Are you on the lookout for the best bass guitars under $500?
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned bassist, we understand how crucial that is to invest on a bass guitar for performance, rehearsal or skill improvement.
We recognize it is uneasy and time-consuming as there are plenty of choices on the market.
For this reason, we’ve put up a buying guide and reviews of the top picks this year to help you in the comparison and selection process.
If you’re ready, let’s begin checking out the best bass guitars in this price range and later figure out which one suits your needs and preferences.
Here are our top picks for the best bass guitars under $500
- Perfectly balanced, ultra-comfortable solid mahogany body provides the optimum tonal foundation
- Solid Mahogany Body
- Five-Piece Maple/Mahogany Neck
- Active Electronics
- Performance EQ switch for Slap, Pick, Flat, Finger, or Solo play
Yamaha 4-String Bass Guitar is one versatile and excellently sounding bass. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced bassist, you will appreciate that it has all the features you’re looking for.
One thing I liked about one of the best bass guitars under $500 is its nice body style that offers playing comfort. The TRBX304 MGR also has a quick acting bolt-on mahogany/maple neck plus a great rosewood fingerboard.
I liked that the TRBX304 also features the Performance EQ 5-way switch that comes with different EQ settings, allowing various playing styles, including pick and slap.
This model also comes with M3 humbucking pickups for that punchy and strong sound. These pickups also offer great low ends without hum.
- Has a comfortable to play body shape
- Designed with the Performance EQ 5-way switch
- Not for the left handed
- Color might be off for some users
- 5-string Acoustic-electric Bass Guitar with Spruce Top
- Fishman Sonicore Electronics - Natural High Gloss
- Purpleheart Fingerboard
If you’re looking to get more of your instrument, you might want to have a look at the Ibanez AEB105E that offers every musician an incredible value. It is a combo acoustic electric bass guitar, allowing for more options.
The Ibanez acoustic bass will inspire you to thrive in your music for its excellent tone and sound performance.
I also liked the increased playability for its maple neck that can enhance tonal character from low to high-end tones. This guitar is also incredible that it can produce nice mid range and crisp high-end tones.
The AEB105E is also featuring a spruce top along with sapele sides and back. For added benefits, it features the Fishman Sonicore pickup in the design. That’s a great value for a combo acoustic electric bass guitar.
- Includes a maple neck for balance tones
- Designed with a purpleheart fretboard for superior mid range and clear high end
- Case not included
- 45-day return can be improved
- Traditional Jazz Bass Tone delivered by two Fender Designed single coil pickups
- Rich look and presentation via a vintage tinted gloss neck
- Superior sound and feel for today's bassists, with superior Squier performance and value
If you’re looking to achieve that jazz bass tone, check out the guitar that features the two single coil pickups to achieve that genuine you want.
One more thing you will appreciate about the guitar is that it can deliver superb 70s feel and sound for your performances.
It also features the 9.5″-radius maple fingerboard, which is designed with medium sized frets for easy playability. This one also boasts a thick 3-ply pick guard, open gear tuners and chrome control knobs.
- Great 70s sound for that ultimate performance all the time
- Features a classic vintage design that looks superb
- A bit bulky
- One of the World's Iconic Guitars
- Fully Hollow Body
- Hofner Style Tailpiece
The Hofner HOF-HI-BB-SB-O is from one of the most iconic guitars, and you’ll probably want to own one yourself. This four-string guitar is especially ideal for beginners because there are fewer strings to play while improving skills.
I also liked to note that the Hofner HOF-HI-BB-SB-O features a full hollow body to deliver that rich and full sound in every strum. It also boasts the brand’s style tailpiece that works just as great as other tailpieces from it.
This guitar comes with an easy to navigate and access control panel for that ease of playing whether practicing or performing. The bass guitar also has a nice and easy to play design and style.
In addition, it has a design that is ideal for bassists looking for that classic sound while also being on a budget.
Overall, the bass guitar is a best in class among the ’70s Violin Bass models on the market now. It can offer superior bass sound while being offered at a good price point.
- Designed with a fully hollow body
- Includes the brand’s famous tailpiece
- A bit bulky
- Not the best sound bass guitar in the category
- Simple elegance that is a nod to vintage
- Shaped for more access and comfort
- Blended that with the Element Active Circuit pickups
- Tweaked to provide a modern sonic profile
- Excellent user customization potential
The Michael Kelly Element 4Q Electric Bass Guitar is one of the best bass guitars for the serious musician. Starting with its appeal, it looks amazing for its aged cherryburst finish, offering a simple elegance of vintage.
I also noticed that this one has a great shape that improves comfort and access. Even beginners won’t find it hard to use for practice and skill improvement.
The Michael Kelly Element 4Q Electric Bass Guitar is also upgraded with better, thoughtful features that make it a decent choice for the modern player.
In addition, this guitar has body contours that offer ease of access for beginners. This model also has a bypass switch, letting you change from a passive tone with just one click.
Overall, this bass guitar is one of the best in its class, not only for its elegant look but also for the added modifications, including easy to access controls for ease of play.
- Offers a better shape for ease of play
- Can deliver a modern sonic profile
- Not as great sounding
- Includes Deluxe Gig Bag
- Neck: Mahogany
- Top: Mahogany; Sloped Ergo-Glide
- Back & Sides: Mahogany
- Fingerboard: Rosewood
Another bass guitar not to miss is the Gold Tone bass guitar with a gig bag. The Gold Tone guitar is an impressive instrument with a nice looking and easy to play mahogany neck.
The MicroBass is a short-scaled combo guitar that make use of synthetic strings ideal for those who have just started out and want to learn playing the guitar faster.
I also liked that 23-inch M-Bass/L guitar that features a longer scale length for great intonation versus others in the same category does have. In addition, this model lets us up the acoustic volume loud enough without an amp.
- Includes piezo transducer pickup for a better sound
- Designed with a fretless neck to resemble a tone to that of an upright double bass
- Not for the right-handed
- Might not be for advanced players
- Comfortable 32 inch scale Length
- Built-in headphone amp with aux-in for jamming with MP3 player
- Fits in overhead compartment
- Weighs 6. 8 pounds
- Deluxe Gig Bag included
The sunburst finished bass guitar for the right-handed player delivers supreme performance and great sound. It also offers different features that allow for more function.
For one, it has a built-in headphone amp plus an aux in, allowing for mp3 player jamming whether solo or with the group. This bass guitar is designed with a 32-inch scale length, offering more ease in play.
This bass guitar is also compact and small enough to fit in an overhead compartment. It weighs only 66.8 lbs, making it one of the lightest weight around for more portability.
The Traveler Guitar 4 String TB-4 P-Bass also comes with a deluxe gig bag that adds to its portability. It also features a maple neck and a black walnut fret board.
- Portable travel bass guitar
- Includes electronics including tone and volume controls
- Requires tuning work initially
How to Choose the Best Bass Guitar under $500
See the following for a couple of recommendations on how to choose a bass guitar under $500.
Check the overall construction
Guitarworld.com suggests checking the finish of the bass guitar for any defects, such as the paintjob for any dimples, bubbles and orange peel. These marks must be checked.
You should pay close attention to this detail because it has to do with the overall construction of your guitar.
Consider the materials
According to the same source, the cheapest ones for sales are made of plywood amalgamation of wood just glued together, sanded and then covered with veneer before it’s applied a heavy finish.
However, this type of construction affects the sound, resulting to poor resonance due to heavy glue.
Compare used tonewoods
Sweetwater.com says that tonewood is a significant factor in the creation of a guitar made for a specific purpose or a special guitar.
It is one of those things to determine the instrument’s tonal properties especially the top wood used in the construction.
Thus, you should also note that the wood would have its effects according to where it is in the bass guitar.
For example, alder and ash can deliver a balanced tone and offer a good sustain. Speaking of balance both wood can offer a tone with great harmonic overtones and resonance.
Do you need more help in choosing that perfect bass guitar for you? Here’s a cool video I found.
The Yamaha 4 String Bass Guitar is our top choice for the best bass guitars under $500 because it has a comfortable body shape for increased ease in playability.
This guitar is also versatile for its EQ 5-way switch that allows for a host of playing styles, including slap and pick.
If you’re a right-handed player, you should also consider this one from Yamahas because it is excellently sounding and has the portability for playing anywhere.
|1||Yamaha 4-String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Black, 4-String (TRBX174 BL)||125 Reviews||$199.99||See Deal|
|2||Yamaha TRBX174 OVS TRBX-174 Old Violin Sunburst 4 String Bass Guitar w/Gig Bag||1 Reviews||$199.99||See Deal|
|3||Yamaha TRBX174 BL TRBX-174 Black 4 String Bass Guitar w/ Gig Bag and Tuner||2 Reviews||$199.99||See Deal|
|4||Yamaha BB235 BB-Series 5-String Bass Guitar, Rasberry Red||9 Reviews||$349.99||See Deal|
|5||Yamaha BB234 BB-Series 4-String Bass Guitar with Hard Case and Accessories, Raspberry Red||$329.98||See Deal|