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SMITH USERS - Cool Modification...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by KenToby, Oct 6, 2004.


  1. KenToby

    KenToby

    Aug 15, 2002
    I've always liked that classic Fender Jass sound and have discovered a way to sort of get it on my Smith BSR4EG. As you may know, virtualy any 4 wire humbucker can be coil tapped for series/parallel switching capabilities. Well, last night I swapped out my two position switches for three position switches and now I have taken it one extra step to add single coil isolation. Now my capabilities are Series/Single Coil/Parallel. I chose to isolate the coils closest to the neck and the one closest to the bridge for max. separation. I indeed got the classic Jazz sound with a Smith flavor due to the unique Smith pickup placement. There must be at least a dozen pickup configurations that I can set the bass to now including single coil neck and parallel bridge like a Jazz/Musicman Lakland. I rolled the balance knob to the rear single coil and got a great Jaco (Teen Town) tone. The combos are almost endless!! If you are handy with a soldering iron you can have it done in about an hour.

    See the mod here:
    http://guitarelectronics.zoovy.com/category/wiringresources.1wiringdiagrams.humbuckerwiringmods/

    You'll love it,

    KT...
     
    PubliclyViewable likes this.
  2. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Very cool! Suprised Ken just didn't offer it as an option?


    ~S~
     
  3. KenToby

    KenToby

    Aug 15, 2002
    I asked Ken Smith what his opinion on this set up was (assuming that he had done some experimentation). I got this short reply:

    "Sorry, we don't offer that here". ????... ahh... OK...



    Mike Lull took the time to give me the useful information I was looking for, plus he sold me the switches. Lull and the guys are some of the nicest guys in the biz; I have a lot of respect for he and his staff!!!

    KT
     
  4. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    ...hmmm, strange...

    Oh well, ya just re-invented the wheel with your now "custom" Smith, LOL!

    cheers,
    ~S~
     
  5. JRBrown

    JRBrown

    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Did you get the BSR4-J tone?
     
  6. KenToby

    KenToby

    Aug 15, 2002
    I knew it was just a matter of time until you chimed in on this on this one (that's a good thing by the way).

    Asumming that the BSR4-J has the pickups in the exact same place as the Fender Jazz then I'm guessing mine doesn't sound exactly like the BSR4-J. None the less, my 4EG sounds AWESOME!!!
    My guess is that Smith's philosophy is "Hey, If I offer coil isolation on the BSRXXX models, why offer the -J". Therefore he's staying away from that capability as a factory option. Just a guess; I have nothing to back that.

    Again JR, if you can solder go for it, you have absolutly nothing to loose and a more versitile bass to gain!!!

    KT...

     
  7. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    I've never talked with Ken Smith but you may have gotten the response from him you did because of your description. Series, parallel, coil tap, and splitting a humbucker are all different things. You can run a 4 wire HB in series or parallel and you can split the coils, but you can't get a coil tap out of pickup that's not a coil tap pup - which is a third lead that is "tapped" between the beginning and end of the pup winding. Splitting an HB is not coil tapping and running series/parallel is not coil tapping.
     
  8. KenToby

    KenToby

    Aug 15, 2002
    That's cool but I think we all understand what it is I'm saying . Ken Smith clearly understood my initial e-mail so I don't want to focus on Smith's response; I got what I was looking for elsewere. My intention here is to share that with the Smith (Kent Armstrong) pickups there are some alternate wiring schemes.

    Thanks,

    KT

     
  9. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Huh, something I didn't know. You really learn something new every day.

    Will
     
  10. JRBrown

    JRBrown

    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Analogous to my cataclysmal search for the right Smith-4, I also sought to combine the Smith construction and J-tone in a single 4-string bass. Last year I missed the opportunity to buy a solid ash Smith BSR4-J; my intent was to load it with Sadowsky or comparable pups and pre. Soldering is no problem, however, my concerns are:
    - Smith pickup placement vs Fender and Lakland
    - Finding a Smith-4 with series/parallel switches
    - Obtaining the 3-way switches

    All I need now is a Smith BSR4EG to tinker with. Anybody got one?

    Thanks for sharing this! Post/send sound cliips if possible.

    JB
     
  11. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Coil tap pups were reasonably common years back but rare birds today so it's not something some players are aware of today. I didn't know what they were when I first started messing with pups and since none of the posts to this thread made the clarification, I did.
     
  12. KenToby

    KenToby

    Aug 15, 2002
    with the exception of something VERY old I'm guessing.

    You don't need a Smith with switches; as long as you have the 4 coil pickups you can drill the body and add your switches (as I did with my BSRMW5).

    Soooo, find the least expensive BSR you can find and get busy :)

    KT...
     
  13. JRBrown

    JRBrown

    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    You're right. I just hate drilling basses. Where can I get the right switches?
     
  14. KenToby

    KenToby

    Aug 15, 2002
    You need DPDT (Double Pole, Triple Throw) ON-ON-ON in black.


    KT...


     
  15. JRBrown

    JRBrown

    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Is there a huge difference between series and single coil?
    What about single coil noise and hum?
     
  16. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    Ken probobly isn't the first thing that pops into my mind when I think of customer service. On the flip side, Mike Lull and Roger Gee and Lull Guitars are simply amazing in their customer service. I would recommend sending guitars there for any type of work imaginable.
     
  17. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    My thinking exactly. He probobly thinks that he already offers another bass that can nail the jazz tone, so in an effort to drum up sales, he doesn't offer the single coli option on the other models. There may be another reason, but this theory wouldn't shock me.
     
  18. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    People, let me address this so it's clear to all why we do what we do.

    Almost a day doesn't go by when we get an inquiry or request to do something other than what we normally do. If it is something that keeps coming up on a regular basis or some of the Pros call with a suggestion, then I have a look at it.

    Just one request doesn't carry that much weight even though it may or may not be important to you regardless of who you are.

    If I stopped to try every single Mod that I hear about, we would never get anything done.

    People buy our Basses for several reasons. One of those is the Sound it gets. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" !! Ever hear that phrase before? I'm sure you have.

    Some of the features on the Smith Bass is there because people have requested them in the past. Please remember (unless you were unaware) that I worked as a Pro Freelance Bassist in NY for 20 years and weigh everything personally first. It's just my nature. That's why I started the company in the first place.

    Just be happy that we do what we do do and that individual Mods CAN sometimes be done. That doesn't mean however that we are going to re-design our Bass though.

    Also, the new 18Volt circuit has barely enough room for the 2 Switches and 2 batteries as it is. I don't fell like going back to the drawing board unless it's really necessary.

    I am glad KenToby was able to get what he wanted from his Mod...

    Oh, and don't forget when you guys talk about 'customer service' that wether you like my answer or not when asked, I DO reply to each and every one of you personally either by Email or on the Phone when you call. It's my policy to take every call that needs my attention so that you get the correct answer to your question.......... Even if it's not the answer you are looking for..........
     
    BASSPLAYERS4HIM likes this.
  19. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    As someone that talks to Ken on a very regular basis (...heya Ken! :) ), let me just say that negative comments on customer service at his company are totally unfounded. Ken and every member of his staff I have spoken with have made every effort to accomodate us at Bass Central, as well as our (sometimes very difficult) customer's requests.
     
  20. hands5

    hands5

    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    none
    Fair enough. :oops: