Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Zon Sonus vs. Smith BSR-M

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lefty007, Apr 12, 2005.


  1. lefty007

    lefty007

    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    My main bass is a Smith BSR-M, 5-string, fretted. I absolutely love this bass and I’m looking to get another one, but fretless.

    Problem is that the price of a new Smith is a little beyond my budget (more than $3000 for a BSRM with my specs), so I’m looking into somewhat similar basses as an option (similar in specs and dimensions). I’m lefty, so the used market for left-handed Smiths or Zons is extremely small, if any.

    I like 34”-scale 5-strings with 24 frets and either 17mm or 18mm string spacing at the bridge (the Zon is 17, the Smith is 17 or 18, I believe).

    The new Zon Robert Trujillo model seems especially attractive because the lower price (around $2000, lefty) but a Sonus Custom ($2600-$2700, lefty) is still cheaper than a BSRM.

    Anybody had the chance to compare a Zon Sonus with a bolt-on Smith?

    Thanks!
     
  2. I have a fretted Smith BSR-MW and a fretless Zon Sonus Special. Both are great basses in their own right. If you are looking for a fretless, I would go with the Zon. Joe Zon makes a fantastic fretless. For fretted bass however I prefer the Smith.
     
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I will agree. I have never owned a Smith, but I have played plenty, I have a lot of friends that own them. I have even borrowed a fretted several times, and a fretless for a weekend.

    The fretted Smiths are very sweet, and I would own one over a fretted Zon.

    The fretlesses are too, but Joe Zon is a wizard when it comes to building a fretless. Something about the total recipe - the pickups, preamp, and woods - make a Zon fretless greater than the sum of its parts. Zon fretteds are very nice too, but aren't quite as special IME as the fretless versions.
     
  4. mike sancho

    mike sancho SANCH

    Feb 10, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I've had both basses. I still have the Smith but let me say I loved my Sonus Custom 5. It had a warm tone that was really, really nice. The Smith won out overall because I felt it had a better slap tone. I would liked to own another Zon someday when my kids are growd up. They both are wonderful to play. It's really a close call IMO and only you'll know which one is the "one" for you.
     
  5. lefty007

    lefty007

    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Thanks all for the replies so far.

    Sancho, how would you compare the necks and the overall playability? A big part of why I like the Smith so much is because the shape and dimensions of the neck and the shape of the body, which are both really comfortable to me.

    Thanks!
     
  6. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I can answer that since I own both...The Smith has a chunkier neck than the Zon, which has a much slimmer and faster play to it. The Zon body is also on the smaller, light side whereas the Smith is heavier and bulkier, but that certainly adds to the great tone. In terms of a fretless purchase, I don' think there's any comparison...the Zon is a better fretless bass. I think Joe Zon has got that fretless sound down on his basses, and I've yet to hear or play a bad one.
     
  7. mike sancho

    mike sancho SANCH

    Feb 10, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    What Halftooth said!
     
  8. form52

    form52

    Mar 17, 2005
    I've played a few Smiths and Loved them! Great sound, great looks, great big price tag. Amazing basses.
    Downsides... they are every bit as heavy as their price tag, and the neck was a bit too thick for my liking.

    Zon... While I don't have experience with a fretted Zon (I'm not really sure why or how it is I haven't played one?) I just recently played a frettless 5 string at Bass Central a week or two ago.. uh.. WOW!
    IMO, it is hands down the nicest frettless I have ever layed my hands on. I was saving up for another MTD but I think I'm going to order one of these instead. Slim neck, light-weight, Beautiful woods, and all for 1/2 the price of the MTD I was looking at ordering. I've been having dreams about the sound that roared from the heart of the Zon. I was moved. *sniff*