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Old 09-14-2018, 02:45 AM
JonPaulsen JonPaulsen is offline
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Red face Ken Smith 2nd prototype for Anthony Jackson

I was just browsing Reverb when this bass caught my attention:
https://reverb.com/item/10544844-ken...roto-type-no-2

It is advertised as a Ken Smith Anthony Jackson Prototype No 2.

Here is a photo:


Is this one of the few Jackson prototypes you built, Ken? I've seen one similar one earlier, but I've never seen that lower horn swing the wrong way before. Very interesting, I guess this is a piece of bass history.

Do you have any more information for us about this bass, Ken?

Seems it's sporting 28 or 29 frets, strange pickup positions (with regards to the more usual pickup positions), as well as a huge headstock... this must be a poorly balanced bass? :-)
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:38 AM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPaulsen View Post
I was just browsing Reverb when this bass caught my attention:
https://reverb.com/item/10544844-ken...roto-type-no-2

It is advertised as a Ken Smith Anthony Jackson Prototype No 2.

Here is a photo:


Is this one of the few Jackson prototypes you built, Ken? I've seen one similar one earlier, but I've never seen that lower horn swing the wrong way before. Very interesting, I guess this is a piece of bass history.

Do you have any more information for us about this bass, Ken?

Seems it's sporting 28 or 29 frets, strange pickup positions (with regards to the more usual pickup positions), as well as a huge headstock... this must be a poorly balanced bass? :-)

The balance was fine but this was made at Anthony's request while we were making the BT model. He wanted something that no one else would ever have. His decision, not mine. This bass is a one-off, one-of-a-kind. Anthony is a senior now, probably collecting Social Security, Medicare and I know for a fact like me, is collection is AFM Pension as well. So at his age (66 now), why not sell off what you don't need?
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:02 AM
JonPaulsen JonPaulsen is offline
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It's in Japan, so I don't know if it's commisioned for sale from Mr. Jackson himself or whether it's a second owner who's cashing in. It's a significant pricetag, so someone is getting cashing in. To me, after having read about this bass in your articles elsewhere on this forum, it was just very fascinating seeing photos of it. This bass and the work you were doing with the BT-series at the same time have changed bass forever.

I'm the proud owner of one of the fairly early BT6 basses (1990), and it's a fantastic bass. I'm glad you made it just the way you did. Especially, I find the pickup positions on my BT to be remarkable and a key element in getting the Smith sound.
I'm always curious when it comes to bass designs.... do you mind me asking a couple further questions about this bass and your BT basses?!@

Do you remember how this bass sounded in comparison to the BT? Is the neck pickup closer to the neck than on a usual BT? Or is it just the prolonged fingerboard that makes it look that way?

Apart from the body shape and the number of frets, the biggest difference from today's basses that I can see are the covering front face. Did you ever consider implementing that in your own designs? I think the visible neck-through layout of the Smith basses is a characteristic feature that at least I have come to love.... Just curious as to how you see the full face front in comparison?
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPaulsen View Post
It's in Japan, so I don't know if it's commisioned for sale from Mr. Jackson himself or whether it's a second owner who's cashing in. It's a significant pricetag, so someone is getting cashing in. To me, after having read about this bass in your articles elsewhere on this forum, it was just very fascinating seeing photos of it. This bass and the work you were doing with the BT-series at the same time have changed bass forever.

I'm the proud owner of one of the fairly early BT6 basses (1990), and it's a fantastic bass. I'm glad you made it just the way you did. Especially, I find the pickup positions on my BT to be remarkable and a key element in getting the Smith sound.
I'm always curious when it comes to bass designs.... do you mind me asking a couple further questions about this bass and your BT basses?!@

Do you remember how this bass sounded in comparison to the BT? Is the neck pickup closer to the neck than on a usual BT? Or is it just the prolonged fingerboard that makes it look that way?

Apart from the body shape and the number of frets, the biggest difference from today's basses that I can see are the covering front face. Did you ever consider implementing that in your own designs? I think the visible neck-through layout of the Smith basses is a characteristic feature that at least I have come to love.... Just curious as to how you see the full face front in comparison?

On the sound, I don't remember. Sorry. On the Face across design, I never really liked that for my own basses. I prefer to see the Neck in front. This was Anthony's request. That bass was about $5-6k back then from what I recall. The two of us went shopping in NY and NJ for special woods to find both the Ebony for the long FB and the Crotch Walnut for the Top, two items I did not have in my inventory. Anthony and I were good friends and still are regardless of our sparse meetings nowadays. It was a few years ago since we last met up when he was playing around my area locally.
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:44 PM
JonPaulsen JonPaulsen is offline
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Nice, thanks for sharing!
I think the neck in front is a very distinctive Smith attribute and you shouldn't change that. These basses have proven themselves over time, no need to fix what's not broken.
Thanks!
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPaulsen View Post
Nice, thanks for sharing!
I think the neck in front is a very distinctive Smith attribute and you shouldn't change that. These basses have proven themselves over time, no need to fix what's not broken.
Thanks!

Thanks, I agree..
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