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Ken Smith & SWR == heavenly tones?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by draginon, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. draginon


    Oct 4, 2004
    Everyone I know and many people I have talked to that play SMith basses always play them through SWR heads and cabs (in the gospel music scene).. One of my friends described it as if SMith and SWR were meant to be. Anyway can anyone describe the tone of SMith pickups or rather recommend another pickup similar to smith's that I may want to checkout before I put it into my custom I am building pretty soon.
  2. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I don't know if they were meant to be, but Ken has a SWR combo in his shop...could tell you something.

    Why not just get your electronics from him? You can buy them from his website.
  3. draginon


    Oct 4, 2004
    didn't know that... I'll check him out
  4. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    don't know one way or another but wouldn't discount it. Components in a signal chain are like members of band, changing components alters the results.

    I've had a couple of Smith's older J pups and my experience was they put out a good solo tone - which unfortunately is not of much use for music. But I didn't have SWR gear either and he has other pups.

    I've tried lots of pups and they invariably will sound better through one bass than another - with no particular bass being a consistent winner. Seems most pups respond better overall to acoutsically midrange basses, bright basses next, then dark basses least. The thumper bass I've got the pups sound different, but less noticeably/appealingly different. I'd heard and it's my experience that it's easier to darken a bright bass than brighten a dark one.

    You could say similar things with amps, cabs, etc.
  5. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    i currently use a smith with his newest pups/electronics(18volt pre w/dip switches) and i am really impressed with it...i'm a bartolini kind of guy, but this bass will stay as-is, it's heavenly. on a different note, i've always had less than great results with swr amplifiers (had an sm 400 head, used a 900 a couple times, and had a granp prix pre for a spell)... never really was able to dial in any kind of warmth. very dry and treble-oriented, no matter what i plugged into them(including a couple of different smiths).
    anyway, that's my.02
  6. draginon


    Oct 4, 2004
    yah SWR can be that way. It all depends on your setup and EQ. i know one guy's smith\swr that is to die for and everyone seems to agree. It might also be his style too. THe aural enhancer + neck pickup + rolling off most treble + increase in lows and low mids and take the mids and high mids down (somewhat of a scoopy EQ) + palying bass near neck pickup == warmth for me :\
  7. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    yeah, i can see that eq scheme working, but i prefer an amp that gets warm set flat...my alembic pre and crest power amp, for example ;)
    but that's just mho, of course. the swr amps are loved by many, and at one time all the rage.