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ken smith sound

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jacopas, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. Hello all

    I want your opinion in getting a ken smith sound from a fender. I really love the ken smith mid ranged growly sound but i could not afford to buy a ken smith bass. so i think that maybe i can modify my bass in order to get close to that sound. I have a geddy lee fender jazz bass(stock pickups). and a sansamp bass driver. which pickups or pre's or combo of them help me to achieve a ken smith tone? :meh:

  2. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    If you put in Ken Smith pickups, Ken Smith preamp and use Ken Smith strings you'll come the closest.
  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    from what i understand, the ksd jazz basses have a ken smith-designed preamp in them. that might help.
  4. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I've been surprised how close a Peavey Cirrus bass can get to the classic Ken Smith sound for a very reasonable price (the KSD's sound like J Basses, not Ken Smith's). Anyway, if you really like that sound, you might want to consider a trade or swap.

    I don't know the specific Cirrus model that I've heard, but it's TBer Vision's bass... plays great.. sounds very 'Smithish'.
  5. vision

    vision It's all about the groove!

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, La Bella Strings, and 64 Audio IEMs

    If you are looking for the Smith sound on a budget, I would definitely suggest trading the Fender for a Cirrus...it would get you alot closer to the Smith sound than with a Jazz style bass, even the KSD. You can check out clips of my Cirrus on the myspace page listed below. Listen to "Marcus Tribute"...I've been told by a few guys that it sounds like I used a Smith to record it...
  6. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    again, I'll +1 on this...

    The Cirrus gets a very Smith-esk tone.

    I'm thinking about having a bass made in the Smith Family of sound as well, only i'm going to design the body and have Chris Stambaugh make it ... :smug:
  7. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    Seems Ken comes and goes with making his pups/pre's available for sale seperate for aftermarket. Don't know the current situation. I've had a couple of his J pups (one housing looked just like an EMG LJ-5) but he emailed and said he's changed them since then. They were used so no doubt older pups.

    From a practical standpoint, looks like the Cirrus may be the viable option. Don't think I've ever heard anything negative about them and, at the least, the postive has outwieghed any recall of negative. PV's made some decent stuff. I ran across mention of a guy saying his T-40 sounded like an Alembic of all things. I had Alembic pups/pre and a T-40 pup and compared them and, sure enough, not bad - and that's the T-40 alone without the aide of the Alembic pre. T-40 has a good rep. I've had some low end PV soaps and they have consistently sounded good - more to my liking than some of the expensive aftermarket pups (including the Smiths I had).

    You'd never recoupe the cost of the Smith pups/pre if bought new and it may not work out. With a little patience and vigilance, you could pick up a used Cirrus at a break even price and, ideally hear it before you buy it. Depends on your location. Seems they're ballpark $600 used but you'd be well into that with Smith aftermarket installs - and not have a bass that comes with them.

    If you keep your eyes peeled, you might even run across some used Smith pulls during the interim if the Cirrus doesn't work out. They show periodically on ebay, although it's been a while since I've seen any.

    Then again, looks the location may throw a spin on that. Lot more TB'rs across the pond these days.
  8. thank you all for help. I guess getting a cirrus is the best solution :cool:
    finding a ks from ebay is a little hard for me due to my location.. :rolleyes:

  9. vision

    vision It's all about the groove!

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, La Bella Strings, and 64 Audio IEMs
    Cool, let us know if you pull the trigger on one!
  10. oddly enough my main 4 is a smith and main 6 is a Cirrus.

    I don't see anything in common with them

    I'd say you are closer to the smith sound with a cirrus then a fender though