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Best Bass Guitar Brands: Best Bass Under $500

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 2

Best Bass Guitar Brands:

Best Bass Under $500

Best Bass Guitar Brands: Best Bass Under $500

If you're getting into playing bass guitar, you're probably interested in finding the best bass guitar brands for the lowest price. Because guitars are 'theoretically' easy to produce, there are literally thousands of brands out there. Some are garbage, some are complete bargains. If you're looking for a cheap bass guitar for sale and you want the best that money can buy, read on!

This article is all about finding the best bass under $500. We will be looking at a few of the absolute best bargains out there, hoping to help you find a great deal. We will look at the price point, the quality of the included hardware, and the overall playing experience. Most of all, this article will help you find a great instrument, whether you're looking for the best bass guitar for beginners, or you're a veteran looking for a reliable backup instrument.

Let's begin!

OLP MM3 5 String Bass Guitar

Best Bass Under $500

Best Bass Under $500

The OLP MM3 is a 5 string bass that's a real treat to play and has a very low price point. This instrument is solid and easy to customize, and its wide neck and lower action make it quite fun to play. OLP stands for "Officially Licenced Product" and it's a creation of Ernie Ball, making it one of the best bass guitar brands.

The neck is a solid piece of maple, and the workmanship is incredibly finished for an instrument of this price point. At roughly $250, the OLP MM3 leaves you with quite a bit of extra cash to upgrade those pickups or look into a nice amp to go with it. 

Where the OLP MM3 falls a bit short is in the controls department, with knobs that are liable to bend and break. These can easily be upgraded if you desire. The instrument is also quite heavy due to its solid construction. Overall it is one of the best bass guitars under $500 on the market today.

ESP LTD Viper Bass Guitar:

Best Bass Under $500

Best Bass Under $500: Cheap Bass Guitars

The ESP LTD Viper is one of the best bass guitars under $500 out there, and for good reason. ESP is a great brand with a good history and reputation, and this instrument lives up to that standard. It features a bolt on neck, a basswood body and double ESP humbucker pickups for a big, edgy sound. There is a lot of chrome hardware and the construction is solid. Did I mention it's a beautiful instrument with amazing curves?

This is one of the best bass guitars under $500 for an number of reasons. Aside from looking great, this 4 string has a very 'balanced' feel to it, and the sound it produces is quite warm and cuts through an ensemble very well. This balance means it's one of the best bass guitars for beginners, and it's suitable for a variety of playing styles and genres. At a price point of around $450, it's well priced too. 

ESP LTD Viper 154DX Bass Guitar
Amazon Price: $469.00 $329.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 26, 2013)

ESP LTD D5 Bass Guitar:

Best Bass Under $500

Best Bass Guitar Under $500: LTD D5

The ESP LTD D5 bass guitar is not only a member of the best bass guitar brands, but individually it is an outstanding instrument. One of the best bass guitars under $500 for good reason, this bass is very solidly built with a balanced feel and great hardware.

It includes (as a bonus) neck thru body construction, 5 strings and a wide neck, and ESP SB-5 humbucker pickups with an active EQ. It's mahogany with a maple neck and a rosewood fingerboard, providing good weight, balance and playability. As is to be expected it's a heavy instrument, but it has a very bright tone that cuts through very well.

The finish is a satin look that gives the instrument a very natural appeal. The action is very playable and requires little adjustment on purchase. The LTD D5 bass guitar is one of the best bass guitars for beginners and a fantastic bargain at about $430.

ESP LTD D5 5 String Electric Bass Guitar (Natural Satin Finish)
Amazon Price: $613.00 $429.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 26, 2013)

Ibanez GSR200FM Bass Guitar:

Best Bass Under $500

Best Bass Guitar Under $500: Ibanez GSR200FM

It's almost impossible to exclude Ibanez from the conversation when talking about the best bass guitars for beginners or experts. The Ibanez GSR200FM is a wonderful entry level bass for a player of almost any capability.

It has 4 strings with a thin maple neck that is quite easy to play, with a rosewood fingerboard and 22 frets. It has two single coil pickups that produce a warm and bright sound. Hardware is good quality and chromed in appearance. 

It's a great and solid instrument that is very fast playing with good action right out of the box. You might want to change the factory strings for a better tone, but overall it's well set up initially. It's a remarkably light and thin instrument for the sound it produces. The sunburst finish is beautiful and makes it look much more expensive than it really is. Overall one of the best bass guitars under $500, and a great bass guitar for beginners. Price is around $250.

Yamaha BB424X Electric Bass Guitar:

Best Bass Under $500

Best Bass Guitar Under $500: Yamaha BB424X

The Yamaha BB424X is a great and well rounded instrument that just squeaks in under $500. It's an incredible bargain at this price though considering the hardward and construction quality involved. It's one of the best electric guitars under $500 and it is a really attractive instrument to boot, with oversized tuners, chrome accessories and pickguard, and a beautifully smooth and retro look to it.

The guitar features an alder body with a maple neck and a rosewood fingerboard that is remarkable easy to play. The hardware is chrome and the neck is vintage styled to fit the retro feel of this instrument. The neck is bolt on and the construction is quite solid.

The reason the BB424X is one of the best electric guitars under $500 is the sustain and tone that it boasts. If you want to be noticed, you should play this bass, as it will cut through almost anything while at the same time not being too overwhelming. 

Yamaha BB Series BB424X RM 4-Strings Bass Guitar with Pick Guard, Red metallic
Amazon Price: $805.00 $499.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 26, 2013)


Jan 4, 2012 9:49am
It's astounding what a great bass you can get for less than $500 nowadays. When I was younger you had to spend a lot to get something that was even playable. A lot of low cost basses today can stomp even some of the expensive basses back then. The important thing is to just find one that sounds good and plays good. That is much easier today than it used to be!
Jan 4, 2012 2:04pm
Agreed! I think it's that manufacturing standards are increasing in guitar producing nations like Korea, China and Mexico. It's pretty encouraging, especially to starving musicians like myself ;)
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