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Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Mark Sacchetti, Nov 20, 2003.
Looking for reviews from owners of the King doublebass. I am considering buying one>
Do you mean the new King doublebasses, from California? If so, you might want to try www.rockabillybass.com I think you will get more responses...
I got a King Doublebass about two years ago, Man what a beauty she is painted silver metalflake with red and orange pin striping. This bass as far as I am concerned kicks ass. It sounds as good as it looks !!! I am totaly satisfied with my decision to get my King Doublebass. I purchased the Lee Rocker model. I got to tell you - I Love Slappin' My Baby Around
I have a Slap King from Jason at King Doublebass. Picked it up this past summer. I'm very pleased with the build and finish. I chose King basses specifically for their reputation for durability and characteristic 'designed to be amplified'.
I should say that I am new to the doublebass and don't have any background for comparison regarding tone or 'playability' - although, again, I have been pleased with the King.
There are others on this site whose experiences have been markedly different. As always - YMMV.
I will preface this by saying I do not own a King Double Bass. However I have played several and am having one built currently.
The "Slap Kings" are sort of entry level rock and roll basses. They sound great through an amp at high volume which is the failing of almost any other bass I've ever played. They do leave a little to be desired if you're hoping to do a lot of acoustic work, or arco. But they make a variety of more "upscale" basses that are very acoustically present, and EXTREMELY durable.
I'm into them because they'll make me a bass that's built like a tank and will sound great acoustically or at high volume. For several of my bands thats a serious necessity. (I've literally walked from an outdoor all acoustic performance to a 400 person club with bass in hand, plugged in and started the next set at earth shaking volume.)
That being said there's no replacing my 80 year old european mystery bass. But I don't really like touring it around. Especially when I have to do a gig in some roughneck club where people are heaving bottles around.
So if any of that sounds like your needs, King Double is the best game in town. But that's just my .02.
I've got a red sparkle king with the EMG/King pick up setup on it . I love it very easy to play VERY durable (i'm not the gentlest person with it ) sounds great amplified not the right bass if you do alot of acoustic stuff or if you are going for a more traditional sound But it excells at what it was made for a flashy great sounding gig bass that will not fall apart. I currently am awaiting another bass from thier custom shop hopefully (fingers crossed ) I might have it before Xmas( I ordered it Oct. '04) when i get it i'll have to post some pics
Id love to read more experiences about them. Do people on talkbass shun them or something? Everyone just redirects to the rockabilly site from what I see. I have played alot of "school" plywood basses and messed around with a king at NAMM. It played great.
I'd say we got quite a few responses about these basses! More than I would have expected, at least; if one were to ask the same question about any other bass that's fairly new to the market (these not being the same Kings as the old plywoods floating around), you couldn't expect a bigger response.
The thing about these basses is that they're obviously for a niche market--they're made for and targeted at the rockabilly/rock/heavily amplified crowd. That's why people are redirecting the OP to the rockabilly site. If you were to ask about, oh, Shens or Christophers or Englehardts, you would get a lot of responses from people playing all kinds of different music--orchestra, jazz, bluegrass, pros and amateurs alike--and the number of responses would be very great. But nobody is going to take a bright-red bass that, according to the owners who've posted here, doesn't have a very good acoustic sound and was built to be amplified, to an orchestra concert or acoustic jazz gig, and that eliminates a pretty huge percentage of double bassists from being able to comment on these axes.
From the comments that have come in, though, it sounds like they get a thumbs-up. And they definitely look pretty hip.
I wouldn't say they're looked down on, but most of the crowd here are more Jazz and Classical players. And that instrument just ain't their bag. I think we have less Rockabilly folks here because they have a pretty successful board that's dedicated to them. You will almost assuredly find more people playing King on that site. It's probably adored over there the way Arnold's New Standards are around here.
Personally, I've never played one and probably never will, but I think they look pretty cool. Also, I applaud them for probably saving a fair few vintage Kay's from getting flame paint jobs.
I've never touched one, but I wish I had one!
My pal ordered one last week, it's black with white edges, chrome tailpiece, magnetic pickup. I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on it. He put a lovely ding in my top a few months ago, so look out buddy. Ha ha!
It's definitely a herd thinning requirement when you ask for reviews by "owners". More of us have seen these than own them.
So I'll offer my impression of the one I saw from about 50 yards away at Chastain Park, which is a relatively large outdoor amphitheater that regularly hosts loud bands like the Moody Blues, ZZ Top, Robert Plant, Steppenwolf, Deep Purple, etc.
From that far away, I'm guessing it was a Road King. It was the golden colored one with the black edging. They are rather unmistakable from the finish, which might seem a bit "loud" up close, but really shows up well on a big stage from far away. These are very obviously built specially to function as "big show" instruments and are well suited to the task, IMO.
While it might not have the best acoustic sound (who knows, that wasn't part of my experience), it did have a very "big bottom" kind of sound that I think can only come from a real DB, amped or not. At one point in the show the player switched over to a Fender Jazz and the contrast in sound was huge. Most of that "big bottom" just disappeared. That was a very direct illustration of why one would use one of these rather than an electric bass guitar. It has the principal distinguishing characteristic sound of a double bass in a really loud form.
Considering how expensive double basses are, how much room they take up, etc., we players usually have to look for the "one" that best suits what we do most often. For me, it's not a Road King. Most of the small venues I play in barely require amplification at all and I think my Kremona (31.5 lbs.) is sturdy enough to take the knocks I'm likely to give it loading it in and out of a car. But if I were doing an extended tour in some large venues that required me to amp up to the volume of those bands I mentioned above, I'd be looking seriously at King. I know they also make some high end carved models that are tamer in appearance and if I could find one of those up close and personal that was in a five string configuration, I might be interested in that.
I would echo the fact that when there is a forum specifically dedicated to a particular genre and a product specifically marketed to that genre, that's where most of the information on that product is going to be.
I really cant add anything to what already been said..I own the tuxedo slapking and couldnt be happier..I will add though play one before you order one and make sure your ok with the neck angle..They are way more vertical than the normal..Takes some time to get used it,for me anyways.But yeah..Built like a tank and definitely made to be amplified..