2023 UPDATE: The 12 Best Bass Guitars Under $1000

2022 UPDATE: The12 Best Bass Guitars Under $1000 | integraudio.com

If you are looking for a decent instrument that won’t make you rob the bank, you are in the right place. This article will show you the 12 Best Bass Guitars Under $1000 In 2023.

Choosing a bass guitar can be quite challenging, especially if you are a beginner. On the one hand, you want a reliable instrument with good sound. But what if your budget is up to 1000 dollars? In this case, we have prepared an article that will tell you about the best options that fall under this price category.

Overall, this post can be useful for beginners and guitarists who want to switch to bass or have such an instrument to record their demos. Or you are a bassist and want to expand your collection without spending much money. So feel free to scroll down and see what we have prepared for you.

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12 Best Bass Guitars Under $1000 In 2023

1. Fender Player Series Jazz Bass

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The Fender Player Series Jazz Bass will give you that legendary sound without costing you a fortune.

We will start our list with an instrument that can be called iconic, and it is Jazz Bass. This bass guitar has been used for decades in many different genres ranging from funk and reggae to rock and metal. Therefore, you can be sure that it is a truly versatile instrument.

Now, as for the Player Series, it was launched relatively recently – in 2018. So Fender created their classic instruments with a more modern vibe. And the good news is that they don’t cost much. So, for example, you can get this model for up to a thousand dollars. But let’s first look at its features.

Key Features:

  • Alder Body
    As for the body of this bass, it is made of alder. This wood is known for allowing you to get instruments that do not weigh a whole ton. Plus, it gives a fairly balanced tone, which is very good for a bass guitar.
  • Modern C-Shape Neck
    The neck of this model is made of maple and has a Modern C-Shape. It is smooth and pleasant to the touch from the palm side because it has a satin finish. As for the front part, it feels more like a classic Fender bass.
  • Saddle Standard Bridge
    Speaking of the bridge, it is a Four-Saddle Standard bridge. It has slotted saddles, which give a quite good tuning stability. Plus, Fender assures that this model will also give you a nice punchy attack.
  • Three-Knob Control
    And, of course, this bass has Three-Knob control like most classic models. So you get one control for the neck pickup, one for the bridge, and one master tone control. Therefore, if you already have experience using such instruments, it will be quite convenient for you to get the necessary sound.
  • Player AlNiCo V Jazz Pickups
    If you are wondering what kind of pickups this bass is equipped with, it is two Player AlNiCo V Jazz single coils. They have a good sound – the neck will give you a growl, and the bridge has a pronounced treble.
Player Series Jazz Bass | Player Series | Fender

Character & Sound:

The Fender Player Series Jazz Bass has a rounded, balanced sound. You can even get more of a P-Bass growl sound if you use the neck pickup. Overall, it sounds quality and is suitable for concert and studio use.

Pros:

It is a great bass that has an open and high-quality sound. Its pickups do their job well, and you may not even consider replacing them. As for the neck of the bass, it is made of a satin finish, which will not let your hands stick if they sweat. And, of course, this instrument has a nice price of over $700.

Cons: 

We have not found any drawbacks in this instrument. Therefore, we advise you to look closely at user reviews on the Internet.

2. Squier CV 70s Jazz Bass

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Consider buying the Squier CV 70s Jazz Bass if you need a solid budget bass.

As many of you know, Squier is a subsidiary brand of Fender known for its products at budget prices. Despite this, you can get a decent instrument. Of course, it won’t give you the sound of the expensive models, but still – many Squiers are quite good at replicating the sound and feel of their ancestors.

And now, we will talk about such a model of the Classic Vibe series. This line of basses is relatively new because it was released in 2019. But you generally get a pretty cool sound for a small price. So, let’s now take a closer look at the features.

Key Features:

  • Soft Maple Body
    The most important factor that distinguishes this model from the models of the 60s is the Soft Maple Body. This way, you get more of a scooped bass tone rather than a boost in the mids.
  • C-Shape Maple Neck
    As for the neck of the bass, it is also made of maple and has a classic C-Shape. That means the neck will be slightly wider than the models with the so-called Modern C-Shape. But this is the way to go if you need to get a more classic feel.
  • Classic Controls
    The settings of this bass are no different from other classic models. You will get three knobs – Neck Volume, Bridge Volume, and general Tone control. They will be your main tool in achieving the desired tone.
  • Alnico Single Coils
    This bass also has two Alnico single coils. Again, they sound quite good and different: The bridge has more of a standard Jazz Bass sound, and the Neck will take you into P-Bass territory with a pretty smooth bass tone.
  • Nickel Hardware
    As for the hardware of this model, it is made of nickel. As a result, you will get a vintage-style bridge and tuners with quite good stability. And, of course, they look good as well.

Character & Sound:

The sound of this instrument, like the rest of Jazz Basses, is quite universal. It is suitable for both rock and electronic or any other music. In general, the tone is round and clear, making it easy for you to work with it. You will get an expressive sound on the bridge and smooth on the neck, or you can combine them.

Pros:

The Squier CV 70s Jazz Bass is a great instrument for the money. Luckily, it costs approximately three and a half hundred dollars. Despite this, it won’t be easy to distinguish whether you are playing a Squier or a Fender. Nevertheless, it has a pretty cool sound and look and is a good fit if you like versatility and classics.

Cons: 

Some users complain about loose electronics. In addition, some reported poor fretwork and too much string buzz. We hope that these were isolated cases.

3. Ibanez GSRM20B

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Ibanez GSRM20B is suitable for those who want an affordable bass of electric guitar size.

The next item on our list is something special and all because it is a bass with a short scale. It means it is about the same size as a regular electric guitar. So if you are a guitarist and need a bass for occasional use – this instrument will suit you. In addition, it has a very nice price.

The features of the Ibanez GSRM20B are inferior to conventional bass guitars. However, you will get P/J-style pickups, a quite comfortable neck, and a natural finish. And, of course, the sound of this instrument is also quite good. So let’s look at the features in more detail.

Key Features:

  • 726 mm Scale
    As for the scale of this bass, it has a length of 726 mm, which is quite short compared to the usual instruments of this type. Thus, you will have 22 Medium frets, which is quite enough for usual bass playing.
  • Okoume Body
    The body of this instrument is made of Okoume. This wood helps to give a bright but balanced tone. Compared to other materials, it is, in a sense, a warmer and fatter version of mahogany.
  • New Zealand Pine Fretboard & Maple Neck
    As for the neck of Ibanez GSRM20B, it is made of maple. In general, the neck is quite slim and comfortable to play. However, of course, it is wider than an electric guitar. Also, the neck has a New Zealand Pine Fretboard.
  • Dynamix P/J-Style Pickups
    Speaking about the pickups, they are Dynamix P/J-Style. Thus, you will have a single coil in the bridge and a humbucker in the neck. They generally give quite a good sound, both at once and separately.
Did I Just Buy the Best BASS EVER..? And SHORTSCALE ?!

Character & Sound:

Despite the size of this bass, it has quite a big sound. You will get good articulate notes on the bridge pickup and a smooth tone on the neck pickup. Therefore, this instrument is universal because it is suitable for many genres.

Pros:

If you are a guitarist and your hands are uncomfortable using a standard bass – Ibanez GSRM20B is what you need. It has the size of an electric guitar and is quite lightweight. In addition, this option is also suitable for younger musicians. And, of course, the main plus here is the price, which is about 170 dollars.

Cons: 

Many users reported quite a noticeable buzz level on the bridge pickup. It is not surprising because it is a single coil. Keep this in mind if you are used to using bridge pickups more often.

4. Schecter Diamond Stiletto Extreme 4

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If you want bang for a buck that will surprise you with its quality, then the Schecter Diamond Stiletto Extreme 4 is for you.

Schecter is a well-known company that produces electric guitars and basses with an ideal price-performance ratio. The next item on our list is just such an instrument, and it is the Diamond Stiletto Extreme 4 model. It is a decent bass that can surprise you with its quality and cool appearance.

In particular, this model is presented in Black Cherry color and has Vector fretboard inlays. In addition, this bass is already tuned, and you can play it right out of the box. But, of course, you may still need to tune it a bit. So let’s now try to understand the features.

Key Features:

  • Mahogany Body
    The body of this model is made of mahogany, which is considered to be a rather heavy wood. Nevertheless, this material is popular for basses because it is known for good sustain, resonance, and warmth of sound due to its fine grain.
  • Bolt-On Maple Neck
    As in many other basses, the neck of this model is made of maple, and the top is made of quilted maple. Overall, you get a pretty slim neck profile that is comfortable for playing. As for the fretboard, its material is rosewood.
  • Active Electronics
    The electronics of this bass are active. That means you get two Schecter Bass humbuckers for the neck and bridge. Also, thanks to the controls, you can change the balance between them and change the tone.
  • Adjust The EQ
    A great feature of this bass is that, along with other controls, it also has an Active EQ. In particular, you will be able to adjust the bass and treble, giving you more freedom in shaping your tone.

Character & Sound:

The sound character of Schecter Diamond Stiletto Extreme 4 is clear and expressive with a nice and big low-end. This model is versatile and can be suitable for various genres, from pop to metal. You will have active EQ, which will help to adjust the bass tone to the required situation.

Pros:

It is quite a comfortable and versatile bass with a price tag of about $500. You get a comfortable neck, active electronics, active EQ, and good overall instrument quality for this price. Many users note that the bass was well-tuned right out of the box.

Cons: 

Some users of this model noted that it is quite heavy. Some also noticed that the frets were slightly wider than the fretboard, but this did not affect the comfort of playing.

5. ESP LTD B205SM FL

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ESP LTD B205SM FL is a fretless five-string bass that will surprise you with its durability.

The next item on our list will be interesting for those who want a decent fretless bass for up to $1000. It is a model of the famous brand LTD, which produces musical instruments of quite high quality. One of the key features of B205SM FL is its durability and reliability.

It is also worth noting that this bass is stuffed with various features. In particular, you will get an active equalizer. In addition, you can run the strings here through the body and straight. But let’s analyze all the features in order.

Key Features:

  • Fretless Bass
    The most important feature of this bass is that it is fretless. Nevertheless, the creators made fret markers on the neck. Therefore, even if you are not an experienced musician, you can still navigate visually.
  • Ash Body And Bolted 5-Piece Neck
    Ash is quite a popular wood for bass guitars because it has a transparent sound and snappy mids. Also, the neck of this bass is made of five pieces of maple and jatoba and bolted.
  • Sturdy Bridge
    As for the bridge, it is quite sturdy. At least, you can feel it when you first pick up this instrument. The key feature is that you will have two options for attaching the strings: pass through the body or attach directly to the bridge.
  • ESP SB-5 Humbuckers
    Speaking about the electronics of this instrument, it is active. You will find here two ESP SB-5 humbuckers for the bridge and neck. As for the controls, you can change their balance and overall signal level.
  • Active ABQ-3 EQ
    And, of course, this bass is also equipped with an equalizer. In general, you will have three separate knobs responsible for bass, mid and treble. It will be great for those who want to adjust their tone on the instrument.
GEAR DEMO - ESP LTD B-205SM Bass

Character & Sound:

This bass has a great clanky-sounding character and plenty of bass and treble. On the plus side, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to tweak your tone, as you’ll have three EQ knobs.

Pros:

The ESP LTD B205SM FL is a great fretless bass for the money – it’s about $570. It has a cool natural look and good sound. You also get a solid bridge, 3-band EQ, and fret markers on the neck.

Cons: 

As for the disadvantages, some users complained that the bass has a low output signal. Nevertheless, without any hum or buzz. In addition, others noted that it is quite heavy and may not be comfortable if you are used to lighter basses.

6. Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet II Bass

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If you like Les Paul-like shapes and want a short-scale bass, check out the Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet II.

The next item on our list is suitable for those looking for an instrument for teenagers. Or you are just a guitarist and need a small bass that will be light and comfortable for your hands. Again, we have good news for you – Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet II can satisfy you quite well.

Of course, the first thing that catches your eye is the shape of this bass, which is very reminiscent of Les Paul. There are also mini-humbuckers and a minimalist set of controls. But despite this, G2220 Junior Jet II can surprise you. So let’s dive into its features.

Key Features:

  • 770 mm or 30.3” Scale
    As you already understand, this is a short-scale bass. In general, its scale is 770 mm or 30.3 inches. Therefore, roughly speaking, the dimensions of this instrument are similar to an average electric guitar.
  • Body Made Of Basswood
    Basswood is quite a common material for budget basses and guitars. It has a fairly dense grain and generally gives an expressive midrange and warm tone. Another advantage of this wood is that it is lightweight.
  • Walnut Fretboard
    As for the fretboard, this bass part is made of walnut. This wood is used as an alternative to rosewood. In general, it has a characteristic dark color and is quite pleasant for hands.
  • Passive Pickups
    Here you will get two passive Gretsch single coils, which look like mini-humbuckers. They generally give quite good and, to some extent, aggressive sounds due to the pronounced midrange.
  • Minimalistic Controls
    As for the controls, everything is quite restrained: you will have two knobs – one master volume and the second master tone. The bass also has a three-way toggle switch between the pickups with bridge, neck, and both positions.

Character & Sound:

The sound of the Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet II is quite aggressive but in a good sense of the word. The bass has enough articulation not to sit down but to cut through the mix. In addition, the neck pickup can lead you to the territory of P-bass because it has a characteristic boomy sound.

Pros:

The G2220 Junior Jet II is a great short-scale bass for its price, which is about $300. This bass is small, so it’s perfect for kids or teenagers. In addition, it may also appeal to guitarists who decide to buy a bass. In general, it has a cool characteristic sound, lightweight and comfortable for hands.

Cons: 

Some users complained about the rather cheap feel as far as the controls are concerned. Some also criticized the pickup switch, which made a rather noticeable click when switching.

7. Yamaha BB435

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Yamaha BB435 is a great 5-string bass that will bring you a classic sound.

The BB bass series has been known since the 80s and has become surprisingly popular among musicians. These solid and reliable models can surprise you with their great sound. And the good news is that you can get such an instrument for less than $1000.

In particular, now we will talk about Yamaha BB435. This model was presented relatively recently – in 2019. It is a 5-string bass with passive electronics, with an extremely attractive tobacco brown sunburst color. So, let’s take a look at its features.

Key Features:

  • Solid Alder Body
    Alder is in great demand in the production of guitars and basses because it is not very heavy. Also, it is quite easy to finish because of its hard and tight grain. And, of course, this wood gives a balanced bass tone.
  • 5-Piece Bolted Neck
    As for the neck of the bass, it is made of five pieces of wood, including maple and mahogany. The neck is generally fixed to the body with six bolts, which should provide stability and better tone transference.
  • Strings-Through-The-Body Or Top-Loading
    Speaking of the strings, you can pass them through the bass’s body – it has special holes. According to the creators, this will allow the bass to vibrate better. But if you like to load the strings on the top – there is also such an opportunity.
  • V5 And Alnico V Pickups
    This bass is equipped with Yamaha-designed pickups, namely V5 and Alnico V. You will also have controls to adjust the volume of each of them. And, of course, you will have one master tone knob.
Yamaha BB Series Demo | BB435

Character & Sound:

Some people notice that this bass sounds quite classical. That is, you can get P-bass and J-bass tones from both pickups. Nevertheless, some users tried this instrument in more modern genres, ensuring it was excellent. Generally, it can sing, growl, and do everything a quality bass guitar does.

Pros:

Yamaha BB435 has a price of approximately $600. Yes, it is a bit more than many previous models on this list, but the price is still quite affordable. In addition, this bass is generally solid and has a great sound that can satisfy fans of classical and modern genres.

Cons: 

We did not see any cons in this model. Therefore, check out user reviews on the Internet for more detailed information.

8. Marcus Miller V3

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Marcus Miller V3 AWH 2nd Gen will surprise you with an affordable price and various features. 

Sire Marcus Miller’s bass guitars made a real sensation among musicians. The fact is that their creators decided to make the instruments affordable and make them very high quality. As a result, we have worthy pearls for which you do not have to pay much.

Now we will consider the V3 AWH 2nd Gen model, which is very similar to Jazz Bass in its shape. In general, it is an active, 4-string bass. However, the most important factor here is a huge number of features, including frequency control. But let’s talk about all this in order.

Key Features:

  • Satin Neck Finish
    For many musicians, the feeling of playing the bass is very important. So we can assure you that the neck of this model is made of satin finish and is quite pleasant to the touch. As for the neck as a whole, it is made of maple.
  • Rolled Fretboard Edges
    This feature can be considered insignificant, but it is an important nuance for some musicians. The fact is that V3 AWH 2nd Gen, unlike the previous model, has rolled fretboard edges. It means that you will not get any discomfort moving your hand on the neck.
  • Marcus Standard Jazz Bass J-Revolution Pickups
    Another nuance that distinguishes this model from the previous one is that this one has updated Marcus Standard Jazz Bass J-Revolution pickups. These are two single coils for neck and bridge positions.
  • Main Volume And Passive Tone
    As for the regulators, there are quite a lot of them. In particular, you will have a combination knob with Main Volume on the top and Passive Tone on the bottom. Also, near it, you will have Balance Control between the two pickups.
  • On-Board EQ
    Another great feature of this bass is that it has a built-in equalizer. In particular, you will get Treble, Mid, and Bass. But that’s not all. You will also be able to choose which mid frequencies you want to boost or cut.

Character & Sound:

Marcus Miller V3 AWH 2nd Gen has a clear and pronounced bass tone with plenty of low frequencies. But you will not be limited in sounding because you will have an equalizer, thanks to which you can sharpen your tone as you need.

Pros:

It is a great bass for the money, with many features, and its price is approximately $300. You get good details for this money, such as rounded fretboard edges, many controls, upgraded pickups, and much more. This bass can be suitable for both beginners and professional bassists.

Cons: 

Some users do not like the shape of the headstock, which is quite different from the model that was the main inspiration for this one. But, of course, this is a purely subjective opinion. Overall, we can’t find any other cons, so we advise you to look for online reviews.

9. Harley Benton HBZ-2005 Deluxe Series

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The Harley Benton HBZ-2005 Deluxe Series is an affordable 5-string bass with a neck-through-body.

It’s time to talk about the Harley Benton product. As many of you know, this is an in-house brand of the Thomann store, known for its affordable musical instruments. Their main feature is that despite being made in China, they are quality controlled in Germany, which gives hope for a pretty good product.

As for HBZ-2005, it’s a five-string bass with a pretty cool appearance in natural color. In addition, it has a neck-through-body and an active preamp, which will give you more options to shape your bass tone. Now let’s take a closer look at its features.

Key Features:

  • 7-Piece Neck-Thru-Body
    The body and neck of this bass are made of different pieces of wood. Specifically, it’s a 7-Piece neck-thru-body with mahogany, maple, and nato. As for the sides, or so-called “wings,” they are made of ovangkol.
  • Black Walnut Fretboard
    The HBZ-2005 fretboard is made of black walnut. This wood is quite soft. Some users assure that it easily gets the dirt off their fingers. Others say that this material works well and is durable.
  • Active Electronics
    In general, this bass has active electronics. As for the pickups, there are two Ceramic bar single coils. By the way, they look quite cool because they are obliquely relative to the body.
  • Inbuild EQ
    Another important feature of this tool is the presence of Active sound control. Simply put, it is an equalizer with Bass, Treble, and Mid controls. So you can be sure that you will be able to adjust your bass tone.
HARLEY BENTON HBZ-2005

Character & Sound:

The sound character of this bass is full of a wide range of tonal possibilities. For example, you can get a punchy or warm sound. In general, this variety is also possible thanks to the Active sound control in the form of an equalizer built here.

Pros:

If you need a budget five-string bass that looks modern and has active electronics, the Harley Benton HBZ-2005 Deluxe Series is your option. It has Active EQ, massive sound, and a beautiful natural color. In addition, this instrument is made of seven pieces of wood with a neck through the body.

Cons: 

Some users claimed that the bridge could be clearer for operation. Also, other users received a model with cosmetic flaws, but this did not affect the overall aesthetic picture.

10. Squier CV 60s Jazz Bass

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If you like vintage-type instruments, you should check out the Squier CV 60s Jazz Bass.

We’ve already talked about the Squier Classic Vibe 70s series, and now it’s time to discuss another great product – the 60s series. It has a vintage look and feels to it. And, of course, the price remains a nice factor, which is about three and a half hundred dollars.

As for this particular model, there is a rather pleasant color – it is Daphne Blue. You also get the standard Jazz Bass set of controls, two single coils, a vintage-style bridge, and much more. Let’s talk about the features in more detail.

Key Features:

  • Poplar Body
    In most inexpensive basses, you can see the body of basswood. As for this model, the situation is somewhat different – you will get a body made of poplar, which is considered slightly higher quality. So this is a nice fact.
  • Bolted Maple Neck
    As for the neck of this bass, it is bolted to the body and made of maple. Also, you get a C-profile neck, which is pretty standard for a vintage-type Jazz Bass. And as for the fretboard, it is made of Indian laurel and is quite pleasant to the touch.
  • AlNiCo Single Coils
    This bass also has two AlNiCo single coils designed by Fender. In general, the electronics here are passive, which is not surprising for a model that positions itself as vintage.
  • Jazz Bass Controls
    As for the controls of this model, they are no different from the standard Jazz Bass. In particular, you get one master tone control and two volumes – one for the neck and the second for the bridge pickups.
  • Nickel Hardware
    The Squier CV 60s Jazz Bass hardware is nickel-plated and has a pretty cool old-school design. In particular, it has a vintage-style bridge and large tuners inherent in most Jazz Basses.

Character & Sound:

If you are a fan of the sound of Jazz Bass models, then you will like the tone of this instrument. It is clear and expressive with a sufficient amount of low frequencies. Plus, you can get several sound options if you experiment with the tone and two pickups.

Pros:

The Squier CV 60s Jazz Bass is a vintage-style instrument you can get for around $350. It has a good build quality and a nice sound. Well, and of course, the appearance of this bass deserves special attention, which will appeal to fans of vintage instruments.

Cons: 

We cannot find any drawbacks in this model. Therefore, check user reviews in detail on the Internet.

11. Cort B4 FL MHPZ

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The Cort B4 FL MHPZ is a fretless four-string bass that will delight you with its lightweight and cool look.

Cort is another famous guitar brand that is known for its affordable products. However, among their range, you can also find more expensive instruments that are just as good as many well-known competitors. For example, our next item on the list is the Cort B4 FL MHPZ.

It’s a fretless bass, made in Black Burst color, with an f-hole on the body. You will get 26 frets and a scale of 864 mm or 34 inches. It is also worth noting that this model is quite lightweight. However, let’s now talk about the features in more detail.

Key Features:

  • Nyatoh Body And Maple Neck
    As for the body of this model, it is made of nyatoh, which is also called ” eastern mahogany” or nato. It is a relatively affordable wood with a slightly softer tone when compared to mahogany. If we talk about the neck, its material is maple.
  • Jatoba Fretboard
    The fretboard of this bass is made of jatoba. It is quite a popular material because it provides good clarity, a round midrange, and bright highs. In addition, it is quite durable. The neck is fretless, but it has the appropriate markings for orienting yourself.
  • Bartolini MK-1 And Piezo Pickups
    At first glance, it may seem that there is only one pickup, but it is not. Instead, you will have a Bartolini MK-1 neck pickup and a piezo bridge pickup. The latter is located right on the bridge, which is a Fishman Power.
  • Four Controls
    Speaking about regulators, you will have four of them here. In particular, two are responsible for the tones of the pickups, and the other two are volume controls. In general, electronics are active here.
  • Thumb Rest
    This feature is a trifle, but still a nice bonus. You will see a small wooden part on the body, a thumb rest. This way, you can rest your thumb on it more conveniently while playing.
CORT FRETLESS BASS - Artisan B4FL MHPZ

Character & Sound:

The Cort B4 FL MHPZ can give you a pretty fat sound well suited for jazz and blues. Overall, the sound of the two pickups is quite different, with the piezo having a distinct top end. As for the neck pickup, it is smooth and somewhat reminiscent of a double bass.

Pros:

If you’re looking for a relatively affordable fretless bass for jazz and blues, the Cort B4 FL MHPZ might be your option. It costs approximately $600. In addition, it is quite lightweight and has good sound. Finally, this instrument has a cool look with an f-hole on the body. And, of course, the thumb rest is a nice bonus.

Cons: 

Some users complained that the angle of the bass body is 90 degrees, so it is somewhat inconvenient for the forearm position. Also, some players reported a rather noticeable buzz on the bridge pickup.

12. Harley Benton PB-50 SB Vintage Series

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Harley Benton PB-50 SB Vintage Series is probably the most affordable P-bass you can find.

If you are interested in the history of basses, you probably know that vintage P-basses are creations of Fender produced in the 50s. They were quite minimalistic and had rather massive necks. Harley Benton decided to create its version inspired by this instrument, which is the PB-50 SB Vintage Series model.

The most important feature of this bass is its price, which is so low that it is hard to believe. The other aspects are quite “vintage,” as you would expect. In particular, only one pickup and a massive neck. But let’s talk about other features as well.

Key Features:

  • Poplar Body
    Poplar is a fairly common material in low-cost instruments, primarily because of its affordability. It has closed grain and dense pores and is easy to finish. As for tonal qualities, this wood is rather neutral.
  • Canadian Maple Neck
    As for the neck, it is made of Canadian maple and has a light color. It is bolted to the body and has a C-profile. It is worth noting that the neck is quite wide, but it is not surprising for such models.
  • Roswell VTN4 Vista Alnico-5 Pickup
    Harley Benton PB-50 SB Vintage Series has only one pickup: Roswell VTN4 Vista Alnico-5 single coil. Accordingly, there are not many controls here either – one tone and one volume knob. And, as should be expected, the electronics are passive.
  • Deluxe Chrome Hardware
    You will also have chrome hardware: classic PB-style machine heads and a standard chrome bridge. In general, these parts have the most vintage look, which adds to the appropriate vibe of this instrument.

Character & Sound:

This bass has punchy highs and warm and defined lows. Of course, you won’t get tonal variety here, but if you know that you love the P-bass sound character, this instrument should satisfy you. Its sound quality, despite the price, is decent.

Pros:

Harley Benton PB-50 SB is just a great “vintage” bass for the money. Its price is about $100, which is just incredible. In addition, it has a pretty cool classic look and a great sound, typical for P-bass.

Cons: 

If you are a beginner looking for an affordable bass, this option may be for someone else. That is, it has a rather wide neck, and it will be quite uncomfortable for you to master the instrument. Also, some may find this instrument limited in sound options, so keep this in mind.

Bonus: Violin Bass

Höfner Ignition SE

Check on Thomann

If you want to get the so-called “The Beatles bass” but do not want to spend much money, check out the Höfner Ignition SE.

Many people associate this violin bass with Paul McCartney and The Beatles. And it is not surprising because it looks the same. But Paul used the 500/1 model, which costs quite a lot. Fortunately, in 2020 Höfner released another, the Ignition SE, which will not empty your wallet. And right now, we will talk about it.

This model looks almost the same as its older version – a hollow bass guitar in a sunburst color. You get the same vintage controls and two humbuckers. And, of course, this instrument has a not-so-long scale. But let’s talk about it in more detail.

Key Features:

  • Hollow Maple Body
    One of the key features of this guitar is that it has a hollow body made of maple. It means that the bass is quite light and comfortable to play. It is said that this is why Paul McCartney loves it.
  • Short-Scale Bass
    This bass can be considered short-scale because its length is 76 cm or 30 inches. Therefore, this instrument should be comfortable for guitarists. As for the neck itself, it is also made of maple and has a jatoba fretboard.
  • Höfner Ignition Staple Humbuckers
    As for the pickups, there are two Höfner Ignition Staple humbuckers, which are characteristically located away from each other. You can adjust their volume with the help of original Tea Cup potentiometer knobs.
  • Control Panel
    You will also have several switches along with the potentiometers on the control panel. In particular, these are on and off for the pickups and two modes: Solo and Rhythm.
  • Bassman Sticker
    The cool fact is that you also get a Bassman sticker with this bass. So you can stick it on the body, and your instrument will look exactly like Paul’s bass at the famous The Beatles rooftop concert.
Hofner Ignition Series Violin Bass - The Beatles Sound!

Character & Sound:

This bass has a punchy Höfner sound. Of course, it’s not a vintage model, but it still replicates its ancestor’s tonal characteristics quite well for the money. In general, this instrument is well suited for pop and rock music.

Pros:

Höfner Ignition SE is a great bass in vintage style, which became world famous thanks to The Beatles. In addition, it is lightweight, so you won’t get back pain when playing for a long time. And, of course, an important plus here is the price, which is about $300.

Cons: 

Of course, the sound of this instrument is quite specific because it is a violin bass. If you use strings with a flat winding, you will get a clear and piercing thump, which may differ from everyone’s liking. Well, this is a characteristic sound of the 60s.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are enough good bass models that you can get for under $1000. They all have different sounds and are suitable for many styles of music. To conclude this post, let us give tips on which models to check out.

If you have a budget for more expensive models, then number 1 on our list will be worthy of attention – it is the Fender Player Series Jazz Bass. However, if you want a Jazz Bass in a more budget-friendly version, then the number 2 Squier CV 70s Jazz Bass and the number 10 Squier CV 60s Jazz Bass may suit you.

We recommend the #3 Ibanez GSRM20B, #6 Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet II Bass, and the bonus item Höfner Ignition SE for short-scale basses. And if you are interested in the biggest number of features at an affordable price, then the choice will be obvious – it’s #8 Marcus Miller V3.

You should go to the nearest music store and try the bass yourself – only in this way will you understand whether the instrument suits you. Also, read user reviews on the Internet and weigh all the pros and cons. We are sure that you will find what you need. Good luck!

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