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SpinesGropedI assumed that you already bought the bass guitar you are looking for and fits to your budget. Just to share my experience with the bass guitar I bought few months ago.
I've been learning to play bass with this Dean E09M Edge Mahogany Electric Bass Guitar for months, and I enjoy it thoroughly. It's lighter than some instruments, but still has enough mass that it has a good tone. Plus it's cheaper than other known brands. The neck is maybe not as slender as some fancier, faster basses, but it's still quite comfortable. It stays in tune well, and I've never had any troubles with the knobs or electronics.