The Best Bass Guitars for the Money Reviewed
Purchasing a new bass guitar has become a challenging endeavor because of the wide variety of options available. Guitar companies build their bass guitars with seemingly countless materials and features, all of which play significant roles in their tone and ease of play. Moreover, many bass guitars are designed especially for various genres, variations in play style, and improvisation. Unfortunately, these options don’t make the selection process any easier, especially if you’re just getting started.
Since you’re here, we can tell that you’re looking for a new bass. Of course, we don’t know you. But we know you lie somewhere on the spectrum from an amateur looking for a running start to a professional regularly laying down a baseline that could make angels cry. Wherever you are on this scale, we at AskSound believe it’s essential to find the best instrument for your needs and one that does so within your budget.
Because of how challenging this can be, we’ve conducted thorough research and weighed all the factors in finding what we believe to be the best basses. We’ve done this at three levels: beginner, intermediate, and professional, so that you can find the best instrument for you. This article discusses why we believe these basses are best and dives into their features and impressions from existing owners.
So without further adieu, let’s jump in and check them out.
Best Beginner Bass for the Money: Ibanez Talman TMB100
We’ve found that the best beginner-level bass guitar money can buy is the Ibanez Talman TMB100. This guitar embodies the same traditional Ibanez design with a much more affordable price tag.
The TMB100 has a design similar to the ATK guitars, except for the triple coil pickup and chrome bridge plate. As a result, you will experience the same feeling when you play it, but you should note that this model comes with a split-coil pickup positioned at the neck.
Moreover, you can choose between a single-coil pickup or a humbucker fitted in the bridge. It also features a smooth rounded body that optimizes playability. And its beautiful color options are always a delight to look at. Add the dark rosewood fingerboard, and you will have a stylish bass guitar on your hands. The best basses are enjoyable to play and look at, and the Ibanez TMB100 excels in this.
The Ibanez TMB100 contains a smooth neck with 20 frets, which we’ve found assists in playability. And the four strings on this guitar are sufficiently spaced and allow you to glide your fingers on them smoothly. Overall, it has a well-rounded and balanced sound, thanks to its P/J pickups. When finding a beginner bass, it’s wise to choose one that won’t hold you back with a neck that sticks to your hand, group your fingers too tightly together, and has a beautiful tone. We believe the Ibanez TMB100 does the best job of this at the beginner level and will help get you well on your way to jamming on your bass.
- Rounded Maplewood neck
- Dynamic P/J pickups
- Ibanez custom 2-band EQ
- Available in mint green, black, ivory, mustard, tri fade, and walnut
- Nickel strings with 19mm spacing
Overall, the Ibanez Talman TMB100 is a smooth and well-rounded bass guitar that offers you the signature Ibanez playing experience at a much lower price. And it has excellent sound for its cost. Although, more experienced bassists might find a certain lack of features or think its sound may lack the character they’re looking for. The TMB100 is an affordable bass guitar that beats out the competition at its price point and rivals many intermediate guitars. It is a fantastic choice if you want great sound at a reasonable price.
Best Intermediate Bass for the Money: Sire Marcus Miller V7
In the intermediate category, we have the Sire Marcus Miller V7, a good-quality bass guitar designed in collaboration with Marcus Miller, renowned bassist and multi-instrumentalist. This bass guitar is specially designed to embody his signature sound and is a beautiful instrument that many bassists swear by.
One of the best things about the Sire Marcus Miller V7 is that it provides you with premium quality sound without requiring dishing out thousands of dollars. This model comes in four and five-string variants with Alderwood or Swamp Ash construction, an ebony board, and a Maplewood neck. In addition, it comes in various color options, including Tobacco Sunburst, Bright Metallic Red, Antique White, Black, Burgundy, and Lake Placid Blue.
Overall, the guitar has a smooth and rounded finish. The rolled edges of its fingerboard allow for a fluid playing experience. It also features the specialized Marcus Miller Heritage-3 Preamp, which consists of a 3-band EQ and a switch that allows you to switch between active and classic passive modes. In addition, the knobs are present on the guitar body, thus making it easy for you to control the sound and tone while playing.
The Sire Marcus Miller V7 manages to emulate the classic jazzy sound from Marcus Miller. This sound is thanks to its signature Jazz Bass pickups that articulate the sound and make it clearer. These pickups help you achieve a classic sound similar to that of the 60s. However, both the active and passive modes allow you to modulate your sound and play in various styles.
- Made from Alder or Swamp Ash
- Maplewood fingerboard with rolled edges
- Equipped with Marcus Heritage-3 EQ
- Features the Marcus Super-J Revolution Pickups
- Available in six different colors
The Sire Marcus Miller V7 is a significant upgrade from the low-end bass guitars you may have found. And while at the intermediate price point, it is the perfect cross between an intermediate and advanced guitar. According to its owners, the V7 offers a well-balanced jazzy sound that resembles Miller’s famous sound. In addition, it allows you to apply different playing styles to enhance your performance. Overall, this bass guitar offers you premium features at a fraction of the price.
Best Professional Bass for the Money: Fender Player Precision Electric Bass Guitar
Our best professional bass guitar pick is the Fender Player Precision Electric Bass Guitar since nobody does it better than Fender. This bass guitar has a premium quality finish with an Alderwood body and a glossy appearance that shines under the spotlight.
It comes in two variants, featuring a maple fingerboard and a Pau Ferro fingerboard in both left and right-handed options. In addition, it is available in different colors: 3-color Sunburst, Black, Tidepool, Polar White, Buttercream, Silver, and Capri Orange.
The Precision Electric Bass is a true representation of the classic Fender sound. Its middle One Player Series split-coil Precision Bass pickup outputs an especially warm and balanced sound. It also features the master volume and tone controls on its body, allowing more effortless adjustment. It also has a 9.5″-radius fingerboard that helps you glide your fingers on the strings smoothly. Boasting tremendous tone and ease of play, the Fender Player Precision Bass is a fantastic instrument and a great deal.
- Available in right and left-handed orientation
- Alderwood body with glossy finish
- Maplewood or Pau Ferro fingerboard
- One Player Series Split-Coil Precision Bass Middle Pickup
- High-quality alloy steel strings
There is no doubt that Fender is one of the world’s finest guitar makers, and it lives up to its name with the Fender Player Precision Electric Bass Guitar. It offers lovely and smooth playability and a smooth and distinct look that everyone loves. In addition, its pickup allows you to let out your notes to the fullest. As a result, most customers are happy with this bass guitar. They don’t find any problems with it, other than if they’re looking for a particular and niche sound.
This concludes our guide on three of the best bass guitars for the money. Although we have handpicked a bass guitar in three different categories, it is remarkable how they are generally affordable and fall within your budget. Moreover, you can easily choose one that suits your playing style and tonal requirements.
If you are a beginner and are looking for something within a few hundred dollars, then the Ibanez Talman TMB100 is your best choice. However, suppose you have more experience in the field. In that case, you can easily pick up the Sire Marcus Miller V7 and make it your new companion. Finally, you don’t have to be an accomplished bassist or a pro to enjoy the Fender Precision Bass. It is one of the affordable models, and it can significantly uplift your playing experience. You can check out these options on the retailers we’ve linked to purchase them and see more reviews.
Please let us know if you have any questions, if you’ve purchased one of these basses and want to share your thoughts, or if there’s an article you would like to see on AskSound. We’re always glad to help you find your true sound.