Best Short Scale Bass Guitar Under $500 – Detailed Review

Having a good bass is nothing short of a status symbol and if you are on this page, then you are serious about purchasing one. This price range has so many brilliant options in the market that it is easy to get confused about what you should be looking for best short scale bass under $500.

This is why I have created a list of the best short scale bass of the best out there that includes a few cult names, some top-rated models, and some affordable ones, so you don't have to worry about digging a hole in your pocket to own a good quality bass. Also, I have list of affordable bass guitars, if you are specifically looking for budget friendly bass guitars, then take a look at it.

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A few simple things to remember before you go through my list are; first decide what you want it for, next go through some common designs offered in the market and finalize on one, next comes the neck i.e. a bolt-on, set or thru body. My chart has guitars of only smaller scales making it perfect for beginners and those with small hands making it extremely playable for the seasoned.

Finally, you need to decide on the pickup system and the amount of tonal control you are looking for. Once you have understood all your needs, finalizing on a model will be a breeze and this is definitely a must place to start:

1) Yamaha - best short scale bass guitar

YAMAHA 4  - Best Short Scale Bass Under $500

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • 4 strings.
  • 100 series.
  • Black color.
  • Solid mahogany body.
  • Maple neck.
  • Rosewood fingerboard.
  • The single-coil pickup system.
  • Adjustable bridge system.
  • Steel strings.
  • Light string gauge.

When you play in front of a live audience, you need a best short scale bass guitar that will not only give you confidence, but also give you the strength and this short scale bass guitar is perfect on both accounts. Irrespective of the brand name that you can trust, this is considered to be one of the best instruments in the mid-range bass market.

It looks beautiful with its aesthetic finish that looks classic and elegant catching the stage lights perfectly. It has a sturdy mahogany body, a fast maple neck with good projection, a vintage adjustable bridge system, and a smooth rosewood fingerboard.

Additionally, this 4 strings bass comes equipped with single-coil ceramic pickups, nickel hardware, die-cast tuners, all working towards a singular goal of excellent tone that has clarity and definition to make it as a best short scale bass under $500.

Pros

  • Easy playability.
  • Excellent tone.
  • Sturdy build.
  • Value for the price.
  • Flexible for all playing styles.

Cons

  • The electrical condition is not the best.





2) ​Goplus ​- ​best bass guitar for small hand beginners

​GOPLUS ELECTRIC

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Solid wood body.
  • High gloss.
  • Diamond finish.
  • Maple neck.
  • Paulownia back.
  • Rosewood fretboard.
  • Upgraded maple headstock.
  • Fixed bridge system.
  • Split single-coil pickup.
  • Volume and tonal control.
  • Output cord.

Whether you are a seasoned bassist or just someone dipping their toe in, this model from Go plus is everything you are looking for right from an attractive exterior if a solid wooden body with a smooth glossy diamond finish that is easy on the eye to the excellent sound contributed by good quality hardware needs for best short scale bass.

Speaking of its hardware, you get a tapering fast maple neck good enough for beginners with a rosewood fretboard known for its wear and tear resistance. The updated headstock design is to incorporate the fretboard effortlessly for increased resonance and be versatile enough for all playing styles.

The fixed bridge system ensures excellent sustain and good intonation and tuning stability. Now coming to its electronics, you get the flexible split single-coil pickup with volume and tonal controls and an output cord.

Pros

  • Perfect for beginners.
  • Affordable.
  • Tuning stability.
  • Excellent sustain.
  • Good resonance.

Cons

  • ​Will need readjusting to tackle fret buzz.





3) Yamaha TRBX174 RM - best short scale bass for concerts

YAMAHA TRBX174 - Best Short Scale Bass Under $500

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Red metallic color.
  • 4 strings.
  • Solid wood body.
  • Mahogany back and top.
  • Maple neck.
  • Snorkeling fret-board.
  • Adjustable bridge system.
  • Single coil pickup.
  • Distinct head-stock.

The second model from the 100 series on my list and with good reason for best short scale bass under $500. With every musical journey, you need a solid foundation and it starts with the instrument. TRBX bass knocks it out of the park as it does not compromise on any aspect. 

Yamaha has maintained its long-standing in delivering excellent sound, but this particular model not only sounds good, but is engineered to look good and offers complete precision. It comes with a durable exotic wood top and solid wood body to become the best short scale bass.

With an adjustable bridge system, you get tuning stability, along with a fast maple neck, and a Snorkeling fret-board. The versatility of its design lies in the fact that it matches your playing styles instead of the other way round.

It is built for the stage and the road with its smash ready durability that maintains its tone for years to come.

Pros

  • ​Easy to play.
  • Value for money.
  • Comfortable playability.
  • Sounds professional.
  • Good quality control.

Cons

  • ​Slight fret buzz.





4) ​Squier by Fender Bronco Bass

SQUIER BY FENDER - Best Short Scale Bass Under $500

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Agathis body.
  • Laurel fingerboard.
  • 2 saddle chrome bridge.
  • Sealed die-cast tuners.
  • The single-coil pickup system.
  • Play white pickguard.
  • C shaped neck.
  • Two-color headstock logo.
  • Fender play access.

Squier makes excellent best short scale bass for players of all levels and playing styles. This particular model is specifically designed for beginners or those of you who are looking for something casual that does not need frequent tuning and has excellent sound every time you pick it up.

Fender Bronco Bass is a good and it is a best short scale bass under $500 for those with smaller hands due to its 30'' scale. This Bronco bass comes with a solid Agathis body, a play white pickguard, and a maple C shaped neck that not only has a retro vibe but makes the top frets a lot more accessible.

The rich full sound is contributed by the specially designed single-coil pickup system and the dual saddle chrome bridge. You also get sealed-gear die-cast tuners with excellent intonation, a laurel fingerboard, and a comfortable satin neck.

Additionally, you get complete access to Fender play so that the learning never stops.

Pros

  • Versatile.
  • Excellent sound quality.
  • Perfect for beginners.
  • Rich tone.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • ​Sound does not always have a balance.





5) ​Ibanez ​- best sounding short scale bass

Best Short Scale Bass Under $500

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • 28.6’’ scale.
  • 4 strings.
  • Walnut flat color.
  • Poplar body.
  • Maple neck.
  • Jatoba fretboard.
  • Mahogany top and back.
  • Hardtail bridge.
  • Nickel strings.
  • Dot inlays.
  • Dynamic combination pickup.

Ibanez is known for its best short scale bass guitar making this one of the top-selling ones on this list. This one has definitely one of the shortest scales in no means is it a toy.

Whether it is its superior pickup system or its attractive exterior, this dominates its counterparts. Speaking of its hardware, you get a sturdy poplar body that is built for the road with a walnut flat mahogany top, a maple neck that is slim and fast, and finally a Jatoba fretboard with dot inlays.

The dynamic combination pickup and the hardtail bridge system work towards the richness and boldness of the sound. Moreover, the four strings make it easy to handle and flexible enough for multiple genres and playing styles.

So, if you are a new player in the industry and wanting a foothold with a good sounding piece that looks sharp, then look no further choose the best of best short scale bass under $500 now.

Pros

  • Fast tapering neck.
  • Lightweight build.
  • Rich pickup.
  • Sharp design.
  • Easy playability.

Cons

  • No 3-way switch for volume and pickup controls.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

6) ​Dean E09M Edge Mahogany Electric Bass Guitar – Natural

​DEAN E09M

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Edge body type.
  • Satin finish.
  • 4 bolt pattern.
  • Basswood body.
  • Maple neck.
  • Passive pickup system.
  • Black hardware.
  • Volume and tonal controls.
  • Sealed die-cast tuners.
  • Dual-action truss rod.

Although at first, it seems to be a caramel candy you may have had as a kid, do not underestimate a Dean bass. For one, their top priority is comfort and what they are famous for is their neck joint which improves access across the fretboard.

Dean is also known for their signature models for Angelo Batio, Bret Michaels, and Leslie west among others. You know you are in good hands. Let us further elaborate on the hardware, it comes with a durable basswood body with an edge body and a comfortable satin finish for best short scale bass.

The maple neck is fast and comfortable along with the black hardware that stands out. The sealed die-cast tuners have enough tuning stability and the single-coil soap bar pickup gives you the boom you are looking for best short scale bass under $500.

You can further shape and control your tone with volume and tonal controls along with the adjustable dual-action truss rod.

Pros

  • Comfortable build.
  • Punchy response.
  • Good intonation.
  • Affordable.
  • Fast neck.

Cons

  • The neck needs setting up to avoid the buzz.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

7) Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray4 Bass Guitar in Mint Green

STERLING

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Mint green finish.
  • White pickguard.
  • Basswood body.
  • Maple neck.
  • 6 bolt neck.
  • Hardtail bridge.
  • Ceramic humbucking pickup.
  • 2 band EQ.
  • Volume, bass, treble.
  • Dual inspection process.
  • Adjustable truss rod.

Inexpensive, flexible tonal control, and a sound that cannot be tamed. Do you need to be convinced more? With a rock-solid basswood exterior, a soft maple fretboard, and a comfortable neck, you will love to play this.

The mint green finish is easy on the eye and comes with a white pickguard. You can further dial in the exact tone you want with volume and tonal controls with the EQ panel provided that offers cut and boost frequency levels.

With the 4 strings, you have a wide variety of styles that will work well at ease. The high output humbucking pickup gives you the much-needed growl on stage. This thoroughly inspected product needs a form of setting up and can be played right out of the box for best short scale bass.

It easily transitions from your living room to the stage to the road whether you are a beginner wanting to jam or a seasoned guitarist wanting a workhorse.

Pros

  • Play right out of the box.
  • Good growl.
  • Tonal shaping.
  • Comfortable body.
  • Super quick tuning.

Cons

  • More on the heavier side.





8) Schecter Stiletto Extreme-4 Bass Guitar

SCHECTER STILETTO  - Best Short Scale Bass Under 500

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • 4 strings.
  • 34’’ scale.
  • Steel strings.
  • Light string gauge.
  • Mahogany body.
  • Rosewood fingerboard.
  • Flame maple top.
  • Maple neck.
  • Graph tusq nut.
  • Dual humbucking active pickups.
  • Schecter tuners.
  • Diamond bridge.

Let me end the list with another winner from Schecter that is specially made for all the lovers of heavy metal sound. Simply put, it is a good looking best short scale bass under $500 with its glossy finish and eye for details that will match your attitude.

You never have to care about the hardware as only carefully selected components are used so that you can perform with ease. It holds its tune for longer and allows you to shape your tone with volume and tonal controls.

You also get 2 Diamond humbucking active pickups at the bridge and the neck for optimum sound control that will surprise you. Simply put you will never regret buying an extreme 4 bass and the sound and durability will surprise you every time you go hard.

Pros

  • Perfect for beginners.
  • Value for the price.
  • High-quality components.
  • Rich full sound.
  • Tonal control.

Cons

  • The topcoat is inconsistent.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

CONCLUSION

Now you have gone through my list of best short scale bass under $500, you know what the market offers in the 500 dollar range especially if you are looking for a shorter scale. Every model mentioned above has a character of their own and a sound that will blow you away.

This price range is a good place to start if you are a beginner or if you are simply looking for a workhorse for in-between gigs. Depending on your needs you need to compartmentalize on whether you want to focus more on the exterior or durability,

Whether you want more tonal options or a punchier pickup, whether you need chrome hardware or not. Either way, it comes to you so try all of it or what catches your eye to make sure that you pick the perfect match for the price you got.

At the end of the day, it is simply going to be you on the stage with this bass so make sure that it is a winner. I hope my list of best short scale bass under $500 has helped to choose the right product. Share your views about this article in the comment section.

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