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Bongo 5HH, should I pull the trigger?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sifi76, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. sifi76


    Mar 14, 2007
    New Zealand
    Hi all, visited a local store today and saw a Bongo 5HH in stealth finish hanging on the wall, I mocked it for a bit with the sales guy and then figured I might as well try it.. and ate my words pretty quickly, nicest fiver I ever laid my hands on, playing it was effortless.. and the 4 band eq was amazing, so many different tones.. So now I've found a mint 'slighty blemished' one for sale on the net, in a pearl tangerine finish with the full rosewood neck, but I'm hesitant to go for it... my q is, has anyone had any experience with the limited rosewood neck bongos? Is the tone any darker, or more aggressive? I am assuming it may be similar to my wenge necked streamer, which I love the feel and tone of.. but I figured I'd ask the experts. Oh and am I just being an idiot in terms of the look? My number 1 bass is a stingray, so I kind of side with the vintage look and sound, but I use my wick for the modern metal and rock tones.. and I guess I'll eventually get over the weird shape though (it looks nicer than the big al tbh), but has anyone else had this issue?

    sooo close to buying this bass, but just need an extra push.. figured tb might do the trick :)
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  2. The Tangerine Pearl is stunning. I have a normal neck 5 HH in the colour and it's brilliant.
  3. sifi76


    Mar 14, 2007
    New Zealand
    would you say the tangerine pearl is flat in colour? I have a feeling it might be deceptive, all the pics look flat but so did sky blue which turned out to have a shimmer in person.. of course I still have to get over the bongo shape lol
  4. Both those colours are very pretty and slightly sparkly in real life. They really pop but in a good way.
  5. OP, don't know if you've made a decision yet or not. tangerine pearl is a great color for a Bongo. there is a little sparkle to it. the shape of that bass really works with the wilder colors. also, I don't think the rosewood neck is going to be too big of a deal in terms of tone. it's still going to sound like a Bongo.
  6. Had a bongo once, sold it after one gig with it. The tone was "ok" but not really spectacular for the price range. When i got mine i had never tried one before, was hoping for more of a stringray sound with 24 frets. The other thing was the bass hung oddly on me. Was pretty nice sitting down but standin up It would hang towards the right side of my body making the neck feel too short for my taste. I could see how that my be a beneficial characteristic for smaller players though. The other thing is the look. Once i heard the term "toilet seat" bass. I looked at it and immediately agreed the egg shape pickgaurds make the bass look like a toilet seat. If i got another i would probably play off that, like get a white bass and a clear pickgaurd so i could a picture of poop under the clear pickgaurd
    Osztertag2112 likes this.
  7. The Bongo 5HH is a great bass - I have one with a piezo and love it. The funny thing is whenever I use it my band mates love it and people always compliment the looks. The only person who's ever had a bad word to say about it was another bass player, who didn't like the shape. I can tell you no ones ever picked up the 'toilet seat' joke - quite the opposite - people think it's a stunning design and a futuristic take on a standard shape for a bass. For me the ergonomics standing or seated are great. So it's all good - I personally love the stealth version - I think you get an ebony fretboard with that also?

    You may find an all rosewood neck produces a little darker of a sound but I've heard owners loving the sound of MM basses of various models with all rosewood necks.
  8. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Okay, you did the first smart thing: You actually PLAYED it before you bought it based on a picture. So you dig how it plays. Excellent!
    Did you like how it sounds? Be careful here - how basses sound in a store can be VERY misleading, and even playing alone can be so as well - what sounds good in your living room often fails to work in the mix. Mids rule on stage, just remember that.
    As for rosewood - It's a hard wood, not so hard a maple - But I'm sure it will sound fine - but will COST. A solid rosewood neck can't be cheap...!
  9. olirm


    Jul 15, 2013
    I am a big fan of the Bongo 5 HH. Does it look like a toilet seat bass.. maybe a bit, but I dig the modern look, but the tone and playability are what did it for me. The first time I played one alone I thought the tone was pretty good, then I had a chance to record and play out with one and that's where I was sold. If fits in the mix so well and I can get everything I need out of the EQ, it has been a main gigging bass for a few years now. I have the sky blue one and I thought the color would grow on me, but I seem to dislike it more with time. I like the stealth's and the new PDN offering they have though.

    As for the all rosewood necks, those are a thing of beauty. I have a SR5 HH with one and it's just killer, does it mess with the tone? Maybe, but mine still clearly sounds like a stingray. I got mine for the look and feel. I wish my bongo had it for sure. Keep in mind the all RW necks are different from the standard bongo ones that come painted with a satin finish. The all RW is the oil/wax mix that EBMM is known for.

    The bongo is unique, but is definitely something to consider. John Myung and Will turpin of collective soul and many others seem to be happy with them. Other than my color preference, the only downside I had with it is once I show up for a higher-profile gig with it and the band leader said I could not play it because it did not look right. Since he was the boss and paying, I grabbed my backup sadowsky. Learned to always bring a J-sytle bass for that guys gigs.

    Be sure to post a pic if you get one, would love to see that tangerine with the all RW neck. Good luck
  10. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    I've had several Bongo 5HH's, one was an all rosewood neck. All sounded good but I thought the rosewood neck had a more mid-range and focused tone.
  11. basschanges

    basschanges Unconditionally Loving Member Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    I had mine for close to 10 years and sold it. I'm playing it with a big band in my avatar photo (Don Ellis' "the great divide" so it fit well). It's a great bass for most styles of music. I had minor quibbles with string spacing and space between the neck humbucker and the start of the fingerboard. Otherwise you can achieve almost any tone with it, save for J-bass. You can even come *this* close to a sting ray.
  12. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    You only made this thread so we could all say yes... just buy it already!
  13. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Bongos are great. They are very modern sounding, with a unique presence in the midrange. It's a cool sound, but it is distinctive, I don't know how else to describe it.
    The eq is wonderful, the ergonimics are good, the look is great. The only sonic complaint I had is that in the HH models, the bridge pickup is NOT in the Stringray sweet spot, so if you solo the bridge pickup you get a much thinner sound than the Stingray tone.
    The other complaint I had was the painted neck. If you get the rosewood neck model, you won't have that, you will get the nice wood feel, so that's a win in my book.
    Double Agent likes this.
  14. GlassOnion

    GlassOnion 1.21 Gigawatts

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tempe Arizona
    My .02c.
    Basswood bodies. No matter the neck composition. It is the body that makes Bongos tone special.
  15. the toilet seat thing is something you'll only ever hear on the internet. I've played about 40 gigs with my Bongo and no one has ever said that.
  16. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    I had a roasted maple neck on my bongo and although it looked and felt great, it need a full fret planning, fret sprout and a nut filing a year out from new. it didn't stabilize due to heavy birds-eye in the neck. from what I heard, the knots may have been the culprit in the wood.
    150 bones later, it was excellent, but still needed frequent tweaks.
    it was this reason, I believe that the original owner sold it to me.
    maybe I had a rare case but I am leery of buying fancy neck woods now.

    great basses with tons of headroom in the preamp.
    my only gripe was that the G string came off the fretboard but that happens on all EBMM's.
  17. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Every Bongo I have played has played and sounded great, but I cant get past the looks of them to actually own one.
  18. I bought a Stingray Classic, which also had a beautiful figured neck. Mine was flame maple. I was a bit too hasty buying it, and thought that its considerable fret buzz could be fixed with a good setup. After all it sounded great on certain parts of the neck. Well, come to find out, the neck had warped so bad it was convex up past the 12th fret. did some research and found that figured maple is in fact more likely to warp than the regular kind. luckily GC took the bass back no problem. still love EBMM, but the whole experience was such a bummer that I too am pretty turned off by figured necks now.
  19. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    wow-I thought I might be the only one...
    in my case-it was totally sub-par for a 2000 dollar LTD instrument.
  20. sifi76


    Mar 14, 2007
    New Zealand
    I had the same problem with my classic, but it was less due to the birdseye, and more to the fact that the laquered necks dont like sitting in the pocket, mine kept having to be adjusted and the intonation kept going out after every practice or gig.. I went back to standard ray's after that, mind you I might have been the exception.. not every instrument is the same right? As for the bongo.. I'm still deciding, lol.. I'm a maple guy, so I might hold out until the neptune blue is released before I jump, especially as the bem or flame is satin on that edition.. but this is all good advice people, much appreciated :thumbsup:

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