Author Topic: Custom Excel  (Read 210 times)

echo008

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Custom Excel
« on: August 24, 2017, 09:31:42 AM »
Thinking about a custom again and for a long time whenever I do it is always an excel shape, something so appealing about it. I have owned 2 excels and a handful of other alembic's and I think if I were to order I would want the simple 2 band eq.
Anyway this is what I'm thinking. Any input or ideas? Btw this could be a 5 or 6 but If a 6 I would still want a 5 string sized body.

Alembic Excel 5 string bass
Gloss body w/satin neck
33 (32?) Inch scale
17mm spacing (narrow neck)
Knobby headstock
Brass logo (w/alembic name)
Front bevel
Ebony fingerboard
Abalone ovals
Brass back and front plates
Standard side markers  (No leds)
Maple neck (Purple heart laminate?)
Cocobolo top w/Purpleheart laminates
Flame maple core
(Grafted walnut back?)
Standard pickups w/2 band eq ( vol, pan, bass, treble)

Thanks
“Muscles aching to work, minds aching to create - this is man.”
― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

edwardofhuncote

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Re: Custom Excel
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2017, 01:25:03 PM »
Sounds like an interesting build. Are you thinking of a neck-through Excel?

My only suggestion, -which is totally biased because I have one- is to opt for East-Meets-West electronics. You have the simplicity of the two-band eq, plus the low-pass filter and Q-switch which I believe impart the real magic of an Alembic. It's extremely user-friendly and hard to imagine a particular sound not attainable with it.

Just my .02... good luck with your dream bass. :)

*link to East-Meets-West : http://www.alembic.com/info/fc_emw.html
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 01:40:08 PM by edwardofhuncote »

echo008

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Re: Custom Excel
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2017, 06:36:53 AM »
I forgot about EMW electronics. Going to look around for sound samples.

Thanks
“Muscles aching to work, minds aching to create - this is man.”
― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

edwardofhuncote

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Re: Custom Excel
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2017, 08:59:16 AM »
It's like Rogue/Europa (or older Distillate) controls, except you have a rotary boost-cut for bass and treble rather than the boost/flat/cut switches. The bass and treble rotaries on my Custom also have a center detent, which I presume is 'flat'.

I am not certain how much boost or cut is available with the rotary controls versus the switches, but I can tell you it's plenty. Feels like a lot more range than my Distillate's switches offer, but then I use them in moderation too... so there's that.

I bet Mica knows.  ;)

adriaan

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Re: Custom Excel
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2017, 12:16:31 PM »
You can look up the various packages in the FAQ section here at the Club - the BT controls are associated with Excel, Orion and Epic -
here http://club.alembic.com/index.php?topic=235.0
Hm, the tone switch center frequencies are not mentioned on the Distillate or Europa/Rogue pages but I gather they allow the same 6 dB boost but just 6 dB cut on the switches vs 15 dB cut on the rotaries.
The center detent on the rotaries is neutral, so they are what one might call asymmetrical.

echo008

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Re: Custom Excel
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2017, 12:26:47 PM »
Thanks for all that. Honestly Im more interested as to what a maple body sounds like compared to a mahogany body. I have usually liked what maple does with Alembics, having owned a very nice essence with a maple body it may have very well been the one I liked best as far as tone, to compare... I have also owned a similar Essence with same controls and mahogany body that didnt really do "it" for me.

Though the Orion I had with the 2 band EQ and HOG body sounded very good.

I dont know if Im coming at this the right way but does body wood have more of an overall effect on the filters?
“Muscles aching to work, minds aching to create - this is man.”
― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

adriaan

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Re: Custom Excel
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2017, 02:07:22 PM »
Funny thing with my custom is that with all the mahogany and ebony in the neck, if you consider that the filter settings affect mainly the start of the notes, where the transients are, I find the filter and Q boost actually have a pretty subtle effect. Even with the CVQ wide open at 15 dB, there's barely an audible wah as you spin the filter open and shut - as it is, adding Q boost does lend a presence-like effect - but it sounds beastly and brutal anywise. 8)
Nonetheless probably different from what you would get on a bass with more maple.

echo008

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Re: Custom Excel
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2017, 03:11:24 PM »
Ive had 2 Essence 5 strings, both had maple necks and the standard Essence controls (Vol/Pan/Filter). One had a maple body the other mahogany. The filter sweep on the mahogany Ive noticed was alot less subtle, every little movement of the knob yeilded a slightly different variant of the overall tone, but also I was hearing something in the mids (too scooped maybe, like a veil was placed over the speaker) I dont know exactly how to put it. The Maple to my ears sounded more natural and usable (tight and focused). but again I know Every bass is different.


Ive had mahogany necked Alembics, I had a brown bass that sounded very different and very usable I loved it, a "rounder" tone.
but how much do the electronics and the "core" wood contribute, I dont know. As I get older Im finding I gravitate toward more traditional "known" wood recipes, and less EQ.
“Muscles aching to work, minds aching to create - this is man.”
― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

adriaan

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Re: Custom Excel
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2017, 03:27:07 PM »
So we're thinking out loud that when the core and the main neck laminates are different wood species, the filter will have a more pronounced effect than when they are the same species? Hm, I wonder what the good elves at the Mothership make of that!

jazzyvee

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Re: Custom Excel
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2017, 07:28:16 PM »
Echo800, I have an all maple bodied Europa and  also a mahogany bodied europa with a bocate top. Both have the same neck recipe and to my ears the maple bass has a lot crisper tone to it and a completely different character to the tone, extremely punchy and the bottom end is seriously impressive and for that reason it's the bass I use for virtually all my reggae gigs.
The thing to notice though is that the maple seems to have so much top end that even with the filters fully closed and no Q in the equation, there is still a fair bit of the higher frequencies in the output. But I usually deal with that by turning the tweeter down on my cab or using my amp eq controls. The mahogany bodied bass to me is a lot warmer and the filter does seem to be more responsive which I presume might be because it has less amplitude in the higher frequencies so the 12db/octave attenuation of the frequencies is enough to stop many of the upper frequencies in still in the signal but not on the maple bass.. if I were having a non series bass I'd more than likely choose maple as a core wood unless could persuade on the benefits of mahogany.


new strings on an a mainly maple bass is something else.
The sound of Alembic is medicine for the soul!

echo008

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Re: Custom Excel
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2017, 03:19:52 AM »
Seems we are hearing similar things. Though I've never had a series bass. The maple to me was more useable. Though I wonder if the basses had simple 2 band eqs would it be as noticeable.
“Muscles aching to work, minds aching to create - this is man.”
― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath