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 voted Bongo for the simple (to my eyes, all things considered) fact that it would likely be easier and cheaper to purchase a Bongo now, and if you were to find you needed a P-bass later for school or other purposes find a serviceable used/copy for far less money than the reverse. Even a year from now, with EB/MM's output on the comparatively low side Bongos will be on the high side of used whereas it's much easier to find a quality P or P-inspired bass.

    ...plus, Bongos simply rule. ;)
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    For versatility, it is hard to beat a Bongo.

    But for the tone you are talking about, a stock P bass is the way to go.
  3. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA

    I'm with Jim. The Bongo is simply the most versatile bass currently available, IMHO. That's why I bought two. :D But, there is a simple beauty to PBasses, too. There is something inherently musical about that passive pickup and single tone knob that just fits into so many different styles.

    I can get PBass-like tones from my Bongos, but they aren't PBasses. One's classic, one's forward (or, if you hate the way they look--backwards) looking. One's passive with a single tone knob (not that you can't get more than one tone from it) and the other is designed for lots of versatility.

    I like them both, but honestly I don't think it's a fair comparison to begin with.
  4. blaire


    Jul 15, 2003
    The land of Rice

    Totally agree
  5. Rich_Briere


    Jul 31, 2003
    Bongo.............that's really all that needs to be said. But, YOU play them both, side by side.........and then decide. You'll find the right P-bass for you down the road apiece. As always, just my opinion. :)
  6. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    Remember--it's the WHOLE signal chain that matters. So, depending on your style, strings, amp, and cabs...the audience may not even notice the difference between a P-bass tone and the "closest-to-a-P-bass" setting on a Bongo.

    What does matter is your playing ability, which can be influenced significantly by the shape and dimensions of the neck. I, personally, find P-bass necks uncomfortable to play on in the lower frets. The tones can be similar enough that I'd suggest you choose the one that FEELS right to you.
  7. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I would like to have a Bongo, but a P would come first.
  8. 5 strings is the new standard you know. Having E as your lowest note when you are playing with guitars is okay, but with wind instruments, the need of a low Eb and Db comes soon. Maybe a bongo 5 ?

    You might also consider an upright bass, if you'll be studying jazz.
  9. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA

    Bongo = Toilet Seat isn't an "opinion." It's simply a derisive comment.

    And, the guy who can't look at a musical instrument without thinking "potty" really shouldn't be telling anyone else to "grow up," Sport.

    BTW--what the hell is a P**t? Should I have been offended?

    As it is, I'm sure Circus will take your well crafted, and thoughtful explanation of why the P Bass is a better choice for him under the current circumstances he faces. I mean, your comments certainly really get to the heart of the matter in the comparison. Thankfully, you left all of the meaningless aspects of the instrument out of your review--ie playability, tone, options, flexibility, durability, etc and got to the heart of the matter--the appearance.

    Your informative non-troll post will surely help him make his decision more carefully and informed. For that, Sir, we all thank your continued display of thoughtful, constructive posts in this thread.

  10. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    O.K. Then,
    The Bongo is a very well crafted instrument, plenty of good sounds available, not too heavy, plays O.K.- ish.
    (at least the one I tried was)
    P Bass - Classic Thump, Buy a good one and It will outlast you.
    Plenty of upgrades, easily available, good re sale prices (especially when they gain "vintage" status).

    Unfortunately.... The Bongo still looks awful.


  11. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    At least my guitarist's dad was original enough to come up with "So, does Pepto Bosmol know you stole the stomach from their commercials for this blues gig? Every time I look at it, I think about my esophagus." :D That, folks, is funny stuff.

    But, to simply come in with "Heh heh....durrrrr....the Bongo looks like a toilet" simply makes you look like a parroting simpleton. I mean--if you are going to make the effort to type a post, at least try and be original, or at least cutting edge. SOMETHING. I mean, if you can only repeat something that was said 1 1/2 years ago, you're no better than, well.....I'll say it......a drummer. :smug:
  12. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    There. That wasn't so hard, was it? :D

    You certainly can't argue with the simple beauty of a Precision. And, the upgrade option is definitely a selling point of a PBass.

    And, it is a reality that some bands might see the Bongo, and get a preconceived idea of what you are as a player. So, a Precision Bass is a good safe bass if you want to play in a lot of different scenarios or styles. If you are the house band for a production of Grease, for example, you would certainly be better off with a PBass on the bandstand in era appropriate costumes than a Bongo. These are practical considerations.
  13. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    BTW--my "other" was a Lakland Skyline Bob Glaub. Same price as a MIA Fender, WAY better construction and features.
  14. Mobay45

    Mobay45 The artist formerly known as "Big Daddy"

    Apr 28, 2004
    Irving, TX
    There, I fixed it. :D
  15. klorence


    Nov 21, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    congrats, guys. glad this thread came back together (at least i think it did). funny thing about the internet: writing something down is way longer-lasting than saying it out loud to yourself.

    anyhow, as someone who has been playing jazz (as well as countless other styles of music) for a pretty long time, i thought i'd chime in w/my 2-cents.

    I've never owned a P-bass (or a J-bass, for that matter), but on occasion wished I had one for the requirements of the gig or song. That said, i've been able to *approximate* a P-sound w/my MM5. I've found my MM5 to be a very versatile bass, single pickup & all. The selector switch/active electronics really help with versatility, though.

    I also own/have owned a number of "high-end" basses, that lend/lent themselves to certain things that a P (or a MM, for that matter) just wouldn't -- sometimes, the Yellowjackets' "Seven Stars" just *needs* a particular sound to sound right. That's just my opinion, YMMV.

    If a manufacturer made a bass that could cover everything from "Blister in the Sun" to "A Remark You Made", that'd be fine w/me. I'd save a lot of money & still be able to all the gigs I do with just one bass. I haven't found that manufacturer (yet). ;)

    As for getting ready to go to music school, I'd opt for the Bongo. I think you'll find more sounds available in it, and if you're studying "music" (which is a collective term), you might need them.

    That said, if you score a gig with a Motown cover band, save the bread from your first couple of gigs & get a P as well.

  16. matrok


    Jan 10, 2005
    Ferndale, Michigan
    I just got a Rumblefish 5 and now I want a 4 string as well, preferably in 69 Orange. Great bass, great tone, can't say enough about it.
  17. realdeal

    realdeal Inactive

    Dec 10, 2004
    Name-calling and argumentation aside:
    I think that comparisons between a Bongo and P-Bass aren't realistic.
    ...Kind of like deciding which is a better vehicle to drive, a
    Corvette or an SUV-they are two different machines!

    Bongos, whether you find them attractive or not, are pretty much new-wave design as far as pups and eq. They are very well-made, powerful and versatile instruments, with a great range of tones and a lot of impact. I really like them.

    I have an 30+ year old P-Bass (among others). It has a round, passive,classic tone that I don't think any other bass can dupicate. It works well for R&B, jazz, Blues, funk, everything.

    It can't get the amazing attack and impact that an active instrument, especially one like Bongo, can. Nor can the Bongo
    for instance sound like a passive alder P-Bas....

    Got to have one of each type to cover the full range.

  18. bass4820


    Jan 3, 2005
    The great thing about a p bass is that the tone and style is timeless,

    where as the bongo will fade in popularity,(not saying that it doesn't have a great sound) but i don't think the bongo will not last since it's Not a classic design like the p.

    I think in a couple years it will be like the rest of the steinbergers and 80's metal basses. just not something that everyone will want to play in years to come, unless your going through a midlife crisis. IMHO. ;)

    But who knows it could be the revolution of new bass designs :eyebrow:
  19. lyle

    lyle Guest

    Jan 10, 2004
    Vernon, B.C. Canada
    my vote was for the bongo, get the jazzman set up and that should be great. Or in that fact just get a jazz :)
  20. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    So, because you don't think it's a classic design, it will fail? :eyebrow: Who cares if everyone wants to play one? From every indication I've seen, EB can't make them fast enough. If they wanted to build a lowest common denominator bass, they would have.

    I agree with one thing you said ,though: I don't think the Bongo will not last, too.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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