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Will the Bongo's looks age well?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by adouglas, Aug 9, 2005.

Will the Bongo's looks age well?

Poll closed Aug 23, 2005.
  1. Instant classic, one for the ages.

    89 vote(s)
  2. Flash in the pan, 50 year old shapes are better.

    238 vote(s)
  1. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    The Bongo certainly is *different.* Sometimes, different is good...look back on it in 10 years and it's still cool. Sometimes it just gets embarrassing for a while until somebody decides it's retro (like '70s fashion).

    What do you think? Instant classic that will remain fresh, or flash in the pan that will just look stupid in five years?
  2. waxcomb


    Jun 29, 2003
    Martinez, CA
    I think it will end up next to the Kubicki and Steinberger. "Everybody Wang Chung tonite!"
  3. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Okay, fair enough...how do you feel about, say, Alembics? Just as radical in their own way. Classics or not?
  4. waxcomb


    Jun 29, 2003
    Martinez, CA
    I always thought Alembics brought new electronics to the forefront and also new body possibilities with their exotic woods and shapes. Many people have been influenced by them because they were so different. Bongos just took their humbuckers and threw them into an alien toilet version of their previous shapes.
  5. Very few radical designs have become classics(Hofner Violin and Rickenbacker are the only one's that I can think of) and both of those are still very much associated with a certain time period or even certain players.
    I could see the Bongos becoming a flash in the pan but who knows, all it would take is a few prominent players to really make these well known. I believe that the traditional Fenderish shapes are only classic because they have gotten so much exposure that their shape is the most common denotatum when thinking of bass.
  6. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    I have mixed feelings, sometimes I think they look ok...but most of the time I think they're ugg. Only time will tell, they're certainly popular right now. I can't see them becoming the new stingray though.
  7. im not sure about bongo's, i just really dont like the shape of them, im sure they sound great, especially the ones with the dual 'buckers, but the shape puts me off them

    its not as if i only love standard shapes, the EDA is a bit different (to say the least), but i love mine to bits :D
  8. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Obviously, you don't know what you're talking about.

    The Bongos have 18V 4 band EQs, and neodymium magnets in the pickups as opposed to alnico, or ceramic. Your assertion is incorrect.

    So, according to your own words the Bongos have "brought new electronics to the forefront." Can you point to any other production instrument that sells for less than $1500 that has as many innovations in the electronics department alone?
  9. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I think they're like anything else that is very different from the norm - initially a little jarring. Every day that goes by they look more & more normal to me...
  10. I thought the Fender Precision was supposed to be a revolutionairy design at the time... still a classic.
    And the hofner violin was a copy of a gibson...not very radical.
  11. elwood

    elwood there is no spoo

    Jul 25, 2001
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    I think they'll be just as ugly in 50 years as they are today, so I guess my answer is yes.
  12. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    I'd compare the Bongo to Gibson's Explorer shape, in that both were designed by guys from the auto industry, and both had a highly polarized reception. And I think it must be conceded that the Explorer has "aged well". It was truly rad in the '50s, and still doesn't look dated at all. I have a hunch the Bongo will be viewed similarly in coming decades - not for everybody, but undeniably well-designed and with a lot of visual flair.

    Alembics, OTOH, look very '70s to me, even the Spyder, which has the Explorer body. Something about all those woods and inlays, and the brass hardware...
  13. Well, the Precision basically created the electric bass market and is probably the most copied bass. It set the standard and along with the Jazz still is the shape that one encounters the most. There was virtually no electric bass tradition before it. Also, I doubt many people think of Gibson when thinking of Sir Paul.
    The electronics of the Bongo should certainly survive and become a mainstay of the bass world. I just don't think that the shape will become popular enough to make it a permanent fixture though.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Are you really asking (in a coy fashion) whether toilet seat fashions will change in future? ;)
  15. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Very tough call. IMO, Thunderbirds are still cool these days, but Mockingbirds are definitely not. What is the difference?
  16. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Just corrected this for you! :D ;)
  17. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
  18. waxcomb


    Jun 29, 2003
    Martinez, CA

    Maybe I should just stick to the "it's fugly" comments. OK, the Bongo puts amazing, groundbreaking electronics in a package that looks like the lovechild of CC Deville and the Millenium Falcon. To quote Chewbacca, "Uuunnnngggghhhhh!"
  19. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I just want to say that all those guys/gals who are judging Bongo's appearance just by the pictures maybe should see it in person. I've never disliked its looks, but it's even better when you have the real thing in front of you. I don't ignore the fact that the situation here is different because we aren't used to see high end instruments where I live, but everybody who has seen my bass for the first time has nothing but praise and astounded faces. I said once in another thread that because of that, I'd like to see a rolls burgundy Bongo in person because that color is horrible to me in the pictures, but maybe it's really cool live.
  20. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I think that if the Bongo turns out to be a long running part of MusicMan's lineup, it will be seen as aging gracefully. People will get used to it even if they still think it's ugly. If it turns out to only last a few years, it will probably be seen as an oddity in the future.

    Personally, I don't think it looks that odd. In my years I have definitely seen uglier instruments, furthermore, the Bongo is ergonomic. That counts for alot if a person actually plays an instrument instead of just looking at one. :bassist: