GC Report (Or how I went in to buy a Bongo 5 and came out empty handed!)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tekhna, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004
    Well, I had played a Bongo 4 before and loved it, and finally decided today was the day. I was going to go in and purchase a Bongo 5, and not a Cirrus 5. So I sit down and start playing the Bongo through a 400RB IV. Sounds pretty good, except the low B just feels awful. Boomy, loose, not a dead string but just horrible. So I play with it a little bit, and just absolutely can't like it. The neck profile is akwardly fat, etc... So I chalk it up to being a floor model. You guys all know how GC floor models are. There are 2 Bongo 5s on the floor, an H/H and an H/SC. I grab the H/SC. Same issues.
    So I call the sales guy over and tell him I am willing to walk out with a Bongo 5 today, I have the cash in my pocket. Which I do. I ask him if he will pull me one out of stock, put new strings on it so I am assured of no dead strings and if it passes muster I will take it then and there.
    So he gets me one after consultation with the mananger. Pulls it out of the box before me, looks beautiful. Takes it to be restrung, so I sit down and play a Bongo 4, and it sounds like the voice of god. Sounds and plays far beyond its more than reasonable price. Getting excited to play the 5. The sales guy brings the Bongo back, freshly strung with Slinkies (Not my fav, but whatever). Same issues. Just doesn't play or sound good. That low B on the Bongos is just horrible. I have seen some incredible looking Bongo 5s on here, and I just don't know how you guys do it. I really hope EB brings the 5s up to par, because the 4s are probably the best production bass on the market.

    Then I notice the that for some wierd reason they have a plethora of Warwicks, Spectors and Pedullas. I fell into these beauties like the Bongo didn't exsist!

    Brief synopsis-Warwick Streamer II: ONE HELL OF A BASS! Holy god, I had always written these things off for being so ugly, but wow. That is all I could thing. I was coaxing everything out of this baby! If I had 2800 dollars I would have come out of the store with this wonder.

    Spector-I only had a chance to play a Chzech model with the tonepump and EMGs (Not the HZs) and I wasn't really a fan. Either it was so hot it was overdriving the input and distorting/farting or the battery was dying. Hopefully the battery, because it was beautiful.

    Pedulla-Was lucky enough to get to play a Thunderbass, and damn that is a fine piece of bass too. The Barts sounded great, got a lot of tone out of them and not as dark as barts usually seem to me. Excellent bass. I am almost thinking of going back for a second run with it. Same impressions go for the Rapture 5 jazz. Excellent, great variety of tones, fit and finish were perfect which is odd for a GC floor model.
    I really need to give Barts another try, I was liking them a lot.

    Also impressed with the 400RB IV-That is a quality little head for the cash.

    I would love to hear Bongo 5 owners thoughts, as I am not ready to give up on them just yet, but playing 3 of them, one of them out of box leaves me pretty cold.
  2. Bongos may play and sound good, but am I the only one that thinks they are the most ugly bass ever made?

  3. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I think we all used to think that, but they've come to grow on (most of) us. i actually like them, they're a step away from the norm, and the couple I tried were nice playing and feeling... the sound wasn't much of my thing, but I could see getting one if it was given to me :p

  4. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004

    They look very different hanging on a stand in a store and being played. I think they look great, and sound great. At least the 4s. Oh well.
    So... What do you guys think of the Conklin GT-5s?
  5. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    No, we didn't "all used to think that." I've liked them from the beginning. So have many others.

    Don't know what to tell you about the 5s you played. I've got two 5 string Bongos, and the B string is amazing on both.
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    What cab would you playing through, maybe it cant handle the low b.
  7. Like most things about bass, its a matter of personal opinion. When I first saw the Bongo, i thought it looked like the back-end of a donkey, but it's design has grown on me over the few months.

    On the EB forum, the Bongo players have posted a whole heap of pics of their Bongo's and some of them are quite stunning. Haven't played one (no lefties...grrr) but from all reports they are awesome.

    I just gigged my SR5 for the first time last night and WOW :hyper: Just amazing tone!! I have no doubt that EBMM are making some exceptionally classy instruments.
  8. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004

    Ahh, forgot that part of the story!
    Trace Elliot 4x10 (Used)
    Ampeg 8x10
    SWR (Workingmans I think) 1x15
    And a 2x12, I forget which one.

    Believe me, I really tried! Most of the other 5 strings I tried sounded superb through the TE cab.
  9. Wasabi1264


    Oct 3, 2004
    President: MusicDojo.com
    My SR5 is going to always be with me. I had one a few years back, sold it like an idiot, and three years later, bought another one! I'm never selling mine, even though I'm about to get an F Bass. While I imagine my F will get 99.5% of my gigging and practicing time, the SR5 will always be there for a change of pace and tone. It's just been a solid performer, with tons of guts live, great versatility (if you use your hands and ears), and nice solid feel.
  10. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    OK, excuse me for being general, cos the general opinion here when they first came out was that they were ugly. Obviously I didn't mean EVERY LAST PERSON on here thought they were ugly...

  11. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    Yes, and it's been done and done and done. And overdone.

    Thanks for playing, though.

    I have three Bongo fivers. No problems or complaints at all with the B string on any of those, and yes, I've had a Modulus fiver and some Laklands and so on.

    Might it be that you just don't like the Bongo 5 neck profile?

    The four bangers are devilishly good, aren't they?

    Anyway, not every bass fits everyone.
  12. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004

    The four strings are bloody amazing! I wish I felt comfortable on a 4 string again. I did not love the neck profile, it felt pretty fat to me. Which is wierd, because I liked the Warwicks baseball bat neck. Maybe I just need to play the Bongo 5s more?
  13. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    Well, I don't know. I know that I played Stingray 5s for a long time and the Bongo 5 neck seems sleeker than that.

    If it feels fat to you, I have not a clue.

    Truly. But it's true, every bass feels different to every person.

    You gotta love what you play, right?
  14. Plenty of us think they are the ugliest bass ever made... me included.
  15. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    Well aren't you HELPFUL.

    Didn't your mom teach you any manners?
  16. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    Man I would have been so stressed having walked in to the store with the intention of buying a particular bass and then not liking it, but you are surrounded by dozens of sweet basses and your cash is burning a hole in your pocket....arrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh.
    One word....stress.
  17. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Sounds like you had a great time! While the Ernie Ball basses are cool, the Pedulla's and Spector's Euro-Series basses would be my personal choices.

    I haven't heard the Tone Pump for myself, but I've read it has a lot of output. Hopefully you're right, it's just in need of a fresh battery.

    I really like the Pedulla Thunderbass; my local GC had a nice one on display, but my fear of divorce and child support scared me away! :crying: :D

    Also, IMO/IME Spector & Pedulla's customer support is the tops. Good luck, I hope you find the bass you're looking for.

    - Art
  18. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Seems to me you did the right thing not buying a bass you didn't love. My experience is that I either love a bass right off the bat, or it doesn't do anything for me. Maybe you'd get used to it after a while, but it would stink to be underwhelmed by your new acquisition. When you buy a new bass, you should be wanting to play it constantly, enraging your significant other and putting your life on hold. ;) All the basses I've bought have "spoken" to me in a way that wouldn't allow me to leave the store without them. Keep looking, and you'll know "the one" when you play it. :D
  19. How about this: I think they're ugly as sin and I hate the way they feel and play. They sound pretty decent at least, but its nothing without the feel.
  20. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    You know, I'm beginning to think we need a sticky akin to the one John did on extended range basses.

    You don't like 'em?

    Then how about a big cup of STFU?

    This crap really gets old.

    Okay, close the thread, ban me, I'm ready.