South Africa’s Vuyani Wakaba is the bassist for the Chicago blues legend and Delmark recording artist Eddie C. Campbell. In addition to that, Vuyani is the leader of the jazz/fusion group Vuyani and Friends. He is also the bassist for the Chicago jazz group 5 Aftr 5. Additionally, Vuyani plays with Phil Upchurch Jr., as well as with Chicago’s world music group The Dadabeat. Other engagements on Vuyani’s calendar often include performances in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, as well as freelance work.
Among Vuyani’s musical achievements are performances at the Fox Television stage of The Taste of Chicago Festival, The Erie Jazz and Blues Festival in Erie, Pennsylvania; An invitation to be a staff member at Victor Wooten’s Bass/Nature Camp; Performances with Chicago Blues legend and 2009 Chicago Blues Festival headliner Eddie C. Campbell; Appearances on WGN Television Morning Show and South Africa’s S.A.B.C. Television network; a performace on The Loop ” Chicago’s biggest radio station ” WLUP 97.9. Vuyani owns and operates PowerNoise, a digital recording studio.
Ryan Tilby has been a full-time musician since 1996. After years in the bluegrass music scene, he studied jazz guitar at Utah State University and eventually found his home in the studio, both as an engineer and musician. His playing and engineering can be heard on hundreds of records, film scores, video games, and on stages around the world with groups like Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand. As a bassist, his go-to axes are his KSM-equipped precision bass, and his Mike Lull jazz bass. His solo work includes two albums of reverent hymns played on solo guitar.
Loni Specter is a legendary musician, promoter, artist and inventor. His musical career spans more than three decades. He is the producer of Amp Show and is the inventor of The Lapdancer® Lap Steel Guitar.
Jeremy Nivison is an accomplished bass and guitar player, teacher and mentor for many students.
Simple as Suicide
Homer Nivison, bass player for Simple as Suicide, has been playing shows since 2006 throughout Utah and Idaho promoting the band’s recently recorded demo, which is currently played on the northern Utah rock station 95.9 KLZX. High-energy performances and love for the music they play has helped to earn them a following to be reckoned with.
Kenny Lee Lewis – bassist, guitarist, vocalist, composer and producer with The Steve Miller Band for over 25 years, has been a studio guitarist and bassist in the Los Angeles area for over 30 years. He has played or recorded with such artists as Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Steve Stills, Billy Preston, Brian Wilson, Dave Mason, Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Todd Rundgren, Edgar Winter, BB King, Beach Boys, Doobie Brothers and Government Mule.
The Gaslight Anthem is an American rock band from New Brunswick, New Jersey, formed in 2006. The band consists of Brian Fallon (lead vocals, guitar), Alex Rosamilia (guitar, backing vocals), Alex Levine (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Benny Horowitz (drums, percussion). The Gaslight Anthem released their debut album, Sink or Swim, on XOXO Records in May 2007, and their second album, The ’59 Sound, on SideOneDummy Records in August 2008. The band’s third album, American Slang, was released in June 2010, and their fourth, Handwritten, was released in July 2012 through Mercury Records. The lead single from Handwritten, “45”, became their most successful single on the charts, and possibly their most well-known to date. The band’s fifth full-length studio album, Get Hurt, was released on August 12, 2014, through Island Records, it is available on their website.
“Thanks to KSM Guitars and Spencer Jones for the bridges”
Jordan Jaeger, bassist of Stocksmile, has never taken the traditional route to honing his craft. Self teaching himself several instruments, he’s constantly searching to better his technique and sound. When asked about his KSM Foundation Bridge, Jaeger said, “I love it! From the moment I got it, I noticed immediately the change in sustain and clarity of notes. My style of playing demands both those factors, so I’m super stoked on this bridge. My live sound has improved immensely.”
John “BigPocket” Hart is a multi-talented master musician, producer, songwriter, arranger and teacher, Philadelphia-native John Hart’s list of credits reads like a who’s who in the world of contemporary music. Names like smooth jazz artist Norman Brown, gospel great Yolanda Adams, renowned guitarist Pat Martino, famed musician Ronnie Laws, neo-soul star Jon B and music legend Gladys Knight are among the literally dozens of artists who have called on John to supply his inimitable and distinctive style as a premier bass player, a style he describes as “BigPocket!” It’s no surprise that he named his own Los Angeles-based company – providing music production, studio consulting and Logic Pro customer support and training – BigPocket Music™.
Rich Hansen is a veteran bassist from Los Angeles, formerly with Sundown Recording Artist Asa Cruz, Zero recording artist Takara, and Retrospect recording artists Graven Image. He is a former student of jazz bassists Jeff Berlin and David Friesen.
He is currently the bassist with northern Utah country artist Mile Marker Six, the jazz group Creative Tension, and Gospel Group Joyful Noise.
He has performed with and/or recorded with Journey/Yngwie Malmsteen singer Jeff Scott Soto; members of Yes, Moody Blues, Armored Saint, Anthrax; Pearl Jam/Alice In Chains producer Rick Parashar, Capitol Records Artist Sonnet Simmons, and Chuck Meyers of Big Idea Productions. As a performer, he has opened for acts such as Kansas, Billy Dean, Ricochet, and Eric Paslay.
On the Foundation Bridge, Rich has this to say: “I currently use it on my custom 5-String bass, and I love how rock solid it is once it’s clamped down. I also love the complex tonal characteristics, punch and harmonics that it offers. I’ve compared it with the Leo Quan/Badass, Neuser, Schaller, Hipshot, as well as various OEM bridges, and the Foundation sounds as good or better than all of them that I’ve tried. I love it!”
Born into a family of musicians and surrounded by classics, Richard showed an interest and affinity towards music at an early age. Studying music under the tutelage of some world-class instructors, Richard started with flute (inspired by Jethro Tull), transitioned to trumpet and finally was bitten by the Rock and Roll bug while watching his older brother play drums. All the while, Richard would play on the family piano, playing classical and whatever peaked his interest. While his brother was out of the house playing with his friends, Richard would sneak into the room, put on his favorite records (which included KISS, Pink Floyd, Cheap Trick, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, etc.) Serious exposure to Rock and Roll was all that Richard had as his older brother broke Richard’s Motown records saying,”No brother of mine is going to listen to that whimpy sh_t!” So, he replaced Rich’s collection with the heavy material of the day.
It wasn’t until Richard was in his teens that he took up bass. It followed a serious car accident in which his legs were broken. Bed-ridden, Richard asked his older brother to go to the local music store and bring back a guitar so that he could pass the seemingly endless hours cloistered at home. Going out the door, his brother asked, ”Will that be six string or bass?” After contemplating, Richard concluded the bass afforded the driving bottom end of drums and mobility of guitar; So, his answer was, “BASS!”
Richard played from morning till night for days, weeks and months on end. After one year, he decided to attend a music camp attended by Department Heads from the Berkeley School Of Music. It was while attending this concentrated music training course that Richard learned of his natural and unusual abilities. Richard was then offered a scholarship to attend Berkeley under the guidance of Mark Henry. But, the opportunity was dashed as his father didn’t share the enthusiasm and rejected the idea. But that didn’t slow Richard’s excitement with the instrument. Richard began playing with bands. His first real experience was in S.S. Steel founded and guided by his older brother Ference, who by that time was a highly recognized frontman and vocalist, the likes of Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Jeff Tate (Queensryche), and Bruce Dickenson (Iron Maiden). In no time, they had booked the largest venues in the State of Alaska, which caught the attention of investors and management. They were given a regular showcase to perform and further were on a statewide television station where their unusual antics now came into the living rooms of thousands.
Over the years, Richard played in some very successful bands. Richard relocated from New York to California to help his brother rewrite some material for his current band, Delirium. It was during this that California received a shock from exposure resulting from the aggressive and dexterous style Richard refined while in NY. By that time, Richard had developed a signature style that was a fusion of the picking style of Steve Harris (Iron Maiden), the hammer-on style of Eddie Van Halen and Billy Sheehan and the arpeggios and dark melodies and moving basslines of Ynwie Malmsteen. Most notable is TANTRUM, a neo-classical metal band, which took Richard 4 years to put together. After playing many large venues in California, and recording original material, the band was offered the opportunity to be signed with Capitol Records. Unfortunately for the band, however, Richard learned that he was going to become a father. Deciding that the two lifestyles were not compatible at that time in his life, Richard made the choice to become a father and also going back to college to complete his degree in Electrical Engineering.
Since music was in his blood, Richard continued to play and perform. While attending university, Richard studied music and performance and played occasional gigs with his professors, who constantly enticed Richard to forget about engineering and work with them to realize his potential as a jazz bassist. Torn between the two, Richard realized that although he loved music, it was quite difficult to make a living, So, over the years, Richard continued to work and play music in his spare time. While further perfecting his unusual technique and signature style, Richard also realized he wanted and needed a signature sound to express his personality and interpretation of the instrument. After some 24 years, Richard has fully achieved that objective. Previously, Rich was the bassist for BAND Company, a group a seasoned musicians that are rocking venues in Las Vegas. Although the music is a divergence from his roots, Rich enjoyed the company and collaboration with his bandmates as well as the opportunity to play a genre that affords the occasion to expand his musical horizons. Richard’s latest project is a Deep Purple Tribute called PURPLESQUE, a group comprised of musical titants. This project affords Richard the occasion to unleash his fingers, technique, signature style and sound through a 5,000 watt bi-amped system, giving his tonal character a sound and texture unlike any other. Richard refers to his setup as, ”Attitude in a trunk.” In his rack system, Richard has separated the high and low frequencies, modified his basses to also be bi-amp ready, thereby achieving a sound that is very full and thunderous, yet responsive to the articulation of blistering runs achieved through his vicious four-finger picking. The spectacle of the concept as well as the unique sound is something that audiences, musicians and aficionados will not want to miss. Richard has always prided himself on taking the bass guitar from the shadows of the backline, into the spotlight and front of stage. Richard explains, “It is all about the song; It is all about the music. The bass is, and should be, both a melodic and percussive instrument. It is very important to remember that the song is king… Never play or overplay to the detriment of the song, but rather, enhance it. Make sure to have fun playing! Enjoy what you do and who you do it with.” And most importantly, do it with KSM.
Noteworthy Bands And Projects include but are not limited to: Eclipse, Rough Diamond, S.S. Steel, Tyrant, Delirium, Tantrum, Rock U, XTATX, Band Company, Purplesque.
Numerous projects with various professional players including live performance, recording, song writing, production. Also rearranged songs for various artists. Below are some of the notable notable musicians with whom I have collaborated.
• The late Maverick Gibson (Guitarist – S.S. Steel, various)
• Kevin Coston (Guitarist – various)
• Kenny Koudelka (Drummer –Lillian Axe)
• Jerry Brazee (Guitarist, Tantrum)
• Eddie Munoz (Drummer- various including Armada, Tantrum, Survivor, Midlife Mojo, etc.)
• Tom Meadows (former Drummer, Tyrant)
• Mike “Vinnnie” Alex (Drummer – S.S. Steel)
• Gus Zadra (Guitarist, Tyrant, Styx, etc.)
• Mike Monasterio (Drummer, Ozzy, Rock U, etc.)
• Dan T. Rios (Guitarist-various)
• Jerry Gordon (Guitarist / Singer, Without Warning)
Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder
Farko Rustamovich Dosumov was born and raised in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Farko and his identical twin brother, Feodor Dosumov, began playing the classical guitar when they were ten years old. By the time the Dosumov brothers were in high school, Farko was playing electric bass and Feodor was playing electric guitar in multiple projects throughout Tashkent.
After winning the green card lottery in 1999 Farko moved to New York City to pursue a future career in music. Farko later attended Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, and specialized in jazz bass. Since then, he has played with many talented artists and groups such as Double Impact with his twin brother Feodor Dosumov, Michael Shrieve’s Spellbinder, Carlos Santana, Jonny Lang, Pura Fe, Flowmotion, Jazzukha and many more…
“I used the Spector Coda for 6 hours of rehearsal, and the KSM Foundation Bridge is just killer. Endless sustain, tighter/more responsive right hand feel and no errant buzzing. Highly recommended.”
A Los Angeles native with extensive touring and studio experience, most notably with LP (Warner Brothers), Andy Allo and Lilit Hovhannisyan, as well as an impressive list of session credits including award winning producers/engineers Thom Russo, Ken Scott, Wyn Davis, Brian Howes, Sean Gould & more.
An endorsing artist with Spector & Dingwall Basses, Aguilar Amplification, DR Strings, Tech 21 NYC, Darkglass Electronics & Spectraflex Cables, he can be seen performing regularly around Los Angeles.
Bands: Zoviet, Lunden Reign, Caleche Ryder, Rumours, Vette and a few others
Bob Daisley is an Australian bassist, songwriter, and author. He is best known for playing bass guitar with Ozzy Osbourne, as well as songwriting and co-production on the group’s first album, Blizzard of Ozz. He also co-wrote much of the material on the follow-up album Diary of a Madman. He continued to write and record for Ozzy throughout the 1980s, playing on and writing for Bark at the Moon (1983), The Ultimate Sin (1986 writing only), and No Rest for the Wicked (1988). He maintained his working relationship with Osbourne up until 1991’s No More Tears album, which featured his bass playing on all tracks.
He has also played and recorded with Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Gary Moore and Uriah Heep. Since the 1980s, Daisley has contributed to a wealth of recordings as bassist, songwriter, lyricist and producer, including albums by Yngwie Malmsteen, Takara, Bill Ward, and Jeff Watson of Night Ranger. Daisley and Watson teamed up again and formed Mother’s Army with vocalist Joe Lynn Turner and drummer Carmine Appice. In 2003, he teamed up with Lee Kerslake, Steve Morse and Don Airey of Deep Purple, and Australian rock singer Jimmy Barnes to record an album under the name Living Loud. Six of the album’s eleven tracks were new versions of songs from Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. On 7 February 2003 Daisley recorded a live show at The Basement in Sydney with Australian blues band The Hoochie Coochie Men, for a live DVD and CD release. Featured were former Deep Purple organist Jon Lord and Jimmy Barnes. In 2007, The Hoochie Coochie Men released the studio album Danger: White Men Dancing, also featuring Jon Lord. In September 2014, Daisley was hired to produce the debut album of Adelaide-based hard rock band Cherry Grind. Recently, Daisley has been recording a tribute to Gary Moore album featuring much of the Gary Moore family tree, to be released within the first half of this year, 2018.
He is currently working on creating his BD signature bass featuring the KSM Foundation Bass Bridge.
Daisley’s autobiography For Facts Sake was published in August 2013.
Peter Charell is the bass player in the band Trapt. Charell co-founded the band with vocalist Chris Taylor Brown in the 1990’s. On January 22nd, 2013 the band released their fifth studio album, the first of which went Platinum with over one million copies sold. In 2002 “Headstrong” reached No. 1 on both the Modern Rock Tracks and Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks charts, as well as No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking their most successful single to date.
Charell’s hard-edged, progressive style is a combination of his diverse musical influences.
“From day one the difference has been huge. Tone is everything for me, and the clarity and sustain that the KSM Foundation gives my bass has been unreal; not to mention the bridges look great!”
Norbert Bueno is a bass player, producer and songwriter, born in Mexico City. Norbert is currently playing behind; Alex Boye, Mimi Knowles and JoshySoul’ He is part of the Warner Chappell music family, composing and songwriting, He is also part of the band that accompanied Alex Boye in winning the 2017 Rising Artist of the Year (sponsored by Hard Rock Cafe and Pepsi).
He is one of the starting members of ‘TheCool,’ an exceptional group of musicians who have played behind the likes of; James VIII (American Idol), Amber Lynn (American Idol), Ryan Inness (The Voice), Belle Jewel (The Voice), Gardiner Sisters, and many others.
Joseph Breckenridge Jr.
With Our Arms To The Sun
“I recently made a huge upgrade to my Schecter Diamond-J Plus bass. I partnered up with KSM music and added their amazing KSM Foundation Bass bridge. The Diamond-J bass from Schecter was already a beast of an instrument but with this bridge it has been taken to a whole new level. The added resonance and under tones this bridge has brought out of my bass are just awesome. It has also added a level of sustain i have not experienced before. It has a high mass bridge feel without adding a lot of weight to your bass. I recommend the KSM Foundation bridge to anyone who wants to take their bass of any price range to a new level of performance.”
With Our Arms to the Sun is a rock band formed in the desert of Arizona. Their live shows are unique and emotional, bringing back the energy of the bands of the past. Musically painting in hues of rock, alternative, and metal, their cinematic sound blankets a curious canvas of the Arizona Desert, weaving together a sonic journey to self-actualization for the quartet. Joseph Breckenridge Jr. adds his rhythms and melodies to the mix with his Schecter Diamond-J Plus 4 string bass. That amazing instrument is now even better with the addition of the KSM Foundation Bridge system. All music can benefit from the extra sustain, clarity, and vibrations in the bass tone that only a bridge of this quality can provide.
Mark Bell, a native of Denmark, is an accomplished musician in his own country as well as abroad. Some of his many performing credits include playing guitar with the Danish rockabilly band ‘The Coronets’ and playing piano with Danish band ‘The Radiators’. His musical inspirations come from punk, alternative and rock. He prefers a heavy, distorted guitar sound.
“I’ve played the escrs-335 custom for that last 30 years and though I’d never find a guitar that could bring out my playing! Boy was I wrong, I fell in love with the KSM guitar while producing a Benefit show for Country Ham Festival and Tennessee Children’s Home in October 2007. Check out some video caught of me on this great guitar. My influences are Dickey Betts, Al DeMiola, Alan Holdswoth and many more! Thanks Kevin.”
Bass Musician Magazine Reviews KSM Foundation Bridge
Raul Amador takes a closer look at the KSM Foundation Bridge. Join us on the journey where we change bridges and discover the differences.
The Unique Sound of KSM
Kevin Moore’s patented guitar bridges are making their way around the world
Sitting in front of a desk in a small office at the back of KSM Music, Kevin S. Moore suddenly can’t contain himself when asked to describe some of his successes as a guitar maker and an inventor. The 55-year-old suddenly lunges towards a laptop sitting near the back of the desk, almost simultaneously apologizing for his poor typing and spelling skills as he declares, “One of the big successes I had that gave me a thrill was through Leo, and a custom bass he built for Michael McKean.”
Leo is Leonardo Lospennato, an Argentinian of Italian descent who is a renowned luthier in Germany. Lospennato is also the author of “Electric Guitar & Bass Design,” a book that features the innovative bass guitar bridge designed by Moore on its cover.
Prior to a tour of the United Kingdom in 2009 by the fictional — but legendary — rock band Spinal Tap, Lospennato built a bass specifically meant for McKean, aka David St. Hubbins. As Tap’s lead singer, McKean normally only plays rhythm guitar, except for the hit song “Big Bottom,” in which everyone in the band but the drummer picks up a bass.
“So, here he is in 2009 at Glastonbury,” Moore says as he hits play on a YouTube video from the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts in England. “Just look at all those people.”
If you didn’t know what Moore’s patented bass bridge looked like, you probably wouldn’t even notice anything out of the ordinary. But as McKean, also known as Lenny on “Laverne & Shirley,” plucks away on a pale yellow bass while wearing a long, blonde wig, it’s quite clear that there’s a Foundation bass bridge on that guitar.
“They played Glastonbury, Wembley, all those places in front of thousands and thousands of people,” Moore says with a grin. “You’ve got Michael McKean playing a bass that Leo built for him with a KSM bridge on it that came out of a tiny little music store in Logan, Utah.”
“Isn’t that cool?” Moore asks.
Kevin Moore’s career in music got off to a rocky start. A native of Logan, he grew up below Old Main Hill being “force fed” piano by his mother.
“I was probably around 10, and I rejected it,” Moore recalls. “I couldn’t play a note today.
“I wanted to play guitar, so kept on saying that I was going to quit piano and take guitar. But my mom said I needed to learn piano because that was the basis for everything else.”
But Moore’s parents, Sheldon and Sharmeen, did provide him with the occasional musical Christmas gift like Neil Diamond and Three Dog Night cassettes, and eventually he picked up some 45 records like the Cowgills’ “Hair” and Tommy Roe’s “Dizzy” that ended up being the gateway drugs for a serious appreciation of rock ‘n’ roll.
“I loved music,” he says, “and I lamented the fact that growing up in Cache Valley, there wasn’t any real rock ‘n’ roll around.”
Moore says his life really changed when he caught a performance by Kiss on NBC’s “Midnight Special” program in the mid-’70s. But while the band was breaking across the nation, he was unable to find Kiss’ debut album in Cache Valley, so he had to special order it from Somers Music.
“I think I bought the first Kiss music in the valley,” Moore proclaims. “I was really interested in Alice Cooper, as well, but with Kiss, it was about the music. Kiss made me really want to play.”
At the time, Moore did have some experience playing the guitar. He started out with an acoustic and even took a class from future USU guitar legend Mike Christiansen while in junior high. In 1972, he went to the House of Sound, a long-gone stereo store on Main Street, and purchased a Kimberly electric guitar with money he earned by mowing lawns.
“I bought a guitar amp head at a garage sale, and my dad helped me build a speaker box for it,” Moore says while gesturing towards the old Kimberly that still hangs above the service area at KSM Music. “It would just launch you into space.”
But despite his love of the guitar, Moore admits “I never really developed into much of a player,” and says his biggest regret is that he was never in a band growing up.
“Looking back I think, Why the hell didn’t you do that?” Moore declares. “I wish I had done it when I had the chance.”
Real life soon took over Moore’s life. He started working as a printer for the Moore Corporation (now RR Donnelly) in 1977, but after “messing around” with both woodworking and guitars in the ’80s, Moore eventually decided to combine both of those passions together and started trying to repair and then build his own guitars with the aid of Tom Wheeler books.
While becoming a luthier usually comes with an apprenticeship, Moore says he did it all on his own “because I go the road of hard knocks with everything I do.”
Nearly 37 years later, Moore still works at RR Donnelly, which makes KSM Music and KSM Guitars his side ventures.
“I’m still in here every day, but it depends on the day how much time I spend,” he says of the music store. “I’d like to focus on guitars only, but it just doesn’t pay the bills.”
The first KSM retail store opened in 1996 on Main Street, then spent some time in the Cache Valley Mall before moving to its current location at 50 W. 400 North about a decade ago. What started out as a guitar store now sells, rents and services all types of instruments, and the KSM SoundFactory provides instructors for budding musicians.
KSM Guitars itself is based in Moore’s woodshed, where he might take up to a year to create a new six-string masterpiece. He estimates he’s built about 30 guitars through the years, including the standard KSM Model 358 and custom-built guitars currently being played by local guitar heroes like Corey Christiansen, Kris Krompel and Austin Weyand.
Those electric guitars come with Foundation bridges that Moore started to develop around 10 years ago after growing frustrated with guitar bridges that hadn’t changed much since Leo Fender used a door hinge while building guitars in the early 1950s. The screws holding guitar strings in place were always coming loose, causing unnecessary vibration and noise.
Moore says he finally hit the wall when he saw his repairman son Super Gluing down the screws on an expensive new Fender.
“I said, ‘What the hell are you doing? You paid a thousand dollars for this guitar, and you’re screwing it up.’ And he said, ‘Well, they keep moving on me.’”
“That’s when I really started to wonder why we’re still using 1950s technology,” Moore says. “I mean, it works, but it’s not the best. I thought there’s got be a better bridge, so that’s when I started to develop the Foundation bridge.”
Patented in 2009, Moore’s Foundation bridge comes in both bass and six-string varieties, but while the bass bridges are sold separately, the six-string bridges comes only with KSM guitars.
“That’s one of the things that sets my guitars apart,” Moore says.
Country music star Lorrie Morgan has a pink KSM guitar, as does her guitar player Roger Eaton, who has also played with Tanya Tucker, Barbara Mandrell and is a part of the backup band at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
“Sometimes I just can’t win because when (Eaton) travels, he never takes his KSM guitar because he refuses to fly with it. He says he’s seen too many guitars busted up,” Moore explains. “But he also said he doesn’t fly with it because he told his kids that’s going to be their heirloom that they inherit, so the only place you’ll see him playing that guitar is on the Opry stage.”
Moore then adds, “What I like, though, is that the sound engineer at the Opry says that’s one of the quietest guitars he’s ever seen as an engineer.”
That’s the whole point of Moore’s Foundation bridges is to provide more stability by having far fewer moving parts. He admits, however, that he hasn’t “sold a whole lot” of the bridges, and is clearly frustrated over how to market them.
“Everybody that uses one just loves it, but I haven’t figured out the marketing,” Moore says. “The conception, prototype, licensing, patenting, manufacturing and packaging was harder than hell, but it was a piece of cake compared to the marketing.”
That’s clearly why seeing someone like Michael McKean playing an instrument with his bass bridge on it is so satisfying for Moore, who says he’ll keep making guitars “until I die.”
“I can’t play guitar that well, so I get a real kick out of watching somebody who knows how to play, play a guitar that I built,” Moore notes with a big smile. “I had a chance to watch Corey Christiansen, the USU guitar professor, play at Summerfest this year, and he did some sonic acrobatics that were just amazing. It was so cool.
“I still get chills just thinking about how he just made that thing stand up and talk.”
“My KSM bridge is rock solid with great tone. There’s not much more you can ask for in a bridge!”
Garron DuPree is a bass guitarist and recording engineer from Texas. DuPree began his career as a professional musician in 2005 at the age of 15 as the bassist for the group Eisley, and became the bassist for Say Anything in 2013. Garron DuPree is also a recording engineer as well as a session musician.
KSM’s Foundation Bass Bridge KSM Foundation Bass Bridge is the latest in a small group of bridge designs meant to improve electric bass – an instrument still young enough to benefit. KSM even has a couple of patents, meaning it really brings something new to the table. Working with two new Fender Precision basses, we tested the KSM in near-ideal conditions for an A/B comparison. The instruments were identical except for the bridge – stock (barrel type) on one, KSM Foundation on the other. New strings, well-set intonation, and good setup rounded out the “test bed.” The Foundation Bass Bridge is designed for retrofit or “new construction”; installation on an existing instrument is best left to pros, but you can watch a couple of videos online that make the switch look easy. It has holes in the base for through-body stringing, and is available in four- and five-string models, in one color – black.
Even if installation requires drilling new mounting holes, if you decide to put the original bridge back on, they will be covered, so you won’t be messing with your bass’ appearance. Doing a visual inspection, there are obvious standout characteristics on the KSM. Most bridges have tensioning springs wrapped around long screws used for setting string length. Because the saddles are not going forward or backward unless you release them, there’s no need for springs. Also absent is a gap between the saddle and the bridge plate. In stark contrast to many bridges that have screws through each saddle to set its height and serve as tiny contact points, this one is a snug fit. Greater contact area means more energy transfer.
The third thing you notice is that the saddles are beefy, yet machined with nice, smooth edges, and far removed from the barrel-type saddle used for over half a century. Finally, the saddles are so close together they couldn’t move more than a few thousandths of an inch left to right. This is a key point: if a saddle can move off its intended axis, it messes with the intonation. It’ll never happen here. Every part of the Foundation Bass Bridge locks down tight with hex screws, allowing it to transfer a great deal of energy through its high-grade aluminum. When you adjust this bridge, you set the string height, tweak the intonation, then lock everything down. Unless you’re always changing string gauges, you may never have reason to loosen anything and re-tighten. Plugged into a recording setup and with its signal passed straight through to the speakers (no added EQ or compression), we listened to the basses using a couple of amps. Switching between the two basses, we could tell an immediate sonic difference, and to our ears, it wasn’t subtle.
The Foundation-equipped P-Bass delivered a bit more thump in the bottom, but it also provided dramatically greater upper-midrange and high-end definition. We’re not talking “shrill” or “brittle” here, though. It’s a sharper focus. This was most apparent when slapping or playing with a pick – even fingerstyle, there’s more of the airy richness and clarity you hear in the lower strings of a good piano. If you need a darker tone with less top, you can always roll back a bit of treble. We were pleasantly surprised the KSM Foundation Bass Bridge does so much, and without mucking up the way the bass looks or feels. If you’re considering a modification, this might be an excellent way to take your tone and sustain up a notch without depleting your wallet. – Tom Mulhern
Ed Roman Guitars
Ed Roman opened a guitar store in Las Vegas after a successful career in the motorcycle industry. What he learned about that business and the customer base he found, he could easily apply to his guitar store. He soon expanded his store to a company which also manufactured instruments. Ed pioneered Internet guitar selling and was one of the first to offer complete custom guitar building.
Neal Moser is a California-based luthier. He began his career with guitars in 1964. He has worked on the instruments of many musicians including guitars belonging to Jimi Hendrix, Stephen Stills, David Crosby and many more. He came to the attention of Bernardo Rico in 1974. At this time he modified his present electronic design to accommodate B.C. Rich guitars. While working as an independent contractor with B.C. Rich Neal designed the B.C. Rich “RICH BICH” which became popular and is still being built. Shortly after leaving B.C. Rich he designed what is now known as the Virgin Guitar for Class Axe in New Jersey, who had acquired B.C. Rich by this time. After leaving B.C. Rich in 1985, Neal met Lee Garver and agreed to join forces with Lee. Lee Garver owns GMW Guitar Works. For over 10 years Neal, Lee and Dan created Moser Guitars which were shown at the NAMM Show in Los Angeles from 1986-1998. At that time Neal Moser retired. He came out of retirement to start the Moser Custom Shop, owned by his wife Earlleen Lloyd-Moser. They now build guitars designed by Neal Moser, Rodney McGlothlin, Dan Fastuca, Ken Patin (formerly of Yavcon Guitars) and a number of other individual designers.
From the UK and now on the Canada’s wet coast, Veronica Merryfield made her first headless fretless bass at age seventeen and just kept going. These days she builds to commission, preferring unusual designs that solve playability issues for players with physical limitations or making basses. Veronica has a day job in electronics and software to subsidize her lutherie habit.
Leonardo Lospennato was born in Buenos Aires in ’68 -at the heart of an Italian family. He lives in Berlin with his wife Andrea and with Tango, their black miniature schnauzer. Son of a manager and an artist, Leo became a bit of both when he started designing instruments and setting up the company to bring them to the market.
Curious by nature and inspired by a Rennaissance spirit, he became a computer sciences engineer, pursued a masters degree in marketing and management, worked many years for IBM and eBay on both sides of the Atlantic, and published articles as a journalist – all while adding up English, Italian and German languages to his native Spanish along the way. Truth be said, the “Renaissance spirit” also shows up in the form of a shameless affair he maintains with Italian cuisine-a mix of heritage and hobby.
But along this whole history, what remains a leit motiv is his passion for the ancient art of creating musical instruments, an infatuation that began when he put together his first bass, when he was 16.
The sound of a string vibrating for the first time. The magic of creating something out of nothing. The never ending search for beauty, for meaning, for perfection. Being a luthier does not requires much more than that. Nor anything less.
Kot Basses, based out of Portland Oregon, strives to create custom basses that will compliment each individual’s vision of what that “vehicle” should be about. Kot Basses has worked hard to perfect what they feel are the essential aspects of a great instrument, the elements of sound, response, feel, and playability. The importance of addressing those components in great depth gives Kot Basses the opportunity, or better said the tools to more closely meet the needs of each individual, as their “vision”, if you will, of their personal instrument will most certainly vary. Kot Basses feels that this is the heart of what a “custom bass guitar” is all about, and that the most important element of their construction methods, beyond a great sound, centers on creating an instrument that literally takes the focus off of the physicality of playing, and keeps it where it should be; on the communication itself because, to Kot Basses, THIS is where your voice begins to unfold.
Kot Bass with the KSM Foundation™ Bass Bridge for Kenny Lee Lewis
Kenny Lee Lewis – bassist, guitarist, vocalist, composer and producer with The Steve Miller Band for over 25 years, has been a studio guitarist and bassist in the Los Angeles area for over 30 years. He has played or recorded with such artists as Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Steve Stills, Billy Preston, Brian Wilson, Dave Mason, Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Todd Rundgren, Edgar Winter, BB King, Beach Boys, Doobie Brothers and Government Mule.
I have a wonderful bride and profession as a firefighter that both allow me to pursue luthierie and woodworking as a hobby and second profession. I’ve been building bass guitars for the last 3 years and have done extensive woodworking for the last 30 years. While playing bass in a band I realized the sound I was producing was not exactly what I wanted and thats when I decided to build my own bass. Raised and living in Colorado, I’ve have always asked myself “why buy it if I can build it better”. That is what motivated me to begin building basses and to start my own business, GBASS. Currently I’m offering 2 styles of basses, a travel bass and a neck-through solid body with more models in the planning stages. Using the KSM foundation bridge I’ve finally achieved the sound that I have desired for so many years. Its ease of use, installation and quality makes this bridge my first and only choice. Feel free to contact me with any bass building desires.
Paul Gransee, Owner / Luthier, GBASS
Premier Guitar Magazine
Now that we’ve looked at how different bridges are constructed [“Exploring Bridge Designs,” June 2014], let’s focus on several specialized designs that aim to enhance tone. For decades, the strings on an electric bass have essentially rested on two or sometimes three tiny screws. This has been true from the very first Fender right up to recent high-mass locking bridges. Though these bridges may look different and vary mechanically, they all have one thing in common: Small saddle-height adjustment screws take all the force from both a string’s downward pressure and its vibrations.
Even though we all can agree the bridge is one of the instrument’s essential components, we don’t often hear it described as being crucial for tone. The argument for a high-mass bridge is basically “Let’s not lose any vibration in the bridge,” while the opposing argument is typically “Jaco only needed a traditional design and this vibrational loss is part of the mojo.”
There are many forum entries by modders who’ve swapped out bridges and describe rather subtle differences in tone. Could this be because these bridges share those tiny screws at a crucial position? It’s true that most lockable bridges have a better resistance to side movement than those with simpler bent steel saddles, but despite the “more mass is better” argument, it still boils down to the small screws being the essential connection to the bridge base plate and ultimately to the body.
As you’d expect, a few creative minds try to find a different path. Let’s look at two bridges that are engineered to enhance tone by enlarging the contact area. Here’s the basic argument: A larger contact area will enhance tone by maximizing the transfer of string-to-body vibrations. (For now, let’s not discuss if this is what we really want, as there are also reasons why we might want to keep the vibration in the string!) With expanded contact, a string’s downward pressure spreads across a larger area. This means less pressure per area, but on the plus side, a larger contact area can reduce side movement in the saddles.
If string vibration gets lost within the bridge, we can expect a different tone because this is the only vibrational orientation a magnetic pickup is able to track. (A short reminder: Our strings induce a current when they cross the lines of the magnetic field, but do nothing when they move along these lines. For more details, read Gregg Stock’s “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer of the Gods” in the February 2012 issue.)
To my knowledge, there are only two designs that pursue this route of enlarging the contact area: the KSM Foundation Bass Bridge and the Babicz Full Contact Hardware bridge. Both use classic screws to slide the bridge forward or backward to set intonation. While each design replaces the height adjustment screws with a full contact area, the central bridge part differs vastly.
The Full Contact Hardware bridge uses Babicz’ “eCAM” technology with an asymmetrical hyperboloid in its center that moves the string up and down. Not into hyperboloids on a daily basis? Take a look at Babicz web video to see how it works. This technology is available in 4- and 5-string units with a base plate and also as an individual single-string device, the FCH-1 Solo Rail.
The KSM offers adjustment via a sliding mechanism. The main bridge element is angularly cut into two pieces, so that any movement along the strings changes height. This is tricky to describe, but KSM has a video with a clever mockup to illustrate this two-piece “ramp-and-saddle” system. One aspect of the ramp slider mechanism is that any change in height also changes intonation. No problem, as long as you finish height adjustment first and then proceed with intonation and avoid quickly readjusting string height onstage. The Foundation bridge also has an elongated string contact zone that will help to enhance vibrational transfer even more.
And finally, there is one bridge that only partially fits into our discussion—the Transmission Bridge by ETS. The real kicker here is how you set the intonation. Each bridge part has its own gearing mechanism, which moves it back and forth in full contact with the base plate. That said, each saddle has those two small screws for height adjustment.
Okay, everybody wants to know what’s best, right? Although I’m not a fan of the “let that vibration travel anywhere” theory, the answer depends on too many other parameters to declare what will work best for you. A stiff construction certainly helps you achieve a focused and strong tone. Also, not losing any of the vibrations within the bridge will yield a richer tone, but we can only speculate whether this provides the character you’re looking for and how the sound will blend with the rest of your hardware.
“I thought the difference would be subtle compared to a stock “classic” bridge. I was wrong! Instantly noticeable, notes have more clarity and far better sustain. This combined with locking in my intonation and action, I’m sold on KSM!”
– Scot Alexander
The Santa Barbara, CA, band Dishwalla made a big splash in 1996 with their catchy pop single “Counting Blue Cars.” With the gritty heart and soul of those who came before them, Dishwalla’s hard rock sound was enough for fans to make “Counting Blue Cars” one of the most-requested songs of that year. The song also garnered the band a Billboard award for Rock Song of the Year and allowed their debut album, Pet Your Friends, to sell more than a million copies.
Award-winning multidisciplinary artist, Kobè Aquaa-Harrison, the man who coined “jungle booty” and created “funky African hip-hop jazz”. Kobè formed the revolutionary Djungle Bouti Orchestra in 1989 with Tony Carvalho, Maurice Shadrack, Kwanza Msingwana, Suliman Hasabala and KJAS, supporting the play, “Golden Tale of Jungle Bouti”(on Kobè’s legendary CKLN 88.1 “Sounds of Africa” show).
JBO consistently wows audiences at major festivals, corporate and special events, with theatrical energy, flavour and intense musicianship, even subbing-in for Akon’s dad, Mor Thiam. The orchestra’s journey led Kobè to becoming President/Artistic Director of Music Africa/AfroFest, create Michèzo! festival, co-found Mamaya Toronto Festival, Worlds of Music school and to work major productions.
Artisan Bass Works
The most comfortable bass you will ever play… ABW manufactures efficiently designed ergonomic bass guitars utilizing ANSIR Technology™. This patented angled neck design puts the neck of the instrument in the perfect playing position with no effort on the part of the player providing maximum playability and faster fretting while relieving stress on muscles, joints, and connective tissue. Artisan basses offer unrivaled comfort and playability in conjunction with refined modern bass tone and high quality craftsmanship at a price a working musician can afford.
ABW has teamed up with KSM Guitars and features the KSM Foundation™ Bass Bridge on all ABW bass models. One hundred percent of all basses and guitars are designed on the horizontal plane, but played on the angular plane. This requires the player to lift and hold the neck in a proper playing position. This constant effort results in unnecessary strain and stress and often results in “Repetitive Stress Injuries”.
All Artisan basses utilize a patented ANSIR Technology™ angled neck design which places the fretboard in a perfect playing position with no effort by the player, either seated or standing.
This anatomically correct design:
• Reduces stress on the wrist, elbow, neck, and back
• Allows faster fretting
• Mitigates/prevents injuries
• Makes a difficult task easier
Less pressure on the fretting hand, equals less effort in playing. Medical science proves, even slight pressure over the course of time has damaging effects on the human body.