Sunday 5 July 2015

Tools Part 5 - Stealth Bongo

See above, my Musicman Stealth Bongo.
When I had the chance to try them, I always liked playing Musicman basses, and whilst searching around for a replacement for my Wal, which (thanks to some negative airline experiences), I temporarily retired from  service, I briefly used a very nice natural wood Stingray for a tour or two. However, I much preferred the Bongo as soon as I tried one, it felt more comfortable to play, flexible, expressive and with a very pleasing even response.
I was surprised, in a good way, by the very clearly defined low end, a lot more of it than you might expect, given it's actually quite light.  The tonal possibilities make it a very good all round instrument, and I have experimented with different string types from time to time, switching back and forth between round and flatwounds, currently I'm back to using round wounds.
I was lucky enough to get this bass direct from Ernie Ball and along with the simple black "Stealth" colour finish, I opted for dual humbuckers.

Two tone split controls, giving a 4 band EQ, pick up balance and volume control pots.

Bridge close up.

Distinctive 3 + 1 Musicman Headstock

 I believe the design team from BMW were involved in designing the stylistic aspects such as the body and headstock shape, it's certainly a different take on the bass guitar, "marmite" perhaps…..but I like it.

You can see this particular bass getting a workout on the Porcupine Tree "Arriving" Live DVD:

As well as a few other tracks here:

 More recently, I have used a (borrowed) fretless Stealth Bongo live with Burnt Belief:


  1. That's a meeeeeeean looking bass. What a piece :^)

  2. I keep watching the Rockaplast show on youtube from '05. Damn that bass sound was good. I'm a Spector guy but - that tone was spot on. I wish John Mayung would explore that "type" of sound more with DT. Music man tone gets our of control with aggressive playing.

  3. I actually recently purchased a Bongo last Friday and this morning I just found out you use one and I have mad respect for you now.


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