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Opinions on Ken Smith KSD-604

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mulepods, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. mulepods

    mulepods Guest

    Feb 20, 2006
    Anyone ever tried one of these KSD-604 Jazz basses? I haven't seen or heard much about them, but they're much cheaper than a MIA Jazz and I wonder how good they are. I've never played a Ken Smith before I've seen good remarks about them here.
  2. Well this isn't a real Ken Smith bass. Its by some Brooklyn something company. Its just a KSD "design" - basically Ken Smith gets money for them to use his name is the bottom line. He may have approved what bridge and tuners to use ect... but please do not mistake these basses for handmade, true Ken Smith basses, they are far from it.

    I've seen the 70's version/played the 70's version. Nothing to write home about. I actaully thought it was pretty bad. The pre made much noise when you changed anything (boost/cut)
    And the pick-up poles weren't even lined up under the strings properly. - Maybe it was just the one bass I say/played but it totally lacked craft/workmanship.
  3. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Pretty much agree with the above. I had one and the fretwork was horrendous. It also was heavy and a bit of a log. Huge neck with great long headstock, hard to fit in a standard case or gigbag.
  4. mulepods

    mulepods Guest

    Feb 20, 2006
    Ugh. Well I figured there had to be a catch. Nevermind!

    I'm just getting slightly frustrated with Fender stuff. I love the tone and the vintage look, but I keep coming across odd problems with them. Very inconsistent. I would use my SX as my main axe but I prefer the smaller nut width of a real Jazz.
  5. BSR6P-Bob


    Apr 5, 2005
    I had a KSD 704 that really nailed the 70's Jazz vibe. The preamp was quiet and the overall workmanship was first rate.
    Even the fret work/action was good to go "as is" which is unusual on any instrument.

    I see no reason the 604 and 605 wouldn't be just as good.

    While these of course are not "Ken Smith" basses, IMHO as active Jazz clones they are on a par with the Lakland imports overall. The big difference is that the Lakland's are finished/inspected in the USA Lakland shop individually before shipment to dealers and the KSD's are completed overseas and inspected by Ken Smith via random batch samplings (and not from every batch) so the Lakland Quality Control will obviously be tighter.

    Bottom line is if I were looking for another active Jazz bass I wouldn't hesitate to buy a KSD again.

    Hope this helps.

  6. fcoda


    Jan 23, 2002
    I've played both the 60 & 70 models - the fit and finish on the KSD has gotten much better than the earlier models. Good bang for the buck if you have too have an active jazz. If you don't need the pre and could go the extra dollors a Lakland JO or DJ would be a better choice , you could always add a pre in the Lakland later.
  7. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL

    Don't forget about those little dudes called repairman, or techs, or in some cases, luthiers.

    Fenders aren't perfect, but with a good setup/tune-up, they could be great.

    I had an older ('98) Fender Jazz Deluxe that had horrible fretwork - but sounded great... a trip to a tech could have solved that. Well, yeah, it sucks that $1000-Fenders won't have perfect fretwork, but I think they improved their consistency greatly in the last two years.

    I recently played two 2005 MIA Fenders, and the quality was as good as a Fender gets.
  8. The KSD's are bricks.

    They *almost* contend with the ole' T-40...

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