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  #21  
Old 04-14-2009, 10:26 PM
Mattijs De Graeve Mattijs De Graeve is offline
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Question morado grades?

Hi Ken, (and other wood enthousiasts)

I have a question about the top and back woods on my '89 bt5eg.
Does Morado (which is the top wood i think) have grades like the walnut and maples have?

Because i haven't seen alot of Smith basses with a morado top.
And all the other morado tops have this dark yellow colour with a dark brown black grain.

Mine however has this very bright orange colour (as seen on this picture).
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Does that mean i am blessed with a good grade of morado or am i less lucky and have a lesser grade? (The answer won't change my oppinion of this amazing bass and even better sound).

The back of my bass is walnut and i was wondering is this a lower grade of walnut because it is a back, because there are thes dots and knots in it?
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i'd like to learn more about woods and as it relates to sound, i had the pleasure of playing 4 NT ken smith basses with 5p wings and 5p necks.
And they all have this great organic sound and that smith character.
but i played a tiger maple top and back 6 string and a quilted maple(lower grade) 6 string is there a big difference in tone between these 2 maples (i don't think i could compare because the quilted had a morado fingerboard) and does the grade affect tone or is it for cosmetic reasons mostly?

Thx in advance for the answer, (sorry for the amount of questions in 1 post)

Mattijs De Graeve
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  #22  
Old 04-14-2009, 11:03 PM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Cool questions..

Humm.. depending on who you ask the answers will differ. I have never graded my Morado Top woods or the Fingerboards for that matter. It either works or it doesn't. Not being a figured species by nature we just use Morado where and when we use it and not by grade. The wood itself comes from Bolivia and Brazil, has about 3 varieties that make it what it is (like similar maples etc) and varies in color as well.

On the Walnut Back, if it had a few more of what you call 'knots' it would be considered 'Birdseye' Walnut. Now, you have a rare piece of wood on the Back.

On the sounds you experienced between two varieties of Maple, let me say that a Smith Bass is an organic and personal type of instrument by design. It reacts to the type and density of the various woods it is made from. The Pickups just amplify the wood. The Circuit just EQs the pickups. First comes the Bass, then comes the Parts.. That's how this came about from the get go when I started as far as my concept goes.
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  #23  
Old 04-30-2009, 04:40 AM
Mattijs De Graeve Mattijs De Graeve is offline
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Thx for the quick answer ken!

Mattijs
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  #24  
Old 04-30-2009, 02:53 PM
Michael Wilson Michael Wilson is offline
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Default Bubinga

Keith,

I just got a BT6EG 96, Bubinga Top/Back/w Mah core and let me tell you that the sound is totally un-real. Tone for days. I also heard The Pace Sisters bass stuff and the sound has nothing on this Monster BT6. If you do get the funds to get a Smith, try to get the older 90 to 96 BT. ITS CRAZY!!!

Mike
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  #25  
Old 11-15-2021, 02:29 AM
Anthony Baker Anthony Baker is offline
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Default Walnut - Maple Combinations + Other Woods?

Hi Ken, and all,

I hope this is the right place to post this question.

From what I understand, the most common combinations for body construction that Ken uses is Walnut Top/Back + Maple core, or Maple Top/Back + Walnut core.

I wanted to ask what are the distinctive characteristics of these combinations. My understanding is that Walnut provides good lows and low mids, and Maple helps to add clarity, definition and good high frequencies, but I might be completely wrong. Since the woods are the same, but the combinations different, I'm curious about the differences produced by them.

I'm also very curious about the outcome of the Ken Smith basses that have used Cocobolo for the top and back. I'm in love with Cocobolo wood, but I've never had the change to play a Ken Smith made with Cocobolo wood.

Thank you in advance for sharing your knowledge, and apologies if this question has been asked before.
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  #26  
Old 11-15-2021, 06:55 AM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Baker View Post
Hi Ken, and all,

I hope this is the right place to post this question.

From what I understand, the most common combinations for body construction that Ken uses is Walnut Top/Back + Maple core, or Maple Top/Back + Walnut core.

I wanted to ask what are the distinctive characteristics of these combinations. My understanding is that Walnut provides good lows and low mids, and Maple helps to add clarity, definition and good high frequencies, but I might be completely wrong. Since the woods are the same, but the combinations different, I'm curious about the differences produced by them.

I'm also very curious about the outcome of the Ken Smith basses that have used Cocobolo for the top and back. I'm in love with Cocobolo wood, but I've never had the change to play a Ken Smith made with Cocobolo wood.

Thank you in advance for sharing your knowledge, and apologies if this question has been asked before.

Ok, well, your description doesn't quite meet my ear here. It is the Walnut that gives the maple the mids and definition and not that other way around. As fa as Cocobolo goes, new regulations for exporting or importing instruments is a problem with Cocobolo. By the time rules were changed on quantity of wood to allow single instruments, I had already sold off all of my Cocobolo stock. Also, the paperwork is expensive just to declare what you have and agencies around the world do not even now what to allow or not.



So for the two main combinations I like, the Walnut is the brighter and the Maple, maybe the smoother. Depends on the individual pieces used. Also, the neck and fingerboard wood makes sound as well. There is variation inn all woods as fat as sound goes so there is no exact science.
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  #27  
Old 11-15-2021, 09:31 PM
Anthony Baker Anthony Baker is offline
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Ken,

Thanks for much for taking the time to answer my question.

Thank you for clarifying the tonal qualities of Walnut and Maple and their combination. I've been going through the Wood Species page on the site, and learning more about the qualities of each wood. It's really helpful to hear your thoughts and experience about the combination.

If you don't mind, I would like to ask another related question:

Black Tiger Elite basses seem to have a 3 piece body, but I've seen many KS basses with a 5 pc body. Is there any difference in tone or sound quality between 3 pc or 5pc bodies?

Thanks in advance
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  #28  
Old 11-16-2021, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Baker View Post
Ken,

Thanks for much for taking the time to answer my question.

Thank you for clarifying the tonal qualities of Walnut and Maple and their combination. I've been going through the Wood Species page on the site, and learning more about the qualities of each wood. It's really helpful to hear your thoughts and experience about the combination.

If you don't mind, I would like to ask another related question:

Black Tiger Elite basses seem to have a 3 piece body, but I've seen many KS basses with a 5 pc body. Is there any difference in tone or sound quality between 3 pc or 5pc bodies?

Thanks in advance

Slight difference in the 3/5 pc bodies.. I prefer the 3 for a more organic sound. the 5 is slightly brighter as the extra laminates divide the woods that much more like an extra thin wall between them. So, 3s it is now..
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  #29  
Old 11-16-2021, 06:03 PM
Anthony Baker Anthony Baker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
Slight difference in the 3/5 pc bodies.. I prefer the 3 for a more organic sound. the 5 is slightly brighter as the extra laminates divide the woods that much more like an extra thin wall between them. So, 3s it is now..
Thank you Ken, it makes a lot of sense.
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