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Very Awesome Bass on the Lowend Site

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Scott French, Sep 10, 2004.

  1. Scott French

    Scott French Dude

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    I'll admit that since I started building instruments a while back its pretty darn hard to get my GAS going. BUT... every once in a while something so strange/awesome/rare comes up I can't help but crap myself over an instrument I undoubtedly can't afford. The Ken Parker bass linked below is one of those instruments. To me it looks like a Pagelli and old Carl Thompson had an offspring that was immediately shipped off to war.


    I like this one more than anything I've seen in quite a while.

  2. Yes that carving looks so fine and very original, I like headstock as well. That shape should have spread around.
    Makes me same feeling as admiring Magical root from Ken Bebensee.
    The vintage use prints looks fine to me too.

    Scott, Congrats for your basses...
    What is black mapple, in one of your neckthrough's, is it tainted?
  3. Scott French

    Scott French Dude

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    It's a standard maple veneer that has been pressure dyed black. I used to for my headcap/healcap laminations.

    I wish this design would have spread to the NEW Parker basses at least.
  4. It looks like a Parker Fly. Me no like.
  5. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Given that the builder is Ken Parker, designer of the Parker Fly, what were you expecting ;)

    BTW very cool bass, anyone care to take a stab at a ballpark price?
  6. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I was just coming on to post a thread about that bass. The story behind it is pretty interesting; I like the idea of luthiers trying to get Anthony Jackson to play their basses.

    So why do you think it took so long for people to start being able to build a six-string? In interviews Jackson has said many of the luthiers he approached said it was impossible. Carl Thompson made a couple that were just unplayable because of their huge scale length (one was 44" if I remember correctly). Do you think it was the lack of parts (premade bridges, pickups, etc.) that scared most away? Or maybe they thought the bass couldn't stand the pressure of the strings? I ask because sixers are so common these days-there are budget ones for $300 readily available to anyone, rather than just one builder who decided to try it for a high price.
  7. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I suspect it was a combination of lack of available parts (ie you would need to get a bridge fabricated, pickups etc) plus the lack of actual experience in building a workable instrument of that type. Ie chances are if you have never even really turned your mind to building a six string bass and someone turns up to your shop an says "how about it?", it may be harder than if you had been working on developing the concept over time.

    Look now at the relatively few luthiers who are willing to invest the time in building ERB's that are significantly beyond "ordinary" ie 9-11 strings etc. Even now significant planning and tooling is required.
  8. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    FWIW, We made the first Smith AJ 6 in 1981. We did a few mods to it over the next year or two. We made another one of a kind a couple of years after that. Bill Dickens owns the twin to Anthony's first Smith.
  9. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Ken, I don't know if you have done this before, or whether you have the time, but i'm sure more than a few of us would be interested in hearing the story behind the first Smith 6 and any problems you had (at the time) in designing / building it.
  10. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    The first decision in design for playability was the string spacing at the Nut and Bridge. You can cut wood to any size you like but knowing what size you Need is the Key.

    Parts can be made.... Man had all ready been to the Moon, so they tell us.....lol..... If that's the case then parts are just a matter of the supplier, the tooling and the costs... That's of course AFTER you have the Bass designed and know what you need.

    NEVER build a Bass to fit the parts. That's like carving your foot to fit the shoe!!

    Playing it is the key......... It MUST play relative to any other Bass with only the necessary compensation for size and agility.
  11. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!

    That's one unusual looking design. I don't love it, but I certainly don't hate it... It definately deserves a good home. This may sound wierd, but I kinda respect a piece like that.
  12. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    I saw this bass on the LowEnd a few days ago myself and thought it was FANTASTIC!! I'd love to hear some more details on the cable truss rod and any advantages or disadvantages to that over the standards.
  13. stubbs


    Jun 30, 2004
    nice design, me like. no offense to anyone though i never liked the beat to crap and scratched up very expensive or classic bass style. Or any beat up bass style. Get that thing a paintjob! :p
  14. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    GOD NO!!!!!! You can't cover up those battle scars!!!!! ;)
  15. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU

    The colour and those scars give it a cool look and some mojo, but the shape... well it just turns me off completely... eww...
  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    It's a real shame that the upper horn and body carving on the production Parker Fly bass didn't wind up looking like that.
  17. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I like the broken in look... a lot!

    I guess the upper horn is OK, but I have a problem with the stunted lower horn... I can imagine difficulty in playing this bass seated.
  18. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    God love ya..... It warms my heart to hear/see these words.

  19. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    I'm right there with you.... I dreamed about getting my hands on Steve Swallow's bass for decades!


    If'n I could get the $1650 up quick enough to not be a bother to Brian, I'd snag Al's in a heart beat!!!

    Ken Parkers vision with years of Al's Mojo!

    My jaw dropped when I saw it forsale
  20. Dan Molina

    Dan Molina TalkBass Secular Progressive

    Jul 17, 2002
    Murr Town, California
    I don't like it much. :( To me it looks like it was thrown in mud.