Kinal MK-21

Electric Fretted 5-String Bass

Made by Kinal

Description Alder body with rosewood veneer. Neck is 1 7/8 inches at the nut, wide, flat, has a light satin finish. Pups are Bartolini soapbars with an active three-band eq. Tuners and bridge by Hipshot. 34.5" scale. It is a work of art.
Posted By Roderick MacDonald (20)
Directory Equipment: Basses
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Overall Rating: 5.0 (of 5)
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Member Reviews

On 9/5/2001, Roderick MacDonald (20) posted:
Overall Rating:
I went to Bass Northwest in Seattle and played Sadowskys, Mike Lulls, G&L L2500s and everything else I could get my hands on. Really, Ive only begun to explore the possibilities, but I can say this: the MK-21 is a beautiful, professional-quality instrument with a reasonable price tag. It produces studio quality tone and gives you every opportunity to be a better player.
Model Year: 2001
Price: $2500.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Mike Kinal
Ive had my new MK-21 for almost two weeks, and I know its the best bass Ive ever owned. Yes, reviewers typically say positive things about the gear they own because theyre looking to validate their purchasing decision. But let me put this review in perspective. Ive been playing music since I was a kid. Picked up a guitar at 15 and began bass playing shortly afterward, in 1968. I bought a Fender Precision in 69, a hand-made Elias fretless in the early 80s and a G&L L2000 in 87. In honor of my 50th birthday, I ordered a hand-made Mike Kinal five string. Ive played two rehearsals and three gigs with it. And mmmmmmmm, it's a good thing. In all fairness, I must say my L2000 was (still is) the perfect transitional instrument from my Precision to the Kinal. While my Pre only had one sound (albeit a good one) it had a good wide neck and was a real workhorse. My L2000 has an identical flat neck, two humbucking pickups and a pre-amp. The Kinal, on the other hand, has a fifth string, a longer scale (34.5"), a neck to die for, and a much better Bartolini three-band pre-amp. Id been wanting a five-string for years but kids, mortgages and life got in the way. Then I read a positive review of Mike Kinals MK-5 in Bassplayer Magazine. He got the editors "Best Buy" award, and I realized his shop was just a few miles from my home in Vancouver! So I went to see him. I told him I played mostly R&B, some pop and jazz, and I showed him my L2000. He told me he was developing a new model, the MK-21. You can see a prototype at go to new instruments. My bass has the pickups and controls of the fretless MK-5 on the left and the black & chrome hardware of the MK-21 on the right.
The neck is a bit wider than usual, 1 7/8 inches at the nut, but that's what I wanted. Mike set the action far lower than I'm used to. I've raised the saddles but I'm learning to use a lighter touch. I have to stretch a wee bit further at the nut between frets and up the neck between strings, but I'm learning to love it.
Sound Quality:
Unplugged it rings like a piano. Plugged in, with the pre-amp off and the coil-split back pup it sounds like a vintage jazz bass. Add the pre-amp and you can go from warm and fat to Marcus Miller deep and sweet, and everything in between. The thumb-style slap and pop sound is to die for. My band mates think this bass sounds like synth. I think its rich and sweet. I use an SWR Sm400s amp and an Eden 4x10 cab.
Haven't has the bass for long, but it appears to be extremely well built. Needless to say, I won't be bashing it around!