I got this bass used in 2005. It had a wonderful sound and played well but was a bit of a disappointment and was sold. It was listed for $1800 in a store and I got it in a trade.

Ken Smith BSR5P


The BSR model is the only Ken Smith body shape I like as the top horn is long enough to balance well for me. His other shapes have too much neck dive.

Ken Smith BSR5P


The pickups are the secret to any Ken Smith. They are simply a pair of J pickups in a soapbar housing placed closer to the bridge than a standard J placement. I've used his pickups in a few custom basses and they sound just like a Smith. The preamp is nice but the knobs have almost no friction and turn very easily. This meant that every time I took it out of the gig bag the settings would all be at one extreme or another.

I got a semi decent piece of flame in this bass, too many Smiths, especially bolt ons, have rather weak figuring.


Ken uses a very soft and thin finish that wears through rather quickly. This one had the usual thumb spot.


The neck is where things really got amateur on my bass. Many Smiths have a thicker glue line at the volute and mine was no exception. This implies uneven clamping during laminating. Also the neck carve on this one was obviously hand carved. None of that CNC precision here. Towards the body the neck wasn't completely carved and you could feel the flat surface of the planed board in the center. Other parts of the neck had a V shape or a C shape. So basically it had 3 different carves in one neck. If you're looking for pre industrial revolution craftsmanship this is the bass for you.


Nice smoothly rounded corners made the body very comfortable.


I always wanted a Smith, it's a great sound. Now that I've had one I'm glad I no longer own one. If I come across a better made one, and I have seen them, I may buy another one day. They should have never let this one out with that neck.