14 Best Bass Guitars Overall (our top picks)

Best Bass Guitars: A Couple Favorites

​Epiphone Thunderbird Classic Bass

​Epiphone Thunderbird Classic Bass

​Fender Deluxe Active Precision Bass

​Fender Deluxe Active Precision Bass

1. Fender Standard Jazz Bass Guitar

Fender Standard Jazz Bass Guitar
A look at the Fender Jazz bass headstock. ​Image via Fender

Features and specifics

Color and fretboard tonewood choices for the Fender Standard Jazz bass. ​Image via Fender
A look at the white Fender Standard Jazz bass. ​Flickr Commons Image via Eioua

Features

  • Alder Body
  • Maple Neck
  • Standard Single Coil Jazz Pickups
  • Dual Volume Knobs (one per pickup)

2. Squier Vintage Modified ’70s Jazz Bass

Squier Vintage Modified ’70s Jazz Bass

The Squier version…

Squier Vintage Modified ’70s Jazz Bass

The Fender version…

Fender Vintage Modified ’70s Jazz Bass

Comparing to the Fender Jazz bass

Having Maple in your bass guitar is a good thing. ​Flickr Commons Image via Laurel R usswurm

Squier Jazz Bass

Fender Jazz Bass

Images via Fender

Price point

Features

  • Soft Maple Body
  • Maple Neck
  • C-Shaped Fretboard Design
  • Fender-designed pickups

3. Schecter Stiletto Extreme Bass

Schecter Stiletto Extreme Bass

Tone and features

Features

  • ​Maple & Mahogany Tonewood Combination
  • Schecter Diamond Pickups
  • Ernie Ball Strings

4. Epiphone Thunderbird Classic Bass

Epiphone Thunderbird Classic Bass
  1. Mahogany/Walnut neck design
  2. Gibson-made pickups
  3. Mahogany body
  4. Three-point bridge design

The Epiphone Investment

An Amazon reviewer’s experience with the Epiphone Thunderbird.

Features

  • Gibson Pickups
  • Mahogany & Walnut Neck
  • Light Mahogany Body

5. Fender Special Edition Deluxe Ash Jazz Bass

Fender Special Edition Deluxe Ash Jazz Bass
A look at a Fender bass machine head tuner. ​Flickr Commons Image via Specialist Photography

Features and Tone

What’s the appropriate skill level?

Features

  • Ash Body
  • Natural Finish
  • Fender Jazz Pickups
  • Rosewood Fretboard

6. Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass Guitar

Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass Guitar
The Modified Special Jaguar from Squier has a remarkable amount of positive feedback.

Features

  • Maple Neck
  • Precision and Jazz Pickup Combo
  • Dual Volume Controls

7. Fender Deluxe Active Precision Bass

Fender Deluxe Active Precision Bass
A look at the three-band active EQ on the Fender Deluxe which gives you a wide variety of tone control. ​Image via Fender

Tonewood

The Ideal Player

Features

  • Alder Body
  • Maple Neck Combo
  • Jazz and P-Bass Pickup Combo
  • P-Bass Body and Jazz Neck Combo
  • Three-Band Active EQ System and Onboard Preamp

8. Fender Standard Precision Bass

Fender Standard Precision Bass

Features

  • Alder Body
  • Maple Neck
  • Traditional P-Bass Pickup Configuration

The Second Tier (honorable mentions)

  1. Popular and Well-Known Brands/Models
  2. Below-Retail Pricing (while considering used prices)
  3. Meeting a Reasonable Standard of Quality (considering features, construction, sound quality, etc.)

9. Fender Geddy Lee Signature Jazz Bass

Fender Geddy Lee Signature Jazz Bass

Features

  • Two Single-Coil American Vintage Pickups
  • Volume Knob for Both Pickups
  • Maple Neck

10. Ibanez SR505BM Soundgear 5-String Bass Guitar

Ibanez SR505BM Soundgear 5-String Bass Guitar

Features

  • Two Bartolini MK1–5 Pickups
  • Mahogany Body
  • Three-Band EQ

11. Yamaha TRBX Bass Series

Yamaha TRBX Bass Series

Features

  • Solid Mahogany
  • YGD Designed H5 Pickups
  • Three-Band EQ
  • Active-Passive Switch

12. ESP LTD B Series B-205 Five-String Bass

ESP LTD B Series B-205 Five-String Bass

Features

  • Ash Body & Maple Top
  • String-Thru Body Bridge
  • Active & Three-Band EQ

13. Epiphone EB-0 Bass

Epiphone EB-0 Bass

Features

  • Mahogany Body
  • Single SideWinder Bass Pickup

14. Schecter Stiletto Custom-5 Electric Bass

Schecter Stiletto Custom-5 Electric Bass

Features

  • S-Tek Bridge
  • Gold Hardware
  • EMG HZ Pickups

The Value Threshold

What else should I look for in a bass?

Stylistic Preferences

Simplicity or Versatility?

Your Playing Levels

Flickr Commons Image Courtesy of Guillaume Laurent

Your Thoughts

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