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Thread: Feeling the Bongo feva

  1. #1

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    Feeling the Bongo feva

    Hello everyone,

    I'm new to this forum and really happy to see there's a great community of Musicman enthusiasts trading thoughts here. I need to just say right from the start that I'm a bit embarrassed by the fact that so many years passed by and I was blind to the fact of just how great the Bongo basses are. I never really payed attention to them, mainly due to aesthetics and my unwillingness to break from the common bass guitar paradigms. It wasn't until just a couple weeks ago when I walked in to my local guitar store that everything changed. I spent some time there rummaging through the different basses Stingrays regular/classic..Am Fenders P/Jazz and was actually walking out of the bass section when a guy (non-employee) asked if I had played the Bongo. I replied nah..not for me. He said well, I think its the best sounding bass in this store and you ought to try it out some time. I kind of reluctantly grabbed it..it was bright orange and all...and started to play it. With every note I became increasingly impressed with such a balanced tone from string to sting and the sounds were so good. I left the store and was very confused. I mean..I really wanted a SR classic but this odd looking Bongo just wouldn't leave my mind. I did some further research about this bass that I didn't know much at all about other than it sounds better than anything I've ever laid my hands on. The more I read about it and the more I learned, the more I wanted it. This is the bass I must own!

    I found this bass new and now I want it. One issue is that its not local to me so I will need to have it shipped and the other thing is its not the HH config i played in the store..its H. Now I have seen some comments on these forums about how great that H config is and I actually do believe this is what I want. I think I would prefer no neck pickup so slapping is a bit more comfy..and the bass is somewhat more simplified. So...before I drop the cash on this bad boy ..am I missing anything here? I don't see much of the single H configs out there...maybe there is ...but anyone have some insight on HH vs. H or even HS? What do you think about me buying this bass I haven't played? I know the MM basses are built with such high quality that its a safe assumption it will be okay. Btw..I'm purchasing from a MM dealer. Comments?..answers?

    Thanks!
    Joe

  2. #2

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    Lots of love spoken loudly on Forum for single H Bongos. "Sweet Spot, bla bla bla"
    Nice...
    But ask me about my BLEND CONTROL!!

    (and notice my avatar.....)
    LOCK it in the POCKET

  3. #3

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    You will not be disappointed with the single H... I like the simple controls and 3 band eq. If you were a fan of the HH you will love the H (even more!). This is someone with a long history of Bongo love...




    BONGO 5HH BFR
    CAPRICE Natural
    Former owner of...
    BONGO - 4HH (Rolls Burgandy), 4Hp ("Small EQ"/Medallion Gold), 4H (Ice Blue), 5HSp (White), 4H (Black Sugar), 4H (PDN Honey Burst), 4H (PDN Tobacco Burst)
    STINGRAY - 4H (30TH), 4H (Dargie Delight), 4H (VSB/BFR RW Neck), 5H (08 LE), Classic 4H White w/ MHS
    STERLING - 4HH (Dargie Delight), 4H (Stealth), 4HS (Natural)
    25TH - 5HH (Venetian Red)
    BIG AL - 4SSS (Olive Gold)

    Discontinued Musicman Club on Facebook.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mabongohogany View Post
    "Sweet Spot, bla bla bla"


    (and notice my avatar.....)
    Yeap... and notice mine
    - Ritch
    Bongo 4H - Limited Fritz the Kat Lime Green - Kermit
    Bongo 4H - Dargie Delight
    Bongo 4HH - Sky Blue
    Sterling 4H - Trans Purple


    GK and MarkBass stuff

  5. #5

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    Love my H Bongo!
    Stingray 4H - Black Sparkle, rosewood, matching headstock - DOB 5/9/02 (sold)
    Bongo 4H - Candy Red - DOB 5/24/06
    Big Al 4 H Black, Completely Rosewood Neck, Black Pickguard - DOB 01/31/2014


    Quote Originally Posted by bovinehost View Post
    The lovely thing about the single H Bongo is it's point-and-shoot simplicity while still maintaining the ability to blow over large vehicles full of campers.

  6. #6

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    Single H Bongo is my personal favourite. I had an HS previously and it was cool too but the Single H just really does it for me. As you say, it is more simplified and really easy to dial in for great sounds. The HH and HS can cover more ground because of the dual pickups and the blend control but, despite that, they can't sound like a Single H. One key thing about the Single H is that it's pickup is in the normal "sweet spot" - like a Stingray and most other Music Man basses - whereas the HH and HS Bongos have their bridge pickup closer to the bridge.

    However, that is all just theory and is mostly information that will confuse your brain. Go with your gut. More is not necessarily more. The differences between the models do create different sounds but, without a doubt, the Single H is a winner. Oh...and the Bongo H also happens to be Sterling Ball's favorite bass (last time I heard) so....you're in good company if you get the Bongo H.

    The Single H Bongo is very hard to find - either new in the store or on the used market - so if you found one and like it then go for it. If you want to get an HH and don't mind buying used you can almost always find them for sale on Ebay or on the forums.

    That's my two cents.

    Bongo 5H, BFR Roasted, Black Sugar
    Bongo 5Hp Fretless, Mahogany, Roasted, Honey Burst

  7. #7

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    Love my HH, tried a H for a couple of weeks and sold it. Go all the way if you can and get a HHP. Talk about horsepower.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by stu42 View Post
    One key thing about the Single H is that it's pickup is in the normal "sweet spot" - like a Stingray and most other Music Man basses - whereas the HH and HS Bongos have their bridge pickup closer to the bridge.
    I've heard quite opposite opinion on this forum. Someone here told me that Bongo H is the only bass that has "it's own sweet spot place" different to the other single H models.

    Just asking. I'm interested in this bass too so I'd like to know about single H one in case I'm in love with my single H SR5.
    MusicMan Stingray 5H: Honeyburst/ White PG/ Ceramic magnets/ Ash body/ maple neck/ maple fingerboard.
    DOB 02/14/'95

    MusicMan BFR Stingray 5HH: Natural/ Tort PG/ Alnico magnets/ Ash body/ rosewood neck/ rosewood fingerboard.

    DOB 04/03/'09

  9. #9

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    I'll be a proud Bongo club member too, I hope very soon!

    My 5 H is on the way..., it should be in factory production process somewhere..., I think!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by oddjob View Post
    Yeap... and notice mine
    Yeah, I notice...
    You have no BLEND CONTROL.

    they can't sound like a Single H

    Yes, they can. Played a number of "H" variants, and the so-called "sweet spot special harmonic zone "
    lies WELL within the HH capabilities...and then some.
    YMMV.
    Last edited by Mabongohogany; 03-13-2013 at 07:53 AM.
    LOCK it in the POCKET

  11. #11

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    Sorry, but this is really BASIC stuff:

    10 BUY Bongo
    20 ENJOY
    30 IF GAS THEN
    . . 40 CHECK pu configuration, quantity of strings and presence of thin metal strips on neck
    . . 50 BUY Bongo
    60 ENDIF
    70 GOTO 20

    This program is tested and bug free, and I'm sticking by it.
    BTW, I have different programs as well. They run simultaneously.

    best,
    bert

    PS
    The program CAN be stopped - by dying.
    So there.
    Last edited by BassTractor; 03-13-2013 at 08:16 AM.
    "Bongo low end is the artillery created for bass players to regain the territory that is rightfully theirs." - D. Gimpel

    '95 StingRay 5-H fretless, black
    '05 Bongo 4-HH, sapphire black
    '07 Bongo 4-HH Dargie Delight, Logan green
    '09 Bongo 4-HS Dargie Delight II, caramel apple delight
    '14 StingRay 4-H, neptune blue

    Ashdown, Beta Aivin, Genz Benz, Orange.

  12. #12

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    I wonder if anyone else besides me got the BASIC humor?



  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holdsg View Post
    I wonder if anyone else besides me got the BASIC humor?
    Only those of us over 40. That's some old code!

    Welcome to the forum, Joe...

    -Bryan

    2019 Albert Lee - BFR - Electric Shimmer
    2019 Axis SS semi hollow - DuBaldo Blue - rosewood neck
    2019 StingRay fretless - BFR - Sierra Vintage Burst
    2018 Axis SS - BFR - Buckeye Burl
    2017 StingRay 5 - 30th Ann
    2013 Luke III - PDN - emerald green sparkle
    - rosewood neck
    2012 Morse - BFR - Dark Lord
    2010 Axis SS - red flame - rosewood neck
    2009 Axis - pink quilt
    2006 StingRay fretless - 30th Ann
    2000 Axis SS - Lavender Pearl
    1996 StingRay - 20th Ann
    1995 Albert Lee - Jim Messina’s

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mabongohogany View Post

    they can't sound like a Single H

    Yes, they can. Played a number of "H" variants, and the so-called "sweet spot special harmonic zone "
    lies WELL within the HH capabilities...and then some.
    YMMV.

    What "H variants" are you talking about? Have you directly compared a Bongo H to a Bongo HH or HS?

    I heartily disagree with you. I owned a Bongo HS and an H at the same time and they are just different animals. You can try to make the HS (which sounds very similar to an HH but, as everyone says, a little more polite or mild) sound like the H but in my opinion you cannot come nearly close enough to claim that the HH can sound the same as an H - no matter how you turn the knobs. Likewise, the H cannot sound like the HH or H/S.

    I think if you're just sitting in the store and spend 5 minutes comparing two basses (or amps/speaker cabs etc) you might think they sound very similar but longer-term experience will definitely show the differences - unless you just have a very loose standard for what you think sounds "the same".

    Bongo 5H, BFR Roasted, Black Sugar
    Bongo 5Hp Fretless, Mahogany, Roasted, Honey Burst

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravesend Black View Post
    I've heard quite opposite opinion on this forum. Someone here told me that Bongo H is the only bass that has "it's own sweet spot place" different to the other single H models.
    Not sure where you heard that but the Bongo H has the pickup in the same position relative to the bridge as the Stingray, Sterling, Reflex HH. I even verified this myself back when I owned my Sterling H and first received my Bongo H (yes...I'm kind of a nerd that way).

    Despite that, the Bongo H does not sound like a Sterling or Stingray or Reflex. Pickup position is only one aspect of the design of these basses. There are significant differences in their individual tones/sounds. Even just knowing that the coils of the Bongo are wired in Parallel doesn't tell you much about the way it sounds and feels. You have to experience it to know how it sounds. It's tempting to try to generalize about how an instrument will sound based on some specs or appearance but I find that knowing the specs really doesn't tell you much.

    Bongo 5H, BFR Roasted, Black Sugar
    Bongo 5Hp Fretless, Mahogany, Roasted, Honey Burst

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