Jump to content
Left leaderboard
akabane

Ken Smith Chat - (NBD inside! Black Tiger 6)

Recommended Posts

@Al Krow Well, goodmorning to you sir! Ahah they all look beautiful! (Even though I'm not a fan of the Hadrien Feraud model, so I'm talking more about that White and Black tigers ;) )

Which one are you bringing home with you?? :P 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I'm a White & Black Tiger man also! Won't be bringing either of the ones shown above. At £5,250 new, they are a little eye watering for me in terms of price.

What I wasn't expecting (and shows how much I know) were the MTDs that Mark had in stock at BD which were even more expensive! 

The quality of finish on the Tiger range is just in a league above anything I have experienced, though, and the attention to detail on little things like single cast brass nut with individual raised slots for the strings (picture below).

I had a chance to play another BT he had in the store, which was actually the main reason for my visit to BD (more of that particular nearly-new KS anon) through an Aguilar DB 751 and Aggie 410 cab. It was a little moment of bass heaven for me - what a gorgeous rich tone this bass produces which was obviously not hurt by having one of the best available rigs to hear it through! Even got nods of approval from Mrs Krow! 

Ken Smith - Nut.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Yes I'm a White & Black Tiger man also! Won't be bringing either of the ones shown above. At £5,250 new, they are a little eye watering for me in terms of price.

What I wasn't expecting (and shows how much I know) were the MTDs that Mark had in stock at BD which were even more expensive! 

 The quality of finish on the Tiger range is just in a league above anything I have experienced, though, and the attention to detail on little things like single cast brass nut with individual raised slots for the strings (picture below).

 I had a chance to play another BT he had in the store, which was actually the main reason for my visit to BD (more of that particular nearly-new KS anon) through an Aguilar DB 751 and Aggie 410 cab. It was a little moment of bass heaven for me - what a gorgeous rich tone this bass produces which was obviously not hurt by having one of the best available rigs to hear it through! Even got nods of approval from Mrs Krow! 

Ken Smith - Nut.jpg

Yes, the nut is one of those great touches that makes you appreciate a KS more :P

And yes! MTD (Michael Tobias Design) IS also very expensive, AND great sound and feel to match ;) 

As far as the 'OG handmade bassmakers' go, back then it was Alembic, Michael Tobias, Ken Smith, Vinny Fodera, Carl Thompson, Stuart Spector. Any one of these are incredible instruments. 

To this day, Tobias (now MTD) builds everything in an incredibly small workshop in the middle of nature with his son (who's now started playing with headless designs!), a bit like Ken Smith when he was in Perkasie with his small crew of builders...and Fodera, originally a couple of blocks away from the Smith shop!

So yes, any of these cats will charge quite a lot for their instruments. They're all worth the money ;) 

Edited by akabane
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Al Krow said:

At £5,250 new, they are a little eye watering for me in terms of price.

Less than a Fodera or a Wal ... or anything but the most basic of alembics. 

Bit of a bargain ... relatively speaking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something I love about Smiths which you don’t really notice until you pick one up is how thin the bodies are. And with such a smooth neck transition the whole bass just feels so refined. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NickA said:

Less than a Fodera or a Wal ... or anything but the most basic of alembics. 

 Bit of a bargain ... relatively speaking.

Well, yes, in relative terms, you're right, considering that sound and craftmanship are really up there with the top ones, and been around for longer than most (longer than Fodera for sure :P )

However, I had to buy my beautiful Black Tiger second hand, and spent a cool £3100 which I had saved up for quite a while xD

If I came across £5/6k+ I'd directly contact Ken to have a custom one built!  

1 hour ago, ped said:

Something I love about Smiths which you don’t really notice until you pick one up is how thin the bodies are. And with such a smooth neck transition the whole bass just feels so refined. 

That is true! Incredibly thin and resonant bodies - I'm actually curious to try a BT on (always tried and now own BSR shape) to see how the weight distribution changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, ped said:

Something I love about Smiths which you don’t really notice until you pick one up is how thin the bodies are. And with such a smooth neck transition the whole bass just feels so refined. 

Yes, absolutely, 100% true!

 Ken Smith V.png

Edited by Al Krow
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Yes, absolutely, 100% true!

 Ken Smith V.png

Wow congratulations Al, is that the smaller bodied one? I tried it when it was new and was desperate for it but decided to get on the property ladder instead. Keep me in mind should you wish to part from it.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, akabane said:

had to buy my beautiful Black Tiger second hand,

More power to your elbow .. looks good as new.

Had to buy both my Wals 2nd hand.  Wouldn't even contemplate a new one at "prices FROM £6050".  2nd hand is definitely the way to go with these exotica .. you don't even lose out when selling on, so effectively free!   Not that I could bear to sell on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, OliverBlackman said:

Wow congratulations Al, is that the smaller bodied one? I tried it when it was new and was desperate for it but decided to get on the property ladder instead. Keep me in mind should you wish to part from it.

Thanks very much Oliver, it is indeed the smaller bodied 'Studio' (according to Mark at BD) version. The smaller body means it's likely to be a little bit lighter than other KS's but, despite being 'super model thin' as with other KS's, it still weighs in at 9.7 lbs which reflects the quality of the woods used. To accommodate a 3 band EQ with the smaller body shape it has a stacked treble and bass EQ with separate mid EQ. It also has a front rather than the more common (for KS) side jack socket similar to Alembic basses.

One feature that the Tiger models have that the Hadrien doesn't appear to have, is the series and parallel switches for each pup. I generally prefer the 'standard' parallel (down) setting for both pups - this is very much the signature 'Smith' sound. The series (up) setting delivers a fatter, deeper tone with a reduction in the high end frequency; on the neck pup and with the treble dialled off, this provides a really nice vintage tone and I can see this particular combination coming into its own for 60s Motown.

My KS was originally bought by a French bass 'collector' back in Aug 2018 who then decided to part ex it for something else he had his eye on and I was able to get this almost new bass for a very decent discount. I almost ducked out of going up to BD to try it out as I really couldn't justify getting such a lovely bass for myself, but as soon as I picked it up and played it there was no doubt in my mind what a fantastic bass this was!

I'm fortunate to already have some really great basses but nothing quite in the league of this KS. When Mrs Krow heard the bass with my rig at home her immediate reaction was that, as well as being a beautiful bass, for her it tonally knocked all my other basses out of the park! I wasn't expecting such an immediate positive reaction from someone who isn't a bass player but nonetheless has a very good musical ear. But I can understand where she's coming from - it really is that good! :)

Ken Smith 1B.jpg

Edited by Al Krow
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Thanks very much Oliver, it is indeed the smaller bodied 'Studio' (according to Mark at BD) version. The smaller body means it's likely to be a little bit lighter than other KS's but, despite being 'super model thin' as with other KS's, it still weighs in at 9.7 lbs which reflects the quality of the woods used. To accommodate a 3 band EQ with the smaller body shape it has a stacked treble and bass EQ with separate mid EQ. It also has a front rather than the more common (for KS) side jack socket similar to Alembic basses. One feature that the Tiger models have that the Hadrien doesn't appear to have, is the series and parallel switches for each pup. I've already decided that I prefer the 'standard' parallel (down) setting for both pups rather than the fatter, deeper series (up) setting which also reduces the high end frequency.

My KS was originally bought by a French bass 'collector' back in Aug 2018 who then decided to part ex it for something else he had his eye on and I was able to get this almost new bass for a very decent discount. I almost ducked out of going up to BD to try it out as I was really couldn't justify getting such a lovely bass for myself, but as soon as I picked it up and played it there was no doubt in my mind what a fantastic bass this was!

I'm fortunate to already have some really great basses but nothing quite in the league of this KS. When Mrs Krow heard the bass with my rig at home her immediate reaction was, that as well as being a beautiful bass, for her it tonally knocked all my other basses out of the park! I wasn't expecting that immediate reaction from someone who isn't a bass player but nonetheless has a very good musical ear. But I can understand her reaction - it really is that good! :)

Ken Smith 1B.jpg

Congratulations! It's beautiful! You're right, it looks like a BSR shape but with a shorter upper horn and thinner body? 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Thanks very much Oliver, it is indeed the smaller bodied 'Studio' (according to Mark at BD) version. The smaller body means it's likely to be a little bit lighter than other KS's but, despite being 'super model thin' as with other KS's, it still weighs in at 9.7 lbs which reflects the quality of the woods used. To accommodate a 3 band EQ with the smaller body shape it has a stacked treble and bass EQ with separate mid EQ. It also has a front rather than the more common (for KS) side jack socket similar to Alembic basses. One feature that the Tiger models have that the Hadrien doesn't appear to have, is the series and parallel switches for each pup. I've already decided that I prefer the 'standard' parallel (down) setting for both pups rather than the fatter, deeper series (up) setting which also reduces the high end frequency.

My KS was originally bought by a French bass 'collector' back in Aug 2018 who then decided to part ex it for something else he had his eye on and I was able to get this almost new bass for a very decent discount. I almost ducked out of going up to BD to try it out as I was really couldn't justify getting such a lovely bass for myself, but as soon as I picked it up and played it there was no doubt in my mind what a fantastic bass this was!

I'm fortunate to already have some really great basses but nothing quite in the league of this KS. When Mrs Krow heard the bass with my rig at home her immediate reaction was, that as well as being a beautiful bass, for her it tonally knocked all my other basses out of the park! I wasn't expecting that immediate reaction from someone who isn't a bass player but nonetheless has a very good musical ear. But I can understand her reaction - it really is that good! :)

Ken Smith 1B.jpg

The girls love it, mine had the same reaction even through headphones, but unfortunately for me it just wasn’t to be at that time. I’m glad it’s no longer in the hands of a collector though, that bass deserves to be played!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ped said:

Did I miss your NBD thread @Al Krow?

Haha, no. The OP kindly made this a more general KS thread so I am more than happy to share my NBD pics and journey to getting one on here :)

Many thanks to you, @lee650 and @NotAsGoodAsJaco, who all have or have previously had KS, for sharing your thoughts and experiences on these wonderful basses which played a big part in encouraging me to try one out. A final couple of pics from me which I hope you'll enjoy:

Ken Smith VII.jpg

 

 

Ken Smith VIII.jpg

Edited by Al Krow
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, NotAsGoodAsJaco said:

I told you they were great! Congratulations.

once again I have Smith envy!

Yeah - you were spot on! It's always amazing to get such positive feedback about an instrument from someone who has since moved it on.

But would there be any possibility of KS customising one with wider string spacing to get you what you're particularly after?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Placed my order for a Black Tiger sixer yesterday 😊 nigh on identical to the one in the original post.

Six month wait now 😬 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CamdenRob said:

Placed my order for a Black Tiger sixer yesterday 😊 nigh on identical to the one in the original post.

Six month wait now 😬 

OMG! Is your amazing bass collection about to get even more so?! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

OMG! Is your amazing bass collection about to get even more so?! 

I feel very lucky to have been in the position to order the basses I’ve had built over the last few years. Some potential work situation changes coming up next April might put me in a different position in the years to come, so I’ve promised myself another build whilst I can. A Smith seemed like the prefect addition to compliment the existing stable 😊 ...should land in around six months 😊

I’ve broken my self imposed “no gold hardware” rule as well 😕

Shout out to Bass Direct too 🙂. It was proving somewhat difficult to order direct and Mark stepped up to save the day 👍 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Kevsy71 did I miss a NBD post about your new KS (was just browsing your Xotic FS)? Either way, pics please! How are you liking it so far?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had my first Smith in 2003 - purchased as NOS from The Low End.  I will never forget the thrill of opening the case for the first time as I collected it, on my way through to China for the first time as well.  It was a gorgeous instrument and I actually left it behind when I left for the final time but a kind colleague brought it back.  Shortly after that I bought a 6 string as I'd always loved John Patitucci's sound pre-Yamaha, and then a rare 5 string fretless.  The fretless was eventually sold to Randy Hope Taylor who had the Gallery sling frets on it...

...then I sold them all within 6 weeks.  But they're great sounding instruments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

@Kevsy71 did I miss a NBD post about your new KS (was just browsing your Xotic FS)? Either way, pics please! How are you liking it so far?

Well spotted Sir! I've been too busy playing it to take pics 😁 

I'm delighted with it - playability and tones are amazing. And it has my name on the headstock. Will post pics and a longer write-up in the next few days...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



  • Similar Content

    • By jmlbasses
      I sell handmade bass by Umut Dal in Belgium very little used outside the home smoke free. No dings, Condition as new.
      Price Reduced 1.950€
      34" Scale
      Walnut Body
      Maple and purple heart Neck
      Purple heart Fretboard
      Finger ramp
      24 small frets
      Safran Pickups
      Passive Pre-amp (Vol. Switch selector. Tone)
      Safran Bridge with bone saddles 18mm
      Shellac finish





       
       
       
    • By TRBboy
      After a tortuous 6 months of waiting, I finally received my new Sandberg yesterday! 😊
      It's everything I hoped it would be, lightweight, has that incredible sandberg neck feel and effortless playability, and the passive electronics with more traditional style Alnico V pickups are giving me the pure, organic tone I was after. Couldn't be happier! 
      The new Sandberg gigbags are a cast improvement in my opinion too, really nice. 
      Happy chappy. 😊👌






    • By mrbassman_de
      The BMT series have been built from 1993 to 1997 - basically it has the same spec like the all-time top-of-the-line Smith series - the later Fusion Elite. With a small difference: The BMT Series has the real neck-through concept. Newer neck are built like dove-tails. You can see the difference in the back. The real neck-through is of course more expensive as there is much more waste from sanding the neck wood piece. Additionally - the headstock is black instead of matching the top wood.
      The BMT are probably the most sought after basses today. There are about 150 built - and this is the one of the very rare fretless ones. This bass was originally fretless - has been fretted and later defretted again. Honestly I must say that I prefer the fretted sound on Smiths.
      Condition is absolutely like new ! The Quilted Maple looks much better in real life than in the pics.
      AAAAA Quilted Maple top
      7pc body, 7pc neck
      34“, 18mm spacing
      Weight 4,58 kg
      Original Smith Case
      Built 1994
      SOLD
      Even if you like to let a top luthier fret this bass for let's say 400 GBP - you will get a llike new top-of-the-line Smith with the typical "click".
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By Alberto Rigoni
      NO TRADES 
      Model: BSR TN5 Black Tiger 5 String
      Year 2007 
      3-Piece Body
      Walnut Top, with Tiger Maple
      Rosewood Back
      Smith Classic Hand-Rubbed Dutch Varnish over Stradivari Gold Oil
      Western Quilted Maple Core
      Shedua Laminate Accents on Top, Back & Neck
      5-Piece Neck ~ Aged Hard Rock Maple & Shedua Accents
      Macassar Ebony Fretboard with 30" Radius
      24 Frets
      Mother-of-Pearl Dot Fret Inlays
      Scalloped Brass Nut ~ Hand-Fit
      Nut-Width ~ 1-3/4"
      Rosewood Headstock Overlay
      Scale Length ~ 34"
      Gold Hardware
      Bridge ~ Smith QSR (Quick String Release) Machined solid brass
      Recessed Strap Locks
      Ken Smith Pickups
      Series/Parallel Switches wth Smith BMT 3-Band 18-Volt EQ Circuit, with 
      Adjustable DIP Frequency Switches for Bass, Mid & Treble, with Pickup 
      Blend & Master Volume Control
      Fully Shielded Pickup & Control Cavities
      Smith Custom Flex Truss Rod
      Gold Gotoh/Ken Smith Tuners
      She Weighs 9.7 lbs.
      Serial # 5TN542007
      Original hard case and strap but no tools






    • By Rollo
      FOR SALE/FOR TRADE MLP Princess SC 6 strings, made by the Hungary Luthier Molnár László.
      It's an excellent condition bass. MLP bass are famous for their exemplary finishes and craftsmanship, and for the sound who can make you think of the Fodera Singlecut sound.
      This bass give you a modern, warm, and crispy sound. Neck is incredible...
       
      Specifications :
      Body : European Walnut
      Neck : 5 pieces laminates of quartersawn maple and mahogany
      Fingerboard : Kingwood (Very similar tonally to Brazilian Rosewood. Though it is CITES regulated, this material is allowed within the European Union and is a great alternative to Brazilian RW)
      Inlays : White side dots
      Headstock Veener : European Walnut
      Headstock : 3 + 3 Shape, with engraved MLP Logo
      Frets : 24 Siver/Nickel in absolutely mint condition
      Pickups : EMG 45J on Neck and EMG 45TW (with split) on Bridge
      Preamp : EMG 3 bands EQ Preamp with passive tone (Dip Switchs on the electronic cavity)
      Controls : Volume Neck/Volume Bridge with Split/Tone/Stacked Bass and Treble/Stacked Medium and Mids frequencies selection
      Tuners : Wilkinson "GB707" like
      Bridge : MLP Bridge, a sort of fusion of Ken Smith and Fodera bridges
      Strings spacing at bridge : Adjustable from 17mm to 19mm. Actually very close to 19mm
      Nut : Ebony
      Strings spacing at nut : 9mm
      Knobs : EMG knobs
      Scale : 34"
      Hardware color : Black
      Trussrod : TWO bi-directional trussrods that work perfectly
      Land of Craftsmanship : Handmade in Hungary
      Weight : A little bit less 4.5kg
      Action : From 2.25mm under the B string to 1.75mm under the C string at 12th fret. You can go lower if you want
      Finish : Satin Finish
      For sale with hardcase.
       
      This wonderful bass plays like a dream. Perfect modern sound, i don't keep it just because i already have a Leduc Maurad 6, so it's a little useless for me...
       
      You can see all pics and listen it here  :  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1rfRIHdIpHzJiZzyPGLNZ2nsvjPZdxH3x
       
      Videos on Youtube :
       
       
       
       
      MLP Website : http://mlpguitars.com/
      Don't hesitate if you have some questions or if you want more pics or sounds.
      For trades propositions, i am very open. All is welcome, Leduc, Modulus, P bass, Jazz Bass, Fretted or Fretless, 4, 5, or 6 strings... Just try me. 
      Shipping OK, of course.
       
      Now the Pics :


















×
×
  • Create New...