7 Best Bass Guitars Under $300 – A Step Up in Quality

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Last Updated: May-07-2019
It was time we revisited this article and we are glad we did – loads had changed in the sub-$300 market! We ditched the Rogue VB100 and added two cool new basses. First came the ‘just for girls’ Daisy Rock Candy Bass, while we also saw the arrival of the Dean V Metalman.

In our article on the best basses under $200, we highlighted some of the best cheap and cheerful bass guitars on the market today.

In this article, we take a step up the ladder and push your budget a little further. Welcome to the $300 region! Here, the selection of basses you can find becomes a lot more flexible in terms of design and features.

The models we have listed here represent a great cross-section of different styles, but all of them are similar in that they offer a solid core performance.

So, whether you are a beginner who wants to buy something in the category above the entry-level range, or a more experienced bassist looking for a second bass, these instruments will be a great fit.

Top 7 Best Bass Guitars Under $300:

ImageBass Guitar / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Yamaha TRBX204 Yamaha TRBX204

Total of 4.88/5   4.9 out of 5 stars

A staple of the affordable category with a huge performance.

+ - Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet II Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet II

Total of 4.86/5   4.9 out of 5 stars

Awesome and affordable Gretsch that packs a lot of heat and style.

+ - Yamaha BB234 Yamaha BB234

Total of 4.78/5   4.8 out of 5 stars

A solid introduction to the newly-improved BB Series.

+ - Daisy Rock Candy Bass Daisy Rock Candy Bass

Total of 4.15/5   4.2 out of 5 stars

A very playable bass with some serious girl power!

+ - Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Series Ray4 Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Series Ray4

Total of 4.88/5   4.9 out of 5 stars

Real StingRay style and tone at an affordable price.

+ - Dean V Metalman Dean V Metalman

Total of 4.15/5   4.2 out of 5 stars

A low-price bass with a big attitude – if you can tame it.

+ - Jackson JS2 Jackson JS2

Total of 4.72/5   4.7 out of 5 stars

A classic Jackson in build, tone and attitude!

Yamaha TRBX204

Yamaha TRBX204

Body And Neck:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.9 out of 5 stars
Value:5 out of 5 stars

We have already shown you one of Yamaha’s affordable models in our article that talks about the top basses in the sub $200 category. Now it’s time to show you one more. The TRBX204 is a part of a very successful series of bass guitars. They are considered to be a safe choice for anyone ranging from beginners to pros.

TRBX204 brings a great combination of quality craftsmanship, awesome performance, and great value. This particular model from the TRBX line features a basswood body and a standard maple neck. The electronics come in form of a Jazz setup at the bridge, and one single coil pickup at the neck. These are active and come with a two-band EQ. Overall, TRBX204 is one of the best playing and best sounding bass guitars in this price range, even though it sits comfortably in its middle. For many bass players, it is the default choice.

People have grown to appreciate the build quality and reliability of Yamaha’s bass guitars, and that is exactly what you can expect to see from the TRBX 204. In all honesty, it can stand shoulder to should with some of our top bass picks for the $500 range.

Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet II

Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet II

Body And Neck:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.9 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars

Not a lot of people are aware that Gretsch builds a lot more than just high dollar semi-hollow guitars. They also happen to have a pretty impressive line of affordable bass guitars, which bring an interesting blend of that all familiar Gretsch style and reliable performance to those who are on a tighter budget.

One model that we want to show you is the G2220. This bass comes with a Les Paul style body, which Gretsch calls Jet and a short scale neck. The pickups are passive, but they are one of the best-performing ones you can find. Overall, this Gretsch is one impressive bass guitar that punches slightly above its price range.

If you are tired of seeing the same old design with a different logo and would like to get something more unique, Gretsch G2220 is one of the few options you have out there. Whether you are a new player or someone with more experience, G2220 should definitely be on your list of potential choices.

Yamaha BB234

Yamaha BB234

Body And Neck:4.7 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars

Yamaha recently revamped their famed BB Series to include a few upgrades to playability, comfort and tone. The BB234 is the entry-level model in this series and proves a great introduction to the collection!

As we highlight in the full review of the BB234, this bass features a slightly smaller body than previous years as well as a maple neck that sports a thinner profile for enhanced comfort. The hardware has also been subject to a few upgrades, with two passive Custom V3 pickups at the bridge and neck positions, with simple but effective controls.

You’ll also find new lightweight open-gear tuners as well as a chrome fixed bridge for an all-round reliable bass with a versatile tone.

Daisy Rock Candy Bass

Daisy Rock Candy Bass

Body And Neck:4.5 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.3 out of 5 stars
Sound:3.5 out of 5 stars
Value:4.3 out of 5 stars

The Daisy Rock Candy Bass injects some real girl power into the beginner bass market – and proves a worthwhile buy in this under $300 category. It's colorful and sparkly, but it has a serious mission: to get more girls rocking the bass!

The main aim of this bass is to be extremely playable for younger girls who may have smaller hands. Getting around the fretboard of a bass guitar as a beginner is difficult no matter who you are. In our full Daisy Rock Candy Bass review, we look at the customizations that make this bass more playable.

With decent pickups, good-quality woods and some hardware that packs a punch, this bass will surprise you – and may make the boys a little jealous!

Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Series Ray4

Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Series Ray4

Body And Neck:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.9 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.9 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars

While it’s not a genuine Music Man StingRay, Sterling sure do know how to make a great licensed model of MMs greatest hit – the Ray4 is proof of this!

As we’ve discussed in the full review of the Ray4, this model is based on the blueprint of the original StingRay, with a basswood body showing off the distinctive double-cutaway shape and oval pickguard.

The maple neck is hugely playable and sports a maple fretboard with 21 frets, while the overall craftsmanship is commendable. As for electronics, it comes with one punchy humbucker at the bridge for great tone and ultimate simplicity. It’s not a high-end bass, but it certainly shows some qualities of one!

Dean V Metalman

Dean V Metalman

Body And Neck:4.5 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.1 out of 5 stars
Sound:3.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.2 out of 5 stars

In true Dean Guitars fashion, this edgy bass is all about attitude. The iconic V-shaped body sets the tone for what is a unique playing experience. 

Some versatility is sacrificed through the dedication to its roots in metal. This is by design not by accident. As we explain in the full Dean V Metalman bass review, the Dean V Metalman is exactly what it's supposed to be.

The single-coil soapbar pickup is perfect for the hard rock and metal genres – bright with plenty of mid-range. It delivers more than enough value for a bass guitar under $300, but comes with an attitude bigger than its price tag.

Jackson JS2

Jackson JS2

Body And Neck:4.8 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.7 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Value:4.7 out of 5 stars

Jackson make a rare entry into our bass charts with this rock-focused JS2, showing off features that make it perfect for the budding stage performer. With a 34” scale length, it displays killer looks that resonate with the rest of Jackson’s JS Series – a defined double-cutaway body, cool paintjobs and the iconic Jackson pointed headstock.

It plays incredibly well too, with a satin-finished reinforced maple neck with a compound radius and 24 jumbo frets. As we mention in the full review of the JS2, it’s voiced by two decent stock humbuckers with a high output and good dose of aggression in the low-end.

Hardware is reliable and controls are simple, making this great for both beginners and budding stage performers.

Who Buys a Bass Under $300?

Good question! However, the answer is pretty much ‘everybody’.

Ultimately a $300 bass guitar is not too different from an entry-level model, although it will sport noticeable improvements. While we are still quite a way from midrange, this level offers more choice in design, so you can comfortably go for something more modern or more vintage, depending on your style. Pickups still tend to be as basic as lower-priced models, but you will find more advanced control options as well as better bridges.

With this in mind, you can see why a $300 bass would appeal to everybody. Beginners looking for something with higher quality than an entry-level bass would be right at home in this category. Meanwhile, experienced bassists can end up with a great instrument to leave around the house or studio for practice or spontaneous playing sessions.

The Final Word

There we have it – a handful of excellent bass guitars that come in at $300 or less. As you will have seen, the basses we have selected vary in style, but all show off good playability, tone and value.

If you’re looking for your first bass guitar, be sure to browse cheaper price ranges too, or even browse bass guitars in the slightly more expensive $500 range – there may be something in your budget that offers a huge step up in terms of design, sound quality and playability.

Whatever you decide to go for, good luck with your next bass adventure and we’ll see you soon!


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Comments

  1. Joel f says

    Cool list! About the Gretsch, doesn’t ‘Junior’ mean it’s meant for the younger crowd? or for people with smaller hands? or is it just a smaller bass in general?

    I just want to know if it will feel funny switching from a standard sized bass?

    • Chris says

      It has a shorter scale neck, so I think that’s why. However, full-sized adults can definitely enjoy the increased playability of short-scale basses. It’s not just for juniors!

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