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Thread: Bold innovation would be nice again

  1. #1

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    Bold innovation would be nice again

    The caprice looks nice and from the sound clips sounds nice too. But to me it is just another p/ the same finishes as all the other basses. I want to see BOLD innovation like that of the Bongo. Talk about a paradigm shift... and a great one. Why everything has to look and sound like a fender cousin is understandable but at the same time underwhelming. I would definitely own and play a Caprice...but I would LOVE to see a new bass that is very different like the Bongo was when it debuted...different shape, colors, materials, pickups, electronics, sound, feel etc..etc.

    Last edited by JOEinCA; 07-18-2016 at 04:40 PM.

  2. #2

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    Bass guitar design has gone to a point where basically everything has been done. Be glad the Bongo caught on, it is about as bold of a design that has been in production for 13 years from any major manufacturer.

    The Big Al was pretty different, as was the Reflex. My guess is that they didn't sell. When you have an established name and reputation sometimes taking risks doesn't make sense. Fender inspired pickup locations and headstock size with Musicman quality is a great addition to the lineup.

    I wouldn't be mad at a 5 string version of the Caprice or Cutlass. I really wouldn't be mad at a reverse Cutlass neck pickup on a Sterling with switching like an HS!

  3. #3

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    Joe... Musicman has proven time and time again that nobody wants bold or innovation. Nobody liked the Big Al or Reflex, how many people still have a Game-Changer. To the masses all anyone wants is a P a J or a Stingray, hence the normal, Classic and Neck-through models. All this boldness and innovation may potentially put Musicman out of business. I prefer them to be around a while longer. Passive basses were bound to happen. It is what the masses want. So let them have it. I still love my bongos. JOSH
    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 Sid the Kid View Post
    Bass guitar design has gone to a point where basically everything has been done.
    My response to that line of thinking (respectfully) is "hell no!" The bongo would have never been born with that view point. I will never accept its all been way. Come on people INNOVATE!

  5. #5

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    Yeah..I hear you mmbassplayer, but a few strike outs doesn't mean you go back to p or j bass copies. I love the old classics too...but you wouldn't have that awesome Bongo had they rested on their laurels and kept re-hashing the old stuff with a little twist.

  6. #6

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    Let's admit this much: some people are never going to be happy.

    I still remember the reaction on the other bass sites when the Bongo was introduced - and the way I was treated for loving them. Tony Levin once said something like, "I'm a bass player! I LIKE doing the same thing over and over!" In large part, that also applies to our purchases as well as our role in music.

    Sterling used to say this a lot: "If I listened to you guys regarding what to build, I'd now be asking if you wanted to supersize those fries."

    I just recorded an entire album using only a Big Al 5H and a Bongo (sparkle green) 5H. It would be nice to think I'm representative of the average bass player (and I'm average in many musical ways) but I'm not. Your very participation here probably is a good indication that you're not average, either. We like Bongos. We liked the Reflex, the Big Al. And yet I walk into the "cool studios" in town and see a vintage P bass. It can be depressing. I like a good P bass, too, but come on. It's not 1965 anymore. I can promise you that I get much better tone out of my Bongos (or Big Al) but that makes engineers nervous. (I remind them that we pay them to do what we want, not vice versa, but it's a battle.)

    I happen to think the Caprice and the Cutlass are really great ideas. And really great actual instruments. Who expected passive from Music Man? I heard the clips Dave Marotta did and thought, "Well YEAH."

    And I think the 40th Stingray, Old Smoothie, is a great instrument, too, based as it is on 70s tech. But I'll tell you a secret. It doesn't sound like a 70s Stingray. Have you met Dudley Gimpel?

    So we get all these new instruments. My advice, and it's worth exactly what you paid for it, is: "Enjoy what we have now, and be thankful it's not just another P bass with a vintage finish, which has been done every year since Leo sold the damned company."

    Innovation is in the eye of the beholder. As for me, I remain happy.


  7. #7

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    Also, green basses don't sell.

    Sparkle? Pffffft. I WISH. You have no idea how many sparkles I've had along the way.

    I hereby declare this the thread to use to further complain about the "lack" of colors. I will entertain it for a while. But let's be clear and honest about why you can't have Autumn Red Rise anymore: it did not sell well enough to survive. (And I loved that one - and Burnt Apple, am I showing my age?)

  8. #8

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    I love my Bongo's. Actually, I have loved every model of Music Man I have ever played or owned. I think deep down Sterling and co. Wish others got it like they do. Unfortunately most don't and in order to stay in business, Sterling and co. have had to make hard business decisions and maybe even some they didn't like doing i.e. Dropping the Reflex and Big Al basses.

    Now with the new passive basses, this excites me and I don't believe Sterling and co. Simply copied a P bass or a PJ bass. The bodies are different as well as the pick ups. What they did though was open up a bigger customer base for those that only like passive basses.

    I loved what they did even though for the most part I prefer active basses. However, by them releasing these models, it opened up the opportunity for me to continue to play Music Man basses for a project coming up. I have a producer friend that I will be doing studio work with at the end of this year. He has been adamant though that I use a P bass for the recording project as that is what he wants. I was just getting ready to finally break down and buy one when the Cutlass was released. I ended up ordering a PDN Cutlass bass and talked my producer friend into letting me use it instead. He reluctantly agreed and is now also looking forward to what this bass can do in the studio. If he likes it, the bass will also allow me to do more work with him. Hopefully from there, I can talk him into some Bongo love in the studio too but one step at a time and I know my friend will get hooked.

    I love everyone at EBMM and while it does suck some business decisions that were not popular had to be made, I'm glad they are still around and making fantastic instruments.

  9. #9

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    The Cutless and Caprice look like very nice instruments...I'm certainly not saying or implying otherwise. I just commend EBMM for making the Bongo ...such a radical departure from the norm and what a great instrument was born. The collab with BMW was so out of the box and different....would love to see something come out that wasn't so traditional.

  10. #10

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    Whatever you create, please make a 5 string version.

  11. #11

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    Radical departure from the norm? I get how the body and headstock shape are unusual but the Bongo is not as unusual as you think. It incorporated a few firsts from Musicman but it did nothing really new or innovative. 34" scale, 24 frets, 2 humbuckers or a HS, neck attached with screws, body made of wood, neck made of wood. You can get this from a lot of manufacturers especially in 2003. The bongo just LOOKS a little different than the rest.

  12. #12

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    OK here is where is gets tough...Really if this was a bar there would be a fight.

    Sid neodynium pickups were very common in 2003. I don t think so. We shouldnt use wood or screws? The design objective of the Bongo was to use alternative renewable materials.....I spent a friggin fortune....guess what? wood sounded better. The 18v and 4 band preamp was just standard fare it wasn'tn yes it had four and five strings.

    Our job and mantra is to make tools for artists. We only hope that artists desire innovation. We also provide choices....Do you want us to be an ice cream shop that is forbidden from making a better vanilla? We have to have a well rounded line to survive.

    Guess what the Bongo is still a commercial failure that just barely survived the chopping block. Somebody has to buy the innovative products. We just did the Valentine, St Vincent and the Majesty...all innovative some more subtle than others...Also what makes you think that we aren't doing just that as our 9 engineers arent work tirelessly? They arent playing Pokeman go.
    I cannot win here.
    Last edited by Big Poppa; 07-18-2016 at 09:15 AM.
    Two requests, please
    Please contact customer service prior to posting instrument issues
    Please don't PM me

    Please dont add me as a friend on life is an open book here as it is.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Poppa View Post
    Also what makes you think that we aren't doing just that as our 9 engineers arent work tirelessly? They arent playing Pokeman go.
    I cannot win here.
    You already have Big Poppa! You're a ****ing boss, and some of the best times of my life have been rocking out with your crew's masterwork in my hands!

  14. #14

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    As a former sailor in the United States Navy, the olden days, I used to always be up for a bar fight. Now I'm the "you kids get off my lawn" type - or grab a pool cue or a bar stool.

    Good post from Big Poppa.

  15. #15

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    Im sorry for being honest.....we will try harder to meet you kid's expectations...It is challenging trying to make instruments in California in a guitar market that is on its ass. has never been this hard....
    Two requests, please
    Please contact customer service prior to posting instrument issues
    Please don't PM me

    Please dont add me as a friend on life is an open book here as it is.

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