The 7 Most Expensive Bass In Existence

The 7 Most Expensive Bass In Existence | I Love Classic Rock Videos


Have you ever dreamt of owning a bass that transcends a mere instrument and enters the realm of luxury? When budget isn’t a concern, the possibilities become extraordinary.

Forget the age-old debate between maple or mahogany – we’re talking bodies sculpted from rare woods, trims adorned with precious metals, and features as unique as mammoth ivory. Buckle up, bass enthusiasts, because we’re about to delve into the world’s most expensive bass guitars.

Each priced at a cool $17,000 and up, these instruments are not just musical powerhouses – they’re collector’s dreams and works of art.

7. Gibson Thunderbird (‘63-’65) – $17,000+

The Gibson Thunderbird bass guitar needs no introduction. Alongside Fender’s Jazz and Precision Basses, it stands as a pillar of electric bass history. Its bold, asymmetrical design is instantly recognizable, while its playing experience is lauded by musicians worldwide.

For collectors, these early Thunderbirds (1963-1965) hold a special allure. While not quite as expensive as some other vintage entries on this list, a non-standard color version can easily fetch over $15,000. Considering the instrument’s iconic status and its approaching 60-year legacy, that price tag feels like a fair exchange for a piece of musical history.

6. Alembic Series II SSB Stanley Clark Signature (1980) – $20,000+

Bassist Stanley Clarke’s influence on the music world is undeniable. His talent is unmatched, and the instruments he chooses reflect his dedication to exceptional gear. Alembic, a renowned bass manufacturer, has enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Clarke, resulting in several coveted instruments.

One such creation is the 1980 Alembic Series II SSB Stanley Clark Signature. With a price tag exceeding $20,000, this short-scale bass is a true rarity. While specifics on its features may be scarce, considering Alembic’s reputation for top-tier quality and Clarke’s discerning taste, there’s no doubt it’s an exceptional instrument. This bass represents not just a collector’s piece but a tangible link to a musical legend.

5. Fodera Anthony Jackson Presentation – $20,450 

The Fodera Anthony Jackson Presentation bass, born from a collaboration between Fodera and the legendary bassist in 1987, embodies the spirit of pushing boundaries. Jackson envisioned an instrument that defied convention, requesting a neck free of graphite reinforcement, passive electronics, and a dramatic cutaway to compensate. The result was a stunning and expensive creation.

For a price tag of $20,450, bassists can acquire an instrument crafted from premium materials like a quilted mahogany top, alder body and tone block, and a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. This combination delivers an “incredibly warm and deeply nuanced tone with wonderful articulation,” as Fodera themselves aptly describe it. The Anthony Jackson Presentation is a testament to both Jackson’s innovative spirit and Fodera’s unparalleled craftsmanship.

4. Zemaitis “Heart Hole” Bass (‘70s) – $25,000+

British luthier Tony Zemaitis was renowned for his exquisite, handcrafted guitars. While he rarely ventured into the realm of bass guitars, those he did create were exceptional. Played by legends like Greg Lake, these instruments combine stunning aesthetics with unparalleled quality.

The rarity of the Zemaitis “Heart Hole” Bass further elevates its value. Owning one of these instruments is a privilege reserved for the most dedicated collectors. While the price tag may seem hefty at over $25,000, for those fortunate enough to acquire one, it’s a fair exchange for a piece of musical history and a true work of art.

3. Fender Jazz Bass Custom Color (The Early ‘60s) – $28,000+

The Fender Jazz Bass, alongside its Precision Bass counterpart, is a cornerstone of electric bass history. Interestingly, this iconic instrument finds itself on our list for a reason that flips the script on typical collectability.

While Jazz Basses have been highly sought-after since the mid-60s, this wasn’t the case in their early years. Slow sales in the first two years of production led to a scarcity of these instruments today. However, the true rarity lies in finding one finished in a custom color beyond the standard sunburst. These unique early Jazz Basses, defying the initial lack of interest, can fetch prices exceeding $28,000, making them a coveted prize for collectors.

2. Fodera Anthony Jackson Presentation II – $35,200

The Fodera Anthony Jackson Presentation II bass guitar exemplifies the pinnacle of craftsmanship and collaboration. This instrument builds upon the success of the first Presentation model, taking it to a new level of luxury.

For a price tag of $35,200, bassists gain access to an exceptional instrument. The unique alder body resonates with warmth, while the red oak neck provides a stable foundation. An ebony fingerboard delivers smooth playability, and the custom-built Fodera/Duncan Dual Coil pickup ensures powerful, versatile tone. Every aspect of the Presentation II is meticulously crafted for a truly top-of-the-line playing experience.

1. The Ritter Royal Flora Aurum – $250,000

German luthier Jens Ritter is renowned for his custom-crafted luxury bass guitars. While several of his creations could easily claim a spot on this list, the Ritter Royal Flora Aurum takes the crown for sheer extravagance.

This bass, with a price tag that rivals a high-end sports car, is a true work of art. The body is sculpted from a single piece of rare, figured maple, a luxurious foundation for the instrument’s opulence. A breathtaking 24-karat gold finish adorns the entire bass, while the fingerboard and knobs are meticulously crafted with diamonds and platinum. As a final flourish, the nut is carved from a piece of 10,000-year-old mammoth ivory. The Ritter Royal Flora Aurum is a testament to Ritter’s mastery and a monument to excess, pushing the boundaries of both instrument and luxury.