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Gazm

Music Man Bongo 5HH

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Hi,

I love my Bongo 5HHp but find the space between the end of the neck and the neck pickup is quite small, this makes it difficult to "pop" when playing slap.
I'm wondering if I changed the scratch plate for one from a 5H if I could move the neck pickup back a centimetre or so? Obviously this would mean routing the body and modifying the new scratch plate.

Anyone know who sells Bongo scratch plates in the UK?
Any thoughts on this? Is it a bonkers idea :rolleyes:

Pete.

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I have a Bongo 5HH(p) and a Stingray 4HH and agree slapping (the popping) is not quite as easy as on the H models which are quite intuitive.

That said if you work on the position you do this it is quite straightforward - just needs a bit more playing accuracy than using the H models - this is easier said than done changing from finger style to slap mid song. It's not unique to the Bongo - Marcus Miller and Will Lee use neck pick up covers - presumably to guide them to the right positions - and these guys are at the top of their game!!

Another way with the Bongo is to lower the neck pick up - as you know the pick ups are very hot having neodymium magnets - when I first got my Bongo (I am the third owner) the neck pick up was flush with the pickguard - raising it did not alter the sound massively so you could try this.

Another alternative is to look for a HS model, which will give more room between the neck and pick up.

If you go your suggested route, then you could get a pick guard via Strings and Things or from MMs supplier in the US - Chandler - who make both the standard ones and some very cool variants. If you do go the modification route just remember the Bongo is an extensively 'engineered' bass so moving the pick up may affect the blended pick up sound, neck soloed sound and the EQ interaction with those somewhat - may be good or bad - who knows but I guess if it was better Musicman would have done it in the first place.

I'd be curious to know the solution you end up with.

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So I tried dropping the pickups down (dropped both to keep the tone balanced) the neck a couple of mm proud of the scratchplate, the bridge PU slightly higher and seems to do the trick.
I'll know better when I gig it at the weekend. The tone has changed slightly and lost a bit of punch but I can compensate for that with the EQ on my amp all being well.
Will keep you posted and thanks for the simple solution!

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WD Music will make you any plate you like if you give them the dimensions. You can order via the uk site.

They are currently making me a Ray5 plate cut for a precision pickup. Doing a Bongo that just has the neck pup moved back 10mm will be easy.

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My 5HS is modified with a scallop after 24th fret to end of the board. This has helped a lot.

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