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My new KC Strings Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Greg Clinkingbeard, Feb 18, 2008.


  1. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    I either need to be pinched or slapped, but I just bought one of these:
    http://www.kcstrings.com/bass-rc-williams-sr.html
    This is a true 7/8 with a 43" string, but is very easy to play. In fact, I played it for over two hours before I put a tape on it, noticing the extra 1.5 inches. It speaks very clearly and is loud as hell. We put a Realist on it and strung it with the strings that were on the Upton: Stark E, Mittel A and Oblis on top. It is a bit bright, but at the same very deep and full. I expect it to be fun on tomorrow's gig.

    Every few months I would visit KC Strings and play a few basses and I always likes this model. Of the four they had on the floor, one picked me. In fact, I like it much better than anything else on the floor, including basses up to almost $40K.
    Comparing this to my Upton was sad, but a dose of reality. Micha and Anton Krutz were great to work with and gladly took the Upton on trade, allowing more than I paid and stretching the rest out over time, interest free. Right now, I couldn't be happier.

    Will post pics later.
     
  2. robgrow

    robgrow Supporting Member

    May 1, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Man that's a beautiful bass. Congratulations! :D
     
  3. kurtsnyder

    kurtsnyder

    Oct 31, 2006
    Nashville
    Wow, what a beautiful bass!! I love everything about it- the shape, the violin corners, the scroll and I really love the tuners too!! You must be very excited. :hyper:
     
  4. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    Truth be told, I prefer a Gamba bass to the Violin, but it isn't a big deal. I bought this bass purely on the sound and playability. Even with the string length, it fits me well.
    Regarding the tuners. These things are so finely geared that as I was bringing the strings up to tension, I had to keep checking the windings to be sure they weren't coming undone!
    These tuners are very fine.
    After playing if this evening at home, I don't think the bass is so bright, but there is an edge to the attack I wasn't accustomed to. Anton Krutz has a belief that the varnish has a lot to do with what he calls the Bel Canto voice, I think. More of an AH than an EE. Does that make Any sense? There is a lot of presence in this bass, but not in a nasal or offensive way; it just speaks very clearly.
    I plan to spend a lot of time with the bow this year. The bow is my friend, the bow is my friend............
     
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Nice Bass there. Those are one of my favorite Gears as well. I put them on 4 of my Basses after getting them with my Shen 7/8 first.

    My Gilkes has a brighter than average sound as compared to my other old Basses and it cuts thur like a cannon.

    I assume the Bass is new now so in time it will mellow even more. Is this a Bass they make in their shop? On New Years I was watching the NY Phil on TV and saw one of Arnold's friends in the back of the section. Arnold told me his Bass is a Krutz as well.

    So, if it's good enough for the NY Phil then it must be good stuff.
     
  6. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Clink,

    Thank you so much for sharing it! Congratulations!

    Wonderful to hear of a thoughtful, rewarding decision that has turned out so well.

    The instrument is truly lovely. I like the point you make about the body shape and the string length..."playability" really is cumulative and related to so many things.

    I appreciate the fit and finish of that bass (as far as I can see). A well made thing has its own power and grace.

    Nice to hear of a success in that price range. Looks and sounds like you got the real deal...:)
     
  7. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    Ken,
    These basses are imported in the white with the tops off. They are graduated here and fitted with bass bars. I was told that the tops are put under tension when the bars are glued; don't know what that's all about.
    The basses made by Anton are an entirely different league, but start over $20K and I'm not sure one would be better for my playing. http://www.kcstrings.com/bass-anton-krutz.html#cornered
    One of the jazz guys in town has one though.
     
  8. Sweet bass!!! I think I spoke to you on the phone the other day??? Glad to hear you pulled the trigger on one of those. I also like the shop made basses. I think they bumped them up to the $14k range?

    There is no mistaking a KC finish...you can spot it 50 yards away.....and I love those tuners!!!They are geared low...I changed 2 strings the other day on KCtuners and had arm "pump" for 2 days:D

    I guess I can drop in and check out your old Upton to see what all the stink is about.

    ps...I hear that KCStrings will be making archtop guitars now. I got to play one last week. (prototype???) Anton, if you are reading this....please make one with bass f holes and your standard (bass) finish. The sunburst is nice but the KC finish would be outstanding...:hyper:
     
  9. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    Yep, that's me. What you said about not realizing you had gotten a 44" string length until you got home applies to me. If a bass plays well and has the sound it doesn't matter so much.

    I did see an archtop guitar as well as a rather large archtop fretless bass, but it didn't register that they were made there. I've got run over there later today to settle some things so I'll check them out.

    Wait a few days on the Upton, they're doing a little work to it first.

    Regarding the finish, my bass looks different than the one in the pics but don't have the time right now to put up pics. Maybe later in the week.
     
  10. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    A few of the Basses I have bought recently and owned in the past had lengths from 43-44+". All of them were modified in one way or another before playing out on them with one exception. That being my Storioni Attributed cornerless Bass. I have played that out with the Bridge adjusted to both 44 1/4 and most recently 44" as it was about 44 1/2" when I got it. It was a stretch but after getting used to it, the sound 'out weighed' the effort. When it goes into restoration soon, it will come out a year or so later at 42" or so. Playing 44" on that Bass does strain my hand after awhile. Also, I can't switch to other Basses I have without suffering from intonation problems. It has to be one or the other for me.

    For re-sale, anything over 42" has a smaller market, must smaller.
     
  11. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    I completely agree. After putting a tape on it I realize that 43 is a bit long, but I am able to play it fine and don't even think I'm having to stretch my left hand in the lower positions. Maybe at 1 am on the last set my opinion will change. I do think all other things being equal, a longer string can sound better though.
    This bass is quite a bit tighter, but will play at ridiculously low string heights without buzz. I think the G is around 3mm now.
    Everything in life is a tradeoff. Getting out of bed in the morning is a huge compromise. ;)
     
  12. heehee Getting out of bed is the most difficult decison to make everyday..

    I did notice a new flock of basses with a different-darker finish. Yours dark?

    I have 2 basses with 43.5" string. They both play easy and I dont feel like i'm missing out on anything till i get on a 41" bass. Then its like:bassist:. When I bought the 44"er, I went straight to orchestra rehearsal...sometime shortly after downbeat i could tell something was different.:D

    There must be something to the big bass/long string = big sound. It seems I always select the largest bass out of the group after a sound test.
     
  13. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Ok, last set on a Jazz gig with a 3mm G?

    Ok, now try playing a 2 hour Orchestra concert (or rehearsal), EVERY note written, playing as indicated with the dynamics and the G at 5-6mm, E at 8-10mm at a minimum. Then come and tell me how you feel. Try something like Beethoven's 9th. Let me know if you are still breathing by the start of the 4th movement..lol

    By re-sale I am referring to today's Orchestra players buying a Bass to do everything in one instrument including auditions with Solos that reach the harmonics over the Fingerboard. On my 44"+ Bass, the highest note is only a G because of its long String length. Normally, that same FB would be at least a B.
     
  14. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    After playing my last big concert with the 44" cornerless, I did a chamber concert with a 40 3/4" S.L. Bohemian Bass and even rehearsed with my 39 1/2" Candi. I will use my Gilkes set at 40 3/4" for my next few concerts. I don't have to 'map out' my shifts with the Gilkes as much at all like with the 44" Storioni. The Gilkes plays almost like a Guitar in comparison.:bassist: Unlike my Storioni Guitar 'shaped' Bass.;)

    Sounds like a 'tendon vacation' to my left hand when I switch back to the Gilkes... The sound however on the Storioni is to die for so the pain is usually not realized till sometime after I get off stage.
     
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  16. kcmoe

    kcmoe

    Mar 16, 2007
    Very cool! I used to take lessons from Misha while at UMKC Conservatory. I'm going to have to check out the shop.
     
  17. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Congrats on the new baby! Looks gorgeous! By the way, what was the final price differential between what you paid for the new one and what you paid for the Upton?
     
  18. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    $6K difference. Unfortunately, really nice basses are expensive. Guys told me to plan on $10K for a really nice axe unless I just got really lucky and I didn't get really lucky. I've played several basses around town and, with few exceptions, the good ones are up there.
     
  19. kcmoe

    kcmoe

    Mar 16, 2007
    I went in Saturday and checked out a couple basses. The guy handed me one like Clink bought. holy cow. i will have one!
     
  20. mattfong

    mattfong

    Jan 14, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    Man thats beautiful, especially the individual tuners and the stain. Nice!
     

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