Which cheapo basses should I review?

Hey gang! I’m planning some bass reviews, and I need your help!

I want to look at some super-budget basses - like $100 or less - and I don’t want to miss anything that you’d like reviewed.

I’ll definitely be looking at contenders from Harley-Benton and Glarry. If there’s another cheapo you want me to look at, shoot a link in this thread!

8 Likes

I’ve seen so much on this one, from horrible to great. Held off on getting one, but I might if someone convinced me it is at least OK!
Best Choice Products 22-Fret Full Size Acoustic Electric Bass Guitar w/ 4-Band Equalizer, Adjustable Truss Rod https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003HUWCLA/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_D5GEC4YB2QTJJ4B87Q0Y

9 Likes

@kerushlow wow yeah I’m with you, if it’s even halfway decent i’ll probably pick one up too, been wanting an AE for a while. also interested in how it sounds acoustically.

3 Likes

Such a review is potentially a good hook to get people about to decide to go for the bass interested in BassBuzz! It is certainly also interesting to hear whether you, given your experience, think that some of these budget basses actually are so bad they could turn people away from learning this instrument.

Now, personally - and I realize this sounds potentially rather arrogant - I am no longer interested in 100 dollar basses… I think I have moved on :sunglasses:

7 Likes

Not at all. You really shouldn’t want one lol. For me the acoustic is more because I don’t really want to commit to an acoustic, might never play it, but if I only drop $100 on it and take it out camping or something occasionally, that would be cool.

7 Likes

Totally hear you! I have applied the same logic when I got my Harley-Benton 6-string (though for slightly more than 100 bucks :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:). And there are quite good instruments out there for amazingly little money.

I am worried though that supercheap instruments might make learning an unnecessarily tough drag or even turn you away…

5 Likes

I’ve heard Harley Benton is actually pretty good. Was even looking at getting their PRS guitar clone, and maybe a Rickenbacker clone. They have some Stingray ones too

6 Likes

Not an answer to your question, but I’d be more interested in a review somewhere in the $500 - $1k range

7 Likes

Yeah that would be cool. Really that range is about as high as people should go. More than that you are just paying for brand name and filed fret corners lol.

6 Likes

Hey… if you play with a glove, you really appreciate filed fret corners :grin:

But, seriously, I’d say that the sweet spot is probably between 1000 and 2000 dollars. Beyond that, it is probably “meaningless” on the amateur level. Unless, it is an investment of sorts.

4 Likes

Functionality. As price range goes up, the amount of “difference” between the new price range and the last gets less and less. The exception would be customs, as they would be tailor-making every part of the bass including how it looks to your preference. Dropping huge money on that I could see, but the difference between a $1-2k bass and a $500-1k Bass is WAY less of a difference than a 500-1k bass and a $400-less bass.

I noticed this at guitar stores. Played a $5k Martin and then played a $600 Gibson (acoustic guitars). Did the Martin feel and sound better? Yes. Did it sound $4,400 better? Not even close. The difference was subtle, and honestly I’d record or perform with either feeling confident they would sound great.

It is pretty similar with basses. After the things that really affect the sound are all top quality…it’s harder to tell what you are paying for.

3 Likes

Agreed, Jörg @joergkutter . . . I’ve been very happy with my $350 Squier all along and would not spend any less that that on an entry level bass. And yes indeed, I’d think that the fret corners should be smooth, too. :wink:

Cheers
Joe

4 Likes

totally agree @kerushlow . for me the sweet spot for an instrument is around $1500 I’d say (considering a new instrument price tag ; so way less used). but I agree that there is not a huge gap between a $1500 and a, say, $700 instrument. I played very expensive guitars : Fender Custom Shop, Gibson Custom Shop, Tom Anderson … those instruments are great but not much better than a MIA or even a MIM Fender with a good setup (and good pickups).

back to the topic : the only interesting brand that comes in my mind in a very low price range ($100) is Harley Benton. I know a french brand with affordable instruments and with an impressive quality/price ratio : Custom 77 (I used to work for them, to design their pedals), but they won’t have anything in the $100 range. it’s more in the middle than really low-end.

3 Likes

My first bass was $89.99 on Amazon. I checked and now the same bass is listed for $115, so it wouldn’t qualify for this roundup.
I was too new at bass to be able to say whether or not it was a good bass, but it was good enough to get me hooked on learning to play, so it did it’s job.
Sometimes, I wish I still had it, just for nostalgia’s sake.

3 Likes

@JoshFossgreen I don’t have any suggestions, but I do wonder what actual choices you’d have… It seems to me that many basses in that price range are essentially the same instrument, built in the same factory, with just a different brand name slapped on the headstock.

3 Likes

@JoshFossgreen
Please, review the Donner DPB-510s
Low End Lobster did a quick look at it, and thought it was OK.

This is the one I got as a replacement for my Ibanez GSR-200. In my inexperienced opionion, it’s much better. Of course, it lacks a J pickup, but sounds way better on the P pickup than the Ibby and has a wider neck, which is great for my clumsy fingers.

2 Likes

I don’t know if you have statistics on where most of your students live. USA is bass heaven even in the second hand market. In Mexico City Fender, Squier and Yamaha are really expensive. The cheapest bass is a passive Cort PJ for US $180 (A second hand Fender MIM is hard to get under US $600). Perhaps that is something to take into account. I took your existing video very much into account and had a great experience with the passive Cort PJ (in black, not pink :wink: )

2 Likes

SX basses used to be cheap and good but they are less cheap now.

You should do a segment on buying used though. Buying a good guitar used is a much better idea than buying a shitty one new :slight_smile:

6 Likes

As a carpenter I still can’t get my head around how (I know the answer and it’s called very very poor wages) you build a guitar for less than $100 and make a profit.
You have to source the body and neck material, run it through a machine to shape it, then have a human spray the body, assemble it, insert the frets, solder in the wiring harness, attach the pick guard, tuners, strings; package it, ship it, deliver it at the other end.
I’m truly amazed at that price point it even plays at all.
I understand parents not wanting to splash out coin on something that might be a fad. But I can go on Reverb and pick up a used (as per @howard suggestion) for a song.
$60 for a used Squier P Bass. Perfect for finding out you hate bass and then giving it away to someone who might love it.
Used Squier, Yamaha, Ibanez is where it’s at. IMHO

2 Likes

Lowend Lobster gave the donner p-bass a favorable review, might be worth checking out. But I would probably second the amazon acoustic, solely because I want to see if its worth it even for camping purposes.

1 Like