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Lakland 55-94 vs. MM Bongo

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I finally realized that in order to get a 55-94 to sound like a Stingray, you have to boost all the eq controls. Once I did that, I was able to really get a full flavor of the Lakland. More than ever, I am leaning towards scrapping together the bucks needed for a boutique level bass like a Lakland, Lull P, or Sadowsky Metro. Although I'm no great talent, I have owned boutique basses in the past, and I do miss that level of quality. Iam curious, however, about how five string Bongos stack up to Laklands. Is the sound close at all? Let me know. :bassist:
  2. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    Imo lakland murders bongo with rusty fork through the left eye and coming out the right only to enter the nose and into the cranium. Meaning lakland is better. i never liked the look of the bongo, then i played it and realized i didn't like the sound either. stingray is a lot better IMO. but lakland beats all :bag:
  3. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    There's definitely a huge price difference between a 55-94 and a Bongo, so there's a good chance that Lakland is going to be higher quality. IMO they're both very versatile and equally as comfortable, but the Lakland's playability is maybe a little better. What you may say about the looks of the Bongo is up to you. Personally, I have one Bongo, but no Laklands.
  4. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    Yeesh, thanks for the visual. Now go get your medicine, mmmkay?

    Listen, the Lakland 55-94 is one heck of a great bass. Mine was terrific on all counts, except I found the Barts much too polite. Yes, cranking the internals can get you more snap, but Barts are Barts. If you like 'em, there you go. I don't. As good as the Lakland played and Lord Lord Lord it was a purdy thang (Inca Silver with rosewood board), I realized I wasn't getting the nasty snarl I need in order to survive.

    No. The Lakland, unless you have Duncans in it, is always going to be somewhat more refined. The Bongo, especially the dual humbucker model, is always going to be somewhat more aggressive. Whether that fits the bill for you or not, I don't know, but that's how I see the difference in tone. The Bongo, of course, can be toned down fairly easily by dialing in more neck pickup, playing closer to the neck and/or stringing with flats.

    The detail work on the Bongos, as with other EBMM basses, is exceptional. As good as Lakland? Well, close enough where I don't miss my 55-94. And, sick mofo that I am, I'm working on my fourth Bongo.

    But that's me. My ears, my hands, my brain. As they say, YMMV, but if you want an INFORMED opinion from someone who has owned various Laklands and Bongos, I'm your huckleberry.
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Bovinehost, I think you really explained the difference. The 55-94 sounds Stingrayish when everything is on ten, but it is generally a more refined sounding instrument. I think that being more refined allows the Lakland to be more versatile than the classic Music Man. That said, the couple of times I played a four string Bongo I was impressed.

    As for the price difference, I know the Lakland is much expensive, but I think once you get in the $1,200+ price range, the increase in quality per dollar becomes increasingly small. You know, the principle of diminishing returns.
  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Having done a little more checking, I am finding Bongos a more and more attractive alternative. I like the sheer output of Musicman pickups, and the prices on Bongos are great! They are significantly cheaper than the prices on SR5s. To me, the greatest advantage of the Lakland is its beautiful finish along with its mellower sound. The problem is that a brash instrument can mellowed, but a mellow instrument will have a hard time being "in your face" aggressive. Since I like the power of the MM electronics and I know that Ernie Ball quality is first rate, I find myself once again turning away from those beautiful but so expensive, Laklands. :meh:
  7. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    You won't find me bashing Laklands. Great basses and fabulous customer service. But the USAs are EXPENSIVE, no?

    I like a thumpy, old school tone with a bit of snarl to it, and the Bongo does it without breaking a sweat.

    Hope you get what you want; either way you go, it's hard to lose.

    Bongo or a 55-94? Win-win.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    The fork was first dipped in nitric acid.