The Best Electric Bass Guitars Under $250 (Ultimate Guide 2023)

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Looking for the best electric bass guitar under $250? We’ve got you covered! In this ultimate guide, we’ll explore the top 5 bass guitars on the market, based on factors such as sound quality, playability, and value for money. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, we’ve got the perfect bass for you.

 

1. Squier Affinity Series Jaguar Bass

VALUE FOR MONEY

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2. Ibanez Talman TMB100 MGR 2015

VERSATILE CLASSIC SOUND

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3. Yamaha TRBX174 RM Bass

EXCELLENT PLAYABILITY

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4. Ibanez GSRM25BK Bass

AFFORDABLE QUALITY

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5. Ibanez GSR200BWNF Bass

VERSATILE BEGINNER

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6. Donner Electric DPJ-100 Bass

AFFORDABLE STARTER

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1. Squier Affinity Series Jaguar Bass

VALUE FOR MONEY

Affordable and versatile with quality.Comfortable body and neck.
Versatile sound: various tonal options.Well-made, durable, high-quality.
Picture by Squier

Picture by Alesis

PROS

  • 1. Affordability and great value for the price. The Squier Affinity Series Jaguar Bass is one of the most affordable electric basses on the market, but it doesn’t skimp on quality. It features a comfortable body and neck that is easy to play, as well as a versatile sound that can be used for a variety of genres. Additionally, its affordability makes it a great option for beginners who may not want to invest too much money in their first bass guitar.

    2. Comfortable body and neck. The Squier Affinity Jaguar Bass has a comfortable C-shaped maple neck with a 25.5″ scale length. This makes it easy to play for players of all levels. The body is made of basswood, which is a lightweight wood that produces a warm, balanced tone. The combination of the comfortable neck and lightweight body makes it a joy to play, especially for beginners who may be still developing their technique.

    3. Versatile sound. The Squier Affinity Jaguar Bass has two single-coil pickups and one humbucking pickup. This gives it a wide range of tonal possibilities, from the bright, twangy sound of a single-coil pickup to the fat, rich sound of a humbucking pickup. This versatility allows players to experiment with different genres and styles, making it a suitable choice for both beginners and experienced players who want a bass that can adapt to their musical preferences.

    4. Well-made and durable. The Squier Affinity Jaguar Bass is made with high-quality materials and construction techniques. This ensures that it will last for years to come, even with heavy use. This durability is especially important for beginners who may be prone to accidents or mishandling their instrument. The Squier Affinity Jaguar Bass can withstand the test of time and maintain its playability and sound quality.

    Overall, the Squier Affinity Series Jaguar Bass is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an affordable, high-quality electric bass guitar. It is a great option for beginners, but it is also versatile enough to be used by experienced players. Its affordable price, comfortable design, versatile sound, and durability make it a standout choice among other electric basses under $250. Whether you’re just starting out or looking for an affordable backup bass, the Squier Affinity Jaguar Bass is definitely worth considering.

CONS

  • Firstly, the pickups lack quality as the single ceramic humbucker can muddy the tone and lack clarity despite producing decent output and low-end punch.
  • Secondly, the build quality is inferior compared to other basses in this price range, using lower-quality materials and construction techniques leading to issues like fret buzz, neck warping, and loose hardware.
  • Although suitable for beginners, if searching for higher-quality pickups and build, other options like the Ibanez GSR200, Yamaha TRBX174, Epiphone EB-0, or Fender Modern Player Jazz Bass V are worth considering. These basses offer better sound and playability, albeit at a higher cost. Ultimately, the best bass depends on your budget and needs, with the Squier Affinity Series Jaguar Bass being a decent choice for beginners, considering its value.

2. Ibanez Talman TMB100 MGR 2015

VERSATILE CLASSIC SOUND

Lightweight and comfortable body.Fast, easy, and comfortable.
Versatile sound: wide tonal range.Durable construction, strong and lasting.
Picture by Ibanez

PROS

    • 1. Comfortable body shape. The Talman body shape is known for being lightweight and comfortable to play, even for extended periods of time. This makes it a good choice for beginners or players who suffer from back pain. The C-shaped neck and basswood body contribute to its comfortable feel.

      2. Excellent playability. The TMB100 has a wide, chunky maple neck that is fast and easy to play. The medium jumbo frets also provide a comfortable playing experience. The bolt-on neck allows for easy adjustments of the string action and intonation.

      3. Versatile sound. The TMB100 is equipped with two Dynamic P & J pickups that offer a wide range of tonal possibilities. The P pickup is a single-coil pickup that produces a warm, mellow sound, while the J pickup is a humbucker pickup that produces a brighter, punchier sound. Blending the two pickups allows for a variety of sounds, from clean to dirty.

      4. Durable construction. The TMB100 is made from a combination of maple, basswood, and nato, making it a very durable instrument. The maple neck is strong and resistant to warping, while the basswood body is lightweight and resonant. The nato neck is also strong and durable, contributing to the overall longevity of the instrument.

      Overall, the Ibanez Talman TMB100 MGR 2015 is a great choice for a budget electric bass guitar. It is comfortable to play, has a versatile sound, and is built to last. It may not be as versatile as some of the other bass guitars mentioned in the blog post, but it still offers excellent value for the money. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player on a budget, the TMB100 is definitely worth considering. Don’t miss out on this exceptional instrument!

CONS

  • 1. The pickups are not very versatile. The Talman TMB100 has a P/J pickup configuration, which is a popular choice for both beginners and experienced players. However, the pickups in this model lack versatility compared to other options in its price range. They can be muddy and lack definition in certain settings.

    2. The build quality is not as good as some other basses in this price range. Made of basswood and maple, common materials for budget basses, the Talman TMB100’s build quality isn’t as reliable as other options. The neck joint can be weak, and the finish is prone to chipping.

    Overall, the Ibanez Talman TMB100 MGR 2015 is an acceptable bass guitar for its price. However, it has limitations in terms of versatility and build quality. For more versatility and better build quality, consider other options within the $250 range. Notable recommendations include the Fender Squier Affinity Jazz Bass, Yamaha TRBX304, and Ibanez GSR200. Your choice should depend on your needs and preferences. Beginners should go for comfort and versatility, while experienced players can explore different types of basses to match their style.

3. Yamaha TRBX174 RM Bass

EXCELLENT PLAYABILITY

5-string bass with versatile sound.Precise tone shaping with 3-band controls.
High-quality hardware and electronics.Durable construction, withstands live performance.
Picture by Yamaha

PROS

  • 1. The Yamaha TRBX174 RM Bass is a 5-string bass with a comfortable body and versatile sound. The additional string gives you more range and versatility compared to a traditional 4-string bass. The comfortable body shape makes it easy to play for extended periods of time without discomfort. The sound is highly versatile, thanks to the active EQ with 3-band controls. These allow you to shape your tone precisely to suit your playing style and the genre of music you’re playing.

    2. The active EQ with 3-band controls is a standout feature on the TRBX174. It provides you with a plethora of tonal possibilities and allows for precise tone shaping. The 3-band controls for bass, midrange, and treble enable you to fine-tune your sound to perfection. This is particularly beneficial for players who thrive on experimentation or need to adapt their sound to different playing situations.

    3. The TRBX174 boasts high-quality hardware and electronics. The high-mass bridge contributes to its solid and punchy sound, ensuring rich and powerful tones. The passive ceramic pickups offer a clear and balanced sound, perfect for any musical style. With the Yamaha TRBX174 RM Bass, you can expect reliable performance due to the excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail.

    4. Constructed with durability in mind, the TRBX174 can withstand the rigors of live performances. Its solid mahogany body and maple neck are made from durable woods that can endure years of playing. The high-quality hardware is designed to withstand the demands of intense performances, ensuring the bass guitar remains in top shape throughout your musical journey.

    Overall, the Yamaha TRBX174 RM Bass is an excellent choice for a budget bass guitar. It delivers versatility, comfort, durability, and exceptional sound quality. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, this bass guitar will cater to your needs. Additionally, the variety of colors available allows you to choose one that matches your unique style. The included gig bag adds convenience, making it easy to transport your instrument wherever you go.

    In conclusion, if you are in search of a budget-friendly bass guitar without compromising on quality, the Yamaha TRBX174 RM Bass is a fantastic option. It offers exceptional value for the price and is sure to exceed your expectations.

CONS

  • 1. The pickups are not the best quality. The Yamaha TRBX174 RM Bass has two passive ceramic pickups, which are not as high-quality as alnico pickups in some competitors. This affects the sound, making it less full and versatile.

    2. The body is made of plywood, not as durable as other materials. The TRBX174 RM Bass’s plywood body is less durable than solid wood, making it susceptible to damage from bumps and scratches.

    Overall, the Yamaha TRBX174 RM Bass is a good bass for the price. However, it has drawbacks in pickup quality and body material. For better sound quality, consider models with alnico pickups and a solid wood body. Nonetheless, the Yamaha TRBX174 RM Bass is a great budget-friendly option.

    Other cons not mentioned in the blog post:
    * Stock strings are mediocre; consider upgrading for better sound.
    * The body is large, uncomfortable for smaller players.
    * 24 frets may make certain techniques, like slapping, challenging to play.

    Be aware of these limitations when considering a purchase.

4. Ibanez GSRM25BK Bass

AFFORDABLE QUALITY

5 Strings.Decent sound at affordable price.
Comfortable to play.Durable construction; strong and lightweight.
Picture by Ibanez

PROS

  • 1. Affordable price. The Ibanez GSRM25BK is one of the most affordable electric bass guitars on the market, making it a great option for budget-minded musicians. It costs around $200, which is a steal considering its excellent features. This allows musicians with limited budgets to own a high-quality instrument without breaking the bank.

    2. Good sound quality. Despite its affordable price, the Ibanez GSRM25BK produces good sound quality. It is equipped with two Ibanez Infinity R humbucking pickups that deliver a powerful and versatile tone. Additionally, the comfortable maple neck and rosewood fingerboard contribute to a warm and rich sound. Musicians can rely on this bass guitar to produce professional-quality tones.

    3. Comfortable to play. The Ibanez GSRM25BK is designed for comfort. It features a slim C-shaped neck that fits comfortably in the hands, even for players with smaller hands. This allows for easy and smooth playing, preventing fatigue during extended sessions. The lightweight body further enhances the playing experience, making it effortless to hold and play for long periods of time.

    4. Durable construction. The Ibanez GSRM25BK is built to withstand the rigors of everyday playing. The basswood body provides a balance of strength and lightness, ensuring durability without sacrificing playability. The maple neck adds to its sturdy construction, offering stability and good sustain. Musicians can rely on this bass guitar to withstand the demands of regular performance and practice.

    Overall, the Ibanez GSRM25BK is an excellent electric bass guitar for its price range. It offers affordability, good sound quality, comfortable playability, and durable construction. Musicians on a budget who seek a reliable and versatile instrument will find great value in the Ibanez GSRM25BK.

    Additional relevant details about the Ibanez GSRM25BK include its standard 34-inch scale length and 21-fret maple fingerboard with medium jumbo frets. The single volume and tone controls provide simplicity and ease of use. Additionally, the included gig bag adds convenience and protection for transportation and storage.

    In conclusion, the Ibanez GSRM25BK is a top choice for musicians seeking a high-quality electric bass guitar under $250. With its affordability, impressive sound quality, comfortable playability, and durability, it stands out as a reliable and versatile option.

CONS

  • 1. The GSRM25BK’s sound lacks versatility compared to other basses in this price range. Its P-J pickup configuration can produce a wide range of sounds, but according to some reviewers, the GSRM25BK’s sound is slightly bright and lacks the warmth and fullness of other similarly priced basses.
    2. The build quality of the GSRM25BK falls short compared to some of its counterparts in this price range. Made with poplar body and maple neck, both affordable woods, the GSRM25BK has been criticized for sharp fret ends and a not-so-straight neck.

    Overall, the Ibanez GSRM25BK is a decent bass guitar for its price. However, if you desire a more versatile sound and better build quality, consider exploring other options within the $250 price range.

    Ultimately, determining the best bass guitar for you depends on your specific needs and preferences. For versatile sound and good build quality, consider the Squier Affinity Jazz Bass or the Epiphone EB-0. However, if your budget is tight, the Ibanez GSRM25BK remains a viable option.

5. Ibanez GSR200BWNF Bass

VERSATILE BEGINNER

Affordable.Comfortable for extended playing periods.
Good sound quality, versatile sound.Durable construction, long-lasting instrument.
Picture by Ibanez

PROS

  • 1. Affordable price: The Ibanez GSR200BWNF is one of the most affordable electric bass guitars on the market, making it a great option for beginners or players on a budget. With its low price point, it offers excellent value for money without compromising on quality.

    2. Comfortable to play: The GSR200BWNF has a slim, lightweight body that makes it comfortable to play for extended periods of time. This ergonomic design reduces fatigue and strain, allowing players to focus on their music without discomfort. Additionally, the thin neck and easy grip make it an ideal choice for players with smaller hands.

    3. Good sound quality: The GSR200BWNF delivers a solid sound that is well-suited for a variety of genres. With its two humbucking pickups, it provides a wide range of tonal possibilities, allowing players to achieve the desired sound for different musical styles. Moreover, the PHAT II EQ knob allows for fine-tuning of the sound, enhancing its versatility.

    4. Durable construction: The GSR200BWNF is crafted from a combination of high-quality wood and materials, ensuring its durability and longevity. This well-built instrument can withstand the rigors of regular use, making it a reliable choice for gigging musicians or those who play frequently.

    In addition to these four pros, the Ibanez GSR200BWNF also comes with a gig bag, adding to its value. This convenient accessory allows for easy transportation and protection of the instrument. Furthermore, the bass is endorsed by renowned professional bass players such as Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner and Sharlee D’Angelo, further attesting to its quality and performance.

    To summarize, the Ibanez GSR200BWNF Bass offers an affordable price, comfortable playing experience, good sound quality, and durable construction. With its endorsement from professional musicians and included gig bag, it stands out as an exceptional option in the electric bass guitar market.

CONS

  • 1. The sound is not versatile like some other basses in this price range. The GSR200BWNF has a P/J pickup configuration, offering a good range of tones, but it may lack the versatility of basses with more pickup options. For certain genres, a bass with a humbucker pickup would provide a thicker, warmer sound that suits them better.
    2. The build quality isn’t as good as some other basses in this price range. The GSR200BWNF is constructed with a mahogany body and maple neck, which are common for budget basses. However, other basses in this range often use higher-quality materials like alder or ash bodies and rosewood necks, resulting in a more solid and enjoyable playing experience.

    Overall, the Ibanez GSR200BWNF is suitable for beginners or budget players but has limitations in sound and build quality.

6. Donner Electric DPJ-100 Bass

AFFORDABLE STARTER

24 frets, 2 Humbuckers, 2-band EQ, hardcaseRich, versatile tone for all.
2-band EQ for sound customization.Hardcase included for protection.
Picture by Donner

PROS

  • 1. The Donner Electric DPJ-100 Bass features a 24-fret maple fingerboard that offers smooth and fast playability. The maple fingerboard is known for its comfortable feel, making it ideal for genres that require a lot of dexterity, such as slap bass. The 24 frets also provide ample room to play even the most demanding passages.

    2. With its 2 Humbuckers pickups, the DPJ-100 Bass delivers a rich and versatile tone. These pickups offer a wide range of tonal possibilities, from warm and mellow to bright and punchy. This makes the DPJ-100 Bass a suitable choice for various genres, including rock, blues, jazz, and funk.

    3. The bass also boasts a 2-band EQ, allowing you to customize your sound to your liking. This is particularly beneficial for beginners who are still learning how to achieve their desired tone. The EQ provides the flexibility needed to experiment and find your unique sound.

    4. One notable advantage of the Donner Electric DPJ-100 Bass is the inclusion of a hardcase for protection. The hardcase ensures that your bass remains safe from damage during transport, making it especially valuable for gigging musicians or those who frequently travel with their instrument.

    In addition to these pros, the Donner Electric DPJ-100 Bass features a well-constructed body, high-quality hardware, and a comfortable neck. These attributes contribute to its overall value for the price.

    Considering the current blog post, the Donner Electric DPJ-100 Bass aligns well with its recommendations. The post highlights the importance of a versatile tone, which the DPJ-100 Bass offers with its 2 Humbuckers pickups. It also emphasizes the significance of comfort for beginners, and the DPJ-100 Bass excels in this aspect with its comfortable neck and maple fingerboard. Finally, the post advocates for the inclusion of a hardcase for transport, a feature that the DPJ-100 Bass readily provides.

    To conclude, the Donner Electric DPJ-100 Bass is an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced players. Its versatile tone, comfortable playability, and protective hardcase make it a superior option in its price range. If you are in search of an electric bass under $250, the Donner Electric DPJ-100 Bass is a highly recommended selection.

CONS

  • 1. The sound quality is not as good as some other guitars in this price range. The Donner DPJ-100 Bass uses PJ-style pickups, which are popular for electric basses. However, some find that these pickups produce muddy and unclear sounds. Additionally, the Donner DPJ-100 Bass lacks tonal variety, making it difficult to achieve desired sounds for different music genres.

    2. The build quality is not as good as some other guitars in this price range. Although the Donner DPJ-100 Bass incorporates a poplar body and AAA Canadian maple neck, its construction is not as solid as other options. Users have reported that the Donner DPJ-100 Bass feels flimsy and is prone to damage.

    Overall, the Donner Electric DPJ-100 Bass is a decent option for budget electric bass but has limitations in sound and build quality.

    Here are other electric basses under $250 for consideration:

    – Ibanez GSR200: Known for excellent sound quality and playability, with a comfortable neck and versatile pickup configuration.
    – Squier Affinity Jazz Bass: A good choice for jazz and blues players, offering warm and rich sound with comfortable playability.
    – Epiphone EB-0: A classic design bass known for its punchy sound, ideal for rock and blues players.

    Happy playing!

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