Exceptional Bass Guitars Under $1000 That You Should Consider

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Last Updated: June-27-2017
In this premium bass category we noticed a couple of new models we were keen to include, such as the surprisingly great Cort Jeff Berlin Series Rithimic Bass, as well as the dark and delicious Fender Aerodyne Jazz Bass. The basses that made way for these two were the G&L Tribute L-2000 and MTD Kingston’s ‘The Heir’.

There is rarely a better feeling than when you have a decent budget and you are able to look at some pretty expensive guitars. Bass players who are looking for an upgrade are usually going to save up enough so that their next purchase puts them at least one or two categories higher in terms of instrument quality compared to their existing setup.

Bass guitars in the $1000 range are plentiful, and almost always awesome. This is the part of the market where you will see more refined components, better performance and overall higher quality instruments.

For some, making an investment of this kind is a plunge, but for others it is a necessity. Whatever the case may be, we wanted to help you out by showing you some of the best models you can pick up in this price range.

These six awesome bass guitars are just some of our favorites and a flavor of what’s on offer in the higher-end market. Whether your taste is conservative, or you like something a little more unconventional, our choices cover a wide spectrum. For more information, be sure to check out our guide to buying a good bass guitar. Let’s dive in!

Top 6 Best Bass Guitars Under $1000:

ImageBass Guitar / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Schecter Hellraiser Extreme-4 Schecter Hellraiser Extreme-4

Total of 4.92/5   4.92 Stars

Impressive bass that delivers on all fronts with a lot of success.

+ - Ibanez SR800 Ibanez SR800

Total of 4.90/5   4.90 Stars

True performer from Ibanez that brings great versatility and quality of tone.

+ - Cort Jeff Berlin Series Rithimic Bass Cort Jeff Berlin Series Rithimic Bass

Total of 4.84/5   4.84 Stars

A unique and surprisingly great bass made by Cort for Jeff Berlin.

+ - Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass

Total of 4.90/5   4.90 Stars

A classic precision bass with a bit of that signature Harris twist.

+ - Spector Legend 4 Classic Spector Legend 4 Classic

Total of 4.80/5   4.80 Stars

Packed with EMGs, this bass has everything it takes for great performance.

+ - Fender Aerodyne Jazz Bass Fender Aerodyne Jazz Bass

Total of 4.74/5   4.74 Stars

Fender’s elegant Jazz Bass that sounds as good as it looks!

Schecter Hellraiser Extreme-4

Schecter Hellraiser Extreme-4

Body And Neck:4.9 Stars
Hardware:4.9 Stars
Electronics:4.9 Stars
Sound:4.9 Stars
Value:5 Stars

While we have already covered some of their more affordable models in our special segment that covers the top beginner basses, Schecter’s top tier bass guitars have shown to be a true force to be reckoned with in these past several years. Hellraiser Extreme 4 is an absolute beast that packs a mean punch and looks incredible on top of that. What you’re looking at here is top tier build quality combined with set of EMG active pickups that bring on the thunder.

Mahogany body, quilted maple top, white binding – it’s all there. In terms of tone, you can count on a wide range of options as the EMGs are reinforced by a pretty capable EQ section. Some would say that this is a metal bass more than anything else, but the scope of genres you can play with this thing goes way beyond metal alone. With that said, when it’s time to speed things up and headbang, Schecter Hellraiser Extreme 4 is more than ready to back you up. When you step away and look at this bass guitar from a distance, you quickly realize just how capable of an instrument it really is.

Ibanez SR800

Ibanez SR800

Body And Neck:4.8 Stars
Hardware:4.8 Stars
Electronics:4.9 Stars
Sound:5 Stars
Value:5 Stars

Ibanez is a brand that has a respectable presence in the entry level range of the bass guitar market. They make one of the best beginner bass guitars you can find at the moment, which you can read more about in our special piece. However, their higher end stuff is where the real Ibanez potential is seen. Ibanez SR800 offers a perfect combination of great materials, incredibly attractive design and naturally, impressive performance. We are talking about a professional grade bass guitar that sports all the right components to produce level of tone you deserve.

These come with a set of Bartolini MK1 pickups and a flexible Ibanez three-band EQ. Body is a mahogany design that carries a poplar burl top, while the neck is a multi-ply piece made of Jatoba and Bubunga. The whole guitar has that exotic feel to it. However, Ibanez SR800 is not only about looks. This bad boy delivers one of the most expressive tones you can hope to work with. There’s lots of definition, range and warmth once you flip that switch. For the price, it’s among the most best you can find at the moment, and among the most unique as well.

Cort Jeff Berlin Series Rithimic Bass

Cort Jeff Berlin Series Rithimic Bass

Body And Neck:4.9 Stars
Hardware:4.9 Stars
Electronics:4.9 Stars
Sound:4.7 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

You probably didn’t expect to see a Cort – better known for their budget instruments – in this premium category, but this Rithimic Bass from their Jeff Berlin Series is a serious bass guitar. It features a striking double-cutaway alder body with a unique Spalted Maple and Padouk veneer top, along with a super comfortable and fast-playing Canadian hard maple neck, with a rosewood fretboard and 21 frets. The hardware is excellent, with two Bartolini Jeff Berlin Custom Soapbar pickups at the neck and bridge, a set of simple gold-plated controls, a Babicz Full Contact FCH4 bridge, and a set of Hipshot Ultralight tuners – all great quality. We recommend you check out our full review of Cort’s Jeff Berlin Series Rithimic Bass for all the details.

Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass

Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass

Body And Neck:4.9 Stars
Hardware:4.9 Stars
Electronics:4.9 Stars
Sound:5 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

Fender Precision series have been the go to choice for a number of popular bass players throughout the last half of the century. However, rarely is there anyone you can associate with this classic bass more than Steve Harris. What we have here is a Steve Harris signature series Precision bass that features some unique components and brings you an aesthetic worthy of the name it bears.

Aside from the obvious West Ham United sticker, Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass is interesting because it sports a Seymour Duncan® SPB-4 pickup which is also Harris’ signature model. If you are a fan of Iron Maiden or simply like Steve’s bass tone, this bass guitar is the easiest way to get it. When you are not playing any of the dozens of popular Iron Maiden songs, this particular P Bass plays and sounds as good as any other from the family. It’s definitely not a restricted to metal only.

Spector Legend 4 Classic

Spector Legend 4 Classic

Body And Neck:4.9 Stars
Hardware:4.9 Stars
Electronics:4.7 Stars
Sound:4.7 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

Spector bass guitars are among the most refined you can find, period. The price tags on Spector models are known to be pretty outlandish at times, however that is the cost of quality. the one we are looking at today is not as expensive, but it brings a lot of that Spector perfection with it. Spector Legend 4 Classic sports a standard NS body shape that is made of high quality maple. The neck is a three piece maple design as well, and is joined to the body via bolts.

This is an active bass, which packs a set of SSD Inc humbuckers, and those have a reputation of their own. The level of comfort and build quality you get with the Legend is impressive. As soon as you pick it up, you realize it’s a performance instrument with a lot of potential. The tone is there as well, being super flexible but refined as well. With a great EQ available, you can dial in a wide range of tones, making this bass guitar suitable for a large variety of genres.

Fender Aerodyne Jazz Bass

Fender Aerodyne Jazz Bass

Body And Neck:4.9 Stars
Hardware:4.5 Stars
Electronics:4.8 Stars
Sound:4.8 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars

Fender bring some elegance to this premium category, with their dark and delicious Aerodyne Jazz Bass. With the classic Jazz Bass double-cutaway shape, this Aerodyne features a solid basswood body with an all-black urethane finish and cream side binding. Very minimalist. It plays like a dream thanks to the satin-finished maple neck, with a comfortable C shape, rosewood fretboard and 20 medium jumbo frets. There’s nothing groundbreaking when it comes to hardware – the single-coil Jazz Bass bridge pickup and Precision Bass middle split single-coil are the highlights, although the smoked-chrome control knobs are very tasteful. As we highlight in our complete Fender Aerodyne Jazz Bass review, it sounds as good as it looks, and offers excellent value.

Conclusion

As you can see, finding a solid bass guitar for under $1000 is not that hard – it’s much harder to find something of quality on a strict budget!

The majority of bass guitars in this higher-end market are pretty flawless, although you can find a few duds out there so be careful. Ultimately we have tried to show you some popular choices that place an emphasis on core performance and build quality, although they all look and sound pretty awesome too.

So whether you are a metal bassist looking for a model that won’t let you down during an energetic gig, or a jazz player who likes to relax with a quality bass at home, we hope you have found a little inspiration today.


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