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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by liran, Jun 11, 2002.
Would $700 bucks for a used ken smith 5 string burner in excellent condition be worth it?
That sounds like it would be on the low side of average. Not such a great deal that you jump and down and laugh out loud, but a price that is certainly "worth it." I'd even call it a good deal. IF you really like the bass, that makes it even better.
A few web searches showed them selling in the $700-900 range from individuals depending on the area of the country, finish, condition, etc. Most retailers are listing them around $995 so they are are probably getting about $850-900 for them.
So, yes it is a pretty good deal. FWIW, there's one on ebay right now with a BIN price of $799.
Bought mine about 4 years ago for $775. Sold it two years later for $750. I'd say $700 is a good price.
How do the Burner Series' compare to the higher end Smiths??
Are they in the league with the Lakland Skylines??
I've owned a '95 Burner 4 string for a year or so and it ran me $800CDN or about $500US. I don't have that much experience with the higher-end Smiths for comparison purposes but the Burners seem to be very well built. The electronics look clean and all the fit and finish elements seem to work well. Of course you get what you pay for but as far "budget boutique" basses go, the Burners seem like a good choice. Like the upscale units Ken signs off on every one of them himself. You could certainly do a lot worse for $700.
I owned a Burner 5 for two years. I've played my former teacher's CRG5 and I've played a couple high end BSRs at Huber & Breese. I can't remember which BSRs I've played. H&B tends to have a full line with good turnover. There is a significant difference in "presence" between the Burner and the BSRs for sure.
The Burner has good output and IMO a nice punchy sort of sound. It has fairly narrow string spacing, especially compared to the high end Smith 5 & 6 strings. I had no trouble cutting through with this bass.
I parted with this bass only because I was buying a custom built higher end 5 string and the Burner was not gonna get much playing time. If I were buying a 5 string today I wouldn't hesitate to spend $700 for one. I preferred it to lower end Warwick's that I've played (Corvette Std, Streamer Std) and considered it to be slightly less desireable than a Thumb bolt-on. I didn't think it held a candle to a Thumb neckthru. When I first got it I had a Musicman Sabre 4 and an Alembic Spoiler 4. It got more play time than the Sabre, primarily because of the extra string. It couldn't touch the tone of the Spoiler.
I've never played a Lakland Skyline or an MTD Kingston, so I'll leave that comparison to someone else.