Author Topic: 1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple  (Read 1402 times)

Steve Wood (s_wood)

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1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple
« on: January 11, 2003, 01:01:53 PM »
This '96 Series II 5 string is the older sister of the August '99 Featured Custom called Understated Elegance, and it's mentioned in the description of that bass.  Go here for Understated Elegance  
http://www.alembic.com/info/JEfretless.html  
 
Well, there's nothing understated about this bass! The quilted maple top and back of this Series II is amazing.  Call it 5A, call it exhibition grade, call it master grade, whatever -- it's beautiful. Plus, there are knobs galore, because each pickup has its own bass and treble control, in addition to  the standard Q and filter controls!  (The electronics are also described at the Featured Custom link above.)    
 


 
 


   
 


 
 
 
 
 
(Message edited by s_wood on January 11, 2003)

Duncan Muller (muller1007)

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1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2003, 03:18:17 PM »
Steve,
 
This bass is gorgeous!! An absolute looker (and player probably). I really love quilted maple and the top is actually the best looking quilt I've ever seen. It's so even, although it appropriately seems to become smaller toward the neck. Aesthetically perfect.
 
How do you like the custom electronics? In what way do they differ from the basic series II electronics, both in sound and in comfort in operating the controls to get that sound?
 
Duncan

Duncan Muller (muller1007)

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1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2003, 11:25:18 AM »
.....Although I must admit I love the quilted maple top on the Unicorn bass equally much.  
 
http://www.alembic.com/info/fc_unicorn.html
 
Duncan

Paul Lindemans (palembic)

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1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2003, 06:42:13 AM »
GASP!!! Is the expression you use in the US??
Paul
 
Yep: more info about the electronics please?

Steve Wood (s_wood)

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1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2003, 10:02:21 AM »
The custom electronics on this bass, although complex, are very useful and provide total control over one's tone.  Think of it like this: the standard Series II controls are like having a Superfilter right on your bass.  This bass has teh equivalent of a Superfilter on board, plus the bass and treble controls that would normally be on the pre-amp.  I do very little studio work, but I imagine this versatility would be incredible for a studio player who usually records direct because the player gets total control over his or her tone right on the bass!    

Edwin Hurwitz (edwin)

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1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2003, 07:40:20 PM »
Does that mean you can get the same range of control from the filters as a SF2? In other words, does it go low like that? That's the one thing I miss about the regular Series I electronics. I really want an onboard SF2!
 
Edwin

Bob Novy (bob)

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1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2003, 11:13:07 PM »
Well, it's not quite the same as having an onboard SF-2, for at least the following reasons:
 
1) The standard onboard filters are low-pass only, while the SF-2 also offers band and high pass.
 
2) The standard frequency control only goes down to 350 Hz on the instrument, while the SF-2 will go all the way down to 45 Hz (the upper limit is 6K for both).
 
3) The SF-2 allows you to blend the direct and filtered signals, whereas the instrument signal always goes through the filter. With a 12 dB/octave rolloff in the filter, you can't really get much back beyond the Q frequency by boosting treble (as I recall, maximum treble boost is 6 dB).
 
The standard onboard cutoff at 350 makes reasonable sense for a low pass filter which is always in the circuit. If my math is right, 350 is approximately the fundamental of an F played at the 10th fret on the G string, so you're already starting to lose notes if you set it that low. However, it can be useful to do so on the SF-2, even when set to low-pass, because there you have the option of mixing the direct and filtered signals, and of course a lower frequency setting can be interesting in band or high pass mode.
 
So you might say that the standard Series II electronics are like having one channel of an SF-2 per pickup, except they won't filter as low, won't do band or high pass, and won't give you the option to mix in the unfiltered signal (but they're still pretty amazing, of course).  
 
Aside from all that, separate bass/treble controls for each pickup adds a lot of flexibility, without requiring a stereo preamp. Unless you really needed a tube sound or something, you could probably plug this thing straight into a power amp (with a gain control) and be very happy.
 
And that is a pretty piece of wood...

Michael Delacerda (dela217)

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1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2003, 07:19:14 AM »
Bob, My thoughts exactly!

Steve Wood (s_wood)

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1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2003, 07:35:29 AM »
Edwin:
 
Bob is exactly right.  The standard Series electronics are sort of like a Superfilter Lite, but they are much more akin to a Superfilter in concept than they are to a standard bass-mid-treble EQ.
 
Because I'm not a studio player, I sometimes feel that the electronics on this bass are overkill.  
I play in bars, where the drunks don't know if I'm playing an Alembic or a trombone   In the studio, though, having this much control over your tone right at your fingertips would be great. This is especially true in the less-elaborate home or project studios, which often have more limited EQ and tone-shaping gear.  Similarly, though I've never done any jingle work, I bet this bass would be great because you could dial in your tone very, very quickly -- plug in, tweak and play!  

Michael Delacerda (dela217)

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1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2003, 08:16:39 AM »
I have a bass with twin superfilters in it.  The soundmen hate it!  It makes me quite happy to see the look on his face when I pull out that bass.

Bob Novy (bob)

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1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2003, 11:02:13 AM »
Michael, can you tell us a bit more about your bass with twin superfilters? When was it made, what other controls does it have, how is the circuit arranged - and how many knobs??? Is there a picture out here somewhere?

Michael Delacerda (dela217)

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1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2003, 12:04:56 PM »
Bob, It is a Guild Starfire that was modified by Alembic in 71 or 72.  There is a picture of it in the Instruments Modified by Alembic folder.  There is a superfilter for each pickup.  Check it out!

Edwin Hurwitz (edwin)

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1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2003, 07:20:42 PM »
As an owner of both a Series I and a SF2, I am pretty aware of the comparison, I just keep hoping that someone has come up with a Series electronic setup that has the range of the SF. I suppose using the outboard SF gives me the same options, I just find myself limited by the Series electronics. It seems so intuitive to me that you would want to be able to boost the very lowest end of the spectrum! I wonder if the circuit can be modded to SF specs with the additional range and a mixer section. Anyway, this bass looks awesome!
 
Edwin

mica

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1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2003, 07:03:59 PM »
We can put Superfilters in basses, but it's pricey to make everything small enough to fit inside of a bass. It's my understanding that the electronics on a Series I/II can be extended to a lower cutoff frequency, but at the expense of the highs. The range moves as a whole. So if you're after lows, we can translate the range down as long as you won't miss the highs.  
 
It's already somewhat difficult for many players to find repeatable sounds on the Series I/II filter controls. A small rotation of the filter control produces such a huge shift in tone, making even more choices in the same space would be even more challenging. Of course, you know you can always get it made the way you want on a custom order.

johnnybassboy

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1996 Series II 5 string in 5A Quilted Maple
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2004, 07:37:55 PM »
Steve,
do you still have my bass? I miss it a lot. Your quiver must be something crazy by now :-)