Bass on a Budget: 10 Basses Under $1,000 for 2016

Tax season is finally over and it’s time to figure out how to spend that sweet refund from Uncle Sam. Of course, if you’re reading this site you’ve probably already decided on a bass. That’s why we put together this list of 10 new basses for 2016 under $1,000.

The list is in no particular order and is not exhaustive. If you’ve got a bass released in 2016, add it in the comments!

Washburn Sonamaster SB1 Bass

Washburn SB1PTS Bass

Washburn’s new Sonamaster SB1 is a throwback to their old school basses from the ‘80s. Available in Black and Tobacco-Sunburst finishes, it’s got some interesting curves and a funky reverse headstock for the retro vibe.

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Schecter Diamond Series Michael Anthony Bass

Schecter Michael Anthony Signature Diamond Series Bass

Ex-Van Halen and current The Circle bassist Michael Anthony teamed up with Schecter this year to create a pair of signature basses, including a Diamond Series take on their Model T bass. It’s got a black-out theme and a USA MonsterTone P/J pickup set.

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Ibanez Artcore Vintage Basses

Ibanez Artcore Vintage AGBV205A Bass

Who doesn’t like an old bass with some mojo? Ibanez took advantage of that history with the Artcore Vintage series including the AFBV200A, AGBV200A, and AGBV205A. The semi-hollowbody, short-scale basses have distressed finishes and antiqued hardware to give you all the vibe with none of the issues of old basses.

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Orange O Bass Guitar

Orange O Orange Bass

Orange Amplification had a bass built specifically to demo their amps at the annual Winter NAMM show, and after a few years of requests, they’ve released it as the O Bass. The company describes it as “distinctively vintage sonic mojo – a well-balanced bass response with a warm mid-range.”

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Ibanez SR300E Bass

Ibanez SR300E Bass

Ibanez’s SR series has always been a great, affordable option for bassists, and this year they’ve upped the game with a new set of pickups. The SR300E comes in four, five, and six-string versions, each loaded with their new Powerspan dual coil pickups. If that’s not enough, a Power Tap switch toggles each pickup between three modes: Normal Tap (Single Coil), Series (Humbucking), and Power Tap (Normal Tap with a boosted low end).

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Schecter Stiletto Session Fretless Bass

Schecter Stiletto Session 4-String Fretless Bass

Available in four and five-string versions, the Stiletto Session Fretless is built with a swamp ash body, maple neck, and fretless maple fingerboard with ebony side block inlays. Each model is fitted with a set of EMG35 pickups and an EMG active 3-band EQ.

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ESP LTD AP-204 Bass


ESP calls the LTD AP-204 “a modernized update of a classic shape for contemporary music styles.” It comes with a set of ESP-designed P/J pickups and an option of Charcoal Metallic and Burgundy Burst finishes.

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ESP Marco Mendoza Signature Bass

ESP Marco Mendoza LTD MM-4FM Bass

Dead Daisies bassist Marco Mendoza’s new ESP signature comes in an eye-pleasing dark green see-thru finish over its flame maple top and matching headstock. Mendoza worked with the company to opt for EMG X-series P/J pickups as well as a five-piece maple neck and fingerboard to get a little brighter tone.

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Sire Guitars Marcus Miller M7

Sire Marcus Miller M7 Series Natural Bass

Sire’s long-awaited Marcus Miller M7 has been finalized and will be shipping at the end of April. Central to its design is a pair of humbuckers matched to a Marcus Miller Heritage-3 with a mid-frequency control. Each pickup also has a three way switch to toggle between series mode, parallel mode, and single coil mode. Options range from body wood to color finish.

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Jackson CBXNT IV and V Concert Basses

Jackson CBXNT IV Concert Bass

Four and five string models, respectively, the Jackson CBXNT IV and V Concert Basses are described as the perfect bass for metal. Each model is built with neck-through construction with a basswood body, one-piece maple neck with graphite reinforcement, and a compound-radiused rosewood fingerboard. Its tone is radiated through a pair of Jackson high output humbuckers.

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Share your thoughts

  1. Mark S Beretta

    I want that Schecter Stiletto Fretless ,,,
    Next the new Marcus Miller M7 ,,,
    Ouch that Hurts ,,,

  2. Jo

    Cool report, but you all forgot all about the best bass below 1’000.- which is the Yamaha TRBX505 ! ;) this one covers a lot of needs and it also looks awesome. Highly recommendable!

  3. I recently got the SR305EB and it’s an awesome bit of kit!

  4. Glenn

    I don’t know, I recently got myself the Music Man SUB and found so good, the tone so variable…that I bought a 2nd one…both at $299 (or so) each