Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KSB - Ken Smith, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Sorry that the thread was closed (KSD/Sad). I was just about to step in and offer some peace and clear up a few things.

    When I was training in Tae-Kwan-do, I had to get some Ref training before my son Jon competed in States and then in Nationals. Being a Coach is safer I belive than stepping into a Bass-dog Fight on TB like this just was. http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=186506&page=3&pp=20 At least I feel safer where the rules are in force to protect..lol

    Ok.. Now.. A few things and then I'm out...

    1) It had been mentioned MIC (China). NO, these are MIK, Korea.

    2) It was mentioned that I used Jazz Basses in my sessions. I used many Basses but rarely if Ever a Jazz Bass. My Main Bass b4 my 1976 Proto-type Smith was either an Old Jazz body with a '51 P neck with added Ebony board and modded to hell or a CT that was made as a Copy to that Bass which was serial #3. The first CT with a single non-spliced 26? fret fingerboard. The first 2 having two guitar boards pieced together under a fret. Nice, but not for me..
    Most of my recordings were with Smith Basses as I got busy in the studio in 1975 (thru '87) so only about a year with non-Smith type Basses.. Done with this now..

    3) QC: KSDs have evolved from it's first batch delivered and still tweaking so I don't know which ones are tried and compared here. There are many issues and none have gone un-answered. When dealing with the Koreans, try telling them you ONLY want the Light Ash used in your Basses.. Ha ha.. They Nod and then, who knows...

    4) A KSD Pro model MIJ (Japan) has been discussed over the last year or so and the price may be double. So will the quality, playability and sound but that will depend on who you ask. Economics will rule here, not opinion.

    5) A person who loves his Bass no matter what the brand, will defend it to the death sometimes. No reason to get ugly about it. Each to his own...

    Many Pros now have KSDs and just as many if not more don't, don't want them or don't need them.

    6) 60s vs.70s QC. There is no difference between these Basses in Quality at all. They are done exactly the same except for the woods and cosmetics. I personally prefer the 60s as the Alder brings back the older Vibe I used to hear back in the day. My son Jon 'Bought' a 60s 5er from Brooklyn Gear last Winter Namm.

    7) BG/KSD, KSB and KS... Let's try for a moment to understand this relationship. I was asked by BG to help design this Bass and consult. We also QC a portion from each batch as time and necessity allows or demand.
    We do not market or sell these Basses to the shops you buy them from. We only supply the Strings in Bulk to BG to ship back to Korea for assemble for each Batch.

    More Qs?.. Did I miss anything, anyone?..

    Mods.. PLEASE Delete any off color posts from this thread as you see fit. A healthy disscussion keeps us all on the edge of our seats. No reason to bring this out into the parking lot though!
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Thanks for the post. It's always good to get information from the source. It will be interesting if you produce a Japanese KSD. I'm sure the quality will be in the region of a Metro as will the price if it is double the current KSD price.

    I think the abundance of great music made on so many different basses should bring the focus back to the musicians who play the basses. Ultimately, it is the player who finds a bass that suits him or her. Others may agree with choice, others may not get it at all. So what? Let's talk basses with the knowledge going in that we will not always agree about it.
  3. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    On the Japanese KSD, let me make this clear again. Brooklyn Gear is the company having them made and selling them. I/we/KSB, is/are just the designer/comsultant to BG for the use or my/our knowledge, input and use of name.

    The goal is to deliver a product within a price range that is worthy of the use of our/my name and reflects our input of a Bass designed for a wider audience than is the case with the handmade KSB products.
  4. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Ken, I very much appreciate you posting here and staying involved in the bass community. Both you and Roger provide a great service to us by staying in contact.

    Now a quick suggestion, If your going to import a "higher end" KSD from Japan I would suggest you get more "involved" in the quality control. Perhaps checking the Basses before there shipped. My biggest hesitation with the KSD's has been quality. Like I said, I was at a store that had four on the wall and three had serious issues. Lakland seems to be able to import from Korea and maintain a pretty good level (although they do appear to be having some production problems) at least the "bad ones" aren't hitting the store shelves.

    At the price point your talking about 13-1800 I could see an exceptional bass coming from Japan. The KSD 70's I played was a good set up away from being an excellent bass, they have a pretty good sounding pre (better the the MM Fender IMO) and a good neck feel. But at that price point quality flaws will not be tolerated near as easily by the market. For your "names sake" consider doing set-ups and final ship from your shop ala Lakland and Sadowsky. I'm sure the market will gladly bear any additional cost for the up tick in quality.
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Once again, I repeat, 'we are just the Designer'. BG buys and sells these Basses and we check what needs to be checked. My Japan Dist. is involved as well in Japan so we will have one more Pro in the Mix. This may be a ways out in the making. A year?.. More?.. I don't know. I consult as I am asked.
  7. Excuse me mr. Smith, but I'm sure that 'we are just the designer' isn't something KSD-owners appreciate to hear when they have a problem with their instrument. I've said it before in a similar thread - for some reason you chose to ignore - but I'll say it again: your name is on a bass, so whether you like it or not these are also your customers. Customers who in many cases have bought that particular bass because it carries your name, a name that in their opinion stands for quality.

    Don't get me wrong, every single thread about KSD makes one thing very clear: 'you're only in it for the money', just like the smart Korean manufacturer who came up with the idea to make a lucrative deal with a famous name to sell more of his Jazz copies. Apparently you need KSD to keep your core business up and running, there's nothing wrong with that if the attitude is right. IMHO it isn't, and although I can afford a bells and whistles Ken Smith and although I like the design very much, I will never buy one because of this.

    I really don't expect you to care about my opinion, but you should realise that a disappointed KSD-owner will almost certainly stay away from the 'real thing'. A KSD-owner who is (almost) treated like he just ordered a custom Smith might at some point in his bass playing life decide to do just that. Why do you think Bill Conklin and Dan Lakin are always being friendly, respectful and helpful towards GrooveTools or Skyline owners..?
  8. willgroove2


    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    huh? i don't know why you don't see what ken smith is saying here;they just did the design and some QC that's why their called KSD.my take on those bass's is that they have nothing to do with ken smith bass's they are two diff things.as far as KSB "needing"KSD sales to keep his core biz running i doubt it but more importently i don't know just like you don't unless you work with/for ken smith.i think that you should take ksd for what they are;mid-priced bass's DESIGNED by ken smith
  9. JPrisus


    Jun 8, 2005
    Thanks Ken, much appreciated! :hyper:
  10. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Does Les Paul get a call every time there is a problem with a Gibson? Does Ned Steinberger get a call every time there is a problem with a Spector NS design?.. NO, I don't think so, hence my comment "'we are just the Designer'. I answer phone calls and Emails every day. That is something I do without billing BG. I do this for the Customer. The Burner Series Basses were my design as well but made for and with us. Completed at our shop, shipped, sold and serviced by us. That was completly different than the current KSD project. Sorry, but that's just the way it is. It is a "Licsenced" product, so they call it....

    Call Calvin Klien at home next time your Jeans shrink in the wash.. Please!

    (Quote: "Apparently you need KSD to keep your core business up and running")

    Not at all. In fact I am doing the old Broadway Play "Cabaret" here in town for a 4-week run. Why?, Because I like to play and I "don't mind" the money!! I don't Play either a KSD or Smith Bass in it. I play one of my Double Basses (Upright). The soul need music even if you are the one playing it...

    Brooklyn Gear makes all the Namm arrangements for my booth, furnishings and hotel reservations for me. That's worth plenty to me. We share the booth but I get to avoid all the paperwork and details and just pay some bills at the end. Brooklyn Gear and EBS make great company.If it was nothing more than some booth space and the arrangements, I would still do it. The KSD project has made many players happy in the world but from what I see here, not 100%. But then again, "you can please some of the people some of the time but not all the people all of the time".

    I'll go with the percentages I got!

    Thanks guys for your continued support...........
  11. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    KSD = Ken Smith DESIGN

    Ken has said that he's not involved in production, nor manufacture, nor sale, nor distribution. Just design. If so, that seems pretty clear; I don't honestly know how it could be clearer.

    If you have a problem with how a bass is produced or sold, it makes sense to take it up with the people who are responsible for producing and selling it. Which apparently is not Ken.
  12. OK mr. Smith, you once again made a point without making a point, not reacting to anything I said about customer service and investing in a good relationship with customers before they are 'real' customers. I guess one could see that as an aswer in itself. And judging by the other reactions apparently critical questions to a TB-member of your calibre are 'not done'. But please allow me to express my sincere curiosity here:

    The KSD line. If it isn't for the money, why ARE you 'in it'? Why stick your name on instruments you have had (close to) nothing to do with in the first place, spending (wasting?) valuable time answering phone calls and e-mails 'without billing BG' while they make good money using your name? What leads me to my final question: in what way are KSD basses designed by you? Which aspect of the construction, shape, electronics etc. etc. makes it your design? No matter how hard I try, I only see some Jazz Bass copies with your name written on the headstock, but what do I know?
  13. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    No, you miss the point. Anybody can ask a critical question of anyone, provided that forum decorum is observed.

    But since this is a public forum, such a question is itself open to general criticism if people think it's unfounded or off-base--again, provided that forum decorum is observed.

    You've been disagreed with. Nobody has tried to stifle your free speech.
  14. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Holy crap. Give up already. Most people in business for themselves usually are in it for the money. Most people who punch a clock are in it for the money. Lets face it we all have to do something 'fro the money'. Some poeple happen to be incredibly lucky 'be in it for the money' doing something they love be it building basses or building office towers or corn cob pipes. The rest who work for the money and don't like the work; I guess you could call that bribery.

    And as far a only seeing a jazz bass copy. You're entitled to your opinion. We've all got one. But getting into the who jazz bass copy issue takes away from Ken Smith intent with the original post. The jazz bass copy (Sadowsky, Lull, Pensa, Celinder) horse has been flogged to death.

    Insulting the man is the way to Talkbass losing a very valuable resource. And with that we will probably end up with another closed thread.

  15. So Mr. Smith should provide service above and beyond for a bass that is not his own? Hang on, I gotta call Ned because I saw a Kramer-era Korean Spector on ebay and I want his opinion....
    No. You should just know better.
    See above post.
    He never said he wasn't in it for the money...he said he didn't need it to stay in business (which is what you asserted). Could you please find me a manufacturer that isn't motivated by their ability to pay the bills doing something they love? Do you work for free? Mr. Smith has spent years crafting basses. At this point in his career, he is a well-established and respected maker of high-end basses. Years spent sweating. Years spent getting his product out. And years spent making his own name a respected one in the bass-building community and beyond. I don't know the whole story behind KSD, but I do know that this man is in a position to be paid for being associated with a bass' design and construction. That says a lot. I'm sure it doesn't make up for all of the unpaid time he's put into getting to this point, but it helps. He was involved to a certain extent in the design of the bass. End of story. The bass says Ken Smith DESIGNS. Why crucify him?
    If that is all you see, why are you even involved in this thread?

  16. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Mule!.. Your name please?

    Maybe because you are from the Netherlands you fail to understand what I have said several times.

    Brooklyn Gear IS the Seller. KSD buyers are NOT my Customer but Brooklyn Gears' Customers. Brooklyn Gear is MY Customer as I sell them my Design, QC, Knowlege and the right to use my name as a Designer?.. OK??

    Now, Fill out your profile so we can tell if your in Diapers, Depends or somewhere in betwwen so we all have a clue who we are talking to. My identity is no secret so come out of the closet.

    Then, you may ask specific civil questions which I will be glad to answer. If you continue this line of attack, I will ask the Mods to delete all your posts in "MY" thread as I had mentioned in my first post!
  17. I can only see my comments - critical, but motivated - being ignored by both mr. Smith and others. We can agree to disagree, and I might even be prepared to change my opinion if proven wrong, but for that I at least need some reaction, don't I? And let's not forget that I reacted to something mr. Smith said himself in a thread started by himself to clear things up about his own business!

    Thanks for proving my point. Exactly what I meant earlier. Apparently asking critical questions to certain TB-members equals insulting them. Doesn't matter if you're being polite and within 'forum decorum'. We're all equal, but some members are more equal than others? Please... :scowl:
  18. I have already asked specific civil questions, being critical but polite and within 'forum decorum' as someone called it earlier. If you see this as a 'line of attack' I don't understand why. As I said earlier I reacted to something you said yourself in this thread you started yourself to, as you said yourself, 'clear things up'.

    If you don't like my questions I asked to 'clear things up' for myself, if you don't want to aswer them or if you just want to get off-topic by insulting me (see bold quotes above, now point out my insults please) it's your choice. I'm not playing that game, and any objective moderator reading this thread will have to admit that. Too bad you've chosen to walk this path, I will not join you...

    edit: apparently you want to know how old I am: 29
  19. Way to dodge his questions. Nice try on the spin, too...but apparently you are the only person that hasn't found your manner of inquisition "questionable". It is entirely possible to be insulting and still appear polite.

    By reading your post, I'll assume your next charge will be that this entire forum, moderators included, is taking Ken's side because he's a manufacturer and we all own his basses. You'd be wrong then, too. I don't know Ken from Adam and will probably never buy one of his instruments. You accuse Mr. Smith of taking the low road? You paved the low road in this thread; not by your questions, but by the way you asked/answered them.

  20. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    +1. Ken has many design innovations to his credit.