Author Topic: First Alembic: new #1, or something different?  (Read 591 times)

coyoteboy

  • I'm New Here
  • *
  • Posts: 9
First Alembic: new #1, or something different?
« on: May 01, 2017, 06:46:50 AM »
sort of a poll really. When either purchasing or designing your first Alembic, did you:


1. Hope the new hotness would be your new #1, uber versitile and able to take care of most of your bassy needs?


2. Go for something rather different than you've had, either filling a void in your stable, or expanding your tonal range? Fretless, 8-string, etc.


3. Some other criteria?


I find myself rather torn between a new fretted 5 like I have, and a thumpy short scale 4 to put flats on for more classic popular music that my group does.

jazzyvee

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5432
    • NotStrictlyJazz
Re: First Alembic: new #1, or something different?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2017, 08:09:04 AM »
Hi there coyoteboy.

1) My first alembic was a new SC signature and I always wanted an alembic bass so it was clearly going to be my number 1. I was primarily a guitarist at the time and my only bass was a Musicman Sterling that I bought new the previous year because I was getting into recording but never really bonded with it. To be honest the SC Signature did all of what I was doing at the time as being a guitarist I didn't play much bass. There were times when I had to tweak the tuners to detune mid song for some low D's but I just got used to it. Eventually i added a 5 string to cover that aspect and 5 stringers have now become my primary instrument.

2) This was certainly radically different to my musicman which I eventually sold.

3) Other criteria, i'm a big Stanley Clarke fan so that was probably the biggest factor with my purchase since I didn't really know any other alembics.

The sound of Alembic is medicine for the soul!

adriaan

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3383
Re: First Alembic: new #1, or something different?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2017, 10:29:58 AM »
a thumpy short scale 4 to put flats on for more classic popular music that my group does.
If it's an Alembic short scale, you can certainly make it sound thumpy. But the same goes for medium and long scale Alembics. You'll need to mute the strings to make it sound thumpy. ;D
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 10:37:33 AM by adriaan »

coyoteboy

  • I'm New Here
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: First Alembic: new #1, or something different?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2017, 12:10:16 PM »
 ::)
 :P

keith_h

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2665
Re: First Alembic: new #1, or something different?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2017, 12:46:00 PM »
My first Alembic never became my #1. I bought a 5-string Orion with Essence electronics off the shelf. I purchased it because I had almost ordered an Alembic in the late 70's and somewhat regretted not following through. I was also considering a move to a 5-string. It wasn't for the sound that it got relegated to the backup/special needs bass but it being a 5-string. I've just never grown to like playing basses with more than four strings. It wasn't until I got my second Alembic that the JB was retired. This was my Brown Bass and it was my main bass up until I got the Series I (4th Alembic). During this time I also had a third bass built which is a 4-string fretless Orion with East Meet West electronics. I ordered the fretless to expand the range of music I played. I don't play out anymore. For my noodling at home and helping a neighbor who records gospel backup tracks for local acts I'd say the Series 1 gets about 60% of the playing time, fretless 30% and BB 10%.   

edwardofhuncote

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1986
  • Chain-Links
Re: First Alembic: new #1, or something different?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2017, 01:39:29 PM »
My first Alembic was an eBay rescue, a Persuader 5-string. Other than by reputation, I had only ever played one Alembic some years before, but even then I could recognize the extreme quality of 'over-build'. I was utterly clueless about how they actually worked. Not long after I got it, I realized all the original Alembic parts had been stripped-out and replaced with aftermarket electronics. It wasn't until I finished restoring it (with a LOT of help from the staff at Alembic and members of this Board) that I fully realized what these things are capable of. It took another year to save up enough to order a fretless companion to it.

Yes, it's that special... became my Number One on the first date. While it isn't the only bass I ever play, it is the yardstick by which all others are measured.

Here is a link to Featured Custom "East-Meets-West" that explains a little better what I was trying to get across on the other thread:  http://www.alembic.com/info/fc_emw.html
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 01:43:29 PM by edwardofhuncote »

jacko

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3833
Re: First Alembic: new #1, or something different?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2017, 01:15:33 AM »
I bought my first Alembic as I was looking to move to a five string form my old custom precision.  Tried allsorts (including a ric 5 - very narrow string spacing) until I found the Epic I eventually bought. It was a close call as a shop round the corner had a pre-Gibson Tobias 5 that was also very nice but a bit more expensive.

Graeme

pauldo

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2049
  • What chaos . . . ?
Re: First Alembic: new #1, or something different?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2017, 10:20:51 AM »
I bought mine because it was an Alembic and I wanted an Alembic because all the cool kids had one (Clarke and Entwistle).  No preconceived idea of what it would bring.

But it brought alot!
An appreciation for fine electronics and beautiful wood combined to make an instrument that pretty much 'drives itself".  My Distillate has become my #1 go-to-bass because it is THAT bass; need such and such tone? - got it.  Need to read music and not be looking at my fretting hand? - got it - this bass feels like home.
1984 Distillate Zebrawood

rv_bass

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 825
Re: First Alembic: new #1, or something different?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2017, 06:22:28 PM »
A couple of years ago I bought my first Alembic, simply because I always wanted one and one happened to show up when I least expected, a really nice Orion.  It became my main bass, the tone was great and it was very comfortable to play.  Then I tried a Series I and that sounded even better, so I sold the Orion and purchased the Series.  Up to that point I didn't think I would ever purchase a standard point, always thought they would be too big, but after playing one I realized they aren't as big as I thought,  love it!  If I were to order one new, I think I would design it for what it is regardless of any other bass I may have. 
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 06:34:25 PM by rv_bass »

coyoteboy

  • I'm New Here
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: First Alembic: new #1, or something different?
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2017, 07:57:26 PM »
Thanks for all the thoughts on this thread.

hammer

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1084
Re: First Alembic: new #1, or something different?
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2017, 11:57:21 AM »
I think a lot of people purchase their first Alembic thinking "this is going to be the one" if only due to the cost (especially if #1 is purchased new).  Given the number of Alembics owned by most of us who post on this site , however, I think it would be safer to say, "#1 for the present moment."
I know that when I purchased my first Alembic, a used Distillate, it was the most I had ever paid for a bass.  I thought at the time that it would be the only one.  Then I had Mica and company build a Further for my son's college graduation. Of course, if he had a new Alembic his father also needed one, so I had a Signature Deluxe custom constructed.  I could imagine that I’d ever need or want another bass after playing it for the first time. But then…a beautiful SC appeared for sale, and a 6-string Europa.  Then of course I just had to see for myself if the differences between Series basses and all other Alembics was as pronounced as Series I and II owners claimed (they are).  The purchase of a Standard point Series I followed and I was once again convinced that this was the one.  Fast forward to earlier this month.  Flew down to Chicago and drove back with a short scale Koa Series I that I purchased.
The only Alembic I’ve ever parted with was the Distillate because a long scale was just too long for me.  Though I play the Series basses more than the others, all are unique both in their tone and the way they play.

jazzyvee

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5432
    • NotStrictlyJazz
Re: First Alembic: new #1, or something different?
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2017, 11:43:58 PM »
I understand and can completely identify with your post hammer, my story has similarities with it. Now I have arrived in series heaven I understand why they are the pinnacle of the alembic range. That said I do think that for the amount and type of gigs I do, you could argue my series basses are complete overkill and I could achieve what any song requires from my non series basses.  I think that is true and before I had a series bass I didn't feel there was anything lacking in my sound.
But I had that burning desire for a series bass, saved hard and eventually succumbed to their seduction and once I got my series II the penny dropped, with much more clarity, and I  realised how much more control I could have of my tone and playing experience if I learnt to use the controls effectively.
Now I have a choice and practice mostly with the series basses because I can use the power supply and save my batteries. I'm still on a learning curve but for gigs I tend to use a particular bass for it's unique tone also and ergonomics so my maple signature Europa gets most use for reggae, blues rock and roll poppy stuff etc mainly and series basses for jazz based stuff and folk although nothing is set in stone.
The sound of Alembic is medicine for the soul!

kdh

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 34
Re: First Alembic: new #1, or something different?
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2017, 08:50:55 AM »
I'm curious about the effect a maple body will have on my bass. I like the ability to have a bright sound, in the not-subdued sense rather than an accentuated sense.

Rickenbackers are largely all maple. Will I be able to detect a "Rick-type" timbre?

jazzyvee

  • club
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5432
    • NotStrictlyJazz
Re: First Alembic: new #1, or something different?
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2017, 11:07:47 AM »
I don't really know the rick sound well enough to say if it has that sound but I find it a sound I love. I have  two alembics with primarily a maple construction body, tops and neck. And I have to say they can sound really bright and crisp and even with the filters closed there is still some crispness to the tone depending on your amp settings and I love that aspect of the sound. But if you really want a bright tone it's there and different to what you get from the series basses but never harsh. They are also extremely punchy sounding too and cut through anything.
The sound of Alembic is medicine for the soul!