Sure, you’ll often stumble upon those lame jokes about bass players and how both them and the instrument are not all that important. But if you think that bass is all about holding down just one note for the entirety of one song, well, guess again. Today’s article is all about the budget bass guitars.
The instrument that everyone thinks is easy to play is actually the foundation of all modern bands, no matter the genre that we’re talking about. A guitar player can miss a note and the song will go on, but the bass guitar and the drums need to keep things going at all times. But in case you’re into bass guitars and need something good, you still feel like the price is too high no matter where you look, right?
Well, this is not exactly the case. In fact, you can find amazing bass guitars for a pretty reasonable price. It might not be that easy, but it’s possible! With this said, we’ve done all the hard work for you and brought you some of the best budget bass guitars that you can find on the market these days. In the list below, you’ll be able to find something that will fit your needs, no matter your skill level or preferred musical styles.
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Squier by Fender Affinity Precision Bass PJ
For many years now, Fender’s subsidiary Squier has been making some of the most versatile and reliable instruments, all for a very reasonable price. As far as the bass guitars go, their Precision bass from the Affinity series is an amazing example of how interesting things can get in this price category and a prime example of one of the budget bass guitars in 2020.
This standard P-style bass comes with a standard alder body and a maple neck that’s fitted with an Indian laurel fretboard. In the bridge position, it’s equipped with a single-coil J Bass pickup, while the neck position provides a beefier-sounding split-coil P Bass pickup.
To put it simply, this bass can come in handy for pretty much any style that comes to mind. Additionally, its maple neck is pretty comfortable, allowing you to perform even some of the more demanding musical pieces.
Ibanez is well-known for its wide variety of different instruments that cover pretty much all price categories. If we were to look into their low-priced basses, we’d mention the GSR200 model as one of the finest examples. In fact, this one definitely outperforms its price category.
Here we have a poplar body paired with a well-made maple neck. The neck also comes with a very nicely done jatoba fretboard and 22 medium jumbo frets.
But what we love very much about this bass are its Dynamix P and Dynamix J pickups, as well as its amazing Phat II equalizer. Using the parameter controls on it, you’re set to shape any kind of tone that you need. It’s a fairly versatile instrument, especially considering its price – one of the budget bass guitars out there, for sure.
While they’re widely known for making cheap guitar pedals, Donner is a company that also specializes in making affordable instruments.
In fact, their stuff is not only super-cheap but also pretty decent for the money. Such is also the example with their DPB-510S bass guitar that brings all the basic qualities, both in the terms of its build and its tone.
This bass has a body made of basswood which is accompanied by a Canadian maple neck and an ebony fretboard. Looking at the instrument, it seems that Donner also paid attention to making a great design, at least for the instrument’s cost. DPB-510S is equipped with only one split-coil pickup in the neck position that gives brighter tones.
However, using its controls, you can also add some smoothness in the mix as well. For the listed price – one of the budget bass guitars.
Of course, knowing how great Ibanez stuff is, it’s impossible not to include at least one more of their great four-strings on our budget bass guitars rundown. With this said, GSRM20 is a surprisingly good instrument for the price level and is a simpler and slightly cheaper version of the already mentioned GSR200 model.
All of the materials used for this instrument, as well as its pickups, are exactly the same. However, the feel of this instrument is a little different and it comes without the Phat II EQ feature. Although somewhat simpler, it’s an amazing bass that outperforms its price range.
Glen Burton GB150
Looking at the market these days, there are plenty of those ultra-cheap basses that come with a bundle that includes an additional amp. However, there’s hardly a chance to find a good deal like the one that Glen Burton offers, the GB150 model.
This straightforward bass guitar comes with an alder body and a simple maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard on top of it. It comes with only one split-coil pickup as well as simple volume and tone controls.
It’s a fairly simple configuration but it’s all that you’ll need if you just need a regular cheap bass guitar. The full package also includes a 15-watt amplifier, a cable, a gig bag, a clip-on tuner, and a bunch of other useful goodies that secure this fella a spot among the budget bass guitars.
Squier by Fender Classic Vibe ’70s Precision Bass
As we already mentioned, Squier has some of the most reliable basses that strongly surpass their price range and rank among the best budget bass guitars. Another one that we thought was worth mentioning is their Classic Vibe ’70s Precision bass that’s somewhat similar to the Affinity Precision bass that we already described above.
However, although a simpler bass with just one split-coil and controls for tone and volume, it’s intended as a more quality made bass.
In fact, it’s significantly more expensive compared to the standard Affinity Precision and comes with a nato wood body, maple neck with a maple fingerboard, and an alnico pickup.
This bass guitar’s overall build quality, tone, and performance are top-notch, even resembling some of the more expensive Fender Precision basses.
Whatever is the instrument that you’re into, Yamaha always has great stuff to offer. And whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced bassist looking for something cheaper, you just can’t ever go wrong with the company’s TRBX204.
This well-made bass with a basswood body and a maple neck comes with a standard configuration featuring a single-coil in the bridge position and a split-coil in the neck position. Additionally, this instrument comes with a total of 24 frets, as well as a body design that allows easy access to higher fret territories, all while keeping the most important aesthetic qualities.
The TRBX204 bass comes with four basic control knobs and an active preamp in it. Two of these controls are a 2-band EQ that gives some very versatile options for tone shaping, along with its master volume and pickup balancer control. Let’s move on with the budget bass guitars list now.
Schecter Stiletto Extreme-4
We could safely say that Schecter is one of the most underrated electric and acoustic guitar brands on the market these days. Additionally, their great basses are sometimes completely overlooked, especially those within the lower-priced categories.
The one that we’re looking into here is their Stiletto Extreme-4, which comes as a perfect option for metal bass players who are looking for ways to save up on their gear and still have a solid performance.
Sure, this bass is right on the edge between inexpensive and a mid-range-priced instrument. However, it’s definitely worth mentioning since the qualities that come with it are just astounding.
The instrument’s mahogany body and maple neck are designed to bring you the most comfortable performance, as well as great design qualities. This is all rounded up with active electronics and a set of two EMG pickups that deliver some pretty punchy and “in your face” tones.
ESP LTD B-204
While LTD is a subsidiary of ESP, they still manage to produce guitars and basses that keep the basic qualities of some more prestigious instruments. For the list of cheap bass guitars, we’d like to single out their B-204 model.
Once again, we have a bass guitar with an active preamp. However, this time around, we have a 3-band EQ on our hands. But aside from the company’s ABQ3 preamp, the tone is shaped with their amazing SB-6 pickups.
It’s also worth noting that this bass comes with the amazing build quality, featuring an ash body and a wonderful 5-piece neck made of maple and walnut.
The “Thin U” neck shape allows a very comfortable performance in all areas of the neck. Adding in the fact that the instrument has 24 extra-jumbo frets, it’s a real tool for bass virtuosos, all at a very reasonable price level.
Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II
But in case you’re looking for something straightforward yet stylish and vintage-oriented, look no further than Gretsch and their simple G2220 bass.
Part of their Jet series, it bears a somewhat modified version of the classic Les Paul shape. As far as the materials go, the body is made of basswood, while the neck is a maple one and has a walnut fretboard with 20 medium jumbo frets on it.
Bearing some noticeably vintage-style traits, the bass is also equipped with Gretsch’s Mini Bass humbuckers. The tone is shaped using volume and tone knobs, as well as a standard 3-way toggle, which is somewhat unusual for bass guitars.
Nonetheless, you’ll be able to do a lot of stuff with this bass, which comes as a real surprise considering its cost. The G2220 is a great choice for all the old school rock, hard rock, punk, and classic metal bassists. However, it will serve you nicely in other settings as well.