. Never had one died on me while playing live.

    Alternatively you can look at Squire Vintage Modified ranged if you haven't yet. They are really good for what they go for.
  3. tgriley62


    Jan 25, 2011
    S.E. Mo
    IMHO. Find a good used Peavey Foundation or Fury
  4. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Yesterday I saw very nice used but not abused Peavey Foundation at my local GC for $299. It's the white one.
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  5. Uncle Hanky likes this.
  6. tgriley62


    Jan 25, 2011
    S.E. Mo
    White is my favorite bass color. Here are my twins. Foundation & Fury
    Arnel M., Uncle Hanky, eJake and 2 others like this.
  7. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz

    May 26, 2010
    Used. As previously mentioned a Peavey Fury is a great bass for the money, as is a used Fender MIM Standard, Squier Classic Vibe, Squier Vintage Modified, etc. No reason to buy new in this price category is you're in the U.S.
    R&B likes this.
  8. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Usually you are better off buying a passive bass in the lower price ranges. It's not really the batteries that are an issue. It's that the active electronics are usually low quality. I would rather buy a bass with better pickups and no preamp. I like the suggestion of the Squier VM series basses. Squier Classic Vibe series is also very good. Still, you are going to get a better deal on a used instrument.
    Arnel M., Aqualung60 and eJake like this.
  9. TyCobb


    Feb 17, 2014
    Folsom, CA
    I don't know anymore as I haven't had my SR305 since 2004 or 2005, but I still regret ever selling that bass. Even to this day was the most comfortable bass I have ever played (perhaps nostalgia, but damn it was fast, super low action, and fun). I don't know what they changed on them since then. I know you are looking at the SR300, but my experience with the SR305 would think the SR300 is good. Like others mentioned, I would definitely look at used. If you really want to buy new, go for it, but I honestly think they are more worth their value at used prices.

    Now with that being said, I have seen Schecter's go for around $350 used on my local craigslist. My Elite-4 turned me into a Schecter fan and just did a quick search and found this: Schecter Diamond Series Elite 4 electric bass guitar

    I have absolutely nothing to bad to say about the Elite-4 and I will never sell that bass.

    I don't know anything about Yamaha other than my friend had one of the lower end models about 15 years ago and damn did he get a great tone out of it(but that's more the player than the bass).
  10. gfreax


    Jan 12, 2018
    Thank you very much for all your replies. I will definitely take a look for some good value used offering.
  11. ElGoodo


    Nov 27, 2017
    Austin TX
    OK, so I don't mean to poo poo you looking for a $300-350 bass. But every bass I found under $300 needed some help in some way. For example I found what I call my Frankenfender (not a Fender but they said it was when I bought it) for ~ $200 and after doing some serious upgrades (+ ~$500 new neck, pickups, pots and setup) now love the hell out of it.

    So, I am not a bass tech, but couldn't you get new pickups and pots and have someone convert one of your current ones for about that much? I mean, if you really liked one of your current basses. Given you have a bass you know you like already except for the active electronics in it and giving it some "upgrades" for personal preference might be a better option?

    Just a thought.
  12. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Does the OP have any current basses?

    Also, upgrades can be a crapshoot. You might like it and you might hate it. In either case, the upgrade adds nothing to the value of the instrument in most cases. IMO, you are usually better off selling what you have to buy what you want.
    Arnel M., Uncle Hanky and jd56hawk like this.
  13. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Some $350 basses need upgrades, some don't…other than strings, of course.
    I've owned several.
    el jeffe bass likes this.
  14. Alpedhuez55


    Dec 9, 2017
    Taylors SC
    Both the Ibanez and Yamaha you mentioned are fine basses that will make it easy to switch between different tones options. The batteries are no big deal. Keep a spare in your case.

    If you want passive, you may find a used Fender P or J Bass in the $300-$400 range. Another to consider is the G&L Tribute JB2 new but that is about $50 above your range with current sales. I watched a few tone comparisons videos on that one and I liked it better the MIM Jazz and Sire Marcus Miller which are the other two I am considering.
    Bass Blender likes this.
  15. DrummerwStrings


    Mar 27, 2015
    Sire M3 new is $399, but it's active; but, you won't need to mod or upgrade it. Sire is coming out in February with the less expensive M2 & V3, can sneak a peek on Thomann.de - but it looks like they're active.

    Agree that best bet is looking for a used bass - also look in TB's Classified section.
    Machiavelli and bholder like this.
  16. TjMetalhead


    Oct 19, 2011
    New Mexico
    The yamaha BB basses are not too bad for the price, passive pickups and all Yamaha BB234 - Black
  17. TL23NC


    May 22, 2015
    Raleigh NC
    +1 on the Yamaha BB series. I had a Bb200 and it was great. For $230 in very nice condition. I would also say that batteries tend to last a very long time and haven't been an issue for me. You could pick up an Ibanez SR 500 used at around your price range and those are great basses.
    ruju and TjMetalhead like this.
  18. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Daytona beach, Fl
    sterling by Music Man S.U.B Ray 4
    $299 brand new
    Extremely good bass for the money
    AcridSaint, Cracker7, edencab and 3 others like this.
  19. I have an idea for you...a little outta the box thinking. Grab a bass off of Rondomusic.com, then go to eBay and purchase the vintage style electronics upgrade. PM me if you need help with this. Take it to your local repair guy and ask for a setup plus the electronics installed. You will end up with a build quality better than a Mexican Fender and the sound of an American. All this should be about $300. Way better route than of the shelf Squires.
  20. TjMetalhead


    Oct 19, 2011
    New Mexico
    I think I'm gonna follow this advice myself! I already found something I like.
    Uncle Hanky and Old Blastard like this.

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