Best short scale bass under $500

The fun and excitement of playing the guitar are often incomparable for the lovers of the instrument. It is definitely one of the most popular musical instruments around the world and with the right balance of rhythm and melody, the role of a bass guitar in modern music is undeniable. So whether you are a first-time buyer as a music lover or upgrading your existing model, it is important that you have the right knowledge about the basics. Whether you are a solo performer or a part of a band, without the right instrument, your music will never sound right. Basically, the normal guitar and bass guitar differ in the pitch range of the instruments and the bass guitar plays notes an octave lower.

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In this article, we will review some of the best bass guitars in the market to help you choose the right item. We will also share a few points about the various factors that one needs to keep in mind while making the purchase. So take a look at some of the best bass units that will keep your performance at the top.

Table of Contents

Guide to buying Best short-scale bass under $500

The following points need to be kept in mind while making a purchase of a bass guitar.

The body design

The body of any bass guitar should have the right style and match with the sound quality to serve your needs. Generally, each brand has its own sound quality and three shapes. They are the P-bass, the J-bass and the modern shape. The P-bass is the most basic model that is easy to use though they are not ideal for all styles of music. The other two varieties are more suited for a wide range of styles. So depending on what you are playing, you need to choose a body type.

The number of strings

A bass can come in 4.5 or 6 strings. The traditional 4 stringed unit is definitely the most popular choice. The additional strings serve the purpose of adding more range to the bass. 5 and 6 stringed basses allow you to play higher and lower-pitched notes with more ease. If you are an experienced player and into a heavier range of music, then you can look for a 5 string bass. A 6 string bass can be reserved for more experienced players.

The pickups

A bass guitar can have a passive or an active pickup. Passive pickups deliver a dynamic sound and a warm, full tone while providing less overall control over the tone. Active pickups were developed in a later era and have generated a polarised reaction from the guitarists. They provide a bright, percussive and clear along with a higher overall output than a passive pickup.

Guitar Necks

Guitar necks vary in shape and while some player prefers a wider neck, others opt for a narrower one. The necks are made out of a variety of woods which include Maple, Rosewood and Ebony and each type results in a different tone and feel. It is important to feel the neck as the shape will determine how comfortable you will handle the guitar without resulting in muscle fatigue. If you are a first-timer, you can take the help of an experienced person to ascertain that the neck is not warped or twisted in some way.

The scale

The scale of a bass guitar depends on the overall length of the strings. The lower the pitch you need, the longer a string you can choose. The long scale in a bass is of 34 inches and then there are lower scales ranging from 33 to 30 inches. Your choice will depend on your musical needs.

 

Squier by Fender 328900538 Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass

This is a model that comes with a classic touch and keeps the sound quality at the top end along with the perfect range of versatility.

Squier by Fender 328900538 Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass Special, Ros

Overview

With sharp looks and a great sound, this is definitely a top-class product from Fender. It keeps the overall tone very impressive and offers great playability that makes it ideal for new as well as experienced players. It is also very well priced which is another plus point in its favor.

Feature and Benefits:

Sleek design

The unit comes with a sleek offset-waist body and an ultra-slim fast-action neck. The basswood body and rosewood fingerboard keep the sound quality on the warm side.

Bass boost

The unit comes with a bass boost feature that provides it an additional edge over the other models. The active bass-boost circuit that adds additional low-end power to the unit.

Great comfort

The unit is designed in a way that offers a great level of comfort and the C-shaped neck design is ideal for long term use without fatiguing your hands in any way.

Good value

With a rich range of features, this unit offers very good value for the price that you will pay. This makes it a very good choice among the other models in the market.

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 12.35 pounds.
  • Scale: 34 inches.
  • Neck: C-shaped.
  • of strings: 4.
  • Body material: Solid-wood.

 

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • A good looking model.
  • Good sound quality.
  • Comes with bass boost feature.
  • Offers a good level of comfort.
  • Very well built body.
.
Cons
  • The strings need fast replacement.

 

This is a powerful bass unit that offers the right range of values along with fantastic value as a model for beginners.

 

Epiphone EB-3 Electric Bass Guitar

This guitar delivers a winning combination of solid bass and well built at an attractive price, making it a great choice for first-time buyers.

Epiphone EB-3 Electric Bass Guitar, 2 Pickups, Cherry_ Musical Instr

Overview

The short scale of the guitar matches very well with its winning looks making it an attractive unit. The tone is very impressive and once you balance the quality with the price tag, you will find the unit to be a real bargain from all aspects.

Feature and Benefits:

Solid build

The unit is solidly built and comes with a bulky bridge, old-style volume and tone controls that gives it a vintage charm. The finishing is great and the quality of the hardware is really good.

Easy to play

The guitar comes with very good playability and the neck is perfectly designed for a comfortable grip. The shallow set-in of the neck and the double-cutaway makes it easy to play.

Great sound

The guitar delivers excellent tone and solid bass that is a real pleasure to hear. The neck and mahogany timber provides a good harmonic response from the unit.

Warranty

The unit comes with a lifetime warranty from Epiphone. The customer service is also extremely efficient, making is a great deal on the whole.

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 11.77 pounds.
  • Scale: 34 inches.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • of strings: 4.
  • Body material: Mahogany

 

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • A very well-designed unit.
  • Excellent bass output.
  • Very easy to use.
  • Very well priced.
  • Works very well for rock players.
.
Cons
  • The playing experience is different.

 

This is a bass guitar that will definitely impress with its sound quality and it also provides very good looks, making it the right choice for budget buyers.

 

ESP F-104-BLK-KIT-1 4-String Electric Bass

This is a unit that has the right build and the superb range of bass that will allow you to take over the stage with total confidence.

ESP LTD Standard F104 Electric Bass Guitar, Black_ Musical Instrumen

Overview

ESP has built a reputation of producing solid bass units and this model is no exception. This base unit has a lot to offer and with a well-constructed body and equally good hardware, it delivers the right range of sound. This is a unit that you can definitely rely on.

Feature and Benefits:

Solid build

The unit comes with a basswood body with maple bolt-on-neck that provides a solid base for the sound to emerge. The classic fixed bridge with four fully adjustable saddles makes it more effective.

Great looks

The unit comes with a rugged look and the black shade enhances it further to a greater level. The thin profile and the interesting shape makes it a really attractive choice.

Impressive sound

This unit allows you to vary between blues to the heavy metal without any issues. The two-band equalizer does a solid job and it produces an impressive range of tones.

Great features

The unit comes with two SB-4 passive humbuckers which do a fine job. All the hardware come in the form of chrome and a rosewood fingerboard.

 

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 12 pounds.
  • Scale: 35 inches.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood 
  • of strings: 4.
  • Body material: Baswood

 

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • The overall look is unique.
  • Great sound output.
  • A very good bass range.
  • Build quality is good.
  • A good choice for beginners.
.
Cons
  • Sound is somewhat rough around the edges.

 

This is a unit that comes with a very good range and the right amount of versatility that will allow a beginner to enjoy playing without having to spend much.

Squier Chris Aiken Precision Bass

This unit combines a hard-hitting look, sound, and style into a new level of precision and sound delivery, making it a great choice for bass lovers.

Squier Chris Aiken Precision Bass, Maple Fingerboard, Olympic White_

Overview

The unit comes with a fresh take on the venerable Fender P-Bass model and creates a cool look along with top class features. The white design really stands out and the simple and practical features come along with the ease of use.

Feature and Benefits:

Chris Aitken signature

Chris Aiken is one of the most influential bass players of the SoCal punk rock scene and this unit comes with his signature precision bass. The unit is a smooth blend of style and tune.

Good build

The build quality is impressive and the unit comes with a double-cut basswood body and a bolted maple neck. It also has a knurled chrome volume knob and “HiMass” bridge with brass saddles.

Stylish looks

The unit comes with comes complete with a mirrored acrylic pickguard on an Olympic white body, a hallmark “Astrolux” logo on the headstock and also Aiken’s signature on the back.

Additional features

The unit comes with a C-shaped neck that is easy to play along with a maple fingerboard with white pearl. There is also a master volume control for added precision.

 

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 12.1 pounds.
  • Scale: 34 inches.
  • Fretboard: Maple  
  • of strings: 4.
  • Body Material: Basswood 

 

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • A stylishly designed unit.
  • Very well built.
  • Simple and practical design.
  • Powerful PB 105 pickup.
  • A good amount of bass.
.
Cons
  • Tone range could have been better.

 

 

This is a very well-designed bass unit that hits all the right marks and performs at the top level right from the start, making it a great value for money option.

 

Schecter Stiletto Extreme-4 Bass Guitar

A beautiful design, a versatile capability, and a great tone are the best features of this unit, making it one of the top models from Schecter.

Schecter Stiletto Extreme-4 Bass Guitar (4 String, Black Cherry)_ Mu

Overview

With a unique look and feel, this is one of the best bass units that will provide the right quality of sound at a very reasonable price. The style and finish give the unit a classic touch and the overall unit can be easily called as a flawless piece of design.

Feature and Benefits:

Classic looks

The black cherry shade and the intricate surface patterns lend this unit a stylish touch. The squat body shape is good for use and the thin neck makes it a very comfortable unit to play.

Good tone

The active equalizer provides good control over the sound range. The unit is also designed for modern genres of music with its high level of output.

Superior pickup and hardware

The Schecter Designed Diamond Bass humbucker with a master volume control does a great job. The knurled set-screws for knobs and the diamond bass bridge does an efficient job in keeping the strings in tune.

Good value

For its price, this unit offers very good value, along with a stylish design. The professional-quality sound delivery and impressive bass make it stand ahead of its competitors.

 

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 14.9 pounds.
  • Hand Orientation: Right-handed.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood 
  • of strings: 4.
  • Body material: Solid wood.

 

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • A very stylish design.
  • Good bass output.
  • Ergonomically shaped body.
  • Comes with an effective equalizer.
  • An effective neck design.
.
Cons
  • Both pickups sound similar.

 

With top-class materials, a comfortable to use design and good sound quality, the unit is ideal for beginners who will enjoy mid-range category bass.

Yamaha 5-String Bass Guitar TRBX305 MGR

With a superb sound output and superior built quality that offers the right amount of balance, this baas unit is designed to maximize your musical performance.

Yamaha 5-String Bass Guitar Right Handed, Mist Green 5-String TRBX30

Overview

The unit is very well built and the overall design is quite attractive. The quality of the tone is clear and powerful, along with a high quality of depth. It also comes with great adjustability and durability, making it a great choice for all types of music.

Feature and Benefits:

Great quality

The unit comes with a solid mahogany body along with an ultra-comfortable maple and mahogany neck and a rosewood fingerboard that guarantees quality and durability.

Good bridge

The high-mass die-cast bridge transfers the string vibrations to the body with great efficiency and the playability is top-class for both technical slap and finger styles.

Superior pickup

The unit comes with a high-quality pickup featuring oversized polepieces and ceramic magnets. The sound quality is clean and noise-free and the design effectively cancels hums.

Perfect balance

The perfect balance offered by this unit delivers a superior level of playing comfort that allows you to play hour after hour. This is a design targeted towards musicians.

 

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 13.23 pounds.
  • Hand Orientation: Right-handed.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood.
  • of strings: 5.
  • Body material: Mahogany 

 

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • An ultra-comfortable design.
  • Offers great playability.
  • Good versatility.
  • Precision level engineering.
  • Solid body design.
.
Cons
  • Not ideal for advanced musicians.

 

 

This is a very reliable model with top-class feature and superb bass delivery that makes it a very good choice at a budget level price.

 

Washburn T24NMK Taurus 4-String Electric Bass Guitar

The high-quality components and a top-class finish make this unit a real performer and perfectly suitable for use at a professional level.

Washburn T24NMK Taurus 4-String Electric Bass Guitar with Gig Bag, N

Overview

The construction of this unit is along with the overall finish quality is outstanding. This makes it one of the best professional-level bass models that offer a great amount of flexibility. With a fast and slim design, this will fulfill the needs of those who are looking for a premium model.

Feature and Benefits:

Superb construction

The neck-through-body construction that is made up of mahogany and maple laminates make this one a durable unit and enhances the overall sound output.

Quality hardware

The chrome finish of this unit along with brass tuners made of chrome die-cast that provides the right look and durability. The hardtail bridge also ensures superior handling.

Comfortable

The unit is designed for comfortable use and is suitable for long hours of playing. The well-designed neck and the multi-laminate neck-thru construction with a satin finish make it easy to use.

Additional features

The unit comes with dual Washburn J style pickups. The four adjustable saddles and a pair of single-coil pickups in the front are some other excellent features of this unit.

 

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 10.41 pounds.
  • Hand Orientation: Right-handed.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood.
  • of strings: 4.
  • Body material: Laminated wood.

 

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • Attractive natural matte finish.
  • Comfortable to use.
  • Good construction.
  • Advanced level engineering.
  • Pro-level sound quality.
.
Cons
  • The price.

 

With this model, the tone and bass are extremely pleasing and the overall style exudes the right elegance to make it a great choice.

Fender Squier Vintage Modified Electric Bass Guitar

This is a popular bass guitar that comes with the right sound quality along with attractive looks and is very easy on the pocket too.

Fender Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Beginner Short Scale Electric

Overview

This is a unit that looks and sound good and keeps the overall quality very impressive. It also has the right control features that make it a great choice for the students of music. On balancing the overall quality with the price, this model offers great value on all levels.

Feature and Benefits:

Sharp looks

The unit keeps a sharp design that comes with a C-shaped body that makes it quite attractive in appearance. The compact size also makes it an easy unit to handle.

Good pickups

The unit comes with two Fender-designed single-coil jazz bass pickups that keep the sound quality impressive. It also has 4-saddle vintage-style tuners for added effects.

Good controls

The control features on the unit lend it a definite edge over its competitors. It comes with a volume control knob for each pickup and a master tone control knob.

Great value

The fantastic price is another great feature of this unit that makes it a value for money choice. It also has a one year warranty that provides an additional amount of reliability to it.

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 10.35 pounds.
  • Scale Length: 30 inches
  • Fretboard: Rosewood.
  • of strings: 4.
  • Body Material: Basswood

 

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • Very easy to handle.
  • Effective controls.
  • Good bass output.
  • A smooth satin finish.
  • The aesthetics are impressive.
.
Cons
  • Hardware quality could have been better.

 

Whether you are a first-time buyer or someone who is in the need for a good range of bass, this is a very good unit to choose from the market.

 

Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar

With a unique design that will attract modern players, this unit is a great blend of quality sound along with superb build quality.

 

Overview

With its offset design, this bass unit definitely attracts a lot of players. This is a versatile unit and will suit both the vintage lovers and modern players with its sound output. The short-scale design also makes handling easy for a wide range of players.

Feature and Benefits:

Smart design

The unit comes with a flatter radius of 9.5 inches. This allows for slightly lower action and also makes the strings easier to bend. The twenty-two of the larger sized medium jumbo frets enhances the playability.

Short scale

The 24-inch neck is slightly shorter and is made from quality maple wood. This shorter length makes the unit easier to play, especially for players with shorter hands.

Superior electronics

This unit has two single-coil pickups that come with dual circuits that have the rhythm and lead modes. These have their own set of controls in addition to the standard tone and volume knob.

Good sound

The unit offers Best short-scale bass under $500 and amazing versatility in the sound department as a wide variety of tone configurations can be done. From jazz to rock and roll, this unit will support a range of tunes.

 

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 12.2 pounds.
  • Scale Length: 24 inches
  • Fretboard: Rosewood.
  • Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo.
  • Body Material: Basswood 

 

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • Has a distinct visual appeal.
  • A versatile unit.
  • Very comfortable for handling.
  • Very good build quality.
  • High-quality switchgear.
.
Cons
  • Some problems with tuning stability.

This is a quality product that is highly recommended for surf music and is definitely one of the best models round in this price band.

Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Bass VI

This is a classic model that has made a lot of impact on contemporary music with its distinct sound signature and top-class performance.

Schecter Stiletto Extreme-4 Bass Guitar (4 String, Black Cherry)_ Mu

Overview

The unit comes with interesting looks and the sound pattern has standard bass mixed with elements of a guitar or baritone guitar. The overall feel and sound of the model are very good and it will be a great support for those who want the best of both worlds.

Feature and Benefits:

Good design

The C-neck profile and its 9.5-inch fretboard radius make this unit quite comfortable and easy to play. There are also three custom Jaguar single-coil pickups with notched Ïclaw shielding rings.

Easy to use

The 30-inch scale length makes it very easy to play for musicians with smaller hands. The shorter scale length makes it easy for players who are more habituated with the guitar.

Good looks

The skilfully done neck bindings and figured Pearloid block inlays make the unit look attractive. In addition, the gloss polyurethane finish on the basswood body is very smooth and glossy.

Superior sound

The unit offers rich bass and a very satisfying tone with a little higher end. A vast array of tonal possibilities via the two-position slider switches makes the unit a versatile one.

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 12.45 pounds.
  • Scale Length: 30 inches
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood.
  • Frets: 21 numbers.
  • Body Material: Basswood 

 

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • Looks attractive.
  • Good choice for bass players.
  • Easy to use for guitarists.
  • Tortoiseshell pickguard.
  • Available in three attractive colors.
.
Cons
  • The style may not suit all users.
  • Stock strings are thinner.

 

With its nimble structure, this instrument is great fun to play and it is ideal for guitarists who would like to go heavy on the bass for a while.

 

Conclusion

So these are  Best short-scale bass under $500. While choosing these units, we have kept the factor of playability and ease of use in mind and each of these units offers a great deal of comfort to the player. They are also quite versatile in the sound department and will suit a large variety of music. These models are also very well built and they will also score high marks in the looks department. Coming from some of the top brands, these are also very reliable units in terms of performance. From this lot, the Squier 328900538 Vintage by Fender can be marked as the top pick.

This unit has three distinct features which are the sharp looks, great sound, and super versatility. The sleek design is crafted with precision engineering that makes the unit deliver a superb bass. There is also an active bass boost circuit that adds additional low-end power. Add to this the great amount of comfort and playability that comes at a great value and you have a superb bass unit in your hands.

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