Frequently Asked Questions

What comes with my Smith Bass

BSR, BT & CR Models

  1. 1/8″ wrench for the truss rod (included)
  2. 3mm wrench for Soapbar pickups with pole pieces
  3. .050 wrench for bridge height adjustment
  4. Smith Classic Wax Polish for ‘Dutch Oil Varnish’ Finishes or
    Smith Guitar Polish for Catalyzed Lacquer Finishes
  5. Smith Polish Cloth
  6. Smith Custom Black Strap with matching Dunlop Straplocks
  7. Smith Taper Core Medium Strings (TCRM, TCRM-5, TCRM-6) on the Bass
  8. Warranty with matching Serial # and Model Description
  9. Contour Smith Hardshell Case with Ziplock bag filled with the items described above, and a current catalog
How do I take care of my Smith Bass?

Your bass is set-up for Smith Taper Core Stainless Steel Strings. Taper Core are now available in the Burner Series as well (made from Nickel Plated Steel). If other strings are used, the Nut and Bridge Saddles will need re-cutting for optimum performance. The Bridge and Truss Rod will need to be adjusted as well. For questions please call (215) 453-8887 to speak with one of our Techs. If Smith Strings are not available in your area you may call to ‘order direct’. On Oil finished Basses, use only smith Classic Wax Polish. Regular guitar polishes will break down and damage the finish. Keep your bass clean from sweat and other foreign materials as these can eat away the finish on your Bass. Our Polish can restore the sheen on your Bass, but it will not replace worn-away finish. —For Fingerboard maintenance use Smith Classic wax Polish— Note: For longer battery life and optimum circuit performance, do not leave your bass plugged in when not in use. Once a jack is plugged into your Bass, regardless of tone settings, your battery is being drained. Our high-performance 9-Volt circuit has extremely low battery drainage, drawing only about .03 milliamps. Your battery can last from 6-12 months depending on usage.

What do the controls on my Smith Bass do?


Active & Passive: If your Battery goes dead during a performance you can lift the Volume control knob to bypass the active circuit. This feature is recommended for emergency use only. The volume pot ‘push-pull’ feature does not have the same durability as a standard toggle switch.


What do Series/Parallel Switches do?

For Basses with Series / Parallel Switches:

Our pickups are normally wired in Parallel for optimum fidelity.

  1. The ‘down’ position is the standard pickup setting for the Smith Bass.
  2. Lifting the switch upwards alters the pickup to Series wiring. This setting will give you a fatter, deeper tone and equally reduces the high-end frequency.
  3. The switch nearest the neck is for the neck pickup. The switch nearest the bridge is for the bridge pickup. These switches work independently.

If you have purchased a model with Soapbar pickups that do not normally come with Series / Parallel switches, your bass can be upgraded at the factory. Call for details.

How long will it take to make my Smith Bass?

Delivery time has been averaging about 3-5 months from date of order. If the Bass is a special model or a one-of-a-kind it might take a little longer.

Please note that we have hundreds of neck and body parts already cut, laminated & glued up in various stages of the process. This way, when you place your order we won’t have to cut any un-aged wood. The average Smith Bass is made from parts that have been started 1-3 years ago. All Smith wood parts are aged and acclimated before assembly. Please be patient as we complete your next “Dream Bass”.

What strings come on a Smith Bass?

All Smith Handmade Basses are strung with Smith Custom Taper Core Medium Bass Strings.
(Fretless models are sometimes strung with Smith Compressors by request only)

4 String AA-TCRM .044 .063 .084T .106T $28.80
5 String AA – TCRM – 5 .044 .063 .084T .106 T.130T $38.40
6 String AA – TCRM – 6 .028 .044 .063 .084T .106T .130T $42.00
Or for the Nickel Lover, Burner Bass Strings are now available in Taper Core


4 String AA-BBM-TC .045 .065 .085N .105N $28.80
5 String AA – BBM-5TC .045 .065 .085N .105N .130N $38.40
6 String AA – BBM-6TC .030 .045 .065 .085N .105N .130N $42.00
Where can I buy Smith Strings?

Smith Strings are available at many fine Music stores as well as some of the on-line string companies. We do NOT currently supply the Major Chain Stores like Sam Ash or Guitar Center. If Smith Strings are not available in your local area, please contact us via email or phone so we can direct you to the best source or our On-Line String Dealer List. While reviewing Smith String prices, please note that as of 3/30/05 we no longer publish a List Price or Suggested Retail Price. In an effort to better serve our customers needs we have removed the List Price. We now only publish the Actual Selling Price, which we call “Street Price”.

Where can I buy Smith Basses?

To Purchase a Smith Bass, please feel free to contact us via e-mail or phone so we can direct you to the best source. NOTE: *Street Prices (actual price) are now back in effect as of 7/16/09*

What are your Hours of Operation?

Office Hours are Monday – Friday 9AM-4:30PM EST. Visits are by appointment only!

Do you give Factory Tours?

Yes. We welcome the opportunity to show interested buyers or current Smith Bass owners what we do here. This can also be done when you Bring your current Smith Bass in for Set-up or Repair. Please call (215) 453-8887 to make an appointment. You can also view our Online Factory Tour.

Do you still mail out Catalogs?

We can mail you our String Catalog with a few Bass Pictures only but all of our available information is put right here on our website. This includes the Online Factory Tour, Wood Species, News Page, all Bass and String Models, etc. Since Catalogs take several months to be produced, once printed they cannot be changed until years later when we are ready to reprint them. We feel the website is the best new media for displaying our product. If you have questions about a Smith Bass purchase, then click here and e-mail us. Your questions will be answered promptly.

Can you call Ken Smith directly?

If you have specific questions about your Bass or wood choices then you should speak directly to Ken.

Although Ken is busy supervising production and sales, he does juggle phone calls as he is available.

Please be patient if Ken can’t come to the phone the first time you call.

How can I get more information about a used Smith Bass for sale?

If purchasing a used Smith Bass at a store, from an individual, or on Ebay you are welcome to contact us. Please E-mail serial #, description and photos if possible. Please ask the seller for all the information possible as he is the one with the Bass. If currently on Ebay, please post the direct link to the sale. We will provide any additional information possible within our records. This is a free service provided by us to help all Smith Bass lovers so please be patient with your requests.