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What's the Best Bass For Under $500?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bass Ace89bi, May 15, 2019.

  1. Ibanez Talman series start at $200 and up. They are a very good value for the $$ if you want an active P/J.
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  2. zubrycky


    Aug 22, 2011
    From my own personal experience, Yamaha BB 424 and Danelectro DC Bass.

    mizzou541 likes this.
  3. Squier classic vibe. But if I'm spending 500 I'm getting a Fender mim used.
  4. So many possible choices that it would be hard to narrow down, particularly when so much of the selection process is subjective.

    One suggestion, at that price point I would stay away from active basses. On-board preamps really have come a long way in the last decade or so. However, a cheap onboard preamp is one of the most common sources of unwanted noise. I would probably go with the best passive bass I could find under $500 if that is the limit.
  5. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    There are so many options here. Go to a guitar shop and play everything. Find what you like. Buy that. If it’s too much, find a used one.
  6. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    I’m sorry, we only answer the question What’s the Best Bass For Metal?
  7. Got my Mexican fender jazz new for under $500. Was on sale because it’s a standard and the stores are trying to get rid of their older stock to make room for the player series that replaced the standards. I’m sure if you look around you could find them marked down.
    tindrum and JoshS like this.
  8. matty1039


    Oct 26, 2015
    New Orleans
    I plated and Embassy Pro a few months ago. If I were in the market for a four string that's what I'd go with. It was comfortable, light, sounded good, and has lots of flexibility with the two humbuckers.

    mbell75 likes this.
  9. vindibona1


    Apr 18, 2015
    I agree... USED is the almost always a great way to go if you know how to spot defects and major issues. FWIW I used to collect (and still do to an extent) professional level used trumpets. Kept them for a number of years while playing them. I decided it was time to sell many of them off. The profit from the sale of my trumpets paid for most of my guitar collection. If you expect a musical instrument's life span to be decades what is the point of buying new, especially a solid body instrument? $500 is a wonderful budget to have for a bass if looking for used. You might say I've "over-improved" my Squier and Fender basses, but they play and feel and sound way beyond their price points. Here are some of the used gems in my collection...

    Ibanez BTB675M= $500 [Initially thought it was too big for me. It took a month but I really grew to love it.]

    Squier VM 70's... $165. Added Aguilar noiseless pickups, Gotoh heavy bridge, fret level. Total in: $450

    2010 MIM Jazz 5 mint $400. Added Audere preamp and Aguilar noiseless pickups. Fret level. It's a beast now. Total cost $800
    Ibanez GS206B 6 string bass with deluxe case...$100... add $10 for Chinese replacement 3 band preamp.
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    tindrum likes this.
  10. lauregami


    May 1, 2019
    Squier VM short scale Jaguars!!
    They have no right to be as good as they are for $200. They were recently discontinued so now is your chance before losing out forever.
  11. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    A more challenging and rewarding price point to shop is the $250-350 range. That is the used market sweet spot, IMO/IME. There are really excellent axes out there for $350, but you need to know what you like and how to look for it. My Ibanez collection was all in that range.
    bassrique and tindrum like this.
  12. Bullitt5135


    Nov 16, 2010
    SE Michigan
    Squier + pro set-up + the pickups of your choice.
    vindibona1 likes this.
  13. Floppystrings


    Apr 5, 2019
    I would definitely suggest playing as many types of basses as you can.

    Comfort is a big deal, you may think a bass sounds and looks perfect and when you play it the neck shape feels horrible.
    lauregami likes this.
  14. Yep... the neck is definitely a deal breaker for most.
  15. Clark W

    Clark W Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    As much as I like my 2018 Ibanez SR400EQM, bought new for $449, I really love the last two basses I bought.

    1985 Epiphone P Bass, $65. Bought from individual on Facebook Marketplace (local)

    Gutted the pups and electronics, and dumped in a set of EMG GZRs with new pots and output jack. Custom ordered a truss rod cover. And bought Fender thumb rest and "road worn" knobs. Strung it with DR Black Beauties.
    Total investment, $248

    2012 Ibanez SRX2EX2, $150. Bought at pawn shop.

    Walked in, saw it, played it, borrowed an allen wrench to tighten two knobs, and said 150 and it can walk out the door right now. They wanted 199. Gigged it the same day I bought it. A week later I splurged and spent 30 on a strap and 40 on a set of D'Addario chrome flats and now its my fav of my four basses.

    With a budget of 500 I would go used. With that budget you could wind up with two basses if you look hard enough.

    Look here, Reverb, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. And hit every pawn shop around you. There's plenty of hidden gems out there waiting to be found.
  16. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    Give me $499.99 and I'll answer the question.
    Clark W and lauregami like this.
  17. Doctor Intrepid

    Doctor Intrepid

    Dec 27, 2017
    I like Hofner Ignition basses, but they are not for everyone. Check one out and see what you think.
    Tommy V likes this.
  18. mizzou541


    Jan 8, 2010
    My votes would go to Squier or Yamaha BB series. I've never played a Schecter either but they seem to be fairly well thought of. I'd say a Stiletto is pretty decent bang for your buck.
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  19. these are on my GAS list, for reasons that even i don't understand..

    G&L Tribute JB2
    Hofner Ignition Club
    ESP LTD B204 Fretless
    Steinberger Spirit XT2
    Doctor Intrepid likes this.
  20. JoshS


    Dec 30, 2018
    I really kind of want one. Have noodled with it a little and the whole series up through full EBMM special. I don’t need one and honestly can’t discern much difference yet, but love the sounds and feel.

    But it does seem like you can get a lot from Sterling in about the $300-500 range. Probably more used.
    Harry122 likes this.

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