1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Smith happiness!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MikeBass, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    Just got this Smith BSR5J-MW right?!?.
    Used it for the first time on the gig last night. Well, wasn't a gig actually, a good friend hosts an open jam that we invade from time to time.
    Anyway, took it with me to wail upon.
    Umm......why didn't you guys mention this thing before?!?!??????

    I knew it sounded good. But I didn't know it sounded THAT good!!!

    FYI- mine is a walnut top, maple body wings, Pau-ferro fingerboard, 3 piece maple neck, Smith single coils (not the big humbuckers) Smith 3 band pre-amp.

    I took my Acoustic Image Focus 1 S3 with me and used that thru the bass players 210 (old SWR maybe. Not sure as it didn't have any logo on the front). PA for vocals, horns only. Amp had to carry the room.
    Ran pretty much flat, bass boosted a bit on the amp-about 20%.

    It tore it up. Sat perfectly in the mix. Could hear everynote clearly.
    Other bass players were coming up to me afterwards and asking what kind of Smith it was and were raveing about how good it sounded.

    These pick-ups are very Jazz Bass like, but still retain the Smith sheen and glossy-ness when slapped (something I love BTW).

    BigMikeW (Mike Winnen) doesn't believe me (I called it a Sadowsly killer!:D) but it really is a monster bass. A monster "Jazz" bass!!
    I think a lot of guys look past it when they see it because either A) they are looking for that classic Smith- big soapbars, the "Smith Sound" so to speak. Or B) They see it and dismiss it as a low end Smith with singlecoils that isn't really a "Smith".

    Guys, check out this model!!
    Mine is a 97, and the build quality is as good as anything else. Handmade right here in the USA and singed by Ken Smith himself.

    Mr. Smith, man did you come up with another killer bass!

    Here it is (on the right):
  2. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Man, I told you so. These are really terrific basses and you can pick them up astoundingly cheap because people would rather have the regular Smith pickups. The build quality is just terrific (one of the most sweetly carved 4-string necks ever) and the preamp is great with jazz pickups. They definitely tear it up in both the jazz and rock idioms.

  3. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Rejoice, my fellow Smithian!

    I have a BSR-M, but I'm gasing for a BSR-J for the Jazz sound.

    I also have a Sadowsky, and I often compare it side-by-side with the Smith, and I'm always torn.

    The Sad. is punchier and cleaner, more defined, lighter and easier to play on a strap - The Smith is grittier, growlier, darker, with a more complex sound and much more personality, and the playability is barnone. . . just effortless. I just play better with the Smith. I also love the preamp - very musical and versatile.

    Sadowsky killer? I don't think so, but if I had to take only one bass to a desserted island, it would be the Smith.
  4. Flipper

    Flipper sale: Sadowsky NYC PJ5

    Jan 11, 2005
    Dallas, Texas
    You're description is a ringer for my Burner 5 Deluxe, '91. Same wood, unbelieveable tone. I've been playing a Skjold Design fretless and every time I go back and play that Smith it still has the power to amaze. Just wish it had a 35" scale. You've got some sweet gear, like that Fodera....

  5. Nice that you mention the Smith, I have a Sadowsky P-bass and a Ken Smith CR 4 string, my only 2 basses... I hadn't picked up the Smith in a while, and damn, I forgot how it KILLS. The Sadowsky is a simple P-sound (a killer one at that), but the Smith just has this crazy unique voice...it's hard to describe... Like a buzzy, controlled growl, each note is crisp... Its got this funk to it thats all its own... and yes, they play as good or better than anything out there...

    I stlll have yet to try one of those J's though, I bet it sounds awsome!!

  6. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    i've had the pleasure of playing a few Smith's of that variety and, even though i'm not much of a J bass guy, they were absolutley killer! a much overlooked variation of a classic, imo.
  7. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hey Mike...Man, this is really good to hear....you won't be needing that Fodera any longer....PM me and I'll send you my address.
  8. scuba steve

    scuba steve

    Dec 28, 2005
    Hillsboro, Tx
    yeah a lady in my church has a bsr5-j also and it is a killer bass. to bad she does not really know how to bring out the full potential of that bass. she never has it sounding good, and it drives me crazy knowing what that bass is capable of. oh well, i get my thumb bass today so it will be ok!
  9. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    I was being a tad bit sarcastic there. ;) I really don't think much/if any could knock out a Sad! But damn, is this killin'!!!
    I'll place it next to any other high-end Jazz type bass on the market today.
    I never knew. Seen them before, but never picked one up.

    And no Andy, the Fodera isn't going anywhere!!:D
  10. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    Is it a neck through? How about recording a quick sample for us :)
  11. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.

    Bolt-on neck and I wish I could right now.
    My Mac took a dump on me so I'm not able to record anything right now.
  12. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    Very cool. I remember seeing a local bass player a few months back rocking out on a bolt-on smith with J pickups. Everything I remember about that tone was great. I actually GAS'd for one, but soon gave up when I couldn't find any. Oh, I think I got distracted by the typical neck-through smith with the soaps.
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    They turn up pretty regularly at Atomic. Most people do overlook them because of the J pickups. I also got my BSR-5P (IIRC) at Atomic.

    Congrats, Mike.
  14. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Sweet bass! Congrats man.

    I own a regular BSR5-MW (with the fat Smith humbuckers), but was torn between the regular BSR5 and the BSR5J. I played both for hours before I made a decision. It was a tough decision. The Smith J sounded so fantastic. In the end I had to go with the regular BSR5. I like to have "classic" sounds. My P and J are passive Fenders, and my Smith is the regular BSR5. I fell in love with the "Smith" sound in the same way I fell for the "Fender J" and "Fender P" sounds. I think it's from hearing them on recordings. I just get that tone stuck in my head.

    If people think less of your Smith because it is a J then shame on them. Killer bass. Enjoy.
  15. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA

    Dude, call me if you see one :) I actually have never been to the atomic in College Park, that's kind of a hike for me. The Atomic is Rockville is still kind of lame in their inventory.

    Just call me Brad in training... heh
  16. michele


    Apr 2, 2004
    I like this definition.

    click here:


    then scroll down to the MP3 of the song "Avodah" and listen. The bass on this song sounds exactly "growly and dark" to my ears ... I have a feeling it could be a Smith bass. What do you Smith owners think?
  17. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Oh my God!!! How have I missed this guitar player and his group???? Amazing playing.
  18. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    To answer your question, yes he's playing a Smith...just found this picture:


    Good catch!
  19. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    If I purchased a Smith again, it would DEFINITELY be the J Bass pickup version. Nice Mike!

  20. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    Is that the classic smith tone people talk about?

Share This Page