Why do people not like Ken Smith basses.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by iwearpumas, Oct 22, 2012.


  1. iwearpumas

    iwearpumas

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    Aug 12, 2011
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    NYC
    After reading some threads, i notice people really don't like Ken Smith basses. Why do people not like them?
  2. Will Kelly

    Will Kelly Gold Supporting Member

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    Mar 3, 2010
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    TX
    I havent noticed that. The Smiths I have owned have been the finest fretted electric basses I have ever played.
  3. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Nobody is stupid enough to actually pay me to play their gear.
    I think a lot of people don't like Ken Smith, his basses are great. Look thru the older Smith threads.... He can be a knob.

    The only negative I can see about his basses are that they are expensive and some may say more geared to jazz that other types of music. Not my first choice for a hard rock gig to say the least.
  4. millsbass5

    millsbass5

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    Logan,W.V.(not up some holler)

    Why do people like TV preachers that are frauds? Both answers are foolish, and they can't explain. :bag:
    lang3735 likes this.
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  6. metalstorm

    metalstorm Supporting Member

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    I didn't like my smiths because for me they were lacking low end and didn't have the fat bottom to fill out a mix. This is purely IME and others will probably disagree.
  7. wraub

    wraub

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    I'll have an IPA, please.
    I'm sure that many people love Smith basses, but I personally have never been drawn to their appearance.

    I have heard some less than flattering accounts of Mr. Smith's personal demeanor, but that's probably best left unexplored at this juncture.

    wraub
  8. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

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    Jun 28, 2009
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    Boston, MA
    What Smith models did you own? Lacking low end has not been an issue on any Ken Smith I've ever played.
  9. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    White Plains
    This, and the price tag.
  10. steelbed45

    steelbed45 TRemington

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    +1
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  11. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Gold Supporting Member

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    To the OP's original question; Because people like what they like. Sure would be a boring world, if we all liked the same thing.

    I was predisposed to like Ken Smiths when I first heard of them. I was into the whole exotic wood/high performance thing, and assumed that every boutique bass would be like a Fender, only "more".

    I eventually realized that most high-performance basses that drew on Alembic as an influence would share some resemblances (relatively few dead notes, more sustain than a Fender, beautiful woods and appearance, exotic tone control layouts), but that they would still sound and feel quite different from each other.

    And while they certainly sound different from your average Fender, different isn't necessarily better. It all depends on context.

    In the end, it turned out that the Smiths I tried weren't to my taste. But I don't knock them. For some people, they're just the ticket.
  12. PocketGroove82

    PocketGroove82

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    Naples, Italy
    I don't mind Ken.
    I love his basses because they feel great and when you play a Smith, it always sounds like you're playing a Smith.
    I consider his basses as a specific tool for a specific job, because like I said, when you play a Smith, it ALWAYS sounds like you're playing a Smith.


    If I played gospel in a Southern Mega church, a Smith would be a go-to bass.
  13. Josh Pelican

    Josh Pelican

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    Sep 22, 2008
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    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
    I don't like them because I don't have any.

    Although, to be honest, the four string bodies look quite large and silly. I've never seen one in person, so this might not be true.
  14. bassteban

    bassteban

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    Northern California
    I like them but they do not make the sound in my head like a P does. If one other person will profess to*like* KS basses then the thread title will be invalid
  15. chef wong

    chef wong Banned

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    Ohio
    I've played a bunch of the Smith's you see at Guitar Center sold as new. Maybe Mr. Smith needed the money, so he sold out to Japan years ago. It wouda been alot cooler if he hadn't done that.


    Were they the "next step" in luxury basses? I really don't think so.
  16. abstractart06

    abstractart06

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    ATLANTA, GA
    Smiths have a strong following with contemporary gospel bassists, as well as jazz.
  17. millsbass5

    millsbass5

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    Dec 7, 2008
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    Logan,W.V.(not up some holler)
    Ah, everybody has their reasons. Mainly being, it just happens to be "not their sound/tone". It sure ain't due to the quality Smith spits out, for sure.
  18. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Supporting Member

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    Metro St. Louis
    I like Ken Smith basses a great deal. They have distinct mid range heavy sound that is not everyone's cup of tea. I think that ken Smiths can fit in anywhere, like a Precision or Stingray.
  19. malthumb

    malthumb Supporting Member

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    Are you talking about KSD basses? Ken Smith Design? If so, they are not representative of the basses he makes in the US. I owned a Burner (made in Japan in the '90s). It was okay. Not great.....okay. At the time my teacher had a Chuck Rainey. I played the two back to back. His CR was amazing, IMHO. I also played a few of the neck thru models at Huber & Breese. Even more amazing. But for the price, I prefer my Alembics.
  20. zortation

    zortation Supporting Member

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    Dec 26, 2011
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    Toronto, ON
    I love the look and feel of them, but the basic tone doesn't grab me. The treble they put out has a sonic character that is.."different". But hey that's what the EQ is for.

    I would love to grab one and fool around with the internals (DIP switches) sometime though.
  21. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Never played one, but they look ugly to me, and why would I play an ugly bass when I can play something that looks good and sounds good?

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