Can anyone comment on the Ken Smith Design basses??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by panic_striken, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. panic_striken


    Oct 13, 2005
    I have been shopping for a J-style 5'er. I came across these new KSD V70 & V60 basses. Has anyone played either one of these or heard one played???
  2. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    VERY punchy!! Man they have a lot of bite and loads of sustain. Wish they were'nt j bass designs, theres enough of those out there, hope Ken offers us somthing new to the KSD line in 2006.
  3. panic_striken


    Oct 13, 2005
    How is the neck at the nut??? What about the string spacing??? How does the neck compare to Fender or Lakland??? How strong is the low B??? What kind of pups are they??? Preamp????
  4. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    The bass is a great bang for the buck, its made in Korea, the pre/pickups aren't GREAT but they are what you get and at that price range the basses are pretty darn good, I hear there might be some quality control issues with them, but I loved mine, the only reason I got rid of it was, well I got a great deal on a better bass, traded it partially in for my MTD.
  5. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Outside of the p'ups, I thought they were great. Keep in mind, this is Ken's first year into them, so I think they're only going to get better.
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I played a friend's Retro-J 5 and absolutely loved it, well, as much as I can love a 5-string, which isn't much. The neck is slightly more narrow than a Fender, but it didn't bother me too much.

    As for why it's a J shape, look what's popular again...Fenders. Quite frankly I don't blame Ken for doing it. It's a great alternative to Fenders, it's well made and looks good. It's a good business move. Not the most original move he could have made, but he's done his share of originality so he's entitled to make a strictly business move into Fender shapes. How else is he going to satisfy his jones for expensive old uprights? ;)
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  7. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia In Memoriam

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    they are a lot of bass for the $ - the neck is a bit chunky- but man, you get a full size J bass with block and binding ( i know thats just looks , but some people charge more for blocks than you pay for an entire KSD)
    and i would take one on a gig if i had to without ANY shame- in fact, i just saw a Lee Ritenour dvd and Melvin Davis had one. It has good tone both fingerstyle and slap - yes, you can spend more and get more bass, but for the price... i think they are very cool.
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Adrian, I hope you are continuing to do better. I'm glad you posted on KSDs. I have always liked the 70s model with the binding and blocks. You saying you would take one to a gig means alot. That you and Woodchuck are positive about them makes them worth a look since you both are pretty high profile pros. I wish I were going to Basscentral this week instead of February, I'm eager to really do some comparisons in the $400-$1,000 range! :bassist:
  9. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Yeah, good point, but I really do believe that as long as it had the name Ken Smith on it the sales would be the same or close to it. look at MTD kingstons and Heirs, cosmeticly different but the same basic shape of the 535's, and they did extremely well because people associate MTD with great quality basses. I think this would work for Ken Smith and I think even more people would buy them, including me :D
  10. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    What's approximate street on one of the KSD 70s 4-strings? I'm kinda diggin those.
  11. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I own a V70J5. I've had it for a year or so and still gig with it from time to time. My Smith BSR5 is my main bass, but I still use to KSD when I want a jazz tone.

    I wrote the review below shortly after I got it. After a year I wouldn't change anything in the review.

  12. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    i've used mine on about 100 gigs and no complaints yet...
  13. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    i will also mention that the new ones are comign through with american made circuits instead of korean made circuits.
  14. Guiseppe


    Oct 26, 2003
    Vancouver, WA
    I've had my KSD 60's 5'er for about a year...I still use it as my #1. To me the construction is great, with the exception of the concentratic tone knobs (the treble is set a little loose). The tone is just what I wanted, and is good enough that (so far) I haven't desired anything else. It's my first 5 string, and although it took me a little time to get used to the extra string aside from that the spacing and fretboard are just fine by me. I really like the sunburst Jazz look, and the finish and pickguard are 1st rate.

    The KSD's aren't a Ken Smith bass, he sold the design/technology to Brooklyn Gear, so all those saying "Ken is going to do something different with the KSD basses" aren't quite right...he does do a small sampling for quality control, and although they're not HIS basses, his company is kind enough on occasion to help out some of the owners w/ questions.

    I bought the bass understanding it was an import, but all reviews I'd seen were positive, and I don't regret getting mine at's a tight, punchy jazz-tone bass with great sustain and a cool look.
  15. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Inactive Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    DZ, that circuit is still in development. When it's ready, it will be announced. No date planned yet as i haven't even tested the first one. Then we have to produce the Circuits and then the Basses , etc. so the 'package is ready. Sometime in 2006 if all goes well but there might be other changes as well. This may become the KSDII and the price will change along with it.

    One person mentioned in a KSD review about having some re-wiring or grounding done to handle the 'hum' when the Balance comtrol is NOT centered. This is the case with every single coil Jazz pickup. In the center, they hum-buck themselves as if it's a two coil pickup split in different positions. As you roll the balance control, the typical 60 cycle hum with come into play depending on how far to each pickup you move the balance. This is a fact of life and not something a person should spend time or money trying to fix. Nothing broken to fix at all here. Only Humbucking J-type pickups will fix that is it bothers you.
  16. mike sancho

    mike sancho SANCH

    Feb 10, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I had one for a while and my only real complaint was the bass was so darn heavy. Plenty of tone, plenty of punch and the B was solid. I think I read somewhere that they are not as heavy now as they were. For the money you can't go wrong.
  17. They're fricken heavy.

    Trust me.

  18. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    It's not a light bass, but it's not as heavy as my old Warwick or some 70's fender I have played. I'm able to play 2-4 hour gigs with it no problem.