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

  1. Fire-Starter


    Aug 11, 2002
    I know he is very busy, so I chose to seek answerss from here first, because I know he checks this board also when he has time,

    My first question is why does his 7 string bass only come in the neck-through model, does this have to do with better tension to handle the the seven strings?

    My second question is I notice he chooses not to coat his basses with any paints etc,except for the Burner series ("which is kool by me because they look great the way they are") does this have to do with adding paint to such nice wood wood be a waste, or would it hurt the sound, at first I thought this was a dumb question, but I noticed some high end basses do have color finishes on them? just curious?

  2. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Why dont you post in basses?
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Off to Basses with this one.
  4. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    I would guess it is neck through because Melvin Davis' bass is a neck through.

    I think natural wood is just his style. No reason to put a funky stained color on great looking wood that has been drying for years. Though it could be for sound purposes as well, I suppose.

    Ken will probably chime in with the real reasons and clear out my speculation before too long.
  5. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I'm no expert, so I'll defer to anyone who is, but it seems to me that the lacquered and high gloss finishes a lot of high end manufacturers use have the same density as paint. That includes some of the most awesome Ken Smith products. Given that, I doubt the tonal quality is a primary reason. I'm betting that the focus is on the beauty of the top wood. That also provides the opportunity for every bass to have a unique appearance.


  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I just found this thread so I'll shed a bit of light on the Qs b4 going into work.

    The 7-String is totally handmade. We have only a few simple jigs for it. The Neck must be glued up for at least 1-2 years before we make it into a Bass. The thickness of wood for the outer strips is over 8/4 and is hard to come by in KD material. Then after cutting the 6-7" by 52" blocks, we let them sit for at least a year or more b4 even making the neck billet. We stock 400-600 Neck Billets at any given time and are constantly making new Necks to replace the stock as we use them up. I like things well well aged.

    We do and stock Fingerboards in a similar manner as well. The 7-String fingerboard is mainly done by hand after glue-up.
    We do the slotting b4 glue-up on all of our Basses.

    To do all these steps and beyond would make it a very expensive bolt-on Bass. Making only a few 7s a year keeps them the most custom Bass we do.

    Finish: All of our Elite Series Bass Models are finished with Catalyzed Lacquer over our custom penetrating oil coating.
    I don't think it would be good to use paint on exotic woods.
    I prefer to use paint on the walls......lol

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