It’s perhaps not much of a secret, but how you look when playing your guitar matters just as much as how you sound to many. Over the years, almost all colorways and color combinations have been tried on both lead and bass guitars, with certain looks becoming more popular than others.
In today’s feature, we will be looking at one specific color and asking which are the best white bass guitars?
In the swinging’ ‘60s, white bass guitars were all the rage, with people playing them on stage across the world. From jazz to rock, musicians seemed to love the style. However, in more recent years, the trend has died off considerably.
In this article, we’re going to be taking a closer look at five of the best bass guitars that you can still get in white. We’ll be assessing the pros and cons of each, looking at which types of players they suit the best, answering some frequently asked questions about white bass guitars, and finally providing some thoughts and recommendations of our own.
But before we get into it, let’s take a look at an overview of the five best white bass guitars.
Five Best White Bass Guitars – An Overview
|Yamaha BBNE2 Nathan East Signature Model||Premium satin||Guitar, hardshell case||$$$|
|Fender Steve Harris Signature Precision Bass||Gloss polyester||Guitar, deluxe gig bag||$$|
|Steinberger Spirit XT-25 Standard 5-String||Maple gloss||Guitar, deluxe gig bag||$|
|Ibanez TMB100 Electric Bass Guitar||Satin||Guitar||$|
|Gretsch Guitars G6136B-TP-AWT Tom Petersson Signature||Gloss||Guitar, hardshell case||$$$$|
What are the Most Popular Bass Guitar Colors?
While many would argue that the most popular guitar colors are subjective, there are some that you see pop up far more often than others. For example, black has always been and will always be a popular choice.
This is mainly due to how black goes well with other colors, such as white, to create contrast on a guitar. If you have a solid black body, other elements of the guitar like the pickguard or the strings will stand out when performing.
There are other things to also take into consideration when choosing the color of your bass. The finish is a crucial one and will dictate to an extent which color and color sets are available to you.
Many models come with gloss finishes that allow for almost all colors to be used. However, some will feature more natural finishes, harnessing the look and feel of the wood used to craft it.
Some of the most popular bass guitar colors include;
- Candy apple red
- Surf blue
- Coral pink
- Minty green
- Whale Blue
- Santana Yellow
- Scarlet Red
- Grey Black
- Vintage Cherry
Some of the most popular guitar finishes include;
Why are White Bass Guitars Not as Popular?
Trends are a funny old thing. What was all the rage some 60 years ago has become outdated and not nearly as popular. Although there have been several periods where white bass numbers have increased since the 1960s, they have never returned to popularity in quite the same way.
There are several theories for why this may be;
White Guitars Don’t Look as Good on Stage
Under the bright lights of an illuminated stage, white basses tend not to look quite as slick as their darker or more colorful counterparts. This is due to them reflecting more light than other colors, distorting their look. It is also notoriously difficult to take a photograph of white instruments for the same reason.
The one period in which white bass guitars did make a brief return to popularity was in the glam-rock era. Although popular at the time, the look and sound of that particular era have since died off. Despite fashion trends being cyclical, we don’t appear to be seeing the glam-rock look returning any time soon.
They Get Dirty
This is the same reason that people may avoid buying white cars. They get noticeably dirtier much easier than darker colors. Although all guitars will inevitably pick up dirt from time to time, particularly if you’re on the road, white ones tend to show it more obviously. The same can be said for any scrapes and bumps that your bass may pick up. With a white finish, those scrapes and bumps will be much more pronounced.
Five of the Best White Bass Guitars Currently Available
Yamaha BBNE2 Nathan East Signature Model
A Beautiful Instrument Designed for Nathan East: First up on our list of the best white bass guitars is a model produced by one of the most well-known guitar manufacturers for a bassist who played with the likes of Eric Clapton and Phil Collins.
The Yamaha BBNE2 is a wonderful bass guitar that builds on the successes of the BB range. Having defined some of the best bass technology in recent years, the BBNE continues this tradition by including a slimline solid Alder body that is topped with high-quality Maple. This helps deliver superior comfort and tone while looking fantastic.
The thru-body Mahogany and Maple neck further enhances both tone and stability, whereas an Ebony fretboard aids playability and fret access. Yamaha has included two Alnico V-stack pickups with specialist NE1 EQing for total control over this bass’ sound for the electronics.
The tuners are diecast gold, and of course, the whole thing is available with a pearly white finish.
- Beautiful tone
- Excellent sustain
- Supreme comfort
- Solid Alder body
- Premium Maple top
- Nathan East silhouette
- Maple & Mahogany thru-body neck
- Ebony fretboard
- 2x active Alnico V-Stack pickups
- NE1 EQ
- This is one of the very best basses on the market
- Perfect for advanced players and professionals
- The price may be enough to put some off
Fender Steve Harris Signature Precision Bass – Our Favorite White Precision Bass
No list of bass guitars would ever be complete without the inclusion of a Fender Precision Bass. Our favorite in this instance is the Steve Harris edition that comes complete with a West Ham badge etched into the bodywork for any fans of the London soccer club.
As the bassist for one of the most popular bands in UK metal history, Steve Harris knows a thing or two about making a bass guitar rock. With Iron Maiden, he toured the world for years and built a legendary status as one of the greatest bassists to ever do it.
This Fender special edition is an homage to his career and talents and gives guitarists the chance to play as one of their heroes. Complete with a regal white finish, the look of this bass is striking.
A pinstripe mirrored pickguard sits alongside a pair of powerful Seymour Duncan pickups, Fender high mass bridge, Rotosound flat-wound strings in Steve Harris’ specs, and his signature on the back of the headstock. An absolute must for any Iron Maiden fanatics.
- 2-Piece Maple body wood
- Gloss Polyester finish
- Maple U-shape neck
- Gloss Urethane neck finish
- Synthetic Bone 1.615-inch nut
- 7.25-inch Pearloid block fretboard
- 20 medium-jumbo frets
- Black dot position inlays
- 34-inch scale
- Nickel/Chrome hardware
- Fender High Mass bridge
- 1-Ply Chrome pickguard
- Fender ’70s Vintage-Style Stamped Open-Gear tuning machines
- Rotosound Steve Harris strings
- Seymour Duncan Steve Harris Signature P-Bass SPB-4 pickups
- Knurled Flat-Top control dials
- Pinstriped Body
- Westham United F.C. crest on body
- Reputable brand & model
- Perfect for Iron Maiden fans
- The unique styling may not appeal to some
Steinberger Spirit XT-25 Standard 5-String Bass
Steinberger’s Distinctive Body Shape at an Affordable Price: Next on our list is one of the most exciting guitars that we are discussing today.
The Steinberger Spirit XT-25 features some unique design elements, such as a headless stock and minimalist body. This model also comes with 5 strings, so it is perfect for slightly more advanced musicians.
This guitar was originally designed to be compact enough to travel with. While it does this incredibly well, it has also proved to be a great instrument in its own right and more than competes with its full-sized cousin, the Steinberger XL.
Featuring many of the same characteristics as the XL, the Spirit XT-25 has the distinctive Steinberger body shape, trademark headless stock, and the patented double-ball tuning system.
All of these add up to a great instrument that is particularly useful if you intend to travel with yours. There is even a foldable leg rest for ultimate comfort while playing sitting down.
- 5 strings
- Maple body
- 3-piece hard maple neck
- Thru-neck joint
- Rosewood fingerboard with a 14-inch radius
- 34-inch scale
- 24 frets
- Passive Steinberger bass humbuckers
- Patented Steinberger Bass Bridge
- Steinberger Double-Ball tuning System
- Total length: 38.5-inch
- Ideal for traveling
- Great for kids
- Iconic Steinberger styling and sound at an attractive price
- Not suitable if you want the feel of a full-sized bass guitar
Ibanez TMB100 Electric Bass Guitar – The Perfect Choice For Those on a Budget
Ibanez is no stranger to the world of bass guitars; they have been in the manufacturing game since 1957. The Japanese brand has built up a reputation for solid guitars and was even one of the first to bring 8-string models to the broader market.
Their bass offering here, the TMB100, is a solid choice for those after a white bass guitar on a budget.
With the TMB100, Ibanez has gone back to basics and focused on delivering those basics well. It produces a one-two punch through a combination of passive PJ pickups. This setup brings a retro feel to both the look and the sound.
Despite the budget price, the guitar is constructed well. A Poplar body creates a warm but punchy tone, whereas a Jatoba fretboard, traditional bridge, and colorful pickguard complete the retro look. With the white finish, this bass looks the part and sounds almost as good as many models twice the price.
The electronics that Ibanez has included are their DXP pickup on the neck and DXJ on the bridge. Again, these add to the retro feel of this instrument by bringing vintage tones and rich sounds to the fore. A custom EQ is also included for added customization and tonal range.
- Poplar body wood
- Maple neck & jatoba fingerboard
- White dot inlay
- Medium-sized frets
- Ibanez DXP neck pickup
- DXJ bridge pickup
- Ibanez Custom Electronics 2-band EQ
- Chrome hardware
- Perfect for both beginners and those with a lower budget
- Lacks the tonal depth of some of the more expensive models
Gretsch Guitars G6136B-TP-AWT Tom Petersson Signature Electric Bass Guitar – A Thing of Beauty
Last up on our list of the best white bass guitars is the Gretsch G6136B-TP-AWT, or the Tom Petersson Signature edition as it is better known.
In 2016, the world-famous band Cheap Trick was inducted into the rock & roll hall of fame. Gretsch commissioned and produced this model to honor the band’s legendary bass player to commemorate such a momentous occasion.
The guitar itself is a classic 4-string design that is stunning both visually and sonically. Tom Petersson is well known for his distinctive style, and Gretsch has gone to great lengths to ensure this shines through.
Based on their classic White Falcon range, the TP signature features an upgraded Rumble’Tron pickup on the neck, with a classic Seymour Duncan being included in the middle.
There is also an Adjusto-Matic bridge, 12-inch radius Ebony fretboard, Gretsch Cadillac tailpiece, gold hardware & pickguard, as well as coming with a deluxe hardshell case. This is an excellent option for collectors or fans who want to own an exceptional piece of guitar history.
- Double cutaway
- Semi-hollow construction
- Laminated maple body wood
- Gloss finish
- U shaped
- Maple wood
- Bolt-on neck joint
- 30.3-inch scale
- Standard truss rod
- Gloss finish
- Passive Rumble’Tron/Super-Tron pickups
- Ebony fretboard
- 22 medium-jumbo frets
- Hardshell case included
- Premium tones
- Very high-quality guitar suitable for a wide range of players
- Ideal for fans of Cheap Trick
- This is the most expensive white bass guitar on our list
Frequently Asked Questions About White Bass Guitars
Here, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about white bass guitars.
Answer: Yes, there are several companies that supply white strings for guitars. They are created by powder coating regular guitar strings and treating them to ensure the white finish doesn’t rub off.
You can also get strings in many other colors to really customize your white bass guitar look.
Answer: Looking after all instruments is very important, especially if they have a finish that tends to show wear and tear. With white guitars, you may find that minor scuffs and scratches show up more easily. With this in mind, it’s imperative that you follow our guide on how to look after your guitar properly, as well as investing in a good quality case.
Answer: Yes, but it’s not easy. You will need to take your instrument apart and remove any existing paintwork before applying a new finish. Once taken apart, you can apply a coat of sealer before adding your new color of choice. Take extreme care if you do decide to repaint any of your instruments and, if possible, take it to a professional.
The Bottom Line – Which is the Best White Bass Guitar?
Which one is the best ultimately comes down to personal preference. Different guitarists inherently need different things from their instruments.
If you are just beginning your bass journey and are dead set on a white one to get you started, then there are few better than the Ibanez TMB100. It’s cheap, sounds great, and comes in a whole host of colors, including white.
If, however, you’re looking for a bass that would suit a more advanced player, then it’s hard to overlook the Steve Harris Signature P Bass.
When two titans of music like Iron Maiden and Fender come together, it’s always going to be a pretty special result. We love the styling and tonal range of this precision bass, and if white is your thing, then we’re sure you’ll love it.
Lastly, if you want a guitar that is a little more out there and will help you stand out on stage, then definitely think about getting the Gretsch Guitars G6136B-TP-AWT. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of Tom Petersson or Cheap Trick, Gretsch has produced a wonderful instrument that both looks and sounds amazing.
Jodie is a trained classical guitarist. She is also a full-time blogger and loves to write about different types of guitars. Just give her 60 seconds of your time, and she’ll tell you all that you need to know about any guitar of your choice.