The 5 Best Bass Guitar Under 1000 Reviews

There are a few things are more satisfying than getting a good guitar at a bargain price. I know the feeling, which is why I made a list of the best bass guitar under 1000 dollars available today.

The difference between a low and high quality baas guitar is significant, but contrary to popular belief you don’t need to spend a lot of money. As the following reviews will show, you can get some pretty good bass guitars for less than a thousand bucks.

Too busy to read the entire guide? I have below a chart that gives you an overview of these five bass guitars.

Top 5 Bass Guitar Under 1000: Comparison Chart

Products
Body Material
Neck Shape
Fingerboard Material
Other Features
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Basswood, urethane finish
C
Rosewood
Standard Jazz Bass Single-coil, Standard Precision Bass Split Single-coil
2-piece maple, gloss polyester finish
U
Maple
Stamped Open-Gear tuner, Seymour Duncan Steve Harris middle pickup
Mahogany, gloss finish
C profile
Rosewood
Standard P Split Single-coil neck pickup, Standard J single-coil pickup
Ash body with Spalted Maple top,  satin finish
Thin U
Rosewood
ABQ-3 Active EQ,  balance control, volume control
Mahogany, polyurethane finish
Slimtaper
Rosewood
2 x Volume, 1 x Tone, Gibson Plus bridge and middle pickups

Best Picks of Bass Guitar Under 1000

#1: Fender Aerodyne Jazz Electric Bass Guitar

If you check any bass guitar brands list you’re going to see the name Fender up there because they’re one of the best. With the Aerodyne Jazz Bass you get cream side binding, urethane finish, a basswood body and the classic Fender sound.

The Aerodyne Jazz Bass line has grown a lot since its introduction in 2003, and this version combines power and elegance in one package. Style wise the Aerodyne has an all black urethane finish and a double cutaway shape.

Fender Aerodyne Jazz Electric Bass Guitar, Rosewood Stained Fretboard, No Pickguard - Black
  • Featuring both J Bass and P Bass pickups, this bass offers a huge range of tones.
  • Unique bound-top, Strat output jack, and smoked chrome bridge and tuners provides a unique look.
  • A fast-action neck makes this bass fast and extremely playable.
  • Strings: Fender USA Bass 7250ML, NPS, (.045-.100 Gauges)

Last update on 2020-03-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The headstock is vintage Fender with its chrome hardware and beautiful binding. The body is built from solid rosewood, giving it a smooth, sleek appearance any guitarist will definitely appreciate.

There are 20 medium jumbo frets and a C shape rosewood fretboard to accompany the standard Fender bolt on neck. The Aerodyne looks sharp all right but it’s also got fast, low bass action.

The sound is smooth and clear. With the PJ pickup you get a wide tonal range that lets you go from a deep rumble to a clearer, higher note.

The versatile bass works nicely with the middle split coil and the bridge pickup. While the Aerodyne Jazz Bass is often used for jazz, it’s also applicable for metal and rock.

The hardware consists of a split precision pickup in the center, a bridge single coil pickup and master and volume controls.

The Aerodyne Jazz Bass has a minimalist design and is complemented by the C shape neck, the frets and the fretboard. With the control knobs and the split single coil pickups, you’ll be rocking that bass.

Highlighted Features
  • Bass and P Bass pickups
  • Fast action neck
  • Classic Fender tuners
  • Smoked chrome bridge
  • Strat output jack
  • Wide range of tones
  • Vintage double cutaway style
  • Rosewood fingerboard

#2: Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass

What makes Fender one of the best bass guitar brands for beginners is they come up with a diverse range of products. The Steve Harris Precision Bass shows Fender at their best working with top talent.

Steve is the bassist, songwriter and founder of Iron Maiden and known for his distinct bass play. With this guitar you’ll get the same high energy and drive Steve’s known for.

Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass, Maple Neck, Olympic White with Stripe
  • Very distinctive look via soccer team logo graphic and side paint schemes
  • Hum free crushing output are provided by the Seymour Duncan split P Pickup
  • Fender designed hi-mass bridge ensures a clear tonal transfer and maximum resonation
  • Play for hours with little fatigue due to the modern ‘C’ shape neck profile and his signature Rot sound flat wound strings
  • Enjoy the peace of mind due to the Fender Deluxe Gig Bag and Limited Lifetime warranty that is included with purchase

Last update on 2020-03-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Harris Precision body is a 2 piece maple topped by glossy polyester. The maple neck has the regular Fender shape though it’s thicker at the back to give the guitar that trademark Harris tone.

The hardware consists of a Fender High Mass Bridge that handles sustain. A couple of classic open gear tuners are built in so you can tweak the sound.

The chrome finish gives the Harris a stylish look but aesthetics aside, the bridge and tuning work well together. The same quality can be seen on the pickups as they’re manufactured by Seymour Duncan.

These pickups were inspired by Harris and designed to give the guitar a distinct sound. In addition there is a master tone and master volume control to handle the split coil pickup.

As for the sound, well, give a listen to any Iron Maiden song and you’ll get an idea of what this guitar can do. It’s clear, deep and with lots of thump and girth in no small part due to the pickup. The guitar is good for slap bass, but it’s just as effective for other genres.

Highlighted Features
  • C shape neck
  • Harris’ Rot flat wound strings
  • High mass bridge
  • Optimum resonance and tonal transfer
  • Seymour Duncan split P Pickup
  • Distinct appearance
  • Master volume and master tone controls
  • Gig bag included

#3: Ibanez SR800BIF SR Standard – Black Ice Flat

Ibanez makes some of the best bass guitars of all time, and the SR800 shows they’re capable of making high end bass as well. It’s got a distinct appearance backed by quality electronics and impressive tonewood.

The body is a typical Ibanez but the tonewood is mahogany topped with poplar burl and a finish of Aged or Flat Whiskey Burst Flat. Its neck consists of a Bubinga / Jatoba along with 23 medium frets on regular rosewood fretboard.

Ibanez SR800 4-String Electric Bass Black Ice
  • Neck Shape: Info not available Wood: Jatoba/bubinga Neck joint: Info not available Scale length: 34" Truss rod: Yes Finish: Info not available Pickups Active or passive pickups: Passive Pickup configuration: SS Neck: MK1 split coil Middle: Not applicable Bridge: MK1 split coil Brand: Bartolini Series or parallel: Parallel Active preamp: Info not available Special electronics: Ibanez Custom Electronics 3-band EQ
  • For 25 years the SR800 has given bass players a modern alternative
  • With its continued popularity, Ibanez is constantly endeavoring to answer the wider needs of a variety of players, at a variety of budgets
  • But no matter what the specs, the heart is the same-SR continues to excite with its smooth, fast neck, lightweight body, and perfectly matched electronics
  • The neck tongue not only creates a unique look, it also makes utilizing the higher frets easier and coupling Jatoba with Bubinga has made it strong and stable despite its thinness

Last update on 2020-03-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The smooth neck is complemented by Ibanez tuning machines and an Accu-cast 8300 that enhances the guitar’s bass. This configuration is ideal for serious bass players that want full control over the tuning and intonation.

The Ibanez SR800 comes with a couple of Bartolini MK1 passive pups which are linked to a customized 3 band EQ. This design provides a great deal of flexibility to suit your playing style.

There’s also a knob for selecting 250Hz, 700Hz or 450Hz mid range frequency. As for the sound it’s deep and rich. Clarity level is high and sustain is at a high level.

The SR800 is apt for slap bass and makes it easy to get to a low frequency range. The sounds are ideal for progressive rock and jazz, but it’s good enough for different genres actually.

The default settings are pretty good and allow you to use the Ibanez in different genres, but ma making adjustments is a breeze too.

The SR series have gained a reputation for versatility, and this lives up to my expectations and exceeds it.

Highlighted Features
  • Passive pickup configuration
  • Ibanez Custom Electronics 3-band EQ
  • MK1 split coil bridge
  • Excellent bass sound
  • Poplar burl top
  • Bubunga and Jatoba neck
  • comfortable strings
  • 24 medium frets

#4: ESP LTD B-206SMNS Spalted Maple 6 String Bass Guitar

The LTD B series is one of the top rated bass guitars with thousands of players who swear by its sonic versatility, feel and sound. It’s an affordable bass guitar that’s suited for jazz, rock, country and metal.

The B-206SMNS body is made of ash with a spalted maple topping. It’s a beautiful design that lends itself well to different genres and performances.

The B-206SMNS has a couple of ESP made SB-6 pickups that allow for sonic variance. The guitar also has a versatile ABQ 3 3 band EQ for added flexibility.

ESP LTD B-206SM Spalted Maple 6-String Bass Guitar, Natural Satin
  • With unique coloration and grain pattern, spalted maple is a great look to stand out from the crowd
  • An affordable yet high quality 6-string bass that offers an ash body with a spalted maple top in Natural Satin finish
  • Designed with an extra thin U-shaped 5-piece maple/jatoba neck for excellent playing feel
  • Includes passive ESP Designed SB-6 pickups, along with an active ABQ-3 3-band EQ, and good-looking black nickel hardware

Last update on 2020-03-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The LTD bass’ biggest strength is its adaptability, allowing you to use it for funk, Latin, reggae and a lot more. No matter what type of song you play the B-2065SM allows you to balance the pickup and the volume with ease.

Its EQ controls makes it easy to distinguish between high, mid and low frequencies. In addition the guitar has a striking appearance thanks to its maple top.

This guitar has 6 strings instead of the usual 4, giving you greater flexibility plus more highs and lows. The tuning is usually B/E/A/D/G/C but this can be adjusted to suit your preferences.

There are a lot bass guitars under a thousand bucks, but few are effective as the LTD-B series. The electronics are superb and it is lighter than other 6 string bass guitars.

One of the biggest benefits of this guitar is you can use it right away. You can change the settings but if you want to play right away, it’s possible to do so.

Highlighted Features
  • 3 band EQ
  • ESP designed SB-6(b&n) with active EQ pickups
  • LTD DB-606 bridge
  • LTD tuners
  • Thin-U neck contour
  • Bolt on neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Ash body

#5: Epiphone THUNDERBIRD CLASSIC-IV 4 String Electric Bass Guitar

The Epiphone Thunderbird is one of the better known types of bass guitars of all time. Now Epiphone has upgraded it by adding two Gibson TB Plus humbuckers.

This combination means a more powerful bass that allows you to play bass at different levels. With its rosewood fingerboard and SlimTaper walnut/mahogany neck, the Thunderbird is easier to play compared to other bass guitars.

One of the reasons why the Thunderbird delivers solid bass is its Gibson humbuckers. Without the right pickups the guitar’s bass won’t sound right, so Epiphone made sure they got quality pickups with the Gibson.

Epiphone THUNDERBIRD CLASSIC-IV 4 String Electric Bass Guitar with Gibson TB+ Pickups, Vintage Sunburst
  • Gibson TB Plus humbuckers
  • Historic 60's era Thunderbird profile
  • Mahogany body wings
  • 7-ply Mahogany/walnut neck
  • Through-neck neck joint

Last update on 2020-03-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These pickups are equipped with ceramic magnets that enhances the bass and sound quality.  You not only get a lot of the sound but also none of the noise that is common with most bass guitars.

The pickups are situated along the bridge and the middle so the bass does not sound muddled or ruffled. This unique configuration gives you better control and flexibility when it comes to getting the bass right.

The Thunderbird provides a volume control for the pickups as well as knobs. By using these controls you will have an easier time getting the tune just the way you want it.

The Thunderbird’s most distinguishing feature is its thick growl. However, its through body built and 7 piece neck makes a huge difference when it comes to performance. No matter what setting you choose, the tone and sustain are consistent.

The Thunderbird is a well renowned classic, but this upgrade just makes it better. With its growling bass and beefy bottom you get a rich, heavy bass.

Highlighted Features
  • Vintage sunburst design
  • Gibson TB+ pickups
  • Thru-neck joint
  • Mahogany body
  • 60s profile style
  • Fully adjustable
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Excellent sustain

 

Top Bass Guitar Brands

There are a lot of guitar manufacturers today, but a select few make bass guitars in ways other companies cannot match.

Gibson

You can’t make a list of the top bass guitar brands without mentioning Gibson. Makers of the legendary Les Paul and the SG, the company revolutionized electric and bass guitars, and their products are held in high esteem. Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck played Gibson guitars.

Fender

If Gibson made the SG and Les Paul, Fender came up with the iconic Stratocaster and Telecaster.  For many guitarists, there’s only Fender and nothing else. Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton used Fender guitars and that tells you something.

Ibanez

Ibanez started by making high quality guitars that are affordable, but they have since gone to make different types of guitars. Steve Vai and Joe Satriani both use Ibanez, testament to their design and versatility.

Taylor

John Petrucci and David Gilmore use Taylor guitars, and so do many other artists because their acoustic guitars have impeccable sound. These are high end guitars that provide exceptional performance.

Epiphone

This is a subsidiary of Gibson that makes SG, Les Paul and other Gibson guitars. A lot of artists started out on the Epiphone before getting a Gibson, and John Lennon actually preferred the Epiphone over other guitars.

How to Choose a Bass Guitar Under 1000

The first thing you need to do is become familiar with a bass guitar, the parts and how it works. The more you know about bass guitars the easier it will be to determine what guitar suits your needs.

The next step is to learn about the different brands of bass guitars that you can choose from. I have already listed the top options so you can use that as a guide. Everyone has their own opinion which is the best one for bass, so it’’s your call.

Next you have to factor in your skill level. How long have you been playing bass? If you’re new, it is better to go with a guitar with simple controls so you can focus on learning the basics.

The key here is to learn the fundamentals of bass so when you’ve mastered it, you can go on    and get a better guitar. Knowing the basics will also help you figure out what type of bass guitar works best.

You also need to set a budget. While we all want a Strat or Les Paul, oftentimes it is not possible due to budgetary limitations.

But if you’re new to bass guitar getting one of those is probably not even necessary at this point. If you don’t have the budget for a high end guitar, that’s all right as there are affordable but quality options available.

The guitar’s physical characteristics will also have to be taken into account. If you’re a long time bassist you’ve got an idea of what you want to play.

Choosing a bass guitar under $1000 involves more than just finding one that costs less than grand. As I have pointed out here, there are a lot more issues that an aspiring guitarist needs to check.

Things to Consider Before Buying Bass Guitar Under 1000

The tonewood makes a huge impact on the sound so that should be a priority. Alder, ash, mahogany and spruce are among the most commonly used. If you buy from a reputable brand there should be no problems when it comes to quality.

Then there is the number of frets. Most bass guitars come with 4 fret and that is good enough for most cases.

But if you want to try something different or the songs you play require more frets, get one with 5 or 6. Keep in mind these are going to be more challenging for a new player.

You also need to take a look at the electronics, the pickups, controls, knobs etc. These are the things that separate a great bass guitar from a regular one.

What you need to do is make a list of the features you need and use that as a guide when shopping for a bass guitar.

Final Verdict

In this review we have taken a look at 5 high quality bass guitars. Each one is made by a reputable brand and offers something unique.

But as fantastic as these guitars are, there can only be one winner and that is the Epiphone Thunderbird. This was already a classic guitar but Gibson made this good guitar into an excellent one.

The bodywork is superb, the tone is clear and the range is dynamic. The depth and versatility are also exceptional.

If you’re looking for the best bass guitar under 1000 dollars, I would recommend the Epiphone Thunderbird, as it is truly a classic.

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