Bass guitars in the $500 price range are probably the best value for the money you can find. You get a good quality instrument that starts introducing more options, features, and the sound quality that is usually reserved for the high end bass guitars. models in this price range will generally be more versatile, giving you the ability to choose something that perfectly fits your style of playing, genre of music you prefer, and type of sound you like. We have found five bass guitars that we thing represent the best the market has to offer at this moment, for $500.
A classic Thunderbird bass guitar with new and improved electronics. This Epiphone is one of the most attractive models you can get in this price range, and it offers a performance that can compete with more expensive bass guitars. It's a quality made instrument with a versatile tone and a great sound.
Schecter Guitar Research brings another affordable model for those who need a heavy hitting sound and build quality that won't disappoint. Design is exactly what you would expect from Schecter, with great attention to details and even better finish. Although Diamond active electronics are optimized for heavier genres of music, you can use them for just about any music style.
Versatility and great sound at an affordable price are just some of the things that make Yamaha TRBX304 MGR a great mid range bass guitar. This Yamaha comes with some unique features such as the EQ switch, which allows you to quickly adapt the sounds to different playing styles, and humbuckers that feature a thumb groove. At this price, Yamaha TRBX304 MGR offers the best value for the money.
Ibanez SR400QM is the recent addition to the SR400 series of mid range bass guitars. It features a more refined design, and comes with active electronics. The tone is great and can be modified to fit any music style. Ibanez dropped the ball when it comes to quality control, however the risk of receiving a defective one is rather low.
If you are looking for an entry level bass guitar that won't break the bank, Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Special is a great choice. It comes with passive electronics, and is pretty basic when it comes to features it brings. However, the build quality is consistent, and the tone can be adjusted to a wide range of styles.
This price range is the sweet spot when it comes to cost/performance ratio. You can find some really good bass guitars that will even satisfy the needs and requirements of more advanced bass players who know exactly what they want. The five bass guitars we have chosen are in our opinion the best models you can buy right now for $500, and they really offer something for everyone.
Our pick for the best bass guitar under $500 goes to Epiphone Thunderbird PRO-IV. It offers the best balance of performance and quality, and is flexible enough to be used in any music style you can think of. It features high end electronics that sound great no matter what kind of amp you use. With all of its features and qualities, this Epiphone really stands out from the competition. Second best bass guitar in this price range is the Schecter Stiletto Extreme-4. It's an instrument that was built with a lot of attention to detail, and comes with Schecter's Diamond series electronics. Even though this bass guitar is geared towards rock and metal, you can conform the tone to fit different music styles. We are just impressed with the way this bass guitar is set up from the factory. It's ready to go right from the box, and requires no additional tuning.
Yamaha TRBX304 MGR is a well rounded bass guitar that also offers the best value for the money. Everything on this Yamaha is quality made, and its performance is reliable to say the least. It comes with some interesting features such that you won't find on many other bass guitars, but its main value is the flexibility and perfect balance of tone it offers.
Affordable Ibanez bass guitars have been around for a while, and they've earned a solid reputation. Ibanez SR400QM is one such model that comes with great active electronics, and a very attractive design. This bass guitar takes the fourth place mainly due to its average sound, and the fact that quality control is sub par. Last guitar we've decided to include is the Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Special. It's a great entry level model for beginners and intermediate bass players who have a tight budget but want a solid performance.
If you have $500 to spend on a bass guitar, Epiphone Thunderbird PRO-IV is something you should seriously consider. Rock or metal bass players will probably appreciate Schecter's hard hitting sound more, but Schecter is overall less flexible. If you are on a tighter budget, the Yamaha is your safest bet.