Bongo - Played one and it was dull sounding--Is it just me?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dagrev, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. dagrev

    dagrev Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Played a Bongo H and was shocked how dull it was. Had an almost electric upright kind of sound. Not really, but is had no crisp bite like a S-Ray or Sterling.

    It had RWs and everything seemed to be working. Is the basswood the sole blame for this? I thought I would like it from the reviews but was very unimpressed.

    Anyone else have this feeling after playing one?
  2. Kennethfaria

    Kennethfaria Inactive

    Mar 12, 2008
    maybe the setup was junk?
  3. UncleBalsamic


    Jul 8, 2007
    Old strings? Bad setup?

    There is nothing general, as far as I know, that would make the Bongo dull. Every one is different though, try find another one.
  4. Every time I go into a music store I play everything that looks interesting and many have old dead strings
  5. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    No, it's just you. :)

    Maybe the amp you were using was a piece of junk. Or possibly the strings were dead. I suspect either the one of the batteries (or possibly both) were dead, or the EQ was not dialed in correctly to give that crisp, hard, punchy sound Bongos are famous for. They can be made to sound like an upright too, but that certainly is not it's only sound. It's just one of may you can get from a Bongo.
  6. buzzbass


    Apr 23, 2003
    Tenn. & NJ
    I'd be more willing to bet it was crappy strings
  7. I hate to be the voice of dissent, but I remember when I briefly owned a Bongo, I also felt it was a little "dull" sounding :bag:

    Before you guys stone me, hear me out! I've been playing Sterling basses for about 8 years now and I've had quite a bit of experience gigging with a Stingray. Compared to those basses, the Bongo sounds dull. Sure, it is capable of a lot of fat tones, but it does not sound like a Sterling or a Stingray and that's what I immediately look for in Music Man instruments.
  8. KsToaDangr


    Apr 17, 2007
    Columbia, SC
    I'd vote that it was either the strings, the setup, or the amp.
  9. i found that when playing a bongo V H it had a near fretless quality to the sound. and it did sound a bit dull
  10. Tony Gray

    Tony Gray

    Mar 6, 2006
    I had a Bongo 5H for a long time, and I never thought it was dull. Had flats on it for a while, and it was real thumpy, but you could still dial in some brightness. With Slinkys on it, it could be piano like. Mine was never dull. The 18 volt preamp makes it easy to get lots of sounds out of it.
  11. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    I have the same feeling. Sounds dull, kind of boomy, feels cheap, looks cheaply made. Hate the glued in fingerboard marks. Really tough to setup too. The way the rod behaves, many need a shim... This bass should cost 300-400 bucks...
  12. dagrev

    dagrev Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    It can't be the amp as everything else sounded great with plenty of upper bite through it. The strings are a possibility, but everything else in the shop had a near new string zing--except the Bongo. I wondered about the batteries, but thought it would go dead if they were about to go. Adding all the treble just seemed to make it sound more like a clear-sounding upright. Good suggestions and apparently I'm not alone.
  13. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Biggest surprise I got when I tried out a Bongo-5 was when I started touching the 4-band Preamp on it.

    Wow... that's some aggressive tone shaping abilities.
  14. Mikeyd74


    Jul 28, 2007
    I am a Stingray player and I have read all the hype about the Bongo's so I decided to try for myself. I've tried probably 4 or 5 Bongo's and found them to be dull sounding as well. It is possible that so many people try them out that by chance they all had dead strings. Who knows, but I know that I haven't been impressed by them at all. I also thought the necks felt a little clumsy.
  15. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Now my experience is very different. When I tried the Bongos I found at GC (when they had them) they killed all the Sterlings and 'Rays on the wall. I tried every single one of them. The Bongos had a much more aggressive and defined tone. I chalked it up to strings since the Bongos were recent arrivals.

    So if the Bongos aren't selling and Sterlings and 'Rays are, chances are the Sterlings and 'Rays will be more recent arrivals and have fresher strings.

    Funny thing was one of the 'Rays didn't have a battery in it so I had to scavenge one from another 'Ray.
  16. MHensleyJr

    MHensleyJr Supporting Member

    May 5, 2008
    Redlands, CA
    I've always thought that the Bongo was a POS. Hate that bass.
  17. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    I play 3 Bongos in my life and they indeed felt very dull compared to a good old Stingray. It doesn't even come close.
    It's a shame because I loved the shape from day 1 and prefer 24 frets.
  18. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Denver, Colorado
    I wouldn't say dull, but I've always felt they sounded "sterile"
  19. mynan


    Nov 7, 2007
    Grand Haven, MI
    I can make my Bongo sound dull, but it doesn't. It's got one of the most powerful, versatile preamps out there. If it sounds dull, you're doing something wrong or there is something wrong with the setup...old strings, old battery, etc.
  20. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Just maybe this has already degenerated into another excuse for the Bongo Haters Club to show how smart they are.

    A Bongo Haters Club, now there's an idea. The Bongo Haters can all get together and post about how many times they've said they Bongo is a POS and other enlightened discussions.