The Top 7 best electric bass guitar under $500 [2020 Guide and Reviews]
You practically need a bass guitar in your group as a result of its importance to your music, and you do not have much cash to afford one. It should interest you to know that you can get an electric bass guitar for less than $500. Of a truth, these electric basses are cheap, but their quality and durability can’t be matched when compared with some of the expensive electric basses. That is an instrument that is good for beginners and intermediate players. Even pro bassists can testify to its sound.
Moving further, you may have this belief that an expensive electric bass can only get the job done for your sound to make sense, but not every expensive bass guitar produces excellent sound. Most top brands of electric basses are indeed costly and can enhance your music, even in the absence of one or more instrument(s), but for financial reasons, your drawback. Well, there are electric basses that suit your budget.
What is a bass guitar?
The electric bass is a guitar built like an electro-acoustic instrument and has no hollow body. It is a unique instrument that works fine with or without an electric guitar. It does not produce any resonance, but the vibration of its strings is designed to be sensed by pickups found on the soundboard and then transformed into an electric signal that generates an acoustic output from the speaker. The fact is that is has been around since the 20th century. During the 1950s, when rock and roll came alive, it served as the main bass line instrument, and its importance has since been recognized even in other genres of music.
If you would like to learn more about electric guitars, check our latest article with the best electric guitars under $500.
Considerable things to note when buying an electric bass guitar.
Unlike the acoustic guitar where you have to feel the resonance and projection when you’re at the guitar store, you can’t feel the vibration of an electric bass. It is not a bad idea if you choose to play the strings of electric bass, but there’s more to selecting an excellent guitar for your music. It is indeed imperative to run a check on electric bass so that you’re not going home with a bad one. Regardless of the price, a low budget electric bass should also be checked well too. Underneath this segment is the essential factor, you should note before buying an electric bass.
It is good you check the neck first before getting carried away. Using your fretting hand to run along the neck to check if the fingerboard seems narrow or wide. Does it fit well in your hands? You shouldn’t be struggling with the frets; it should be easy. How comfortable the instrument feels in your hand should help determine if it is for you or not. As a beginner, you can try this step out too.
2. Anatomy of the electric bass
The body construction should also be inspected, and on the body inspection, there are vital parts to place focus on.
Neck pocket: neck pocket is the joint where the neck is attached to the solid body. Usually, an electric bass having a neck glued to the solid body shouldn’t be considered. If the bass guitar has a neck-through-body fashion, you should also overlook and move to the next available guitar.
Any measurable gap between the neck and the body of the bass guitar will inevitably cause the harmonic overtones to decrease. It also decreases sustain that brings about a deadbeat tone. The margin between the neck and body of an electric bass should hardly contain a card.
Other things to consider before purchase a bass guitar:
The finish: basically, guitars should not be selected only because of the attractive colors and designs. However, it is an important factor because all of the body finesse can lure you. An electric bass guitar with peels, paint job defects can still produce excellent sound. Why it comes with the cool or lousy design and colors should tell that the overall construction will be cheap and isn’t made to last long.
Body materials: all the standard and quality guitars are made from different woods like mahogany, alder, maple, agathis, and the likes. These woods do not only give the guitar a solid body, and they are sometimes responsible for pitch of tone and resonance. Any electric bass you find made of cheap woods glued together or sanded heavily will have no resonating frequency. Guitars like these are often covered with fancy colors and designs, they may have a good look but are substandard.
Remember that to hear and record your electric bass properly; you will also need a well-soundproofed home studio. Check out how to soundproof your room without spending much.
After taking consideration of the features, sound quality, price tag, reviews, and personal experience, we give you the best seven electric basses under 500 dollars.
Top 7 best electric bass guitars under $500 – Reviews
1. ESP LTD B Series B-205 Five-String Bass Guitar
The five-string instrument Is a vintage natural wood instrument, crafted to produce a master vibe. Its awesomeness will cause you to want to lay your hands on the strings, and for an electric bass of a lesser price, everyone wants to see you perform with this excellent electric bass.
The series B electric bass is made of quality tonewood with mighty ash, having a maple top design. The neck is also made of maple with its length measuring about 34 inches. The fingerboard is of a classic rosewood having dot markers and 24 jumbo frets. The hardware alone speaks volumes of the quality you’ll get if you make one of this become yours. You do not have to settle for less because you’re in a low budget.
This electric bass is fully loaded with the groove, having two pickups of ESP humbuckers which are, SB-5N and SB-5B. The former is in the neck and the latter at the bridge, and they are both powered with active electronics. The combination of best pickups from both worlds allows you to express yourself off the rhythm produced from its bass with extra support coming from the ever-active boost delivered from the three bands EQ.
The electric bass also supplies sonic prominence that can be controlled through its single Tone knob. This controls the sound, too; the master volume knob that is responsible for the overall output level can also control the music. It is ideal for your rock, jazz and blues, and various styles too. It produces a bright sound that punches the roof when plugged in. However, using this electric bass requires you to get an extra load of power.
2. Yamaha TRBX305 PWT 5-String Electric Bass Guitar
This solid instrument is made of mahogany wood, and its neck is a mix of maple and mahogany. That adds up to the warmth of this model’s tone. Without stressing much, finding Yamaha on the list of electric bass under $500 shouldn’t be a surprise. They excel in producing quality gadgets for making music. As a beginner that has been familiar with the brand, this is not a substandard electric bass from Yamaha, even though the price seems cheap.
The ax guitar comes with a warm tone, complimenting the warmth in tone is the die-cast bridge having a high mass and functions by transmitting the vibration from the strings to the body.
Yamaha TRBX305 comes with bar soap style humbucker pickups and two-band EQ. The humbucker pickups are easily assessed via the switch and EQ. With this, you can switch up your tone style to suit your taste. The EQ enables you to switch between different playing styles like picking with your finger, playing with a pick, slapping, and others.
All of these unique features make you sustain high, producing a clear sound when you plug in your amp. With this kind of electric bass in your band, you can often do without an electric guitar if you can make the best use of it. Beginners can learn fast, courtesy of its body shape that fits perfectly.
3. Squier by Fender Affinity Series Precision Beginner Electric Bass
Fender is well-known for its low prices and quality musical instruments. The Fender Affinity with a rosewood body and maple neck, with “C”-shaped profile, will give you the groove, vibe, and rhythm you want from your bass guitar.
The all-new Affinity Series Precision Electric Bass has a distinctively sharp-looking, great-sounding, and is also super-versatile. As, you can play a bassline for jazz, rock, reggae, pop and other music genres. It offers a decent range of tones, and the short scale lends itself to a nice fat low end. There’s no pickup selector switch, but there is a volume control knob for each pickup and a master tone control knob.
This bass guitar is, without a doubt, a great value-for-money purchase. The superior tone, smooth playability, and exceptional comfort make it a great student model. It is also Amazon’s choice and has received hundreds of comprehensive reviews and ratings. It comes finished in Olympic White, Race Red or Black, to match your style and preference.
4. Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar GSRM20BWNF
You should be familiar with the distinction in the quality of every electric bass made of maple neck on this list. Their pickups don’t disappoint and are known to be the backroom for a bright tone and depth in the warmth of the bass guitar sound. As lovely as it sounds, Ibanez4 strings electric bass would leave you with an awed expression because every single piece joined together to make the bass guitar complements its beautiful sound. Some other bass guitars within the same price range are worse from head to the fingerboard.
Ibanez guitars have almost the same trademark of tuners, small and chrome plates, and have bass machine heads. The strings run through an excellent angle because of how jointed the neck is attached to the head. This balance creates the right amount of downward pressure when you’re playing the bass guitar. It also comes with medium fret markers having Pearloid dots.
The pickups are made of ceramic magnets with steel pole pieces and are the usual P and J style. You’re getting a lot of high miss from the passive electric bass and as well some mid-range too. This Ibanez bass guitar is also fanciful with the neck having a satin finish at the back. You’re getting more than what you’re spending on this bass guitar.
5. Gold Tone 4 String Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar
This acoustic-electric bass guitar comes fretless at a very friendly price. The structural design is great, just like its sonic quality and high frequency. The solid body made of mahogany speaks volumes of the bright tone and quality it dishes out when plugged in. One of the secrets of choosing an excellent electric bass is knowing the kind of wood it is made of. A cheap wood can destroy your rhythm and affect the tone of your music, every guitarist love the resonance from their acoustic, and mahogany have proved a better word type than some others with this unique feature.
Another impressive thing to note in Gold Tone electric bass is the electronic tuner and piezoelectric transducer it uses to adjust the EQ balance and volume. That is a priceless feature for your music. The bridge is easily adjustable and is affordable for pro guitarists and beginners looking for beautification and quality in electric bass.
For musicians and guitarists who are not familiar with this brand, maybe because you doubt the quality of sound, a trial will convince you if you can spend your little cash on this instrument. Even some of the expensive electric basses do not come with a carry bag and are way more substantial; this is an added advantage that can change your mind and music at the same time.
6. Stagg BC300FL Fretless 4-String Fusion Electric Bass Guitar
The price of this electric bass should not sound funny or unbelievable to you if you truly want a low budget bass guitar that can help you define your style of music without faults. Stagg is another elegant and robust brand that specializes in making beautiful instruments for both beginners and pro guitarists. This model is of black elegance, made of solid alder wood, and the neck is of maple. Its fingerboard is also made of premium rosewood. Of all the woods mentioned above, not a single variant is substandard.
The body and hardware alone sound convincing, and it is not built for short term use. The right hand configured electric bass provides tuning knobs that need no amplification unless you want volume. It is a four-string instrument, too; this helps beginners learn fast. It is known that if you learn with a four-string bass guitar, you can easily switch notes when your play on a five-string bass guitar.
The tones are receptive and can be adjusted with the two bands EQ. This bass guitar appears too cheap for all of these features. That does not mean it won’t last long. It is also light and fits your body when playing. It is a perfect instrument for blues and country and a few other genres.
7. Dean Evo XM Mahogany Short-Scale Electric Bass Guitar
Only a few guitars of this kind can dish out excellent sounds and clear tones without needing the help of an electric guitar. It all begins with the solid body mahogany wood and maple neck usual suspects for a great tone and high sustain. Usually, an electric guitar within this price range should not be embedded with qualities of this kind, and the short scale guitar has compatible bass for rock and jazz kind of music.
This Dean model comes with two humbucker pickups, and these give the bass guitar it’s high output. The pickups pump watts of power into the amplifier. The tuners provide you with choices of high pitches, and the fingerboard makes the strings easy to play. There is no feature of this electric bass with many cons.
It is quite understandable for beginners, and the beauty of this black guy can command your audience.
These were our top picks for the best bass guitar under $500 in 2019.
It is no news that you should be meticulous when choosing an electric bass for your kind of music, this instrument plays a crucial part in your music, especially when you can’t afford another electric guitar in your band. Good bass guitars should cover for the absence of an electric guitar, depending on the kind of music you’re producing. Calibrated instruments like these should give quality tones and rhythms to your music because they were not shortlisted based on their price only.
Aside from the price, all of these electric basses have been built from the best woods a guitar should be made of, from the head, neck, and fingerboard. They also have adjustable and durable knobs for balancing of bass and treble tone.
Their designs are attention seekers, beautification, and stylish electric basses are part of the things that can make you command your audience. Having shortlisted these seven brands of bass guitars for you, there’s no need to stress when you can have beauty and quality for the lesser price.
In conclusion, if you are not so sure of the types of woods when you see them, you should ask for help to decide what kind of wood your choice of guitar is, usually, most beginners and few guitarists cannot identify variants of woods, but this guide should help you choose the best electric bass, I trust.
If you like acoustic sound or looking for a new guitar, check the best acoustic guitars of 2019 under $500.
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