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Time for new gear - played a Bongo 6 and...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rtav, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    OK... a bit of backstory.

    Coming up on a nice bonus from work and want to upgrade my gear. I currently play ESP LTD 6's, one of which needs some neck work - the other is fine.

    My drummer suggested I check out a Bongo 6 bc LaRue and Myung play them. So I get all geeked up about trying one, head down to Guitar Center, pick up a Bongo stealth 6 and start playing.

    It feels heavy and enormous. I start playing and notice that it feels good, easy to play, surprisingly well for an off the rack guitar minus setup. I love the range of tone... beautiful guitar.

    However... compared to my current guitars, I wasn't too impressed. Actually I left disappointed. At 3x the cost of my current instruments, I was expecting it to blow the doors off of my ESP's, and while it was good, it wasn't 3x as good. I put the Bongo back, took an ESP 6 off the shelf, played it, and there really was no BFD in its playability compared to the off the shelf ESP 6 (or mine).

    So, before all the Bongo players out there string me up, let me say it's a beautiful guitar, endless tone, and played VERY well. I'd love to play one, but it's not a huge leap in playability over my current guitars, and therefore not worth it to me.

    So now I'm looking for recommendations from other TB 6 string players for basses to try.

    About me: I play fingerstyle, tapping, chording, progressive metal (Dream Theater, Opeth, Vai, etc.) and need a 6 string with a very fast neck, close string spacing, and something that can be setup with action as low as physically possible. I have a Trace Elliot rig (AH500X into TE 4x10 and 2x15 cabs), no effects.

    My budget is $1300 tops.

  2. basschanges

    basschanges Unconditionally Loving Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    sounds like you're in the market for an ibanez. When you listed your specs, it sounded like you were talking about an ibanez without mentioning the name.
  3. Happynoj


    Dec 5, 2006
    I like turtles.
    Warwick. The answer is always Warwick.
  4. basschanges

    basschanges Unconditionally Loving Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    A six string warwick for 1300? Maybe a Rockbass.
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Ibanez does sound like the right bass for what you like. Get one of the SR models with Nordstrand pickups.
  6. funkucan'ttouch

    funkucan'ttouch Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2007
    west virginia
    Ibanez sr1206, killer bass at the price
  7. I only play 4 string bass (and 6 string guitar) but of my 10 basses my ESP Vintage 4s (and LTD 204 and 214fl) get the most play time.
    I would get the neck issues sorted out and continue to play your present 6ers and get another only if you just wanted something new and diff. Totally understandable , but huge ESP fan.
  8. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    You might look into a Carvin. Their 6's have narrow string spacing, low, low action, and near-boutique build quality. If you don't add a lot of options, you can get one new at that price or less.
  9. angryclown5

    angryclown5 Supporting Member

    May 26, 2006
    Nederland, Colorado
    I bought a used MTD Z6 a couple of years ago and I still dig it. 35" scale, 18 mm at the bridge. Nice for chording.
  10. I'm going to 2nd the Ibanez suggestions. Some people don't like the tone, but that's an easy fix with some new electronics. What you can't fix on other basses that you might prefer the tone of is the feel. Ibanez 6 string basses feel fantastic. Also, their higher end ones that are still in your price range have nicer electronics.

    Another brand you might check out is Schecter. Some love them, some don't, but worth checking out at the store IMO.
  11. basschanges

    basschanges Unconditionally Loving Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    I think when it comes to getting a bass on which you can play so quickly it's just silly, you want an ibanez, or schecter. Carvins are among the most underrated BGs out there. They're, along with Ibanez, the best for the money, and they probably have the best electronics in them of the brands mentioned, but I don't know what you can get for 1300 max.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
  12. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    +1. Sounds like just what you're looking for.
  13. srayb


    Oct 27, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I would also say Ibanez SR series. I played a heavier Warmoth 6-string with EMGs for many years, but I wanted something a little lighter and found a great deal on a used SR506. Fantastic neck, balance and playability. I agree with the suggestion for the SR1206 - if you have a bit more to spend - which also gives you the mono-rail bridge which should help string vibration isolation.
  14. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    Ibanez SR1206. Not much of a better bass available on the market for $1100-1300 new IMO.

    Tight spacing, light, great Nordy PU, boutique quality woods and look great.

    Perfect for progressive metal or anything else.
  15. PrietoBass

    PrietoBass How does he do that?

    Apr 16, 2009
  16. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

  17. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Ibanez and Carvin are worth a look.
    I ran into a used Marleaux Consat 5 in a shop a year back which was priced at 1.200,-
    That thing was a fast player with the lowest action i ever experienced on an electric bass guitar. Used Marleaux 6ers are rare, but if you see one, make sure to give it a try.
  18. Matthew_84


    Nov 7, 2010

    About to order a Rockbass 6-string Corvette.

    However, I believe the ESP's are 35" scale. If you want to stick with that, maybe look at the Ibanez BTB line. They're 35" scales and the string spacing is 17mm. Ibanez's SR series are 34" scale, and 16.5mm spacing.

    I've never played a Carvin, but I believe their 6-strings have a radius of 14" or something like that, which for me is too round. Not sure your tastes though - not sure what your current ESP radiuses are.
  19. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    Ibanez, Schecter's high end 6'er really pleasantly shocked me last year, used LEJ for a couple hundred$ more... who can say? Try 'em and see.
  20. PrietoBass

    PrietoBass How does he do that?

    Apr 16, 2009

    Many ESPs are 35", however the RB-1006 I posted the Sweetwater link for is 34". Once they're available you'll be able to see the weight (weight has been my hangup with most ESPs I've looked at). The Sweetwater reviewers are very impressed with the bass, and in my experience, those guys can be trusted.

    I would also consider Carvin. The newer Ibanez looks killer also and I'm sure must sound great; I don't like how the B and C strings break inward over the nut, but that's just me.