Hi everyone I've been reading TB for a month or two now,but this is my first post. I'm currently looking to upgrade from my OLP Stingray. For a while I was thinking of an Am Fender Jazz Deluxe, but the Musicman Sterling and Bongos caught my eye lately. I really enjoy that punchy growl that they get. Yesterday I went to Guitar Center to check out the much raved about bongo bass. It seems all there musicman basses were on clearance, bongos and sterlings were about $800!! They had a black bongo, a lava red bongo, and a red sterling. My problem was I can't decide between them. I picked up the sterling and really liked it. The neck was so smooth and thin, the bass was so light, it just seemed to play so nice. The sound it had was great, a real punchy bass. It appears it had a good setup and the pickups were raised pretty high to the strings which was helping it with the throaty growl sound. After that I tried the two bongos both of which weren't setup that good I think. The orange one had pretty high action though and felt like the strings had more tension then the black bongo. The black one felt better with lower action, but the sound on both of them just wasn't as puncy or growly as the sterling. I also didn't like the neck as much compared to the sterling, and the painted finish on the back of it. But that is something I could get use to I guess, my main concern is sound. Reading about how the bongo can get almost any tone, that of the ray and the jazz bass, really grabbed my attention. I then had the humbucker raised on the black bongo. It def made it sound better, and more of that growl that the sterling had. I also noticed that the sterling had each metal pole pickup on the humbuck set to different heights, where as the bongos were all set flat. Can the bongo's individual poles be set to different heights? If that's the case, that could be another reason that can throw the comparison off. So now I'm stuck trying to decide on which bass, and I want to get it soon because of the awesome sales price. The two bongos weren't setup as well as the sterling I believe. I want to buy the sterling and liked it the best when comparing due to feel and sound, but with reading all the positive bongo response and great reviews and how its better then the sterling, I'm stuck between the two. I'm thinking the bongos didn't get a fair chance in comparison because of the poor setup, and when I adjusted the pickup height I started liking it a lot more. Is it true that the bongo can get the same sound the sterling can then some? Do you think the sterling sound is pretty versatile too? Can it get close to the jbass sound? Does the feel of the neck play a big role in deciding basses for you guys or would you sacrifice that a little for sound? Would they setup both basses the same for better comparison for a clearance item, especially since it's Guitar Center.? After reading about it so much I wanted to get a bongo, but that sterling just sounded nicer, but that could be do to setup. So if you guys give me reassuring advice that the bongo is all the sterling sound and more, I would buy the bongo if it had better sound even though the sterling neck and body feels nicer. One more question, I liked the lava red bongo color a lot more then their black one, but the black one sounded nicer, strings pressed smoother, and had a lot less tension on the strings. Could all this be due to setup, or is it inherent differences in the manufacturing? I don't want the color to stop me, but I would go for the red if a setup would fix it. Sorry for ranting and such a long post. Looking forward to hear your options so I can make a decision. Thanks a lot!