Is this a manufacturing defect? (KSD)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by zeronyne, May 18, 2005.

  1. zeronyne

    zeronyne Recovering Keyboard Player

    Nov 24, 2003
    I just received my KSD Fretless J 5, and I was hoping that someone could let me know if this is a typical thing:

    The string spacing is a normal 19mm near the bridge, and everything else seems physically fine, but look at the alignment of the pickups:


    I tried to take a picture head on, and I think I succeeded...look at the neck's almost aligned. But look at the G string polepieces on the bridge pickup!

    Is this a factory defect? I have never seen another KSD with misaligned pickups like this.

    I'm on a 3 day trial from a very reputable dealer. Please help.
  2. Stox


    Mar 18, 2005
    London UK
    If you've never seen another KSD like it I'd get the shop to exchange it, you probably wont notice any difference tone/volume wise but I'd want that replaced
  3. slaper


    May 7, 2005
    zeronyne> what do you think of the sound of this bass? how much did you pay? please let me know I am very interested in getting one for me. :help:
  4. zeronyne

    zeronyne Recovering Keyboard Player

    Nov 24, 2003
    I just got it, so I'll post my impressions once I've played it for a few hours today.
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I know the guy from Ken Smith/KSB posts here, so you may want to e-mail or PM him.

    I think this is the right link to PM him.
  6. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    09, i checked one that i have in stock here ( a 70's j 5, fretted ) and it lines up a little better, but not exactly 100 % -
    i am guessing the pickups are both the same size and while the neck lines up good, the bridge is a little odd because of the spacing as you get closer to the bridge- let us know how it sounds anyway, i am curious- the 70's sounds surprisingly good for a bass in this price range.
  7. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Yes Adrian, The pickups are the same for Neck and Bridge so with the taper they look a bit different. As far as the line up from Bass to Bass, there is some tollerance to accept. The reason for the double pole pickup is so there is always contact. The looks are decieving as even our handmade Basses are impossible to line up the same on every Bass. Between the Pickup screws, Neck Bolt, Neck pocket and Bridge, you have many factors that make up the visual.

    Broolkyn Gear is the Dist/Mfg as we are the designer. We see this as cosmetic mainly because the Pickups are the Same between two different string spacings.
  8. My Dolan jazz is handmade too. I see the same thing on mine and figure it's no big deal- just an illusion that is created with dual pole pieces on a vintage style jazz pup.
  9. i just had a squizz at mine.....the bridge pickup lines up just neck the B and E strings line up a little to the 'inside' magnets

    oo, mines a v70j 5 string fretted
  10. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Allz I can say is I feel for ya on that one. My guess is if it sounds great and you don't notice the difference you're not going to want to send it back because of the hassle - BUT, it could very well haunt you for the rest of your time with the bass. If I were in your shoes the only thing that would cure my ill would be seeing if it were exactly the same on every other one of the same basses. If t were, I'd keep it if I liked it - if i found even one that was aligned perfectly I'd have to send it back because my peace of mind is easily disturbed and I know I'd never let it rest.

    My $.04. I raised the price because I'm beginning to think a little more of myself these days. :)
  11. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Hmm. I'd be less worried about it myself EXCEPT that the actual pickup routes seem to be the root of the problem. Is it just me or is the bridge pickup route noticably shifted to the right side? It doesn't look the pickups line up.

    Sweet bass otherwise tho..
  12. i wouldnt be bothered, i mean, is there a noticable difference in tone/volume between the strings in question? there isnt on mine, at all, but heres mine just for comparison...sorry im a crap photographer

  13. zeronyne

    zeronyne Recovering Keyboard Player

    Nov 24, 2003
    OK, I've had this bass for a while now. It still needs a setup, but the pickup is OK now that I raised the treble side a bit.

    And I understand that on an import bass like this that there are tolerances and a bit of inconsistency here and there. But functionality aside, it's pretty obvious that this one is definitely pushing the envelope in terms of acceptability. Import or not, 6-700 buck is still a lot of dough for significant aesthetic misalignment.

    As I said, though, it sounds great, and the color scheme works great for me. Thanks Adrian, Ken, and all others who answered.
  14. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    No, it's not you.

    Yes, the bridge pick-up is too far to the right (I could see that before I read anything).

    No, the pick-ups do not line up.

    That being said, I would imagine the field is still wide enough on those for volume/output (string to string) not to be a problem.
  15. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    Considering this, the other kan smith desing shown and that the Bridge p-up routing is not aligned correctly i would change it.
  16. basslag13


    Apr 16, 2005
    i think its a bridge thing. If you look closely you can see that the A,D and G strings bend to the left after the saddle so maybe that has something to do with it.
  17. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    Look closer, none of the strings alignes in the center of the pole pieces.
  18. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    This thread might be dead at this point, but I just found it today and thought the it was interesting that I had the same problem at just about the same time. I posted a review of my KSD on 5-17-05 "KSD proto j V70J5 Review" and reported the same thing.

    Our basses must have been from the same batch. If the bodies were set up in a routing jig or something that was off by a little it might explain why we both have the issue.

    Regardless of the offset pickup, I still dig the bass. I've been using it as my main bass for some time now and have not had any issues with it.
  19. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    I do not think I have ever owned a bass with pole pieces that have lined up. Don't let it bother you, if it plays and sounds fine, ignore it. Now all of my basses have covered pole pieces, so I cant see the defects. :p
  20. It looks like a *potential* bridge-install error, that *could have* been a compensation to get the strings to align on the neck in turn it could be an improper neck install...but this is all speculation. One would assume that all the screw pilot holes were made at the same time as the pup routs on a computer fed milling machine, and if that's the case, what happens with one body would be consistent with all of them.

    Mr Smith himself says he finds it acceptable, as do I. aesthetics aside, if the bass plays wonderfully, has good tone, even response, and overall looks the way you want, I really find anything else to be quibbling.

    You have to ask yourself if you want to take the chance of returning a great feeling, great sounding bass, just to get one that lines up a tad better, but doesn't play like you like?

    I certainly wouldn't...but then I'm not the type to check every nook and cranny of the instrument. You would expect the QC dept. involved would have done that to meet parameters set at the factory. If it's good enough for Smith, then it's good enough for me.

    For the record, the poles don't align very well at all on my P bass, and I've never had an issue with it string-to-string response-wise.