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So I played the first Bongo in Australia

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Disco_Gee, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. I went into the local music shop this afternoon to check out some things and saw a brand new Bongo sitting on the wall. I'll be honest, I think they are ugly, but I thought I'd be a bit open minded and see how they sounded irrespective of looks. I asked the guy if I could plug it in and give it a spin. After talking with him for a minute or two he told me that it was the first Bongo to be imported into Australia. So, I plugged it in. I don't want to offend people who love Bongos, so please keep in mind that what I am about to say is just my opinion.

    I wasn't impressed. I was expecting it to at least sound as good as a stingray, but it didn't. The one I played had the Humbucker/single coil pups in it. The first thing I noticed is that the pups are now really uncomfortable to rest your thumb on. For me, the ability to rest my thumb on a pup when playing fingerstyle is a must. The EQ did nothing for me. Too many knobs to fiddle with to get a decent sound out of it. I spend maybe 10 minutes just stuffing around with the EQ and I couldn't find a sound even close to anything I would want to actually play with. The other thing I noticed was that the construction and the finishing/detailing was pretty average for a bass it the >$3000AUS price range. The knobs looked cheap, as did the neck and cavity cover on the rear of the body. I payed less for my Stingray brand new and I think it shows the quality of craftsmanship a lot more. Apparently, I'm not the only one around my area who thinks so. According to the guy selling basses at the store, it's not likely they will be ordering more anytime soon.

    I suppose I was pretty disappointed after hearing so much hype about them when they were first released in the US. I'm very curious to find out why so many people like them. Bongo lovers, feel free to enlighten me! :)
  2. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Well, firstly, the guy was wrong--there is at least one Bongo owner at the Ernie Ball forum who lives in Austrailia.

    I'm not sure how anyone could find the pickups uncomfortable to your thumb. They were designed specifically by EB to be MORE comfortable based on what people had complained about.

    And, not being able to find a usable tone out of the 4 band preamp tells me more about the player than the bass.

    You don't like it? Fine. Don't like it. I love mine. Everyone I've played it with loves the way it sounds.
  3. I'm soo not suprised that another Aussier Sales Rep lied to try and make a sale.

    Shame you didn't find the bongo to your liking. Don't worry about the price tho, they should be selling at or below the $2500 mark when (or if rather) they become mainstream.
  4. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Well, he may not have lied. I'm not sure, but I seem to remember the Bongo owner getting theirs sent from the US (Bass Central, maybe?). So, it might be the first one imported by an Aussie store.
  5. True. There actually are a few (and i mean few) good dealers out there who are honest and trustworthy.

    I asked the other day what the RRP was on the bongo, since it isnt in their catalogue as yet.. I think they quoted me at over $4.5k. But when theyre selling the SR5 at just under $4k.. im not at all suprised.
  6. I found the pups were very uncomfortable. The space to rest your thumb is too shallow IMO, thanks to the curved edge on the topside of the pup.

    What can I say? I plugged it in, messed around with the EQ for about 5-10 mins while playing, and couldn't get a sound I liked out of it. If I have to spend more then 10 mins to find a tone I like, I don't think it's worth my time.

    I'm glad you like your Bongo. I hope you get lots of enjoyment out of it. All I was saying is that they aren't my cup of tea.
  7. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    I'd have to work much longer than that - ten minutes, I mean - to find a tone that DIDN'T work.

    And as Mr Monkee said, the pickup beveled edge is one of those little things that EBMM does that makes you go, "Ahhhhhh." Like the truss adjustment wheel. People generally say - why doesn't everyone do that?

    Well, anyway, not to worry. There are plenty of us who understand how to work that EQ.
  8. I guess I like my pickups to feel a little different than everyone else. But the guy working there said that the general consensus among the customers who had played it was that they didn't like the pups either. Oh well.
  9. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Nothing is more amusing than watching other people try to tell someone that their subjective opinion is wrong :D
  10. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    I think squirrels are more amusing, so there. You're wrong.

    heh heh
  11. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    I don't own a bongo, nor will I anytime soon. I really don't like the look of them. BUT, I have played a H/H config 4 string at my local GC, and I thought it sounded wonderful. The Eq was fairly easy to use, and I found 2 or 3 great tones in the 15 minutes I played with it. The setup and playability were pretty good - and with about ten minutes on the workbench to tweak it, I'm sure it would be a sweet player. If they would sell that PU/pre config in a sterling/stingray format - I'd already own two of them.

    Just an opinion from the other side of the fence.
  12. Mark, I can always rely on you mate..... that post should be a sticky.....

    Stay brave and true..... lukaas
  13. Danm


    Sep 24, 2003
    Canberra Australia
    I played that one last week while I was in getting some effects & stuff.....

    Personally, I like the look of the Bongo's, Just don't like coated necks ( or whatever it is made of )..

    Didn't plug it in tho... Didn't see much point but interesting to see one in the flesh so to speak..

    A_____ ( protecting the potentially innocent ) didn't mention anything about it being the 1st one to me..

    I'm going back in there tomorrow to return the Compressor I bought.... Might have another go at it.....
  14. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Whats the name of the store? I assume its in Canberra.
  15. Danm


    Sep 24, 2003
    Canberra Australia
    I'm fairly confident he is talking about Better Music... There are only 2 "real" music stores in Canberra & I've been in both in the last week or so.....

    Good guys, they do alright by me anyway.... Probably because I bought my Ray there & I'm about to drop a large chunk of fun coupons down on a new rig too!!!
  16. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I finally played a well setup Bongo5 a week ago, and I really liked it. Played great, good B string. But I agree, the 4 band pre is not to my liking, I found it almost as useless as my Carvin pre. My favorite tone was with all knobs set flat and the bridge pup soloed.
  17. Yeah Better Music. The guys there are pretty good, they do alright by me too. New rig hey? Nice. They've been stocking Aguilar for a few months now...
  18. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    i love how intense the bongo owners are. If people badmouth the bongo its like they are on top of them. Disco_gee i totally agree with you. I love ernie ball and could play only stingrays and sterlings the rest of my bass playing years if i had to. Im just not a big fan of the bongos either though. Its not just looks but i think they are uncomfortable as heck. I like how you specifically said that this was your opinion and still the bongo owners are all over you. I played 2 carl thompsons maybe 2 monthes ago. I walked in this store and couldnt beleive they had them. Sat down to play them and realized i hated them. This is probably the most sought after bass company and still how could i hate this thing, was sumthing wrong with me. If the bongo was the bass to end all basses every company would be out of business. Its just another bass out there for those who wanna try it, not a god send.
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah - this is quite a funny statement really!! So - every bass manufacturer and custom maker would say they designed their pickups around customer feedback...and they're all different - so how can they all be right!! ?? :eek: ;)

    If one person finds a pickup uncomfortable - no amount of argument here will convince them otherwise - it is funny that others will argue that they can't possibly find that, because of ..."xxxxxxx"

    So - I've pointed this out before on these forums - i.e that you can't argue with my experience - I had that experience, I didn't like that bass - I think it looks like a toilet seat - that's my view - no amount of reasoned arguments can change a person's subjective opinion!!

    That's why I often say all these gear forums are mostly a complete waste of time - so, you go and try stuff, play it and if it sounds and looks how you want and feels comfortable - then you buy it!!

    But no amount of opinions on here, can tell you what you like!! :D

    PS - the only thing I look for when buying music gear, is the weight - everything else is subjective!!
  20. JohnBarr


    Mar 19, 2004
    Central NY
    "Nothing is more amusing than watching other people try to tell someone that their subjective opinion is wrong "

    Yeah. You're entitled to your opinion. You could be as right as I am, or I could be as wrong as you are. :D