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I'm going to get a bass guitar for the first time. Because I've never played bass before, I want to get something as inexpensive as I reasonably can so I can take lessons and practice. But I'd like something that sounds decent, and I can't decide. The cheapest things seem to be Chinese brands, like Glarry which has bass guitars for around $100. Glarry in particular has a jazz bass that looks enticing to me, the GJazz. There's also one with double humbuckers called the GIB, which I am interested in as opposed to the single coil pickups. Above the Chinese junks are the lowest-priced offerings from name brands like Ibanez. In particular I was looking at an Ibanez GIO GSR100EX, which is around $200.

I'm really particular about getting a sound I like, and so far I prefer the sound of jazz basses over precision basses. I'm not sure how much of that has to do with things like pickups, amps, pedals, or just playing technique. Watching videos of people demoing the basses I'm interested in, I'm unsure how much of what I'm hearing is being carried by equipment and and how much is skill. This video of the Ibanez SR 1200 Premium has a sound that I like, but would a bottom-of-the-barrel bass like the ones I'm looking at be able to even sound close? Like, is that sound I like a result of pedal or amp effects?

Also, there is the question of whether to get a 4-sting or 5-string. 4-string is the "standard" but I think I'd like the lower range from a 5-string. That's also why I'm apprehensive about a more expensive bass, in case I'd end up wanting to go for the 5-string later on. And there's also the factor of flatround vs. roundwound strings, which seem to have differences in sound and playability.

Because I am looking to spend as little as possible I am probably going to get a Chinesium amplifer. So, whatever I get, there's a good chance it will sound like trash regardless of what guitar I get.

tl;dr For spending the least possible for a bassy bass guitar, is something like the Chinese Glarry good enough, or is going up to the low-cost model from Ibanez more worth it, or maybe even a Squier? Are things like pickups, string type, number of strings even worth worrying about for my quest for a good sound from something in this price range? Amazon has a pretty lenient return policy so I can probably get away with getting it refunded if I don't like it.


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Man, I have no idea what any of this means. It sounds cool, though. I guess it depends on your budget, but going for cheap Chinese stuff is rarely worth it in the long run


To be fair, neither do I. I've just been spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about this because I'm paranoid and want to get it right. I'd could spend up to $1000 on this if I really wanted to, but I'm stingy with money. Even $100 feels like a lot for the absolute cheapest option, but it doesn't look like I'm going to get much lower than that.


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Yeah, you really don't want to spend a whole bunch of money on something you could potentially struggle with and not pick up. I'd say maybe try out a cheaper one and if it really speaks to you and you find yourself wanting something better then sell it and buy a better one.


All this depends on what you want to do. As a first time you should focus on bargains and build up an inventory as you get more defined.


Fair enough, I'll stick to the ~$100 range. Though, one of the downsides I've heard about the super budget basses is that they don't have any resale value. Looking around a bit more, I'm happy with how this Harley Benton JB-20 sounds, but having it shipped the the US costs $90, which is almost as much as the bass itself.....


well, if you want a something that's also decorative(resellable) then that's a different deal

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