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. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    Aug 8, 2002
    North of GTA, ON, Canada
    Long&McQuade Employee
    A little bit of intrepidation stepping into this "Full-O-Flames" thread but, I'll toss my $.02 into the friendly discussion.

    I have a 2001 Precision American with Fender flatwounds and I love what it does with that thump and woody bark that we all have come to know and love on countless tunes.

    I think my Fender would be the "last bass standing" if I had to sell everything, it just has a "vibe".

    On the other hand....

    The time I test-drove a Bongo a couple of months ago, I was amazed. The tone out of the upper registers was just so open sounding and true, the evenness of the response up and down the neck and across the strings was very impressive.

    I sounded better than my meager talent gave me any right to. Very versatile, very playable (I've only played the 4-string), and it really has its own "vibe". It's different from the Fender, but has a unique feel in its own right.

    The Precision's not entirely a one-trick pony but face it, it kinda is. This debate is like apples and oranges, both are needed for a balanced diet.

    The styling of the Bongo is in some ways a turn-off to me with a sort of 80's glam look to it, and in some ways doesn't make sense. Why do they use traditional old-school cloverleaf tuners with that head-stock style????

    If MusicMan could put the Bongo preamp and the double humbuckers in a 35" scale Stingray, I'd buy that bass.
  2. Mobay45

    Mobay45 The artist formerly known as "Big Daddy"

    Apr 28, 2004
    Irving, TX
    At this point in this thread it is a pretty good testament to the Bongo that it's holding it's own (46-43 in favor of a Bongo) to a bass that's been around for over 50 years. I'll bet that the upright players in the early '50s thought that the Fender Precision would be a flash in the pan too!
  3. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Nonsense. I've lasted more than 30 years without ever tasting an apple or an orange.

    I do, however, need a Bongo.
  4. bearbass


    Jan 28, 2005
    north carolina
    I had a rickenbacker 20 years ago and that will be my next bass, for my retirement collection
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    just felt i needed to post a pic of my toilet seat


    damn. my bass is just sooo ugly i can't stand it.

    hmmm. don't know why the pic won't post. oh well. perhaps it was so offensive the website rejected it.
  6. Mobay45

    Mobay45 The artist formerly known as "Big Daddy"

    Apr 28, 2004
    Irving, TX
  7. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Inactive

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    I believe the Bongo has a retro-40's deco look, and the finish and pickguard combos are very cool. In fact, all ernie balls have great finishes and looks. I played a Bongo many times in stores, and the sound is killer. Better then a stingray or sterling (INMHO).

    Having said that, I have 3 p-basses. All strung with flats.

    A better comparison would be j-bass or Bongo.

    I love my p-basses, but it is hard to get a bridge-PUP type tone out of them, for jazz. The sound is not quite focused in my opinion. Therefore, I believe the Bongo would be better for jazz.

    The P-bass is great for rock in all it's manifestations, 70's style fusion jazz and funk, soul, r and b, country, roots, surf, etc..

    and it's the instrument that I rely on the most, and the first one I always pull out, and it makes engineers smile. :)

    If it were me, I would seek out a passive fender p-bass with the bridge PUP option. I am not sure which one that is, but it is not the american deluxe. That's active. I would also see if that bridge PUP could be a j-style, not a MM style humbucker. I don't believe the big MM style humbuckers are as good for jazz as the single coil J.
  8. Are you talking about the p bass special? One of the punk bands around where I live, the singer uses an old fender with a p/j configuration that was his dads. Now that was a nice bass, sounding and looking. Had lots of nice punch. Maybe I should have been more specific about what I am doing. I am studying electric bass at grant macewan, which they say focuses on pop, rock, and jazz. But in reality, it is a jazz school. Double bass is a totally different program from electric bass. I have never heard that having a 5 string is the new standard, but a bongo 5 is very tempting. In all honesty, I want both a bongo and a p bass. Bongo, P bass, and my stingray would literally cover every sound I would ever need, and cost about as much as getting 1 boutique bass. Anyway, lots of good opinions and information in this thread, thanks for the help so far!

    A big part of this is looks, I know it shouldn't play that big of a role if it sounds awesome, but I am a shallow person :) Well, not really, but I like to play something that looks nice. I love the bongo headstock actually. Has anyone recorded with a bongo? I don't think there really is anything better than a P-bass for recording, engineers and producers eyes always seem to light up when someone pulls out a passive p bass. But, is 3 basses really necessary me? not at all. I am 19 and am by no means a professional. I guess I am just restating what I said before, the P-bass is the sound, and the bongo is a swiss army bass of sounds. I especially like the spork!

    I guess I have alot of options in my price range, although up here in canada its pretty much fender, warwick, and musicman everywhere you look.
  9. Walbassman


    Nov 27, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    Go with a Rickenbacker....(I like to think outside the box)
  10. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I played a Bongo a couple weeks ago and must admit, I was impressed, but everybody has to have a good ole P!
  11. I forgot to mention, my new band is a pop/rock band with a female singer, you can call it wuss rock if you want. I've been into bands like Jimmy Eat World and Semisonic and Ben Folds Five, so that would be the kind of music I am playing outside of school. The key is having something that will work well in both an acoustic setting, and in a full stage volume setting. Remember I will still have my Stingray to fall back on. Unless I found it completely unnecessary with my new bass.
  12. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    I voted "Other."

    I have a Fender Stu Hamm Urge Bass-II... all black, except for the chrome hardware and brown shell pick-guard. Later, probably a year from now, if not sooner, I'm going to get Fender's Marcus Miller Jazz Bass-V. I'll most likely go with the natural look...

    I would love to have a custom-ordered Peavey Cirrus-5... maybe... someday... :cool:
  13. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    No no, it's not the bass, it's you! Your clothes are just too d**n boring! Put a little colour into them ;)
  14. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    thank you. what did i do wrong????

    also - i've got to take some good pictures of this bass. it really looks neat. the graphite color is a sparkly one, can't tell from that pic. can't tell much from that pic actually except that i have an orange growth in my ear.
    i also must mention that I get more compliments on the looks of that bass than any other bass i've ever owned. in fact, it's the only bass i've ever owned that people go out of their way to compliment.
  15. Argh damn you Joe! I think I am leaning towards bongo, yours is very nice looking btw. Who knows though, maybe I will find a keeper p-bass this weekend? its doubfull, but hey, it could happen. I am thinking 5 string, as I have my stingray 4 still. Anywho, thanks for all the help, this thread was kind of funny, it started with huge p-bass support, then fighting, and now its huge bongo support, although I see p is winning in the poll. Well, keep em coming!
  16. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2002
    Reading Pa

    You know... that got me thinking... people do often ask about the Bongo...nobody ever took notice of my Fenders... and every person that comments on it...loves it ;)
  17. bass4820


    Jan 3, 2005
    i think eb would sell twice as many bongos if they would get rid of the headstock, and get something alittle more matched with the versitility of the different sounds you can get.
    maybe alittle more aggresive than the stingrays, but still something curvy.

    I don't know why i have such a beef about it, it's maybe because it's such a cool bass, i want it to be perfect for me. :bawl: i guess it's good to be open to different things, thats how musicians develope( or loose there style), bittersweet.
  18. You may think I am crazy but I love the bongo headstocks, I think they look cool!
  19. Rich_Briere


    Jul 31, 2003
    I really like the Bongo because it's NOT a copy of a copy of a copy of a Fender bass. Remember when the Steinberger first came out. ARK!! This is too weird! And then, all of a sudden, it exploded. When the Bongo gets in the hands of a few more heavyweights, watch out. IMHO, of course. :)
  20. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I'm the same way. Even if it is based on a can opener. :smug:

    As for why EB uses the same clover tuners, it's because it's a simple matter of economics. They use the same bridges, too.

    I'm always shocked that people think the Bongo looks are so "radical." Different, yes. But, I mean are the two horns having rounded edges that important? My Bongo hangs perfectly balanced on the strap, and the body feels great while I'm playing.

    I, too, have had many varied people (hot chicks, even ;) ) comment on how much they like my Bongos. The only people who ever mentioned my old PBasses were middle aged men. And, who wants that? :D

    I am a big proponent of the Precision. And, I am a big proponent of the Bongo. If I grabbed the wrong gigbag, and took one to the other's gig, in error. I could still play the gig.

    It's like comparing a 61 Corvette to a modern sports car. They'll both get you where you want to go in style, it's just a matter of details. :D
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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