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Ken Smith Strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by TheEmptyCell, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    I'm wondering how many people here have used Ken Smith strings before?

    Reason is, I'm currently tuning my 6 string EADGCF, but I would like to go back to B. I've used .130, .132, and .135's for the B, but I'd like to try something even larger. The bass is an Ibanez SR506 with a 34" scale.

    Ken Smith offers 1 .145 38" winding stainless steel B. I'd probably get a regular 4 string set and then add the B and C from Just Strings.

    How are their steel strings? I normally use either Elixirs or D'addario Nickel. I want a bright yet punchy tone with a relatively long life. I killed D'addario's in about 3 weeks, but I'm gonna start using Fast Fret.
  2. ctbass


    Jun 21, 2005
    I used Rock Master Mediums for years and loved them. Of all the steel strings I used, Ithought they were the best. They lasted the longest and had great tone.I have since gone to nickels but have not tried KS's.
  3. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Ken Smith Burners are my favorite Nickel rounds. I haven't tried any Smith Steel strings. Ken Smith strings are good quality strings, but tone is subjective, so only you know if you'll like them...
  4. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I am just curious why a .145 for your b string ?
  5. DavePlaysBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    I like Ken Smith steels. I have them on my Sadowsky right now. As far as nickels, I prefer D'Addario over Ken Smith. But for steels, I like Ken Smith better than D'Addario.

  6. PeppermanL2K

    PeppermanL2K ...and on the 8th day, God created the Habanero.

    Feb 3, 2006
    Huntsville, AL
    A buddy of mine turned me on to Smith Rock Master Mediums a few years ago and I haven't changed since. Bright with a 'menace' to them.
  7. BassikLee

    BassikLee Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    I would say Ken Smith strings are my absolute favorite strings for everything but life. They feel great, very consistent across the board. They sound very nice, never had a dead one out of the pack like with rotosounds. I dunno if it is my body chemistry or what, but I can kill a set of Smith strings in about an hour, dead, gone, call the funeral home. It isn't like I am playing them and putting the bass away all sweaty, taking it out a few days later and they are dead. I can put them on and not make it thru a 4hr gig. Other guys, no issues. Me and other strings, no issues. Am I the missing link???

  8. I'd say Ken's SS strings are about my favorite SS string. I'm especially fond of the Custom Tapor Core sets myself.
    His strings are bright but not over the top if that makes sense...they're perfect!
  9. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    I have a set of KS balanced tapered steels on the way from Just Strings. Looking forward to checking them out. I'm using Prosteels right now. I'm hoping the taper will give a little more mwah on my fretless.
  10. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Both Rockmasters(steel) and Bass Burners (nickel) are awesome. Bright without being overbearing or ringy.

    Oh and they FEEL like butter.
  11. PeppermanL2K

    PeppermanL2K ...and on the 8th day, God created the Habanero.

    Feb 3, 2006
    Huntsville, AL
    Who makes Smiths, BTW? I heard that it was D'adarrio (sp).
  12. kazamamaster


    Sep 15, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    I love the Smith string tone and how amazingly bright they are, only problem being, I've broke them faster than any other string I've played before....
  13. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I have tried them. They are not for me.
  14. I'm nearly positive that GHS makes them.
  15. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.

    Sorry, but you heard wrong.:rollno: Actually, I'll check that out on Monday. It really depends on who shows up to work each day. I don't do the Payroll personally but know all of the first names of my employees. It's the last names I forget usually.:help:

    By the way, Who makes the Ford Explorer? My Car says Engine from Germany and Transmission from France? Who makes the steering wheel and the Windows. Something to really think about when you are driving huh?....... BANG....:eek: ...OUCH...Broadsided.... Keep you eye on the road.. :bassist:

    Who makes the steel? Who makes my Glue.:confused: Who plants my Trees.. (before I was born actually). Who or how is less important than why in my book.:bag:
  16. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    I was using .130s, .132s and .135s for a while, trying various sets for the last two years. I could not find a B I liked. I tried getting some La Bella steels, but JustStrings had none in stock, and LB was ridiculously slow in getting stock.

    So I gave up on the B. Started using a D'addario 8 string set, mixing around the octaves and tuning EADGCF. While it feels much nicer, playing jazz/funk/metal sucks if I've got to meander down to a low F. I far preferred the ability to move across the strings, not up and down them.

    Also, I've been tuning to Eb for the new band I'm in, or drop C#. I want my low B back! I can't find any uses for a high F, unless I'm tapping. Even then, it's overkill.

    To the KS users, do these things have more 'body' then say, Prosteels? At first I loved them, but after recording with a worn in set, I noticed they had no 'body' to the tone. Sounded very hollow. So far they sound like the string I've been looking for!
  17. PeppermanL2K

    PeppermanL2K ...and on the 8th day, God created the Habanero.

    Feb 3, 2006
    Huntsville, AL
    Can't speak to the sound of Prosteels, but I know that the KS's that I use have plenty of body for me. They're all I play. Hurrah to KSB!

    ...and thanks, Ken for setting me straight! :bag: :D
  18. tappingtrance

    tappingtrance Cooke Harvey Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2005

    Don't get me wrong I like them but their life is short compared to Drs
  19. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Oakland, CA
    As BasikLee pointed out earlier, string life can be highly dependent upon the player's body chemistry. Drinking lots of coffee and/or ingesting highly acidic or basic foods is often the cause of shortened string life. Altering your diet may aleviate some of these problems.

    My experience has been mainly with the Taper Core Custom Balanced sets. Specifically the TCRML-6 and TCRL-6. I've tried them on many different basses and, not surprisingly, I find that they sound best on Smith basses. That's not to say they don't sound great on any bass, just especially so on Smiths. They are my favorite steel strings. They are quite bright at first but after a short mellowing period, they lose their harshness and retain all the rest of the good stuff. For me, they last plenty long. I've been averaging at least two months per set which is really good. I don't have any experience with the Rock Masters, Slap Masters or the Burners but everyone I know who's tried them all have preferred the Custom Balanced sets over the others. They have a mojo on my Smith that I don't get with any other string. Same thing when I put Fodera strings on my Fodera. :eyebrow:

    As far as guages go, I've never had to go bigger than a .128. Right now I'm using a .120(!) on my Fodera with no noticeable loss in tone or feel. In fact it has even better intonation than the already-good .128 that I have been using for years. When you said that you've been trying different sets for the last two years and haven't found a good B, that makes me think that your pickups or electronics (or something after the string) may be partly to blame. I mean it's either that or you've somehow gotten dead B strings in every set you tried. That would be highly unlikely. How did the rest of the strings sound when you tried them? I'm just wondering whether getting a bigger B will make things better...or worse.

    Lastly, I think Fast Fret's pretty useless. It's messy, you can't get it onto the underside of the strings without taking the strings off and it's got lots of chemicals in it. I just use a microfiber cloth before and after I play and it seems to do the trick. Just my 2 rupees.
    Well EmptyCell, best of luck in finding that elusive set! :)
  20. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater

    May 20, 2005
    Settle down, dude. Outsourcing strings is not a bad thing. You think Spector, Lakland, Zon, Sadowsky, etc...actually manufacture their own strings? It's okay, we know you do make the basses :)

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