Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by smperry, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. Hello

    tag me as Bongo curious... My EBMM SR5 is probably my favorite bass. I've got many but the Ray is my primary go-to bass, especially if I'm playing with
    unfamiliar tunes, or unfamiliar peeps. I've never found a 5 string neck more comfortable.

    In the past I've never given Bongo's much consideration, aesthetically they just didn't speak to me.
    No - its not the toilet seat image that many seem to reference, honestly I don't understand that.

    However let's just say that as we age, our tastes change & I'm starting to see the Bongo in a new light.
    Not easy to find a selection, and the closest music store that even has a shard of a chance of inventory is an hours drive away.

    I'd be looking at a 5.

    Some questions if you would indulge:
    • With the HS configuration on a Bongo - is the bridge pickup a true single coil, and does it have the hum cancelling phantom coil ?
    • I see some that have two sets of stacked knobs and some have 3 stacked. I've read that its a 4 band EQ, as opposed to the 3 band on my SR5.
    • Is neck dive an issue? The upper horn tip seems to be around the 14th fret in the pix.
    • How does the Bongo 5 neck feel in comparison with a StingRay 5 neck? I love the slick oiled neck on the Ray. Many Bongos I see have painted necks.

    The basses I have that have gloss necks I frequently deglaze with a scotchbrite pad to get the same feel as the oiled neck.

    thanks in advance for your comments. Maybe I'll be joining you soon!
    Wolfhound32 and BrusselsBass like this.
  2. My Bongo-5 HS, together with my BigAl 5SSS, are keepers !!
    * The single coil at the neck has a phantom coil
    * bongos have 4-band electronics => 2 stacked knobs; only the piezo models have a 3rd stacked poti
    * no neck dive (with my 5 string)
    * don't have a Stingray (yet) ;)
    Loring and jefff100 like this.
  3. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always overcompensating Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    Single H bongos have a 3 band EQ just as an fyi, if you ever find one in the wild.

    The neck on my 5H Bongo is one of my favorite 5 string necks ever. The satin finish is smooth, and the neck overall feels much sleeker, and easy to play than any 5er neck ive played so far, including a Ray5 special I owned a whole ago.
  4. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    - No experience with the HS configuration.
    - Two sets of stacked knobs (hi-mid/lo-mid, treble/bass) are standard. I believe the three-stacked-knob versions have the piezo pickup.
    - No neck dive on my 5HH.
    - Neck is similar to StingRay 5. Feels a bit slimmer, less beefy to me. The painted neck has a matte finish and is not sticky. I’d say there’s no need to dull the finish further. I prefer the StingRay oil-and-wax finish, but I really don’t notice much of a playability difference between the two.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
    BrusselsBass, jefff100 and Loring like this.
  5. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson!

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    I replaced a pot on my old Bongo 5HH. It was either the Volume or Blend pot, can't quite remember. I was able to order the pot directly from EBMM. The one you have installed is definitely not the right pot. Sounds like someone bought one elsewhere, and installed it. If you have any soldering skills, it should be a simple repair. If not, find a local tech and have them do it.
    BrusselsBass likes this.
  6. Nakoatron

    Nakoatron Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2017
    Fort Worth, Texas
    My barolo purple 5 bongo is up for sale in the classifieds if anyone is in the market
    BrusselsBass likes this.
  7. Thanks, my tech was able to order the balance pot; here in Europe EBMM only deals with shops/techs, not private customers.
    NicJimBass likes this.
  8. Thanks @BrusselsBass, @Stevorebob, @Epitaph04 for your insight.

    I’ll need to find time to drive over to the Cherry Hill GC after work one day soon. They list a used one. The color real doesn’t speak to me (its rare that solid color / painted instruments appeal to me) bit it should give me a feel for tone & playability.
    Wolfhound32 and BrusselsBass like this.
  9. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    (picture from a gig because it's a pretty bass) So a while a go I noticed that the action on my Bongo 5HH was higher than it's normal high so I did a full set up on it - new strings, truss rod adjustment, string height adjustment, and then bridge adjustment. It was still way high compared to my 4 string fretted. It was approaching upright bass string height. So I brought it into a local luthier who is good at what he does and he did a bunch of measurements and it had TWO high spots on the neck. These weren't "file the frets down a tad" high spots either. I called EBMM and they wouldn't sell me a new neck and they aren't taking in repairs but the guy said that if they were they would remove the frets, plane down the high sections, put the frets back on, crown and polish, etc. Which is what the luthier said he would have to do. So I left the bass with the luthier and a couple weeks later he had me come in. The string height was WAY better, no dead spots, no buzziness anywhere - heaven. I asked him what he did and he straightened it under heat, clamped it, and then let it cool under the clamp. And then he still had to add a shim, bring a couple frets down, crown and polish, etc. We'll have to see if this stays as it is but I've got my bass back to it's intended wonderfulness and I'm very happy. The "heat and straighten" method brought down the cost a lot which I appreciated and he said if the neck moved he'd take care of it. I keep the bass in a soft case but it's right next to two other basses also in soft cases and this is the only neck to have this problem. Hopefully we're good for a long time!

  10. Your Bongo has a roasted maple neck? They should be dead stable, I thought.
  11. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    That's what I thought.
  12. Ken R

    Ken R Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2007
    Greater Knoxville TN
    Hey Jeff F100,
    FWIW, I have an SR5 and two Bongos, both 4 strings. Here's my take on it:
    Neck dive? No, none that sticks out in my mind
    Bongo neck is satin finish and feel similar to the SR5 neck in smoothness. Never a need to use a Scotchbright pad.
    Bongo HH has Volume, Blend, and a 4 band EQ, Stacked treble-Bass, stacked Mid Hi and Mid Low.
    Bongo Hp has Volume, Blend and the same 4 band EQ

    Hope this helps,
    Ken R
    jefff100 likes this.
  13. Ha - I made a catch this afternoon
    Joining my HS5 :)
    Screenshot_20210626-153031_One UI Home.jpg
  14. Congrats on the new bass! I played a used Bongo at a local GC last week.
    I liked the feel and tone, its older (about 18 years) but it had its fair share of bangs, scrapes and bruises.
    For the condition the price was steep IMHO.
    BrusselsBass likes this.
  15. Hendricks97


    Jan 3, 2017
    I would love you hear the difference between the dual and the single
    BrusselsBass likes this.
  16. Here I come - my new Bongo H5
    The stealth was with a death metal guy who stopped playing - some battle marks on the body.... have to replace the volume poti.
    Cleaned frets and fretboard, new setup - ready to be abused for funk :smug:
    Happy with the buy - nice addition to my Bongo HS5 and BigAl SSS5 :thumbsup:
    20210706_131822.jpg 20210706_131834.jpg 20210706_132117.jpg 20210706_132001.jpg 20210706_132022.jpg 20210706_132051.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2021
    Bass7755, Epitaph04, Joshua and 3 others like this.
  17. BrusselsBass likes this.
  18. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Nice....It's interesting the back of the neck....mine is a 1999 and it has turned to gloss over time just like yours. It's to the point that it is becoming very sticky if it gets humid. I'm going to have to do the scotchbrite thing when I get a chance.
    BrusselsBass likes this.
  19. Primary

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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