This bass is a Kinal SK21 5-string. The body is mahogany with a figured maple top. The neck is mahogany with a rosewood fingerboard. The head is laminated front and back with Brazilian rosewood.
The bridge and machine heads are from Hipshot.
The electronics are from Bartolini and this is where things get a bit complicated. The neck pickup is a single coil “J” style pickup. The bridge pickup has two coils but the coils are switchable so you can use one coil, or the other as a humbucker.
The controls are straight forward. Volume on the top row, closest to the neck. Pickup balance behind it. Then a three band EQ below. Perfect! What confused me a bit was the switches. The top switch controls which coils of the bridge pickup, but I’m not clear on the other two. The other cool thing is that all the active electronics can be disabled by pulling up on the volume control.
The funny thing about the electronics is that changing the controls gives you different sounds, but no matter what sound you get, its all good. So often you find yourself just trying to get one good sound. On this bass it just sounds good however you set the the controls.
When I first picked up this bass, the neck looked incredibly wide to me. But while playing it, it was actually very comfortable and I wasn’t really aware of its size. The scale is 35″ and that perhaps gives the instrument its overall large look.
I’m mostly a picker when it comes to playing bass, but I do like to play other styles. I often find that some basses are better for picking, finger plucking, slapping or touch style, but most basses don’t do them all well. Especially if you are picking you need the strings to be a bit higher and for touch style the lower the better. This bass played well for anything I tried to do with it. The only thing I did notice was a slight buzz on the 11th and 13th fret while picking. But it was hardly noticeable.
Overall I like this bass a lot. Actually I love it! You hear people talking about the superiority, warmth and feel of handmade instruments. This bass confirms that theory. An absolutely wonderful instrument that I could easily see becoming the main axe.
This bass retails for about $2700.00 CDN. This is a fair amount of money, but it’s also a lot of bass for the money. If you’re going to have only one bass, this might be it.
Stay tuned for more on Kinal Basses!