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Details about  Vintage 1981 Custom Ken Smith STANLEY CLARKE Flying V Bass Guitar MUST SEE!!

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Vintage 1981 Custom Ken Smith STANLEY CLARKE Flying V Bass Guitar MUST SEE!!
Item Ended
Item condition:
Sep 26, 2013
US $16,999.00
FREE Standard Shipping | See details
Item location:
Burbank, California, United States


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Last updated on  Aug 11, 2013 02:22:22 PDT  View all revisions

Item specifics

Used: An item that has been used previously. The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully ... Read moreabout the condition
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Techno Empire is proud to present this item for sale from the personal collection of legendary bass player, Stanley Clarke.


Included with the sale of this bass will be a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Stanley himself! 



INVENTORY # 3695  


MODEL - Custom Smith-Clarke Serial No. 052  

FUNCTION - Bass Guitar  

DESCRIPTION -    The bass you see here is a custom one-of-a-kind instrument built for Stanley Clarke by master luthier Ken Smith in his very early New York City shop, and it represents one of the very few custom basses he ever made.

Stanley came to Ken and wanted a bass that was extra-ordinary in sound, function and in particular, something showy and flamboyant.


Stanley first requested that the bass be able to shoot flames! But Ken was stumped at the legality of fire codes and personal safety hazards and so instead came up with this bass you see before your eyes. 


Received by Stanley in 1981 it went on to tour with him for years to come and became the highlight of his show stopping solos!


Please note the historic photos included in the collage below.




Scale Length: 30.75"


Nut Width: 1.5"


Neck-Marado Wood


Hardware- Plated in real 24 Karat GOLD! 






Electronics- Active Electronic with LED's of which less that 70 basses were ever outfitted with this circuit! Note that the active electronics can be shut off by a switch and returned to passive. Even if the battery is dead, the pickups will work passive.


Knobs- Balance, Frequency, Mode (LP/BP/HP/N), Volume and Tone


Switches-Drive (up/down), Frequency (Env-Man), Filter (On-Off) LF Out (on-off), Output (on-Stby)



Custom Inlays: All Inlay work was done by Vinny Fodera, the design is supposed to be "Flying V Space opera"  It was made coincident with the first Shuttle launch which occured in 1981.



Other Markings: The backplate has a large engraved "S" which has II-G written inside of it and Serial NO. 52 Below it. The Bridge says "Smith-Clarke". The 24 Karat Gold plated electronics plate says "The Smith Electric Bass" engraved on it. 



ACCESSORIES - Includes Coffin Case & Strap.  The Original road case had long since deteriorated. The current "Coffin" case shows considerable road wear and has lots of character! 

PHYSICAL CONDITION - Excellent overall. Note that the Gold hardware is actually plated in REAL 24 Karat GOLD! So it tends to show some wear. 

WORKING CONDITION - Excellent. The bass has been played up until recently and is in superb working order.  The electronics are quite exceptional. It has a 5 pin connecting port that originally went to a box that acted as a power supply for the active electronics and also a direct box.

While it was capable of powering the active electronics, which can be turned on or off, it is not necessary for the bass to be connected to the outside box as the bass can work equally well with batteries or passively.  The original direct box was long ago worn out from too many stages and touring. We are told by Ken Smith that a new power supply could probably be built, but may take awhile and with some expense.  We will leave that option to the new owner! 




The sale of this instrument represents an amazing opportunity for a collector to own a one-of-kind exceptional quality instrument, built by a master luthier for a legendary pioneering artist.









Describing an item's condition is subjective, so please take a look at the various photos and determine for yourself what condition you believe it to be in. In the condition area above we will note any major flaws or hidden conditions with the unit that can't be easily seen in the photos.

Looking at the photos yourself along with our ratings system will help you feel confident in knowing exactly what you are going to get.


BRAND NEW: Factory new, never used. Sealed in box or open box. 100% Perfect condition. 

LIKE NEW: Formerly owned but shows almost no signs of use, near flawless, could be mistaken for brand new. Might still have all or some of its original packing materials or accessories. It is super clean and appears to be brand new. 

EXCELLENT: Near new condition with only light/normal signs of ownership. It may have a few small blemishes here and there, but only under close inspection, or in areas away from common view. Its CLEAN! 100% Functional unless otherwise stated.

VERY GOOD: Shows moderate use and various signs of wear with some misc. nicks or scratches, maybe some dust in hard to reach areas,but overall the item looks great is 100% Functional unless otherwise stated. 

GOOD: Well Used, might have some dings or dents, light oxidation, dirty or dusty or other blemishes, or a missing knob or small part etc,  but otherwise tests and works 100% unless otherwise stated.

FAIR: May show a lot of use with noticeable wear, oxidation, dirty in various areas, damage, may be missing a knob or part and/or a functional issue and require repair.



design by pinkerton

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