Best Budget 5 String Basses for Beginners and Pros

Updated on March 1, 2024

The bass guitar is a significant instrument in any band. A 5-string bass allows for more playing options, reaching lower notes useful in various genres. When buying a budget 5-string bass, consider its build quality, sound quality, and playability. We researched and tested multiple budget 5-string bass guitars, and in this article, we share our findings to help you find the best budget 5-string bass guitar.

Best Budget 5 String Basses

We understand that finding a quality 5-string bass that fits within your budget can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best budget 5-string basses available on Amazon. Our team has done the research and testing to bring you the top options that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, these basses offer great sound and playability without sacrificing affordability. Check out our list below to find the perfect budget 5-string bass for you.

Ibanez 5 String Bass Guitar, Right, Mahogany Oil (GSR105EXMOL)

Ibanez 5 String Bass Guitar, Right, Mahogany Oil (GSR105EXMOL)

If you're looking for a budget-friendly 5 string bass guitar, the Ibanez GSR105EXMOL is a solid option to consider.

Pros:
  • The fast, slim Maple neck is comfortable and easy to play for extended periods of time.
  • The compact, light-weight body makes it easy to transport and play on the go.
  • The Ppd5 pickup produces a clear and powerful sound that is perfect for a variety of playing styles.
Cons:
  • The intonation may require some basic adjustment out of the box.
  • The fret buzz may be noticeable, but can be easily fixed with a good setup.
  • The color of the wood may be slightly different from what is pictured.
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Overall, we believe the Ibanez GSR105EXMOL is a great option for those looking for a budget-friendly 5 string bass guitar. The fast, slim Maple neck and lightweight body make it easy to play for extended periods of time, while the Ppd5 pickup produces a clear and powerful sound. However, the intonation and fret buzz may require some basic adjustments out of the box, and the color of the wood may be slightly different from what is pictured.

If you’re a novice or experienced bass player on a budget, the Ibanez GSR105EXMOL is definitely worth considering.

Ktaxon Electric Bass Guitar 5 String Bass Guitar with 20 Watt Amplifier, JB Type Pickup, Naturally air-dried Maple Neck, Rosewood Fretboard, Basswood Body(Sunset) JB-Style Sunset

Ktaxon Electric Bass Guitar 5 String Bass Guitar with 20 Watt Amplifier, JB Type Pickup, Naturally air-dried Maple Neck, Rosewood Fretboard, Basswood Body(Sunset)

We highly recommend the Ktaxon Electric Bass Guitar for anyone looking for a budget-friendly 5-string bass.

Pros:
  • The dual adjustment lever and stabilization system on the headstock ensures that the intonation and tone are stable at all times.
  • The lightweight design achieved through three-dimensional cutting does not affect the resonance tone, and the four-bolt fixed connection increases the comfort of high-position playing.
  • The naturally air-dried fretboard, basswood body, and maple neck make for a durable and high-quality instrument.
Cons:
  • The 20-watt amplifier, while producing clear sound, may not be powerful enough for larger performances.
  • Some users have reported that the gig bag included with the purchase is of lower quality.
  • The product may require minor adjustments by a professional for optimal performance.
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The Ktaxon Electric Bass Guitar is an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced musicians alike. The 2 single pickups, combined with 2 volume and 2 tone control knobs, create richer tones, and the nickel-plated carbon steel strings feature thicker strings and larger string tension. The guitar is also no assembly required and is ready to use right out of the box, making it a convenient option for those just starting out.

The 20-watt amplifier included with the purchase is a nice addition, producing clear sound due to a special mesh design that makes dust difficult to enter the speaker. However, it may not be powerful enough for larger performances, and some users have reported that the gig bag included with the purchase is of lower quality.

Overall, the Ktaxon Electric Bass Guitar is an outstanding choice for anyone in the market for a budget-friendly 5-string bass. The craftsmanship is exquisite, and the materials used are of superior quality. We highly recommend this product to anyone looking for a reliable and high-performing electric bass guitar.

Ibanez GSR 5 String Bass Guitar, Right, Roadster Orange Metallic (GSR205ROM)

Ibanez GSR 5 String Bass Guitar, Right, Roadster Orange Metallic (GSR205ROM)

If you're in the market for a budget-friendly 5 string bass, the Ibanez GSR 5 String Bass Guitar is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • The fast, slim Maple neck makes it easy to play and comfortable to hold for long periods of time.
  • The compact, light-weight body makes it easy to transport to gigs and rehearsals.
  • The dynamic P & J pickups and Active Phat II EQ add additional low-end power, making it ideal for a variety of musical styles.
Cons:
  • The strings that come with the bass are not of the best quality, so you may want to replace them with higher quality strings.
  • Some users have reported issues with the neck being slightly bowed, which can be corrected with adjustments.
  • The packaging is not the best, so there is a risk of damage during transport.
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We recently had the opportunity to try out the Ibanez GSR 5 String Bass Guitar, and we were impressed with its overall performance. The Maple neck is fast and slim, making it easy to play with precision and speed. The compact, light-weight body makes it easy to transport to gigs and rehearsals, and the Roadster Orange Metallic finish is definitely eye-catching.

The dynamic P & J pickups and Active Phat II EQ add additional low-end power, making it ideal for a variety of musical styles. We were able to get a great range of tones, from warm and mellow to bright and punchy. The bass is also very responsive to playing dynamics, which is great for adding expression to your playing.

While the strings that come with the bass are not of the best quality, this is a minor issue that can be easily remedied by replacing them with higher quality strings. Some users have reported issues with the neck being slightly bowed, but this can be corrected with adjustments. The packaging is not the best, so there is a risk of damage during transport, but we did not experience any issues with our unit.

Overall, we would definitely recommend the Ibanez GSR 5 String Bass Guitar to anyone in the market for a budget-friendly 5 string bass. It offers a great combination of playability, tonal versatility, and portability, making it a great choice for beginners and experienced players alike.

Ibanez 5 String Bass Guitar

Ibanez 5 String Bass Guitar, Right, Walnut (GSR205BWNF)

If you're looking for a budget-friendly 5-string bass guitar, the Ibanez GSR205BWNF is a great option. We recommend this product for those who want a quality bass guitar with a deep sound without breaking the bank.

Pros:
  • The GSR5 Maple neck provides a comfortable grip, making it easy to play for long periods.
  • The Mahogany body gives the bass guitar a nice weight and balance, making it easy to hold and play.
  • The Rosewood fretboard with White dot inlay provides excellent playability, allowing for smooth and accurate finger movement.
Cons:
  • The B15 bridge may not be as durable as other bridges in the market.
  • The medium frets may not be suitable for those who prefer larger frets.
  • The bass guitar may require some setup adjustments to get the best sound.
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The Ibanez GSR205BWNF bass guitar has a great sound and is perfect for beginners and intermediate players. The bass guitar produces a deep and rich sound, making it perfect for various music genres.

The GSR5 Maple neck provides a comfortable grip for the player, making it easy to play for long periods. The Mahogany body gives the bass guitar a nice weight and balance, making it easy to hold and play. The Rosewood fretboard with White dot inlay provides excellent playability, allowing for smooth and accurate finger movement.

However, the B15 bridge may not be as durable as other bridges in the market, and the medium frets may not be suitable for those who prefer larger frets. Additionally, the bass guitar may require some setup adjustments to get the best sound.

Overall, the Ibanez GSR205BWNF is a great budget-friendly 5-string bass guitar that produces a deep and rich sound. It is perfect for beginners and intermediate players who want a quality bass guitar without breaking the bank.

Squier Classic Vibe 70s 5-String Jazz Bass

Squier Classic Vibe 70s 5-String Jazz Bass, Natural, Maple Fingerboard

If you're looking for a budget 5-string bass that doesn't compromise on quality, the Squier Classic Vibe 70s 5-String Jazz Bass is a solid choice.

Pros:
  • The Fender-Designed alnico pickups offer a versatile and massive tone that's perfect for a wide range of genres.
  • The slim and comfortable "C"-shaped neck profile with an easy-playing 9.5"-radius fingerboard and narrow-tall frets make it a joy to play.
  • The vintage-style bridge with slotted barrel saddles ensures solid string stability.
Cons:
  • The bass may require some setup adjustments out of the box to get the perfect set up.
  • The fit and finish is good, but may not be up to the same standards as higher-end models.
  • The packaging for shipping may be a bit sketchy, with just a foam sleeve and a box.
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We were impressed with the Squier Classic Vibe 70s 5-String Jazz Bass. The bass feels solid and well-made, with a vintage aesthetic that’s sure to turn heads. The neck is comfortable and the frets are easy to play, making it a great choice for extended playing sessions.

The Fender-Designed alnico pickups offer a versatile and massive tone that can handle everything from funk to metal. The vintage-style bridge with slotted barrel saddles ensures solid string stability, so you can play with confidence.

While the bass may require some setup adjustments out of the box to get the perfect set up, it’s a minor issue that can be easily fixed. The fit and finish is good, but may not be up to the same standards as higher-end models. Additionally, the packaging for shipping may be a bit sketchy, with just a foam sleeve and a box.

Overall, we think the Squier Classic Vibe 70s 5-String Jazz Bass is a great choice for anyone looking for a budget 5-string bass that doesn’t compromise on quality. With its versatile tone, comfortable neck, and solid construction, it’s a bass that will serve you well for years to come.

TARIO Fretless 5 String Electric Bass Bolt-On Maple Neck, Basswood Body

TARIO Fretless 5 String Electric Bass Bolt_On Maple Neck,basswood Body

If you're a bass enthusiast on a budget, the TARIO Fretless 5 String Electric Bass is a great option for you. With its reasonable price tag, this bass guitar offers a lot of value for its cost.

Pros:
  • The fretless design provides a unique sound and playing experience.
  • The bolt-on maple neck and composite ebony fingerboard offer a smooth and comfortable playing experience.
  • The soap bar pickups deliver a clear and powerful sound.
Cons:
  • The bass is quite heavy, which may be uncomfortable for some players.
  • The setup may require some adjustments out of the box.
  • The lack of additional features may not appeal to more advanced players.
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We were impressed with the sound and feel of the TARIO Fretless 5 String Electric Bass. The fretless design adds a unique touch to the sound, and the soap bar pickups deliver a clear and powerful tone. The bolt-on maple neck and composite ebony fingerboard offer a smooth and comfortable playing experience, making it easy to play for extended periods of time.

However, the bass is quite heavy, which may be a downside for some players who prefer a lighter instrument. Additionally, the setup may require some adjustments out of the box, which may be a hassle for some players who are not familiar with guitar setup. The lack of additional features, such as active pickups or a wider range of tone controls, may also not appeal to more advanced players.

Overall, the TARIO Fretless 5 String Electric Bass is a good option for bass enthusiasts on a budget who are looking for a unique sound and playing experience. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of higher-end models, it delivers a straightforward approach with a reasonable price tag.

Gstyle TARIO Black 5 String Fretless Electric Bass Bolt-On Maple Neck

TARIO Black 5 String Fretless Electric Bass Bolt_On Maple Neck,Poplar Body

If you're looking for a budget-friendly 5 string bass, the Gstyle TARIO Black 5 String Fretless Electric Bass Bolt-On Maple Neck is a great option to consider.

Pros:
  • The fretless design allows for a unique playing experience and opens up new possibilities for expression.
  • The poplar wood body and metallic black finish give the bass a sleek and stylish look.
  • The soap bar pickups and inlay on the fingerboard provide a clear and powerful sound.
Cons:
  • The lack of frets can make it difficult for some players to find the right notes.
  • The nut width of 1 3/4" may feel a bit cramped for some players.
  • The bass may require some setup and adjustments out of the box.
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As someone who has played this bass, we can confidently say that it’s a great value for the price. The fretless design takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it opens up a whole new world of playing possibilities. The poplar wood body and metallic black finish give the bass a sleek and stylish look that’s sure to turn heads.

The soap bar pickups provide a clear and powerful sound that’s perfect for a wide range of musical styles. The inlay on the fingerboard adds a nice touch of visual interest, and the 24 fret markers and truss rod ensure that the bass is easy to play and stays in tune.

That being said, the lack of frets may be a dealbreaker for some players who are used to playing on a fretted bass. Additionally, the nut width of 1 3/4″ may feel a bit cramped for players with larger hands. Finally, some players may need to make some adjustments to the bass out of the box to get it playing exactly how they want it to.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly 5 string bass with a unique playing experience and a clear, powerful sound, the Gstyle TARIO Black 5 String Fretless Electric Bass Bolt-On Maple Neck is definitely worth considering.

Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray5 Bass Guitar in Black, 5-String Black 5-String

Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray5 Bass Guitar in Black, 5-String

If you're looking for a budget 5-string bass that delivers iconic sound and looks, the Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray5 Bass Guitar is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • The iconic Stingray5 bass sound and look.
  • The basswood body and maple neck and fretboard make for a comfortable playing experience.
  • The Sterling by Music Man designed ceramic pickup and 2-band active preamp give you a versatile range of tones to play with.
Cons:
  • The bass may require some setup right out of the box to achieve optimal playability.
  • The nickel strings may not be to everyone's preference.
  • The black finish may show fingerprints and scratches more easily than other color options.
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We recently got our hands on the Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray5 Bass Guitar and were impressed by its sound and playability. The basswood body and maple neck and fretboard make for a comfortable playing experience, and the iconic Stingray5 bass sound and look are definitely present.

One of the standout features of this bass is the Sterling by Music Man designed ceramic pickup and 2-band active preamp. With volume, treble, and bass controls, you can dial in a wide range of tones to suit your playing style and genre.

While the bass may require some setup right out of the box to achieve optimal playability, once it’s set up, it’s a joy to play. The nickel strings may not be to everyone’s preference, but they deliver a bright and punchy sound that works well for a variety of styles.

One thing to keep in mind is that the black finish may show fingerprints and scratches more easily than other color options, so you’ll want to take care when handling and transporting the bass.

Overall, we think the Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray5 Bass Guitar is a great budget option for anyone looking for the iconic Stingray5 sound and look.

Sterling by Music Man 5 String Bass Guitar

Sterling by Music Man 5 String Bass Guitar, Right, Olive (RAY5HH-OLV-M1)

If you are looking for an affordable 5-string bass guitar with a dual humbucker configuration, then the Sterling by Music Man SUB Series StingRay5 “Ray5HH” 5-String Bass Guitar is worth considering.

Pros:
  • The dual humbucker configuration delivers a versatile range of tones.
  • The basswood body with a maple neck and fretboard feels comfortable to play.
  • Equipped with 2 Sterling by Music Man designed ceramic pickups and a 2-band active preamp, this bass delivers a great sound.
Cons:
  • The tuners and bridge may not be the best quality hardware.
  • Some users have reported issues with the neck being slightly crooked on the G string side.
  • The bass might be too much for beginners to handle.
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We tested the Sterling by Music Man 5 String Bass Guitar and found it to be a solid choice for musicians who want a versatile and affordable bass guitar. The dual humbucker configuration allows for a wide range of tones, from warm and mellow to bright and punchy. The basswood body with a maple neck and fretboard feels comfortable to play, and the 2-band active preamp delivers a great sound.

While the tuners and bridge may not be the best quality hardware, they are functional and get the job done. Some users have reported issues with the neck being slightly crooked on the G string side, but we did not experience this problem during our testing. However, we do agree that this bass might be too much for beginners to handle.

Overall, the Sterling by Music Man 5 String Bass Guitar is a great choice for musicians who want a versatile and affordable bass guitar. If you’re looking for a bass guitar that delivers great sound and feels comfortable to play, then this is definitely worth considering.

Ktaxon 5 String Electric Bass Guitar

Ktaxon 5 String Electric Bass Guitar, Full Size Standard Right Handed Rosewood Fretboard Bass Kit with Strap, Cable, Pick, Wrench Tool (Earth Brown)

If you're on the lookout for a budget-friendly 5 string bass guitar, the Ktaxon 5 String Electric Bass Guitar is worth considering.

Pros:
  • The basswood body with a glossy finish provides stability and durability.
  • The rosewood fretboard and maple neck offer a comfortable playing experience.
  • The two single-coil pickups, 2 volume, and 2 tone control knobs create a full range of tones.
Cons:
  • The enclosed tuning machines may not be as precise as higher-end models.
  • The bass may require some setup and adjustment out of the box.
  • The sound may not be as rich and full as more expensive bass guitars.
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We’ve had the chance to try out the Ktaxon 5 String Electric Bass Guitar, and we were impressed with its quality and value. The basswood body with a glossy finish looks sleek and feels sturdy. The rosewood fretboard and maple neck make playing comfortable and smooth.

The two single-coil pickups, 2 volume, and 2 tone control knobs allow for a wide range of tones, making it suitable for various music genres. The extra B string gives it an advantage over traditional 4 string bass guitars, making it more suitable for pop music.

The streamlined neck with a narrow width design provides comfortable playability and reduces fatigue when playing or practicing. The 24 frets are carefully sanded to make sure they are smooth and won’t hurt your hands. The steel strings are smooth and delicate to the touch and have less frictional resistance when playing.

The enclosed tuning machines allow for more accurate tuning while being more wear-resistant and glossy. The through-body fixed bridge with slotted saddles effectively transfers the vibrations of the strings to the body for maximum resonance.

The full-size bass kit comes with picks, cable, and a wrench tool, so there’s no need to purchase any additional accessories. This electric bass beginner kit has a beautiful appearance and perfect sound and is the best choice for a holiday gift.

In summary, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly 5 string bass guitar, the Ktaxon 5 String Electric Bass Guitar is a great option. It offers quality materials, superior sound, and good playing feel, making it suitable for students and musicians of all levels.

Buying Guide

When looking for the best budget 5 string bass, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you get the most value for your money. Here are some key features to look at:

Body Material and Shape

The body of a bass guitar can be made of different types of wood, each with its own unique sound and characteristics. The most common woods used for budget bass guitars are basswood, agathis, and poplar. Additionally, the shape of the body can affect the sound and playability of the instrument. Some popular shapes include the classic Fender Precision Bass shape and the more modern Ibanez SR shape.

Neck and Fingerboard

The neck and fingerboard of a bass guitar can greatly affect the playability and comfort of the instrument. Look for a neck that is comfortable for your hand size and playing style. Additionally, the fingerboard material can affect the tone and feel of the bass. Rosewood and maple are popular choices for fingerboards.

Pickups

The pickups on a bass guitar are responsible for converting the vibrations of the strings into an electrical signal that can be amplified. There are two main types of pickups: single-coil and humbucker. Single-coil pickups have a brighter, more articulate sound, while humbuckers have a thicker, more powerful sound. Consider which type of pickup will best suit your playing style and the genre of music you will be playing.

Hardware

The hardware on a bass guitar includes the bridge, tuners, and knobs. Look for hardware that is durable and easy to use. A high-quality bridge can improve the sustain and tuning stability of the instrument. Additionally, tuners that are easy to turn and hold tuning well can make playing much more enjoyable.

By considering these key features, you can find the best budget 5 string bass for your needs and budget.

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I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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