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Opinions on Bongo Bass?

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It certainly looks different.

I am a big fan of Musicman products, but this bass is difficult to try out in the UK(as well as the £2k plus price tag meaning I might have to take leave of my senses)

Has anyone got the experience as to whether this is worth hankering fo?. Any opinions gratefully received.

 

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Here goes.

I had a five string in desert gold/orange.  [EDIT: it was a 5HH.]  Adored the design, wonderful tight string spacing for a five-string (I've never played a 5 with such a narrow board), comfortable neck, very nicely set up and able to get the action very low.

Tonally very pleasing with everything set flat or slightly tweaked for the room.  I tended, as is now, to run the bass through a Sansamp or at that point possibly a Line6 BassPod.  The only thing I didn't like so much was the power of the preamp; it was waaaay too hot, not that subtle and I found it was very much a case of all or nothing...even little tweaks could wreck the tone and turn things to mush.  At one point I posted here questioning whether I could take it passive.

I suppose the million dollar question is would I be interested in getting another one.

If (if!) I was on the market for another five-string (I'm not) and I had funds available (I don't) and a stealth black one was available, I'd say yes, without question.

image.thumb.png.ab20766b00e658a0a99176ebb9f49a27.png

Edited by NancyJohnson
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I enjoyed the feel and extensive tonal choices on tap on the one I tried...... it was really nice!

Sadly the design is too out there for me. No way I could ever feel truly comfortable playing 'that' shape *flush*'.... 'sorry'. YMMV...

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51 minutes ago, cetera said:

I enjoyed the feel and extensive tonal choices on tap on the one I tried...... it was really nice!

Sadly the design is too out there for me. No way I could ever feel truly comfortable playing 'that' shape *flush*'.... 'sorry'. YMMV...

I'm sure you played my one.  I know @Hamster had it for a couple of weeks as well.

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I bought my 4H from @Sparky Mark as a birthday present to myself more than a year ago and I absolutely love it.  It's light, comfortably sculpted for the player and has that MusicMan sound in spades.  I haven't had the too-hot preamp problem, but then I haven't been out into the world with it yet!  As for the design, I think Patrick Hunter on YouTube had it in his first "Ugly Basses" video (he made the "flush" comparison too!), but in a world carpeted with Ps, Js and PJs, it's both distinctive and - depending on the finish - classy IMHO.

 

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The few I’ve tried I’ve really liked, but I found the body shape rather uncomfortable. Shame as I’d love an orange one; I have no real problem with the looks. 

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Just now, 4000 said:

The few I’ve tried I’ve really liked, but I found the body shape rather uncomfortable. Shame as I’d love an orange one; I have no real problem with the looks. 

Perhaps it's how you hold it?  I tend to have mine quite high (so my paunch doesn't get in the way 😉 ).

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No, I have chronic back and neck problems and some nerve damage, particularly in my right arm. Very few basses are now comfortable for me. I actually get on best with minimal contouring; I’m fine with my Rickenbacker 4001 /4003s but had to get rid of my supposedly more comfortable 4004 because of the above issues. The more contouring, particularly in the right arm area, the worse. 

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11 minutes ago, 4000 said:

I have chronic back and neck problems and some nerve damage, particularly in my right arm.

Sorry to hear that.  I have muscle damage in my lower back, so I'm happy that the Bongo is releatively light!

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Spinal problems - amongst other physical issues of course - are the bane of us bassists. 

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I really liked the ones I've played. I'd gladly have one in the collection. It'd have to be a fiver, though. Not too fussed about colours and shapes, it's more about balance, feel and tone for me. Probably why I like them when others are less keen. 

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I had a 4HH in Graphite Pearl and a a 5HS in Tangerine Pearl.

I sold the 4 string as the 5 seemed to cover both abilities. The 5 I sold once i'd bought a Dingwall NG3 (which i've also sold).With the glory of hindsight, I would quite happily of not sold either. However I wouldn't touch them at the new price, the colours are also much less exciting than they used to be. They do seem to have dried up on the 2nd hand market, they used to be everywhere.

bongos.thumb.jpg.893792fc90a318d38ee7f42f6187d505.jpg 

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I'm not a fan...I'll leave it at that.

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38 minutes ago, Machines said:

I had a 4HH in Graphite Pearl and a a 5HS in Tangerine Pearl.

I sold the 4 string as the 5 seemed to cover both abilities. The 5 I sold once i'd bought a Dingwall NG3 (which i've also sold).With the glory of hindsight, I would quite happily of not sold either. However I wouldn't touch them at the new price, the colours are also much less exciting than they used to be. They do seem to have dried up on the 2nd hand market, they used to be everywhere.

bongos.thumb.jpg.893792fc90a318d38ee7f42f6187d505.jpg 

Personally, I think those are beautiful, particularly the orange.  If you're still looking, worth a try on the FB group? https://www.facebook.com/groups/37359529486

 

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I found mine really comfortable to play due to the contouring and light weight. I just couldn't justify keeping  a third single pup MM.

 

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Edited by Sparky Mark
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Really, really comfortable.
Fast neck with confidence inducing "grip".
Fantastic 4-band EQ, of which the middle two bands IMHO are at the core of the sound shaping.
Great looks.
Nice colours available.

EBMM's lim.ed. varieties sometimes are breathtaking.

Can't fault them in any way.
Bought most of mine untried from zee webz, and they all were flawless.
(Same with the StingRays, BTW)

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28 minutes ago, petecarlton said:

Personally, I think those are beautiful, particularly the orange.  If you're still looking, worth a try on the FB group? https://www.facebook.com/groups/37359529486

 

Thanks for the pointer. I've withdrawn from 'expensive' basses for the foreseeable future. The Yamaha RBXJM2 I got recently is scratching the Musicman sound itch.

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The bogseat Bongo. Easy to play sitting down.

I'd have one.  I love 'em.  Just dont like the price

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The top string ran very close to the edge of the fingerboard on mine, and I understand on a few other 5-ers. I had to have a new nut cut to correct this, but it was still a problem. Not the best design, which I suspect is why you see so few of them. The TR-7 of basses

image.png.2b5ff3aa82c580762ede8cee47592c4b.png

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hmmm .. 🤔

 

I like it .. I would have it as a 6 string though (if it is avaliable), as your already stepping into "out there" bass territory anyway with a six.

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I think that’s a general MusicMan trait. I believe it is to maximise string spacing across what is a fairly thin neck (although not as thin as some). Some decry it loudly as a design defect (like the weak G); others adapt and get on with it. The first time I came across it on a SR5 the G kept falling off the fingerboard. It was pretty annoying but I guess I got to live with it. Having said that, I don’t recall having the same issue with any other bass I’ve played or owned.

Edited by FDC484950
Responding to Beedster!

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