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Played a Ken Smith today...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nick Bibeault, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. And i got to say it was the GREATEST bass i have ever played...

    It was at a local shop who had ordered it for the showfloor. Its a five string with 3 piece maple set neck with a quilt maple top, rosewood board, Ken Smith humbuckers, Active 3 band eq, and a brass nut.

    All i can say is holy crap! I have never played a better sounding, better built, more comfortable, and just all around awesome bass ever. I am not use to playing fives but this one made it seem easy.

    All of my earnings from this day forth are going towards raising $3,000 for that bass.:D :D :D

    Any one else here own a Smith? opinons?
  2. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    You can't go wrong with a Smith, Sadowsky, or Alembic. I just bought an Alembic and I've got a Smith being built! I hope to have it in 4-5 weeks.

    I've owned 3 other Smiths in the past. Here's one of them:

  3. Well i know there are several KS owners on the boards here so lets turn this into a "Show me your" Ken Smith.:D
  4. Victor Wooten98

    Victor Wooten98 Guest

    Jul 31, 2003
    South of Heaven...
    I would suggest you try other basses in that price range before being too close minded...

    Kenn Smith are good basses though, VERY nice, VERY comfortable. But I would only take one over my Lakland if I could sell it for enough to Buy My lakland and have some money left over...
  5. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I don't own a KS but I do love them. I can't justify spending that much money on a bass... However, my Hoyt/Warmoth has (IIRC) a very Ken Smith feel to it and it cost a lot less.

    My local Sam Ash store is a Ken Smith dealer, but they haven't had one in stock for three years or so.
  6. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I've played a few Smiths, I guess they aren't my thing. Nice basses, but not for me.
  7. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I just got a Smith 6 recently. It's very nice. Bigger than I expected. The fit and finish is top-notch. The sound I like, though is taking some adjustment for me.

    Overall, though, I like my Hanewinckel better. It's mostly ergonomics - smaller, thinner neck, more contoured body. It fits me better. I like the sound of the Hanewinckel better too, but I'm thinking of ordering one that leans a little more in the KS direction for some variety.

  8. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
  9. superphat


    Sep 30, 2001
    Ken Smith basses are incredible... but the narrow string spacing is a deal-breaker for me.

    i think there was an option for wide-spacing... anybody have a Smith with wide string spacing?
  10. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I don't know what you're smoking :p - my 6 has very wide spacing (full 3/4" at the bridge), and I think Smiths commonly do.

    edit: OK, it's not 3/4" but close: 23/32"

  11. superphat


    Sep 30, 2001
    wow, i guess i must be smoking something, cuz i've played 2 or 3 Smith basses (5 strings) that were narrow. (definitely not 3/4")

    my friend's BSR (which i play often) feels slightly narrower than my fender jazz V. which is a lot narrower than my MTD (full 3/4" at bridge)

  12. superphat


    Sep 30, 2001
    okay, here's the official specs.


    you're right... 23/32"

    that's not narrow...

    why did it feel so narrow to me? hmmm. better check it out again when i see him next.

    still smoking... (not really)
  13. The one i played with the set neck didn't feel like it had tight spacing at all.
  14. I have to say that the 5 string set neck Ken Smith I tried at Manny's in NYC was one of the finest basses I've ever played. It had incredible workmanship and the highest quality materials. The attention to detail was amazing. It's just too bad that the sound wasn't quite me - just a bit too compressed to my ears. I guess I'm a Fender (or Fender style) man through and through - gotta start saving up for that Sadowsky Vintage 5...

    Smiths are great basses, but they're not quite my thing.
  15. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Superphat...the KS5 probably felt narrow to you because the nut width is only 1-3/4 in., which is narrow. Fender J5s are 1-7/8 in.

    Because of the nut width, the strings will be slightly closer together until they hit the bridge..not much, but enough for you to notice. If you keep your right hand more up toward the neck, the difference is more noticeable.
  16. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    Also if you played the old KS Burner Series the spacing was less then 18mm. They were narrower than the standard specs.
  17. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Smiths are either bolt-on or neck-thru; no set-neck...
  18. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Nick...your post reminded me of the first time I touched a Ken Smith, which was about 15 years before I owned one. It was a long, long wait...but the moment I played my first BT Custom 5 I was blown away by how much it felt exactly like the bass I tried those many years before. Now that's consistency in quality!

    Here's a link to a pic of me and my current Black Tiger 6 from Ken's site:


    And don't let anyone tell you you're being "close-minded" about choosing the Smith. It's just this type of visceral connection to an instrument players should be looking for...not the price tag or the brand or etc., etc. It's how it feels in your hands and sounds to your ears.

    Go for it!

  19. Then what did i play?:confused:

    It certainly wasn't a bolt, and from looking at other definetely set neck basses it looked like a set neck to me, the shop manager also reconfirmed that it was a set neck.
  20. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Are we having a Smith party???


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