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fretless: MIA Fender Jazz V or KSD LFj5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fiebru1119, May 11, 2004.

  1. fiebru1119


    Mar 2, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    i'm looking to get a fretless 5 soon and i've narrowed it down to these two pretty much. i like the warm round sound from the j-style basses especially in fretless. really similar with the only noticable difference being the ken smith having an ebonol fretboard to fender's rosewood. now my question is, is it worth the extra $300-400 for the MIA fender as opposed to the ken smith? what are your opinions on these two?
  2. sheepdog


    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    if you want a vintage jazz tone, get a passive jazz bass. Both would be excellent instruments. I would rather keep a preamp outboard with a jazz.
  3. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
    Remember that the Fender is 34" length scale, while the KSD 5-string is 35".
  4. Fretless5verfan


    Jan 17, 2002
    also keep in mind the KSDs have an active/passive push/pull knob IIRC.

    If i were you i'd go with a KSD unless i played Fender Jazz that spoke to me...which happened this weekend :bawl:
  5. egb41


    Mar 26, 2003
    U.S.A OHIO Columbus
    For what it is worth I personally do not believe that having the Fender name on the headstock is worth the extra money. If we were talking about a four string bass that would be one thing but I believe Fender has fallen behind the times because they keep on producing 34" scale five strings. I know that there are exceptions but overwhelmingly statistically 35" scale B's are just better. Plus as someone else has already mentioned the Ken Smith Design has the active/passsive option. That is unless of course you don't plan on playing any notes below low e flat :hyper:
  6. Word.
  7. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    I wouldn't get too caught up in the 34" vs. 35" scale debate. There are plenty of 34" scale fivers that kill. Pedulla and Sadowsky for example...JMHO

  8. Hurley


    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    True, there are plenty of 34" scale basses with great low B's, but every Fender I've tried has a floppy B (except one RBV I played).

  9. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Before you narrowed it down to the Fender or Ken Smith, did you have the opportunity to try a Lakland Skyline Joe Osborn? It's generally agreed that they have a killer "B." (and yes, I know they are 35" scale). ;)
  10. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I haven't tried the KSD but every Fender 5 I've tried has an aweful B string.

    I don't think it's just a scale lenght thing. My SR5 has a great B as do alot of other 34" scale 5's
  11. catwig1


    Mar 4, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    I played one of these a few months ago, and it rocked! I didn't believe the price tag on it! (I'm in the UK). IMHO a much better B than fender Jazz.
    I really think you need to try any of these basses before you buy, it is a very personal thing and even very similar instruments can feel "right" or "wrong" to you. You just wont know until you haave played them.
    Good luck
  12. fiebru1119


    Mar 2, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    thanks for the replies. yes i had completely forgotten about the difference in scale lenghts between the two. as for what i've played? i did play the jazz V and to me it was a "pretty" good bass. felt like butter in my hands and the B wasnt all that bad (although i'm not saying it wasnt anything to praise either). the other bass i tried was the Lakland 55-02 fretless which i fell in love with but its kinda out of the price range right now.. i'm looking right now for reviews on the Smith because if not then i'm just gonna hold out a month or so more and get the Lakland..
  13. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Have you thought about a used 55-02? You can save alot of cash that way. If you don't wanna go the used route then try The Dude Pit. He's got great prices. He can be reached on his forum
  14. Does Fender even make a 5 string fretless?
  15. And their B string would be even tighter if they had a 35" scale.