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Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by bassopotumus, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. bassopotumus


    Mar 17, 2004
    Does anyone here know if King Double Basses are good for Jazz music? Will they suit this style well? Thanks to all who respond!

  2. That all depends on who's playing it!

    Seriously, there is not good or bad bass for jazz; you'll find that the top players are using instruments all across the spectrum, from old Italian specimens all the way to plywoods like Kays.

    If you're talking about the new King basses that are being made, from my understanding, they are well-suited for amplification, which might be a plus, as most jazz players use amplification of some kind (holy sh*t, that was one helluva run-on sentence).
  3. bassopotumus


    Mar 17, 2004
    haha, yeah I can see what you're saying. Thanks.
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Actually, Mike, as an editor, I have found much longer run-on sentences, and I think you'll often find that people will string together a series of thoughts in a single sentence without really playing attention to what they are doing; although if they would simply take the time to read back what they have written, as you have, it is usually obvious that they have extended the sentence well beyond what is deemed appropriate in contemporary writing styles, but unfortunately, most do not, which may actually be a good thing, as I would otherwise not have a job. :)

    Anyway, you talkin' Old Kings or New Kings? Old Kings are likened to the American Standards and would be fairly common in Jazz. I haven't played a new King, but I think they are finding their niche in rockabilly.
  5. From my reading of the new Kings, they are specifically designed for the rockabilly crowd. In other words, heavily built and braced so folks can stand, jump, kick, twirl, pound, slap, or juggle them. I don't see how this would be condusive to a good tone.
  6. Geoff Firebaugh

    Geoff Firebaugh

    Apr 1, 2004
    Nashville TN
    Endorsing artist:Blast Cult, BNA Audio, Fender, Innovation Stings, K&K
    First of all, hello everyone. I just found my way over here..

    I play urb for BR549, a hillbilly, rockabilly, western swing outfit from Nashville. I've been studying jazz for about 6 months now. I have a King Doublebass (the new ones) that I special ordered. Most of the KDB's that are out there are designed like one poster said, to be 'stood on, juggled etc.' and alot of them do not have alot of acoustic volume. In my case, when I ordered my bass, I talked at length with Jason Burns, the owner. We collaborated on the design of my bass, which, while being a bit stronger and more durable than the average bass, would also have a decent acoustic volume and tone. I've had my KDB for about 2 weeks now, and it has really opened up. It is obviously not as loud as my carved top. but it is comparable in volume to most other plywood basses. The big plus for me, is that I have a bass that I can do acoustic sets with, or amplify. and it is a well built sturdy instrument that I can haul around in our trailer for 200 plus shows a year, and not worry as much about damage.

    KDB also offers a carved top bass with the reinforced neck and neck joint. I have yet to play one of these, but I have heard good things about them.

  7. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN

    Welcome! I can't add anything to the King Bass discussions, but I do enjoy your work. BR549 is a very interesting and enjoyable group of musicians.

    I'd love to catch you guys live sometime.
  8. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Yeah Geoff, welcome to TB.
    Love your band and your playing.
    Nice to see some slappers pop up over here
  9. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Oooops, forgot to say what I wanted to about the Kings.

    I was about to go for a Slapking before I got my Christopher so cheap.

    Through my conversations with Brad and Jason at King
    I found out that the only extra bracing is the wood they use where the top and back meet the sides is a bit thicker.
    They told me that there basses are every bit as loud or louder than a Swingmaster or Strunal or Christopher.

    Here's their site.


    Contact them and talk to them directly. They're easy to get ahold of and very willing to answer any questions you have.
  10. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Bump fer more info please:)
    I've been looking at the kings as well. They're modestly priced, and I'd like to know if they're a decent "multi-genre" instrument, or if I'm limiting myself to just r.a.b.slap sounds...?
  11. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    What ever you can play on a Kay you can play on a King
  12. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Hi, I have had my King Doublebass for a while now, and bought it direct from Jason Burns at his house.

    This bass is totally, totally awesome!

    It is bright orange, chinese made. Every time I bring it to a gig, people freak out.

    The tone is excellent. I have the KK pickup system. Although I would probably use my regular Strunal upright for a jazz gig, the KING is what I play for most everything else (Western swing, hawaiian, rockabilly, bluegrass, country, etc.)

    The sound is very beefy, and records extremely well, with that old-timey sound heard on many early recordings.

    Did I mention it was an eye-grabber?

    You can tell that choice woods were not used (probably they use them on the american models) but this thing is built like a tank!

    I have guts on it, and the sound, look and feel are incredible. Like playing silky butter!

    Slapping on this thing is incredible, but so is fingerstyle. I am sure that if I had steels on it, I could play jazz no problem, but the pickup system seems designed for guts.


    Aug 26, 2005
    I own a vintage King made by the H.N. White Company in 1938. I use this as a 3rd instrument for travel and outdoor venues. I am predominantly a jazz player and I find the King has a remarkably good sound for a plywood bass. I also owned a vintage Kay for many years, and comparing the King with the Kay in my opinion the King is a far superior instrument, and ascetically more pleasing to the eye. It has a narrow carved scroll, sloping shoulders, violin corners and heavy duty brass gears, and the ff holes don't look quite as pedestrian as those on a Kay. It has some style to it. I've also used that King indoors for trio work and it has a much darker tone than the Kay that I had. I highly value my vintage King bass and consider it far superior to Kay for jazz. But being a plywood instrument, its rugged as hell and with an adjustable bridge you can crank the strings up for slapping, bluegrass, etc.

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