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Username: josh_emmons

Post Number: 1
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 6:11 pm:   Edit Post

I am saving to get an alembic, but i am not so sure which one i should get... i love the stanley bass, but im not sure about the short scale, what bass should i get?? i like the crown headstock, and i like natuaral wood. Any bass? If so please post a photo and say how it plays.
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1806
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 6:30 pm:   Edit Post

I don't think there are any *bad* choices with an Alembic.
Username: dlbydgtl

Post Number: 84
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 7:27 pm:   Edit Post

I have a King Deluxe and Europa, Either way, you can't go wrong! love em both. The best move i ever made in my musical journey. The only hard part is picking the options for my next Alembic? John
Senior Member
Username: ajdover

Post Number: 806
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 8:22 pm:   Edit Post


As someone who's owned/still owns a Spoiler-Exploiter, a Europa, two Essences, an SC Signature Standard, a Dragon's Wing, Spyder Limited Editions, Epic, and most recently a custom Series II, I'd offer the following.

Find someone in your area that owns an Alembic. See if you can try it out (if there's a dealer in your area, this is much easier obviously). Better yet, try it on a gig if possible. Play around with the controls, particularly filters/Q switches. See what works for you given the music you're making.

I became an Alembic owner in 2003. I started with a Spoiler-Exploiter. I found the electronics a bit limiting, so I moved on to a Spyder (Anniversary Electronics) a Europa (Europa Electronics) , then later the Dragon's Wing (Signature Electronics), Essences (Essence Electronics), an SC Sig Std (Signature Electronics), an Epic (Epic Electronics) and finally the Series II (Series II Electronics). What I found was this ...

The Signature, Essence, Epic, and Series II electronics suit the music I play most of the time. This is why I no longer own the Europa, Spoiler/Exploiter, and Spyder. As great as they are, they weren't my cup of tea.

Again, try to play a bunch if you can. Figure out what works for you. Then buy one if you can.

Best of luck,

Username: garth4664

Post Number: 97
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 9:38 pm:   Edit Post

Hello Josh,

Not sure what your budget is, but my take on this is: (que absolute horror on others faces) - there are Alembics, and then there are Series 1 and Series 2 Alembics. With the other Alembic models they are comparable to nice boutique basses (Fodera, Carl Thompson, Warwick Infinity etc.) but they are a little watered down in comparison to a Series 1 or 2.

If your budget is small start on something like a 2nd hand Distillate/Essence/Epic off ebay or from a club member here, but bear in mind that it is likely you will eventually want and own a Series 1 or 2.

My advice is, if you can afford it (both time and money wise) - Find a nice 2nd hand Series 1 or 2 and skip the intermediate step all together. It will actually save you money in the long run as you won't need other basses (I've been through this and sold some beautiful instruments because they do not measure up to a Series Alembic).

Others may disagree on this, but at least first try a Series 1 or Series 2 before deciding what to do, you may find that you no longer want to own a car/investment portfolio/grandmother. I would sooner give you my house than part with my Series 2 Custom.

Good luck and welcome to the family
Username: josh_emmons

Post Number: 2
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 9:58 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks guys! also, would the alembic sound good with a church band?
Intermediate Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 165
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 1:42 am:   Edit Post

I used to play in a church band when we were living in San Jose.
I never heard a bad word about the sound and in fact all the comments were positive.
I play a fretless series I 75-251S pictures of it here somewhere. My rig was a Fender BXR300 and
300w 15" plus twin 10" at 100w. Never had the opportunity to "arc it up" in church although I played
the San Jose cathedral and I got to bring it
up to about 5 during a solo.
The series I gave me such tonal range that I had never experienced with other instruments.

I agree with Garth +1 - If you can afford it go for a series instrument.


here is the fretless
Senior Member
Username: funkyjazzjunky

Post Number: 546
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 7:21 am:   Edit Post


I am six-two and ex-military (I am used to a back-pack) so I want a long scale bass and weight is not an issue. If you are smaller, a lighter short scale Alembic may be an option.
Advanced Member
Username: fmm

Post Number: 290
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 7:22 am:   Edit Post

I use my Series I in a church band most Sundays. No problems at all.
Advanced Member
Username: jbybj

Post Number: 266
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 9:30 am:   Edit Post

FWIW, I have never owned or played a series Alembic, but my Epic and Europa are better feeling, sounding, looking basses than any other boutique instrument I've had my hands on.

I am of the opinion that, within the Alembic universe, the feel of the bass in your hands, is far more important than the electronics package. Neck profile, scale length, weight, upper horn placement, mean everything to me. You can always get yourself an SF-2 if you want more tonal options.

I wasn't looking for my first Alembic, I just picked up an unknown instrument in a used shop, and was immediately blown away by how it felt and played. I fondled it for 15 minutes before I plugged it in, or even knew it was an Alembic. And I was smitten after 10 seconds.

If you can't get your hands on one easily, wait and watch, and buy the first one you find that looks like you would enjoy playing, that you can afford. Best of luck,

Senior Member
Username: glocke

Post Number: 678
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 1:38 pm:   Edit Post

I am the owner of series I, series ii, signature deluxe basses, and a former owner of an Elan, I agree with others that say you should just wait for a used series bass, you won't regret it. A used scsd wouldn't be a bad option either, but a series bass is worth waiting for (I waited ten years for one!!).

As others have said, try and find someone local who will let you spend some time with a series bass.
Advanced Member
Username: lmiwa

Post Number: 290
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:11 pm:   Edit Post

OK, I'll jump in with my two cents worth...

I find there are two things that determine which Alembic to buy - the neck shape/width and the electronics.

If at all possible, before you buy an Alembic try both the classic and comfort taper necks - especially if you are looking at more than 4 strings. There is a big difference in the feel of these two necks. There is no "better" but you will want what works best for you.

The non-Series electronics are way better than any other brand that I've tried. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them. Again, if you can try both types of electronics, you can decide if the upgrade to Series electronics is worth it to you. For some it is, for others it isn't.

The nice thing is that no matter which Alembic you choose, it will be a great instrument. The only question is "Which Alembic is best for you?" and really, only you can answer that.

Just my opinion...

Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 1858
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 2:37 am:   Edit Post

My first Alembic was a SC Deluxe and I'm always impressed with the sound of it and wouldn't feel hard done by If I never managed to get a Series Bass. SC has the shape and build quality of a series bass and I'm fairly sure that no-one is going to seriously tell you that an SC bass sounds below par because it's not a series bass. They are a great affordable alternative to a Series Bass ( unless you are in the UK hahhaha).

So don't overlook a signature bass in your search. I also have An Europa 5 and an Elan 4 with Europa Electronics and they both sound fantastic and importantly, different.

The point I'd like to make is that, just because the series basses are the pinnacle of alembics sonically, it doesn't mean that you will automatically prefer their sound over other basses in the Alembic Range. They all have a family sound but with a difference so if you can get to play or listen to a few you will get an idea of what variation in sounds you can get from the alembic models. Listening to some instrument clips on you tube is a good start even though you won't get full quality you can get an idea of what the various models sound like.

Also there is the situation stated in other places on the forum about the worries of taking such expensive series basses to gigs, tours & rehearsals for fear of damage or theft hence the use of other basses instead ( beaters).

I'm in agreement with Loch that they will all be great instruments whichever you choose to buy.

Senior Member
Username: mike1762

Post Number: 477
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 3:22 am:   Edit Post

I think a used Spoiler is a great place to start. It's neck-through, has a Q-switch, has great balance, and is a medium scale. They don't cost so much that you would be afraid to gig with them and they hold their value (so you can always get your money back if it doesn't turn out to be your "thing"). I'm not a "twiddler" when it comes to tone... I find it then leave it alone; therefore, the simpler electronics of the Spoiler is a plus (for me). The Series tone is altogether something different. It might not be what you are looking for; as such, I don't know that I would advise you to buy one "blind". But then again... (as long as you buy used) you can always get your money back on resale. The set-neck models might be a consideration for you as well: they have traditional tone controls and will be more "familiar" to you. I picked-up a used Orion for $1,000 and I find myself noodling around on it all the time. The only thing I would caution a new Alembican about is the (sometimes) less than ideal ergonomics of some body shapes. The SC is a joy to play, but neck-dive is a real issue. The Standard Point is also a little neck heavy and it "hangs" toward the neck, thus making those first positions a real reach.
Senior Member
Username: dadabass2001

Post Number: 1360
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 3:50 pm:   Edit Post

I've used my fretted Epic in church several times. (I fill in when the regular player can't make it), gotten compliments and no complaints.
Username: bass4worship

Post Number: 43
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Saturday, February 20, 2010 - 5:29 pm:   Edit Post

If you can find a Excel it play and feel great
Intermediate Member
Username: sjhoffma

Post Number: 134
Registered: 5-2008
Posted on Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 2:41 pm:   Edit Post

'starts crying because he sold his series I'
Advanced Member
Username: j_gary

Post Number: 275
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 8:23 am:   Edit Post

Sold your Series?1 What, you only had one?! HA!
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1363
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, February 26, 2010 - 9:45 am:   Edit Post

Josh, I'd offer a couple suggestions as well:

As Mica often points out, these don't sound like any of the other artisan basses, as inevitably virtually all of the other makers use Bartolinis or EMGs, and it's interesting to see how similar they all sound, despite how different they can look.

Alembics are very pricey new, as they just aren't built cheaply, and are built one at a time. But, there are always some floating around used that can be had for way less than new if you're watching your budget. There's always a turnover in the market of guys that bought one, said it 'don't sound like my Fender!', and are trying to get out of it so they can buy a MusicMan or Sadowsky. I LOVE it when I can find one of those guys! They do have their own tone, and they're not for everybody, but then what is?

Most modern amps have way enough EQ to cancel out any worries about 'enough bass' in the short or medium scales, if that size bass is a better fit for you. The tone is a bit different, but you will not lack for deep end, and you may not even hear that slight difference.

And they're built by the best people in the world. I bought a used Spoiler to begin with, and from the first time I found this forum, or anytime I've called and spoken to Mary and Susan and Mica, I've always been treated like I'd spent a million dollars with them. They really care about their axes and there's nowhere else where you will be supported and have silly questions answered like Alembic. I can't say enough about them, or the way they've always treated me.

J o e y
Username: rjmsteel

Post Number: 36
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Friday, February 26, 2010 - 10:10 am:   Edit Post

My 1981 Distillate 4 string 32" medium scale has plenty of low end bass with the filter turned only halfway down. In side x side comparisons it produces deeper lows out of the gate than my lowly 35" scale peavey Cirrus, which is a walnut/maple neck through.
Username: rjmsteel

Post Number: 38
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Friday, February 26, 2010 - 1:17 pm:   Edit Post

Also been playing my 6-string Elan, (older Alembic model), in our church for over the last decade, sounds crystal clear and the low notes carry clear with no boominess, (majestic sound).

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