Your bass story + Bongo people, Is is just me?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Or are you certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that you've stumbled upon the greatest bass that man ever created? The more I play this thing, the more I want to. I'm obsessed. After last nights gig I feel compelled to tell my bass story for some reason...

    Very first bass was a Fender Mustang. Knew nothing about basses at the time but knew I didn't like it. Bought an Alvarez Dana. Really liked the feel and the fact that it sounded a little like a rickenbacker believe it or not. A lot of people in bands I played in told me it had no bottom. They were right. I got gas for a Warwick in 95. A little more than a year later I bought the deepest sounding Warwick in Rudy's music - an active corvette. Felt like I went from a Geo to a Mercedes. Quickly realized the bass was a back breaker and while it had lots of bottom I wasn't hearing the notes. When I kicked up the treble I heard a lot of clacking. Played some MM basses. GAS once more. Sterling. Took another year till I had the money. Got the bass and felt I had arrived. I finally had the sound I was looking for and could hear every note I played with the band. Having gotten used to the Warwick however, I was missing the bottom a bit. Went guitar shopping with a rich friend a few months later. In the store they had a Precision Deluxe - a bass I simultaneously obsessed over with the Sterling and almost bought. My friend asked me if I wanted it. I said something like, someday I'll get it. He said come on, take it, I'll buy it for you. :confused: :eek: $1200. I said no. He said you can owe me the money if it makes you feel any better. It made me feel better (took me over a year to pay him back but I did). I played that bass exclusively for about 6 months but it felt cheap, I had a lot of problems with it, and the sound had no character. I liked that it got close to the Jaco sound though when I soloed the bridge pickup, but the Jaco sound was really thin sounding and with my drummer slamming cympals, usually useless. Back to the Sterling which I was very happy with - just wished I could coax just a wee bit more out of it. Along the way I bought a couple of Dano hodads. Still think these are some of the coolest sounding basses in the world - but I'm not crazy about the feel. Forgot to mention that I also along the way picked up a Warwick Streamer (can't think of the name - with the humbucker in it) being sure it would be the perfect mix of a MM and my Covrvette. Wrong. Just more of a flat sounding corvette. Blah, blah, blah... bought and sold lots of basses not worth mentioning... played a lot of expensive basses in the stores, then I read about the Bongo. About a year before it hit the streets. The 2 MM picups, the weird shape (I love weird shapes). Couldn't wait - but I did. Take all the above, throw it into one bass that I love he looks of, add some extras just for fun, and that's where I feel I stand with this thing. This thread is getting way too long... perhaps I'll add later.

    I'll finish by saying I feel like all my life I've played on fishing lines for strings with an AM radio for an amp. I've now got genuine bass strings and $3000 stereo. I swear thats what it feels and sounds like to me.

    What's your story and do you other bongo people feel the same.
  2. kingbrutis


    Aug 10, 2003
    Phoenix AZ
    Nice story. I don't have one but hopefully I will when I refiance the house next month. Priorities stink. Later Joe
  3. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I have a Bongo & 3 other basses. Add together the playing time from my 3 non-Bongos and it comes out to about 1/10 the time I spend playing my Bongo.

    The Bongo is just so easy to play that it never leaves my hands. :)
  4. so comparing the Bongo and the Sterling, obviously i can tell you like the bongo better. But why? what makes the Bongo so much better for you? im having troubles deciding between the two.
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    First of all i think he just likes everything about the Bongo, but it seems the only thing he didnt like about the sterling, was that he wanted a little more bottom end. I have a sterling and can see that if you want a really full smooth tone, another pickup might be needed, but for an aggressive middy tone, the sterling rules.
  6. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    He said it. The difference however is HUGE. I still get the mids like I did with the sterling, but the neck pickup fills it in bigtime. If I solo the bridge pickup the 2 sound almost identical. I also like the versatility and control I get with the bongo. Lightyears away from any other bass I ever played.
  7. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    I played a few of the different pickup-equipped versions of the Bongo. It's a nice bass and I would like to have long as two things are available.

    I'd prefer a maple board,
    the edges would have to be rolled..

    of all the Bongo's I've played around with they all have very sharp feeling edges and I prefer more of a broken-in rolled edge feel on the neck.

    I A/B'd the Bongo with a Sterling and a MusicMan and both the Sterling and MM had much smoother edges than the Bongo. The Bongo's neck edges were just plain uncomfortable to me.

    Overall, I could definately see how this bass is winning people I said, if they ever get to a point where the options are a bit more open I could totally see myself getting one.