Better Slapper? Smith or Sadowsky?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JRBrown, Aug 29, 2003.

  1. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Consider a Ken Smith or Sadowsky similar to these in the picture. Which one do you think will make the better slapper? Most versatile bass?

  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I think the Ken Smith looks a lot nicer but iv never palyed one. the sadowsky is good for slap though, but i wish id played a ken smith.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Depends on the slap sound you're after.
    The KS will probably sound a little cleaner - more hifi, the S a little more "live", or more Marcus Miller if you will.
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    To confuse the issue further, Smith offers dual-J pickups in addition to dual 'buckers.

    IMO: the main diff is how many bands of EQ you want... :)
  5. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    maybe check out for a comparison.
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Unfortunately any third party comparison leaves out the biggest piece of the equation... you;)

    If that Smith is typical of other neck through Smiths it most likely will have a more refined (for lack of a better term) sound. A very wide frequency response. Clear, well defined lows. That's great if that's what you want.

    The Sadowsky will most likely have a less refined (again, for lack of a better term) Fender Jazz kind of sound, similar to Marcus. A "big" sound. That too is great if that's what you want.

    Either will work, it depends on what you want:D
  7. Lenko


    May 3, 2003
    Think about Marcus an Ray Riendeau...:bassist:
  8. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Which bass would you say is more versatile?
  9. there's no right or wrong answer to these questions. the sadowsky sounds more traditional, and most people will agree on that, but your questions are completely subjective in nature. play both and pick what you like. actually, you've not only played both, you've owned both! :eek: granted an ash/maple sadowsky is gonna sound different when slapped than the sadowsky you own.
  10. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    You're all 100% right--it does primarily depend on what I like.

    FWIW. You guys play more and will play more than I ever will. My primary hobby is pumping iron; playing bass is secondary. But when I do play, I want it to be equally enjoyable. Therfore, your opinions and advice are invaluable.

  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    From what I heard on, I would say the Ken Smith wins hands down. Really clean and bright slap sound!
  12. hmm. i don't really know how to approach it from that standpoint. i see different basses and sounds as fitting into certain types of musical genres and so forth. if i were to pick a bass that would be used for my own personal fun, that had serious slappability (and everything else too) it would be an Alembic Series I or II with a cocobolo top. there are so many sounds in there its not funny, too much fun! there's so many switches and knobs there you can keep yourself busy for hours tweaking away.

    i used to pump serious iron about 10 years ago.. got kinda muscular too. now, i just pump donuts from the box to my lips! :eek:;)
  13. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    I think Smith's have the best slap sound on the planet... great finger too. If I could only afford one... ;)
  14. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer, Builder
    I like the growl of the Smith. One of the most signatured voiced Instruments on the market.

    Sadowsky's can be great sounding basses as well, but both are totally different animals from tone to construction methods, yet so close in sale pricing.
  15. When i slap I like that bright tone of new strings with that fender type bite... Sadowsky... If I had the money that is........ I'd use the smith for just about everything else... The Smith will have to be a six string and the Sadowsky a 5 string with a high C:D

    I hate four strings, ironically they're harder for me to slap on........ i dont know...
  16. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    The "big" sound of the Sad (good one, Brad) will probably take more space in a live mix, where the more polite "scooped" tone of the Smith could get buried. Depends on the situation (band, woods, strings, amps, player), of course, but in busy mixes the meatier J tone will generally have an easier time to "cut through". That's not saying it will sound prettier, though... probably not.

    Personally, I prefer the J-bass slap characteristics to the Smith, not only for their ability to "cut through", but for the tone in general. I like meat.
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I've never heard of these gents play in person, but I have heard that Ken is the better slapper.
  18. i suppose it is possible to get a scooped sound with a smith, but the default sound is anything but scooped. smiths are so darn mid heavy its amazing.
  19. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    My choice of words wasn't ideal, I admit. I think of the Smiths as having more of a low-mid focus with a brighter treble, whereas a J-bass such as the Sadowsky has more prominent high-mids and isn't as trebly. When I "scoop" I usually "scoop" the high-mids (800-2000 Hz or so), which is why I used that term. The Smith would probably have more punch and attack, but again, I think the Sadowsky would be easier to hear with lots going on around it. Well, you could probably hear more attack, punch and rumble from the Smith, but less definition I would think.

  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Depends on what mids you're talking about;)

    If it's the mids that move a lot of air, that's not the Smith's forte IME. They have a very distinctive, open sounding midrange that's immediately identifiable. Usually not as upfront as the lows and highs, which are excellent. Maybe that's just due to how people I know play Smiths. OTOH a friend of mine has an early 90's 5 string and it's go got punch galore, something that I haven't heard in a few of the newer ones.

    Again, two very diffent sounding basses (Smith and Sadowsky), choose the one that blows your skirt up.