The Musicman Bongo Bass: A Comprehensive Review
The Musicman Bongo Bass, a product of the Ernie Ball Music Man brand, is an instrument that has been making waves in the music industry since its release in 2003. With its distinct design and remarkable features, it represents everything a 21st-century bass guitar should be: well balanced, comfortable, resonant, and easy to play. This review will explore the unique attributes and performance of the Bongo Bass, providing a comprehensive guide for both seasoned musicians and those looking to venture into the world of bass guitars.
Design and Construction
The Bongo Bass stands out with its radical aesthetic design. It breaks away from traditional bass guitar shapes, offering a double-cutaway design that contributes to its unique appeal. Its lightweight and ergonomic basswood body makes it comfortable to handle, whether you’re standing up or sitting down. The contours and curves of the Bongo make it sit very well on your body, providing a playing experience that is as comfortable as it is exciting.
The Bongo comes with a painted neck, which might feel a bit different than an oiled Stingray in terms of feel, but it’s an aspect that many players have come to appreciate. The bass also features 24 frets, providing a wider range of notes for players to explore. The construction quality of the Bongo Bass is excellent all around, reflecting the high standards of craftsmanship that Music Man is known for.
Sound and Performance
The Bongo Bass is renowned for its clear and determined tone. This attribute makes it well suited to being heard in a crowded mix, a quality appreciated by many professional bassists, including John Myung and Dave LaRue. The instrument comes with either single humbucking, double humbucking, or humbucking single configurations. Coupled with its 4 band eq, Neodymium pickups, and 18V active preamp, the Bongo delivers a powerful combination of unparalleled tonal diversity.
The Bongo Bass offers a wide range of tones, from the slappy bit of a Stingray to mellow jazz and beyond. Its sound is built on a strong, emphatic lo-mid timbre that is effective in any genre or technique. The Bongo’s bass tone has a strong mid-range treble with a hint of personality and no hard edges, making it a versatile choice for any bassist.
In conclusion, the Music Man Bongo Bass is a beautifully balanced electric bass that offers a resonant sound, excellent construction, and a fast-playing neck. Weighing in at approximately 10.4 lbs, it provides a comfortable and ergonomic playing experience. Its unique design may ruffle some feathers, but its exceptional performance and tonal diversity make it worth the investment. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a budding bassist, the Bongo Bass is a versatile and reliable instrument that deserves consideration.