The 5 Best Bass Guitars for Metal – Our Round-Up
Are you on the lookout for a great bass guitar for metal? In this article, we go through some great options to suit all budgets.
For some metal genres, classic bass guitars like Fender Precision work great, while many contemporary sub-genres require a more aggressive sound.
Today’s metal musicians put a large focus on low-end tones, so 5 and 6-string bass guitars are a pretty common in metal.
That is the reason why we’ve made a list of instruments that have many differences in terms of design and features. Keep in mind that this isn’t an ultimate list and that this is our choice of bass guitars we think that offers a good balance between quality and price.
The Best Bass Guitars for Metal – Our Round-Up
1. Ibanez Bass Workshop SRFF805 Multi-Scale
This is definitely one of the best deals you can get if you’re looking for a great metal bass guitar. For a quite reasonable price, you get a well-designed multi-scale bass, which offers perfect intonation. Along with a nice 5-piece jatoba/walnut neck, it makes this guitar super playable and stable. Add to this an excellent Mono-Rail VS bridge and you may count excellent sustain and stability.
The tone by itself is quite rounded, while the high ones are also very bright. That’s mostly because of the interesting tonewood combination, which consists of mahogany and polar burp top. Of course, big thanks goes to a couple of Bartolini humbuckers, which do their job great and deal with hi-gain tones with ease.
The SRFF805 stands out from the visual standpoint as well. We’ve already mentioned that super-nice polar burp top, which comes in a combination with a gloss polyurethane finish, while we also like that matte black hardware.
This guitar definitely works great for all metal genres. Moreover, it goes way beyond that. With six strings and an impressive amount of tonal tweaking options, there is plenty of room for all kinds of tonal manipulation. You may count on classic Volume and Balancer switches, as well as on a 3-band EQ control. Furthermore, there are two switches, for mid-frequency boost and EQ bypass.
2. Squier by Fender Affinity Series Precision Electric Bass
It’s hard to have many options when you’re on a tight budget, especially if you’re looking for something more specific, such as a bass guitar for metal. In that case, compromise is the right word, and that usually leads us to a more common design.
That’s why we see this Squier bass as a great choice, even though it is primarily designed for jazz, fusion, funky, and other more ‘articulated’ genres. Still, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work great for metal either. After, many metal bass icons played and still play on this classic instrument.
This affordable bass features pretty common design solutions. It is a typical vintage 4-string bass, which features an alder body and fender’s typical C-shape neck. Along with excellent playability and recognizable look, it comes with a quite interesting pickup combination, where you get a typical Precision split single-coil at the neck position and one typical Jazz single-coil at the bridge position.
All in all, if you’re not particularly picky in terms of tonal preferences and you’re looking for something affordable and really playable, this bass guitar would be a great choice.
3. Yamaha TRBX204
As a brand, Yamaha has one of the highest reputations in the business. Whether it’s about electric guitars, basses, or classical instruments, the Japanese manufacturer offers excellent quality. This particularly refers to the segment of more affordable instruments, where Yamaha offers probably the best value for money in the business.
The Yamaha TRBX204 is no exception. The first thing that will impress you is the build quality, which is really amazing. Also, the overall design makes this bass guitar quite versatile, so you will enjoy its sound whether it’s just about metal styles or something more. This bass sounds great and it is very comfortable to play.
In terms of sound characteristics, this model relies on pretty common design solutions. It is a 4-string bass, which comes with a popular P/J pickup combination and pretty straightforward controls. Pickups are active and work great with any kind of effects. In terms of tonewood, you may count on a basswood body, which delivers a very balanced tone, while the rosewood fretboard makes this guitar very comfortable and smooth under fingers.
4. Schecter Stiletto Studio 5
For those who are looking for a mid-range priced bass guitar, this is a fantastic metal machine. With the neck-through construction, it offers impressive sustain and control, while a couple of active EMG pickups make things even more impressive. This bass guitar deals with heavy distorted tones with ease, as well as with all other kinds of effects.
This is a five-string bass (4-string version also available), so you may count on lots of low-end tones, which are pretty clean and transparent, mostly thanks to a nice combination of the central part that features the same neck material, maple, and walnut. Wings combine mahogany body and Bubinga top, and all these woods leave plenty of room for tonal manipulation. You may count on five knobs, including a 3-band EQ.
Thanks to a neck-through construction, it’s super easy to reach any fret on this bass guitar. The neck by itself is also very comfortable and easy to play on. Furthermore, you may count on jumbo frets, while machine tuners work great. Simply, it’s hard to find any bigger complaint about this model, which makes it a great choice for anyone who finds him- or herself an ambitious metal bassist but don’t want to spend thousands on a hi-end instrument.
5. Fender Steve Harris Precision Bass
It’s hard to imagine a list without a proper Fender bass and although we are not, in general, fans of signature models, this instrument changed our minds. For decades, the famous Iron Maiden bassist relies on this simple but highly effective design. It may not be an ideal solution for if you prefer modern metal genres if but classic metal tones are your main concern, then search no more.
As we’ve just mentioned, one of the things we really like about this bass guitar is simplicity. It features a typical Precision layout, the legendary Fender design, but there are also numerous pretty distinctive details. One of the things we like about this guitar is the combination of a maple neck and maple body. In terms of the sound, this means you may count on plenty of dynamics, whether you play with pick or fingers. The neck features a kind of U-shape profile, which may take some time to get used on it, but it is actually very comfortable.
Players who like to keep things simple will also like the fact that this bass guitar comes with just one P pickup. It is Steve’s signature pickup that comes from Seymour Duncan. Controls are also simple, as you may count on just a couple of knobs. If you like English Football, particularly West Ham United, you have another good reason to buy this one.
This would be our list of best bass guitars for metal. As you can see, we included instruments in a pretty wide price range, so we believe there should be a good choice for everyone here.