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Thread: Why is my Bongo so awesome?

  1. #1

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    Why is my Bongo so awesome?

    For all you Bongo owners, this is probably a dumb question.

    But really, why is my Bongo so awesome? I've been playing musicman basses for years. I thought I was finally set with my SR5. There were always things I'd wish were a little different, but overall, the SR5 is a great bass (for both playing and drooling).

    And then I got the Bongo itch....

    To be honest, I think the Bongo is kind of ugly, but I have always been a little curious to try one. I could never find any local music stores that carried them, so I did what any musicman aficionado would do; I bought one online. When it finally arrived, I tore off the box and took it for a test ride.

    And then I was confused...the Bongo seemed better than my SR5. How could this have happened? It was a musicman bass; it should have felt the same, right?... 5 string Bongo, 5 string SR, same nut and bridge spacing - it's the same, right?

    But it's not the same - the Bongo is better! How did that happen? And it doesn't just feel better, it sounds better, too. The Bongo is HH, so that explains part of it, but even with just the back pickup, it sounds better.

    I realize the Bongo and the SR are different basses, so they shouldn't really be the same, but they shouldn't be that different either, right? Does the neck (aside from having an extra 2 frets) have a slightly different shape? Do the different body woods significantly change the overall feel? The Bongo definitely feels lighter and more comfortable to play standing.

    So why is my Bongo so awesome? The neck is painted instead of unfinished, there's no maple fingerboard, I can't get a natural or translucent finish for the body, basswood (Bongo body) is usually cheaper than ash (SR body), and it looks like a weird chunk of plastic with strings...



    and yet I now prefer my Bongo.

    If only Ernie Ball made a Bongo that looked like a SR - now that would be heaven!!

    (Especially with a translucent black finish - I'm still crossing my fingers for this finish to become a standard option hint hint)

  2. #2

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    Better, no. Different, hell yeah!
    bovinehost: Yes, I do agree with that, but if there's nothing wrong then there's nothing wrong.
    Beth: I would compare Bongo to Tommy Lee Jones. Bad a$$ and just hot in a weird way...
    cheezewiz: They should take their lace thongs off and play bass.

  3. #3

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    For the short time I owned my bongo I thought the same thing.

    Ugly but sounds great.

  4. #4

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    Wait til you try a 25th Anniversary,

    Neck sizes and radius are the same on the 3 models below:


  5. #5

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    yep, it is all about the Bongo. I feel the same way, although it is fun taking the sr5 out for a spin sometimes.
    2007 Bongo 5-string HHP Lava Pearl
    2008 LTD Bongo 6-string HH

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by yourwhathurts69 View Post
    I could never find any local music stores that carried them, so I did what any musicman aficionado would do; I bought one online.
    When I put the money down for my first one, they weren't even really being built yet! So at least you're one up on me.

    Quote Originally Posted by yourwhathurts69 View Post
    And then I was confused...the Bongo seemed better than my SR5. How could this have happened? It was a musicman bass; it should have felt the same, right?... 5 string Bongo, 5 string SR, same nut and bridge spacing - it's the same, right?
    I'm not sure about "better", but I am completely sure about "different". I mean, I'm with you - odds are good that I'm always going to grab a Bongo. But there are guys on the board who prefer the Stingray5. Others prefer the Sterling5. I think, "Well, they're right."

    Aren't they? Sure they are.

    Jack

  7. #7

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    Sooner or later a bongo 5 will find me. And then I will know.

  8. #8

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    For me it's all about the electronics. That's why it sounds so good, very different setup to a Stingray5. Not to say say the SR5 sounds bad, because it doesn't, just the Bongo's electrics are incredible.

    Quote Originally Posted by spencer View Post
    Beautiful but sounds great.
    Fixed it for ya. Please never call the Bongo ugly.
    1994 Sterling The INVADER Bass
    My short films can be found on http://www.youtube.com/user/TheEyeballKids - feedback always appreciated!

  9. #9

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    the bongo is most definately different, and just when i thought i had it under control i went and put flatwounds on it... now it's "different" again... and completely "awesome" in a new way.
    In an endless quest to find a white Reflex 5H...

  10. #10

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    Why is your Bongo so awesome?

    It just is. Deal with it.
    I've seen a million basses, and I rocked them all!
    Currently rocking with Shakedown, exclusively on a 2008 Candy Red Bongo.

  11. #11

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    Wait til you try a 25th Anniversary,
    Agreed - the 25th playability and tone are at the next level.


    Neck sizes and radius are the same on the 3 models below:
    Is the string spacing the same for the Bongo and SR? I was thinking that the Bongo strings were slightly tighter.

  12. #12

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    I am soon to have a Bongo 5 H to compare to my SR5 H and I can't wait to see how they stack up each other. my SR5 has been my #1 since I took her hope a few years ago. I am really stoked to finally try a Bongo.
    1. Trans Gold SR5, (Alnico)
    2. Trans Orange SR5, (Ceramic)
    3. Black SR5 (Alnico)
    4. Gremlin Green SR5 (Ceramic)
    5. Trans Green SR5 (Ceramic)
    6. True Gold Bongo 5 H with Torte
    7. Trans Red Sterling 4 Fretless
    8. Blue Dawn LE SR4
    9. Black Cherry Burst SR4

    All Lefty

    - Dwelling on the banks of the deep end.

  13. #13

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    [QUOTE=yourwhathurts69;655242]
    If only Ernie Ball made a Bongo that looked like a SR - now that would be heaven!!
    QUOTE]

    I think the Bongo looks cool...

    When I save some more shekels, the Bongo will be my next bass. Strung with flats.
    Black BIG AL 4SSS
    White Pearl Big Al 4SSS.
    Little Mark Tube 800

  14. #14

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    it took me a while to dig how the bongo looks and i said the same about putting it in a SR5 body but then my SR5 would neither sound like a bongo or a SR5.

    i still rather my SR5 but thats just me.....i cant wait to try out a 25th HSS,but my SR5 will always be pkayed and never ever be sold !!

  15. #15

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    In the beginning I didn't like the design, but in a few colors (white, black...) looks OK, but sound is without compromise at all!

    First was watching on the YouTube some Bongo clips, and finally at this spring 2009. I visited last tour concert of Steve Lukather in my home town Zagreb and his bassman was playing nice white Bongo HH (maybe HHp not sure) with black pickguard!

    When they start playing sound was not so good at the beginning, but after few songs was fine! But, the best part was at the end, some band jazzy jamming, and bass soloing ...etc.

    Than I figured out that Bongo is great bass!

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