Rule number 1 - Think before you buy a new guitar made in Mexico, China, Korea, Taiwan or any other non-rock guitar culture nation. Remember, you are purchasing the Spirit of Rock! (I must stress however Japan is the exception). MANY MANUFACTURERS DELIBERATELY DO NOT STATE THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN. BEWARE OF CHEAP BUILD VERSIONS PRODUCED BY MAJOR COMPANIES (Fender and Schecter and many more for example have guitars manufactured by cheap labour!).
Some of the above instruments may be of good quality however, when it comes to resale or even with just the feeling of authenticity- problems will arise! (Some may disagree but tough! - follow your instincts!)
As in any purchase the main deciding factor is how much can I afford? Remember, work on obtaining your unique sound - so any quality bass you purchase will contribute to this uniqueness! (An old, battle-weary quality instrument will always be worth more than a new, cheaply built, inferior copy!). The amplifier you use will always play a major role in your sound - the rule for bass is to go for more Watts and again, buy quality! Your amp will only make a bad source sound louder! Go for Eden/Hartke/Trace Elliot/Dynacord/Mesa/Acoustic/Ampeg/Ashdown/SWR and Warwick. I can personally vouch for David Eden and Trace Elliot - Again, the more you pay usually the better the sound (speakers are not as important - 10" and 12"s can be excellent for 'snap', for more quality at lower registers include at least a 15" enclosure). If the low notes can be felt in the legs and move your trousers and rattle walls, it is doing the job well!
If you really want an appreciating instrument ensure you purchase one manufactured in Old Europe (UK, France, Sweden and Germany) or in the USA (Canada) or an older or current Japanese model (Yamaha and ESP).
At the moment Wal basses made in the UK are fetching amazing prices and will continue to do so.Wal Mark 1 Custom as shown in my photograph.
Gibson Thunderbirds are a sound investment as long as they have no history of neck damage.
Older Fender Jazz/Precision Basses in popular colours also have investment potential.
MusicMan/Ernie Ball Stingrays and G&L (by Leo Fender) are in my opinion a future classic! American made Schecters are high quality instruments (avoid non-USA).
SEI - made to order (UK), Rickenbacker, Jaydee (Mark King), Alembic, Status, Factor (USA only), Fodera (USA very in demand), Pedulla (USA), Lakland (USA only - not Skyline), Ritter, Modulus and Roscoe (all USA), Steinberger (Not Spirit etc), Viglen (France), F Bass (Canada), Gibson (other than Thunderbirds are rather rare), ESP (not LTD) (Japan) Overwater (UK) and Warwick (Germany), Jon Shuker and Goodfellow (UK), Tobias (USA), Yamaha (Japan) and some Kramer models are all tremendous instruments worthy of purchase.
I have attempted to obtain images of the basses I have mentioned, some photos are rather poor, I am limited to 10 photographs!
If I have omitted other examples I apologise, and would welcome you opinion on possible inclusions.
Alembic Factor G&L JayDee Mark King Fender Precision Gibson Thunderbird
ONLY ALLOWED 10 PHOTOS
Fender Jazz Viglen Status
Rickenbacker Steinberger Headless (Sorry, only allowed 10 photos)