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Unique Ken Smith bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mstott25, Dec 3, 2006.


  1. mstott25

    mstott25

    Aug 26, 2005
    Guntersville, AL
  2. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    That's a pretty crazy instrument.
     
  3. Not unique, but not common either. If it's the same bass, it's been floating from high-end collector to high-end collector for a few years.
    The Smith/Fodera/Spector connection, as described in the ad, is true. Check out the neck joint...it's Fodera all the way.
     
  4. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    Looks definitely unique !!
     
  5. -Sam-

    -Sam-

    Oct 5, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Thats Awesome. So what is actually in it? i didnt understand the explanation of the knobs
     
  6. I believe there's an envelope filter and a phaser and a coffee maker or something.:smug:
     
  7. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    The Neck Joint is actually 'Smith all the way' no matter who does it. It goes back to my days with my old friend Carl Thompson before the first Thompson Bass was made. I was in a car accident around 1972 and my DB was damaged at the neck joint. The restorer made a nice grafted Ebony cap on the back button touching the neck along with two grafted 2" wide strips on the upper ribs touching the neck to replace the missing wood. When Carl was starting his Bass design which by the way was copied from MY personal hybrid Thompson-Fender made from a '51 P neck and a '61 J body, I told him to put a piece of Ebony under the neck and carve the heel into the body so we have a dark seperation strip bewteen the body and neck. So he did and it became a Thompson trade mark. Spector Basses had a single piece laminated to the heel and the first Smith Basses had two layers with a Morado strip between the neck and maple heel cap. So, there you have it. The evolution of the laminated neck heel as we now know it. It actually came from a Double Bass (upright) restoration done by an old German Master by the name of Peter Eibert. I have played that Bass recently at my friends house who bought it from me in early 1975 or so and it is still holding up.

    I emailed the ebay seller on that Bass as he had mis-listed the history and still is to a degree. It's much closer now so we will just leave it be. Less than 200 Smith Basses were produced in NY and most of them had some involvement with Fodera but not all of them. Not a single Basses was ever completly made by Vinnie but he did do alot of the work on the ones he touched. Much of the Billet work was done by me after the first 16 along with another person. The first 32 went thru the Spector Shop to a degree but ALL of those Basses were completed by me personally in my Manhattan studio/shop. We made about 60 circuits like the one shown on Ebay. Only 16 Basses were made with one Pickup and the rest were two pickup models. One Bass for Stanley Clarke was modified to a 2 pickup model and later modified again with our latest pickup in 1982-83. Stanley had two at the time so he wanted one of them to be different.

    I am always glad explain things about the history or my company as well as those that were involved. You just have to ask.
     
    Admiral Akbar likes this.
  8. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass

    Sep 9, 2006
    Tijuana Mex.
    I remember Bill Dickens using one like that on an instructional video, only it was a six strings.
     
  9. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Pennsylvania
    If you can swing it...get your hands on a sweet vintage KSB like that. If you can't, get a new KSB!!!

    I'm crazy about mine, #140, but I'd love to get hold of one of those really freaky old ones with the power supply and the metal plate.
     
  10. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    He still has it and it is a very very heavy instrument.He got it from Anthony Jackson.
     
  11. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass

    Sep 9, 2006
    Tijuana Mex.
    Man... that bass has mojo!
     
  12. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    No, Bill's Bass was the twin to Anthony's Bass. Later on, we modified Anthony's Bass and changed the circuit to our first 3-band bs/md/tr. It would be another 10 years before we came out with the 3-band as he was the only one to ask for it for almost a decade. Bill's Bass still has the original circuit but the pots have about 10 tiny click positions as you turn them rather than free sweeping. Both of these were started at the same time but the second one completed much later. The first for Anthony was first completed in 1981 and modified at least 3 times. Bill's was made only once from neck and body parts started along with the first Bass but completed about 2 or 3 years after.
     
  13. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass

    Sep 9, 2006
    Tijuana Mex.
    Did it really took ten years for the 3 band pre to take off?
     
  14. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    No, not really but it took time until there were enough requests to develope it and another few years before it became standard in our Basses.

    Our first 3-band was the BMT model. Our first 2-band was in 1981, the BT. In 1986 we went from a 4-knob unit to a 3-knob with concentric bs/tr stack. In 1993 we came out with the 4/5-knob unit where the mid could be added to the bs/tr circuit and offered the BMT model circuit as an option. Little by little the bs/tr circuits became standard with the BMT and by 1998 all Smith Basses were 3-band standard. We have added(modified) the Mid to many of the 2-band Basses post '92 out in the field. Also, the series/parallel started out as an option as well. Then it was standard on the BMT a few years into the model. Now all of our Neck-Thrus with the exception of our basic MS series has the same circuit with S/P switches as a standard package.

    Musicians make requests from time to time. Once in awhile, it actually fits into our plans and becomes a model or option or just a component.
     
  15. keavin barnes

    keavin barnes

    Nov 22, 2006
    Im a Big Fan of your basses they're very good sounding, I see lots of Gospel players using them.....and the sound is amazing!....I recall seeing stanley's #11 Ken Smith on Ebay a couple yrs Back...im currently playing this old alembic serial#12 22163.
     
  16. good lord, all these knobs.....im confused just thinking about it


    so Ken, what exactly were all those controls for anyway?
     
  17. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    I do remember him mentioning a connection to his Bass and Anthony's.Ken did Anthony ever own the Bass that Bill now owns ?.I've played Bills KS and was always in awe of all the killer tones that I was able to get out of it.
     
  18. keavin barnes

    keavin barnes

    Nov 22, 2006
    what bass is that you have there?
     
  19. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    No, it was never Anthony's Bass. Anthony's was the first 6 and this was the second, a near twin but never modified with the exception that it was slightly different than the first version of Anthony's Bass.
     

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