Author Topic: Headless?! Are you insane?!  (Read 726 times)

crazykiwi

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Headless?! Are you insane?!
« on: March 15, 2006, 11:56:27 PM »
I'm sitting here with my Series 1 and loving the standard point body shape but noting the headstock dive. I was wondering if anyone ever asked Alembic to make a headless bass?
 
(Message edited by crazykiwi on March 15, 2006)

adriaan

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Headless?! Are you insane?!
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2006, 12:10:11 AM »
Another sugegstion would be to use a WIDE strap, preferably with a roughened back. That should help keeping the bass balanced. Of course Alembic sells the Alembic of straps - check the online store - but you may find it a little pricey.

palembic

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Headless?! Are you insane?!
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2006, 12:42:42 AM »
Brother Steve
i don't have the intention to dive into a doen't-does-doesn't-does discussion. That would be pointless. It is YOUR feel and experience with the bass and I have a fully respect for that.
Though that experience and feel is worth anaysing for the sake of your playing eagerness.
There was once a statement of our Brother Joey that said playing Alembics with the original designs (Standards and Small Standard)asks for some learning.
I suggest that you hold your bass with the strap attached only on the upper horn.
How does it balances? On a wrist-watch lay-out (and for a right handed bass): does the neck pointed 1hr? 1:30? 2?  
Alembics seldom (maybe even never) dive in the sense it goes to let say ...huh 3:30hrs.
However!
You can FEEL it as a dive.
Like I said earlier in other threads: the neck position of Standard Alembic shapes versus YOUR body is radically different than any other bass you played. The neck as a whole is situated more to the side of your body. That will result in a need for more reach.
The Alchemy bass here

is a Series II Standard shape 5 string with a 35 scale.
Go figure the arm-reach you need!
Though I refer to Brother Joeys statement: it needs an attitude to play those old designs.  
I am 1.90m tall and I have no problems.
Our brother James (Mathumb)is Black short and handsome (that one still makes me laugh) and still a Series Standard body addict.
SO we both manage that reach and ...to be honest...I don't know how I do it but it is ...well ...huhuhuh...different??? THan the other basses I have.
I agree that Alembic more recenter body-styles are giving more playing comfort for those who are used to fenderish styled bodies.
But I wouldn't use the word dive for the old Alembic body styles.
Just some thoughts.
 
Paul TBO

crazykiwi

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Headless?! Are you insane?!
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2006, 02:24:35 AM »
I think you guys are a bit sensitive. My post was meant as a light hearted enquiry about custom requests, not a dig at Alembics.  This is after all the dreaming forum isn't it?
 
FWIW I have 4 wide padded leather straps on all my basses and the hollow body makes the Series 1 lighter than the sig series and certainly a load lighter than my Elan 6.  The headstock dive isn't an issue but it did get me thinking.
 
If the word from on high is no then lets leave it at that, eh?

palembic

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Headless?! Are you insane?!
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2006, 02:37:07 AM »
Oh well ...I talk too much ...

adriaan

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Headless?! Are you insane?!
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2006, 03:39:23 AM »
And it is of course a valid question whether someone has ever asked for a headless Alembic.
 
There is always the series of basses built in Japan in the 1980s, which were licensed to have the Alembic name: they had bolt-on necks and behind-the-bridge tuners. Strictly speaking they weren't headless, as they had a small peghead (see here:  
http://club.alembic.com/Images/393/21220.html).
 
Here you can find the official word from Mica: http://club.alembic.com/Images/393/10964.html - unfortunately the link in the top posting seems to be invalid.
 
And here's the original brochure for the basses:

crazykiwi

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Headless?! Are you insane?!
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2006, 06:06:56 AM »
Wow! OK they're not exactly headless but I never knew those basses existed before .  Thanks for mentioning them.  From the look of Mica's post, it suggests that the bridges (with the alembic logo) were also sourced in Japan.
 
If someone placed an order for a headless series 1/2 how would Alembic approach the issue of hardware supply?  Would they make their own or outsource it from somewhere like ABM?

alembic76407

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Headless?! Are you insane?!
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2006, 06:29:41 AM »
here lately there has been a few headless alembic's , and it hurts to see the pictures

mica

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Headless?! Are you insane?!
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2006, 07:13:57 AM »
If your strap is padded it may not be helping if the part that touches your shoulder isn't suede - that's the part you need to grip the bass in place. Also, try wearing your bass higher if you have slung it somewhat low.  
 
I had a padded leather strap for a while that I got in Germany many years ago, it was made nicely. But since the leather was on both sides of the strap, even my little Essence went sliding around.  
 
Headless? Mom's position has traditionally been for instruments with pegheads. To get one made without would require her support.

lbpesq

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Headless?! Are you insane?!
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2006, 07:17:32 AM »
Charles:
 
I was thinking the same thing.  Of course all of those were home made modifications, so to speak.
 
Paul:  You're bad!  LOL
 
Bill, tgo

David Houck

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Headless?! Are you insane?!
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2006, 07:23:05 AM »
Mom's position has traditionally been for instruments with pegheads.  That sounds like the word from on high to me.

Bradley Young

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Headless?! Are you insane?!
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2006, 05:36:58 PM »
quote: Headless? Mom's position has traditionally been for instruments with pegheads. To get one made without would require her support.
 
As many of us know (those with senior management, for certain!), If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

crazykiwi

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Headless?! Are you insane?!
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2006, 12:03:40 AM »
LOL! OK, I'll take that as the final word on the subject.

bigredbass

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Headless?! Are you insane?!
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2006, 11:13:22 PM »
You know, if I could get one of those Gene Simmons outfits with the big spikes coming out of the shoulder seam, I could just hook a hole in the strap and  . . . .
 
Seriously, the traditional Series shape just ain't gonna balance in long scale as well as medium or short scale, for which it was originally designed, if memory correctly serves me.  Just no way you shove the fingerboard that far out in the body with the short bouts and expect it to balance like a Rogue or Europa. Save 2 back to medium scale, it's a big difference. Can NOT imagine this shape in 35 or 36 inch scale.
 
But . . . this shape IS Alembic to me.  I also knew I did not want to go back and forth from medium scale to long scale on my other basses.  So I actually found a way to park my picking hand elbow along the top edge with the strap adjusted to the right length, and I was done.
Now I'm 6'1 and wear a 44 long jacket, so it's a little long for me, but worth it.  I would like to have another shape or two one day, but I could NOT have an Alembic without one Series-shaped axe. But that's me.
 
BELIEVE ME, if momma's not happy, you'd be better off arm-wrestling Paul, Sr.!
 
J o e y

jlpicard

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Headless?! Are you insane?!
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2006, 10:19:51 PM »
Funny, I've never considered the neck heavyness as much of a burden and yes Joey, I absolutely agree with you, this shape IS Alembic to me too. the reach is/was more of a problem to me as I am 5'9 though not an insurmountable one. My compromise was to order my custom with a full bodied Balance Point (actually a heart omega variation) body which obviously has better balance because of the extended upper cutaway but at the same time still retains what is for me that big bodied classic Alembic vib. Nothing against the Balance K. I love it too perhaps for my future 5 string but as I am mainly from the old school of the 4 String, the large Standard body is THE Bass that I have lusted over in my dreams for many, many years.