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Question about Smith basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dreadhead, Dec 22, 2002.


  1. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Hi there! Sorry if I post this silly question, but I don't wanna bother the kindest Mr. Smith for this thing...
    I wanted to know: what's the "best" bass between the old S-2 model and the newer BT Custom? O guess the S2 were made by Fodera, right? What do you think? Every reply is well accepted :)
    Thanx a lot and merry Christmas (even if I'm not christian).
     
  2. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    well, the current models (except for the "j" series) all use the same eq and pickups. It boils down to bolt-on or neck thru and the your choice of woods, which I imagine will be dictated by the style(s) of music that you play.
     
  3. they all sound great, although i tend to like the neck through models more than the bolt on's for some reason.
     
  4. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Well, the only Smith I was able to play/own was the Burner... it was one of the early ones I think, the neck was a 5 pieces. I think that it was a very good axe for an entry-level... I'm looking forward to try a top of the line Smith!! :D
    I'm still a little confused about the choice between Smith, Alembic and Fodera, but I think Smith would be just great!
    Do you know the old S2 model?
     
  5. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Well, it's a matter of taste... I actually play early Warwick basses, but I'm going to get something different. Not better, just different.
     
  6. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    you cannot compare a burner bas to the handmade Smith basses. Two different worlds. The Smith and Fodera are definitely more genetically linked than either to the Alembic.
     
  7. it may just be me, but i find that the smith basses have some sort of characteristic crunch in their tone which sets them apart from the foderas or alembics. i don't know how to explain it. its some sort of upper midrangey crunchiness that i hear when i play the smiths fingerstyle that help the bass to be heard in the mix easily.
     
  8. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Yes, you're right... but even the Burner was a pretty bass (in my humble opinion).
     
  9. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    i agree 100%. the Burner series for the price are fantastic basses. I think part of that had to do with the fact that Ken picked out the woods at his PA shop and sent them overseas for production- it's not like he just sourced an inexpensive builder in Asia and put his name on the product.

    I think that is the case anyway, I could be wrong.

    I know way too much about Smith basses...;)
     
  10. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I'm a fan of the bolt on models, the CRV to be exact. There's not a bass that can compare to it's sound in my opinion, and I've owned a lot. It has a midrangey growl that can really cut through. Mine has the Mahogany core and Cocobolo top and back with the Rosewood board. Smith basses are special in general, and this one is a real special Smith. It's worth every penny I spent on it, and I don't think that I'll come across another bass with this sound and looks. You know when you get the one. This is definitley the one for me. All other basses are compared to this one. You won't be disappointed with a Smith. Just make sure you get a BSR or a CRV model. The others just don't measure up.
     
  11. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    dreadhead...you should bother Ken with your question. He'll be able to tell you exactly when he stopped making the S2 (a looong time ago) and the BT Custom (a good while ago...although you can special order the old body style which he now calls the "BT Vintage"). The BSR is the newest body style. Of course I'm sure Ken will tell you, and rightly so IMO, that all his basses are great...they've just gotten better over the years ;) .

    I had a 1988 BT Custom 5 string that was wonderful, but don't regret for a moment that I sold it so I could afford my BSR6TN "Black Tiger" 6 string.
     
  12. Dread,
    Another vote for getting a more recent Smith. Go for a new BSR model. If you're wallet is anorexic, get a used one. There is a big difference between the Burner and the BSR's.

    There was a time when I did not buy any new basses (late 80's-early 90's) and when I started tinkering around with the new makes and models, I couldn't believe what had been developed over the last few years.
     
  13. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    I've found a 4 strings BT Custom for less than $2,000.00 (I think about $1,700.00-1,800.00) but the lower horn has been recarved for a better comfort in the highest register. The cosmetical conditions are not super, but I guess it's a killer bass. I did hear very good things about earliest Smith basses... this is why I was considering to get the S2.
     
  14. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Yes, I know that there's a huge difference between the Burner and the "real" Smith basses, but they are pretty hard to find used in 4 strings configuration. To be truthful, it seems that the S2 is built "better" to me... however I have the time to find the right one... ;)
     
  15. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    FWIW, I wouldn't touch that bass with a ten foot pole, dread. Some yahoo re-carved the lower horn? :eek:
     
  16. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    i have seen a couple of smiths with recarved lower horns. To me, that is like "touching up" the ceiling of the sistine chapel...
     
  17. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Yes, sad but true. The actual owner bought this bass in NY some years ago, and it was already modified! :(
    Yes, it's a shame. The body shape has lost his beauty.
     
  18. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
  19. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    I did look at that older Smith... it's huge! It's the same model used by Tony Hoppenheim in "Slap it"!
    I could afford about $3,000.00 but I prefer to not go over $2,000.00 - 2,200.00. A sixer would be fine!! ;)
     
  20. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    i know where you can get a new one for a great price. right in your range-i do not know if i should plug the music store here so pm me and i will tell you about it. it is outside of washington D.C.