Best Bass in the $300-$400 Price Range

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by slicepaperdavid, Dec 10, 2017.


  1. slicepaperdavid

    slicepaperdavid Member

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    I have the opportunity to get a new bass as a gift for Christmas. It will be my 1st bass, I’ve been playing guitar for 16 years and the bass will be used primarily for recording. I’ve been eyeing a Squire Vintage Modified Jazz Bass 77 http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass...-77/h99637000001000?pfm=item_page.rr1|ClickCPbut am open to other suggestions. Not looking to go used even though thats the route I’d usually go. I play in low tunings, c standard and like an overdriven, punchy bass tone ie modern Converge, High on Fire.
     
  2. somedude

    somedude Member

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    The Squier basses are pretty nice. With the cheaper basses durability is typically an issue, but if it'll be a studio bass that shouldn't be an issue.

    I recommend going to a store and demoing both a Jazz and a Precision bass.
     
  3. slicepaperdavid

    slicepaperdavid Member

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    good advice, thanks
     
  4. germs

    germs Member

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    ok, i'm in your ballpark.

    personal choice: i don't think they're being mfg'd anymore, but try for a used Fender Blacktop bass with 2 humbuckers.

    or any used MIM Fender bass in good shape is your best bet. you should be able to find them online all day for that price.
     
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  5. ksandvik

    ksandvik Member

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    I've done lots of gigs with a Square VM (the black at the top link), like last Friday. Nice bass guitars for the price. The pickups are excellent.
     
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  6. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    I can't think of anything I would personally buy anywhere near that price range, but I am and have always been a bassist and I have a lot of really nice basses. I think if I was in your shoes I would be looking for a Squier CV J bass. From the people I have talked to these basses are easily on par with the MIM basses and many even say they're better.
     
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  7. ksandvik

    ksandvik Member

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    As for Jazz versus Precision, you can't really get the Precision rock sound from a Jazz, but the Jazz bass necks are easier. Both are good (I have both.)

    PS: How many know that for maybe half of the Chic records, a Precision bass was used, not a Jazz bass which is typical usage for funk/dance music.
     
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  8. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    I generally have nice, pretty high dollar stuff, but I picked up a Squier VM Jag bass that is right up there for finish and fretwork quality and sounds great. I call it my $700 bass for under $200.
     
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  9. Theorist

    Theorist Supporting Member

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    Another vote for the Squier VM. I had a J that was wonderfull, but I wanted something with a more substantial neck, so I sold it and bought a VM Precision. Can’t really say anything bad about it quality wise, just not sure if a P is the right one for your style.
     
  10. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    I won't argue with that. I have never met a P bass I like though. I think I could dig a P bass with a J neck. P necks feel like playing on half a baseball bat.

    Of course now I have a Spector NS4 so I barely touch my J so....
     
  11. somedude

    somedude Member

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    Of the two bands mentioned in the OP, one uses a P bass and the other uses a bass with a P middle pickup combined with other pickups.
     
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  12. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    Best bass in the $300-400 range? Go used.
    US made Peavey Foundation (J), Foundation S (P/J), Fury (P) from the 80s/early 90s. These are a not such a secret anymore. Amazing quality.
    80s Ibanez Roadstar II or Blazers. These cover all the main categories of basses.
    Used G&L Tribute anything. Look into a SB2 for a P/J, an L2000 for a very versatile workhorse.
    Used Fender MIM from 2008-present.
     
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  13. Leep Dog

    Leep Dog Supporting Member

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    I have a Mexican Fender jazz bass and a Squier Classic Vibe 70s bass. Of the two the the Squier is actually the nicer instrument and the one I use the most but both are really good instruments in my opinion. I'm sure you could find a used Mexi Fender in your price range if that's what you decide to get.
     
  14. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Member

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    If you're going to get the best P or J Bass for your money, you need to buy used.

    I've bought all my basses at pawnshops.

    The are the best deals I've found on basses in the last few years.

    $64.64 - '74 USA Fender Jazz Bass
    $125 - '90 MIJ Fender '57 P-Bass
    $180 - '79 USA Fender P-Bass
    $315 - '89 USA Fender Jazz Bass
    $225 - '94 USA Fender Jazz V (5 string) Bass (picked this up 3 weeks ago)

    The deals on good used basses are out there,but you just have to put in the time to hunt them down.
     
  15. germs

    germs Member

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    FFS, 6 posts in and the gear snobbery starts up!

    *sigh* really missed TGP.
     
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  16. royd

    royd Member

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    You’re looking at a good time. It used to be that inexpensive instruments were crap. Now, one can find very nice playing, decent sounding instruments for not a lot of money. In your price range, the Squiers are excellent choices. The different models are just different flavors. You might also look at some of the Ibanez in that price range.

    The one piece I would add is that playing bass is not like playing guitar in a lower register. It has a different role in the music and so requires a different approach to what you play. Pay attention to that and you may find yourself turning into a bass player :eek:
     
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  17. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    Gear snobbery? Actually just life is too short to play a crappy bass. If you think a MIM P bass is just as good as a $2500 Spector you are delusional.

    And I noticed you didn't quote my whole post. You know, the part where I suggested a Squier CV. A guitar player who wants to screw around on bass and a guy who has been a working bassist for over 30 years probably need different things from their instrument don't you think? :)
     
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  18. Powderfinger

    Powderfinger Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a couple of cheap Ibanez that I really like. Light, slim neck.
     
  19. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango Member

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    As a guitar player that just wants to have a bass around for myself and bass-playing friends to jam, I opted for a Sterling SUB bass, and have been very happy with it. Sounds great, plays great, looks great (IMVHO). It was smaller and lighter than most basses I tried. It came down to this, an Ibanez SR400, or a Squire. I picked the Sterling in the end because Mint+Maple is damned sexy. Oh....and I like the tones and the neck on this one best of the three ;)

    Not mine, but:

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. fretless

    fretless Supporting Member

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    Great choice. Those sound and play great. That surf green and maple neck combo looks vintage cool.
     

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