9 Most Expensive Bass Guitars Ever

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Musicians know that every instrument is more than just a tool; it’s an extension of their creativity, a vessel for their emotions, and the key to unlocking the perfect melody. When it comes to the most expensive bass guitars, we’re not just talking about price tags; we’re diving into the world of exquisite craftsmanship and unparalleled sonic possibilities.

In this blog, embark on a musical odyssey through the world of premium bass guitars, whether you’re a seasoned virtuoso, an aspiring artist, or simply drawn to the resonance of strings. Discover instruments that redefine sonic horizons and celebrate the allure of the most expensive bass guitars, where music speaks through the exquisite wood, craftsmanship, and sound of these exceptional instruments.

9. Ritter Roya Concept

Price: $13,999
Manufacturer: Jens Ritter
Year Made: 2006
Body Type: Solid

Ritter Roya ConceptImage source: Jens Ritter Instruments

The Ritter Roya Concept is a bass guitar that has captured the attention of musicians and collectors alike for its exquisite craftsmanship and premium features. Manufactured by Jens Ritter in 2006, this bass guitar comes with a price tag of $13,999, making it one of the most expensive bass guitars in the world. Its solid body construction and a host of unique features justify its premium status.

It boasts a solid body design, which is constructed from high-quality, hand-selected tonewoods. This carefully chosen wood not only enhances the instrument’s durability but also contributes to its exceptional tonal qualities. The attention to detail in the wood selection and shaping is evident, as each instrument is individually crafted by Jens Ritter himself.

Did You Know?

The bass guitar also features an ergonomic design with a unique body shape, which not only adds to its aesthetic appeal but also enhances comfort during long playing sessions.

8. Gibson Thunderbird

Price: $17,000
Manufacturer: Gibson
Year Made: 1963 to 1965
Body Type: Solid

Gibson ThunderbirdImage source: Jens Ritter Instruments

The Gibson Thunderbird is an iconic bass guitar model known for its distinctive design, powerful sound, and historical significance. Introduced by Gibson in the early 1960s, this bass guitar has become a prized instrument for musicians and collectors alike. With a price tag of $17,000 for vintage models, it is considered one of the premium choices in the world of bass guitars.

One of the Thunderbird’s defining features is its thunderous and powerful sound. The dual humbucking pickups provide a rich and aggressive tone, making it a popular choice for rock and heavy metal genres. The Thunderbird’s extended sustain and deep resonance have made it a favorite among bassists seeking to make a bold sonic statement.

Did You Know?

Gibson has expanded its product line to include not only guitars but also basses, mandolins, and various other musical instruments and audio equipment. They own other well-known brands, including Epiphone and Kramer.

7. Travis Bean TB2000 Prototype #0

Price: $20,000
Manufacturer: Travis Bean
Year Made: 1974
Body Type: Solid

Travis Bean TB2000 Prototype #0 Image source: Guitar Space

Unlike traditional wooden guitars, Travis Bean TB2000 Prototype #0 features a solid body made from aluminum, a departure from the norm that resulted in a distinctive look and sound. The aluminum body is not only durable but also known for its sustain and resonance, giving the guitar a unique and bright tonal character.

The guitar’s neck is also unconventional, as it’s made from a combination of aluminum and wood. This hybrid neck design contributes to the instrument’s unique tonal qualities, combining the warmth of wood with the sustain and brightness of aluminum.

Did You Know?

The aluminum construction of Travis Bean guitars resulted in a unique tonal quality characterized by bright, sustained notes. Many players appreciated this resonance and found it well-suited for various music genres, particularly rock.

6. Alembic Series II SSB Stanley Clarke Signature

Price: $20,000
Manufacturer: Alembic
Year Made: 1980
Body Type: Solid

Alembic Series II SSB Stanley Clarke SignatureImage source: Vintage & Rare

The Stanley Clarke Signature model is a testament to Alembic’s commitment to quality and innovation. This bass guitar was manufactured in 1980, and it’s a perfect example of the artistry and attention to detail that Alembic is known for.

One of the standout characteristics of it is the use of high-quality tonewoods. Alembic is renowned for selecting the finest woods, and this bass guitar is no exception. The choice of woods, combined with expert craftsmanship, results in an instrument that not only sounds extraordinary but is also visually striking.

Did You Know?

The electronics of the Stanley Clarke Signature bass are truly cutting-edge. It features custom pickups and a sophisticated active preamp system that allows for an extensive range of tonal options.

5. Zemaitis “Heart Hole” Bass

Price: $25,000
Manufacturer: Zemaitis
Year Made: 1970s
Body Type: Acoustic

Zemaitis “Heart Hole” BassImage source: Christie’s

The Zemaitis “Heart Hole” Bass is a legendary and exceptionally rare acoustic bass guitar celebrated for its stunning design and premium craftsmanship. The “Heart Hole” Bass is a product of the 1970s, a period known for its experimentation in guitar design. Tony Zemaitis, a British guitar builder, was recognized for his meticulous work, and his instruments were highly regarded by both professional musicians and collectors.

Zemaitis “Heart Hole” Bass is distinct because of the heart-shaped soundhole adorning its body. This unique design element not only contributes to its visual appeal but also enhances the instrument’s resonance and projection.

Did You Know?

The “Heart Hole” Bass was crafted during the 1970s, a period known for experimentation in guitar design and construction. It reflects the artistic and creative spirit of that era.

4. Fender Jazz Bass Custom Color

Price: $28,000
Manufacturer: Fender
Year Made: 1960s
Body Type: Acoustic

Fender Jazz Bass Custom ColorImage source: Reverb

The Fender Jazz Bass Custom Color, produced in the 1960s and currently priced at $28,000, stands as a remarkable testament to Fender’s historical significance and its lasting impact on the world of music. The Jazz Bass, commonly known as the J-Bass, was introduced by Fender in 1960 and quickly became an icon in the realm of electric bass guitars.

The Jazz Bass itself is celebrated for its solid body construction, typically crafted from alder or ash, known for delivering clarity and sustain. Its ergonomic design and slim neck profile offer a comfortable and agile playing experience, while the dual single-coil pickups allow for a wide tonal palette, from warm, mellow tones to bright, punchy sounds.

Did You Know?

The “Custom Color” designation refers to a range of non-standard, custom finishes that Fender offered for their instruments.

3. Alembic Double-Neck John Judge “Goliath Bass”

Price: $30,000
Manufacturer: Alembic
Year Made: 1979
Body Type: Acoustic

Alembic Double-Neck John Judge “Goliath Bass”Image source: Reverb

Goliath Bass has a double-neck design, which combines both a four-string and an eight-string bass neck on the same body. The four-string neck provides a classic bass sound, while the eight-string neck, often referred to as a “piccolo” bass, delivers unique high-end resonance.

This bass guitar also incorporates Alembic’s signature electronics, featuring custom-made pickups and a sophisticated active preamp system. These electronics provide a wide range of tonal options, allowing musicians to shape their sound to suit different playing styles and musical contexts.

Did You Know?

Alembic is known for producing a limited number of instruments, and the “Goliath Bass” is even rarer due to its unique double-neck configuration. Its exclusivity and limited availability make it highly sought after by collectors and musicians.

2. Fodera Anthony Jackson Presentation II

Price: $35,200
Manufacturer: Fodera
Year Made: 1987
Body Type: Acoustic

Fodera Anthony Jackson Presentation IIImage source: Fodera Guitars

The electronics of the Anthony Jackson Presentation II are state-of-the-art. It features custom-designed pickups and a sophisticated active preamp system that provides an extensive range of tonal options. Musicians can achieve deep, resonant lows, articulate mids, and sparkling highs, making it suitable for a wide variety of musical genres and playing styles.

The bass guitar’s solid body is carefully crafted from high-quality tonewoods, such as exotic hardwoods, which not only enhance its durability but also contribute to its exceptional tonal qualities. The selection of premium materials and the craftsmanship of Fodera are evident in the instrument’s build.

Did You Know?

Fodera is renowned for its custom-made bass guitars, which are tailored to the specific preferences and requirements of individual players. This level of customization ensures that each instrument is unique.

1. The Ritter Royal Flora Aurum

Price: $250,000
Manufacturer: Jens Ritter
Year Made: 2006
Body Type: Solid

The Ritter Royal Flora AurumImage source: Jens Ritter Instruments

The Ritter Royal Flora Aurum Bass Guitar truly represents the epitome of luxury and craftsmanship, with its attention to even the minutest details making it a veritable work of art making it the most expensive bass guitar ever. One of the standout features is the Floral Pattern Fingerboard Inlay, which is meticulously crafted from massive 24-carat gold.

The bridge, tuner buttons, and knobs are individually hand-cast in massive gold, exuding a sense of grandeur that complements the bass guitar’s overall aesthetic. Two flawless brilliant-cut diamonds, each weighing 3.3 carats, adorn the knobs, elevating this instrument to the realm of true luxury. The incorporation of tiny green brilliant-cut diamonds as knob position marks is a thoughtful and intricate touch, adding both functionality and beauty to the design.

Did You Know?

To underscore its uniqueness, the nut is crafted from at least 10,000-year-old mammoth ivory, connecting the instrument to an ancient past and making it a true collector’s item.


Head of Content at Rarest.org


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