Finding the best bass guitars under $200 can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for and what the top picks are for great value.
These affordable but quality bass guitars can help improve your playing skills and confidence as you’ve just started out in the world of music.
The best value guitars will also help you explore your style, create music and get inspiration. However, you must select the right one for your satisfaction.
Today, we’re prepared a guide to which you can refer so that you can compare and weigh your options well for that great buying decision.
Here are the best budget bass guitars under $200
In need of a huge sound in a compact bass guitar? The Ibanez miKro GSRM20 offers you a heavyweight tone and more. It’s made with poplar with Walnut Flat finish. So, don’t expect that this is made of Walnut.
Its neck is made of maple with Jatoba fretboard. The guitar has a very nice satin polyurethane finish, while the fretboard has white dot inlays. It comes with a flatter neck with 12-inch fretboard radius and 22 medium-sized frets.
A shorter bass guitar with only 28.6-inch scale length, it’s great for kids and smaller players. Though it’s small, the sound pickups onboard are powerful to deliver a fuller tonal quality.
As a member of the Ibanez GIO series guitars, it has the same capacity as its full-sized counterparts. It is perfect for tour buses and space-restricted studios.
- Fretwork is excellent with very smooth fret ends
- Nice satin finish on the back and the neck
- Small size and lightweight
- Great tone and fun to play
- Action was set too close, so adjustment is needed to remove buzzing
- Intonation is a bit off and needs a quick fix
- Tuning pegs need tightening a bit
Squier Affinity Precision Bass Guitar gives you versatile tonality, thanks to the combination of the precision and jazz bass pickups. It’s made of Alder with a modern C maple neck and rosewood fretboard, dressed with a beautiful polyurethane finish.
With a standard scale length of 34-inch, this guitar has 9.5-inch fretboard radius and 20 medium jumbo frets. It’s very comfortable to play and is designed to accommodate fast play.
As mentioned, it has the PJ pickup combination – the standard precision split single-coil at the neck and the jazz single-coil at the bridge. The former offers an aggressive tone, while the latter delivers crisp and full-bodied sound. Hence, you have a bass guitar that is well-balanced and versatile.
These pickups have dedicated volume knobs with a master knob control on the black pickguard. It has a Fender Tele-style headstock with standard open-gear tuners.
- Sound quality is comparable to high-end bass guitars
- Excellent craftsmanship
- PJ pickup configuration is more versatile than the standard one
- Setup is spot-on out of the box
- Finish is a bit rough around the edges
- Edges of the pickups are sharp and need to be smoothened
- Controls seem cheap, especially the tone knob
Squier by Fender Bronco Bass Guitar
If you need the best cheap bass guitar under $200, I suggest getting the Squier by Fender Bronco Bass Guitar. It’s a short-scale 30-inch bass guitar made of Agathis body and C-shaped maple neck with a polyurethane finish. It’s a member of the Affinity Series, which are good-quality guitars offered at a reasonable price.
The maple neck also features a 9.5-inch maple fretboard with 19 medium jumbo frets. The fretboard is decorated with black dot inlays which are visible with its somewhat golden hue. It has chrome hardware along with the 2-saddle chrome bridge.
The specially designed single-coil pickup is responsible for the full and rich sound of the bass. The Standard Covered Mini-Tuners make tuning easy and quick. You can find two knurled chrome dome control knobs for the volume and tone control on the 3-ply white pickguard.
- Has decent build and sound quality for its price
- Easy to play without the need for a professional setup
- Perfect size and good for kids, too
- Electronics are tight and working
- Fret edges were a little sharp and need sanding
- There’s a little buzzing on the lowest string, but still playable
- Tuning knobs seem to be cheap
A Yamaha bass guitar is an instrument that gives you the confidence to perform. That being said, you don’t need to get those high-end gears when you can get the same performance from the more affordable Yamaha TRBX174 BL Bass Guitar. With the years of experience and the proven excellent craftsmanship of Yamaha, you’re assured of a quality bass guitar.
Featuring a mahogany body with exotic Flamed Mango top it exudes beauty on the stage. It has a maple neck and gloss polyurethane finish for its gorgeous look and flawless touch. It comes with a standard 34-inch scale length and 24 total frets.
The matching headstock adds to the beauty of the guitar along with the covered tuners and vintage-style bridge. You’ll get two pickups – a ceramic split-coil at the neck and a single-coil at the bridge. No pickup selector switch available, but the dedicated volume and a master tone control the mix.
- Simplistic black finish and design are gorgeous
- Sounds good and the neck feels great
- Bass guitar is awesome for its price
- Electronics onboard are top-notched
- No left-handed version available
- Comes with passive pickups, not a choice for someone who prefers active pickups
- Plastic knobs could be better
Ibanez Talman TMB100
The retro looks of the Ibanez Talman TMB100 Bass Guitar is irresistible and it has the sound you’ll love, too. It’s made with Poplar body and wide, chunky maple neck. It sports a curvy double-cutaway to easily access all the 22 medium frets on the rosewood fretboard.
Ibanez designed the guitar to have a standard scale length of 34-inch. The 2+2 headstock configuration looks sexy with decent chrome tuners. You’ll get a fixed chrome bridge at the other end, which seems to keep the strings in a secure place.
The highlight of this bass guitar is the Dynamix P neck pickup and the Dynamix J bridge pickup. You’ll find a tone and volume control with a custom 2-band Active EQ to get a variety of tonal options. The cool tortoiseshell pickguard complements the Mint Green finish to give the ultimate striking vintage look of the guitar.
- Satin finish of the neck is nice and aids better playability
- Action feels pretty good
- Has a wide variety of tonal options
- Pickups are great and produce great sounds
- Some users need to have a professional setup for the guitar to sound well
- There are a lot of instances on loose knobs
- Volume levels are inconsistent, so set it before playing
Dean E09M Edge
You don’t need to get a Strat to experience a body contoured for playing comfort. Dean E09M Edge Mahogany Electric Bass Guitar gives you a contoured body with a sleek maple neck designed to be fast and easy to play. It features a unique Dean neck joint and heel with the asymmetrical 4-bolt pattern so you can access all 22 frets with ease.
This bass guitar has a standard 34-inch scale length and a rosewood fretboard. It has Dean die-cast tuners and Dean vintage-style bridge with four fully adjustable saddles. Dean adds a single soapbar pickup which is pretty decent with rudimentary volume and treble controls.
- Electronics onboard are superb
- Nice looking and has a distinct appearance
- Well-made with parts seem to be reliable
- Has multiple features
- This is an electric bass so you have to connect this to an amp to sound
- Made of wood easily changes with changing temperature and humidity
- Has passive pickups only
How to Choose the Best Bass Guitar under $200
Check out the following for some pro tips on how to choose a budget bass guitar.
Consider the neck of the bass guitar. It can be thinner on the treble side or bass. But what matters for this aspect is your playing comfort.
And one more thing – remember that the neck can be wider on a 5- or 6-string bass than on a 4-string bass
Vibrating or scale length
Check on the vibrating length of the string. How? Just measure it from the nut to the bridge saddle, according to the same source. So as the frets can be set out to a ratio according to the scale length, take note that an instrument with a longer one will also have a farther distance between the frets.
Tonewood, hard or soft?
According to Andrew Pouska of Studybass.com, the tone wood refers to the wood material that is what improves the tone or sound of the bass guitar.
Hard wood can have a snappy and bright sound, giving the instrument a great percussive tonal characteristic. Some of these include ebony, rock maple or rosewood.
Softer woods, on the other hand, can offer a warm and mellow tone. A few examples include basswood and alder.
What Bass Amp Should I Get?
I totally understand your concern. I mean, how can you play a bass guitar without an amp, right? If you’re looking for a high-quality yet cheap bass amp, we recommend getting the Fender Rumble 15. You don’t have to take our word for it, but there have been a lot of positive reviews from verified owners here. Or you can check out our full list of best practice bass amps here.
What is the best budget bass guitar under $200?
Ibanez miKro GSRM20 is the best budget bass guitar under $200. For one, it is by Ibanez, a trusted and reliable brand known among even the most famous musicians. This guitar is also sleek, easy to carry around and lightweight.
It is also a great starter bass guitar that can offer quality and durability. It is a decent choice as a practice guitar.
If you’re looking for a good bass guitar under $200, you should definitely check this one out.