Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

KSD proto j V70J5 Review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by zac2944, May 17, 2005.


  1. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I was gigging with a Ken Smith BSR 5 MW in a funk/soul/R&B for about a year before I decided that I really ought to get a jazz-type bass. I love the BSR 5, but IMHO those fat-toned Smith humbuckers just don't get close enough to a jazz tone. The type of music I'm playing really needs an old school jazz bass tone, and since I'm making money and the band is very serious, I can justify purchasing a new bass for this band.

    I really like a Marcus Miller type of tone, so I only looked at 70's style jazz basses. I also wanted a 5 string, with a Fender style body. Based on this criteria I was considering: Fender Marcus Miller 5, Lakland Skyline DJ5, and KSD V70J5. I was not able to play any of these basses before purchasing. After researching I decided to purchase the KSD V70J5.

    I have played about a dozen gigs with this bass and feel that at this point I have enough experience with it to give an honest review. Enjoy!

    Features:
    Ash body, 35" scale, maple neck and fingerboard, white binding and block inlays, 21 frets, 19 mm spacing, 2 band preamp with active and passive modes. The features I like are the active/passive switch on the preamp and the bound neck with block inlays. I find the active/passive switch very useful and the neck looks great.

    Sound:
    I am very happy with the tone I can get from this bass. It is what I would call a 70's Fender/Marcus like tone. It is not exactly the same, but very close. The bass is not very versatile when it comes to tone. It does one thing and only one thing. I have been using DR Hi Beams instead of the stock strings.

    To describe the tone I would say that it has very clear and well defined high end that zings. Rolling back the treble knob seems to have little effect, it just makes the high end a little smoother. I enjoy the high end from this bass, it really give this bass its character. The mid-range of the tone sounds a bit scooped out, but barks very nicely when you dig in and play hard. The mids seem to be very dynamically sensitive, their character develops as you play harder. The low end of the tone is focused and defined. I would not say that it is huge.

    The preamp is just OK. The bass control goes from a little thin to muddy. I typically leave it centered. The treble control is very subtle. You just can't get the zing out of this bass. The pickup blend know works fine. The volume control is not very good. About 75% of the volume adjustment happens during the last 25% of the knobs range. It works, but it can be difficult to adjust mid-song while on stage. The active/passive switch on the volume knob is great. I play mostly in passive mode, but when the funk really starts to kick in or I take a solo, I will switch to active mode for a more aggressive sound. This works very nicely. It's like using a preamp foot peddle for a little boost.

    Action, Fit, Finish:
    I ordered the bass from BassNW. It arrived with very low action. I had to raise the action slightly, adjust the neck, change strings, and intonate before everything was just how I like it. I'm very happy with the action now. The clear finish had no flaws that I could detect and the ash grain is beautiful. The maple neck has a satin finish that feels great under tired and sweaty hands 3 hours into a gig. The fret work is good, no sharp edges, no buzzing frets. The neck joint is OK, slightly tighter on one side than the other, but no big gaps. The pickups seem to be slightly out of position. The pole pieces are not lined up directly under the strings. They are off by about .030"- .050". I'm not sure what effect this has on the basses tone.

    Playability:
    This is a bigger than average bass. First of all you've got the 35" scale. Then 19 mm string spacing. The body, neck, and headstock all appear to be in correct proportion to the larger neck and string spacing. Given the large size it is surprisingly easy to play. My hands never get fatigued, but my back can feel the difference between this and my Smith BSR 5 after a 3 hour gig. I like the size of this bass, it just feels powerful.

    Side note - One important thing about this bass is that it won't fit into most standard cases. It is very long and the stacked bass/treble knob stands up quite a bit. I have a Pro-Tec case that works well.

    Overall:
    I really dig this bass. It's got mojo, nice tone, it was relatively cheap (about $800 w/ case and shipping). I've been playing this bass hard for a few weeks now and I have not had anything fail or break. It makes a great workhorse bass.

    I welcome any questions, comments, and silly remarks about how I should have bought a used Fender instead of a Korean POS.
     
  2. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
  3. ErnieD

    ErnieD

    Nov 25, 2004
    Atascocita,TX.
    Nice review there. I would hope someone with a Skyline DJ5 could chime in to say how that bass stands up to the KSD. Because these are 2 basses I am eyeballing and like you none available locally to try out. Just by the good feedback I read here on TB and on the Lakland site, I ordered a 55-01 from BassNW. I love this bass, I now park my SRay 5 to use the Skyline. It was priced very well, they paid S&H and I was not dissappointed shopping for this bass in this manner. Will I do it again, possibly. Sometimes you just go with your feelings and alot of good feedback and if you guessed wrong, return it. Hell, we have some local stores that won't even do cash back on returns, found this out the hard way, that aint good business.
     
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Nice review. Thanks.
    Isn't Rochester great?
     
  5. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Hell yeah.

    If you want to hear the KSD, stop out to the Clarissa Room on 5/26. I'll be playing there with a band called Gravity.
     
  6. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I played a DJ4 about 6 months ago at Sphere Sound in Rochester, NY. I remember it being a great bass and sounding very similar to the KSD. I believe that the KSD has more sizzle on the top end, and the DJ4 had a thicker and more solid mid range. The DJ4 was not as large as the KSD. It actually has a very sleek and sculpted body as compared to the KSD which is very Fender-like. I remember that the DJ4 had smaller frets than what I am used to. The DJ4 also has a slimmer neck than the KSD. The DJ's come with a matching head stock which I really like. I went with the KSD because I found no real evidence that the DJ5 or Fender MM5 would be worth the extra cash to me.
     
  7. i love my v70j 5 string :hyper: ..i wanna get the v70j 4 string and a v60j 4 string...i use mine for my jazz gigs and funk, suits both very nicely, but i want the 60j for my jazz stuff, just to get the better looks :p .....but im gonna go with my p for this blues album im recording in a few weeks.....

    oh, i reccomend putting a badass on the KSD, mine does and i loves its.....complimentary pic :D
    [​IMG]
     
  8. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Heath, I figured you'd chime in. Your write up on the KSD helped me make a decision to buy one.

    I would agree with your review that it does have a very nice tone, and nice slap tone in particular. I also agree that it is very comfortable to play. I didn't have any sharp frets on mine.

    I would not agree that it is "possibly the best jazz bass ever" (your words). It might however be the best VALUE 5 string jazz bass ever. I have played nicer jazz basses before. But honestly the difference are slight, and some may prefer the KSD to Sadowsky, Celinder, etc.

    For me this bass is perfect. I don't make enough money playing music to justify a very high end jazz (ok... I did buy a Smith BSR5MW for mucho cash, but if you've played one you'll understand).

    Why do you recommend the BadAss Bridge? It looks very similar to the stock bridge. Did it effect the tone at all?
     
  9. well i cant compare the ksd to a sadowsky or cellinder or anything like that, ive never played let alone seen one here.....


    in reguards to the badass, mine came with it so i cant really compare it to its stock bridge but i can compare it to most bridges ive used, it seems more stable, more sustain and the harmonics seem to leap out a bit more than on most basses ive used..also on active setting i tend to boost the bass to about 75% and treble to around the 60% mark, just to give it tht extra oomph

    but im definately interested in getting a 4, just a hard decision to get the 60's or 70's version
     
  10. slaper

    slaper

    May 7, 2005
    Great bass, I have own most of the top brands jazz bass alike,s this one is great, I work a little on pick up positions and I have a very much fender 70´s sound, great value great bass great tone I love KSD V70j 5 string.
     
  11. Jugghaid

    Jugghaid

    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    I just bought one of these last week, and these are really terrific basses. Great value for the $.


    What Pro-tec case fits this thing? Jeebuz it's a long bass.................I need a case or gigbag that will handle it.
     
  12. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I'm not sure of the model, but its a pro-tec case that is a cross between a gig bag and a hard case. It is made of nylon like a gig bag, but it keeps its shape like a hard case. I know BassNW sells them.
     
  13. Jugghaid

    Jugghaid

    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    Gotcha. Those are the ones Mike Lull uses. My Vintage 4 came with one.

    Thanks.
     
  14. DeadPoet

    DeadPoet

    Jun 4, 2003
    Belgium
    Maybe a silly question but are there any routes underneath the pickguard ? I'm dying to get a KSD5-70 but i also want to be able to remove the pickguard, I'm a sucker for natural finishes...



    Herwig
     
  15. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    When I get a chance I will check for you.
     
  16. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    Brooklyn Gear now has gig bags long enough to fit any KSD basses...check with your KSD dealer.
     
  17. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    OT: Rochester native here, Cardinal Mooney Class of '76, bought first bass from Greg Prevost at the H.O.G. in '73 grew up off Lake Ave (Cherry Road/Turning Point Park neighborhood)in Charlotte and was a fixture at the end of the bar stage side at the Penny Arcade for most of the 70's and 80's...mail me a "Garbage Plate" willya??

    R.I.P Roger McCall....miss ya "Unk"
     
  18. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Could get messy.

    Waitaminute, it starts out that way anyway, doesn't it?

    Got my first bass and amp at the HOG too, even though I lived in NYC.
     
  19. I bought a 705 too.From what I read I think I'm really going to like this bass.I've been trying to duplicate the sound of my 74 Jazz which has the total Marcus tone in a 5 string.The closest i've come is my Moon JB 5 (OBP1 and Nordies).I have a feeling that the KSD while it is quite a bit cheaper is going to be what I've been looking for.
    I'm not sure if I'll change the electronics.I do like humcancelling pickups.The nordies I have on the Moon are ste split coil design and on my Jazz i have Samarium Cobalts, which are really great.I would put those on the KSD except that they are longer than regular 5 string J pickups and the mounting tabs are furter apart so I would have some ugly holes where the old mounting tabs were.Too bad Fender doen't mak the 5 string CSNs in a standard 5 string size.
    As far as the preamp is concerned,does anybody know the center frequency?What makes this preamp inferior to say a OPB 1 for example?
    I might look into getting one of the more obscure pres like the Audere.But hopefully the bass is going to be great just as it is.I'll find out in a few days.
     
  20. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I hope you dig the KSD.

    The only thing I didn't like about the pre is that you didn't get a very smooth adjustment from the volume and blend knobs. It was kind of all or nothing. I describe this in my review. Changing out the pre could fix this and would also change the tone a bit since they all have some amount of color.

    If I was going to change out the pre on a KSD I wouldn't go with a OBP-1 since it is boost only. Maybe an OBP-2 or 3 so that I had some cut too.

    I think that the stock pre sounded good in the KSD. You'll have to find out for youself. Be sure to post a review after you've played it for a while.