Kinal basses, opinions please!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sethlow3, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    I was curious about Kinal basses. They look very cool and get good reviews. I was just curious if any of you have played them? If so are they nice? Does the 5 string have a tight B? Tell me everything! I am considering getting one very soon.

  2. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    I've played one, a fretless. Unfortunately it was in a store with very poor humidity control, so like 50% of the instruments there, the neck bow needed adjustment so the sound was not right. Not to mention that I don't play fretless!)

    I can say though that the workmanship and appearance were 100%, just stunning.
  3. My instructor has several Kinal customs, the most recent of which is a beautiful 6 string fretted. I can say first hand these instruments have excellent playability, and look beautiful. Not to mention compared with a lot of other hand made instruments in North America they are cheap on price (not on quality of course!).
  4. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    here's one i've been dying to try:


    the semi-hollow on the right.

  5. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!

    One on the right is like one of them KL basses. Beautiful.

    I like the knob layout on that one.

    In the earlier attach pic the volute looks pretty beefy, ya think that the sustain is aided by the thickness of that volute?
  6. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Man those are some sweet kinals! My big problem is that I love the sound of my ZON, but I can't deal with the fact that the neck "could" warp even though its graphite. You think Joe would put a truss rod in anyway but for some reason he doesn't. I've been reading that people run into problems with them warping so I've thought about some other brands. I want a similar bart sound that cuts much like the Zon sounds. Kinals and Roscoes are all I've considered for light weight and bartolini sound at decent prices like 1500-1900.

    I am not one to ususally do a blind buy but the Kinal sounds like its right up my alley. I am looking at the one at Bass Alone and if I hate it I can send it back. Ohhh GAS...
    How about recorded sounds? The playability? Are they R&B and Metal friendly? Here is the one I am interested in:
  7. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    sethlow3: i too am a Zon lover.

    i have 2 fretless, one Lightwave powered and one of his more recent 519 models.

    i wouldn't be concerned at all about the Zon not having a trussrod. after 4 years with my first, i've never even had to tune the thing, let alone worry about neck relief.

    either way, the Kinals are fantastic instruments. i met Mr. Kinal at last year's NAMM (hope to see him again this year) and played one of his basses. glorious craftsmanship and tone!!!

    you can't go wrong! AND, Joe D. at BassAlone is a super standup guy.

    just tell him what you're looking for and your concerns about returns and he'll tell you the straight poop.

    good luck!

  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Do you mean John D(imaggio)?:D

    I agree, I had a very smooth transaction with him and would certainly buy again.

    The Kinals I've checked out have been both nice and reasonably priced IMO.

    I also have a Zon, a 1997 Legacy Standard fretless 5 and can't see the need for a trussrod IMO. YNNV
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I'm another Zon owner. I am not worried in the least about my neck warping. The only reason that I would like a truss rod is so that I can adjust the relief. My fretless has a little bit more relief than I prefer. But I can live with it.
  10. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Yeah my Zon IS my favorite bass I have owned period, but it still worries me that modulus added a truss rod when they heard complaints of warpage and Zon still hasn't. I've heard things on this forum and zons forum about that stuff happening. I also think they should be passive/active. It seems that just about everyone that owns one, owns a fretless Zon. Mine is fretted and I believe that more problems would arise with a fretted than a fretless like intonation and dead spots. Man does it record nicely! Gotta be one of the best flat sounds on the planet. Oh boy this whole thread is changin isn't it?

    The Kinal is still just a thought. The sound and feel of my Zon matches everything I've ever wanted. Its just the graphite worry and no passive option that seems to get me. The Zon's B is just below awesome to me. It seems as though Roscoes and Quantums are kings of the B domain.

    Kinals appeal to me because they look great(sad but true), are active/passive, light, and I've heard good things about the B. Man I hate GAS. This is the place to let it out though...... :)

    So has anyone got any more detailed Kinal reviews? Anyone tried one against a Zon or Roscoe? If so I am all ears.....

  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I take instument problems reported by others with a grain of salt. I have no idea if they might've contributed to the problem. I've seen people so oblvious to proper instrument care that they don't even know when they're admitting to being at fault.

    For example...

    "I only left it in the trunk of my car for a couple of days. What kind of crappy finish is it when it cracks as soon as you bring it inside?"

    "Was it cold where you live?"

    "Not really... probably in the 30's".

    They don't get that even if they "had" to leave an instrument in a freezing car, it's still their fault when a drastic temperature change wreaks havoc on their bass.

    The action on my Zon has been low since day one and I've had to do nothing to the bass other than use what should be common sense (for a musician) when handling it.
  12. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    haha...too funny. i'm still reeling from my missouri holiday.

    ouchers Brad.

    i'm laughing my arse off at the baseball misnomer.

  13. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer, Builder
    I've had a couple Kinal's come through the shop and I thought they were really nice instruments. I had one similar to the chambered fretless above and then a 6 string solid body. Both where amazing instruments. Mike does some really nice work!!!


  14. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I'm another Zon player, currently owning two, and I'm not the least bit worried about not having a trussrod in it at all. If there is a neck issue, I'm confident that Joe would take care of any issue that would come up.
    As far as Roscoe being a similar instrument to consider, I own a Roscoe, and it's very different in terms of sound and feel. IMO, the Roscoe has a bigger sound than the Zon's. The Zon's also tend to be on the brighter side to me as well.
    I haven't played a Kinal, but I do know others that have, and they swear by them. I'm sure if you went that route, you wouldn't be disappointed at all.
  15. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    I went in my bass player magazine archives on that Kinal review and nothing got above a 4 on the rating. In fact sound got a 3.5! Well they are a picky bunch, with good reason. They get to review so many different awesome basses....

    After a lot of thinking, I think I would have to try a Kinal out first. The reviews have been so mixed and my recent thoughts on my Zon have been somewhat irrational. I really feel at home with the feel and sound and THAT is what matters most. My Zon is the first bass I feel really confident with.

    After reading some of your posts I have considered not selling it. I would hope that Joe would be able to "fix" any situation with the neck if anything were to happen to it. I can't resist the feel and sound of my Zon. I do think it has one the best 34" scale Bs period and sounds great in every situation I have used it in. It is one of the few basses that i could hear myself clearly directly in front of my amp. I also went back over recordings of a Genesis bass with the Zon and it made the tracks already sound mixed which really blew my mind. Kinals look cool but I'd have to play one to know for sure. I really appreciate all of your opinions on this matter. If I get the money, I'll probably get another Zon or Roscoe next since I have played and love both.

    thanks a lot and please keep it posting
  16. smakbass

    smakbass Smakkin basses for 25 years..

    Aug 6, 2002
    Vancouver Canada
    I live near Mike Kinal and a friend of mine is apprentacing with him apparantly, Kinal's are great basses nice B, and you won't meet a nicer guy.
  17. I've never played one, but Mr Kinal makes some of the best basses i've ever seen. He's really helpful and answers to your emails quickly.
    When I was in looking for a 5er: Kinal, JPbasses came up immediatly!
    I finnaly bought an Fbass... but I'm sure i'll spend my money in Kinal's(and JP's:Vive la France!!!:D ) work by the time the money comes.
    I really love the SK5-B "all quilted" on the website.

    I don't really love Bart's but you can get anything you want. Anyways, Bart's are really good pups.:cool:

    Check out the guitars!!!! They are wonderful.
  18. uptowndirt


    Feb 16, 2008
    l have a kinal 4 string that l installed nordstrand big splits in, omg this is a sonic weapon
    now. l have an electronics gremlin to chase down (ground buzz) and l want to move the input jack to top load. other than these changes this is the most comfortable bass l have ever tried and with a 35 scale,you would never know it. as the sonic search is at an end l can start to sell off some of my other 22 basses, l may have to replace the pre amp but nothing comes close to this bass, very underrated. or are people just afraid of trying different basses. keep up the good work mike kinal.
  19. kerrycares

    kerrycares Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    I have a MK5-21 that came to Detroit courtesy of Dan Lenard of Luthiers Access Group out of Chicago.

    It is 34" scale, Mary Kay Blonde, Ash body and has Nordstrand pickups and preamp.
    The bass is light and funky with good quality workmanship.

    What impressed me the most about the bass was Mike.
    When the bass was in its original form it had a Rosewood fingerboard.
    Mike built a replacement maple fingerboard w/matching headstock for the former owner.
    During the whole transaction I heard nothing but good things about Mike and his outstanding customer service.
    I called and emailed him about changing the neck profile and he returned my call, took time to discuss options and I was able to make the modification myself.

    I would have to rate Mike and my bass five stars!
  20. kbuschmann

    kbuschmann Supporting Member

    Count me as another one impressed by Mike's product and personality. He built this custom PJ for me. Excellent workmanship and value. Pleasure all around.

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