The Best 5 String Basses Under $1000 — Guitar Reviews 2017

best 5 string bass under 1000

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If you are a bassist looking to delve into the realm of extended range, a five-string bass guitar is a great starting point. Music today has added a significant extra punch in terms of low end bass frequencies, and adding that B string to your instrument can really help you in meeting today’s audio standards.

Now, onto the price and the answer to this question: “How much money should I spend to get a good 5-string bass?” We’re guessing that you are looking for the best value for money too, and with all factors in mind, we’d say that the desired figure is under $1,000.

We conducted a detailed search of the market, and singled out 4 items that could easily grab the title of the best 5 string bass under $1000. Check ’em out:

Yamaha TRBX505 TWH

We’ll kick things off with the Yamaha TRBX505 TWH – a mid-priced item, not the best item on the list in terms of quality and performance, but quite possibly the best item on the list as far as value for money is considered.

The instrument’s tone is very versatile, with active electronics and an on-board three-band EQ allowing the player to make just about any sonic adjustment. Whether you’re into pop or thrash metal, this thing has your back as long as you know to make the right tweaks.

Speaking of which, the TRBX505 is quite user-friendly, and you should be able to grasp all the knobs and functions with ease.

The instrument utilizes a solid mahogany body, a five-piece maple and mahogany neck. Also included in the mix is the aforementioned active-passive electronics department with a battery alert LED, as well as some smooth and elegant black nickel hardware to spice things up.

A feature worth mentioning again is the maple and mahogany neck, which was crafted with great skill, thus making the bass very easy to use, perfect for longer gigs and practice sessions. If you’re on budget, this just might be the best 5 string bass under $1000.

Peavey Millennium

In the budget-friendly section, we’d like to draw your attention to the Peavey Millennium bass, a surprisingly inexpensive (but not cheap in quality) instrument that offers a very solid performance.

The sexy finish might be the first thing you’ll notice about this bad boy, but the moment you start playing it, you’ll also notice the distinctive mid-range punch and a surprisingly warm and fuzzy low end.

The instrument utilizes a strong maple neck with a classic rosewood fretboard, a 34-inch scale, fully adjustable two-way tension rod, and a basswood body with highly figured quilt maple top.

In the electronics department, the bass has a set of two straight single-coil pickups, a hum canceling feature when they are used together, and a set of three control knobs for tonal and volume adjustments. Without a doubt, this is one of the best 5 string basses under $1000.

Fender Active Jazz Electric Bass Guitar V

If pop, rock, funk, jazz, and blues music are your thing, this fella is the absolute crème de la crème of our little niche here – the mighty Fender Jazz V.

Coming from one of the biggest manufacturers in the world, this instrument (see full specs) has a lot of history and a lot of expectations to fulfill. And it does just that with a distinctive mellow vibe that will make you arm hair stand up.

There’s something incredibly soothing about a classic Fender Jazz Bass tone, and with just a few minor alteration you can make this baby roar like never before. We don’t recommend this model for metal music, but just about any other genre works like a charm.

A three-band active EQ allows you to make any kind of sonic adjustment your heart desires, but what we really like about this bass is that in a way, it can never really sound bad, unless you make crazy EQ adjustments on purpose.

The looks are gorgeous, the neck is chunky yet playable, and the vibe just screams classic Fender. If you were to ask us to name the best 5 string bass under $1000, there’s a good chance we’d opt for this guy, and that says a lot.

Ibanez GSR205B


If playability is your main benchmark, you should check out the GSR405B from Ibanez. It uses a relatively slender neck and a light-weight desk, with a compact, contoured body that’s shaped with comfort in mind.

The hardware on this guitar consists of two powersound pickups, with a DXH-5N in the neck and a DXH-5B in the bridge. The on-board passive EQ ensures they’ll give you a consistent response across the tonal range.

The low end is where this bass really shines. It has an impressive output given the price range, making it an especially good option for mental players. Its main limitation is that it’s not especially good with slap techniques, giving them a muffled sound, which makes it less suitable for funk players, or those in similar genres.

The quality of construction is also top notch. It can take its fair share of bumps and other standard abuse without sustaining any lasting damage to either its appearance or its performance. The body is made of maple with rosewood for the fingerboard, durable tonewoods that also give it a sweet, rich tone.

If you’re looking for a 5-string bass that’s priced in the entry level range but can still give you a fat tone with lots of punch, the GSR205B from Ibanez is the right choice for you.

What to look for when buying a 5 string bass?

There are a lot of factors to take into consideration, but one of the obvious things that sets a 5-string apart from a 4-string is the low string. The fat string will require an extra dose of attention, as its size can cause some trouble on the fretboard.

Therefore, you will need to look for an extra low amount of fret noise, so make sure that the B string produces as little fuzz as possible. Additionally, having an on-board EQ and active electronics is always a plus. The low end is not an easy beast to control, and you’ll need any help you can get. An EQ is perfect for this and will even give you extra tonal options for experimentation and covering more ground.

All we can say to conclude this chat is that each of these instruments is a purchase you will not regret. Get you groove on and get a five-string today!

One response

  1. Good morning gents,
    Your article was an enormous help to me.I decided to switch gears after fifty years of playing saxophone in that time I got to play with some pretty serious bassists so it was always on my “to do list”. Knowing what the best bang for the buck was saved me from walking into my local shop and being sold an instrument with a few draw backs that has caused the bass to remain in the stock room since Jimmy Carter was in office.

    All the best,
    James Brennan.

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