Bongo Owners- How to get growl?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thejamesjordan, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Thejamesjordan


    Mar 2, 2006
    Hi guys,

    I was wondering if anyone has a good recipe to get the most growl or attack of a musicman bongo?
  2. toberoo


    Mar 9, 2007
    Same as any bass: super low action, strong right hand attack, favoure the bridge pickup, pluck slightly past the neck pickup, a little treble boost, a lot of mid boost, and new stainless steel strings. Technique goes a long way to make any instrument 'growl'.
    fender68 likes this.
  3. basschanges

    basschanges Unconditionally Loving Member Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    Exactly what the guy above me said. You can't get exactly what a stingray does, but the bongo does its own thing thats quite powerful.
  4. Grrrr........
    spanndrew likes this.
  5. Slap a fish and listen for the growl.....
    fender68 likes this.
  6. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    single H-
    big difference
  7. Might also want to try altering the pickup height.
  8. bftbassman


    Aug 23, 2014
    Ephrata PA
    Plug it into an Ampeg
    tonemachine likes this.
  9. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    Cobalts, cut lows & raise low mids upper mids & treble. Bias towards the rear pickup...
    tonemachine likes this.
  10. dropitonthe1e

    dropitonthe1e Inactive

    Dec 21, 2014
    What they said.

    Cutting the bass is important for this, the bongo seems way boosted in the bass and your growl can be hidden. I use whichever version of slinky's that are 45 65 80 100 (130). The name is different between 4&5 string far as regular, super, extra, hybrid or whatever they call them so watch out for that. And digging in is important, cut your amp's gain if necessary. Maybe it's in my head but I feel like when I dig in it seems like the bass's electronics get nicely overdriven. Guru's: can pickups/onboard pre amps actually be overdriven?

    And before you ditch the bongo for a stingray (just in case you end up there), remember that the sray is less ergonomic and isn't quite as versatile as the bongo.... so you best get one of each. HH Ray is nice and versatile if you can handle the weight
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
    tonemachine likes this.
  11. radioface


    May 2, 2013
    Fretless Bongo, use the bridge pickup and right hand near the neck and growl automatically happens.
  12. ninjaaron


    Sep 26, 2014
    I read "Banjo Owners," which I am. Can't help with Bongos, but let me tell you, it is difficult to get a decent growl out of a banjo!
    Joeynone and hdracer like this.
  13. VinnyIuspa


    Nov 12, 2013
    North Jersey
    I keep the blend knob mostly on the bridge pickup with the low and high mids and treble boosted quite a bit. I keep the bass knob just below the half way point. Really like a fresh set of rotosound piano design strings on mine also. Super bright and killer sustain. I also play with low action and super aggressive three finger right hand technique
  14. bftbassman


    Aug 23, 2014
    Ephrata PA
    Plug it into an,,,seems to be answer to everything this year since i crossed over
  15. fender68


    Jun 7, 2011
    Yep. That's RIGHT!!!lmao
  16. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    It isn't that hard to get a good growl out of one.
    Start with a arch top tone ring,The smaller vibrating surface, vibrates at a higher frequency and therefore, produces a voice that is brighter or higher producing the brightest, sharpest, most cutting banjo sound.
    Set your tailpiece up with a lot of front tension, that will give it a more bright attack.
    Use a steel beveled tension hoop.
    Get a Kavanjo banjo humbucking pickup system and run it through a good overdrive pedal.
    Run this through a powerful head like a Marshall plexi and a 812 stack and it will growl so hard you will make peoples ears bleed and make cats and dogs for miles hide and take cover. :bassist::D:D
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014
    ninjaaron likes this.
  17. tonemachine

    tonemachine Inactive

    Mar 23, 2010
    Way late to the party.... I recently did my Bongo's first string change after more than 6 months and my joy about the bass was restored. Even with all those electronics for tweaking, this bass is a completely different (and much better for my taste) animal with newer strings. My other basses don't vary nearly as much with string age. Not science, just observation.
  18. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    Yeah the Bongo likes strings with a bit more strings. Its a mellow being rosewood & basswood
  19. my Bongo really came to life when I turned the bass knob down just a bit. it's probably a 5-10% cut. it opened up the sound a lot, kinda like it can breathe now if that makes any sense. it's more responsive to dynamics in my right hand, and has a more aggressive sound overall. with boosts in the mids it gets even growlier, as you'd probably expect.
    tonemachine likes this.
  20. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    Yup, I RARELY boost lows & more likely cut to get the growl. Theres a ton of play with that 4 band, you'll get what you like. I love mine
    tonemachine likes this.