Best Affordable Bass Guitars (2020 Review)

Best Affordable Bass Guitars (2020 Review)

Choosing the right bass guitar for you can be a difficult task. This holds even more true when you are looking for a good-quality bass at an affordable price. It can be very easy to get a bass with tonal qualities that are below par, or a bass that does not have good craftsmanship behind it. We have created a list of the Best Affordable Bass Guitars (2020 Review) which will help you decide which bass is right for you and your musical needs.

Let’s get to it!

Squier by Fender Affinity Bronco Bass Guitar

Squier Affinity Bronco Bass Best Affordable Bass Guitars (2020 Review)
Squier Affinity Bronco Bass

Specs:

  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Electronics: Special Design Single-Coil pickup
  • Finish: Gloss Polyurethane (comes in several colors)

In 1982, Fender introduced Squier’s Affinity Series as an affordable option for beginner players. Their main concept behind this series was to create instruments with good-quality tonewood and great craftsmanship at a price anyone could afford. Their Affinity Bronco Model is a perfect example of their success.

The Affinity Series Bronco Bass is a user-friendly bass that has attributes such as a lightweight body and a thin “C” shaped neck, which is designed to be very comfortable and ideal for any musical style. This bass guitar’s body is made out of poplar, which is one of the softer hardwoods out there. It enables the guitar to have a mellow, resonant tone. The Bronco Bass also comes with a 19-fret maple neck and a maple fingerboard.

Speaking of tone, the Affinity Series Bronco Bass comes with a Squier Special Design Single-Coil pickup. This pickup gives you a full and rich sounding tone that suits any style you want to dive into. Focusing on simplicity, this bass has one master volume and one master tone control that allows you to quickly find a good sound and start rocking the bass.

Pros

  • Very rich sounding tone
  • Slim “C” shaped neck for comfort playability
  • Part of the Affinity series, which is excellent

Cons

  • Tone might lack versatility

AMAZON: Squier Affinity Bronco Bass

Ibanez GSR200BWNF Bass Guitar

Ibanez GSR200BWNF Bass Guitar Best Affordable Bass Guitars (2020 Review)
Ibanez GSR Bass Guitar

Specs:

  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Jatoba
  • Electronics: Dynamix P neck pickup and Dynamix J bridge pickup
  • Finish: Walnut Flat Finish

The Ibanez GSRM20BWNF (quite a mouthful) comes from the Ibanez miKro series. Ibanez designed this series to make short-scaled, compact basses that maintain a powerful tone. This makes these basses ideal for kids or someone looking to have a smaller, more portable instrument.

This guitar’s body is also made out of poplar and has a maple neck with a 22 medium-sized jatoba fretboard. Jatoba is an affordable version of rosewood and gives the bass a nice percussive tone with a rich mid-range and crisp high-end.

Sound-wise, the Ibanez GSRM20BWNF is equipped with two Dynamix pickups that offer you a mid-range boost and present high end. You will also get a volume control for each pickup to mix them at will and a master tone control. This bass is a great one for styles such as rock, metal, and all of its variations.

Pros

  • Short scale bass for improved playability
  • Great sound for modern rock, metal
  • Fretwork is very smooth
  • Portable bass guitar

Cons

  • Tone is not great for blues, R&B, or funk styles
  • Bigger hands might struggle with fret spacing

AMAZON: Ibanez GSR200BWNF

Yamaha TRBX174 RM Bass Guitar

Yamaha TRBX174 RM Bass Guitar Best Affordable Bass Guitars (2020 Review)
Yamaha TRBX174

Specs:

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Electronics: Dual Single-Coil Pickups
  • Finish: Gloss Polyurethane

Yamaha is a well know manufactures whose quality has been confirmed over the years. In 2013, the TRBX Series represented a breakthrough for them by achieving a top-quality line of bass at an affordable price. The Yahama TBRX174 is another great option in this Best Affordable Bass Guitars list.

For starters, Yamaha decided to not downgrade their use of wood on this line of basses. The TRBX174 has a mahogany body (which is great for the price), a maple neck, and a 24-fretted rosewood fretboard.

As for sound qualities, the TRBX174 has dual single-coils with their own volume control and a master tone control. This bass has a particularly dark and full tone that fits any style really well. Overall, the Yamaha TRBX174 is a very well-balanced instrument that is great for someone looking for an all-rounded bass guitar.

Pros

  • Very well-balanced tone
  • Simplistic bass with good playability
  • Yamaha’s quality assured

Cons

  • Not a bass designed to develop a characteristic tone

AMAZON: Yamaha TRBX174 RM

Squier by Fender Precision Bass

Squier Affinity Precision Bass

Specs:

  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Indian Laurel
  • Electronics: One Squier Standard Single-Coil Jazz Bass pickup and one Precision Bass Single-Coil

Our second model from Squiers Affinity Series in this Best Affordable Bass Guitars (2020 Review) list. The first thing to mention from the Precision Bass is that the scale length is closer to a normal bass, which is something I favor in the Bronco Bass (since it’s thinner, you have more comfortable playability). Having said that, this bass is an improvement over the Bronco Bass in terms of tonewood.

The Squier Affinity Precision Bass’s body is not made out of poplar but adler. Adler is also a soft hardwood and gives your sound a lot of warmth, which is Squier’s standard sound and has better natural qualities. Another difference is in its neck. The Precision Bass’s neck is still made out of maple, but the fretboard is made out of Indian Laurel, which gives it a little bit more smoothness.

Speaking of sound, the great thing about this bass is that it comes with two sets of pickups. On the neck, you have a Precision Bass pickup, while on the bridge you have a Jazz Bass Single-Coil. This is the bass’s main strength and gives your tone a lot of versatility.

Pros

  • Tonewood improvements give this bass better natural quality
  • A lot of tonal versatility
  • Slim “C” shaped neck for comfort playability
  • Part of the Affinity series, which is excellent

Cons

  • No apparent cons for price

AMAZON: Squier by Fender Affinity Precision Bass

Ibanez Talman TMB100WNF Bass Guitar

Ibanez TMB100WNF Bass Guitar

Specs:

  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Jatoba
  • Electronics: Dual Dynamix P neck pickup and J bridge pickup

The Talman bass series was created to combine the classic Ibanez body shape with a modern tone and sound. All of this with the intention to create a high-quality, low-budget bass guitar. The Ibanez TMB100 is one of the models in this series and is a very versatile bass.

This bass is made out of a poplar body, a maple neck with a 20-fretted Jatoba fretboard. As mentioned before, Jatoba wood gives this bass’s sound a rich mid-range and a crisp high-end. Essentially it is pretty similar to the Ibanez GSR200 except for its size (this one is a regular-sized bass) and the way you can control and adjust the sound and tone.

The Ibanez TMB100 also comes with a P-Bass type of pickup for the neck and a J-Bass type of pickup for the bridge. The main difference comes in the tone and volume controls. This bass has two knobs, each with two individual controllers. On one, we have the overall tone of the bass and one control is a Bass Boost/Cut, while the other is a Treble Boost/Cut. The bass control affects the very low end of the frequency spectrum (20 Hz), while the treble control affects the area around 8K for presence and clarity.

The other knob controls overall volume and the mix between the two pickups, which gives you control over the mid-range of the instrument. A lot of tonal versatility on this one. The Ibanez TMB100 is an excellent choice for someone who favors Ibanez-styled sound with enough versatility to play any genre.

Pros

  • Great tone with a lot of control
  • Jatoba wood enriches mid-range
  • Classic Ibanez body and sound

Cons

  • For those who don’t like that nasal sound that mid-range gives you, this might not be your ideal choice

AMAZON: Ibanez TMB100WNF

Dean E09M Edge Bass Guitar

Dean E09M Edge Bass Guitar Best Affordable Bass Guitars (2020 Review)
Dean E09M Edge Bass Guitar

Specs:

  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Electronics: Dean passive soapbar pickup
  • Finish: Satin Natural

Dean Guitars is a fairly new company in the market. Created in 1977, the company’s main calling card is that professional musicians build all of their instruments. This is particularly advantageous to you since these manufacturers are more in tune with your needs as a bass player. The Dean E09M comes from their Edge series and is a fantastic, high-quality bass.

The Dean E09M’s main feature is its contoured body that increases playing comfort. Its maple neck is also made to be slim, sleek, and very easy to play. This bass has a 22-fretted fretboard and a basswood body with a mahogany top to give lightness to its weight.

As for sound, the Edge E09M features a Dean “soapbar” pickup that is designed to have a smooth, unaggressive low-end with a quite clear high-end. It also comes with one master volume control and one treble control for simplicity when shaping your tone.

This bass’s sound is particularly well balanced and its improved playability makes it one of the best options in our Best Affordable Bass Guitars (2020 Review) list.

Pros

  • Increased playability due to contoured shape
  • Simplicity when shaping your sound makes it accessible
  • Basswood body gives it a unique organic look

Cons

  • Dean’s anonymity might be an issue for some people
  • Lack of tonal control might take some versatility of this bass

AMAZON: Dean E09M Edge Bass Guitar

Squier by Fender Affinity Series Jazz Bass Guitar

Squier by Fender Affinity Series Jazz Bass

Specs:

  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Electronics: Two Squier Standard Single-Coil Jazz Bass pickups
  • Finish: Polyurethane (comes in several colors)

This is the last of the Affinity Series models on our list and as the previous to bass guitars, the Squier Jazz Bass Guitar is an excellent choice in our list for Best Affordable Bass Guitars (2020 Review).

To start off, this bass has the same tonewood improvements as the Precision Bass. The Squier Affinity Series Jazz Bass Guitar’s body is made out of Adler, which as we mentioned is an improvement over poplar. This bass’ neck also differs from the Bronco Bass, as it is made out of maple but with a 20-fret Indian Laurel fingerboard.

Sound-wise, the Squier Affinity Series Jazz Bass Guitar comes with a pair of single-coil Jazz Bass pickups. These pickups deliver a classic Fender’s tone with a crisp high-end, present mid-range, and fullness in the low-end, making this guitar tonally very well balanced. This bass also includes two pickup volumes that allow you to mix the output level of both to give you versatility and a master tone control.

The Squier Affinity Series Jazz Bass Guitar is slightly pricier than both the Bronco and the Precision Bass and its overall sound is a bit meatier and mid-rangey. Out of the three, I’d place the Precision bass as the top choice. In reality, they are all great low-budget basses and I’d go with any of them.

Pros

  • Tonewood improvements give this bass better natural quality
  • A lot of tonal versatility
  • Slim “C” shaped neck for comfort playability
  • Part of the Affinity series, which is excellent

Cons

  • Tone might be a bit too mid-rangey according to personal taste

AMAZON: Squier Affinity Series Jazz Bass

Conclusion

After evaluating all of the pros and cons of these bass guitars, I have to admit they are all excellent choices for someone who is just beginning his/her journey on bass playing or someone looking for an affordable good bass.

The style you wish to focus on will dictate the main differences found on these basses, thus your preference. The Ibanez models and the Yamaha are your best bet for modern rock and metal genres. Out of those three, I’d say the Yamaha TRBX174 has better playability and a slightly better tone.

However, in my opinion, any of the three Squier Affinity Series Bass Guitars on this list are my top choices for a bass guitar with a fantastic tone and a lot of versatility. The Squier by Fender Precision Bass would be my #1 choice on this Best Affordable Bass Guitars (2020 Review) list.

Keep on rockin’!

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