Most rookie bass players would be perfectly content noodling around on any cheap, no-frills bass. But as a more skilled player, you crave higher-quality gear. Something customizable to help you fine-tune your signature sound, or to use for recording and gigging.
When choosing a bass guitar the options are seemingly endless, they can range from a hundred bucks into tens of thousands of dollars and beyond. But don’t worry, you don’t have to go for broke to own a top-notch piece of gear. We’ve found 1000 bucks to be the sweet spot of a price point, giving you plenty of impressive options to choose from.
The 5 Best Bass Guitars Under $1000
You can’t go wrong with any of the basses listed in our 5 Best Bass Guitars Under 1000 Reviews. These products stood out to us for their sound, performance and build quality. They also have stellar reputations as being high-quality, yet affordable options when you’re looking to upgrade from your basic bass.
Now let’s get into the reviews!
Top 5 Best Bass Guitars Under $1000 Reviewed
The Schecter Stiletto Studio-5 Bass is definitely a favorite among bassists. This is due to its stylish design, construction, high-end appointments and ease of play. The Mahogany and Bubinga body of this neck-thru beauty effortlessly introduces more warmth into your tones.
The multi-laminate Maple and Walnut neck of the Schecter Stiletto Studio-5 Electric Bass is covered with a Rosewood fingerboard and 24 jumbo frets and offset dot inlays. This 5-string gem also features a Diamond Custom bridge, Grover Tuners, EMG-HZ pickups, and 3-band EQ.
The master volume and blend controls, give you the ability to create just about any bass tone you desire. The satin gold hardware on the Schecter Stiletto Studio-5 Electric Bass adds the perfect finishing touches to an already exquisite bass.
Schecter really pulled out all the stops with the piece of gear!
Why We Love It
The Schecter Stiletto Studio-5 is a versatile, ultra-playable bass at a reasonable price. Its neck-thru construction offers great sustain and resonance, and its “Ultra Access” design allows you to freely reach the higher frets at the base of the neck with ease.
This sleek 5-string bass has an amazing build and great tone. It’s a favorite among metal and hardcore players, but its EMG HZ pickups and Grover Tuners give you the ability to create music for just about any genre.
The smooth satin finish on the Mahogany/Bubinga body, alternating Maple/Walnut finish on the neck, and satin gold hardware make the exceptional, yet affordable Schecter Stiletto Studio-5 Electric Bass appear to be worth twice the price.
If you’re on the hunt for an all-around powerful and aesthetically pleasing electric bass, this is the one for you!
World-famous for its distinctive reverse body style, the iconic Epiphone Thunderbird Classic-IV is the ultimate rock and roll bass, combining modern technology with traditional design. The unconventional Thunderbird Classic-IV was originally released in 1963 and was an instant hit. Almost 60 years later it’s still the preferred choice for many musicians.
The body of the Epiphone Thunderbird Classic-IV is constructed from a combination of Mahogany wings and a 7-piece Walnut/Maple thru-neck topped off with a natural oil finish. The SlimTaper profile Walnut and Maple neck has a 34-inch scale and a Rosewood fingerboard with 20 medium-jumbo frets, and Pearloid inlays.
The atypical Thunderbird Classic--IV features Gibson’s TB Plus humbucker pickups, (which are powered by a 9-V battery), active electronics and EQ, giving you the ability to create and sustain an array of amazing tones. It also boasts premium die-cast 17:1 bass machine heads, a BadAss fully-adjustable bridge, black hardware, and black pickguard.
Why We Love It
We love the head-turning 60’s era profile of the groundbreaking Epiphone Thunderbird. It has great playability and can easily conform to other musical styles thanks to its Gibson TB Plus humbuckers, fully adjustable BadAss bridge, and die-cast tuners.
The build on this bass is awesome, the Mahogany wings and Mahogany/Walnut neck-thru design guarantees this bass to last you a lifetime, and the slim-taper profile is ideal for players with smaller hands.
Epiphone is one of America’s oldest and most respected guitar makers, and they are highly revered by both amateur players and touring professionals for providing exceptional quality at a sensible price.
Next up on our list is an offering from Fender, another highly regarded American company known for producing well-made, first-rate gear. The Fender Player Jazz Electric Bass has a vintage feel, with a modern vibe.
It comes standard with Alnico V split-coil pickups, which allows you to play an expansive amount of tones to help you fine-tune your personal sound. The body of the the Fender Player Jazz Electric Bass is made of Alder, a wood that produces a strong, clear, full-bodied sound, with beefy mids and fat low ends.
The Pau Ferro fingerboard features 20 medium-jumbo frets that are able to accommodate most playing styles, while the 4-saddle bridge helps you to easily adjust the action for more personalization. This “C” shaped bass has a thin profile and is great for playing fast and loose.
Why We Love It
The Fender Player Jazz Electric Bass gives you a combination of that signature Fender sound, with modern playability. The Alnico V split-coil pickups supply you with a variety of tones to select from fat lows to clear top ends.
We really like the Alder body of this bass guitar because it produces clear full-bodied sounds, and the Pau Ferro fingerboard is able to accommodate most playing styles. The Fender Player Jazz Electric Bass is a favorite among musicians across all genres, and it continues to be a popular pick for stage performance and studio recording as well.
The Aerodyne Jazz has been a popular addition to Fender’s bass line since it hit the market back in 2003. This sexy, all black, special-edition model is the only one of its kind in the Fender bass line up. The Aerodyne is a refined bass that features a slim Basswood body and carved bound top with no pickguard.
The neck is Maplewood and the 20-fret fingerboard is made of Rosewood. There are no inlays on the headstock of this bass, and it has been stained to match the black satin finish of the body, giving the Aerodyne its cool, streamlined appearance.
It’s loaded with both a split single-coil Precision pickup and a Jazz bass single-coil bridge pickup, and to aid you in selecting the perfect tone, there are three smoked-chrome control knobs; volume control for each pickup along and one master tone control.
Why We Love It
The sleek and stylish Fender Aerodyne Jazz is definitely an attention-getting piece of gear. The black satin finish of the body, neck, and headstock, along with smoked chrome control makes for one beautifully intimidating beast of a bass.
The “C” profile on the Aerodyne gives it a thinner profile, making it ideal for fast-action play, and it also works well with most playing styles. Its single-coil P/J pickups offer a huge range of tones, and the Aerodyne performs equally as well whether you’re thrashing skull-splitting metal, or playing warm, old school jazz tones.
If you’re looking for an extremely playable bass with a clean, no-nonsense look. The Fender Aerodyne Jazz is the one to go for.
Fender Standard Jazz Electric Bass Guitar [Discontinued]
The Fender Standard Jazz Bass, or the MIM Jazz Bass as it is also known, is a cheaper made-in-Mexico version of Fender's classic American Jazz Bass. Combining traditional design with contemporary features, this bass is a great option for intermediate players looking for a reasonably priced equipment upgrade.
It’s well-suited as a professional option for when you’ve outgrown your current bass guitar, and are looking to further advance your skills. The body of the Fender Standard Jazz bass is made of Alderwood, and the “C” shaped maple neck makes for a thinner profile, allowing you to play fast and hard with ease.
There are 20 medium-jumbo frets located on the Maple fretboard, and the hardware is chrome-plated. There is one knob for tone, and one volume knob for each single-coil pickup. The two single-coil Jazz pickups on this bass deliver a clear and articulate tone.
Why We Love It
The Fender Standard Jazz Electric Bass Guitar is perfect for anyone looking to upgrade to a professional level bass. The standard tuner and two single-coil Jazz Bass pickups give you plenty of range to customize your sound. The Fender Standard Jazz Electric is also a great choice for gigging and in the studio.
Our Final Thoughts
All of the gear on our list of the 5 Best Bass Guitars Under $1000 in 2020 are top-notch options from world-renowned brands. Any of them would make an excellent upgrade to an existing guitar, or as an addition to your collection. They are great for practicing, in the studio, or as a touring guitar.
With that being said, I’m sure you have your favorite, and so do we. Our overall top pick is the Schecter Stiletto Studio-5-Electric Bass. Aside from its high-end appearance, the build quality on the bass is amazing.
This Mahogany and Bubinga neck-thru masterpiece has some fantastic features like the Diamond Custom bridge, EMG_HZ pickups, 3-band EQ, Grover Tuners and blend controls, giving you the power to create just about any bass tone you desire.
Is paying 1000 bucks beyond what you’re willing to or able to pay for an electric bass guitar? No worries! A few of the basses we reviewed are priced well under $1000. Still out of your price range? Check out our reviews of the 5 Best Bass Guitars Under $500 in 2020.