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I've been demoing SR5s vs. Bongo 5s for the last month...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HeavyDuty, Dec 16, 2004.


  1. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    ... and much to my surprise, I'm finding I prefer the Stingray 5. Maybe it's because a Sterling is my main bass?

    A new GC recently opened between work and home, so I stop in about once a week and paw the wares. They have a pair of Bongo 5ers and a Lava Pearl Stingray 5 which I usually thump on for a few minutes each visit.

    I still really like the Bongos, but that SR5 neck feels like coming home. Maybe because the control layout and pickup placement is reminiscent of my Sterling?

    I'm finding this to be a somewhat distressing revelation, since I've had such a good Bongo jones going. I have absolutely zero dollars right now for toys, so it’s all academic at the moment.
     
  2. Hah, a music store between work and home can only spell trouble! :D
     
  3. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    Where's this new joint? I keep going to the GC in Highland Park and its selection is less than stellar. They have two or three Bongos there none of which sound good which is ridiculous. And the SR5 they have as been there longer than I've been playing bass which is like 4 years now. So sad.
     
  4. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I like the stingray5 more than the bongo5. I just love the traditional MM vibe.
     
  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Aurora/Naperville, on Route 59 north of New York St. next to Expo and PetSmart.
     
  6. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    Maybe that's my problem with the Bongo... I love Sterlings and SR5's, they're two of my all time faves but I'm having a hard time warming up to Bongos and I don't even hate the way they look! I want to love it so badly but haven't found one I like yet :meh:

    Darn, it's out west. Cool, thanks Ken.
     
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Oh, don't get me wrong - I like Bongos lots, but the SR5 just feels better to me than a Bongo 5.

    Maybe I just need to redirect my Bongo Lust© back to a four - *those* kick serious booty, I poop you not.
     
  8. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I saw and played a really decent used SR5 at a different GC last night (Villa Park). I can't afford it right now, so if anyone is interested in a Pearl Blue/rosewood 2001 SR5 for $875 (negotiable, I'm sure), give them a call.
     
  9. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I tried both out briefly on a visit to GC in the Cities a few months ago, and personally, I prefer the SR5 (based on a very quick run with each, played through a Mesa M-Pulse 600+410 cab).

    And while the Bongo's looks are maybe growing on me a bit, I still don't know if they are for me. Of course, this is all IMHO.
     
  10. bovinehost

    bovinehost

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    I love my Stingray 5.

    I love my Bongo 5.

    I love my Bongo 4.

    Some of those sentences should be plural.

    They all do slightly different things. Get one of each. Such an easy answer, eh?
     
  11. Ok, so I'm not the only lunatic who likes the old regular MMs better than the new Bongos. I've only really played one bongo, though, so I don't have the most educated opinion. The Bongo that I did play didn't impress me tone-wise.
     
  12. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I really like the idea of getting a single pickup, five string Bongo. I just wish that someone would post and give me an idea of how single pup Bongo compares to a Stingray or Sterling.
     
  13. hands5

    hands5

    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    none
    With the exception of the Bongo body obviously being different I,personally didn't really feel or hear the difference betrween it and the SR5.Maybe the Bongo had a slight more tonal variety than the SR5. :meh:
     
  14. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    This was a single HB Bongo? I'd expect it to be a little more P-ish because of the pickup position, but I've never gotten my hands on one to try.

    To me, the SR5 and Bongo 5 necks feel rather different.
     
  15. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    I think I saw ebmsicmanlvr or whatever his handle his has a single humbucker Bongo... maybe pm him.
     
  16. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Heres a question. If they just took all the Bongo electronics and put it in the classic stingray shape, would you all still dig it?
     
  17. I would, but the Bongo's 24 fret neck is a strong selling point for me.

    Ken & Ryan: I think it takes a nice long sit-down with a Bongo to really appreciate what its pre amp can do. I played two at the NYC get-together, and I was just starting to realize how versatile they are.

    Bongos = :)

    Mike
     
  18. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    I'm kinda with Heavy on this one, in that I like Stingray 5s better than Bongo 5s - but I like the Bongo 4 better than the SR4. And Sterlings are simply even betta'.
     
  19. bovinehost

    bovinehost

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    Those Bongo 4-bangers are really hot-rods.

    I've always liked - but not really loved - Sterlings. I don't know why. They sound great, they play great, and I've had three or four of them...but when I'm headed out the door, I think - "Nah." So they stayed home and eventually were traded for other stuff.

    But Bongo 4s are really amazing. The neck's a bit smaller than a Stingray although not quite Sterling-esque, but they just SOUND bigger, somehow.

    Can't find words. Must consult dictionary.
     
  20. tekhna

    tekhna

    Nov 7, 2004
    I played both the other day, and to my suprise came out liking the Bongo more. A lot more. I liked it too much. I got to play a dual pickup model, and the variety of tones and usability of them blew me away. The 24 fret neck, and the slimmer nature of it sold me. I do like the sculpted looks of the SR5 better, but the pickguard is a huge turnoff. If they put a bongo neck with all 24 glorious frets, and bongo electronics into a 5 string stingray without the absurd pickguard, life would be wonderful. But as it stands, and I am desperatly trying to find a way to get a Bongo 5.