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MusicMan Bongo 4 vs Warwick Pro Thumb 4

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by funkytime, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. funkytime


    Nov 1, 2013
    Greetings everyone, I'm new to this forum. I'm a longtime rock/metal bassist who has recently taken an interest in funk/motown styles. I have 2 Five stings (just sold the third), but I'm looking to pick up a 4 string to play around with slappin' and smooth jazz styles. For the cost, I had pretty much narrowed my search down to a Warwick Pro series Thumb but found a listing for a Bongo 4 at the same price, and I've always found the bongo to be an intriguing instrument.

    Any recommendations? Obviously if money were no issue, I'd go for a German Thumb, but I'm on a budget, and I have found both of these used in great condition for about the same price. Just looking for some other thoughts on these instruments

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Slap and smooth jazz? Bongo.
    I have one, it´s a very great bass able to do everything, from smooth jazz tones to very agressive sound. Also, i hate Warwick (except the Star Bass)
  3. AshdownMad


    Apr 19, 2011
    Suffolk, UK
    They are 2 very different basses! The Bongo is very post-modern looking and the Thumb is very natural and more classic looking. The sound difference is probably as different as well

    The Warwick is made out of better woods (though this can be preference) but its slightly heavier. The Bongo is 8.4 lbs and the Thumb 9.4 lbs.

    Have you got the opportunity to play them before you buy them?
  4. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player

    Mar 14, 2011
    If you are looking at the single humbucker version of the Bongo it would be better for slap. It's doable on the two humbucker version but not as nice with a fairly small window for plucking. That's my experience anyways.
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  6. funkytime


    Nov 1, 2013
    I have not yet. I have done extensive YouTube research on the tones of the various basses that I am interested in. As to the feel, I have played a variety of different instruments and find that I will get used to the feel of whichever I wind up purchasing. I have played on the Corvette and StingRay which I realize are not the same instruments, but I do plan to head down to the GC this weekend and try them out if in stock.

    Thanks, it is the Double. I will keep that in mind. Again, heading to GC, but they do not keep a great selection of Medium to high end basses in the store. I do not have many options for trying instruments which makes this more challenging.
  7. DwaynieAD

    DwaynieAD Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    I'd go bongo, but that's nothing more than personal preference. I'd be happy with either one.
  8. I would also go for the Bongo but for different reasons. I like the Bongo neck shape and electronics package a lot better than the Thumb.

    I feel that pretty much all bases concerning the Bongo have been covered, so I will talk about the Thumb.

    The Thumb tone is a Jazz bass tone at its core. The body is ridiculously comfortable and ergonomic. The one I played was a little on the heavy side. A thing I really don't like from Warwick is the four-string necks. For some reason their narrow width and back shape and the way the neck widens towards its end make them feel very weird on my hands. The five-string ones are ok though.

    As I mentioned above, I am also not a particular fun of the electronics package on those. The preamp is really well tuned and very flexible, but I find that the pickups have a very specific tonal characteristic in them, that for me it is really easy to say it is a Warwick, yet it is hard to explain. That said, some people love this, others, including me, don't.
  9. I bought a Thumb from a friend that left the country so he gave me it cheap. I hate it in may ways but stay with it for a while to use it and then I sold it for more money than it cost me so I won any way. I tried a bongo from a friend and every tome I visit US I go to GC and try some Bongos and I....love it, love it, love it. So for me,,,Bongo all the way.
  10. Once you play a Bongo, it's hard to find a bass better than that.
  11. eyvindwa


    Aug 1, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    I had a Bongo 5 string HH and a Thumb NT 5 string. For me, the tone of the Thumb has much more "guts" and "growl", if that means anything to you. To me it did, and now I no longer own the Bongo, but I love my Thumb. In fact, I'll be gigging it tonight in a few hours from now :D
  12. When you turns up the hi mid on the Bongo it's hard to not have a growly sound, but it's sure they're different beasts.
  13. Pudge Fish

    Pudge Fish Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2013
    i had the Warwick itch for a long time. played one and just kinda waited. a few weeks ago i took the plunge in bongo 4HH and i don't think i could be happier. (i DO want a 4HS now!) but MusicMan did something magical with the Bongo....
  14. True,,,Bongo basses are magical!!!
  15. Pudge Fish

    Pudge Fish Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2013
    Agreed... that 18v preamp is a MONSTER
  16. funkytime


    Nov 1, 2013
    Wow, you guys have overwhelmingly leaned me towards the Bongo. Thanks for all the input. Hopefully GC has both of these so I can check them out.
  17. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Bongo all the way. Way more toneful and better sounding than a Thumb (IMO). I also really dislike the ergonomics the the Thumb. There too the Bongo is way more comfortable to wear.
  18. funkytime


    Nov 1, 2013
    So, I ended up going with the Bongo, and it arrived today. I can't wait to get home and try it out (it sounded good without an amp, haha). I'll throw some pics up later. Thanks again to everyone for the input.
  19. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player

    Mar 14, 2011
    Awesome...can't wait for pics!
  20. Pudge Fish

    Pudge Fish Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2013
    PICS... with cheese (cuz it'll put a grin on ya!)
  21. Bongo... it's a beast, and has the best neck i ever played. Every PU configuration is win... buy whatever you like best, you won't be disappointed.