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Ken Smith BSR5J

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fire-Starter, Jan 12, 2004.

  1. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    Can someone please tell me about the KEN SMITH BSR5J, in regard to sound, I have a BSR6MW with soap bar style pickups, and love the sound, I see the BSR5J have the jazz style pickups, and it looks much like a Burner, is there a big diff between it and the Burner and how does it compare to the BSR6MW?

    Please advise.
  2. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Without making judgement, I would like to clear up just what the BSR'J' model is.
    You have an 'MW' model now. Take away the 3-piece body wings and the gold hardware and you will have an 'M' model.
    Now, change the soapbar pickups from the 'M' (same as in 'MW') and replace them with the Smith J945 pickups and you have a BSR 'J' model.

    The 'Burner' is very different.
    1) It only has 16mm spacing instead of 18mm on the Regular Smith models.
    2) It has a poly. finish instead of our oil/varnish.
    3) It only has 2-band eq instead of the 3-band on USA Smiths.
    4) The BSR'J' is 100% handmade here in our shop.

    I'll let the other TBers tell you the sound and performance differences if they have played both.

    Burner owners have been quite happy until they try upgrading it to reach the sound and feel of the handmade models. That's where the Burner falls short. The Burner was made to be what it is and not to be modded up to a handmade Smith.
    The 'J' IS a handmade Smith !! It was designed to give the player the feel and workmanship of the hand made 'M' model Smith but with a 'vintage' 'J' type sound.
  3. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002

    Ken, thank you very much for responding with that information. :cool:
  4. I tried a Burner many years ago and it did not leave enough of an impression for me to tell you how it sounded.

    However I do have a BSR4J Custom and it is just fantastic. It has a wonderful growl and bark to it and everyone who hears it or plays it remarks on how good it is. It is also extreamly fast to play.

    Mine is MAPLE body with walnut on the front and back facings. I keep it as my sole fretted bass and I would not change it as it does everything I want.

    I have not tried the BSR5 so cannot comment on how that would sound or on the low B.
    Hope this helps


    edited on14.1.04 to correct the body wood on this bass to maple as per Ken's following email.
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    matthewfoote, Are you sure your Smith has an ash core? From the edges shown in your photo, it looks like tiger maple. I don't recall ever using ash as a core wood before. I will start getting lots of calls if I don't correct this now.. Sorry to barge in......
  6. pistoleroace


    Sep 13, 2002
    Looks like Maple to me too and you would know for sure Ken.

    Ken, just wondering why you never used Ash as a core. It seems to be a very popular wood to use.
  7. Ken

    You are of course correct, I should have been more careful in what I wrote. It is as you say a Maple core, I was geting confused with my other bass.

    I will edit my original post to stop any confusion.


  8. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    Really beautiful top!

    Ken, how would you classify that top? AA? AAA? or even AAAA? It has more pronounced graining streaks than some other Smiths.
  9. Zon4Jon

    Thanks, I wish I could take the credit, but it is all down to Ken's expert eye!:D



  10. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
  11. Obviously im not Ken or a lutiere at all. BUt to save on time. Ash is sh.i.t...
    Some swamp ash is very good looking and great tone wood. The ash your speaking of is what fender and ernie ball and countless other companies use. There is a reason why it is covered in plastic.:D

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