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My First Smith

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Brad Johnson, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Found this last week, a 1999 BSR-5P. Tiger Maple with Walnut center.
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    OOO i like very very much.
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
  4. dragonbass


    Feb 17, 2003
    ........................................EX-Sadowsky Guitars Builder..........................................................
    Very Nice, CONGRATS!!!!

    Question for you........

    Strapped on does it bother you that it doesn't have a "Tummy Cut" on the back like most basses?

    I have a '99 BSRJ-G 4 string and it bothers the hell out of me( I have my straps adjusted so that regardless if I stand or sit the bass is at the same height)

    Just wondering?????
  5. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Sweet, Brad. Congrats! Let us know how it sounds when you've put it through the paces.
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings


    Nope, doesn't bother me at all. I have other basses without the cut and no problem there either. I wear a strap whether seated or standing and keep most of my basses at the same approximate height.
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Thanks, bb. I took it out last Saturday for a gig along with my first Brubaker. This is a very nice bass that cuts through easily. I've been waiting for my kind (cheep bastid) of deal on one and just passed on a killer Chuck Rainey 4. While talking to a friend of mine, Preach (another bassist) in the bass room at Atomic Music, I mentioned that I'd love to find a used Smith 5 with soapbars (Atomic has a bunch of used Smiths with jazz pickups). No sooner than I had said that, one of the owners walks in with the Smith.

    :eek: :D

    I told Preach next time we should talk about attractive women;)
  8. pitbill


    Mar 27, 2003
    Bluefield, WV
    Very cool Brad! I just got my first Ken Smith about 2 weeks ago. It's also a BSR-5P, only fretless (not as beautifully quilted as yours though). I'm absolutely loving mine. I think I might also go on the search for a fretted 5 like yours to go along with my new fretless. Seems to have very comfortable string spacing for a 5 stringer as well as a nice available passive tone.
    Congratulations on your new find!

  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
  10. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    That bothers me about mine. That and the wide spacing are the reason I'm selling it. The funny part is, the tummy cut doesn't go where my tummy is. I wear my bass higher than that. But it's still good to have as it makes it more comfortable against my chest (I know what you're thinking, and no I don't have "man boobs"! :p).
  11. Wait, are you sure that you work as a software developer? ;) :D
  12. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Right on! :D
  13. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Ugh..that is so ugly. Makes me want to puke. Is it me or are all Ken Smith double cutaways just putrid piles of ugliness?


    Actually I think it's really cool and I'm a bit jealous. I would love to have a nice Smith. Congrats Brad!
  14. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Bryan, TX
    I just got my first Smith last week also...an INCREDIBLE sounding bass! Just meaty tone out the wazzoo!! That preamp/pickup combo really slays! I got it used, but in good shape for the most part. It had several small dings on the bottom, and a bit of worming from someone's belt (damn oil finishes;) ), but I was able to remove them completely with a little bit of the Smith oil and some 1200 grit paper (and a bit of elbow grease!). The only bummer was that the fretboard was a bit of a mess....relief in the wierdest spots, with a couple of "humps". I'm sure the bass didn't leave the factory like this, and the board must have simply moved over time...that's my only guess. I know that the basses that come out of Smith's shop play like butter, and are set up VERY well, so this must be a bit of a fluke. Not a reflection of the quality of basses that they make, I'm sure. Anyway, after Carey Nordstrand pulled the frets, he leveled the board under tension and refretted it with some much smaller wire (I HATE the jumbo stuff that was on there...different stokes for different folks, I guess) and added some 8mm dots (stock Smith size). The result; a bass with tone for days and ridiculous playability. I'm telling you, that Nordstrand fella knows how to do a silly perfect fret job! The bass has an ebony top and walnut back, with the tiger maple core. It's one of his "P" models from 98. Sorry that I don't have a digital camera....on the Christmas list! When Santa brings it, I'll fumble my way throgh posting some pics, along with my Nordstrand that should be here around the new year!
    Bottom line, like everyone says, "Nothing sounds like a Smith!"
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Congrats, jc... sounds like you ended up with a nice bass.

    There are two small screw holes that have been filled on the sides of the neck pickup (they show in the close-up)... I'm guess the previous owner did the Marcus pickup cover thing. Other than that the bass looks brand new. Even the hard shell case and leather strap are in excellent condition.

    Playability is typical of an upper end Smith... perfect. The sound is the signature Smith sound (that's why I wanted the soaps). The price was just one more of those "too good to pass up" deals that I wait for. It was about $100 more than some of the J-equipped used Smiths at the same store:D

    It's about time for another family pic. This one should be pretty ridiculous;)
  16. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Ow! GAS pains...:D

    Nice Bass!
  17. pc


    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC

    Those Smiths are neat... [​IMG]
  18. faux neck-through? what's the deal with that?
  19. Very, very nice, Brad. :cool:

    I always liked Ken Smith's basses. I've heard a few live, and I love their tone.

    One of these days. (sigh) :(

    Enjoy it, Brad.

    Mike :)
  20. Probably a tonal thing. I'd imagine that a maple neck bolted to a maple center block sounds closer to a neck-through than does a maple neck bolted to a walnut or mahogany solid body.

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