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Are Ken Smiths Only For Pros?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jeff Sarsippius, Apr 15, 2019 at 4:19 PM.

  1. Hello, All:

    I played a KS Black Tiger and loved it. My close friend who is a pro bassist said they’re “for the consummate pro only.” Given he’s British perhaps he was teasing me with sarcasm, but it begs the question, Sirs and Madames:

    Are these basses only for pros? Am I wasting time looking for a cheaper used one? Frank comments very much welcomed!
  2. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Amateurs are not allowed to play Ken Smith's basses. It's in his sales contract. Don't get caught playing one or you will be slapped by Ken with a banana peel.
  3. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Oooh, didn't realize ol' Ken was so kinky! :woot::roflmao::smug:
  4. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    They're for people who think that bass should sound like a tuba fornicating with a snare drum on a rainy Caribbean afternoon after watching Bruce Willis' "Blind Date" in the back of a pharmacy while eating mango flavored Doritos on a bean chair under the moonlit sun in New Hampshire in the Autumn.
  5. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    If you have $6K +/- a few, Mr Smith will gladly part with one of his basses ... . Y’all can chat after that about “pro” status:cool:
    MonetBass, bassicg, kobass and 8 others like this.
  6. I’m glad I’m not allergic to bananas...LOL

    You all are great: I feel less guilty now, but no way would I pay for a new one at 7k here in Japan...but is it the case candy? The “secret sauce?” LOL
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  7. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I don't know many pros who can afford a Ken Smith.
    Fortunately for the brand there are many amateurs buying them.
  8. A pro can play a Squier, a hack like me can own a Rickenbacker (& has).
    It's up to you if you want to drop that much on an instrument.

    If you're in Japan, get an Ibanez Prestige, or as they call them in Japan, Ibanez.

    ESP would be a great one to go after in Japan, also.
  9. PJ Muzikmansky

    PJ Muzikmansky

    Jan 4, 2013
    Depends on whether you want to sound like a pro playing a Ken Smith...

    The reality is, I don't sound like a pro on ANYTHING, so for me the point is moot.:D
    dangnewt, smogg, pcake and 2 others like this.
  10. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    you say that like its a bad thing...
  11. any expensive hand made instrument is realistically only for pros OR for very good players who have exceeded the limitations of more ordinary off the rack instruments - or those with lots of money to throw around and just like the name.

    I talked to Ken Smith once - he takes a LOT of pride in his instruments. I think he might say they're for serious players - doesn't mean pro though, could be serious hobbiests.
  12. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Dude, they are $7,000 in America too. Between 1996-1998, I had a bolt on Ken Smith bass. Back then it was only $2,200. I traded it for a sweet Modulus Q5 right after I got married. Although I am much more of five or four string player instead of a six player. I regret letting that Ken Smith go because I will never see one that cheap again.
  13. Garret Graves

    Garret Graves website- ggravesmusic.com Gold Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Arcadia, Ca
    Instrument ownership isn’t merit based. If you can afford it, get it! :bassist:
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Any bass is for whomever can afford it without going into debt. If you buy it and set it on a shelf, paint it hot pink, or play it poorly, it's yours.

    Most who own a Ferrari wouldn't last a lap at Indianapolis. ;)
    mikewalker, mmbass21, BOOG and 26 others like this.
  15. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Your friend's a pro bassist or stand-up comic?

    If, for some crazy reason you have to spend that kind of money for a bass that can only do what many other basses can for far less money, go for it...but if you want a bass that gets the job done and doesn't require such blind allegiance, let me know and I'll recommend several.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 5:42 PM
  16. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    my name is not "frank," but: no instrument is insurmountable. even for pros.
    City, lizardking837 and MattZilla like this.
  17. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    At times like this, I wish Ken Smith was not banned from Talkbass. He was cranky, but informative.
  18. Mastodon2


    Feb 27, 2008
  19. punkrocko


    Jun 18, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    “Pro’s” play whatever they can get via endorsement. Ken Smith and that ilk stay in business selling to doctors, lawyers, and hedge fund bankers that never play outside of their own house.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 6:02 PM
  20. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    Unless you are bathing in money, before you spend thousands of dollars on a bass just ask yourself if you intend to play it often. And by often try and commit to a number . Ex - 1 hour a day? 6?

    It helps to think about it that way “ill be playing this bass 20 hours a week. Its worth the cost”.

    The pro versus non pro argument is meaningless. But if you are a hobbyist who is not committed to a practice and gig schedule, it may make sense to save your money and budget for something in a lower range.

    Ken smiths are incredibly awesome. But their sound is not going to work on everything and they can get heavy on gigs/tours.

    Try and find an older US peavy cirrus if you want something similar in tone and want to save money.

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