Best Budget Bass Guitars

Best Budget Bass Guitars

In order to find the best budget bass guitars, it is important to know and understand what to look for in them. Build quality, tonewood, hardware, and electronics are all important factors that can help you determine whether a budget bass guitar is of good or bad quality.

We took the liberty of writing a full article on each of these elements. This way you can have a better understanding of each and every element you need to be aware of when looking at instruments. Knowing them in detail will help you discern which basses can be considered the best budget bass guitars. Click here to see the article.

In the previously mentioned article, we also did a small review of our top 6 picks for nest budget bass guitars. We will now do a full review of each of these basses in this article. By any means are these 6 basses the only options but we considered them a good starting point.

Let’s jump right in:

Ibanez MiKro Series GSRM20B 4-String Bass Guitar

Best Budget Bass Guitars
Ibanez GSRM20B 4-String Bass Guitar

Specs:

  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Jatoba w/ White dot inlay
  • Electronics: Dynamix Precision Bass passive pickup for neck and Dynamix Jazz Bass passive pickup for bridge.
  • Finish: Walnut Flat

Our first pick on this best budget bass guitars list comes from Ibanez’s MiKro Series. The MiKro Series features short scale basses that make their instruments easier to handle. The Ibanez GSRM20B is a 28.6” scale length bass that is a great choice for kids or smaller hands.

To start off, its body is made of Poplar. This allows the bass to be lightweight but still maintain a big, full sound that fits any genre. This bass also comes with a Maple neck and a 22-fretted Jatoba fingerboard. A good addition to this bass is the fact that the maple neck is very slim, which makes it even easier to handle.

Now, speaking of hardware, the Ibanez GSRM20B comes with all black-chromed hardware that combines really well aesthetically with the walnut flat finish. As all Ibanez basses from this series, it comes with the classic B10 bridge. This B10 bridge is a string-through type of bridge and allows fully adjustable intonation and provides tuning stability.

Lastly, electronics. This bass comes with a Dynamix Precision Bass passive pickup for neck and Dynamix Jazz Bass passive pickup for bridge. This is the classic P/J configuration that Fender popularized and provides great tonal versatility. The bass in itself lacks a bit of high-end and clarity but has an overall great sound.

Pros

  • Fast, slim neck allows plenty of playability
  • Small-sized, which makes it ideal for kids
  • Good for any genre

Cons

AMAZON: Ibanez MiKro GSRM20B

MiKro Series GSRM20B

Ibanez Talman TMB100 IV 4-string Bass Guitar

Best Budget Bass Guitars
Ibanez Talman TMB100 IV 4-string Bass Guitar

Specs:

  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Jatoba w/ White dot inlay
  • Electronics: Dynamix Precision Bass passive pickup for neck and Dynamix Jazz Bass passive pickup for bridge.
  • EQ System: Ibanez Custom Electronics 2-band EQ
  • Finish: Black

Continuing with our best budget bass guitars list, we have another Ibanez model. This one comes from the Talman Series, a series that combines the classic Ibanez-type of body with a vintage sound that proves to be quite versatile. The Ibanez Talman TMB100 is another great Ibanez product.

To begin with, this bass has a Poplar body, a Maple neck, and a 20-fretted Jatoba fingerboard. This has pretty much the same build quality than the Ibanez GSRM20B, except for the fact that this bass has a normal scale length (34”). Two big components to this bass are its classic body shape and a thicker neck. Both allow the sound to change and be closer to what old-school Ibanez basses sounded like.

Next, we have the hardware. The Ibanez Talman TMB100 comes with chromed specs, as well as the previously mentioned B10 bridge. Pretty much all of Ibanez’s best budget bass guitars will have this bridge as it’s a very solid one.

Now, where we really see the Ibanez Talman TMB100 shine is in its electronics. Yes, this bass also has the classic P/J configuration with a Dynamix Precision Bass passive pickup for neck and Dynamix Jazz Bass passive pickup for bridge.

However, an excellent bonus to its sound design is Ibanez’s Custom Electronics 2-band EQ. This EQ allows you to boost or cut the low end and the high end of the bass. This, in turn, gives you a more accurate control over the quality of your sound, which we find to be great.

Pros

  • Thicker neck gives you more resonance and fullness
  • 2-band EQ provides accuracy when shaping your tone
  • Good for any genre but favors vintage styles of music

Cons

  • Tuning machines are not of the best quality

AMAZON: Ibanez Talman TMB100

Ibanez Talman

Squier by Fender Affinity Series Bronco Bass

Best Budget Bass Guitars
Squier by Fender Affinity Series Bronco Bass

Specs:

  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: “C” Shape Maple
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Electronics: Special Design Single-Coil Passive Pickup
  • EQ System: Ibanez Custom Electronics 2-band EQ
  • Finish: Gloss Black

The Squier by Fender Bronco Bass is part of the well-known Affinity Series. We have mentioned this series in previous articles and we believe that these basses are of excellent quality. Since we are doing the best budget bass guitars in this article, we decided to review the cheapest model on the Affinity Series. However, we strongly recommend you check out their other models as well.

Starting off, the Squier by Fender Bronco Bass has a Poplar body. As you can see by now, Poplar is the most commonly used tonewood for budget basses, mainly because it makes the basses lightweight. This bass also comes with a maple neck and a 19-fretted maple fingerboard.

Talking about hardware, this bass comes with a 2-Saddle Chrome bridge which is also a string-through type of bridge. This bridge is very solid and provides good tuning stability and intonation. All of the hardware on this bass is chromed.

Lastly, we have electronics. the Squier by Fender Bronco Bass comes with a single Special Designed Single-Coil Pickup. This pickup gives the Bronco Bass a full, rich-sounding tone that fits really well with old school music such as funk, motown, and old-school rock.

Pros

  • Slim “C” Shape neck provides a great amount of comfort for players
  • Vintage sounding bass with good versatility
  • Good for any genre but favors vintage styles of music

Cons

  • Not the best bass for heavier genres

AMAZON: Squier by Fender Affinity Series Bronco Bass

Squier by Fender Affinity Series Bronco Bass

Yamaha TRBX174 4-String Bass Guitar

Yamaha TRBX174 4-String Bass Guitar

Specs:

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Electronics: Split Single-Coil Passive Pickup for the neck and Split Single-Coil for the bridge
  • Finish: Red Metallic

Yamaha TRBX Series can be considered one of the most well-balanced, versatile basses’ series out there. In my opinion, these models are a bit underrated and I would favor any of their models over several basses. The Yamaha TRBX174 is their cheapest model on this series.

The first thing this bass has to offer over the other models in this best budget bass guitars list is a mahogany body. Its mahogany body gives it a natural, warm, vibrant tone that suits any style of music. It also comes with a Maple neck and a 24-fretted Rosewood fingerboard.

Moving on to hardware, the Yamaha TRBX174 has a vintage-styled type od bridge that provides really good intonation and enhances resonance throughout the body.

Finally, we have sound. This bass comes with a Split Single-Coil Passive Pickup for the neck and Split Single-Coil for the bridge. This is essentially the P/J configuration and works perfectly with this bass, giving it a strong, full-sounding tone.

Pros

  • Incredibly versatile bass with a pretty good tone
  • Mahogany body gives a boost to its natural sound
  • Good for any genre

Cons

  • No apparent cons other than being the cheapest model on this series. Next models have better build quality.

AMAZON: Yamaha TRBX174

Yamaha TRBX174 4-String Bass Guitar

Dean E09M 4-String Bass Guitar

Dean E09M 4-String Bass Guitar

Specs:

  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: “C” Shape Maple
  • Fretboard: Walnut
  • Electronics: DMT Design pickup
  • EQ System: Ibanez Custom Electronics 2-band EQ
  • Finish: Satin Natural

Coming up next on out best budget bass guitars list is the Dean Edge E09M. This bass has very good playability and a very unique sound that gives it a very particular characteristic. This bass is well suited for heavy genres.

The Dean Edge E09M has a Basswood body that is contoured to ensure comfortability. It also comes with a Maple neck and a 22-fretted Walnut fingerboard. It is a very light bass and is easy to handle.

Hardware-wise, this bass comes with a Die-Cast bridge, which is known to have good stability and intonation. All of the hardware is black chromed.

The Dean Edge E09M’s sound is where it shines. Out of all of the basses on this list, this one has the most unique tone. Equipped with a DMT Designed Humbucker Pickup, this bass has a very mid-rangey tone that suits perfectly in heavier styles such as hard rock and metal.

It is very simple to use as well since it only has a master volume control and a master tone control. The sound does lack some versatility and it would be best for you to listen to the sounds the Dean Edge E09M produces. If it’s something you really like, go for it!

Pros

  • Slim “C” Shape neck provides a great amount of comfort for players
  • DMT Design humbucker has a great, full tone
  • Good for heavy genres

Cons

  • Tone might lack a bit of versatility

AMAZON: Dean E09M 4-String Bass Guitar

Dean E09M 4-String Bass Guitar

Jackson Spectra Series JS2 4-String Bass Guitar

Jackson Spectra Series JS2 4-String Bass Guitar

Specs:

  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Laurel
  • Electronics: Jackson Precision Bass passive pickup for neck and Jackson Jazz Bass passive pickup for bridge.
  • EQ System: Active Bass Boost Circuit
  • Finish: Tobacco Sunburst

The last contender in this best budget bass guitars list comes from Jackson’s JS Spectra Series. The Jackson JS2 is a very affordable instrument that has great tonal versatility and is great for all types of styles, especially rock music.

To begin, the Jackson JS2 has a Poplar body that is balanced with a large double-cutaway design to maintain weight stability. It also comes with a Maple neck and a Laurel fingerboard with 24 jumbo-sized frets.

Now, speaking of hardware, this bass comes with a Jackson HiMass bridge. This bridge is very popular on Jackon basses and provides excellent tuning stability and enhanced resonance. This bridge is also string-through, which as I mentioned before is the most common type of bridge on budget basses.

Lastly, sound-wise, the Jackson JS2 comes with the much talked about J/P configuration. It is equipped with a Jackson Precision Bass passive pickup for neck and Jackson Jazz Bass passive pickup for bridge. To top it off, it comes with an Active Bass Boost Circuit to enhance low end and further shape your tone.

Pros

  • Very well-balanced bass
  • Active Bass Boost Circuit enhances tone and weight to the bass
  • Good for any genre but favors rock music

Cons

  • Lacks a bit on the high-end and prescence

AMAZON: Jackson Spectra Series JS2

Jackson Spectra Series JS2

Conclusion

After thorough research on all basses on this list, we have come to the conclusion that even though all of them are fantastic budget basses, there can only be one winner.

As mentioned before, any bass from the Squier Affinity Series is very much so worth looking into. We also want to give the Dean E09M a shoutout, as its tone is excellent and our personal favorite (the only issue is the lack of controls to shape the tone).

Therefore, we have concluded that the best bass on this list is the Yamaha TRBX174. It has excellent build quality, great electronics and a lot of versatility to allow you to play any style you want. The Yamaha TRBX174 is our top choice.

Keep on rockin’!

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