Best Bass Guitar under 1000 Review – Top Rated Models in 2018 with Buying Guide
If you are short on time, but you want to find the best bass guitar under 1000 as fast as possible, we recommend you consider the Schecter Stiletto Custom-4. This option is an upgraded version of the standard Stiletto 4 and packs quite a lot interesting and useful features. The unit has a set of powerful EMG pickups capable of giving more than enough tone-shaping potential to meet anyone’s needs. The sound it creates has an underlying aggressiveness which makes it a perfect choice for metal, but still versatile enough for other applications. If our first choice is not available for sale, we recommend the Fender 146203532 Standard as your second-best alternative.
Highly Recommended Choices – Reviews & Comparison
To make your decision easier, we have identified and presented the top bass guitars under 1000 in our list below. These products stood out to us due to their impressive build quality, sound, performance, and the positive consumer feedback. Take a quick look below if you want to learn more.
Schecter Stiletto Custom-4
Schecter is a brand very well-known in the industry for the instruments it makes that are built and designed for metal. While that is undoubtedly true, it would do a big disservice to limit this model to only one genre. The Stiletto Custom-4 is an upgraded version of the standard Stiletto 4 and packs an exciting set of features that make it very versatile.
The EMG 35HZ pickups are wired to a master volume knob and offer enough tone-shaping potential to take care of all the needs of a musician. In that sense, the unit provides comparable performance to what a quality acoustic guitar pickup can offer.
The body sees the use of mahogany with a flamed walnut and maple top. This creates a gorgeous design as the natural finish allows the woods to stand out. The neck is a multi-ply design that uses walnut and maple. As a plus, the 4-string construction makes it an awesome electric guitar for small hands.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($629)
Fender 146203532 Standard
The Fender option combines traditional design with contemporary features to create an instrument that looks good and performs even better. If you are looking to upgrade from your favorite beginner bass guitar to a professional level instrument, then you are not going to regret purchasing this nifty model.
The unit offers great style, muscular and rich tone, and excellent value since, despite the impressive features and quality, this guitar is still highly affordable. The 146203532 delivers a design that is ideal for precision bass players that want to reach a whole new level of performance.
As a plus, the guitar will sound great right out of the box with no adjustments needed other than the standard tuning. The jazz bass comes equipped with two modern style jazz bass pickups for a clear and bright tone. It comes available in many of the classic vintage Fender colors so that you can choose the one that looks best for you.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($624.99)
If you are looking to get a quality bass under 500, the iconic semi-hollow body electric Hofner bass is an instrument that any serious player can afford. The flame maple back and the sides topped with spruce are designed to provide plenty of natural acoustic resonance so that you can enjoy a powerful and clear sound.
The sound of the Hofner violin electric bass guitar is enough to bring any player back to the golden age of rock and roll, but that does not mean you will not be able to fit in with today’s indie, jazz, folk, and so much more. This is the reason why many bassists have managed to find their sound using this incredible instrument.
Another feature that customers seem to be in love with is the fit and finish that are pretty much flawless. The electronics are also as good as you could ask for in this price range.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($299)
Squier by Fender 306702505
The 306702505 model is designed to bring the classic feel and tone of a ‘70s jazz bass to you, and you won’t have to spend your whole budget to get it since this instrument is highly affordable. Because it uses a pair of Fender-designed single-coil pickups, the unit is ready to hit your bass amplifier with a vintage vibe.
Whether you are seated or standing, the model will give you supreme comfort as the Squier comes with a distinctive “offset-waist” body. This is a feature that you will grow to appreciate after the very first use since it will allow you to perform for several hours on the stage without feeling hindered or uncomfortable.
The neck is also designed for fast and comfortable playing, and it is made from solid maple to deliver a smooth and fluid playing experience. The 20 medium-jumbo frets will provide you with added comfort.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($349.99)
Schecter 2852 Session RIOT-4
The 2852 is a stylish and affordable bass that features an 18V pickup system with two EMG-designed single coils. The electronics consist of a master blend knob and a master volume that are used to mix the relative volume of the middle and bridge pickups for a versatile tone capable of handling a wide range of genres and styles.
The three-band active rotary EQ with cut and boost controls for middle/bass/treble is also present to help you customize the sound of your new instrument. In terms of design, the unit is beautiful to look at, and the satin finish will let the swamp ash grain show through.
While reading the numerous customer reviews, we were glad to see that the owners had only good things to report about this model. They were impressed with the tone and the playability of the instrument, which means that it is accessible even to amateur musicians.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($629)
ESP LTD B-204SM
If you are looking to step into the pro range but don’t have the budget to go for the big price tag models, you should look no further than the ESP LTD B-204SM. This nifty bass features a stunning satin-finished spalted maple top on a comfortable and ergonomic ash body that is capable of creating a warm and cutting tone.
It looks and is ready for the stage, and the comfortable design will ensure that you too will be ready to play for the entire night. The strong bolt-on five-piece maple neck has a Thin U profile and rosewood fingerboards to give the instrument a snappy response and an accurate reproduction of runs.
The pickups are passive ESP low-noise humbucking with active EW, moody black nickel hardware, and stable string-through bridge. The ESP electronics can create a very powerful and distinct sound that is perfect for modern rock, fusion, and metal.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($479)
Yamaha TRBX304 BL
The Yamaha option brings you a bass guitar capable of offering exceptional versatility, fantastic performance, and beautiful looks, all together in a complete package and for a very compelling price point. Thus, if you are looking for a cheap bass guitar that can help you get the sound you’ve always dreamt of, the TRBX304 BL is the right choice for you.
As is the case with most Yamaha options, this instrument too features a comfortable body shape to allow you to play on the stage for hours without feeling hindered by the shape or weight of the guitar. The smooth-laying rosewood fingerboard completes the fast-action bolt-on 5-piece maple and mahogany neck for amazing playability.
The pair of humbucking pickups will deliver hum-free sound while the performance EQ active circuit will optimize your bass in an instant to help you tackle different playing styles. As a plus, the solid hardware and the robust design will give you a bass that is ready to conquer any stage.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($349.99)
Gold Tone PBB Resonator
If you want to try something that is a bit different, the Gold Tone option is a great alternative instrument for bass players that want to widen their horizons. The dynamics and sustain of the PBB are very similar in tone to an upright bass.
That makes it an excellent option for players who want to get a compact travel guitar that will allow them to travel lightly without compromising on quality.
The bass is designed by Paul Beard, and it features a 32” scale, volume and tone controls, and a humbucking pickup that will cancel out the hum and buzz caused by electromagnetic interference. The unit is assembled in the USA, and it uses Paul’s iconic cone and spider design.
The instrument is set up with the lowest possible string factor to allow for a quick up-the-neck playing. As a plus, you will also get a very nice hard shell case to help you store and transport the guitar.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($814.54)
Schecter Stiletto Extreme-5
The Extreme-5 model is built for ultra-playability so that you get a fantastic playing experience. Everything from the gorgeous figured-maple top to the sustain-friendly mahogany body, and the super-fast maple neck will ooze a great tone and attitude.
The Schecter Diamond Bass pickups will work hand in hand with the active electronics to create any kind of bass tone you want.
This will ensure that you will always be in control and capable of producing the kind of music that you love. The top-grade components will help keep the instrument in stable tune so that you get a worry-free performance without having to tune the device regularly after each long night of constant play.
We were also glad to see the quality and performance of this unit reflect in the consumer reviews. Owners had only good things to say about this unit, praising the competitive price and its increased playability.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($489)
Yamaha BB235 BB-Series
The BB-Series is the result of decades of research and close work with artists to help the manufacturer forge a clear vision of what the professional bass players demand from their instruments. The unmistakable BB sound is also the result of work with some of the most prolific bassists in the business.
When looking at just how much energy and passion Yamaha has poured into this piece, you would be forgiven if you expected it to be costly, yet it is one of the most affordable options on our list. It’s not just the electronics that impress, but the body too thanks to the use of a solid alder construction.
The alder will allow for a more uniform transmission of vibration between the body and the maple neck for incredible sustain and resonance. Since this is a 5-string option, it will appeal to the hardest working bassists in the business.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($349.99)
Traveler Guitar TB-4P
As the name gives it away, the TB-4P model is another bass perfect to take on the go. It weighs less than seven pounds, and it is just over 35 inches long, specifications that make it compact enough to fit in any standard airline overhead compartment. Despite the compact nature, this unit does not sacrifice a bit of tone.
In fact, the alder body and the maple neck provide an articulate tone that can rival even some of the most popular full-sized basses. Customers were amazed at just how natural it feels to play on the 32-inch scale length maple neck. Furthermore, the powerful P-51 split coil pickup will make everybody think they are listening to a full-sized bass.
What’s more, you can also use your favorite headphones for music production and practice privately or when you are traveling since this model features a built-in headphone amp.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($499.99)
Yearly Guide & Report
Finding a good bass guitar under 1000 is a process that can take a lot of time and energy. It’s not possible to go through each of the many products available on the market manually, and picking the first model you see is very risky. The best way to tackle this problem is by doing proper research and taking the time to look at the key features that a quality instrument should offer.
Because not everyone has the time on their hands to go and read all the reviews of bass guitars under 1000 and do in-depth research, we have decided to do the hard work for you. We looked at what customers and professional musicians had to say to help pinpoint what the critical factors of consideration are when looking to purchase an affordable bass guitar.
Types of Bass Guitars
Bass guitars fall into two main categories: electric and acoustic. The electric bass guitar is the more common of the two. They have solid bodies and need to be plugged into an amplifier to be heard. A bass amp acts as a speaker and transforms the vibrations of the strings into sound.
Then there are the acoustic bass guitars which don’t rely on any electronics to work. They have a hollow body and a sound hole where the vibrating sound from the strings comes out and gets amplified.
You may also find acoustic-electric instruments (or electric acoustics) which are basically acoustic bass guitars that can also be plugged into an amp to be heard better in larger venues. They are generally more expensive and intended for people that need the best of both worlds.
By and large, when choosing between the two, musicians recommend going for the electric option since most acoustic bass guitars can have a mediocre sound and the ones that can give a more powerful and better sound have big bodies that can make them hard to play.
When looking for models under 1000, it is best that you focus on the electric category since they can offer more bang for your buck. If you do want to get a quality acoustic bass guitar, be prepared to spend more. Otherwise, you risk getting a sub-par instrument.
How many strings?
Upon prospecting the market, you probably already noticed that models can come with more than just 4 strings. Generally, basses come in 4-, 5-, and 6-string models. Though there are units that can have any number of strings, the three models we mentioned earlier are the most common configurations.
Having more strings can provide more range to the bass, but that comes at a cost. Units that have more than 4 strings can be harder to handle and if you are a beginner and you are just now planning to learn to play the bass, we recommend a 4-string instrument. This type will also handle most styles with great ease.
With that being said, depending on what you plan to do with the bass guitar, having more strings can be beneficial. If you are into heavier music, such as the one that is popular today, a 5-string model will help you reach the lower notes without having to detune your bass.
A 6-string should only be considered if you have experience in playing the bass guitar. You can always save the 6-string for your second or even third bass if you ever find that you need one.
Most bass guitars are constructed out of wood, and tonewood refers to the wood used to enhance the tone or sound of the instrument. You will have to choose between harder and softer woods, and each type comes with its own advantages.
Harder woods have a snappier and brighter sound to them, and they give the instrument a nice percussive tone. These include woods such as hard maple, walnut, ebony, padauk, wenge, rosewood, koa, and mahogany (which is a medium-hardwood.)
Softer woods, on the other hand, have a warmer and mellower tone. These include alder, swamp ash, and basswood. They are generally used for the body since they have very resonant qualities.
Types of pickups
Pickups consist of a magnet around which a copper wire is coiled. When the vibrations of the strings disturb the magnetic field, small voltage fluctuations in the copper coils are produced. These fluctuations are then transmitted to the bass amp, where they are translated into sound.
There are two prominent pickup designs based on the number of coils used: single-coil and double-coil. The single-coil options offer a bright and clear sounding. Their main drawback is that they can often pick up external noise and give off a humming noise. The buzzing can also be caused by radio waves, fluorescent lighting, or computer monitors.
The double-coil models are often called humbuckers. These pickups can cancel the hum within one pickup, and they are preferred for this exact reason. They can roll off some of the tonal highs when they cancel the hum, and they usually have more output than the single-coils.