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first post! hi! anybody know what this bass is?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dkelley, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. first post! hi! anybody know what this bass is?

    sorry for shoddy pics, what I was given, I'm considering buying this and can't tell you anything about it yet, haven't even seen it in person yet.

    emg pickups, dual j, looks to me like they're not emg-"select" (so the real deal active pups hopefully). headstock is similar to the alembic series-1 I used to own. looks neck through, looks like someone put lots of good craftmanship into it.

    ideas? I almost always rent basses for sessions but have my ancient precision and a cheap yammy fretless at home for when I can get by with them (the precisions neck is dying... what can I say, I'm poor). all my good basses are long sold, so starting fresh.

    I'm hoping this bass is a great find for cheap that I can use for that dual pup jazz bass sound and hopefully more versatility if the emgs are quiet and the tone/playability is any good.

    here's hoping the pictures show up. sorry I have no other details.

    cheers and pleased to meet everyone.
    Don Kelley

    the session guy
    lower mainland, bc, canada

    Attached Files:

  2. funkifiedsoul

    funkifiedsoul Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    an older "Ken Smith" bass?
  3. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    could be a Ken Smith , or maybe just some knock-off copy ...

    kinda' hard to tell with those pictures .:meh:
  4. To me, the headstock says Smith but the lower horn contour says *not quite*
  5. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    More likely, IMO - that bridge looks cheaper than a "Bent Metal" MIM Fender's. I don't know if the market for Smith copies is large enough, perhaps someone with decent woodworking skills made themselves one?

    ...and welcome to TalkBass, dkelley! :D
  6. IbanezATK


    Feb 24, 2009
    Monroe, LA, USA
    It looks pretty cool to me. Maybe you could put a Badass bridge on it? Hope it sounds and plays great man!
  7. funkifiedsoul

    funkifiedsoul Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    I didn't mention it but I thought the same. The horns look a bit short, thought possibly an early design, and yes, the pics don't reveal enough detail. Although that bridge does look questionable upon a 2nd look. I thought of an unlikely copy too, but thought who would bother? Maybe I thought wrong.

    ...and yes, welcome.
  8. yes... good eye there.... it really does resemble a Ken Smith, although with the fancy center block (whether or not it's really neck through) plus jazz pickups it seems sort of like a frankenstein cross between the one style of his basses that I'm aware of (with his bigger pickups) and the jazz model he lists on his site (which would electronically match this bass, other than having emgs in it). body etc is like his famous models, pups are like his jazz models.

    also I can't tell from the pics if there are 5 knobs with two covers missing or 3 knobs plus 2 metal switches. the knob layout looks like ken smith if in fact it's 5 pots.

    it will be interesting to check out. give me a few hours and I'll report on it (whether or not I end up owning it at that time).

    thanks for your time, I appreciate very much that you answered quickly, it gave me something to look into a little bit, although I "doubt" it's a ken smith, it might be, and what does matter most to me is how it plays and sounds. I've owned great hand built custom basses from "nobodies" (locally known but internationally unknown builders). it could be great. but certainly there is somebody in the world who owned this bass before or one just like it, and it's always possible they're reading my posting right now LoL.

  9. yes that bridge, from the crappy photos... it looks almost home made doesn't it? but who knows, it could be a solid piece of good metal.

    This bass has early hand made unique written all over it, whether that's by Ken Smith or Joe Blow.

    I'm really hoping it plays and sounds very good.

    I'd throw a badass or similar on there in an instant if the bass plays well.

    I'm worried about the neck if it is hand made by someone who didn't know what they were doing, but you have to admit it looks like someone DID know what they were doing...

    maybe a smith neck on a ripoff copy body, but like someone mentioned, the market for smith knock off basses is probably pretty much nonexistent isn't it, beginners don't know who ken smith is I would think. so it's more likely the real thing or some hand built item. I doubt it's a chinese factory built knock off of a smith, can't think of any examples of mass produced smith knock offs.

    cheers and thanks for the welcome everybody!

    I should have joined this site a decade ago...

  10. this looks similar (a real smith bass I googled that is more like the mystery bass in question than other ones I've seen so far)


    but the pickup and bridge positions are very different (the white one is more typical of ken smith than the pics of the bass I'm checking out).

    but the body shape/horns really look identical to me... maybe ken had a bad day and made this instrument? LoL anybody know if ken's around to take a look at these pictures? I'm sure he has nothing better to do (no worries, I'm 110% kidding)

  11. IbanezATK


    Feb 24, 2009
    Monroe, LA, USA
    There is a local guy here who will build anything with strings. I mean he builds every single bit on the instrument, 100 percent by hand, except the strings. He built a music professor a replica of some multi-stringged thing that hasn't been built or heard in hundreds of years. I think that's the only thing he's known for.

    He can't do a setup on a guitar other than his own worth crap, but I've played 5 (yes 5 lol) and 6 string guitars that he has built and they are REDICULOUSLY good.

    The guy can build anything your heart desires, unless he considers the shape "evil." He's super religious, but a very cool guy.

    When my ship comes in I will have him build a bass for me.
  12. IbanezATK


    Feb 24, 2009
    Monroe, LA, USA
    And now I will retire from this thread... I can't afford a Ken Smith or an Alembic and for some reason these pictures have me gassing for both!
  13. LoL - I'll tell ya, the old original alembic series 1 I used to own was easily the best fretted bass I ever owned.

    but... I'm an idiot. had to pay rent. was going through tough times. now I own nothing worth mentioning.

    but maybe later tonight my luck will change...

  14. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Definitely a Smith, or knockoff.

    I know it has been said, but Im just agreeing.

    It looks sweet, either way.
  15. IbanezATK


    Feb 24, 2009
    Monroe, LA, USA
    Damnit Don I just couldn't stay away, and you had to mention Alembic!

    I lusted for an Alembic BEFORE I played bass... I was a gui****ist and I wanted one!

    My ex-wife put me in a position where I had to liquidate most of my gear... and a lot of it I'm sure I'll never be able to acquire again. I wasn't gigging, I was getting older, she didn't think I needed it.

    Fortunately I'm re-married to an amazing woman, building my bass rig, in a band I really enjoy playing with, and life is good.
  16. great to hear... I understand.... 'nuff said. :)
  17. definitely - I emailed support at ken's website directly with pics just in case someone there has a chance to take a look, but I doubt it'll be before I leave in 45 minutes to go see it in person.

    I'm hoping I don't get screwed around here by the seller (sorry, just sold it to someone else).

    I'll get into details after the meeting - maybe an update tonight or tomorrow. hopefully with me owning the bass because it turns out to be amazing.
  18. IbanezATK


    Feb 24, 2009
    Monroe, LA, USA
    Man make sure you update us. I can't stay away.
  19. ha, just got a response from Ken Smith:

    "Piece of junk that is a loose copy of the head maybe. Not a Smith in the least. Firewood at best. Save your money and get a Chinese Fender befoe you throw it away on that."

    hmmmmmmmmmm. I'm not sure he's clear about his opinion - what do you guys think?


    I'm still going to go and check it out. can't hurt to see what it's like in real life.

    very interesting response though.

    Ken if you're reading this, I appreciate your quick response and very honest appraisal of that instrument. I have a feeling you've come across them before - it appears that there IS a KS knockoff out there, and from what Ken says it's worthless.

    I'll soon make up my own mind if it's a useful instrument, but I certainly trust Ken's opinion - the man should know :)

    Cheers everyone

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