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Is this a good representation of the Ken Smith tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by markorbit, Mar 9, 2013.


  1. markorbit

    markorbit

    Apr 16, 2004
    I'm looking for warm fingerstyle funk tone from my next bass. I've been checking out many basses and I just can't get enough of this Black Tiger. I think it sounds superb in this guys' many videos. Trouble is, other Smith youtube videos don't seem to share the same warm tone. So, would you say this sound is typical from a Smith Black Tiger?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUBWvMiSQow
     
  2. Tim Bishop

    Tim Bishop Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2006
    USA
    This wouldn't be a good representation of ANY bass. Sounds like he's using an octave divider, so, too much color in this case. Also, YouTube videos are not a realistic representation of any bass as there are simply too many factors that would either compliment and/or detract from the actual sound of the bass.

    If you want to hear the true sound of a Smith, you'd be better served with in-hand experience through a quality amp/cabinet set-up that compliment each other. I've been playing Smiths for 15 years and they are among the best (if not THE best) sounding Jazz, R&B, Funk, Gospel, Blues, etc. bass there is on the market. Among the many Smiths I've played and/or own, the Black Tiger is at the top of the Smith food chain and if you're looking for "warm fingerstyle funk tone", look no further.
     
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  3. taylor16

    taylor16

    Dec 25, 2012
    USA
    I was looking for "that" tone a few weeks ago - set a deposit down on a Roscoe. Give them a look. Great guys.
     
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  4. markorbit

    markorbit

    Apr 16, 2004
    Hmmm... the one Roscoe I tried didn't have that tone to my ears. Others have recommended them too so I guess they are there or thereabouts. I love the sound AND look of a Tiger (not so much the Roscoes) and for that kind of money it really needs to be ticking many boxes. ;)

    @Tim I'm in the UK so trying Smiths isn't too easy.
     
  5. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I don't know if I'd call that tone typical of the Smith, but a Smith can certainly sound like that. For warm, fingerstyle funk, I can't think of a better bass than a Smith.

    Personally, I think youtube can give a decent representation, depending on the recording.
     
  6. markorbit

    markorbit

    Apr 16, 2004
    Thanks, I'm pretty much sold on the Smith. Just need to find one. :hyper: There's a Fusion Elite on the bay which I guess would be just fine though I don't really want or need the extra bling. As for youtube, yes the sound quality isn't the highest but I have no problems hearing the character of many basses or synths on there.
     
  7. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Trying Smiths in the US isn't easy, either. In 20 years, I think I've seen 2 Smith basses hanging on the wall of a shop.
     
  8. bottomzone

    bottomzone

    Oct 21, 2005
    A Ken Smith has its own unique vibe, but there are other basses that can come close to copping it. The PRS Gary Grainger Bass is one:
    (start at the 7:34 mark)
    The PRS seems to be a combination of a Smith and a Stingray to my ears. Since Gary has played both, I don't think its a coincidence.

    This Peavey Cirrus Tiger Eye sounds very close to my ears:


    This Sukop bass is in the Smith neighborhood:


    Of course, there is nothing like a Smith:


    Being a former Smith Black Tiger 5, Warick Thumb Bolt-on 5, Alembic Spoiler 4, Peavey Cirrus USA 5 and current owner of a Cirrus USA 6, Sterling by Music Man Ray 35, Cort A5 Custom Z and Sire Marcus Miller V7 5, the Ken Smith bass is my favorite without question! Love 'em or hate 'em, there is nothing exactly like a Smith!
     
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  9. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Sadowsky Modern is in roughly the same tonal ballpark.

    iirc everything here is with one of my Smith 5-strings:



    Caravanish is the funkiest of that lot, but there is a bit of everything - walking lines, chords, slap (not much). Scarborough and Everybody's are guitar instead of bass (yes, I'm a heretic).

    They don't have to sound like a lot of the youtube videos - depends on how you play them.
     
    bottomzone likes this.
  10. Wow, the PRS and Cirrus really come close! Thanks for posting those videos bottomzone.
     
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  11. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Even though I'm no fan of the song, I think this is a pretty good representation of what the Smith tone sounds like when played finger-style:

     
    AlexanderB likes this.
  12. Funkinthetrunk

    Funkinthetrunk Registered User Supporting Member

    Only a Ken Smith can really do a Ken Smith, as only Alembics can do Alembics. But G&L can cop some of that flavor too.

     
  13. Tim Bishop

    Tim Bishop Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2006
    USA
    A little Gino love. Smith 5WTE. Recorded with Nikon Coolpix Camera: Room sound only; EQ flat both bass and Eden WT-405 Metro 2 x 12.

     
  14. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Ed Friedland is simply a beast!
     
  15. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis


    This is a Cirrus I let go to pay for my DJ5. I miss it, but I could not afford both. I thought it did a decent Smith imitation. I also think that the Cirrus is a bass that sounds wonderful tuned down. I almost always played it tuned DGCF.
     
  16. Tim Bishop

    Tim Bishop Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2006
    USA
    A little more Gino love. Smith 5WTE. Recorded with Nikon Coolpix Camera: Room sound only; EQ flat both bass and Eden WT-405 Metro 2 x 12.

     
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  17. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Great playing! Off topic: I bet there are bunch of forty year olds who were conceived while Gino was singing on a turntable or cassette, eight track, etc.
     
    NigelD likes this.
  18. bottomzone

    bottomzone

    Oct 21, 2005
    I forgot about the Sadowsky Modern! Your band sounds really good!
     
    dralionux and bassomane like this.

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