Budget shootout: KSD, Cort/Elrick, MTD

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassdr, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. In the price range of $550-700 which of these basses would you choose?

    Ken Smith Design Proto 70's 5 string
    Cort/Elrick Josh Paul
    MTD Kingston/Heir 5

    Are there other basses in this price range to consider? I have only played the MTD. No local stores stock the other two. If anyone has played the others and can comment on neck profile and playability that would also be helpful.
  2. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    I'd add in the Lakland Skyline 55-01, "street" price is typically about $700, and it is easily as good as any of the basses you list.

    I've spent time with all of these basses (I work for a shop that sells ALL of them), and they're VERY surprisingly good for the price they sell at.

    The Josh Paul and Kingston basses have very "modern" neck profilies. The Kingston has a slightly assymmetrical neck (thicker on the bass side than the treble) that makes playing in the "correct" thumb in the middle of the neck position very comfy. The Josh Paul features the "best bolt on joint award" Elrick bolt-on design, which makes playing in the higher positions as easy as on a thru-neck bass. The Skyline neck is kind of a flattened "U" profile, still fairly shallow (fingerboard to back of neck) though, and very fast. The KSD has a very deep neck, and is the "chunkiest" of four, reminiscent of an older Fender.

    From what I can tell, the Josh Paul and Skyline basses have the exact same pickups and electronics, two Bartolini-designed narrow soapbar pickups and a 3-band preamp with an active/passive switch on the volume knob. The active Kingston basses have a Korean made copy of a Musicman Stingray humbucker and what appears to be a similiar if not identical preamp, but without the active/passive switch. The KSD has a pair of non-humbucking J pickups and a 2-band preamp.

    My PERSONAL taste (and this is no reflection on the basses, they're all very good) is that the Josh Paul, Kingston (active), and Skyline basses are a toss-up, they all play and sound great; the KSD is an excellent bass, but I don't care for how the neck feels, and I have a personal fetish about 60-cycle hum, so I'm not too hip on the pickups.