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Ken Smith: Fretless w/ Maple Body???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jokerjkny, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    hey all,

    was wondering for all who've tried a maple bodied Ken Smith fretless w/ an ebony neck. how did you like the sound?

    gotta admit never played a fretless bass that had a maple body. anyone care to comment?
  2. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    I generally dislike Maple bodies a lot. However, the Pedulla Buzz Bass uses a fretless body and I actually like those a lot. I've never had a Smith fretless with a Maple body so I can't comment on that combo specifically.
  3. I have an old lado fretless with a maple body, and it sounds great.It is dang heavy though. That would be the issue in my books, but if I had the Chance to buy it again, I'd snatch it up in a heartbeat.
  4. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    it's kind of funny you ask. I have a Ken Smith BT Custom that I bought new in 1985. .....four string. Maple body with walnut top and back.

    I've been toying with the idea of yanking the frets on and off for the last year. And again, just yesterday, I was trying to EQ the thing to emulate a good fretless tone.........I just can't get it. If I could I would pull the frets in a heart beat.

    To my ears, the bass tone is too transparent for the fretless tone I'm after. It sounds good with both pick ups on but if I solo the bridge pup it sounds "quacky" and thin.....no punch.
  5. Hajime


    Jan 18, 2003
    Quilted Maple makes really good cound for fretless, I think.
  6. I've never played a Smith fretless that didn't have the Mahogany body, but I did own a Maple body 6, and from my memory, I thought that the Maple body was a little shy in the mids, so I would think that the Maple body wouldn't be a good idea for a fretless Smith myself.
  7. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Maple tends to be short on the low mids, and bass.
    Mahogany, Koa, or walnut, would make a better body core wood.
    Also Black Korina
  8. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    well, I didn't start this thread but thanks for everyone posting. It seems you're hearing what I'm hearing and my fretted KS will remain fretted.

    yes....very light in the low and low mid department. I can get an excellent 1980's Mark King sound out of it. Loved that tone "yesterday" but don't like it "today".