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What to do what to do?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cfsporn, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    I just got a new job and some money, and I have decided to spend some of it on my first new bass. Right now, it is a tie between a Carvin XB76 fretless with the piezo, maple body and neck, with a flamed walnut top and single coils and an EBMM Bongo 6 HSP Fretless. Both of these basses cost around the same and have their own advantages and disadvantages. Which would everyone here say is the better bet?
  2. My vote's on the Bongo 6. However, I'm aware that Carvin does produce quality instruments and there are plenty of TB'ers that enjoy their instruments.

    If you're considering a potential re-sale in the future, the MusicMan will retain a higher value than a Carvin.
  3. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    I've only played a Bongo 5 HH fretless with piezo, and it was a beast! I don't have any experience with the Carvin, but I know EBMM customer service is exceptional, and the quality is perfection.
  4. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    I prefer the Bongo. I own a 4 but in the market for a 5.
    One thing to consider is the neck width.

    Bongo 6 = 2.25 nut/3.5 last fret
    XB76 = 2.02 nut/3.2 last fret

    The XB is significantly narrower than the Bongo.
    And the other is resale.
    Also, unless you are in CA, it's hard to test drive a Carvin.
  5. I realize you're researching new instrument purchase prices. However, the flip side of Carvin's low resale value... If you consider buying a used bass, the Carvin XB76 would cost significantly less. I used a Google search, focusing only on TalkBass. A used fretless XB76 with piezo sold for $750 in 2011. (Already sold but the link's still available: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f126/fs-ft-carvin-xb76-wpf-fretless-piezos-35-a-785922 )
  6. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    I predominately play the 35" scale, and both of my fretlesses are 35", so if I were going for an unlined, I'd have to stick to a scale length that my fingers are familiar with.

    If it were fretted, I'd vote the Bongo without any hesitation. That 4-band preamp is beastly.
  7. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    EBMM makes a very nice bass and the Bongo is fun to play. I guess it comes down to what would you rather have, a stock bass where you pick the color and pickguard or a custom job where you pick from a host of features and color. Either way, you can't go wrong.
  8. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    Hmmm. Was expecting more Carvin support, but I guess the Bongo appears to be winning! Not to mention that Bass Central currently has a Bongo HH Stealth Unlined Fretless 6 in stock. I wonder how hard it would be to retrofit a Piezo in it. I know EBMM won't do it, but will someone else?
  9. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    There is no question the Bongo is an amazing bass (in spite of toilet seat jokes). In a fretless I'd still vote Bongo. But there are downsides to bongos in addition to the less than traditional design. For one thing it's basswood. That means it's softer than hardwoods. It will ding easier. Usually it means the bass will be duller sounding too, but actually this isn't true in a bongo because it's designed for basswood. And anyway you want fretless which will be toned down some.

    I will give Carvin some support, however, especially for Fretted with Piezo. I own a Carvin and the workmanship is impeccable. It's a thin neck, fast, modern kind of bass, but the major feature is that unlike the Bongo which is painted basswood like some import, A Carvin gives you a CUSTOM SHOP bass for a decent price. YOU get to choose the features, the to-die-for wood finish etc. If you know exactly what you want in a 6 string, I'd say for fretted the Carvin is the answer. And no question that for LOOKS Carvin is where it's at!

    So this being TB and all, I have to give you my opinion which is that you really need to consider buying BOTH. A fretted to-die-for looking Carvin AND the fretless Bongo. I say this because you seem to be playing mostly 4s and if you have no experience with a 6 you may not want to tackle both 6 strings and fretless at the same time.

    Note my high-end 6er pair is an unlined fretless Alembic Epic 6 and a Modulus fretted Q6.

    Rule: You never can own too many basses!

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