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Mike Pope Pre in Ken Smith BSR6MW

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Modulus1906, Apr 27, 2010.


  1. Modulus1906

    Modulus1906 Supporting Member

    May 5, 2009
    Has anybody replaced the stock 18v Ken Smith pre in this bass or another Ken Smith bass with an onboard Mike Pope pre amp? As good as the bass sounds, I'm just wondering whether there is some further tone enhancement possible by replacing the stock pre with the Mike Pope unit. I would certainly keep the stock unit in case I ever sold the bass. Sometimes I just feel the bass could be improved with a different pre despite that it sounds good as is. Any other pre amps that are known to work well (i.e., better than the stock pre) with the Smith bass? What difference in sound might I expect between the stock unit and the Mike Pope unit. Thanks for your comments.
     
  2. Modulus1906

    Modulus1906 Supporting Member

    May 5, 2009
    Bump..any feedback on the Mike Pope onboard pre in general? Has anybody installed one where it did or did not improve the tone of your bass? Thanks
     
  3. The Pope pre is very nice. DON'T MESS WITH THE SMITH:D First, so much of the Smith tone is due to the unusual pickup placement. Secondly, the Smith pre is KILLER, and is voiced to work with the Smith pickups, and the newest version has so much control with the DIP switches, etc., that I can't imagine anything (even the very nice Pope pre) being an improvement.

    It would be like removing the Sadowsky pre in a Sadowsky and replacing it with a Bartolini pre or something.

    One of the things that makes a Smith a 'Smith' is the way everything is voiced and tuned to work together.

    IMO!
     
  4. Could not agree more.
     
  5. pedulla1

    pedulla1

    May 14, 2005
    NYC
    Well said Ken. The new pre kicks butt over the old in my opinion. I had to change the pre in my crv but my new bsr5gn needs no change! With the dip switches it is extremely rangy and even gets gritty if you you use the wide mid-range dip settings (not my taste).
    Did you try the different dip switch settings? That plus the S/P switches should make you happy. Overall the new pre sounds fuller and phatter live than the older one. In the studio guys have gotten the older one to do what they want. I have heard guys say they prefer it recorded but live they want more. With the new pre I think this "issue" is solved. Kudos to Ken (Smith that is)!
     
  6. Modulus1906

    Modulus1906 Supporting Member

    May 5, 2009
    Hey Pedulla1,

    I am aware of the switches but have not yet messed around with them. I like the sound of my bass but was just wondering..I think ya'll are confirming what I thought. Have you found a different DIP setting that you prefer over the stock setting? If so, what is it? I'm interested in trying it. Thanks
     
  7. pedulla1

    pedulla1

    May 14, 2005
    NYC
    I tried a lower setting for bass, narrow band for mids (different from stock) and I think the highs are the same. I can't get to my bass for a while but I will post which exact settings I use. The stock settings had too much mid presence for my taste and rig. That's the beauty about rigs and tastes LOL.
     
  8. thepontif

    thepontif

    Apr 24, 2004
    Designer Fodera Guitars/Michael Pope Design, Inc., Trickfish Amplification
    +1 here too. I had a Smith BT before my Fodera. It was the first bass I had that had a rogue router taken to it. I can tell you definitively that changing only the preamp will have at best a negligible effect. Even changing the placement of Ken's PU's (I am speaking from direct experience here) seems to have a suprisingly oddly small effect. I moved them to the J bass position and they still kind of sounded the same in some strange way. I dropped in one of the very earliest prototype sets of Duncan dual coils and the bass suddenly sounded like a thin jazz bass (with coils tapped). Smith has a strange formula there and I wouldn't mess with only part of it. It's a beautiful thing if you like it. For me, it only does one thing I can use. But that's just me.
     
  9. I switched out the pre with an Aguilar one on my smith and I am very pleased with the result. I prefer the way it is voiced. Don't tell Ken. ;)
     
  10. thepontif

    thepontif

    Apr 24, 2004
    Designer Fodera Guitars/Michael Pope Design, Inc., Trickfish Amplification
    I just sold a preamp to a guy who is putting in a smith. I've sold a many for that application. The most recent customer is changing the PU's as well. I think he's going to drop nordstrands in it.
     
  11. Modulus1906

    Modulus1906 Supporting Member

    May 5, 2009
    This is all great input. I think I'll just tamper with a couple of other less expensive basses and not touch the Smith. However, the knobs on the Smith pre will eventually have to go in favor of some custom THG knobs. :D
     
  12. kerrycares

    kerrycares Lover of God, People , Music and Bass Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Michigan
    I've had 2-3 Mike Pope preamps and put them in Marcus Miller 5 and more recently an Fclef 5.
    the highs seem to be more pleasant than a lot of preamps with shiny or sizzly highs in fact some will say that the Pope is a little drier sounding like the Fbass.
    i don't care for the modern hi-fi or Smith sound persay for slapping but i love the look and feel of the Smith BT.
    for fingerstyle playing I find the Smith second to none.
    if you put a Mike Pope pre in your bass please provide some sound clips.
    who knows ,you may be on to something......PS wish i'd have thought of it!
    whatever the case i'd suggest do what makes you happy but don't cut or route the Smith because you can always return it to stock condition for future dealings.
     

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