Best Acoustic Bass Guitar for Under $500

If you are searching for an acoustic bass guitar then you will want to find the best acoustic bass guitar that is available.  

In the world of guitars we have acoustic, electric, and acoustic-electric. We cannot forget our four stringed friend the bass as there are acoustic, electric, and acoustic-electric bass guitars.

The primary function of the bass is to maintain the steady rhythm. It works hand in hand with the drummer and is the backbone of any song. 

But what is the best acoustic bass guitar out there and that won’t break the bank? Don’t worry, we are here to help you with that. In this guide we will take a look at some very affordable options for acoustic bass guitars and discuss their pros and cons. 

All of these models are less than $500.

Best Acoustic Bass Guitars

Playing an acoustic bass guitar is a totally different experience than it’s electric counterpart. Acoustic bass guitars have a very balanced feel in their pure acoustic form.

If you are looking to play and practice the bass guitar around the house or if your band happens call for an acoustic guitar player then you would want to consider looking at one of these basses below. 

1. Fender CB-60SCE Beginner Acoustic-Electric Beginner Bass Guitar – Natural 

First one on our list for best acoustic bass guitar is from Fender. This acoustic-electric bass is great for beginners. With a mahogany body and natural finish to it, your eyes will be immediately drawn into the craftsmanship. 

The spruce top will give the bass a strength and warm yet bright overall tone. From hard strumming, fast picking, or finger picking, you can do all with this acoustic bass. 

It’s rolled fingerboard edges will give your fretting hand an extremely comfortable feel to it. A bass guitar like this is ideal for beginners and experienced pros. 

The Fishman pickup/preamp gives you full control without compromising the sound and tone. With a built-in tuner this has everything you need. 

This will not only give you a great sound once plugged into an amp but it will also sound great without amplification. 

Light and easy on your hands, you won’t find any string buzzing here which even gives it more value considering it’s price. 

With it’s clean and minimal look, you will be able to focus on perfecting the bass. If you are into home recording as well, then this bass is perfect for that.  

The built-in tuner display can be awkward to see while tuning as it’s a long guitar. That could however, be different based on each person’s experience. 

Pros

Pros:

    • Affordable price. 
    • Solid spruce top. 
    • Fishman preamp. 
    • Has a built-in tuner. 
    • Full rich tone. 
    • Easy to play neck. 

Cons

Cons:

  • Tuner display may be hard to see.

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2. Cordoba Mini II Bass MH-E, Mahogany, Small Body, Acoustic-Electric Bass

Next up we have another acoustic-electric bass guitar this time made by Cordoba. This is a Mini model so it’s going to be smaller in scale. 

The bass’s deeper body depth will give you a very well-rounded tone. It’s MB103 pickup will sound great plugged in. Made with all mahogany woods, this mini bass provides a mellow tone that is also soft and balanced. 

Weighing in at 2.4 pounds, you can take this bass guitar anywhere. Since it’s a short scale you cannot use standard string lengths on this. You will also need to use Nylon strings. 

At one third the cost of the more expensive brands, this will be a great inspirational tool for your musical creations. 

Comfortable and easy to play you can take this all over from cookouts, parties, and vacations. Unplugged this little bass packs a punch and displays a great tone. 

Although some might say this is not meant for professional playing, it can certainly be used around the house, for recording, and for band practice. 

Some challenges with a small scale bass guitar can be getting used to the scale so you can play effectively however, like anything you can and will get used to it quickly. 

Pros

Pros:

  • Affordable price. 
  • Features a rich and robust tone. 
  • Comes with Cordoba MB103 pickup.
  • Portable and easy to carry. 
  • Built-in tuner. 
  • Easy action. 

Cons

Cons: 

  • Small scale may take getting used to.
  • Cannot use stand string lengths. 

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3. Ibanez 4-String Acoustic Bass Guitar  

This Ibanez model makes our list for the best acoustic bass guitar. With a maple neck and a rosewood fretboard this will catch your eye’s attention.

At a great price, you will be amazed at this bass guitar’s tone and overall playability. With a  grand concert body top, tortoiseshell tuning machines, and a chrome die-cast tuner, you get a long of bang for your buck. 

Since this is smaller than a dreadnought sized guitar the unplugged volume will be slightly lower. However, once the guitar is plugged in the saddle pickup preamp will make it sound very audible. 

This bass guitar will also come with a 9V battery already installed and will give you an Allen wrench to adjust the truss rod if needed. 

Ideal for practice and performance as you will really enjoy displaying this craftsmanship.

Great for jamming with your friends or playing along to your favorite tunes at home. This bass can do it all. 

Pros

Pros:

  • Great price. 
  • Comes with saddle pickup preamp. 
  • Chrome die-cast tuner. 
  • Installed with a 9V battery.
  • Perfect for playing at home.
  • Easy to take anywhere. 

Cons

Cons:

  • Might need the truss rod to be adjusted.  

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4. Best Choice Products Acoustic Electric Bass – Full Size, 4 String, Fretted Bass Guitar – Black

The best choice acoustic-electric bass guitar is really set at an amazing and a super affordable price. 

Available in black, blue, and natural, this guitar is under $100. It comes equipped with a 4-band EQ guitar preamp. This will produce a very high-quality sound for all types of bass players. 

This guitar is great for both plugged in jam sessions or playing unplugged around the house. With a built-in volume control you can adjust the bass, middle, treble and overall presence. 

With a cool looking inlay, chrome die cast tuners and a glossy finish, this guitar looks way more expensive than its actual cost. 

This also comes with a self adhesive sticker on the pickguard if you want that look. If you experience any fret buzzing, then the truss rod will need to be adjusted. A hex wrench is not included so if you need to adjust the action then you will need to get one that will fit. 

The EQ setting may need to be played with to get the best mid and highs from the bass guitar. With smooth fretboards, you’ll look forward to playing this. 

Pros

Pros:

  • Under $100. 
  • Comes with a 4 band EQ guitar preamp. 
  • Chrome die cast tuners.
  • Glossy finish. 
  • Play unplugged or plugged in. 
  • Comes with a self adhesive pickguard. 

Cons

Cons:

  • Action may have to be adjusted. 
  • Does not come with an Allen key. 
  • Hardware will not be of high quality. 

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5. Fender FA-450CE Acoustic Bass Guitar – 3-Color Sunburst – Laurel Fingerboard 

Another Fender makes our list and rightfully so as it’s a beautiful looking acoustic bass guitar. Coming in a 3-Color Sunburst, 3-Tone Tea Burst, and Natural.

This Fender has a very sleek modern headstock and inlay, these bass guitars are perfect for when you play on the stage. With its strong laminated construction this guitar is resistant from changes in weather and humidity, you can take this guitar anywhere. 

With a maple top you will get a bright and clear tone. The Fishman electronics will ensure that you are able to maximize all the potential sounds.

With a modern “C” style shape and a 9.5” radius fingerboard which is perfect for any style of music that you want to play. 

Surprisingly lightweight and full of rich tone this is the most pricey of the acoustic bass guitars that we have reviewed thus far. 

At ¾ scale, you will be amazed at how comfortable this is to play. It sounds great unplugged and you’ll be even happier once you plug this in. 

Pros

Pros:

  • Available in 3 beautiful colors. 
  • Comes with Fishman electronics. 
  • Laminated construction. 
  • Maple top and mahogany back. 
  • Comfortable to play. 
  • Sleek look and design. 

Cons

Cons: 

  • Action may need to be adjusted.

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Best Acoustic Bass Guitars Buying Guide

We took a look at some really great and interesting acoustic bass guitars. There are lots of different options for all different levels of players and at different price points.

All the acoustic bass guitars mentioned above will have a similar sound when unplugged. However once plugged in, that is when their colors will show and you will see the rich and deep tones that will be on display. 

Remember, a bass player plays a powerful role in the band and that role doesn’t change if you are using an electric or an acoustic bass. 

Let’s take a look at some common questions asked when researching the best acoustic bass guitars. 

Are acoustic bass guitars worth playing?

My answer is yes, especially if you already have an electric bass. If your friends or bandmates are having an acoustic-only jam, then the acoustic bass guitar will totally be worth it. 

Acoustic bass guitars are very convenient. You can sit down and play quietly without having to take out the amplifier. 

With an acoustic guitar bass, you will be more inclined to practice to create which is what it is all about. 

Is the acoustic bass guitar loud enough when played with other instruments?

That will depend on what other instruments are accompanying you. If those instruments are plugged in then you will also need to be plugged in for sure. 

If unplugged then it will be able to hold its own against an acoustic guitar or mandolin. However, the loudness of banjo will drown out the sound of the acoustic bass. 

Like anything, make sure you do a proper sound check to ensure there is the proper balance. 

Do acoustic bass guitars sound different from electric bass guitars?

Yes they do. Acoustic bass guitars sound more “woodier.” They have their own unique sound and once amplified they sound very different than their electric counterparts. 

What genre is most suitable for an acoustic bass guitar? 

The answer is any acoustic style of music will work on an acoustic bass guitar. The acoustic bass guitar may not seem versatile but it can hold its own with a variety of different styles of music. 

How do you maintain an acoustic bass guitars?

First and foremost you will want a good cleaner. Head over to our article on guitar cleaners to see which ones we recommend: best guitar cleaners.

You will want to make sure the fretboard is clean. The best way to do a detailed cleaning is when the strings are off for when you are changing them. 

It is also best to keep the guitar out of any extreme weather conditions. Dry environments can cause the wood to dry and crack. 

The playability is also a way to care for acoustic bass guitar. Ensure that the neck and intonation is set up properly which will keep your bass sounding good. 

Lastly, you can get a case to carry around so the bass guitar is not exposed when taking it places. 

Best Acoustic Bass Guitar Conclusion 

So there we have it. The answers to some commonly asked questions when it comes to buying an acoustic bass guitar.

The acoustic bass guitar is a unique instrument and honestly you don’t see many use it when playing. If you remember the days of MTV Unplugged, then you will remember seeing bands unplug and play one. 

Brian Ritchie, bass player for the folk-punk band Violent Femmes is known for using an acoustic bass guitar which was attributed to the band’s signature sound. 

They are great for having around your house so you can quietly play and they are also great for plugging in with your friends for an acoustic jam or practice. 

We hope you have enjoyed this article on the best acoustic bass guitars out there. Be sure to do your research and as always HAVE FUN! 

 

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