Ken Smith production shifting to Kevin Brubaker

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by scubaduba, Feb 12, 2019.


  1. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    kittywithabanjo and Dr. Cheese like this.
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That’s good news because Brubaker makes some good stuff. Brad Johnson has worked with Brubaker, he might give us some insight.
     
  3. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I wonder if he will get to put any of those Brubaker finishes on Smith designs? Kevin Brubaker has made some of the most beautiful basses I have seen.
     
    Woodchuck likes this.
  4. Interesting... other than the Burner series, never thought we would end up saying, "Here's my USA Ken Smith bass from when it was still built entirely at the Ken Smith shop in Perkasie."
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
    feschyn, J_Bass and Veldar like this.
  5. This is good news. Certainly better than a Gibson buyout!
     
    feschyn, Reedt2000, TrustRod and 3 others like this.
  6. So what's the general consensus of Brubaker as a brand? I don't know anything about them, I just love my Ken Smith and I was working on getting an endorsement haha
     
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That’s for sure!
     
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  8. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 15, 2003
    Vegas
    Kevin is a super great dude. I am privileged to work with him in the small capacity that I do!
     
  9. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 15, 2003
    Vegas
    I don't think I've ever heard an ill word about Brubaker instruments. Even the imported lines like the Brute, though the first Brute I ever picked up was heavy as hell. Kevin's just a humble everyman type, trying to make good instruments, and he even does restoration work on basses he didn't build (that's how I met him).
     
    tindrum likes this.
  10. nostatic

    nostatic

    Jun 18, 2004
    Lompoc, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    So is Ken finally retiring? Thought he had some younger guys working for him in PA.
     
  11. I played one years ago at a Guitar Center and it was very impressive. It was a Jazz bass style.
     
    Veldar likes this.
  12. I don't think we'll find out but I hope they get moved into the new place and don't just lose their jobs.
     
    zortation likes this.
  13. zortation

    zortation

    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Apparently one of his lead woodworker dudes passed away so they scrambled to find a way to keep things moving. Must have been a valuable employee...
     
    Veldar likes this.
  14. MattZilla

    MattZilla

    Jun 26, 2013
    CNY
    They're as well built as anything else I suppose. I have my preferences, but the weakest of the four or so Brubakers that've passed my hands were definitely more solid than any post-80s Ibanez, any Ric, 90% of Fenders... heck, now that I think of it, they were better than the few Ken Smiths I've played.
     
    Veldar likes this.
  15. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    True and confirmed. I was at Kevin's (Brubaker) shop late last week. I saw roughly 8-10 Smith's in various stages of production. Kevin also had several Smith templates, jigs and even some of Ken's woodworking machines to maintain the same build process. Kevin also had wood from the Smith vault. Pretty cool!
     
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  16. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Veldar and JKos like this.
  17. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Funny, I just looked at Ken Smith's website for the first time today. I was really impressed at the massive wood stockpile KSB had maintained for production.
     
    Veldar likes this.
  18. It's a sad fact of reality that our bass building heroes won't last forever. An entire generation of innovators are all reaching the age where they'll be stepping away from the bench for the final time. I'm talking not just about the inventors of the boutique bass, but of the first wave of innovators and designers who helped launch these most exemplary of instruments into the market. Ken Smith, Stuart Spector, Mike Pedulla, Michael Tobias, George Furnaletto, Vinny Fodera and Joey Lauricella... the list goes on. And that is not to mention the great designers who have sadly already died, like Phil Kubicki and Greg Curbow.

    It's fantastic news to me that some of these brands are either employing younger staff to pass their torch on, or moving production to new builders who can maintain that legacy. Ken Smith is rightly respected as a visionary and a master builder and I believe Brubaker is entirely fit to carry on his good work. A safe pair of hands indeed! I wish involved in this venture the very best of luck.
     
    feschyn, raal, 31HZ and 3 others like this.
  19. It'll be sad to see the passing of so many quintensial bassists and star manufactures over the next couple of years, I guess that's the worst part of our instrument being so young.
     
  20. rodneyat

    rodneyat

    Apr 12, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I didn't catch wind of this until today. Good to see Ken was able to work out something with another respected builder. Rather than just closing up shop. As mentioned above, it will be interesting to see how things play out with some of the other "old timers" as they get older.
     
    feschyn likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 24, 2021

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