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1 Bongo 5 or 3 Yamaha BB's?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by NicJimBass, Jul 25, 2007.


  1. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    Hey all,

    I'm in a bit of a quandry and need your help. I currently own an EBMM Stingray 5, which I love. The tone and feel are to die for. I'm looking to add another bass to the arsenal so I can have a backup/ different toned bass. I've been looking at a Bongo 5 HH, which I have yet to really sit down and play. However, I looked into it, and for the same money as a Bongo, I can get 2 Yamaha BB415's and a BB414. That gives me a main 5'r, a backup, and a 4 for covers or whatever else I need. I dig the Yammies, the little bit I played them, but I'm torn over quality vs. quantity. I'm sure either one would work, but my band loves the SR5, and I hate to sacrifice tone if it's not necessary.

    I figure the Yammies would make good basses to tour with, and if one was broken or stolen, the replacement cost wouldn't be through the roof, like with a Bongo or SR5 (not that I've ever had a problem with the SR5). I dunno, what are the opinions out there? What should I do?
     
  2. you shoud buy a MIM P:D
     
  3. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    Help me out guys!
     
  4. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Quality. How many basses can you play at once?

    Alex
     
  5. BobWestbrook

    BobWestbrook Mr.

    Mar 13, 2006
    Philly suburb
    I've never played a Bongo, but I do like my Yamaha BB614 and BB414 very much. But it sounds like you just really need one backup for your current main player.
     
  6. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I absolutely LOVE my Bongo! It isn't going anywhere. However, it seems like you have the EBMM thing covered, not that a Bongo and a SR5 sound exactly the same but they are pretty similar.

    If you are looking to add a backup bass, I can see going for the Bongo since you want your backup to be similar to your #1. But, if you want to add another flavor to your arsenal, I think would be better off with an MIA Jazz or P, a nice Yamaha, a Skyline, a Warwick, or whatever else floats your boat in the price range.
     
  7. Hemispheres85

    Hemispheres85

    Jun 15, 2006
    I see no point in having 2 of the exact same basses.
    Don't get 3 yamahas, and don't get a bongo if it's just going to be a backup. Just get one BB615. It'll save you alot of money on a bass you wont play very often.
     
  8. HH or HS bongo + piezo if you can. If you have just a standard SR5, that way you would get a pile of new tonal options.
     
  9. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    If I were to go the Yamaha route, I thought of wiring the 5's differently... maybe have one as a passive P mainly, and wire the P pup in the other to be in parallel rather than series to get more of a J vibe.
     
  10. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I have a Stingray, and I have a Bongo, and they do NOT sound the same. I have lots of other basses and I've bought and sold lots of other basses. Nothing compares to the 2 above. I think you'll be a lot happier with 2 solid awesome sounding basses than with one and a handful of basses that don't hold up to your main one. You'll wind up using the Stingray all the time and leaving the Yamahas home.
     
  11. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    Thanks for the heads-up Joe. Just a question- speaking tone-wise, I know my SR5 is pretty aggressive, and I played a Bongo 4 once, and it seemed pretty timid, and almost quiet compared to the SR5. I'm thinking the batteries may have been low or something, since an 18 volt system should be somewhat hotter than a 9v. Anyway, are Bongo's more polite than Stingrays, or simply just another type of tone, yet similar somehow? Am I making any sense?
     
  12. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    One other question Joe- how does the painted neck of a Bongo compare to an SR5's neck, as far as how slick it feels. I hate glossy necks, cuz they seem to slow me down. One of the things I love about the SR is the neck. I've seen someone strip and oil a Bongo neck, but I'm not that adventurous or knowledgable.

    Alos, I see you run GK gear. I have a 1001 RB-II and a 412 neo. That with the SR5 is an absolutely brutal combo, and everyone that hear's it raves about it!
     
  13. TrooperFarva

    TrooperFarva

    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    Well, you're talking about retail prices. I've heard quite a few stories of people picking up Bongos from Guitar Center for $400-800. Seriously, go haggle at Guitar Center.
     
  14. danomite64

    danomite64

    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    The Bongos I've tried definitely sounded different than a Stingray 5. I'd characterize the Bongo as a less grinding tone, kind of a Bartolini character to it. I also remember the Bongo neck as satin finished, but I'm not sure about that. Either way, the neck didn't seem to play slow or anything. I'd think a 2 pickup Bongo would be different enough to worrant owning it. If I were to opt for a Yamaha, I think I'd go for a nicer model than a BB414, like maybe a TRB or something.
     
  15. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    I guess my whole idea about the Bongo vs. Yamaha is taking into consideration the possibility of touring. I want something reliable, but at the same time, if something goes down, I'd like a backup, or if something is stolen, I don't want to have to shell out big bucks for the same thing, again. Tha Yamaha's fit that to a tee.

    OTOH, the tone is probably not as good as a Bongo or Stingray, which has become part of our band's sound. Live, it seems like bass is bass. You lose any nuances in your tone due to massive volume. However, I played another bass I tried to get close to my Stingray as far as specs, and I can tell a huge difference... it didn't cut through and got lost in the mix. I dunno. The overall concensus says get the Bongo. That's my first choice anyway, just needed to be pushed over the edge.

    As far as haggling goes, well, I suck. That, and I have no money, so I was planning on using my GC credit card with their 12 month financing. Not the best idea ever, but that's how I got alot of my gear when I needed (wanted) it and paid for it over time.
     
  16. kerrsedbass

    kerrsedbass

    Jan 10, 2006
    Hamilton, NJ
    The Bongo doesn't have a gummy, sticky neck. Even though it is painted, it is still smooth and fast like any other EBMM neck.
     
  17. Another option, if you want to keep the integral sound is an OLP?

    More specifically the newer ones which have two pickups, as they also have active preamps.
     
  18. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I only play 1 bass at a time and haven't broken a string in over a year. I would much rather have 1 high end bass than 3 so-so basses. You will thank yourself once you hear a Bongo during a gig.
     
  19. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I'll answer your questions to the best of my ability. I have a slight handicap here however with the fact that the GK gear (same as yours) is still new to me so I'm working out the kinks. I use settings that are radically different from my old Peavey that I used for 20 years. I've also only used the Bongo a couple of times with this rig, and been playing the Stingray most of the time.

    1st - the painted neck was never an issue to me. It's not a super glossy finish like I've seen on some fenders. I don't like that either, and I was a bit concerned. I was kind of surprised when I got the bass that it made no difference to me whatsoever. If I were blindfolded I doubt I could even tell the difference between a natural neck and the bongo painted one.

    Sound - the Stingray is agressive in a different way than my Bongo. I have an H/S Ray by the way. It cranks out hoards of highs and lows. Seems like my treble control goes from 0 - 15. In comparison the Bongo is a bit more tame, but it has a different agressivness. It can fry the GK (or any other amp I think) if I push all the EQ without padding it. What I like most about it though is that it has an element that is distincly Bongo, very much the way a Stingray has that one and only sound that it makes. I can't quite describe either of those sounds, but the Stingray can't nail the Bongo sound, and the Bongo can't nail the Stingray sound. There's more of a punch IMO to the ray, and a darkness or heaviness to the bongo....

    My cable repair guy is here. I'll continue later, can't edit, hope I made sense. :)
     
  20. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Don't ever sacrifice quality for quantity. Play the best you can afford. Then get more when you can afford it...

    MM
     

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