Beast or Kingston?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Flatwound, Oct 26, 2001.

  1. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Well, I'm thinking of chucking my Precision in favor of an MTD, one of the two listed in the title of my post. Both are supposed to be awesome basses, but they are different. The Beast is apparently discontinued in favor of the Kingston, but I talked to Mike Tobias, and he still has some Beasts that just came in. Last shipment, I think.

    Both are passive. The Beast has two Bartolini single coil J pickups with exposed poles, the Kingston has a MM-type humbucker.

    The Beast is poplar-bodied, the Kingston is basswood.

    The Beast has a wenge fingerboard, the Kingston is available with maple or rosewood.

    Both get good reviews.

    Both are available for not much money.

    If you have one or the other, or have played them, I'd sure appreciate your reactions. Here in San Diego, it seems like it isn't going to be possible to A/B them.
  2. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    My experience with the two basses in question: I owned two Beasts for a while this year. I've tried a Kingston in a store for a short time. I tried the Kingston a while before I bought my first Beast - I never directly compared them.

    My observations and opinions: They are both well constructed and play well and sound pretty good. They do not, however, sound the same. The Beast has Bartolini single-coil jazz pickups. And you get what I've heard described as a "modern jazz" sound. You get extra depth from the neck pickup (if you use it) and get the traditional jazz-like clank and snap. I personally prefer the sound of a jazz setup to the single MM-style pickup. The Kingston does not sound like a Stingray (hey, it's passive). It had a tight, focussed sound that was closer to a jazz bridge pickup sound than a precision sound. It's a good sound and encouraged me to pickup a G&L Climax (single pickup in the MM sweetspot) bass because it sounded nice.

    My personal preferences are to the Beast - I like the sounds from the jazz config better than the MM sweetspot pickup (however they are gone because I prefer my L-2000 and am getting a P-style G&L). The materials are a bit nicer (poplar body, wenge fingerboard, Bartolini pickups). The craftsmanship/quality is "supposed" to be better with the Beast being manufactured in the Czech Republic but that gets into the whole "where is it built" as opposed to "how does it feel & perform". I liked the intangibles of the Beast better (it just "felt" better and more "lively" to me) but like I said the pickup config is more my personal preference and I never compared them directly.

    At the same price I think the Beast is a clear winner, but personal preferences apply.
  3. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Hey flatwound did Mike Tobias mention if any of those Beasts were fretless versions? I would love to have a fretless Beast.

    I own the Beast and I am very pleased with the quality of it. craigb probably covered most of what I would have said. I think the bridge and the control knobs could have been better. The sound is major! I can't compare it to the Kingston as I have never had the opportunity to try one but if you prefer Jazz style basses, you will probably love the Beast.
  4. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    He didn't say. Beasts don't seem to be widely available at this point. Maybe if you call Matthews and Ryan, the distributors, they could tell you what the inventory is like.
  5. tm3


    Oct 10, 2001
    north carolina

    is that last bunch going to be sold thru the same distributor (adrian's contact) or a different route?
  6. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I think all of MTD's import stuff goes through Matthews and Ryan, in the USA anyway.