Author Topic: Classico Custom  (Read 794 times)

geepee

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Classico Custom
« on: November 19, 2016, 03:39:07 PM »
George has been very fortunate in acquiring Malcolm's incredibly rare Classico custom as seen in the thread below. When we picked it up Malcolm mentioned it had a few electronic issues and suggested replacing the electronics.
So we got it home and after I wrenched it from George, cleaned it up and tore it apart here is the result. The original Alembic electronics are perfect and need no work. However the added piezo pickup fitted by Hansueli Hausheer in Switzerland had issues. The upper phantom power board was originally held in place with a foam block but had come adrift and hanging by the wires in the cavity caused all sorts of problems. It was an easy repair and is now working as designed - however the added pickup is very sensitive to mains hum and the crackly pots let it down. The pots they have used are cheap-ish. The good news it has balanced outputs using high quality transformers and it adds to the sound of the bass in a very subtle but positive way. It sounds more like an amplified acoustic with the 2 pickups mixed than it does using the single Alembic pickup. 


So...  only 8/10 for the added pickup.
It will be great with a little work


George will be gigging it round London in the very near future and I look forward to that.


Here are the pics.









« Last Edit: November 20, 2016, 01:39:18 AM by geepee »

tbrannon

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Re: Classico Custom
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2016, 04:01:51 PM »
Hot damn.  That is beautiful.

geepee

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Re: Classico Custom
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2016, 01:59:03 PM »
Sorry about the total failure of the pictures above. A permission problem disallowed sharing them from Gdrive after a few hours.


Attempt 2 at posting the pictures.


























The upper phantom power/preamp/transformer board that was hanging by the wires.





Close up of upper phantom/preamp/transformer board.





Upper cavity. Usual beautiful Alembic electronics and less good aftermarket add on sharing the same space.





Lower cavity. Second phantom/transformer board visible.





It is a similar arrangement to the EMG setup on George's NS omnibass and the sound is similar to the top of the range NS Design CR series.
I think this Classico predates the NS Designs EUB by a good few years.

After a couple of days playing with it I've decided to keep the circuitry original as the effect the bridge piezo adds is successful and I feel the bass has too much historical value to change the electronic design.


High quality pots will be substituted at some stage and I might try adding  a humbucker as used on the series basses - but beyond that the design will stay as it is.


For live work George will use the original flawless Alembic circuitry in mono.
The piezo bridge pickup is too sensitive to GPRS phone signals and mains hum to use in a live setting.


When it's recorded it will be used with the bridge pickup in stereo to add its subtle effect where the RF noise environment can be controlled.


That's the plan anyway.


It is an amazing bass.

elwoodblue

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Re: Classico Custom
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2016, 03:40:23 PM »
It is an amazing bass.


It sure is, thanks for the new pics.
I'm eager to hear some 'controlled environment' recordings, but the pics will keep my pleasure centers
hoppin'for a while  ;D

geepee

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Re: Classico Custom
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2016, 06:49:57 PM »
We could find no Classico vids on Youtube so heres a taster.

Still a bit of 50hz in there but plans are underway to stop that.
Go easy on George's EUB technique. He's only had it 4 days.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytRnZD2dFds&feature=youtu.be



geepee

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Re: Classico Custom
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2016, 10:41:04 AM »
Another YouTube tune.
Playing along to Gregory Porter-Musical Genocide.


https://youtu.be/1HFm8oYW-TM



jazzyvee

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Re: Classico Custom
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2016, 01:45:58 PM »
Hi geepee, I've been reading the classico threads and it looks like George may well have the first one made. Mica in her comment seems to think that it might well be.
http://club.alembic.com/index.php?topic=8996.0
The sound of Alembic is medicine for the soul!

FC Bass

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Re: Classico Custom
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2017, 12:23:43 AM »
Awesome one,again! Congrats!

If you want to add a pickup you might want to consider using a P Activator and the new double preamp pan control Alembic is offering.
With the P pickup you can easily match the radius, I think that could be a problem with the AXY/MXY/Jazz shape...
Series I/II are single coil pickups, if you would want those I think it will be very $$$ and would add at least two "pickups" (hum canceller and single coil pickup)
Though it is not impossible to score a used Series set, best scenario would be to have it done by Alembic. Not sure the Classico will fit in Mr. Wickershams coil though... :-)

I would definitely go for the P pickup, with some clever engineering you could make it a total reversible mod. FI. You could make some sort of ramp that attaches to the threaded inserts that are available.
Be sure to check with Mica, she will know if it would work with regard to difference in output of the pickups etc.

Great vid, keep 'em coming! :-)
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