6 Affordable Bass Guitars Under $200 For Enthusiasts On A Budget

Starting out with bass guitar is a as confusing as it is exciting. There are so many brands to choose from, and even more models. What most beginners are looking for is an affordable bass guitar that won’t break their bank account, but will also serve them well as they start learning how to play. Because of this, the segment of the market where you can find bass guitars under $200 has become increasingly popular.

Finding a good bass guitar in this price range is not as easy as it sounds. It’s much easier to pick a great bass in $500 range. If you’re interested in seeing what’s available in this higher segment, check out our short list for some great models priced under $500.

There are many models which aren’t all that great, and definitely won’t give you your money’s worth . Because of that, we did all of the work for you and found some great budget bass guitars under 200 dollars that you can get at the moment. We tried to find the perfect balance of price and performance, which is something all of the models on this list have in common. There’s a variety of styles, so you should easily find something that fits your personal requirements. Let’s check out what we got in store for you.

Top 6 Best Cheap Bass Guitars Under $200:

Image
Bass Guitar
Summary
Rating
Epiphone
Epiphone "Toby" Standard IV
Great bass guitar that brings that trademark Epiphone performance on a budget.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
Ibanez GSRM20
Ibanez GSRM20
Short scale wonder that offers a perfect balance of comfort and performance.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
Yamaha TRBX174
Yamaha TRBX174
A no-nonsense package that focuses on delivering core performance and playing comfort.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
Peavey Milestone
Peavey Milestone
An underdog in this price range that has a lot to offer.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
Squier by Fender Vintage SS Modified Special Jaguar
Squier Fender Vintage SS Modified Special Jaguar

Impressive combination of style and performance in a classic Fender style package.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
Dean E09M Edge
Dean E09M Edge
One of the cheapest and most unique bass guitars on the market.
4.8 Stars
Total of 4.8/5

Epiphone “Toby” Standard IV

Epiphone Toby Standard IV Bass Guitar

Body&Neck:4.9 Stars
Hardware:4.8 Stars
Electronics:4.9 Stars
Sound:4.9 Stars
Value:5.0 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

The first bass on our list is barely outside of our budget, but it would simply be a mistake not to include it here. Epiphone has been producing some of the best entry level bass guitars you could find on the market for decades. Toby Standard IV is just another one in this long series. What you see here is a very slick bass that features a compact radiata body, inspired by the work of Michael Tobias.

Even though it looks somewhat unusual, this bass is definitely among the lighter and more comfortable ones to play in this price range. The neck is an asymmetrical design that also follows the comfort theme. In terms of electronics, you have a set of TBR Dual Rail and TBT Dual Rail humbuckers at the neck and bridge respectively. These are controlled by a master volume, blend, bass and treble cut controls. For what is essentially an entry level bass guitar, Epiphone “Toby” Standard IV sure packs a lot of heat, and style.


Ibanez GSRM20

Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro bass Guitar

Body&Neck:4.8 Stars
Hardware:4.8 Stars
Electronics:4.9 Stars
Sound:4.8 Stars
Value:5.0 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

Next bass guitar we want to show you is a very special little axe from Ibanez. This brand is known for making some of the most capable basses in general, so seeing a good affordable model is not that surprising. This is one of their short scale models which have swept the market like a forest fire. In many ways, this bass is very similar to their GSR200 model, only it comes with a shorter neck. What are the benefits of such design? Well, first and foremost, it’s much easier to play, both for beginners and those who have smaller hands.

While it might feel like you’re losing something by having a few inches cut off from the scale, the fact is that the difference is marginal at best. This bass guitar plays and sounds pretty much like any other bass. Build quality is more than decent, sporting a nice combination of Agathis body and a standard maple neck. hardware is solid and holds the tuning just fine, while the pickups give you a decent range of tones to play with. Another great thing about short scale bass guitars is the fact that you can hit those deeper notes and make them ring out with a lot of girth thanks to the lower string tension required. At the end of the day, there are really no drawbacks to this type of bass.


Yamaha TRBX174

Yamaha TRBX174 OVS 4-String Bass Guitar

Body&Neck:4.9 Stars
Hardware:4.9 Stars
Electronics:4.9 Stars
Sound:4.9 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

Yamaha may not be as present in the electric guitar field so much, but they sure know how to make solid bass guitars. Case in point – Yamaha TRBX174. This is a no-thrills, no-nonsense model that was designed around delivering the best core performance for the money. We’re happy to say that Yamaha nailed it completely. Featuring the standard TRBX body made of alder, and a solid maple neck, this bass guitar is all business.

The electronics come in form of a standard precision setup with an additional jazz style single coil at the bridge location. Together, these pups offer a great combination of thump and smoothness that gives the TRBX174 a whole lot of range. In terms of beginner bass guitars, this Yamaha is up there with the greats, often considered to be the hidden marble in this segment of the market. On that note, TRBX174 is easily comparable to bass guitars found in the $300 range. To find which models we’re talking about, check out our rundown for this segment of the market.


Peavey Milestone

Peavey Milestone Bass Guitar

Body&Neck:4.7 Stars
Hardware:4.8 Stars
Electronics:4.9 Stars
Sound:4.9 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars
Average:4.8 Stars

Peavey’s reputation in the world of guitars and bass guitars is definitely not on the same level as the brands we have mentioned earlier. With that in mind, this industry giant is more than capable of designing and producing a true working man’s bass. Peavey Milestone is the model we are talking about and this thing is a real stunner.

With a bit of that Fender J-Bass vibe in there, Milestone looks very stylish and vintage. The electronics Peavey went with for this bass reinforce the obvious resemblance to Fender’s legendary model in a way of their own. Whether you are looking for your first bass guitar, or just something to play while your expensive pieces are in storage, Peavey Milestone has all the potential to be the perfect fit for you.


Squier by Fender Vintage SS Modified Special Jaguar

Squier by Fender Vintage SS Modified Special Jaguar Bass

Body&Neck:4.8 Stars
Hardware:4.9 Stars
Electronics:4.9 Stars
Sound:4.9 Stars
Value:5.0 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

Aside from having an unusually complicated name, this Squier creation is definitely among the most exceptional bass guitars you can get within the $200 range. It brings a lot of impressive features along with that classic Fender vibe. If you haven’t noticed already, this is a short scale model. Hence the SS designation. Squier really did a number on it when it comes to appearances as this is by far one of the best looking entry level bass guitars on the market. Aside from looking like a million bucks, Jaguar also performs great.

With a standard Jazz Bass pickup configuration that is enriched by a single coil pup at the bridge, you can count on dialing in a wide range of tones. Short scale makes is much easier to play for beginners and those who have smaller hands, without sacrificing anything in the realm of tone. If you are a diehard Fender fan but still can’t afford to invest in an original Jazz Bass, this Squier is definitely something you might want to look into.


Dean E09M Edge

Dean E09M Edge Bass Guitar

Body&Neck:4.9 Stars
Hardware:4.8 Stars
Electronics:4.7 Stars
Sound:4.8 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars
Average:4.8 Stars

Dean is definitely no stranger to good affordable basses. Aside from their more ‘outlandish’ models, we were really interested in finding something different. Something that offers the type of experience you don’t generally find that often. Enter Dean E09M Edge. This bass brings a combination of features you don’t often see in the entry level range, and for a good reason. What Dean has managed to put together is usually considered impractical due to cheap components they have to use.

However, Dean took it to the finish line. Here’s the rundown. A sweet looking lacquered body with a single soapbar pickup in the middle. That’s not something you see every day, that’s for sure. On that note, this bass guitar sounds great. The tricky thing is to get that single pup to cover the whole range with enough quality, while still maintaining the low cost. While you can’t expect perfection from these guitars, Dean definitely did a good job this time. If you want something different that looks great and sound good at the same time, Dean E09M Edge is definitely worth checking out.


Conclusion

Choosing your first bass guitar is definitely one of those things that take a bit of learning and research. You’re still not up to date with all the info, and there are so many awesome looking basses available. The ones we have shown you today are, in our humble opinion, the best ones you can get for less than $200.

We included a variety of styles, designs, and types of bass guitars. However, all of them have one thing in common – they offer a great core performance. Whether you’re a more conservative type of bass player and you’re looking for a nice Fender style bass, or you are in the market for something more exciting, these six basses should have you covered.