The best cheap bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dave84, May 18, 2022.

  1. dave84


    Sep 29, 2019
    Obviously today there are many models with an incredible quality / price ratio but of all the (very) cheap basses that I happened to try this is certainly the best. I paid 89 euros as soon as it came out and yet it has always given me great satisfaction. Here I play it with the original strings. And for you what is the best cheap bass you have ever tried from the 100/200 euro price range?

  2. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    I have a few HBs and they ARE a great value. Let me start off by saying that there reeally is no absolute "best" <insert adjective> bass because what's good to one player is not the preference of another due to feel, and other things... different strokes for different folks.

    I can't do a direct comparison because most of my SXes were bought prior to the current price jump AND none of my SXes were active whereas some of my HBs are, but, of all the basses I own, I consider my SXes the best value.

    So all I can do is say, HBs and SXes are/were great values! :thumbsup:
    TrustRod, tindrum, C Stone and 2 others like this.
  3. dave84


    Sep 29, 2019
    Certainly, in fact I have specified that there are now many economic models of excellent workmanship and sound. In general, I think Harley Benton on the very low budget range is now the reference brand!​
    Vinny_G and B-Mac like this.
  4. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Hard to beat that one or these two.
  5. acid bass

    acid bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2010
    Personally, I think it's hard to beat the Sterling Sub series basses. I have an American Ray, but the Sub is much too close in quality considering it costs 1/5 as much as the American.
  6. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    my 2 best are a P and Bird, neither Fender nor Gibson, and were dirt cheap used, if the HB T beats their P in tone/s like mine does then that would be impressive. but in playability & feel too?
    Iristone likes this.
  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    The best cheap bass?
    "it depends," right?

    i've looked at the cheapies as platforms since very few of them come as fretless axes and even those that do have limited options for the fretless player. but i've only heard/read good things about the HB instruments as they always seem to get positive reviews, especially in the bang-for-buck category.
  8. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
  9. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Birmingham AL
    Can’t go wrong with a Classic Vibe. Especially if you’ve got a lil extra dough and know how for some small upgrades.
  10. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Bacchus BJB1RSM.

    Has same level of build quality to Yamaha TRBX 504 and Fender Performers J.
    Awesome factory fretwork and rock steady roasted maple neck.
    A bit thicker neck profile compare to Fender slim J neck which great for me who prefer P neck.
    zapped777 likes this.
  11. Without question , for me , it's the Harley Benton PB-50.

    Bought brand new for £76 , that was over 8 years ago. I don't view it as a "cheap bass" , more it's a "very affordable" bass. It has 1000's of hours on it , never needed to adjust the neck , bridge/tuners still stock. Pots/cap/jack socket - still stock , as are the strap buttons and nut.
  12. ruju


    Dec 9, 2017
    I’d say Yamaha makes excellent low cost basses.
    My trbx174ew with mango wood top look great plays great and sounds as it should.
    The only thing I changed were the plastic control knobs to something nicer.
  13. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    I have 10 basses, the cheapest by a long shot is an Ibanez 305. The fit/finish and fretwork is better than anything in it's price range IMO.
    Bodeeni, Ampslut, Snert and 5 others like this.
  14. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx!

    Oct 31, 2006
    Western Hemisphere
    "cheap" is a relative term. If cheap means inexpensive, then my early 2000s MIM Fretless Fender jazz was $299. That's an excellent bass for the money. My 1992 MIJ 50s P bass (PB57) was under 7 bills out the door when I bought it last year. That's a good bass for the money. My 2019 Geddy Lee (MIM) was under 7 bills. Again, great bass for the money.
    Last edited: May 18, 2022
  15. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    The one with a straight neck that you like the feel of.
  16. shnapper


    May 1, 2005
    CV with 50 bucks in Pots and Bridge…

    I don’t think inexpensive is a bad thing at the moment. No one seems to be working or wants to work and Indonesia is kicking out lots of stuff. C17A2458-9162-4691-88E4-178CD05BE600.jpeg
  17. GeorgesEric


    Mar 24, 2021
    Gretsh G2220 Junior Bass II.
    oldandbold likes this.
  18. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    Its not a value if you have to spend more on "upgrades"
    CT Jaynes and Dust2Dust like this.
  19. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Birmingham AL
    Yawn OK
  20. Any cheap bass, in fact, the cheaper the better. If the body is usable it can be built up to be something custom and affordable.