Music Man Bongo HH5 Reviews 4

Took up bass several years ago. Mostly play very small ensemble, small room, with Diva as duo, or one or two additional players. Really don't know anything about majority of recent recordings or bands, or celebrity players. Am very out of the loop.

Guitar Center clearance sale. $922, new. I like the idea of a 2 PU Musicman, and it sounded real good, even with the OEM RWs, which were gone an hour after I got it home.

It blazing orange, has 4ch EQ, killer PU and pre-amp combination, accepts a very low action on a very flat board. Did I mention it's killer orange? Reminds me somewhat of Spector tone, but is easier to control and is about the loudest bass I've ever tried. Has fat tune posts. Also it'e this wild metalic orange...

Top horn could be longer. It's not too heavy but it could be lighter. Weird body sculpting, ugly pickguard, rather have 3+2 tuners [has 4+1]. B-string plays well but maybe a 35" scale would make it better. Has two stacked pair knob sets. I don't really like stacked knobs in general.

It's a MusicMan. Other than the weird body styling, it's a MusicMan. Whole bass is painted, even back of neck [not glossy]. I moved the rear strap button to counter a slight neck dive. Don't know details, but uses TWO 9v batteries and has 4 channel EQ. Knobs are gain, PU blend, stacked pair for upper and lower mids, and stacked pair for treble and bass. I looked in the control box [which has a grounded metal cover] and it's awesome in there. Inside there is a steel chassis on which all the pots and a few mini-pc boards are mounted. With the steel chassis and cover plate, circuits are very well shielded. PU height and tilt is adjustable and seems to be on traditional springs instead of just on pads [if it is pads, they are best I've ever encountered for adjustment range]. Don't know neck construction cuz it's all painted, but has rosewood FB and a 5-bolt neck joint. Fret ends are well hidden, even without any sort of visible binding. Nut is some sort of intonation-compensated thing [seems like overkill to me]. Body is basswood, so I suppose it will be easier to dent than my other MMs, and the metalic orange would be hard to touch up. Bridge is the usual MM type, no provision for thru-body stringing.

This is a loud thumping punchy bass, even with 5 yr old flatwounds on it, but it can be tamed down to play quietly as well, yet its killer energy colors the tone even in quiet mode. Build quality is MusicMan. The 4 channel EQ is easy to deal with even in the middle of a tune. Electronics are very free of noise from either internal or from external sources. All my "complaints" are subjective issues. This bass is a flawless realization of it's designers' intentions.

Golem rated this unit 4 on 2005-09-19.

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