Rogue is a relatively new brand, which is why we’re keeping this particular review shorter than usual. In that regard, today’s article is reviewing the Rogue LX200B Series III bass guitar, which is an example of the reputation they’ve built over the last couple of years.
In essence, Rogue is making noise in the entry-level and affordable market of bass guitars, mostly. Although they offer electric guitars as well, their 6-stringed instruments are not as popular as the low-end models.
So, without extra gimmicks or aesthetic features, the Rogue LX200B is a consistent instrument. It has enough quality to get the job done for beginner and intermediate musicians, even though it has no flashy electronics or details.
“Rogue Viola Bass (by Thomas Galvez)” by Thomas Galvez / CC BY 2.0. Rogue bass guitars tend to copy popular models, which include viola basses, P basses, and J basses.
We’re taking a look at a budget bass we haven’t highlighted before. We chose to do so, though, because we understand the growing popularity of the LX200B model.
Either way, you can check our guide on the best budget basses for further options. There’s also a selection of the top 10 beginner bass guitars, as well as our choice for the best 5-string bass models. Take your pick!
Rogue LX200B Series III Electric Bass Guitar Review
The LX200B is a straightforward affordable bass guitar. It offers a good tone and a build quality that goes above similarly priced competitors.
Because of its ease of use and budget price, I recommend it as a good bass guitar for beginners. If your budget is tight, though, there’s nothing wrong with the LX200B, however, there’re other great options out there from brands like Ibanez, Yamaha, or Schecter.
If you’re just starting your bass guitar journey, the Rogue LX200B might be the go-to option. Let’s see why.
The entry-level price of the Rogue LX200B can only accommodate so much. I’d say you can’t safely search for bass guitars on a price bracket lower than this.
What its price gets you is an instrument that follows the dual-cutaway body of the Fender Precision line. However, it gets you a neck akin to a Jazz-bass, which is why the LX200B would be a P/J bass guitar.
As evidence, its basswood body delivers both a J-style single-coil at the bridge, plus a P-style coil-split pickup at the neck/middle position.
Getting a P/J bass at this price is a good deal. The amount of versatility, ease-of-use, and sheer fun the PJ setup brings is near infinite.
Lastly, I should note the best part of the bass is probably its hardware, which offers plenty of bang for the buck.
Generally speaking, there’re three kinds of bass pickups: single coils (J-pickups), split-coils (P-pickups), and dual-coils (humbucker pickups). Other variances include mini-humbuckers (or mini buckers), as well as custom-sized humbuckers as those found on Music Man bass guitars.
The Rogue LX200B has the standard double-cutaway body design.
For tonewoods, it has a basswood body, which is also a typical choice at this price point. It offers deep lows, fair durability, and lightweight.
The neck has a better build quality, though. It’s an extended maple bolt-on neck with a Sharpless rosewood fretboard.
Regarding finishes, it comes in single colors, and the most popular option is all black.
Overall, it has an average but decent design and construction.
Many music instrument manufacturers copy the original Fender Precision bass.
Regarding the sound, the Rogue LX200B Series III is quite decent, even surprising.
Thanks to its mix of pickups and flexible controls, the bass delivers plenty of versatility.
Out of the box, the bass has clarity and definition, although the bridge single-coil does introduce some noise to the signal.
The sound can also get muddy easily, especially if you crank the middle pickup. However, if you keep the P-taper at medium settings, it adds just enough mid-punch and roundness to get a sharp, modern tone.
Lastly, the bass has a decent output, which is enough for modest gigs, rehearsals, bass studies, and home practice. It’s nothing to write home about, though.
Here’s a straight-up demo featuring some home studio recording:
Overall, it’s a good bass for beginners, bass students, and home studio musicians.
The pickups on the LX200B follow a P/J pattern, which is something we could complement. Importantly, it allows you to experiment plenty by changing the stock pickups for a quality P/J set.
These are custom Rogue pickups, so they are nothing special. As I said, it has a split-coil at the middle/neck position, plus a single-coil at the bridge.
As for controls, there’re two individual volume knobs, plus two individual tone knobs. A fairly standard layout, which is still way more than what you’d find on most budget and mid-level bass guitars.
The performance is what you would call “beginner-friendly.” That’s because the LX200B is light and easy to carry. The neck is also big, but with just the right space between the frets and the strings. Lastly, the string action is low -for a bass- which means you don’t need much strength to press the strings.
Also, I should say the fingerboard is sharp free. It feels pretty smooth and soft, which is surprising at this price range.
Rogue did include a quality piece on the hardware side, which is a highlight for this bass. Instead of a vintage-style bridge, Rogue added a high mass piece, which is similar to what Fender uses on their bass guitars.
High mass bridges can better alleviate the string tension, and so they offer extra sustain, projection, and tuning stability. Also, the bridge comes with four adjustable saddles.
On the other side, you’ll find a set of die-cast tuning machines. They are solid, and thus they can retain the tuning quite fairly.
Downside & Alternatives
The more-than-decent build quality of the Rogue LX200B suggests you could change the stock pickups for a quality set and enjoy a great sound.
I recommend the Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound PJ set. It’ll give you a fast, punchy, and high output sound. And with the four knobs you have, you’ll find plenty of tonal options.
You can climb the price ladder to install an EMG passive PJ set. It would give you superb clarity, unparalleled output, and broad frequency response:
Now, that would be a hefty investment for a budget bass, but it’s something you could do as you improve your skills and move on to better scenarios. It’s certainly cheaper than buying a better bass.
That said, there’re other bass guitars at a similar price level that deliver a better performance out of the box. For example, the Ibanez Talman TMB100 offers proprietary pickups for a sound and versatility that sounds nothing like entry-level.
Dean also produces a series of budget bass guitars you could check. They are not the best performers around, but they are certainly great looking. 3
Lastly, I’d like to highlight the Ibanez GSR200P, which is also a P/J bass selling for an affordable price. It has a couple of bonuses against the LX200B, like an agathis body, Pearl dot inlays, an Active EQ, and the proprietary Phat II Bass Boost knob to punch your low-end sound.
With such a value at a low price, you could change its pickups for the best possible active PJ set and get amazing results:
Rogue LX200B Bass Specs
- Design: double-cutaway “P” body
- Body tonewood: basswood
- Neck: J extended neck
- Neck joint: bolt-on
- Neck tonewood: maple
- Scale: 25.4’’
- Fingerboard tonewood: Rosewood
- Tuners: Die-cast
- Bridge: High mass bridge with four individual saddles
Why do I like the Rogue LX200B?
The Rogue LX200B is an okay entry-level bass guitar. Its solid offering falls below what Ibanez has to offer at the entry-level bracket, but other than that, you could be sure it’s a great option…it’s just not the best.
That said, the bass doesn’t look flashy, doesn’t pack any gimmick or proprietary tech, and doesn’t go too far from the norms.
Still, the bass sounds okay out of the box, without fret buzzes or issues you may find on other entry-level options.
If you’re on a budget and you’re looking for a cheap bass for yourself or a special someone, the Rogue LXB200B is a sure go-to option. It might not be the best, but it’s still good enough to grow and play live.