When you think about expensive guitars, you’d be forgiven for saying: oh yeah, that vintage Gibson Les Paul, or that fantastic Fender Strat that you saw recently. Well, we’ve decided here at Rock My World to give expensive bass guitars a moment in the sun. So, let’s check out 7 of the most expensive basses out there right now.
- Gibson Thunderbird (‘63-’65) – $17,000+
Gibson maybe isn’t the first name you go to when thinking of bass guitars, but just like their competitors in the marketplace, Gibson has one of the most iconic bass guitars out there. The Gibson Thunderbird has a seriously unique design and is known for their superb playing qualities. Now maybe they are a little harder to play than most but let’s face it there are few basses that look as rock n roll as this classic bass. Now a serious collector’s item, this bass isn’t as pricy as some of the other vintage examples. But if you fancy picking up one up, a 1963-1965 Thunderbird in a non-standard color will set you back $15,000 to 17,000 dollars.
- Alembic Series II SSB Stanley Clark Signature (1980) – $20,000+
One of the greatest bassist’ to ever pick up the instrument is Stanley Clarke. His technic and skill are untouchable, and his basses, well, they are pretty much unobtainable. Clarke has collaborated with Alembic of and on over the years, and together they made several instruments, the crème de la crème is his 1980 short version of his Series II model. Even if you could get your hands on one, you’d be looking at forking over more than $20,000. The double cutaway gives it a pretty sexy look and knowing the two parties involved in it concept and design, Clarke and Alembic’s bass will be nothing short of superb.
- Fodera Anthony Jackson Presentation – $20,450
This baby was the first collaboration Fodera did with incredible jazz fusion master Anthony Jackson. It was in 1987, that Jackson came up with a “nothing standard” idea for this bass, he also told guys at Fodera not to use any graphite for stiffening the neck, go with passive electronics and a giant cutaway that compensated for the lack of stiffening materials in the neck. All we can say is “what a monster.” Both gorgeous and expensive, this $20,000+ bass comes with “a quilted mahogany top, alder body, alder tone block, and Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard” that “give this instrument an incredibly warm and deeply nuanced tone with wonderful articulation”. Phew…
- Zemaitis “Heart Hole” Bass (‘70s) – $25,000+
Tony Zemaitis was well known for his creative mind and was creating beautiful guitars back in the day. His forte was guitars though and he very rarely built basses, but when he did turn his hand to the four-string variety, they were nothing short of amazing. Played by the likes of Emerson Lake and Palmer’s bassist Greg Lake, these beautiful instruments are not only top notch in terms quality but also extremely rare. For collector’s, if you’re lucky enough to track one down you’d be looking at parting with about $25,000. More than worth it for one of these fretless beauties.
- Fender Jazz Bass Custom Color (The Early ‘60s) – $28,000+
You can’t have a list of basses without having one the world’s most iconic in the collection. The Fender Jazz Bass found its way into the hands of bassists since the mid – ‘60s, and the demand for these guitars has been high ever since. That being said, this wasn’t the case when the bass was first introduced in 1960. For the first two years of production, it was pretty much ignored in terms of sales but if you can find one in a color other than the standard sunburst, the price for such a rarity can go as high as $30,000.
- Fodera Anthony Jackson Presentation II – $35,200
Were back to Anthony Jackson again. If his first bass was a beast, and we happen to think so, his second bass on our list is nothing short of a monster. This combination of alder body with a red oak neck, ebony fingerboard, and custom build Fodera/Duncan Dual Coil pick up, this bass is nothing less than the top of the line. So, if you’ve got $35,000+ hanging around this baby is all yours.
- The Ritter Royal Flora Aurum – $250,000
Jens Ritter is a German luthier that could have taken over the whole list. Known for his custom luxury bass guitars, his Ritter Royal Aurum costs the same as a high-end sports car and is a beautiful piece of art never mind a bass guitar. The body of this bass is carved from a single piece of rare Maplewood, there is 24-karat gold everywhere, the fingerboard and knobs are decorated with diamonds and platinum and, to take it over the edge, the nut is made of 10,000-year-old mammoth ivory. Yeah, that’s right, mammoth ivory. As insane and over the top as it gets, a quarter of a million dollars will make you seriously stand out the next time you decide to go to your local jam night.