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MTD or Ken Smith for Gospel/R&B/Funk?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fLaT-fIfTh, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. fLaT-fIfTh


    Dec 20, 2004
    Producer: GospelChops Inc.
    Can any gospel bassists give advice? I've recently seen quite a few players with Ken Smiths at gospel venues... They sound incredible in this setting! But so do MTD's... I guess I'm looking for opinions. I'm thinking about stepping up from my Warwick.
  2. They do both sound incredible. Sorry I can't help you on that one. I'd just go with which one feels better.
  3. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    MTD... good enough for Andrew Gouche, good enough for me. :)
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    For Gospel it's a toss-up IMO. I've run into folks who love Smiths and others who love MTDs.. Myself, I've owned a Smith and still own an MTD 635. I did a Gospel gig last week and the first comment I got was that my 635 was made for Gospel. It really did work well.

    Both have the ability to easily cut through in the mix which IMO is KEY.

    Bottom line, any quality instrument being played by any quality player who really wants to play that instrument will sound good. What grabs "you" is what's important.

    What vibe are you after? There are loads of options out there IMO. I'd recommend most of the basses I own for the types of music you mentioned.
  5. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Can't go wrong either way. I'm partial to the Smith myself, but they are really two different animals. IMO the MTD may be a little more versatile. The smith has a distinctive tone (a great tone!).
  6. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    You' ve narrowed it to two axes that are well suited for the genre. I think the question is which neck feels better for you.
    That is a key ingredient between the two, and I guess the scale length as well.
  7. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I don't own either one but I've had the pleasure of playing both of them a lot recently at various contemporary Christian and Gospel events and all I can say is :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: Take your pick, they're both great! If forced to choose, maybe a slight edge to Smith??

    I play an FBB fretless 6 and I'm over-the-top crazy about it ... funny to see and hear the Smith and MTD guys raving about the FBB (this is why I love being a bass player :D ), all of these basses are great :cool:
  8. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    In the few that I've played on each side, I tend to prefer the MTD's. I found the tone to be a little more flexible, and the bass just felt better in my hands. I still loved the Smiths though... they're certainly great basses, if nothing else. I don't think you can go wrong with either.
  9. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Either is a winner. I think I see more Smiths on the "gospel" channel. Quite a few Modulus Q6's as well.

    They seem to like 6 strings, too.
  10. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    I'd go with the MTD, I've heard both in a gospel setting. Both sound great but the MTD was just a little bit more rounder and had the ability to cut through the heavy keyboards and multiplied vocals that fill gopel arrangements. Lots of thump 'n grind.
  11. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    That's one of the things I've noticed since getting more involved with Christian/Gospel music ..... lots of guys playing 6 strings. Before I started playing with the praise band I hadn't seen another 6 string at the local level, now I see at least one more besides mine at every event :D

    Sorry for the hijack .... please continue
  12. emjei


    Aug 17, 2009
    Orlando FL
    Old thread but..... What would be the 2015 opinion ????

    MTD gets my vote
  13. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I'll be a slight contrarian. fwiw I find my Smiths to be fairly flexible tonally (the blend knob actually does blend). Every MTD I've played sounded like an MTD and I couldn't get a lot of variation. If you dig the MTD tone then you're set. But that sizzle isn't really my thing.

    Both are great basses, but I think they also are both more towards the "distinct tone" side of things. Comes down to which one feels/sounds better to you.
    Ace Of Bass likes this.
  14. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    If I played Gospel and had to choose between the 2, I'd go for the MTD for it's overall sound. Ken Smiths have a 'baked in' sound that I personally don't like but YMMV. Some folks dig it.
  15. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I love the Ken Smith sound, but I think MTD may work in more settings.
    Ace Of Bass likes this.
  16. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    It's funny because when I play my Smiths I don't sound anything like most of the youtube videos of guys playing a Smith. For me, the neck pickup will get a great "P-bass with attitude" and the bridge can get a nice snarl. Seems that most of the youtube vids are heavily scooped and more towards a Marcus amp/cab vibe.
  17. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    I've owned a few of each. To me, all my Smiths, sounded like Smiths with the largest difference being the construction method. The neck thru sounded/felt different than the bolt ons. In those two categories though, they seemed to sound similar.

    I've owned five different MTD's all with different woods. And they all sounded different. From almost vintage to "bacon hot off the stove" crispy.

    Thinking out loud here, maybe the electronics in the Smith have the over riding tone factor (especially the pickup placement) over the woods. Where the MTDs, the electronics are transparent and allow the voicing of the woods to come thru.

    Either way, they are two of my favorite basses.
    Ace Of Bass likes this.
  18. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I'm referring to that upper mids 'burp' thing that Smiths (and Peavey Cirrus) are famous for. Mostly heard while slapping. Not saying it sounds bad at all. It's just not my thing.
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  19. Ace Of Bass

    Ace Of Bass A Rooster Illusion

    Jun 27, 2006
    I agree with a lot that has been said here so far...I have played a dozen or so Smiths and they did all have that "Smith sound", the slap tone that's heavily associated with Smiths...not a bad thing at all, but I thought it did make it a slightly less versatile bass...at the same time, an MTD definitely sounds like an MTD, but the different wood combos really change the flavor of the sound...with the MTD I have now, I've really taken the time to get to know the bass sonically inside and out (especially because it's a wood combo that it traditionally would not have considered) and the reason it's such a keeper for me is that it really is quite a versatile preamp and the pickups allow it to really do its thing..I can get quite a few useful sounds that differ from each other in a few turns of a knob or two...the Smith has an unbelievable presence in its sound though and it definitely works for gospel, but my pick would be MTD for a bit more versatility, and you'd be wise to have that on an R&B gig...
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
    lowdownthump likes this.

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