Instrument Insight

7 Best Bass Guitars Under 200 in 2022 (With Best Purposes And Buying Guide)

Best Bass Guitars Under 200

No need to look further for the answer to your everlasting quest for the best bass guitars under 200 as the industry experts’ recommendations are here!

If you have a growing love for bass guitars but the budget is holding you back then you have come to the right place. Bass guitars come in a variety of price ranges. However, finding them under 200 can be quite a hectic task. You need to ensure quality sound, build, features, and many other aspects when you’re choosing the guitar.

Related Complete Buying Guides:

Well, you can put a pause to your everlasting quest for the best bass guitars under 200. We have chosen the top-rated bass guitars for just under 200 dollars so that you can make the best out of your journey as a bassist.

Our Top 3 Picks (At A Glance)

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Squier by Fender Bronco Bass
Squier by Fender Bronco Bass
9.9
  • Slim and comfortable “C”-shaped neck profile
  • Single-coil Bronco Bass pickup
  • Short 30“ scale length
  • Thin and lightweight body
  • Satin neck finish
PREMIUM PICK
Ibanez GSRM20
Ibanez GSRM20
9.8
  • Neck:  GSRM 4 neck 28.6" neck
  • Neck Type:  GSRM4 28.6"
  • Body:  Mahogany body
  • Frets:  Medium frets
  • Fingerboard:  Rosewood
BUDGET PICK
Donner Electric Bass Guitar (DPB-510D)
Donner Electric Bass Guitar (DPB-510D)
9.7
  • Donner's classic bass pickup
  • AAA Perilla fingerboard, AAA Canadian maple neck
  • “Modern C”-shaped profile
  • Through-body fixed "4-SADDLE BRIDGE"
  • Open-Gear Tuning Machines
  • Gig bag, guitar strap, and cable as gifts

What Are The Best Bass Guitars Under 200 Dollars? (With Best Purposes)

1. Best For All-Around: Squire Bronco Bass

Agathis Body with “C”-Shape Maple Neck, 2-Saddle Chrome Bridge, and 3-Ply White Pickguard.

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2. Best For Smaller Hands: Ibanez GSRM20

Single and split-coil STD pickups, Reddish-brown colored Jatoba fretboard, B10 bridge.

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3. Best For Budget Starters: Donner Electric Bass Guitar (DPB-510D)

Poplar top and back, Nickel plated steel strings, Gloss finish body paint, Master volume, master tone

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4. Best For Beginners: Dean Edge 09

Basswood Body with 34 inches Maple Neck and Rosewood Fretboard, Die-cast tuners.

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5. Best For Comfortability: Squier Fender Mini Precision Bass

Poplar body with C-shape neck profile, Classic & timeless split single-coil P bass tone, Sealed die-cast tuners.

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6. Best For Performance And Looks: Jackson Spectra Bass JS2

Poplar Body with Laurel Fretboard, PJ style pickup with Active Preamp, and a fixed Hi-mass bridge.

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7. Best For Budget: Rogue LX200B/BL Series III

Basswood dual cutaway body with Rosewood fretboard. J-style bridge and P-style split-coil pickup with Die-cast tuners.

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Comparison Table (Best Bass Guitars Under 200)

Best For All-Around
Squier Fender Bronco Bass
Squier Fender Bronco Bass
  • Slim and comfortable “C”-shaped neck profile
  • Single-coil Bronco Bass pickup
  • Short 30“ scale length
  • Thin and lightweight body
  • Satin neck finish
Best For Smaller Hands
Ibanez GSRM20
Ibanez GSRM20
  • Neck:  GSRM 4 neck 28.6" neck
  • Neck Type:  GSRM4 28.6"
  • Body:  Mahogany body
  • Frets:  Medium frets
  • Fingerboard:  Rosewood
Best For Budget Starters
Donner Electric Bass Guitar (DPB-510D)
Donner Electric Bass Guitar (DPB-510D)
  • Donner's classic bass pickup
  • AAA Perilla fingerboard, AAA Canadian maple neck
  • “Modern C”-shaped profile, suitable for various playing styles
  • Donner Bass is equipped with a through-body fixed bridge-"4-SADDLE BRIDGE"
  • Open-Gear Tuning Machines - Feature smooth operating tuners
  • Gig bag, guitar strap, and guitar cable included
Best For Beginners
Dean E09M
Dean E09M
  • 34-inch maple neck with rosewood fretboard and abalone dot inlays
  • Dean passive soapbar pickup with volume and treble controls
  • Dean vintage-style bridge with adjustable intonation
  • Diecast Dean tuners
  • Basswood body and natural satin finish
  • Read Dean Edge 09 Full Review
Best For Comfortability
Squier Fender Mini Precision Bass
Squier Fender Mini Precision Bass
  • 100% designed by Fender
  • Thin and lightweight body
  • Short-scale neck
  • Split single-coil Precision Bass pickup
  • Sealed die-cast tuning machines
Best For Performance And Looks
Jackson Spectra Bass JS2
Jackson Spectra Bass JS2
  • Body Material: Poplar
  • Neck Material: 1-Piece Maple
  • Fingerboard: Laurel, 12" Radius (304.8 mm)
  • Bridge: Jackson Hardtail
Best For Budget
Rogue LX200B/BL Series III
Rogue LX200B/BL Series III
  • Basswood dual cutaway body
  • Bolt-on maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
  • High-mass adjustable saddle bridge
  • J-style humbucker bridge pickup
  • P-style split coil neck pickup

Top 10 Best Bass Guitars Under $200 (In-Depth Guide)

1. Best For All-Around: Squire Bronco Bass

Squier-Bronco-Bass
Pros
  • One of the best affordable bass guitars available for beginners
  • Amazing value for the money with the solid built quality
  • Thin C-shaped neck profile with compact size
  • Perfect for all ages smaller or beginning players
  • A popular model for modifying with lots of positive feedback
  • Lightweight and super comfortable for long playing or practicing sessions
  • Easy to adjust setup and vintage styling looks great
  • Solid build quality, no quality control issues
  • Great number of positive feedback
Cons
  • Maybe some nicer tuners would suit best
  • Small adjustments are needed for better results
  • Not for players who like a heftier feel from their bass
  • Agathis body wood can be a little more fragile than other tonewoods

Our Score

At the top of the tree, we have our Editor's Choice - the Squier Fender Bronco Bass. It’s a classic bass guitar with a wallet-friendly price. It has a thin and lightweight design that's highly suitable for beginners.

Key Features

  •  Equipped with a special designed single-coil bronco bass pickup
  •  "C"-Shape neck profile that is slim and comfortable
  • Gloss Polyurethane Body which is thin and lightweight
  • Contains master volume and master tone
  • Easy to carry and punchy tone

The Bronco bass has a solid double-cutaway Agathis body with a glossy polyurethane finish. The white three-ply pickguard gives the guitar a classic look. The C-shaped maple neck profile offers excellent playability and comfort. Well done to Squier for the cool-looking overall design. It doesn’t have any complicated features and it performs quite well for the price.

It features a single-coil pickup with one master volume knob and a master tone knob. Despite the single-coil pickup, it has a versatile tonal range that will surely catch you by surprise. It is a 30" short-scale bass that's designed for players with smaller hands. It comes with a two saddle chrome bridge and die-cast tuners that come in super handy for beginners. This bass feels really good in your hands. Playing it may become very addictive within a short period of time.

Verdict: Overall, the Squier Bronco Bass suits musicians of any age who have smaller arms (since it's a short-scale one), adult beginners who are just about to start their bass playing journey, or home music producers because of the ease of handling. If you're falling into any of these categories, then no need to look further. Grab one as soon as possible. You won't regret it as this is one of the best in business.

Squier Bronco Bass Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Squire Bronco Bass

Product Description: Comfortable to play and stylish to wear, the Squier By Fender Bronco Bass is an all-rounder for bass players of any level including beginners. It features a slim and comfortable C-shaped neck profile and a short 30-inch scale length that makes it easy to hold and navigate. Its lightweight, thin body won't leave you feeling weighed down after hours of play, nor will it cause the strap to tire out your shoulder. It features single-coil bronco bass pickups and a satin finish neck to complete the bass guitar's look.

Brand: Squire By Fender

  • Build Quality
    (4.9)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.9)
  • Playability
    (4.9)
  • Versatility
    (4.9)
  • Electronics
    (4.9)
  • Value For Money
    (4.9)

Specifications

  • Body Style: Double-Cutaway
  • Body Shape: Bronco
  • Body Material: Agathis
  • Body Finish: Gloss Polyurethane
  • Neck Shape: C
  • Neck Wood: Maple
  • Neck Joint: Bolt-on
  • Neck Finish: Satin
  • Scale Length: 30 inches (762 mm)
  • Fretboard Material: Maple
  • Fretboard Radius: 9.5 inches (241 mm)
  • Number of Frets: 19
  • Fret Size: Medium Jumbo
  • Inlays Type: Dots (Black)
  • Bridge Type: 2-Saddle
  • Bridge Color: Chrome
  • Pickup Design: Single Coil
  • Color: 4 (Black, Torino Red, Race Red, Olympic White)
  • Orientation: Right-Handed
Overall
4.9

2. Best For Smaller Hands: Ibanez GSRM20

Ibanez-GSRM20

Pros
  • Shorter scale length and small size make it a great choice for beginners
  • Lightweight and compact enough to be carried around
  • The size accommodates shorter fingers which makes it an ideal for young children
  • Affordable yet does not have the toy feel you get from other guitars at the same price
  • Sturdy Agathis body, Incredibly portable
  • Slim easy to access maple neck
  • Neck and bridge pickups are controlled separately
  • Great tonal versatility, Stable lower notes
  • PJ Pickup System, small in size but not the sound
  • Decent tone from Dynamix pickups
  • Smooth bass sound
  • Great ergonomic qualities
  • Reliable bass that stays in tune
  • Solid hardware for regular guitar use
  • Different finish options
Cons
  • Short-scale design is not suitable for everyone
  • Pickup height screws tend to misalign after a few days of use
  • Bridge pick-up can be noisy possibly due to the fact that the pick-up is passive
  • The guitar has some rough edges on the fret ends close to the neck
  • You may want to change the strings that this bass comes with
  • While useful, the manual may come with some mistakes and omissions
  • Not the best tonewood choice yet it's great considering the price

Our Score

If you’re looking for a great short-scale guitar then look no further the Ibanez GSRM20 is the one for you. It’s one of the best bass guitars 200 with a short-scale design and our premium pick for the list.

Key Features

  • A short-scale instrument with wallet-friendly pricing
  • Fast, slim Maple neck
  • Compact, light-weight Body
  • Dynamic P pickup
  • Short Scale 28. 6" length
  • B10 bridge allows multiway intonation & solid tuning stability

Ibanez has used Agathis as the tonewood of the guitar. The body of the guitar has the standard Ibanez design following the contours of the GSR line. It comes in several color options to suit players with different tastes and styles. The neck of these guitars has maple construction with rosewood fretboard and pearl dot inlays.

The guitar is equipped with a standard fixed bridge for tuning stability, an adjustable saddle, and a die-cast tuning machine. It has a single-coil pickup system with J and P magnetic combination pickup configuration on the neck and the bridge. There are 3 volume controls in total, among those 3, 2 of them are for each pickup and the third one is the master tone control.

Verdict: Overall, the Ibanez GSRM20 is a perfect fit for adults with smaller hands or children. You can't find a better short-scale bass guitar at this price point. Apart from the shorter scale length, the ergonomic qualities of this bass are a standout feature that arguably is the second best selling point of this guitar.

Ibanez GSRM20 Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Ibanez GSRM20

Product Description: Step out on stage with confidence when you choose the Ibanez GSRM20 bass guitar. This bass features a classic and iconic Ibanez shape, which is made of a basswood body that leads the eye to the maple neck. The fretboard is rosewood, giving it a distinct look through a contrast in color. It features a B10 bridge and a P-neck pickup to give it classic bass guitar features that you look out for.

Brand: Ibanez

  • Build Quality
    (4.7)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.9)
  • Playability
    (4.8)
  • Versatility
    (4.9)
  • Electronics
    (4.8)
  • Value For Money
    (4.9)

Specifications

  • Body Material: Poplar
  • Top Material: Maple Wood
  • Back and Sides: Basswood
  • Body Finish: Glossy
  • Neck Material: 1-Piece Maple
  • Neck Joint: AANJ
  • Neck Type: GSRM4
  • Scale Length: 726mm / 28.6″
  • Nut Width: 38mm / 1.5″
  • Fretboard Material: Jatoba
  • Fretboard Radius: 305mmR
  • Number of Frets: 22
  • Inlays: White Dots
  • Pickups: Dynamix J Pickup & Dynamix P Pickup
  • Pickup Type: Passive
  • Pickup Configuration: JP
  • Bridge Type/Design: B10
  • Factory Tuning: G,2D,3A,4E (E Standard)
  • Color Options: Black
  • Orientation: Both
Overall
4.8

3. Best For Budget Starters: Donner Electric Bass Guitar (DPB-510D)

Donner-DPB-510D

Pros
  • Great beginner kit
  • Solid well-crafted heavy body
  • Straight edge highly playable neck profile
  • Great frets with no sharpness
  • Action is set to spot on
  • Well-sounded and operated pickups
  • Tuners are solid and well made
  • Great fit and finish
  • Good packaging with a lot of padding
  • Comes with a high-quality case, cable, and strap
  • Great bass with a great bargain
  • Great value for the money
  • A great number of positive customer feedback
Cons
  • Frets aren't perfectly flush with the neck but that doesn’t affect sound
  • Not suitable for advanced players
  • You may find a hard time sorting out the fret buzz
  • A bit heavy

Our Score

From 2012 to the present, Donner's commitment has been to create new experiences in music and performance but they started by mostly selling guitar pedals and extended its product catalog afterward. China-based Donner guitars are built to order using high-quality materials yet at an affordable price, and their designs have been handcrafted by skilled artisans. And the Donner DPB-510D electric bass guitar is no different.

Key Features

  • Donner's classic bass pickups
  • AAA Perilla fingerboard, AAA Canadian maple neck
  • Fixed "4-SADDLE BRIDGE", Open Gear Tuning Machines
  • 2 volume knobs, 21 copper-nickel alloy frets with fret position marks
  • Gig bag, guitar strap, guitar cable, and online free lessons are included
  • Great number of positive customer feedback

With lightweight Poplar body construction, the AAA Canadian Maple neck and AAA Perilla fingerboard with the superior finish on the back of this bass provides a smooth fret-hand feel and durability that combines comfort and performance. The neck comes with a “Modern C”-shaped profile so that bass players with different playing styles can be fitted into it.

The bass also comes with classic Donner bass pickups that are ideal if you're looking for the authentic sound of a classic bass, this one has everything. With Donner bass pickups to give your tone that rich and warm feel with crisp highs - not to mention clear sounding making it one of the leading choices for starters with a low budget.

The Donner Bass is equipped with a through-body fixed bridge, which allows each string to be independently adjusted in height and tuned for perfect pitch. It also features slotted saddles that give it enhanced tuning stability and punchy attack so you can play all day long without worrying about your instrument going out of tune.

The open-gear tuning machines of this guitar are designed to provide you with a stable and sturdy sounding note. The two-volume knobs allow for quick adjustments whenever you need them. The Donner 4-String Bass comes with a gig bag, guitar strap, and cable as gifts making it suitable for a jump start.

Verdict: Overall, if you're just starting out with your bass playing journey and don't want to spend a fortune, the Donner 4-string DPB-510D electric bass can be the perfect pick for you making it our pick number 3 under the budget category.

Donner DPB-510D Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Donner 4-String Electric Bass Guitar (DPB-510D)

Product Description: Looking for a solid-made, well-crafted, and affordable electric bass guitar? Check out the Donner 4-String Electric Bass Guitar. This guitar is perfect for beginners and starters mostly. Featuring a classic bass pickup, the Donner 4-String Electric Bass Guitar delivers a warm and crisp sound that is sure to please. The AAA Perilla fingerboard provides a smooth fret-hand feel, while the AAA Canadian maple neck with a superior finish offers comfort and performance. With its “Modern C”-shaped profile, the Donner 4-String Electric Bass Guitar is suitable for various playing styles. Additionally, this guitar is equipped with a through-body fixed bridge-"4-SADDLE BRIDGE", each string can be independently adjusted in height, while the octave features slotted saddles for enhanced tuning stability and punchy attack.

Brand: Donner

  • Build Quality
    (4.7)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.8)
  • Playability
    (4.7)
  • Versatility
    (4.6)
  • Electronics
    (4.7)
  • Value For Money
    (4.9)

Specifications

Top Material: Poplar
Back Material: Poplar
Neck Material: AAA Canadian Maple
Neck Profile: Modern “C”-Shaped
Fretboard Material: AAA Perilla
Number of Frets: 21
Finish: Gloss Body Paint
Pickups: Donner Classic
Bridge Type: Fixed (Through-Body)
Number of Saddles: 4
Tuning Machines: Open-Gear
Operation Mode: Master Volume, Master Tone
Number of Strings: 4
String Material: Nickel Plated Steel
Accessories: Gigbag, Strap, Cable
Color: Black
Orientation: Right

Overall
4.7

4. Best For Beginners: Dean Edge 09

Dean-E09

Pros
  • Full-size body and neck with retro style bridge
  • Dean sourced soap bar pickups with volume and treble control
  • Basswood construction with a satin finish
  • Chrome die-cast tuners from the house of Dean
  • Abalone dot inlays, rosewood fretboard, 34 inch maple neck
  • Incredible affordable with decent tuning stability
  • Easy to play and tune with adjustable intonations
  • Good build quality and durability makes it suitable for touring and carrying
  • Detail oriented aesthetics making it an eye catcher
  • Great choice for beginners with highest possible value for the money
Cons
  • Sound quality is not the best
  • Dean quality control should be enhanced
  • Retail package consists of only one passive pickup
  • If you want more spares, you’ve to pay more
  • Low action and only available in one color

Our Score

If you’re a true Dimebag Darell fan then the Dean Edge 09 Electric Bass is the one for you. This entry-level gem by Dean has been one of the most popular choices by the beginner bassists out there.

Key Features

  • Classic basswood body with a 34-inch maple neck
  • Passive Soapbar pickup that includes volume and treble controls
  • Rosewood fingerboard and abalone dot inlays
  • Dean die-cast tuners for smooth tone and response
  • Fulcrum bridge with adjustable intonations

The guitar features a basswood body with a basswood top. The neck of the guitar is constructed with maple with a rosewood fretboard that has pearl dot inlays. It has a vintage-style flush bridge with five adjustable saddles. Also, the chrome die-cast tuners are a lifesaver for beginners. With the sleek finish and decently built quality, this instrument would make for an excellent addition to any musician's collection!

It’s equipped with a single soap bar pickup that ensures absolute finesse. The simplicity of a single pickup design is not only obvious in terms of aesthetics, but it also has an impact on tone. With the simple control scheme of one tone and volume knob, this guitar has a wide range that can be tailored to your needs. Slap, pick, or fingerstyle, whatever your preferred style is, you can play it all with this bass guitar. It has a traditional sound output with an even tonal response.

Verdict: Overall, the Dean Edge 09 is an excellent choice for beginners looking to get started with hard-hitting tones and a simple design. More experienced players should consider other options before deciding on this bass since there may be some limitations that prevent them from achieving what they want out of the instrument.

Dean Edge 09 Review insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Dean Edge 09

Product Description: With the Dean Edge 09 Electric Bass, you can play a bass that is every bit as groovy as the sound it emits. This bass features a vintage-style bridge that allows for adjustable intonation and a passive soapbar pickup that brings with it various treble and volume controls. The neck measures 34 inches in length and comes complete with a rosewood fretboard finished with abalone dot inlays. This bass guitar features a basswood body that is completed in a natural satin finish.

Brand: Dean

  • Build Quality
    (4.8)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.8)
  • Playability
    (4.7)
  • Versatility
    (4.7)
  • Electronics
    (4.7)
  • Value For Money
    (4.9)

Specifications

  • Body Material: Basswood
  • Body Construction: Mahogony
  • Body Dimensions : 6 x 18 x 50 inches
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Joint: Bolt-on
  • Neck Finish: Satin
  • Scale Length: 34 inches (864 mm)
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Number of Frets: 22
  • Inlays: Dot (Abalone)
  • Bridge Type: Vintage Fulcrum
  • Bridge Color: Black
  • Pickup Type: Passive Soapbar
  • Pickup Configuration: S
  • Pickup Color: Black
  • Orientation: Right-Handed
  • Weight: 9.00 lbs
  • Color: Satin Natural
Overall
4.8

5. Best For Comfortability: Squier Fender Mini Precision Bass

Squier-Fender-Mini-Precision-Bass

Pros
  • Great out-of-the-box setup
  • Sounds quite good
  • Old school Fender sound
  • Stays in tune
  • Great for both children and adults
  • Perfect starter bass guitar
  • Great bass for learning
  • Comes with an instruction manual
  • Easy to adjust
  • Fun to play
  • Great for little people with shorter arms
  • Good inexpensive bass for home recording
  • Action is pretty good
  • Solid, well made short scale bass
  • Easy fret access that is easier to navigate
Cons
  • You may need to change the factory strings
  • Hard to find accessories like pickguards
  • Sharp frets
  • Not suitable for big fellows
  • Not suitable for advanced players

Our Score

When we’re looking for budget guitars with the most comfortability, Squier by Fender is the name that immediately pops into our minds. Just a look at the Squier By Fender Mini Precision Electric Bass and you know that it means business.

Key Features

  • Stylish design by Fender, perfect for beginners and younger bass players
  • C-shaped short-scale maple neck is bolted to a poplar body
  • With the usual volume and tone controls
  • Classic & timeless split single-coil P bass tone
  • Sealed die-cast tuning machines
  • Thin and lightweight body

The design of the guitar is inspired by the Fender Stratocaster’s double-horn body. However, it’s smaller than the original size which makes it perfect for young players or adults with small hands. The Mini Precision has a poplar construction which makes it super lightweight and easily maneuverable.

The neck of the guitar is sized at 28.6-inches which is slightly shorter than the traditional short-scale bass guitars. It also features a vibrant laurel fingerboard with Pearloid dot inlays. It has a split-coil pickup design that delivers the perfect tones on the pitches. You can achieve a variety of tonal variations so that you can perfectly hold onto your groove.

Verdict: Overall, the Squier Fender Mini Precision bass can great budget pick for bassists who are looking for an awesome short-scale bass that delivers awesome playability and comfort with a mixture of classic tones making it the fortune number 5 on our list of best bass guitars under 200.

Squier By Fender Mini Precision Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Squier By Fender Mini Precision Bass

Product Description: Get a timeless and classic-looking bass when you choose the Squier By Fender Mini Precision Electric Bass. This bass features a short-scale neck that makes it more comfortable and natural to play for long periods of time. The thin, lightweight body makes it easier and more comfortable to wield. On this bass is a split single-coil precision bass pickup as well as sealed die-cast tuning machines for durability.

Brand: Squier By Fender

  • Build Quality
    (4.7)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.7)
  • Playability
    (4.7)
  • Versatility
    (4.7)
  • Electronics
    (4.7)
  • Value For Money
    (4.8)

Specifications

  • Body Style: Double Cutaway
  • Body Type: Solid
  • Body Material: Poplar
  • Top Material: Poplar
  • Back and Sides: Basswood
  • Body Finish: Gloss Polyurethane
  • Neck Shape: C
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Joint: Bolt-On
  • Neck Finish: Satin
  • Scale Length: Short
  • Nut Width: 1.5″ (38 mm)
  • Truss Rod: Standard
  • Fretboard Material: Maple / Laurel
  • Fretboard Radius: 12″
  • Number of Frets: 20
  • Fret Size: Medium
  • Inlays: Dot
  • Pickups: Middle
  • Pickup Type: Proprietary Single Coil
  • Pickup Configuration: S
  • Bridge Type/Design: 4-Saddle Vintage-Style
  • Tuning Machines: Open-gear
  • Color Options: Laurel Black & Dakota Red
  • Orientation: Right-Handed
Overall
4.7

6. Best For Performance And Looks: Jackson Spectra Bass JS2

Jackson-JS-Spectra-Bass-JS2

Pros
  • Anyone can afford it due to the low cost
  • Impressive design
  • Jumbo frets for superior playability
  • The neck feels really comfortable due to Thin-U shaped
  • Great sound quality
  • Versatile considering the price
  • Delivers warm tone with less resonance
  • 2 pickup options
  • Great as a first bass guitar
Cons
  • Poor quality nuts and saddle
  • No gig-bag or case included
  • Not suitable for advance level players
  • Not suitable for smaller hands

Our Score

At number 6 we have the Jackson Spectra Bass JS2 that delivers a beastly performance for the price. The curvy Spectra design of the bass will immediately catch your eyes. The body of the guitar is constructed with solid poplar that delivers warm bright tones.

Key Features

  • Poplar body with a gloss finish and laurel fretboard
  • PJ style pickup with active preamp for bass boost
  • Volume control with push/pull selector to bypass active circuit
  • Has a Hi-mass fixed bridge with die-cast tuners
  • A Case is sold separately with the guitar

It features a bolt-on 1-piece maple neck with 24-jumbo frets with a 12" (304.8mm) radius fingerboard. The jumbo frets are highly recommended for beginners as they offer better playability. Jackson has done a great job in terms of sound quality. The tone of the guitar is highly impressive as it allows you to be creative with tone shaping.

There’s a lot of versatility packed in this simple setup of electronics. It has a P/J pickup configuration that’s the finest one you can find under the price of 200. The volume control is also equipped with a push/pull action that works as a selector of active and passive functions. The other hardware includes the Jackson Hardtail bridge system which is super value for the bucks as well.

Verdict: Jackson Guitars is proud to present their JS Series Spectra collection of bass guitars – and fans are going wild! The first impressions of this innovative new line have been stellar, with many saying that they can't wait until these models hit store shelves in early 2019. The models of this series include JS2, JS3, and JS3V. Overall, the JS2 model is jam-packed with nice looks and performance on an affordable budget for enthusiasts which is definitely a great achievement by Jackson.

Jackson Spectra Bass JS2 Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Jackson Spectra Bass JS2

Product Description: Stand out on stage playing the Jackson Spectra Bass JS2. This bass features a poplar body with a 34-inch scale length and a bolt-on maple neck with a 12-inch radius and a 24-fret laurel fingerboard. A Jackson P-style neck pickup and Jackson J-Style bridge pickup help you output the best sound possible. It features volume control right on the bass with a push/pull selector that allows you to bypass the active circuit.

Brand: Jackson

  • Build Quality
    (4.7)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.7)
  • Playability
    (4.7)
  • Versatility
    (4.7)
  • Electronics
    (4.8)
  • Value For Money
    (4.8)

Specifications

  • Body Style: Double Cutaway
  • Body Material: Poplar
  • Body Construction: Solid
  • Body Dimensions: 52 x 21 x 5 inches
  • Body Finish: Gloss
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Joint: Bolt-on
  • Neck Shape: C
  • Neck Finish: Satin
  • Scale Length: 34 inches (864 mm)
  • Truss Rod: Standard
  • Fretboard Material: Laurel
  • Fretboard Radius: 12 inches (305 mm)
  • Number of Frets: 24
  • Fret Size: Jumbo
  • Inlays: Dot
  • Bridge Type: Fixed
  • Bridge Design: Hi-mass
  • Bridge Color: Black
  • Pickup Type: Passive
  • Pickup Configuration: SS
  • Orientation: Right-Handed
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Color Options: 4 (Snow White, Metallic Blue, Tobacco Burst, Black)
Overall
4.7

7. Best For Budget: Rogue LX200B/BL Series III

Rogue-LX200B

Pros
  • Comes in the most affordable price range
  • Really good for someone looking to play around
  • Great for learning the basics with a bass
  • Great as a practice bass
  • Comfortable and fun to play
  • Flexible excellent sound quality
  • Nice weight, great color, and aesthetics
  • Great color variations when flashlight shined on it
  • Split Coil Pickup
  • Two humbucker pickups
  • Versatile tone
  • Super fast shipping
  • Great customer service
  • Great value for the price
Cons
  • Doesn't come with any owner's manual
  • You can't set the action as you want (A simple bridge can fix that though)
  • Tuning stability issues
  • Cheap nut
  • Pickups aren't the best

Our Score

The Rogue LX200B/BL Series III Electric Bass has simple looks with indomitable performance. As this bass is available for both right and left orientations, it is quite accessible for all as well.

Key Features

  • Basswood dual cutaway body
  • Bolt-on maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
  • Equipped with J-style humbucker bridge pickup
  • The P-style split-coil neck pickup
  • A High-mass saddle bridge that is adjustable
  • Die-cast tuners with dual volume and tone controls

The body of the guitar is made with basswood that gives it a powerful resonance with a thick deep sound. Basswood has also comparatively less dense than other materials which make the instrument quite lightweight and aids the playability. The neck of the guitar is made of maple with a rosewood fingerboard.

The hardware is also quite impressive for the price. It has a high mass adjustable bridge system that enables it to have customized action and help the strings stay stable. The guitar is equipped with two humbucker pickups. The J-style pickup at the bridge and the P-style pickup at the neck. It also has dual volume and tone control knobs.

Verdict: Overall, the Rogue LX200B series III can be a perfect budget pick for starters. The bass comes only in black color which may be a turn-off for some users though. Make sure to check out Guitar Center before your purchase as they are currently offering a steal deal on it.

Rogue LX200B/BL Series III Review insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Rogue LX200B/BL Series III

Product Description: Vibrant and eye-catching, the Rogue LX200B/BL Series III Electric Bass is a bass that looks every bit as bold as it sounds. This guitar features a traditional Rogue shape with a Basswood dual cutaway body. It features a high-mass adjustable saddle bridge as well as a J-style humbucker bridge pickup with a P-style split-coil neck pickup. The bolt-on maple neck comes complete with a rosewood fingerboard. Choose from either a vibrant cherry red or a black option to suit your tastes.

Brand: Rogue

  • Build Quality
    (4.5)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.7)
  • Playability
    (4.5)
  • Versatility
    (4.5)
  • Electronics
    (4.3)
  • Value For Money
    (4.7)

Specifications

  • Body Style: Double-Cutaway
  • Body Shape: G4
  • Body Material: Basswood
  • Body Dimensions : 47.25 x 14.6 x 3.3 inches
  • Body Finish: Metallic Gloss
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Joint: Bolt-on
  • Scale Length: 34 inches (864 mm)
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Number of Frets: 22
  • Fret Size: Jumbo
  • Inlays: Dot (White)
  • Bridge Type: Hardtail/String Through
  • Bridge Pickup Type: Single-Coil
  • Bridge Color: Black
  • Middle Pickup Type : P
  • Pickup Configuration: Humbucker
  • Orientation: Both (Left/Right) Handed
  • Weight: 9.8 pounds
  • Color Options: 3 (Pearl Black, Metallic Blue, Candy Apple Red)
Overall
4.5

Best Bass Guitar Under $200 (Buying Guide)

What to Look for In A $200 Bass Guitar to Get the Highest Result?

Body Style

If you’re a beginner then the body style of the guitar shouldn’t be much of a concern for you. You’ll eventually figure out your preferred shape of the guitar over the years through trial and error. For starters, you should opt for a guitar that you find the most comfortable and offers enhanced playability.

Wood

Mahogany is one of the most popular choices of tonewood for bass guitar due to its medium-dense construction. They can easily register to accentuate the lower register naturally and generate a bright resonant sound.

Maple has quite a different tonal characteristic compared to mahogany. It has a high register which is perfect for technical bass guitarists who prefer tones with higher octaves.

Strings

Beginners are more familiar with the 4-string bass guitars. A majority of the manufacturers are inclined towards making 4-string guitars as they’re used by both amateurs and professionals.

On the other hand, 5-string bass guitars are widely used by jazz guitarists and they’re not much of a favorite by the mainstream bassists. However, in recent years, rock and sub-rock genres are using 5-string bass guitars.

Even though acoustic and electric guitars come with 6-strings, a bass guitar with 6-strings is not a common choice by bassists and it has been developed only a few decades ago. These guitars are used for more technical genres and are generally used by jazz musicians. Here’s a top 10 list of famous bassists who use 6-strings.

Playability

The playability of the guitar dictates how easily you can play it without any hassle. The scale length has a crucial role to play in determining the playability of the guitar. 34-inches is the most common scale length for a bass guitar as it delivers the optimum amount of tension and tone.

However, we have also reviewed some guitars with 30-inches that have a lower string tension. The reduced string tension makes it ideal for younger players with smaller hands.

What Cheap Bass Guitar Is Best For Beginners? (Under $200)

Of all the guitars we picked the Squire Affinity Bronco Bass as it has got the best feedback from the users and the overall feature makes it a great guitar for beginners. We highly recommend this one if you’re just starting out.

Best Alternative to A $200 Bass Guitar

For A Lower Budget (Under $100)

There are not many choices of bass guitars under $100. However, if you’re running low on budget and you’re looking for something under 100 then take a look at the Crescent Electric Bass Guitar Starter Kit. It has moderate sound quality that will be sufficient if you’re a beginner.

For A Higher Budget (Under $300/Under $400)

The guitars that we reviewed under $200 may not be up to par for many professional players. If you can increase your budget slightly then we recommend you to get the Ibanez TMB100 – our Editor’s Choice and one of the most versatile ones that come for just under $300.

For under $400, the Yamaha TRBX 304 MGR can be a great pick. This bass is also our Editor’s Pick for the best bass guitars under 400 list and comes with a mesmerizing number (over 1.1k) of positive customer feedback from around the world.

Have A Bigger Budget? (Under $500/Under $600)

The Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70’s Jazz Bass is one of the top-rated guitars in the market at the price of $500. However, we have featured a comprehensive guide on the best bass guitars under 500 that you can check if needed.

The Schecter Stiletto Extreme-4 is another great pick for under 600 that you really can’t complain about.

Have Even More Budget? (Under $1000)

If you don’t mind spending a grand on the guitar then take a look at the Ibanez SRF700 Portamento or Schecter Stiletto Studio-5. Both will result beyond your expectations with the features, tone, and build qualities they come with.

If you want to learn more about around 1000 dollars bass guitars, you can check our expert-recommended complete buying guide on the best bass guitars under $1000.

Accessories That You Need with Your Bass Guitar

Accessories are important to have a hassle-free and fun practice session with your bass guitar. It’s also important to know which one to invest in as there is an overwhelming number of gears and accessories available with the guitar.

As a bass guitarist, you should get a guitar pick, straps, extra strings, guitar case, amp, and a tuner. These are some of the must-have accessories you need to get. However, you can add up some more accessories to your collection as you gather more experience.

What’s the Difference Between Precision Bass and Jazz Bass?

Precision bass guitars are one of the most common and popular bass guitar designs out there. It has been designed by Fender and later acquired by most manufacturers out there. The perk of a precision bass is that the center gravitated toward the body and the neck that has the same width throughout the shaft.

The P-bass guitars have a powerful sound output with hum-canceling split-coil pickups that deliver a range of tones for different styles of music. Many prominent players like Steve Harris, Willie Weeks, and Paul Simonon are known for their love for P-bass instruments.

The Jazz bass guitar has been inspired by the early Fender guitar design that has eventually become the industry standard. The neck of the Jazz bass gets tapered as you move towards the nut. This unique shape helps the player have better control over the strings and neck. Adam Clayton, Ray Brown, and George Duvivier are some of the most notable Jazz bass users in the industry.

Used Bass Guitar vs. New Bass Guitar

Used bass guitars are a good option when you have a specific expectation in mind. If you’re an advanced-level player who prefers a high spec bass guitar but doesn’t have the budget for it then you should go for a used guitar.

However, there are many decent-quality entry-level guitars available at an affordable price. If you’re a beginner player then we recommend you get a new bass guitar as the new instrument has its own perks.

Pro-Tips

  • As a musician, you need to maintain a strict routine for your practice sessions. This is more crucial for beginners as they have a lot to learn.
  • Once you have some grasp over the scales, it’s time to implement them in different songs. When you jam with your favorite songs, it will help you increase your love for music.
  • A bassist is an integral part of the band. Learn to be a team player when you’re playing in a band and try to have proper coordination with every member.
  • Get the right accessories that you need to play the bass guitar.

FAQ

Q. Will a cheap bass guitar sound good?

Ans: We have the tendency to measure the performance of an instrument based on its price. This is true to some extent. However, all the bass guitars that we reviewed here have quality construction with decent sound quality.  

Q. Are basses cheaper than guitars?

Ans: Guitars are available at a wide range of prices and qualities. Bass guitars are pricier than acoustic guitars. However, the price of an electric guitar is a bit on the expensive side when compared to an acoustic guitar.

Q. Which bass guitar material is the best?

Ans: Alder is one of the finest tonewood used for bass guitars as it delivers balanced low, mid, and high frequencies with a full-bodied tone. However, it’s hard to find alder in the guitars under 200. Mahogany is one of the best materials for budget bass guitars. 

Q. What type of tuner works the best?

Ans: Handheld tuners and clip-on tuners are a good choice for beginners. However, if you’re planning to get one for live gigs then we recommend you get a pedal tuner. They have different tuning features and they’re excellent for professional usage.

Final Words

It’s not very easy to find a quality bass guitar for under $200. There’s no denying that there’s quite a disparity in terms of sound and quality if you compared a budget bass guitar to a high-end one. However, we have carefully picked the best bass guitars under 200 so that you can give a kickstart to your journey as a bassist without breaking the bank.

Author | Bass Guitar and Gear Expert at Instrument Insight | Website

Fred L. Robinson is a young man from Mansfield, TX. He has always had a great passion for music and bass guitars in particular. At the age of 28, he is an expert on bass guitars and their related equipment, materials, history, and origins. Fred works as an author and bass guitar expert at Instrument Insight, where he uses his vast knowledge to help people make informed decisions about their bass guitar purchases.


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