The Best Bass Guitars Under $1000 in 2018: reviewed and rated right here
It’s a great time to be looking for the best bass guitar under $1000 because we’ve made your search so much easier. We’ve picked out the top electric bass guitar models you can get for a very reasonable price. Gracing our list are basses from Fender, Ibanez, Schecter and Washburn – trusted names with a reputation for delivering quality in sound and build.
When you’re ready to move up from your starter bass and are looking for an instrument that can take you to new heights, do consider the models on this page. Your next guitar could be one of them.
- Our Top Bass Guitar Picks Under $1000
- 1. Fender Aerodyne Electric Bass Guitar
- 2. Schecter Stiletto Studio Electric Bass Guitar
- 3. Ibanez SRFF805 Electric Bass Guitar
- 4. Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass Guitar
- 5. Ibanez SR800 Electric Bass Guitar
- 6. Spector Legend 4 Electric Bass Guitar
- 7. Washburn Taurus Electric Bass Guitar
- 8. Yamaha TRBX505 Electric Bass Guitar
- Some pointers when buying the best bass guitar under $1000
Our Top Bass Guitar Picks Under $1000
|Fender Aerodyne Electric Bass Guitar||If you’ve always loved the classic Fender tone, the Fender Aerodyne Jazz Bass is for you. With its sleek looks, this all-black bass is sure to impress not only visually but sonically as well. The Fender Aerodyne bass sports a specially designed slim basswood body, maple neck, stained rosewood fretboard and the combo of P-Bass and J-Bass pickups.|
|Schecter Stiletto Studio Electric Bass Guitar||The Schecter Stiletto Studio-4 is another top bass under $1000, combining a neck-thru-body design with lots of tonal power. Part of the popular Stiletto Series, the Studio-4 is a versatile player and proves to be a fantastic companion for bassists of different music genres. In addition, the Schecter Stiletto Studio-4 is a real beauty with its exotic bubinga top.|
|Ibanez SRFF805 Electric Bass Guitar||The Ibanez SRFF805, AKA the Ibanez Bass Workshop SRFF805, is a five-string multi-scale bass guitar with fanned frets. The bass side has a longer scale than the treble side, giving players better intonation as well as a more consistent attack and tension in every string. Bartolini BH1 pickups capture the sound of the SRFF805 efficiently for a great overall tone.|
|Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass Guitar||What does the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass have that other basses don’t? Two Vintage Noiseless Jazz Bass pickups, that’s what. These pickups make this bass an extremely flexible instrument with a powerful tone suitable for any music style. It’s also got that classic Jazz Bass look so it looks great too. And yes, it’s priced below $1000!|
|Ibanez SR800 Electric Bass Guitar||The Ibanez SR line has always been popular among demanding musicians not only because of the impressive performance of the basses in the series but also because of their affordability. The Ibanez SR800 is our pick for this list of great bass guitars under $1000 with its combination of design, electronics, materials and defined, clear sound.|
|Spector Legend 4 Electric Bass Guitar||Spector guitars have a reputation for being jaw-droppingly expensive, but the Spector Legend 4 Classic bass guitar is set to change that with its reasonable price. The Legend 4 Classic bass sports a maple body in a standard NS curved shape. It has an active pickup configuration with SSD INC pickups that deliver a unique tone you’ll surely find interesting.|
|Washburn Taurus Electric Bass Guitar||The Washburn Taurus series of basses are some of the company’s most affordable. For this list we’ve chosen the T24nmk, a model with a neck-thru-body design. Despite its price, the Washburn Taurus T24 can compete with high-end pro-level bass guitars effortlessly with its quality materials and components as well as its awesome tone. Great quality for less than $1000.|
|Yamaha TRBX505 Electric Bass Guitar||The Yamaha TRBX505 is a fantastic performer and the bass guitar package with a clip-on tuner and stand costs just a little bit over $500. This makes this kit one of the best bass guitar packages you’ll find under $1000. The Yamaha TRBX505 is a five-string model that features a mahogany body, a five-piece maple/mahogany neck and active-passive electronics.|
If black is your power color, you’ll love the dark looks of the Fender Aerodyne Jazz Bass. This under-$1000 model takes the Jazz Bass style and amps it up with modern cosmetic modifications. It’s all black, there is no pickguard and the control knobs, tuners, bridge and hardware are all given a smoked chrome finish. Even the top-mounted Stratocaster output jack is done in black. Fender describes the effect as “darkly alluring,” and we can’t help but agree.
The Fender Aerodyne Bass has a slim, specially shaped and contoured basswood body that features a carved top and cream binding. The maple neck has a C-shaped profile and the stained rosewood fingerboard has 20 medium jumbo frets. To keep the dark design consistent, Fender opted not to put any inlays on the fingerboard. You do get side dots for guiding your hand across the fretboard, so no need to worry about going to the wrong fret.
The Aerodyne Jazz Bass also features a P/J pickup configuration. At the middle position you’ll find a split single-coil Precision Bass pickup and at the bridge there’s a Jazz Bass single-coil pickup. It has two control knobs for volume and one for tone.
- Striking visual appeal
- Slim body and neck construction makes the bass lightweight and comfortable to play
- Unique smoked chrome tuners, bridge, control knobs and hardware
- Great amount of tonal range with P/J pickup configuration
- Initial setup is necessary
- Low-range tones not as pronounced
An exotic wood like bubinga is rarely found in bass guitars under $1000, yet the Schecter Stiletto Studio-4 has it, right on top of its mahogany body. But body wood alone doesn’t dictate the performance of a bass guitar, so let’s take a look at the other specs of this model.
The Schecter Stiletto Studio-4 has a multi-laminate maple/walnut neck with a neck-thru design and a thin C shape. It’s topped with a rosewood fingerboard with abalone offset dot inlays and 24 X-Jumbo frets. The scale length sits at a full 34 inches and the bass has a comfy 16-inch fingerboard radius. A smooth satin finish accentuates the grain of the top wood beautifully.
The mahogany-bubinga body, paired with the maple-walnut neck, give the Stiletto Studio-4 a thick, yet focused tone with plenty of sustain and resonance. The body also has what Schecter calls “Ultra Access,” or cutaways and contour cuts for fast and easy playing at the upper frets.
The Stiletto Studio-4 bass is fitted with EMG 35Hz pickups at the neck and bridge. A 3-band EQ (mid, treble, bass), when used with the blend knob, provides a wide range of tonal options. There’s a master volume knob too.
- Outstanding design and build
- Well-suited for a variety of music genres
- Vast range of tonal options
- Some fret ends not smooth
- Mahogany body is dense and can feel heavy
Guitars with fanned frets are usually on the higher end of the price scale, which makes the Ibanez Bass Workshop SRFF805 bass a rare treasure.
Fanned frets make a bass easier to play even if it has an extended 35-inch scale. The offset angle of the frets provides a more natural fit for the fingers. The fingers fan out from the palm, similar to how the fret pattern fans out from the center.
The fanned frets on the five-string Ibanez Bass Workshop SRFF805 Multi-Scale bass also yield a longer scale on the bass side and a shorter scale on the treble side. This means that the lowest strings as well as the lowest notes produce a stronger and fuller sound, thanks to the extra length. Meanwhile, the upper strings on the treble side make a brighter and clearer sound because of the shorter string length.
The Ibanez Bass Workshop SRFF805 Multi-Scale bass has an ash body and a 5-piece jatoba/bubinga neck, which is topped with a rosewood fingerboard. Other specs include Bartolini BH1 pickups at the neck and bridge, Ibanez Custom Electronics 3-band EQ with a bypass switch and mid-frequency switch and a Mono-rail V bridge.
The Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass is packed with features that bass players of all genres would love. This bass boasts the classic Fender Jazz Bass body shape. It has an ash body and a maple neck and fretboard, which adds a bright and even tone. The neck features a C-shaped profile for optimum comfort and fast play.
One of the highlight features of the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass is the pair of Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups. These pickups deliver a premium, noise-free tone with that vintage Jazz Bass sound: a guttural midrange output and a soaring high end sound.
Another fantastic feature is the four-saddle HiMass bridge. The solid metal bridge ensures there’s no air space between the body and the strings so that all of the string vibration is passed directly to the body, enhancing sustain. It also keeps intonation on point and makes sure tuning is always stable.
The Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass is equipped with active electronics, but you can also play it without batteries. A toggle switch allows players to change between active and passive. Other controls are volume, balance and a 3-band EQ with boost and cut for bass, mid and treble.
- Classic Jazz Bass look with modern features
- Active/passive switch increases sonic flexibility
- Stacked, noiseless pickups cancel noise while retaining classic single-coil tone
- Initial setup necessary to correct intonation
If you’re looking for a reliable bass guitar under $1000, consider the Ibanez SR800. The SR line has always provided bass players with instruments that amaze and there’s a model for every budget. We’re eyeing the tastefully done SR800 in Aged Whiskey Burst with a mahogany body and poplar burl top.
With a full scale length of 34 inches, this bass guitar gives you lots of room to play. It has an SR4 five-piece jatoba/bubinga neck and a rosewood fretboard with 24 medium frets. The wood combination makes the neck strong and sturdy even though it has a thin profile. A neck tongue gives players an easier time accessing the higher frets and makes the bass look more unique.
The Ibanez SR800 has a passive pickup configuration, with Bartolini MK1 split-coil pickups at the neck and bridge. The pickups provide a wide frequency range and deliver an enhanced definition and clarity without the noise and hum that usually come with traditional single coils. The pickups are wired to an Ibanez Custom Electronics 3-band EQ with a three-way mid frequency switch so you can select between 250Hz, 450Hz and 700Hz settings.
- Pickup combination gives the bass a lot of range
- Defined and clear tone with plenty of sustain
- Unique look with poplar burl top
- Not completely playable out of the box - initial setup necessary
Spector may not have risen to worldwide acclaim in the same way that Fender did, but the admiration from discerning musicians is certainly there. Spector basses offer the tone, features and overall quality that earned Spector a place in the highly competitive guitar market.
The Spector Legend 4 Classic bass guitar boasts an NS curved body shape, which was conceptualized in 1977 and named after its designer Ned Steinberger. Steinberger took the design of the SB-1 bass and tweaked it, making it more curved and contoured, resulting in a bass body that is extremely comfortable to play.
The Spector Legend 4 Classic has a basswood body and a genuine figured maple top. The bolt-on maple neck is of a three-piece construction and it’s topped with a 24-fret rosewood fingerboard. This bass comes complete with proprietary active electronics as well as professional-grade die-cast hardware.
The Legend 4 Classic bass is equipped with specially designed SSD INC humbuckers that are perfectly paired with TonePump Jr. active tone controls that can give you up to a 12dB boost. Each pickup has its own volume knob.
Part of the Taurus series, the Washburn Taurus T24 is a great bass guitars for players looking to upgrade or find a backup bass. It has a stained mahogany body and a maple/mahogany multi-laminate neck. The neck-thru-body construction offers outstanding stability and a pure tone with lots of sustain. A satin finish gives the bass a comfortable and fast playing feel.
The neck is topped with a rosewood fingerboard with 24 frets and offset dot inlays. Onboard are passive Dual Washburn J style pickups in a J/J configuration. You get two controls for volume and two for tone – pretty basic but everything works smoothly.
If you don’t like active basses and having to carry extra batteries, the Washburn Taurus T24 is the bass guitar for you. For those who do prefer active pickups in their bass, fret not because you can easily modify this guitar and install it with the active pickups of your choice. We assure you that this bass will only get better if you do so.
Other specs include Grover die-cast bass tuners, chrome hardware and a gig bag. If you have a budget of $1000 or less, here’s our tip: shortlist this bass!
- Sturdy neck-thru body construction
- Great for jazz, funk, rock and punk music
- Comfortable neck feel
- Not as versatile as other models - not suitable for metal or hard rock
- Control knobs can feel cheap to some players
Here’s another five-string bass guitar under $1000. The Yamaha TRBX505 features a solid yet lightweight and ergonomically designed mahogany body. It also has a five-piece bolt-on maple and mahogany neck with a fast and comfortable C-shaped profile. The neck is topped with a rosewood fingerboard with 24 frets. The mass-optimized 3D design of the TRBX505 provides good weight relief once you strap the guitar on.
The Yamaha TRBX505 is fitted with YGD-designed pickups. The two alnico-V humbuckers have a high-end look about them. Each pickup has four pole pieces for maximum response. The TRBX505 has active-passive electronics so you’ll also find a 3-band EQ. The system comes with a nifty battery alert LED on the back panel so you’ll know when it’s time to change your batteries.
The 3-band EQ has a special feature. If the bass is on passive mode, the treble control knob functions as a master tone control. This gives players a wide variety of different tones.
A Yamaha TRBX505 package gets you the bass guitar, a guitar stand, a Snark clip-on tuner with a high-definition screen and a custom-designed polishing cloth, all for a lot less than $1000. That’s excellent value right there.
- Flexible active-passive electronics with battery alert LED
- Bass guitar package offers great value
- Impressive features for the price
- Can feel neck-heavy when played sitting down
- Reports of fret buzz
Some pointers when buying the best bass guitar under $1000
It’s easy to pick out a bass guitar if you have a set budget. As you can see, there are many great options for you even if you have a spending limit of $1000. The Fender Aerodyne Bass, Schecter Stiletto, Ibanez SRFF805, Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass and Ibanez SR800 all fall in the under $1000 range.
If you’d like to go much lower, there’s the Spector Legend 4, Washburn Taurus and Yamaha TRBX505, which cost just a little more than $500. All of these bass guitar models are a steal considering their sound quality and overall performance.
But do you know what goes with a great bass guitar under $1000? A cool set of accessories. If you’re a gigging musician, these are absolute must-haves. And if you’re a beginner or intermediate-level bass player, you’ll probably need these in the near future as well.
Here are some of the bass guitar accessories that would go well with any of the models in this list of best bass guitars under $1000.
A sturdy case or gig bag
Some of the basses in this list come with gig bags and some don’t. If the one you’ve selected doesn’t come with a padded gig bag or hard shell case, it would be ideal to buy one. It’s important to keep your bass in its bag or case when not in use. If you are going to be traveling with your bass, it’s best to invest in a hard shell case, which provides better protection against damage in transit and changes in temperature and humidity.
An extra set of strings
Bass guitar strings wear out and can even break in the middle of practice or worse, during a performance. This is why it’s a must to always have a spare set of strings handy. It’s also a good habit to change your strings every now and then if you play regularly, as gunk and dirt buildup on the strings can affect how the bass sounds.
Your bass guitar also needs tender loving care so that it would keep on looking awesome and serve you well for many years. Proper care and maintenance requires a few cleaning tools such as a cleaning/polishing cloth and specially formulated cleaners for the body and the strings.
Choose a cable that fits your output jack snugly and connects to the amp seamlessly. Eventually you can upgrade to a wireless system so you can move anywhere you want on stage.
A digital bass guitar tuner comes in handy when you have to tune your bass quickly, especially if you’re about to begin your set and the environment is too noisy for you to hear your instrument properly. You’ll need spare batteries for the tuner too.
Even if your bass guitar costs less than $1000, you still need to protect it from falls and getting stepped or sat on. Avoid putting it down on a couch or on the floor or against a table – place it on a stand! A guitar stand provides safe support for your bass. It’s advisable to select one with sturdy rubber feet so it stays put on surfaces and a locking adjustable neck support.
If you’re playing standing up, you’ll need a sturdy guitar strap to help carry the weight of your bass. Choose a strap with a locking design to secure your bass in place and ease your worry about your gear falling to the ground if you’re not quick enough to catch it if it gets unlatched from your strap. If you’ll be playing your bass for extended hours, we recommend getting a strap with a cushioning support for added comfort.
A must-have restringing tool, a string winder can make your task of changing strings fast and easy. This is especially handy in situations where you don’t have a spare bass and need to restring ASAP. Look for a bass guitar string winder that provides multiple functions and allows you to clip strings, pull out bridge pins and stretch your strings in one tool.
A booster lets you enhance your sound and increase your level of projection and volume. Some booster pedals feature switches that enable you to adjust EQ settings and boost frequencies. Using a bass booster with an EQ is a good way to shape the tone of a passive bass.
Choose a footswitch that works well with the amp you use to expand the amp’s capabilities as well as improve your performance. A footswitch lets you activate or deactivate an amp’s mute and FX loop functions without having to use your hands so you can focus on playing.
Those are just some of the accessories bass players need to have for practicing and gigging. With the money you save by choosing the best guitar under $1000, you can invest in good gear that can help give your music career a boost!