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Ken Smith 18 mm to 19 mm bridge conversion

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by L. L. Elwood, Dec 25, 2020.

  1. L. L. Elwood

    L. L. Elwood Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2004
    Hello 5 string Ken Smith BT or CR owners - just curious what your thoughts are on this. I know the standard string spacing for a BT or CR is 18 mm at the bridge. I see it is possible to buy a 19 mm-spaced five string replacement bridge from Ken Smith basses directly. In your opinion, would it be possible to swap out the original bridge with one of the 19 mm Bridges and still have enough room on the neck to reasonably accommodate the strings? If my math is correct it would push the two outer strings out by 2mm ea. Rarely, I see a 19 mm Ken Smith BT posted for sale and always assumed the neck may be originally built a little wider to accommodate that though not 100% sure. Anyhow I'm hoping to pick up a used BT or CR in the future used, and potentially swap out the bridge for that wider string spacing if it's doable. Otherwise I suppose I have to order one direct :) anyhow any thoughts on this would be great thanks so much!
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2020
  2. Correct, the bridge spacing would be 2mm wider on each side or 4mm total. But it would be the same at the nut and half at the 12th fret. So just 1mm wider on each side at the 12th.

    There's also the issue that the pickups are one small pole (or pair of) for each string. They may not be that happy with changing the spacing.
  3. Ronen


    Feb 9, 2003
    Milky Way Galaxy
    19mm necks are wider, keeping the same distance from outer strings to the edge of the board. As TrustRod mentioned the strings will no longer line up with the pole pieces. Also, I suspect bridge screw spacing is different. It's not a direct replacement. So, it's a bad idea IMO.
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    It has been nearly 22 years since I had a Ken Smith, so my experience is not fresh, but I know 19mm Smiths are special order instruments. I do know, but I think those basses have different necks and nuts. As was said, the G or C string is liable to be almost falling off the fingerboard if only the bridge is changed.
  5. L. L. Elwood

    L. L. Elwood Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2004
    Yes. I appreciate all the input and I agree that it just simply wouldn't work. In fact I did find a Post from a few years back from a sale stating that the neck at 24 frets is 3.75 in wide on the 19 mm version of the bass. A normal five-string is only three inches wide so it's much different. Thanks everybody!
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    Primary TB Assistant

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