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Bongo with Bowed Neck

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Green Knight, Sep 13, 2019 at 7:16 PM.

  1. Green Knight

    Green Knight Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2016
  2. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    -in Canada
    -wants a good sounding 5 string bass that doesn't look like anything Paul McCartny would play
    -wants a bass with a straight neck

    Charlzm, _godspeed_ and Microbass like this.
  3. Green Knight

    Green Knight Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2016
    Lol. Wants a fretless Bongo HH for cheap. Wants to know if bowed necks can be fixed, since seller doesn't seem to know.
    Loring and EatS1stBassist like this.
  4. Briton


    Apr 4, 2009
    Nice colour!......It just probably needs a truss rod adjustment to straighten the neck a touch.
    Loring, mcnach and JeezyMcNuggles like this.
  5. Green Knight

    Green Knight Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2016
    That's what I'm hoping, but the nuts and bolts of basses--of anything, really--are not my strong point. Any chance it can't be fixed? I doubt he'd accept returns unless it arrived in different condition than advertised.
  6. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    completely missed that it was fretless. Man, almost seems worth the gamble of how ever much the gas costs to go over with a spokewheel-interfacing bar and a clip-on tuner to try it out and possibly drive home without a bass. EBMMs of the last two decades nearly never have permanently up-bowed necks or twisted necks.
  7. Green Knight

    Green Knight Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2016
    That's a 68-hour drive, with 15 hours on a ferry. Probably not worth it!
  8. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    $1400 for a bowed neck is a good price?

    I guess I’m out of touch on bongos
    sludgetail, Swerve, Goatrope and 4 others like this.
  9. Green Knight

    Green Knight Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2016
    Well it's 1050USD. That's just the asking price; offers are enabled. If I could get a luthier to fix it for a hundred bucks, I'd say that's a good deal. Hence this thread. I'm wondering if anyone can speculate from the photos whether this is a fixable defect. If it's a permanent flaw, then of course 1400 is too much, "playable" or no.
    sludgetail likes this.
  10. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
  11. Green Knight

    Green Knight Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2016
    Guy wrote back and said that in his opinion the neck is "a little bowed" and cannot be adjusted perfectly with the truss rod "unless it is forced back a little bit and locked with the truss rod"... I won't lie: I don't really know what this means. He had it adjusted at a shop, but apparently the tech couldn't get it perfect. The seller has a 7-day return policy. If that policy allows returns for any reason, and not just for damage in transit, I might just go for it and return it if my guy can't fix it.
    sludgetail likes this.
  12. Green Knight

    Green Knight Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2016
    Thanks everybody who chimed in!
    TheReceder likes this.
  13. 7 day return period? How quickly can you have a tech look at it? My guess is that it is just a simple setup but there's no way to really know without seeing it. Since you can't diagnose it yourself make sure you have a chance to get it looked at within 7 days. If you can pull that off then there is little risk.
  14. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    I'd pass.

    No clue on how rare this particular configuration of Bongo is BUT sometimes warped necks are only fixable with a heat treatment and may end up needing more than one. Even presuming that your tech is familiar with the procedure, one week is cutting it way too close IMO.
  15. Mikey F

    Mikey F

    Aug 12, 2014
    Denver, CO
    EBMM are the easiest basses to adjust the neck ever. Walk away. Trust me. From a guy that bought a BFR stingray that had a wonky neck. It is now a fabulous bass..... $500 later.
    DJ Bebop and MattZilla like this.
  16. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I paid $1100~ CDN for my Bongo 4-string a few years back. Sold it for $900~. EBMM prices have raised since then but I'd still peg that as too high, even in working condition. As it is, that price is out of line. I wouldn't take that gamble.
  17. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    I would stay away.

    Chances are the neck has been sitting in the case with the strings tuned to full tension with the forward-bow on the neck, thus making the bow worse all that time.

    If so, then that means that the bow is most likely permanent and there will not be enough turns of the truss rod available to straighten the neck since you can only tighten the truss rod so much before it gets maxed out and then snaps if you keep tightening it.

    I would not bother buying that bass.

    I once took this same type of gamble on a Ken Smith 6 string bass which ended up having the exact same issue. I kept tightening the rod and then ended up snapping and breaking the rod and the neck was still forward-bowed.
  18. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    “It is in excellent condition except the neck is not perfectly straight (bowed up) and not sure if it can be perfectly adjusted by truss rod. ”

    It’s very possible that the owner never even tried to adjust it...
    Rabidhamster and RyanOh like this.
  19. a truss rod adjustment is for small tweeks the neck may have to come off and the nut backed off and then they use blocks and a clamp to straighten the bow then tighten the nut. Watch the You tube video where Dan Erlwine talks about how much a truss rod can be expected to do.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  20. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Or not. Earlier tonight I dropped two washers over a truss rod and cranked down the nut. Improvement was negligible.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.

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