John Patitucci's choice of bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DaveCustomMade, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. Why did John Patitucci switch from that nice 6 string Ken Smith to that *relatively* inexpensive Yamaha? When I see older videos of Chick Corea, he's using the Ken Smith, but later videos are the Yamaha. Does he still have that Ken Smith?
  2. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    I wouldn't call a $4000 Yamaha inexpensive. The Yamaha 6-string basses are real nice. Yes, they are a different sound from the Smith's I would say a bit brighter but very clear lots of note definition. All that said I would imagine John has a nice endorsement deal with Yamaha and why he sticks with them.
  3. Tony G

    Tony G Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2006
    I really don't know, but what does it matter what it says on the headstock? If he likes the way the yamaha plays and sounds better then the ken smith, more power to him.
  4. Riley R

    Riley R

    Feb 10, 2006
    Modesto, CA

    I think I like the sound of his Yamaha more, because it is more brighter probably
    Up the dose likes this.
  5. Oh, . . . . Didn't know his Yamaha is around 4K. :oops:

    I was looking through YouTube and found this version of Rumble. Whoever named it called it "Ramble", but that's beside the point. It has a corky sort of beginning, but it WAS 1986, after all.

    Anyway, his Ken Smith sounds pretty good.

  6. DaBassman


    Mar 25, 2002
    Oneonta, NY
    I just saw him perform (for free) at a summer music camp at our local college. He played his 6 string Yamaha and it sounded great! He also spent a lot of time with the kids after the show. A very nice guy!
    If he gets free basses, more power to him. I bet he could play a $100 Samick and make it sound good.
  7. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    Right On Ken!!

    I actually saw one of those Yammoto models for the first time last week. It sounded ok but I was not impressed with the workmanship. Not anywhere close to the workmanship of Ken's basses.
  8. Something tells me I opened a can of worms. :(

    I understand the whole endorcement thing. Thanks for the info. I just liked the looks of "the early years", like in the video link. Oh well.

  9. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    The Yamaha JP bass is probably the best six string I've ever played. If I had the money, I would own one. They sound amazing - very clean and clear. :cool:
  10. Wow, so much for respecting other builders/luthiers/companies... :rollno:
    ImprecisionBass likes this.
  11. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Eh. It is what it is; Mr. Smith is just relaying the information as he sees it. Being one of the builders in question, I'm thinking he's entitled to deliver the angle from his end.
  12. jady


    Jul 21, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    I have alway wondered, for a guy like JP, money is no object and he is a bassist so having the best playing bass possible has got to be a priority. I have no doubt that the Yamaha sig model is a good solid bass but no bass coming off an assembly line can compare with a handmade piece like Ken's. I understand that he must play Yamahas to keep his endorsment deal but do you really think he just grabs a bass off the line?

    I mean, dont you think Yamaha is supplying JP with a higher quality bass from thier "custom shop" or whatever they call it?I find it hard to believe that geddy lee plays the same $600 jazz bass I can get from Music123. Maybe I'm just a sceptic at heart. My $.02
  13. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    According to someone who was working with Chick Corea at the time, Pattitucci had the Yamaha custom made for him and had to wait a considerable length of time to get it. So, it's not something off the shelf.
  14. willgroove2


    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    Although JP is a top JAZZ artist i think you would be surprised that money can still be a object,he makes Jazz money not rock and roll money. I think that JP is also involved with the actual design of his bass's so he may be playing prototypes.
  15. Riley R

    Riley R

    Feb 10, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    he is a good example of the same thing, He played an awesome smith 6er back in his earlier days and was probably offered an endorsement from Conklin. he sounds good all the way around but, an endorsement is an an endorsement is free money. same situation different bass player
  16. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Reviewer: Bass Player Magazine
    In an older video (I think it was Bass Day 97), an audience member asks John about his bass, and it is indeed different than the production model. Similar, but with nicer woods and a different neck profile. JPs stature what it is, I highly doubt "money money money" had too much to do with it. Free basses wouldn't mean much to him if he already had a bass that fit him perfectly- it was probably more to do with the fact that he had a chance to design a bass to his exact specs.

    As for Dickens, I think he initially went to Conklin just because Conklin was about the only guy out there at the time willing to make him a seven-string, and later, a nine-string.

    AJ went away to Fodera as well, but I'm not sure why- maybe to get more of his specific design ideas made.
  17. willgroove2


    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    most instruments acquired via endorsement are NOT 100% free and some company's don't give free stuff to anybody.A smaller company (for instance Ken Smith) is usually not going to be able to give away stuff for free like a larger company like Yamaha which also makes motorcycles drums guitars Ect to cover it's cost's
    JakesAy likes this.
  18. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Those Yamahas are actually pretty nice basses. Maybe he preferred them over a smith. I've played a few Smiths, and while undoubtedly beautiful, fantastic instruments, they're just not for me. Maybe JP felt the same way? Also, I'm sure that having an endorsement there would certainly sweeten the deal.
  19. pedulla1


    May 14, 2005
    If I may chime in: I think his old Smith had a warmth that is unmatched compared to the Yamaha. The Yamaha sounds colder to me. Nothing growls low down like a Smith. I had to modify my CRV (different pre-amp) to get the sound I was hearing but the build of the Smith along with the p/u's produces a certain sound that I was looking for. JP is a great player but I preferred his former sound.
  20. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Iagree with Bryan Tyler and few others that JP probably has stuck with Yamaha because it is the sound and feel he prefers. I suspect that JP has enough integrity that he wouldn't play a bass that really didn't give him what he wanted. Furthermore, I have owned both Yamaha and Ken Smith sixes. Both are great basses. The Yamaha TRB6 is less expensive, but it is by no means cheap, especially the older Japanese models which ran around $1,500-$1,700 back in the mid 1990's. They would probably cost $2,500 now if still made in Japan, which why they are now made in Korea. My Smith was certainly prettier and more painstakingly made. That said, it sounded like a Smith, and that may not have been what JP wanted.:confused:

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