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KSD (Ken Smith Design) Jazz Basses. Experiences?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Blackbird, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    From what I've read the 5 sring it passive and has a 35" scale. Anyone checked one out?
  2. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    I played one at Boogie's place and the for price I would say it was definitely very cool. In fact I plan on getting one from Adrian at some point. It wasn't perfect (sloppy fretwork) but for the price I would have no complaints.
  3. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    It's active with a passive push/pull volume pot. Master volume, pan and stacked bass/treble. I had to dress the fret edges so they wouldn't slice my fingers off and the neck was a little finicky getting the relief just right (for me) but everything works well and the bridge is substantial. The neck is huge and the overall length (yes, it's a 35" scale) is massive; it barely fits in the longest gig bag I could find and I have a bunch. No way will this bass fit in a standard case or gig bag.

    I intend to gig it later this month for an outdoor casual, after which time I'll post a full review.

    My initial reaction is that it's a lot of bass for the money. Slap tone is exceptional and the electronics are surprisingly quiet. Here's the pics of mine:

  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i tried a couple of these basses out in the nashville namm show, and i was very impressed. they have a very classic jazzbass tone, from what i could hear, and the workmanship was very nice - the namm basses he had at his booth had no flaws in them that i could see.
  5. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Not surprising. One certainly wouldn't look for flawed specimens to display at a trade show! ;)

    The one I got probably suffered from climate changes where the board shrunk causing the fret edges to protrude. Korea and Las Vegas are somewhat different in terms of humidity, I imagine. However, the fret work was not particularly well done, either. In other words, the edges were not carefully worked/rounded. Hardly surprising at this price point, I suppose.
  6. Suppose the ones I played were lemons, then.
  7. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    How so?
  8. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    it was an oversight on my part to not have noticed the frets on that bass- but i will say that i have had to have frets files on a few VERY hi end basses before shipping- wood shrinks and frets don't- had i noticed , i would have had those frets filed before shipping- sorry, Boogie!
    but my point is.. i dont blame KSD for this, it is not a problem that is not shared by many basses many times the price...
    over ll the bass has killer tone- chunky feel, yes, i would not reccommend it a small person, but for the price.. killer bass---
  9. Ooh. Big, meaty neck? Classic '70s J tone?

    Imsothere. (If I ever get money.)
  10. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I wouldn't call this a "hi-end" bass...by any stretch of the imagination! And this kind of problem is, regretedly, pretty common on cheap basses, IME. Fortunately, I own fret files and know how to use 'em!

    Don't sweat it. Stuff happens.

    Unfortunately, true.

    Don't know if it's "killer" yet or not. Need to gig it first. Initially, the preamp and pickups seem to be its best features.
  11. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    well, killer for the money-- and i mean the tone- the tone surprised me, i got laugh out of plugging in in after series of hi end basses and hearing how tough it hung with th big boys.
  12. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Yeah, it certainly appears to be a great value given the way it sounds.
  13. how's the thickness of the neck?
    when compared to like, lets say Geddy Lee or Darryl Jones bass?
  14. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Thick. As in club-like. :cool:
  15. :D :D :D
  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Somebody has GAS.:smug:
  17. Yeah, and just when I can least afford it. :rolleyes:

    I had better write a ton of books and do a bunch of consulting once I get my PhD, 'cuz on a professor's salary alone I'm not gonna be able to indulge my GAS very often.
  18. anybody get a chance yet to a/b this with a korean lakland osborne 5? is the bridge pickup on the ksd spaced like a 70's fender or is it standard jazz spacing?
  19. pc


    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC
    I am curious too... In fact I was just about to ask the same question...
  20. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    I own a KSD, never A/B'd it with a Korean Lakland, but the bass is great for its price. (I own the 70s model with inlay 5string). The preamp was decent but I decided to swap it out with a J-Retro which makes the bass all the much better. It does have a good jazz tone and the neck is a bit chunky, but its a 5er, I have no problems with it and its become my main gigging bass.