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Thoughts on the Ken Smith ProtoJ's???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by learning_towalk, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. I played one at Corner Music in Nashville and really enjoyed the feel/tone of it...and now I see em used for the 600 buck range...any thoughts on these basses?
  2. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    I own one, this used to be my church bass until I got a Fender RB5. I still alternate em from time to time but the RB5 gets most of my playing time, it is a great bass, just not as good as the RB5 for my personal tastes (the Roscoe Beck has a darker warmer tone due to wood combo).
  3. I used an RB5 in the studio not too long ago, october i think it was....I was laying down some tracks for a band...the funny thing is that the bass i used was the same bass that Sugar Bear used on DC Talk's Jesus Freak album...I thought that was pretty cool
  4. I like mine. When I played it in the store, there was no way I was leaving without it. I've gotten to know it a bit better since then. The neck is definitely chunkier than I'm used to.. a 70s Jazz neck for sure, as opposed to the 60s Jazz necks on my Reverend and Curbow. Makes you work for it a little. And it's got great growl. I do believe it's a keeper.
  5. how would you place it next to a Ernie Ball 5 or a Modulus Genesis 5???

    I'm still trying to find the bass that will suit me best...
  6. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Personally I never digged the Stingray 5 because of the tight spacing, if it was wider spacing, I might actually own one right now :p
  7. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I've tried out several of these at stores. They play well, sound great, and seem to be a good value. As far as Jazz Basses go, I already have a Lakland Skyline JO5 w/ J-Retro and a 4 string Fender Jazz bass, so I don't need another one.

    IMHO, if you find one that suits you, go for it.

    A friend of mine just bought one, and he did his own set up immediately after buying it. After playing it for a few minutes, I must say that his Proto-J one of the best playing basses I've ever laid my hands on. It's probably partly due to his setup, and also due to the very decent factory workmanship.
  8. how do they slap,tap,handle neck playing techniques, how versitle are they? I need a bass that can play pretty much any style...but I also do solo shows, so I need a bass that can handle the victor wooten esque' techniques one second, then switch over to a growling rock bass sound.
  9. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I've got a Smith BSR and it's the most versatile bass I've ever played...it will do a good Victor Wooten sound, then a good Jaco sound and probably rock sound.

    It's not going to do a P-bass rock sound, though! And neither will the Proto-J!
  10. so you think it would suit my needs?

    pretty much I need it to sound like 3 different basses

    I need it to sound like a Fodera at one second,a Modulus Quantam the next, then a Music Man for another show...

    because for 600 bucks used...I am deffinately considering giving up my quest for a Modulus and going with one of these.
  11. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I don't think you're going to find anything which really does the above, but from what you're describing I would *definitely* get a Lakland Skyline with a musicman-style bridge pickup...whichever one you can afford. I don't think you'll get *all* the sounds you want, but you'll be alot closer than with any J-style bass.
  12. i'll look at Lakland again, I played a 55-02 and wasn't really that pleased with it...

    Finding a bass that fits what I want with as little money as I have to throw down is kinda rough...

    as far as the Proto-J goes...
    I know that it will have a good "rock sound" because i like the sound of jazz basses for rock settings. plus I'll just send some more lows through so that it will be more chest pounding which is something that's needed in a rock setting.

    my thing is I just wanna be sure that I have a bass with a good slap sound, and that I can do some neck playing(timbayo) on...if the proto-J can handle that, I'm pretty much sold on em...I mean it doesn't have to be like a Fodera Emperor or anything, lol but something where I can work on the technique and even be able to do it live everynow and then.
  13. dabshire

    dabshire Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2002
    Allen, TX
    Try a Pedulla Rapture or Thunderbolt. They have good rock sound, and still have the super low action and playability of the higher end brands (for all your tapping and slapping needs). And you can get a used one for about $1000 or so...

  14. zonwon


    Jan 21, 2003
    I have a brand new one on ebay right now for $600.
  15. 4or 5 string?
  16. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Inactive Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    HI guys, I'm not here to 'honk my own horn' really or crash your party , but; I saw Melvin Davis last Sunday night at the Berks County Jazz Festival in PA playing a KSD 70's 5. I walked in a bit late because my son was at the Gerald Veasley Bass Boot Camp and they were in the middle of the graduation cermonies. Melvin was playing cross town about 2 miles away. As soon as i started walking down the isle (to the 5th row, as a guest of Melvin and Lee Ritenour) I looked up and saw Melvin playing the KSD. I knew he bought one from Brooklyn Gear as spare backup Bass but didn't expect to see him touring with it. He also had his Signature 7 as usual...

    He sounded awesome. Lows shaking the house. Highs vibrating my ear drums. Most of all, Melvin looked happy as usual burning in yet another groove to rock the house.

    BTW, This is NOT an Advertisement...... Just thought you guys should know.. Oh, and Gerald's Boot camp was Awesome. He should go on tour with it coast to coast. What a great guy he is, and he doesn't even use my Bass and I still like him......lol
  17. I played one in a store, (swamp ash, with maple fingerboard), and I was quite impressed by the craftsmanship. It seemed real solid, especially for the price. I also liked the feel of the big neck. I think the new Bass Player Magazine nailed it when they said the sound was "pure Marcus". It was definitely bright and agressive. A bit too bright for my taste, but I can totally see how other people would love the sound.
  18. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Check my review in the gear review sections...It is a great bass.
  19. GRoberts


    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    I don't find that any basses sound like a music man unless they have that MM style pickup. Other than that, the KSD jazzes look very versatile. My vote, and I am recently biased by the acquisition of my new bass is to take a look at an F Bass BN5 if you get a chance. But they are a lot more bread. For this price point, the KSD basses look really good.

    PS: they are reviewed in the new issue of Bass Player Magazine. Got a very favorable review.
  20. well thanks...Ken gave me his number and invited me to call him and talk about em...so I'll give him a ring sometime this week and talk to him.

    well it looks like I may have found my new bass, that is unless I find a Modulus cheap :)

    when I compared it to a Music Man i meant good solid funk or rock sound...

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