Budget-Friendly Bass GuitarsBuying Guide

Explore our guide to find the best affordable bass guitar for you.

Whether you're a beginner bass player, a musician itching to add variety to your gear collection, or a DIY producer looking to add another tool to your home studio; there are many decent affordable electric bass guitars for any style of music. In this guide, we’ve collected some of our favorite value basses from six companies.

Ibanez

Ibanez Talman

Ibanez offers two bass models that present excellent value. For players with more vintage-leaning sensibilities, the Talman 100 series is an excellent choice. The Talman features a bolt-on neck with a jatoba or maple fretboard. The comfortable offset body is loaded with a split single-coil pickup, a solid single coil in the bridge position, a dual function tone knob, and a pickup blender stacked with the volume knob. The TMB105 is the five-string version.

Ibanez SR300 Series

On the modern end of the spectrum, the Ibanez SR300 series offers some unique features. With a three-way switch, the PowerSpan pickups can function as single coils, humbuckers, or somewhere between. Along with volume and blend controls, the SR300 has a passive three-band tone control. The series also includes five and six-string models.


Squier

Fender Basses (both the Precision and Jazz models) feature iconic style and tones that bassists have sought after for decades. The Classic Vibe line from Squier represents a great value for anyone wanting the Fender sound and look on a budget. Fender’s Asian-manufactured label offers '60s-style basses with Indian laurel fretboards and the '70s line with a maple fretboard. Five-string and fretless variations are also available.

Squier Classic Vibe '60s Precision & '60s Jazz

Squier Classic Vibe '70s Precision & '70s Jazz


Sterling

Fans of Leo Fender designs may also be interested in Music Man basses. For cost-conscious shoppers, Music Man’s Sterling brand offers their version of the Stingray Bass. Along with a contour offset body, the Stingray line offers many options in color and fretboard combination in both single humbucker and HH pickup layouts, as well as active electronics, and a short scale model, although these options may price out some shoppers.


Epiphone


Yamaha

For those looking for a bass with contemporary ergonomics and style, the Yamaha TRBX 100, 200, and 300 series are for you. The 174 is a basic entry-level four-string with class split and single-coil pickups. For an upscale look, the 174EW has a subtle wood grain body. The 204 adds active EQ to the features. The 304 features humbucking pickups, and the 305 is the five-string model.

Yamaha TRBX Series


Cort

Our final, and perhaps most interesting, suggestion is the Artisan line from Korean builder Cort, who have long been respected for their forward-thinking stand-out basses. The Artisan line offers several beautiful wood grain finishes, such as zebrawood and stained ash.

Cort often uses upgraded parts from other brands, such as Markbass electronics and Hipshot tuners. The C4 electric bass fits perfectly in this list. The Bartolini pickups are fed by active electronics with a 3-band EQ, although the onboard switch allows for passive use. The C5 is the five-string equivalent.

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Editorial content by Jarret Green

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