Ken Smith Black Tiger

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Expert Review

As one goes deeper down the rabbit hole of high-end, customized bass guitars, it’s amazing to see what kind of care and craftsmanship is waiting to be discovered. Take Ken Smith, for instance; he’s developed a reputation over the years for creating truly impressive and one-of-a-kind instruments for those in the bass community looking for something more. That’s exactly what he’s done again with the Black Tiger bass guitar. Cherry-picking a limited amount of a purchase of an already-scarce black walnut tree wood, this instrument has a look and feel which speaks to the rare nature of its origin.

The aforementioned walnut comprises parts of the neck and body wings, while the fingerboard has a smooth and rich feel thanks to the macassar ebony. This bass guitar can take on a variety of sounds and it definitely shines for those of you who like to slap and pop, offering up that certain brand of ping which is hard to describe unless you hear it yourself.

The electronics in the Black Tiger are made up of a B.M.T. 3-Band EQ 18-volt circuit. This setup consists of internal 4-way adjustable frequency switches for each band, which makes adjusting the tone on this thing about as precise as microsurgery. Series/parallel switches are available for each set of custom soapbar humbucking pickups. Put simply, you’ve probably never heard or played anything like this before, and if you’re really looking to go high-end, this is a destination where you’ll want to end up.Rating: 4/5

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