Can you get a Jaco tone from a Ken Smith?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RoboChrist, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. RoboChrist

    RoboChrist Guest

    Jul 8, 2009
  2. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    by "Jaco Tone" you mean lostsa "Mwaaaah" on a fretless?

    Well, if you have a Fretless smith... and you dial up the bridge p'up you should be okay... though Smiths have an odd sound that is more suited for slapping/popping as I recall (never owned one/played several).

    Save your money and get a fretless J and you be JUST like Jaco!
  3. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Yep, answer me this:

    Is your Smith fretless?

    If not, then this thread is a big nope..
  4. mbw82


    Jun 7, 2008
    Sadowsky, Fender, GK, Dean Markeley
    no no no no. jazz.
  5. RoboChrist

    RoboChrist Guest

    Jul 8, 2009
    Ok I mean a fretted bass, and assuming he doesn't put some special fretless pickups in his basses then you can't have one Jaco tone without the other, right?
  6. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Jaco played fretted on some of his most famous songs, Birdland anyone?, so it can be done!

    All bridge pickup, and play over the bridge pickup. Add some highs, too.
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    You can get a nice bridge pickup sound out of a Smith, but it is not quite a Jazz bass tone. Frankly, if you spend Ken Smith money, you really should be looking for the Ken Smith sound. I'm not trying to be a smart @$$, this is just IMO.:cool:
  8. gregmerrill


    Jul 27, 2009
    I have a Ken Smith and have put it down over the years as I seem to do more groove playing then I do soloing. I bought it because it was so easy to play and sounds great for high register solos. But, for a phat groove that cuts it lacking. I was in this rock band and brought in a Fender after playing the Smith for a while. Everyone said what the hell did you do to your sound its great, dont change it. On Jaco's tribute album some of those artist are playing high end basses and they are catching the licks but sometimes I feel their notes lack punch that Jaco got on his Fender. The ghost notes don't pop out the same way but maybe thats only because Jaco was so incredible at that. In my opinion if your shooting for that sound go with a Jazz bass type sound.
  9. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    I was thinking that, but I was afraid to..
  10. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I haven't played a Smith, but from what I've heard hear you could probably get a "Jaco on steroids" tone by solo'ing the bridge pickup. By this, I mean similar to the Jaco tone but fatter and more low mid punchy.

    +1, but usually the Jaco tone is achieved by solo'ing the bridge pickup and rolling off the passive tone control a little, not adding highs.
  11. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    Identical? Never?

    Close enough? Give me 20 seconds...
  12. bassvi


    Jul 12, 2005
    I had a similar experience to this with my Peavey Cirrus 6, beautiful tone but just could not get the solo sound out of it I was looking for... Very hi-fi and modern sounding but definitely has it's own voice. Some people compare them to Ken Smiths. I now have two other basses, a Larrivee L6 and a Yamaha TRBII 1006 that can both approximate the Fender Jazz sound much more closely and I am pretty happy with them. If you don't want/need 6 strings, I would go with an American Fender Jazz. The Jaco tribute bass sounds incredible IMO, if you can afford one of those.
    If you have money and want/need 6 strings, the Steve Bailey or the MM Bongo 6 probably can do the sound but I would still try them out first to be sure. There is a video of Ed Friedland playing a Bongo 6 on youtube and it sounds pretty great to me.
  13. Yes you can. Well, I dunno if you can but Hadrien Feraud gets about as close as humanly possible with his Ken Smith Burner Deluxe 5. The humbucking J pickups the pup positions probably have a lot to do with that though. I think you'd get closest with either a Burner series or a BSR J but I can't be sure because I've only played the models with dual coils.
  14. so than any midrangey bridge pickup tone sounds like jaco then?
  15. king_biscuit


    May 21, 2006

    +1 to all of this. I played a Smith for years, and concur...
  16. gregmerrill


    Jul 27, 2009
    Just want to mention again that the Ken Smith bass is so easy to play. You feel like your playing a guitar. Licks that give me a tuff time on my Fodera, Jazz basses, and Percision are a sinch on the Smith. Smith would be great for Jazz gig where you solo alot or maybe a solo act playing chordal stuff or classical. See Pattituci instructional video where he plays a Bach piece with one. Just incredible. But not a standard fat grooving axe.
  17. Well Jaco could, but only if it was a 4 string. As you all may have heard, he only needed that many.
  18. RTL

    RTL Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Leander, TX
    Damn! You beat me to it!
  19. In order to be the reigning sarcastic pain in the posterior, you must be quick! Now back to your possibly informative thread.
  20. JTUK


    May 25, 2009
    I'm a bit confused by this...

    Jacos' tone was all about the bridge pickup plucked hard..and you should be able to get close with a Ken Smith...and a few others for that matter..

    If shouldn't matter if the Smiths pick-ups are single or double either, as that is just about level mostly..
    Ok, the sound might be a bit fuller, but that can work for you as well....

    Live, I think he used a 360 cab ( or two ) and I didn't see anything else on stage so not a lot of top-end going on there..

    The hardest part will be kopping the style rather than getting the sound, IMO...