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Open post to Ken Smith/KSD customers...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by sheepdog, Mar 27, 2004.

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  1. sheepdog


    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    original verbiage lost in the move from basses :) :crying:
  2. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Inactive Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I gave you an example of all Graphite not being equal becaused you asked a loaded question. There are dozens of types and qualities of Graphite and as many ways to use it. Our way is the Highest Quality and most expensive as used on our handmade Basses. Also the reasons for using Graphite varies as well. I was polite as I remember but maybe gave u more information than you wanted. Sorry about that but 25 years of using various graphites and methods does give me the right to discuss it and explain it when you ask. It was K-Mart btw and the example was; you can get a graphite Golfclub for 19.99 or go to a pro shop and pay 499.oo for a graphite shaft club. ''All graphite is not created equal" . In a 899-999 priced Bass, Simple is better and a heck of alot cheaper.
    Now for the Series Parallel...... In a single coil pickup, you can't do it. It's just one coil. I have no idea how you would do it between the two pickups without putting them out of phase which would be a phase switch or if you get the single coils to work in parallel then you will have a very thin sound.
    You asked about the pots and was told they are all double element pots....push/pull active passive, balance control, and concentric Bass and treble. You agreed there is no room for a triple element potm as you were looking to make it work as a push-pull.

    Imagine how many questions I get every day on the phone, email and in-person, being that I make myself available to all. Some questions have a simple short answer. Some don't...... Sometimes they don't like the answer. Sometimes I can't answer them as I have no clue about what they are asking. It's a big world out there and I try to please most of the people, most of the time... Sorry that I can't bat 1000.

    If I don't think it's a good idea, I am going to tell you. I'm not shy to say what I believe. You may not like my answer but it will be the Truth as I know it.

    The last guy that started a thread to complain about me ended up deleting it as the truth unfolded. I don't mind answering questions but don't make me out to be the bad guy when I tell you the whole story.

    Answers are often more than 'one liners' !

    I worked with Henny Youngman once, but I'm not him.....lol...
  3. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    well a few things come to mind:

    maybe you caught him on a bad day...the guy is generally thought of as one of the more brilliant builders. if the bass was right for me, I wouldn't take into consideration the personality of the builder/designer, I'd buy the bass thats right for me

    alot of expert luthiers have said that they think graphite reinforcement on a bass neck is pure marketing hype

    thats too bad you had a bad experience in talking with him

    all that said, given what I know about basses in that price range, I'd probably spring for a Lakland Skyline too (which doesn't have graphite reinforcements by the way, only the USA ones do) or even better a used Roscoe or use Elrick or used Fender Custom Shop
  4. sheepdog


    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    I ask this because you came across as rude. I would never had called you if you hadn't asked first. I try not to bother busy people with questions over the phones. I prefer PM or email. It gives them more time to respond when they aren't busy.

    My first question was if it were possible to wire a series/parallel switch into this bass. I will not debate electronics here, but it is possible to do. I am not sure whether you misunderstood my question or I just didn't ask it well.

    My second question was regarding neck construction. I didn't ask for a detailed explanation of vintage vs. modern construction. That would have taken more time than I wanted to take, and I know that you are a busy man. I was not saying anything derogatory about the KSD neck construction, I had just failed to get answers when asking that question elsewhere.

    Maybe I caught you on a bad day, but I would recommend not having customers call you if you are not willing to be more civil over the phone. I am in sales and I can understand frustrating customers and bad days.

    I apologize for taking your time asking questions.
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Inactive Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Smash, The Bass has a push-pull/active-passive Master Volume Control with a Pickup Balance Control ('blend pot').

    If someone buys the KSD 'licsenced' Bass from an authrozied dealer distributed by the manufacturer/importer 'Brooklyn Gear' then they are welcome to try anything they like once they own the Bass !

    We don't make or distribute the Bass. We just keep a few on hand from time to time to help when there are no dealers in the area of the perspective buyer.
  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Inactive Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Sheepdog, would you rather I tell you to call Brooklyn Gear for your answers or have you call me for a complete explanation. They can just tell you Yes or No. I can tell you 'why'.
    I prefer to help than to 'pass the buck'.
  7. sheepdog


    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL

    would they have understood a series/parallel switch question?
  8. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    Actually a true Single coil pickup can not be wires any other way then the way its built with a hot and negative which I think goes for the KSD's and the JO's.

    There are a few Jazz pickups that can be wired different ways and one Jazz pickup that is made that can go series/Parrelel/Single coil which I use!

    For a pickup to be able to go series/parrelel, it needs to have 4 wires (2 hots and 2 grounds)
  9. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
    I want a bolt-on KS-Fusion model!!
    I'm sorry, I can't resist.
  10. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Inactive Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Would a salesman or computer software professional understand the S/P question?
    If they would, I would have gladly sent you there.
    When the KSDs first came out, I sent all questions to them. That's thier job along with distribution decisions and how to handle and answer each end user or dealer inquiry. It turns out that they need my help in these matters so I 'try' to take all questions as if the KSDs are my own family Just like my handmade models.
    I don't know how you would modify to S/P with a balance control and active/passive Volume using a push pull as you had asked. Some things are best left alone. The active tone controls are wide-ranged with tons of sounds to mix.
    You idea would be best in a simple passive Bass as it may be trouble with the current design.
    BTW, I consulted my electronic engeneer b4 ever sending you the first email reply to be sure I was on the right page. He does't get paid to answer these questions either as the circuits are Korean and not his. He's just a nice guy like me !
  11. There aren't any used Roscoes, Elricks, or Fender Custom Shop basses in the price range of a new KSD Proto J. The lowest-priced used Elrick 4-string I've ever seen was still around $300 more than a new KSD. I've tried the Lakland Skyline Joe Osborn, and the KSD smokes it as far as I'm concerned. YMMV, of course.
  12. sheepdog


    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    The series/parallel is between the 2 pickups, not just the 1. I realize a single coil isn't possible to do that. I tried to explain that I was talking about wiring BOTH pickups in series basically creating a large humbuckeer.

  13. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Amazon Product Designer
    maybe its just me, but i would have kept this a private exchange.

    just my opinion.

  14. Skips


    Feb 19, 2003
    This isn't directly related, but a while ago I got a Ken Smith humbucking J pickup on ebay, and contacted him about wiring it in series and parallel. Instead of trying to answer the question himself, he recommended that I call some other people (John or Dan, I think) who would be able to answer the question better than he would. So, I called them, and they could tell me everything I needed to know, about which wires did what (4 or 5 wires from the pickup) and how to wire them.
  15. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

  16. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I think that the problem between Ken Smith and Sheepdog may have been cultural. Ken Smith is an East Coast guy and Sheepdog is from Alabama. As a native Southerner, I know that East Coast guys can come off as aggressive or rude in the eyes of folks down South. I've come to understand that the brusque tone of Easterners is just a given, just like the courtesy of Southerners is often superficial.

    I didn't hear the conversation, but this is my guess. I suspect that Ken Smith is a decent guy on his own terms as we all are. That said, I just picked up the latest Bass player and I really hope I can check out one of those KSD basses in Nashville since no one around here carries them.
  17. Wolfehollow


    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    As a southerner myself... this makes a LOT of sense.
  18. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    I had a similar exchange with Ken Smith quite a while back.
    I chalked it up to a brilliant man doing exactly what he wanted in the design of his basses.

    It was simple, how about getting a maple fingerboard on my CR5G?
    Well, I got a whole lecture about how he designs his basses and what he goes for sound wise blah blah blah. I do know that Pau Ferro and maple have some of the same properties sound wise, but I was going for a different look. Instead of saying, "We don't offer that" I got what seemed to be a boat load of attitude.

    Lesson learned: If I want a maple fingerboard, don't ask Smith to do it (they wouldn't) get it done elsewhere.

    Whatever, they are sweet as hell basses and looking back, he may have been right.

    I hope they stand behind these basses, because the comment about "we don't build/distribute these basses" and "If someone buys the KSD 'licsenced' Bass from an authrozied dealer distributed by the manufacturer/importer 'Brooklyn Gear......" sounds kinda strange.
    As far as I'm concerned, Ken Smith did and does distribute and manufacture those basses. KSD-Ken Smith Design, it's your name. A Japan built Fender is still a Fender, a Lakland Skyline is still a Lakland, MTD Grendal/Heir is still a MTD, KSD is still a Ken Smith. They may be low line (by comparison) models, but piss off a kid who is buying a KSD and next thing you know he'll never by a Smith when/if he reaches that point.

    Don't get me wrong, Smith basses (reguardless of price-I played a KSD-nice for the money) are great.

    Oops, dropped another 2 cents!
  19. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I'm closing this one for the moment.

    Sheepdog, have you ever seen this thread that's stickied at the top of the Basses forum?

    I may reopen it after I give it some thought, or it may disappear. Film at 11.
  20. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    OK, I'm opening this back up. Ken is willing to see where it goes - but please keep it civil.

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