I'm not certain that this belongs in basses, since it probably touches on technique, and amplification as well. However, its oriented on one bass, so I'm putting it here. Once again, I'm on the verge of trying to trade off my bongo. Here's the deal. I can't get the tones I like on it to last. I love the versatility - or at least the idea of the versatility. Its a 4HH. The EQ on it is great. By careful attention to which pickup, and how I EQ it, I can get a lot of different tones. Main problem, though, is that I'm having troubles getting a nice 'balanced' tone out of it. Its either very deep and round and warm, or thin and brittle. I'm looking for something sort of 'fire and forget' that will work well for finger funk, light slap, and some standard fingerplucking. I'm playing with a dance/funk cover band. I've tried (probably too hard) EQing its preamp all over the place. I've tried Rotosounds, Chromes, and elixirs, that I can think of off the top of my head. Chromes are great for rock stuff, but somewhat lacking in upper mid/high 'bite' for slap/pop. May be poor technique there - I'm not a stellar slapper - but I get great slap tone from the neck pup of my old Ibanez with PJ pups. Rotosounds sounded good to me, for the first few days. Then they rapidly got too flat in tone. Elixirs .. had good slap/pop tones, but I couldn't quite get the warmth I was looking for. Ultimately, the bass sounds pretty modern, no matter how I run it, and I think I'm playing stuff that calls for more of a vintagey tone. Part of it is likely amplification. I've got a Mesa/Boogie Bass 400+, running through ampeg 115 and 210s. Problem here is that the pre amp gives a pretty hot signal, so I end up with some dirt/mud on my tone from the get go (and yes, I can roll off the volume coming off the bass, but I seem to hear some loss of dynamic range when I do it enough to get a totally clean signal). I have an old Hartke 3500 that actually gives a tone I'm happier with, somewhat - so I'm guessing part of my tone woes are going to be solved by a move to a better hyprid amp (I'm thinking of possibly trying to trade the Mesa for a Genz - I hear nothing but good stuff about Genz). But what I'm thinking is that maybe ... I'm just ultimately not a Bongo guy. I'm not a huge fan of the 1 5/8" nut neck, but I've adapted to that to the point where I don't really notice the difference between it and a jazz style neck. As the music I'm playing is calling for more slap and pop, I'm finding that the neck MM pup is getting more and more in my way. I keep reading about P basses, and more and more finding myself wishing for a passive P with a jazz width neck. Maybe even a passive jazz. I've only played active basses, and I'm starting to think that maybe I'm missing something obvious here. Any suggestions - EQ settings or strings I may have overlooked? I could live with the personal playability niggles if I could get a tone I loved from it. Should I sell or trade off the bongo, and get something vintage styled and passive? Would I be happier with the Mesa head if I did so? (I really want to love the mesa head, but I just don't think its playing nice with the high output active basses.) Ack. Help, please!