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Bongo Bass Peers

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by r05c03, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. r05c03


    Jul 21, 2005
    Lafayette, IN
    So yeah, I have not stepped into the world of higher end basses (>1000, my own definition) very much. But have tried out a few at various stores. Not having been overly impressed with EB Stringrays and underwelmed by Sterlings, I had not picked up a Bongo. What a mistake. I was amazed by the sound, range and playability. Before I get all head over heels though, I'd like to ask about other basses in the price range that you all feel are comparable or better than the Bongo, if any. Thanks.
  2. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    A lot depends on exactly what you like and what you want out of a bass. I have a Bongo (S/H configuration), and I would agree with your assessment: in its price range, I don't know of another bass that can touch it in terms of versatility and range. The 4-band EQ is a real wonder: it's quite amazing how many completely different sounds you can get out of it. The Bongo doesn't sit in the mix or cut through quite as well as my Sadowsky's (and hence I don't really use it as much), but the Bongo costs $2k less and it really does have a incredibly broad tonal palette to choose from. You won't regret buying one.
  3. RunngDog -

    I am not trying to be argumentative (I promise!) this is a serious request for information.

    Based on all of the tonal options that the Bongo has, how can it neither "sit well in the mix" nor "cut through as well?" Again, it's all about YMMV but I am curious about your thinking/experience here.

    This is not a flame -- I am sincerely trying to get educated here.
  4. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    You're now sliding into the Opinion Zone. You probably won't be educated except in the sense that someone will prefer passive basses, some will prefer active, some will prefer single coil, some will prefer this and others will prefer that. Old school? Modern? Rounds? Flats? GK? Ampeg?

    If it works for you, then it's good.
  5. Stox


    Mar 18, 2005
    London UK
    The Opinion Zone...
  6. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    If you do a search for "bongo," you will discover that the biggest complaint people have is the looks. Some also dislike the painted neck. From what you wrote, it seems that these two issues are not big ones for you. Few people have negative things to say about the tone, which is incredible.

    Other basses to check out in the price range are certainly the G&L and the Lakland Skylines. It sounds like you might be an active bass person, if you like the tone on the Bongo. I fell in love with the tone on mine, and I now play it even more than my Jazz-style Lakland DJ.

    Now that you're in the range of really good basses, the fun part begins -- I'd do whatever it takes to visit as many bass stores in the area as I could, even if it meant driving to one an hour or so away. Figure out what you're looking for -- active/passive, 4-string/5-string, thin/thick neck, wide/narrow spacing, etc.
    Then if you post your preferences, the folks here are pretty knowledgable (and not just trying to sell you a bass), and can help you figure out what you might really be looking for.

    As far as construction/tone/overall quality, you're probably not going to find anything TOO much better than the Bongo, but it never hurts to look.
    Have fun!!!
  7. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll

    Jul 6, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Beta Tester: Source Audio
    As a Bongo owner, I would tend to agree with Joshua. Not that I would sell my Bongo to buy one of those, but in that price range those have the most similar range of features and tones and build quality as you will find. I do however feel that the Bongo (and EB in general) is the finest production bass available at that price.
  8. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I once owned a Lakland Skyline 55-02 fretless that I bought for $800 used and sold for the same. I now have a Bongo 5 string S/HH that I got for $949.

    I would say that the BEST tones that I could get from the Lakland were on par with the BEST tones that I get from the Bongo. But the Bongo gets a lot MORE different tones and has a lot more power and presence. I also find the Bongo to have better playability for me and the way I play.


  9. I just bought a Spector, but if I had gone in there with another $200 in my pocket, I would have walked out with a Bongo FOR SURE.
    What a fun bass. That bass has all the sounds you would want.

    I picture myself buying one in a year or so...
  10. r05c03


    Jul 21, 2005
    Lafayette, IN
    thanks for your inputs!
  11. 0557


    Apr 12, 2004
    I get comments all the time about the tone of the Bongo.
    Engineers used to request the SR5, now its the bongo.
    The comment I get the most from my bass playing peers is
    "I just can't get passed the look", or "i would get fired if I showed up with a bass that looked like that".
    I say, well go ahead and spend $3000 on a boutique hybrid "jazz bass" so you can be like everyone else.
    The Bongo is the best production bass in tonality and weight for the money....period
    I use an H/S five and a H/H five and the only other bass I'm thinking of buying next is an NS cello bass.
    You have to give EBMM an A+ to have the Balls to introduce something that looks like the Bongo.
  12. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    That looks like the Bongo and sounds like the Bongo, too.