P Bass vs Bongo

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Circus, Feb 2, 2005.

Which will be my new baby?

Poll closed Feb 9, 2005.
  1. P-Bass

    66 vote(s)
  2. Bongo

    61 vote(s)
  3. Other, please specify

    25 vote(s)
  1. I want to buy a new bass this spring. Now I love my stingray 4, which is why I am not selling it, but I was thinking either of these. P Bass would be an american, probably switch out the pu for a sd quarter pounder, and the bongo, well, I would probably leave it as is. I am playing in a pop rock band, the key for me is a bass that I can use on a super mellow acoustic track, and use the same bass to rock out on a heavier song. The Bongo is definately more versatile than the P Bass, but the P Bass is THE sound, so I am conflicted. I guess if I could find an older P Bass with some killer mojo, I would trade/sell my stingray to help pay for it. My budget is probably around 2000 or 2500 Canadian, I could probably find more but I don't want to go crazy.

    Also, I am going to Grant Macewan for music next year, so I need something that will work well playing jazz at school. Stingray could work for that, just have to dial in a good finger style tone, but I think something else would work better. Anywho, if you have any other suggestions fire em at me! Later
  2. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    Voted Fender P.
    But I wouldn"t even switch the pickup.
    But that's just me.
  3. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I may be biased since I have a '78 P up for sale right now, but I would go with the P.
  4. bino

    bino Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    Another vote for the Pbass. Everybody needs one. It will give you a different vibe than all MusicMan. Keep the stingray, buy a solid late model, and save a few bucks.
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I say get the P-bass, you already have the signature Musicman tone with your Stingray. The P-bass will be a nice switch. I love the idea of having a simple passive bass. If I were a working musician, I would always keep a P-bass or a clone.
  6. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever and say with complete and total conviction that a Bongo bass is the better instrument if you're looking for quality, sound, durability, versatility, customer service and just about anything else that a bass would have to offer.

    Too tired at the moment to give specifics but I have lots of experience with both basses.
  7. stretch80


    Jan 31, 2005
    A P bass is actually very versatile. Back off the tone control, and you get the ultimate full, round, rootsy tone -- sits great w/ acoustic guitars. Leave the tone wide open, crank it up, and you have a classic rock tone. Pretenders, Clash, U2, ....

    I haven't played a Bongo..
  8. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    Joe, on the point of durability of the Bongo, I'm afraid you'll have to wait for 10 or 15 years to give an accurate opinion on this... ;) :D
  9. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
  10. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Agreed. I'm going off of the company reputation and my Sterling wich has been beat to all hell without ever having a single problem.
  11. Stephen Soto

    Stephen Soto

    Oct 12, 2003
    I would say the P-bass, great sound!
  12. Wow lots of support for the P Bass. I have always wanted one as they are an industry standard, and between that and my ray I could probably cover any practical sound I would need. Also, P-Bass strung with flats would be awesome for playing jazz at school. Thanks for all of the replies guys, and quick too! Well keep em coming! and xyllion, you have a pm ;)
  13. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Jeez. The customer service thing: When I bought the bass I couldn't get to the truss rod because it's situated in a dug out hole at the bottom of the neck that an allen wrench don't fit in. I called tech support. After floundering a bit, the technition told me that they designed them like the old fenders and that the neck had to be removed in order to adjust the neck.

    Someone at Guitar center showed me the T-shaped allen wrench. No neck removal necessary.

    When I told them about the slipping heads they sent me to nearest authorized repair person, who agreed they slipped, yet wouldn't/couldn't do anything about it. Only show me a bunch of the same broken heads, and charge me for different ones if I wanted them.

    The durability thing I already mentioned above, but I'll add that the strap pegs never slipped on my MM, when they did on the P-bass tech support advised me to stuff the holes with toothpicks and glue the pegs back in.

    The finish on the P-bass had a million spider like cracks and swirls in it after it was about 2 years old..... the mid control was hit or miss and I was told it had nothing to do with the pot itself, but some sort of shielding or grounding issue.

    Yes - this bass was a lemon, but as I've already said, I've had some other fenders in my possession (lent to me with the possibility of buying) and they almost always had similar or worse faults.

    Lastly - don't take my word for it, go into a guitar center and run your hand down the sides of some warwicks, musicmans, and then fenders. I've done it and even showed my girlfriend who agreed - the fenders (not every single one i'll agree) can cut you up. They claim their wood shrinks or something. I don't know. Doesn't happen with the other basses.

    I'm done here. I have a grudge against fender obviously - but my experience is all true and not exaggerated. If anyone likes fender, then buy fender. Fender and I don't have a good relationship.

    I'm going to sleep now. :)
  14. Wow thats a horror story. Yeah I definately like the worn in neck feeling like my stingray. When I was buying, I played a mim deluxe Jazz, and that was the first thing I noticed, the neck was razor sharp!
  15. dcr

    dcr Supporting Member

    And that's why all the support.

  16. Mobay45

    Mobay45 The artist formerly known as "Big Daddy"

    Apr 28, 2004
    Irving, TX
    I have a '79 P bass that I've had since it was new and I really like it, but I voted for the Bongo. I just can't see choosing a bass that is passive with only a tone control over an active bass with a 4 band EQ on board. Because of it's versatility of tone choices alone, the Bongo would come closer to meeting your needs in my opinion.
  17. 0557


    Apr 12, 2004
    I can tell you after purchasing a Bongo, I can get nearly any tone variation I need. If you play different styles, this is a bass that will grow with you and keep up with demanding playing situations. P basses are great for their tone. thats it!
    I like them but I sold mine years ago.

  18. I voted Bongo. I have owned several P-Basses and two Bongos.

    I based my vote simply on the number of usable tones in each bass. I have found that I can get a very accurate P-Bass tone out of my Bongo, a Single H. The neck p/u on my old Dual H could do it as well, but Ive never played a P that could cop some of the Bongos tones.
  19. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham

    Nov 14, 2002
    I have both....and while the Bongo has a very broad palette of great tones it doent have the classic passive kinda hollow organic sound of the P.. even my old deluxe P which was active couldnt quite get that sound. So i think the solution is, you need to get both!! You dont have to spend much to get good classic P-bass tone. You just have to try a lot of different ones till you find a good player. Then save a few more dollars and find a good deal on a used Bongo, and here i think you wouldnt have to worry about trying them out as theyre quality is consistantly even.
  20. doublemuff216


    Jun 14, 2004
    Astoria NY
    I voted other but it is still essentially a p-bass. I love p-basses . I love bongos. Why not get something that has a precision pup and a humbucker... AMERICAN DELUXE P-BASS!!!!! WOOHOO! sweet bass right there