Bongo vs Thumb

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Felix Riley, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. Bongo Stealth

    45 vote(s)
  2. Warwick German Thumb BO

    25 vote(s)
  1. Felix Riley

    Felix Riley

    Aug 2, 2013
    So, which one sounds better and plays better? I play technical progressive metal (think Tool, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Mastodon, Opeth)? Opinions? :hyper: Money is no object.
  2. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    That's subjective. But you could probably get a fretted and fretless bongo for the cost of the thumb.
  3. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    For me, Bongo hands down. Hence why I own two - 6HS and 5HS+p. Just like them all around.
    For you - whichever you like better for whatever reason you choose ;) There is no universal "better".
  4. John Freeman

    John Freeman Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    I had a thumb and now have a bongo 5hh. I like the neck profile and the the EQ range is insane.
  5. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again??

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    I've owned both.. Bongo all the way. More comfortable to play and has more tonal variations thanks to the EQ.
  6. mark roberts

    mark roberts Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    I own both, the Bongo wins with it's preamp for versatility for every-gig use. However, I have a Custom Shop Warwick Thumb fitted with EMGs and related preamp and it's more versatile than it's standard brethren.
  7. Play both get the one that feels best.
  8. AMp'D.2play


    Feb 12, 2010
    John Myung (DT) plays a Bongo. Colin Edwin (PT) played a Bongo during the Deadwing & FOABP period.

    Also, the Bongo is noted for being incredibly well-balanced. Some Thumb players have complained of neck dive.
  9. Another Bongo vote. I loved the sound of my thumb, one of the most unique straight-outta-bass sounds out there, but it's a one trick pony [stock]. The Bongo is similar in that it has a couple very unique voices, but can also get mainstream and 'traditional' if you need it.

    Bongo feels better as well. Thumb does have very serious neck dive and the curve/profile of the neck always felt odd (but i'm 6'6", have huge hands, and at least every other bass I play has a less than ideal neck curve).
  10. Thumb for me. Better playability and more comfortable. Sound is subjective but I love the way a thumb sits in the mix with loud guitars.
  11. SlingBass4


    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City
    Actually......this is kind of an apples to oranges comparison (BUT, I voted Thumb) :meh:
  12. Bongo - Advanced electronics, super cool, pretty decent weight, very fast response (although the Thumb is no doubt the same) and pretty much half the price or less (in the UK).
  13. cv115505

    cv115505 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 14, 2012
    MJC Ironworks
    I voted Thumb... I had 2 Bongos and could just never get a sound that pleased my tastes. I've had a couple Warwicks (never a Thumb) and I regret ever getting rid of them. They also have a very comfortable neck. My only beef with the Thumb is that I don't care for small bodies.
  14. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    Theres something about the low mids in an EQ thats just special to get those upper register notes to stick out OR sit back that makes is so special.

    I was playing my Bongo 5HH last night & thinking I cant do this with any other bass I have
  15. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    This is kind of like asking whether Jaguar is better than Mercedes--it's very subjective. But here's my experience: my Bongo HS is amazing in that it sounds (and looks) like no other bass on this earth. It is very tough to put into the standard "P-bass" or "J-bass" pigeonholes because it is is its own unique thing, and I happen to love it. I've played the Thumb before and it also is very unique sounding, but I didn't like the neck as much--it was very dense, heavy, and as I recall the bass had some pretty bad neck dive. Of course, so does my Bongo 5 (with the older tuners), but a suede-lined strap fixes that (might fix the Thumb's dive also). Basically--they're both good, solid, unique-sounding basses; I just like the way the Bongo speaks to me a little better. YMMV.

  16. inate_hex


    Apr 4, 2010
    Manchester, England
    I occasionally wet the bed.
    Bongo all the way! I have 2. 4H and a 4HH. They are my favourite basses.
  17. 2 of the coolest sounding basses I've ever played. harder for me to decide than a jazz or a precision.
  18. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    The 4 most fabulous words in the English language..

    The Bongo is a nice instrument, though I personally could never get beyond the looks. But it in no way measures up against a German-made neck-through Thumb bass. Personal preference aside, the NT Thumb is a better made instrument by far. The sucker is heavy for a bass with such a small body, but it's absolutely a boutique-level instrument. The Bongo is not. Given the choice, I'd pick a Thumb over a Bongo any day.

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