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Spector vs. Bongo: Two basses enter, one bass leaves

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bman, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. bman


    Dec 4, 2000
    Sandown, N.H., USA
    I am totally stuck trying to decide between a Bongo and a Spector Euro 4. I'm totally in love with both of them, but I can only get one. And I'm going to get one today.

    The Bongo (to me) looks really unique (lava/ice pickguard), plays like butta and sounds great. I'm really in love with the whole package.
    The Spector looks handsome (black/blue), has the P/J pickup configuration, plays like butta, and has the EMGs, which I found to be unbelievably hot. I found it to be much brighter than the Bongo, and it sounds great.

    They're both very comfortable to me, and they both sound great - though they seem to do different things. The Spector is about $300 more. They both seem as if they'd inspire me to play more.
    I play everything. And I mean everything. 50s rock, metal, funk, soul, slap, folk, blues, tapping, chording...

    I know the final decision will eventually be up to me, but weigh in, if you will.

  2. Well, I've never tried a Bongo....and have no desire to - to me they're just too fugly! My Musicman requirements are filled nicely by my 4 string SUB active!

    I have 2 Spectors just now (4 year old Euro 5 and a REX2000/5), and I've had another 3 pass through my grubby little mits!

    My vote would be Spector! :)
  3. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I've never played a Spector, but I LOVED/i] the sound of the Bongos I played. They're so intensely versatile and could handle it all. And while I love the look, it really might not fit in some performing situations. Like it or not, people go to "see" a band, not to listen to them, and bringing a Bongo into a folk or a blues set might not look right at all.
  4. cetera


    Apr 29, 2004
    Surrey, England
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses & Cort Basses
    I have to agree with Johnny BoomBoom on this.... :D

    The Bongo, though it plays nicely is VERY 'fugly' :spit: and a little unwieldy.... I too, have a SUB that fulfills my MusicMan needs admirably.... :)

    I also have the following Spectors:

    1 old U.S. NS1
    4 U.S. NS2's
    1 U.S. SSD NS4
    2 Czech (Euro) NS2CRFM's
    1 Korean REX2000/4

    All of the above are wonderfully made, beautiful looking and smooth playing instruments which can cover all playing styles.....

    I say go get that Spector!!! :bassist: :D :hyper:
  5. Mr. Boo

    Mr. Boo

    Mar 29, 2004
    Go with the Spector Euro, they're just "nasty"!!
  6. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    I don't find Bongos "unwieldy" at all. "Fugly" is subjective, but it's ergonomically quite comfy, actually.

    And yes, I have photos of me playing Bongos at blues gigs. I even did a country gig with the black fiver. No one gives a rip.

    Or you could be another sheep, but where's the fun in that?

    Get the Bongo! (Like no one knew I was going to say that.)

    the fugly is as fugly sounds
  7. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Everyone here is wrong (EDIT: Except Jack). The Bongo is the way to go. Personally, I think Spectors are ugly--to each their own.

    If you like the looks of the Bongo, then you should consider the basses on their other merits.

    The Bongo has a more versatile EQ, and is $300 cheaper. I guarantee there are sounds you can get out of the Bongo that you can't get out of the Spector.

    I've been playing for 18 years, and I've owned lots of high end basses, and the Bongo is my main bass, with a fretless Bongo set to arrive any day now. They pretty much blow everything else out of the water, IMHO.

    I've played the Bongo at jazz and blues gigs, and I always get asked about the Bongo--people love it. And, my guitar player refers to it as the "Bass that destroys all other basses."
  8. When is your new one coming in?
  9. dirtgroove


    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    I'd just liketo balance this out in favor of the Bongo. I played a dual hmbk4 for a couple of hours a few months ago. I only meant to pick it up for a quick plunk... and had to cancel my arrangements that afternoon. I too, was convinced that they were hideous before I had a go. Playing it changed my opinion entirely. They definately look better being played than hung ona wall. For couple of days I had to leave the city for a few days because I was so tempted to trade in my stingray for it.
    I've not experienced anything else that touches the bongo for usable tonal variety. The playability made me want to weep with relief. I don't especially buy into what people have said about the neck pickup being in the way for slapping- that's just an excuse for sloppy technique in my book.

    I've played a stack of of spectors with high expectations, although not the euro4- and always been disapointed, as they've never given me the growl I anticipated. Apologies for replying with such a one sided view point- but the Bongo made such an impact upon me. I say Bongo. I never realised how much of a musicians bass it is before I touched one.
  10. A Bongo would destroy a spector anyday.

    At least in the playing/sounding division.
  11. Humblerumble


    Feb 22, 2004
    I have a Spector Euro 5 that I love. It is my most used bass. I have never played a Bongo though I would like to. From what I'm hearing it sounds like a win win situation! Good problem to have.
  12. cetera


    Apr 29, 2004
    Surrey, England
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses & Cort Basses
    And vice versa.... there are many sounds you can get out of the Spector that you can't from the Bongo. :bassist:
  13. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Perhaps, but with a 4 band EQ, you are more likely to be able to emulate anything from a Spector on a Bongo.
  14. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    I dont have any exp with Spector but I have played a Bongo. I honestly hadnt planned on being as impressed with it when I played one. They are truly fine basses and Im almost to the point that I really want one! After I heard some Bongo sound clips by bassmonkee (I believe) Im completely sold on their sound and versatility. I suggest you buy a Bongo because its what I would pick for myself out of the two! :rolleyes: :D
  15. Joey3313


    Nov 28, 2003
    The bongo is fugly...but it's like...a cool fugly.
  16. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    The Envy Green Bongo is on order and should be at Camp Bovine in mid-September. I mean, you'd think with me being who I am and all, they'd speed it up, but no, I'm treated like a mere mortal.

    Danged old Ernie Ball.

    Now see, I got through this without giving my opinion on basses that I think are ugly.

    It's refreshing, isn't it?
  17. fragcon


    Jun 23, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    bongo 4 strings are awsome. get it
  18. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I love my Bongo. It'll be mine until the day I die.
  19. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    You really can't go wrong with either one.

    The differences?

    The Spector excels at modern tone and sizzling highs(although the EQ can tame them) and is great for cutting through distorted guitars. But it is a heavy beast and I don't care for the neck profile.

    The Bongo can get a lot of the same sounds a Spector can(not all of them) and a lot of sounds that the Spector can't. That 4 band EQ is amazing. I wish I could get one of those preamps for my Nordstrand and my Cirrus. The Bongo has a slimmer neck profile and is quite a bit lighter than a Spector.

    Both fine basses. My choice? BONGO!!!:D
  20. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Whenever I'm equally torn between buying two (or three, or four) basses, I always buy the cheapest one. I guess I like having a new bass and some money left in my pocket. :)