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Everything posted by Kiwi

  1. Good score! I'm really gassing for a classic Custom 22 in amber violin stain, just like in the ads in mid 80's guitar player magazine. And a 509 in an outrageous hue for coil tapping fun. And a 305 for strat tastic sounds. Sigh.
  2. You may wish to try posting here: www.guitarchat.co.uk
  3. The classic Spector flavour is heavily influenced by their use of EMG pickups. It gives them a sterility that I'm not fond of (although I like EMG's in guitars so am not being a brand snob by any means). Take the EMG's out of a Spector and replace with a set of pickups that have coil splits and it massively increases the versatility of the bass. I have a set of custom Wizards in at the moment which are very flat (almost like Alembic/Jaydee pickups) apart from a slight peak at around 35Hz. Spectors tend to be made from softer maple. In that sense they keep to Ken's approach of softer woods to preserve that purr/growl. Spectors/Smiths compare favourably to one another in terms of warmth and snap. The Smiths tend to be a little mid scooped sounding, I ran mine with very aggressive GK RB700 combos when I was gigging as they helped preserve the midrange. If I played one of the Smiths through an SWR SM400 or Eden WT800 or a Warwick head, (which sound GREAT with bright basses like a Status or Modulus) the mid scooped colouring of the amp made it near impossible to hear the Smith in the on stage mix. It was like mid scooped bass + mid scooped amp = no mids = am I playing the right note? The Spector kind of works through that one by being mids prominent, so I can use it with a variety of amps regardless of how coloured they are in the mids. Would love to have a bass with a mostly wenge neck with a couple of flamed maple laminates but wenge is becoming increasingly hard to source due to shortages.
  4. I sold all three back in 2008/9. I remember the fretless was purchased by Randy Hope Taylor who promptly asked Martin Petersen to install frets on it! Fretless Smiths are not that common, let alone unlined ones so that's one potentially lost to posterity. I can't remember where the others went, I think the 6 was sold to someone on here perhaps. My Spector NS5CR does the same job ever so slightly better but it's been with Jon Shuker since 2016 waiting to get the neck straightened out a bit more.
  5. Smith pickups are located pretty much in Jazz Bass pick up positions, same as Spector, Steinberger, Fodera etc. My Spector gets pretty close to a Smith because there is so much soft maple used in it, but it has more midrange timbre. I actually dropped Aaron Armstrong an email this week to see if he could make a pair of BT flavoured, coil split soapbars to replace the Wizards. Haven't heard back from him yet but here's hoping.
  6. I've heard the same but the Cirrus in my hands feels dead. It's all mid range and very little crispness or fullness. Most of the Smith sound comes from the coils in each humbucker wired in parallel, plus the softer maple in the neck.
  7. Quilted maple, it was very soft wood and hardly protected by the varnish finish.
  8. A quick distraction is required then to defuse tension....OH! LOOK!! THREE SMITH BASSES!
  9. Aha, you have a father's sense humour! lol
  10. My own experiences would support that. The fretted five had mahogany wings with quilted maple facings. The fretless 5 had flamed maple wings with walnut facings. The six string had walnut wings with maple facings. The fretted five was the warmest and growliest but the bottom end response was a little boomy. The fretless five had a tighter lower end and slightly flatter mids, a more even response generally. The fretted six was pretty similar to the fretless five. I was surprised about the impact of wings on timbre because they were neck through instruments. Also Ken respecified the pickups (made by Kent Armstrong) when the BSR line was introduced. The BT pickups sounded much more growly with a tighter low end to my ears than the BSR versions. I preferred them. The other thing that Ken mentioned to me is that he mades sure the necks are not too stiff. That whacking great slab of ebony for the fingerboard helps to keep things playable. This was a revelation and made me reflect on the role of stiffness in the necks of all the wood and graphite necked instruments I'd ever played. I think it's clear from that quote that my issues with Ken's preferred communication style are not isolated. If Brubaker takes over the customer service side from Ken, it might be the best business decision Ken has ever made.
  11. I did the same back in 2015 but took it back. It didn't sound like a tele to me and there was something up with the neck which meant I couldn't get it set up how I wanted. Great yours worked out though.
  12. It kind of reinforces my point about how irrelevant any pre-this or post-that mythology that develops will be to the actual instruments.
  13. I had three BSRGNs at one point, two fives (fretted fretless) and a six. There wasn't a disagreement so much as I just didn't expect or like being communicated with in the way that he did. I felt it was ungracious at best and arrogant at worst. It wasn't just me though, Ken ended up posting a video addressing his preferred communication style because it had become such a topic for discussion. I'm not sure whether it actually helped him very much. I had a look for the factory tour video that I remember and it didn't come up in any searches. Perhaps it's been removed or has become so obscure that it's hidden behind higher ranking but less relevant noise. I definitely remember seeing a tech carving away at the neck joint of a bass with a rasp, with a load of parts stacked in the back. I also recall Ken pointing out the locating dowels to ensure a consistent fit of the wings.
  14. If you saw the factory tour vid on youtube from the mid 90's, you would see Ken has an assembly line set up. All the wings are preshaped with dowels to slot into the neck. The control cavity is routed and the only real handiwork is shaping of the neck joint. Line up 5 Smith BSR basses and you'll see there's a lot of variety in how much wood has been taken out. The point is, there is no such thing as a pre and post Ken age any more than a pre- and post-Fodera Smith bass. Ken has never had very much personal involvement in the making of the basses apart from design/spec and the final set up/QC. None of which is changing.
  15. Came here hoping to see a chat about Gene Perez and Louis Benedetti.
  16. When I worked in a pub in Calne, Wiltshire, I put on Wagner's flight of the valkyries to help clear out the punters so we could lock up. It worked really well.
  17. seems like he's doing a lee sklar thing
  18. I think the answer depends on what you mean by 'all'. Every conceivable genre and style in every pick up combination? And then there's the question of how much ballache you really want in your life as you grapple with complexity of the system you eventually choose. And are you playing live or recording? Are you wanting the system as a way to discover what you want or are you wanting it because other people have asked you for different bass sounds? And none of the systems you have mentioned will be totally accurate. I've been through the same process and fell back on a pair of humbuckers with parallel/single coil switching. They did the job 80% of the time for what I needed live and the addition of a 3 band semi-parametric eq allowed some tweaking for the odd recording session. The Variax is probably the cheapest option if you are just wanting to discover things for yourself at home. They can be picked up for silly money considering the tech that is inside them. It's like a Kempler system but for instruments rather than amps. You can also look at the Mooer GTR pedal as a cheaper (and less sophisticated) alternative to the Roland system if you can borrow the basses you want to sound like. https://www.amazon.com/MOOER-Guitar-Tone-Capture-Pedal/dp/B07VQZQM7F
  19. Just finished designing cabinetry for my office. The designer did something all exciting and random but when I looked at what I needed to put on the shelves, not much would actually fit in the spaces they'd allowed for. Now I've rejigged things it looks much more boring than it was, but I can at least fit amp heads, art materials, books, DVDs and CDs in it. Also setting up a recruitment business which requires lots of time on Reddit and Facebook. Also doing a website for an export business but realistically that won't be online until Christmas and then I'll be travelling to trade shows in South Africa and Australia next year. Also setting up an online shop for an assortment of high quality AV cables (8k HDMI/fibre optic) and musical instrument cables (van damme/neutrik standard). And next week I'll be working 6 days a week at the school because we have just let our other foreign teacher go and the borders aren't open yet to the replacement teacher we had lined up. So yeah. Staying out of trouble I suppose.
  20. A early noughties Spector Euro would do the trick. Just change the pickups to suit the genre. EMG for rock/metal, parallel wired humbuckers for smoother genres.
  21. I will put a word in for the Effectrode PC2A after all, despite it needing a huge amount of power. It's the perfect valve comp, studio clean and warm and can be subtle or squashy as you like. Just can't power it off a pedalboard brick.
  22. Thank you! It's a good enough guess to work with.
  23. Can anyone tell me the dimensions of the Hexavalve?
  24. Yeah maybe I'm a bit late to the game. They're good quality too.
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