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Ken Smith CR 5 Strg.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tritonus, Dec 4, 2001.

  1. Tritonus


    Nov 29, 2001
    Hi everybody,
    New to this forum I thought the best way to introduce myself is to ask a question:
    Has anyone of you ever made some experience with a Ken Smith CR 5 bass? Primarily I am interested in its B-strg. performance as well in the overall playability and sound.

    Many thanks in advance.
  2. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Hi Tritonus, and welcome! As a long-time Ken Smith owner, IMO you just can't go wrong with a Smith. The B string response in particular is excellent, among the best of the best. The CR (Chuck Rainey) model has the "vintage" body shape, one I am particularly fond of, although my current Smith has the new(er) BSR body shape, and I've grown to love it.

    As far as playability is concerned, I've played every high-end and low-end bass you can imagine, and nothing has "fit" my hands better than a Smith. Of course this is quite subjective. You can feel the quality of a Smith bass the moment you lay your hands on one. Quality of workmanship and customer service are unsurpassed. The only other bass I feel can compare is Fodera...but at an average of $2000 more than a Smith, IMO the Smith is a much better value.
  3. Tritonus


    Nov 29, 2001
    Hi Craig, thank you for your prompt response. Could you tell me if $2,000 is OK for a mint condition 2nd hand tiger maple CR model.
    Since here in Europe these basses are not so easy to get a hand on, I have now idea about what would be a fair price. Thks again!
  4. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    I paid $2000 for my used 1988 5 string in 1997 and I sold it two years later for $1800. I'd say you'd be paying at least a fair price for that bass. Check out Ken's site at http://www.kensmithbasses.com and you should be able to get a comparitive price for a new CR5...my guess would be, depending on options, somewhere around $3500 (list price minus 25-30%).

    Certainly, play the bass first. But if you fall in love with it, as I predict you will, $2000 will seem like a bargain.
  5. I used to own a CR model (6-string), and it is a very nice bass. No problem whatsoever with the B string. I would say $2000 is at about the ceiling of what I would pay for one. See if you can get it for a couple hundred dollars cheaper.:D
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Keep in mind, he's talking $2000(US? I don't know) for a Smith in Europe. Chances are that's a very good deal.
  7. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I think $2,000 for a Ken Smith CR5 in Europe is a pretty decent deal. Sure you could probably do better, but you'd be looking long and hard with no guarantee of ever finding another one, let alone at a reasonable price. Tiger Maple makes a very striking appearance on this bass. As for playability, my teacher has one in walnut so I had a chance to play it several years ago. First real high end bass I'd ever layed my hands on (I don't count Fender and Music Man). First 5 string too, I think. It was amazingly easy to play and I thought it sounded incredible.

    If I were in the market for another bass (who isn't? ;) ) I CR5 or CR6 would be on my list.


  8. Tritonus


    Nov 29, 2001
    Thank you guys for your responses, which are very helpful to me. Since I got this $2,000 offer from a dealer here in Europe I consider it being rather reasonable because I could even drive to the music store and check out the bass carefully or have it shipped to me with minimal shipping charges. Which means that a comparable instrument for around 1,800 USD imported from the US would be more expensive in the end (although I have the opportunity to import goods tax and duty-free).
    At www.basspalace.com they have a CR5 for $1,895 at the moment. I never dealt with them so I have no idea if they would be willing to give me a discount on the bass or if their prices are non-negotiable.
    However, I think I will definitely go for the CR5; and when I'm looking at all your comments and also at your personal profiles with regards to musical influences etc., I believe that I will not go wrong with the instrument. Believe it or not, but this is going to be my first own five string bass after playing a 4 string for 28 years.
    Once again, thanks a million for all your comments and sorry for my delayed response owing to the time difference between the US and Europe.

  9. Very good point ! I agree.