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frenske
New
Username: frenske

Post Number: 1
Registered: 11-2014
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014 - 3:28 am:   Edit Post

Hi,

I have an opportunity to exchange my Musicman Stingray bass for an Alembic Series 1. The problem with the Alembic is that it has a repaired headstock, although the seller says it is no problem. And the electronics for tone control are missing.
Although my Musicman is pretty fine bass, this sounds a bit too good to be true.

Serial number is: 75 C2707

Can you give me your thoughts?

 Body Front
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4299
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014 - 6:36 am:   Edit Post

Hi there, if you what you want is an alembic, you will be missing out greatly if you have a non alembic tone circuit in that bass, apart from the build quality, playability etc, the thing that separates Alembic basses from the rest is the tonal capabilities of the filter based electronics. Without that the bass will not sound like an alembic bass. That being the case if the bass was going cheap, you may be able to send it back to Alembic and have proper series electronics installed and a refurb. (not cheap)

My first observation is that the pickups look far too new to be original based on the age of the bass and if as you say the electronics are not alembic, then the pickups are also unlikely to be series I single coil pickups as if they were you would almost certainly need the additional hum-cancelling circuit to keep the bass noise free. So I would suggest those are alembic regular hum-cancelling pickups that are usually found in the non-series bass range alembics.

If I were considering purchasing, I would ask the seller for more photo's of the bass including closeups of the neck/headstock repair, the back of the bass and inside the electronics cavity and battery cover. Then post them on here so that we can see what in fact is in there. The serial number should be stamped on the top of the headstock and/or on the bottom of the fretboard although from the picture it looks like that may have been filed off unless it's a trick of the light. So there may be a question to ask there.

If you get us more info on the bass and photo's, there is a lot more we can help you out with. There are some truly knowledgeable guys here who are as passionate about others getting the right alembic as they are about buying their own.

Also be aware that there are some alembic copies, (Fernandes), around and if you want an alembic, then you don't want to find you have bought one of those copies. I'm not implying that I think this one is a fake, just making you aware there are some around.


Jazzyvee
frenske
New
Username: frenske

Post Number: 2
Registered: 11-2014
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014 - 7:21 am:   Edit Post

Hi Jazzyvee,

Thanks for your quick response.

Here is a picture of the serial number and the repair of the headstock.

The seller wants to trade my MusicMan Stingray 4 so it will cost appx. $1000


frenske
New
Username: frenske

Post Number: 3
Registered: 11-2014
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014 - 7:28 am:   Edit Post

...And some more pics.



flpete1uw
Senior Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 417
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014 - 7:42 am:   Edit Post

Hello,
I may be missing something here but my 75 Series 1's SN# is in the 200's. 215 to be exact. The 2707 numbering seams high for a 1975 Bass. Maybe foreign sales designations.
As Jazzy stated its all about the tone which comes from the electronics,
Best of luck!,
Pete
nnek
Intermediate Member
Username: nnek

Post Number: 115
Registered: 8-2009
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014 - 7:45 am:   Edit Post

Love a koa bass! That being said a '75 instrument would have a different bridge and tailpiece as well as no cover on the truss rod adjustment. The serial number should be stamped on the end of the head stock and that seems an odd number for a '75.... I would expect a three digit number after the 75 like 75 -XXX . Ditto on the send pics of the electronics cavity.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5893
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014 - 8:24 am:   Edit Post

My '76 Series I guitar is no. 76-476. And there is no truss rod cover. I'm thinking this may well be a Fernandes with Alembic pickups and an added logo. Even so, for $1000 I still think it's a pretty good deal. Fernandes did the wood very well. Where they fell short was with the electronics. I have a Fernandes Masterhand guitar, built in the hippie sandwich fashion, that I have loaded with Alembic guts. (You can see it here). It is one of my favorite guitars and gets played as often as my custom Further. If it were me, I'd jump at the trade, put in all-Alembic electronics, and, if it turns out it isn't an Alembic, remove the logo, and still have a blast playing it.

Bill, tgo
edwardofhuncote
Intermediate Member
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 104
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014 - 8:44 am:   Edit Post

I concur with jazzy and flpete on the pickups being modern hum-cancelling type, though this bass must have had Series electronics at one time. And the serial number is mysterious. As jazzy said, post a picture of the electronics cavity... there's answers in there.

Additional Observations:

Knobs are changed... you can see the ring from the old ones.

Looks like a rosewood fingerboard - that's not ordinary, but not impossible either. Then again, a "C" in the serial number usually denotes "custom".

Headstock repair looks stable to me, but could have been touched up a little better.
room037
Senior Member
Username: room037

Post Number: 506
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014 - 9:46 am:   Edit Post

Hi Frank,

At first, look at the top of the head.
There is the "real" serial number that 70's made Alembic.
But it is heard to find, if refinish was done.
The serial number of the plate is not "real" number.
Only posibilty is some repair work by Alembic with REnumbered new serial number.

Next step, posibility of Fernandes "Ferbic" (Alembic model by Fernandes)
Tuner is not Original. It looks like the one that used by Ferbic.
I saw fine Koa top Ferbic , just like your's.
Please show me the circuit board.
But surely the PU are Alembic.
If the circuit was changed with PUs, I can't say anymore.
PU select knob is same as Ferbic.

Eiji
frenske
New
Username: frenske

Post Number: 4
Registered: 11-2014
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014 - 1:05 pm:   Edit Post

The serial number says 75AC2707 which indicates Canadian export. I'll open open up the electronics cavity and post some pictures of it.

Anyhow, it feels and plays comfortably and I'm going to play it with the band coming Friday to see how it sounds.

Thanks for the comments and I'll keep you posted.
frenske
New
Username: frenske

Post Number: 5
Registered: 11-2014
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014 - 2:29 pm:   Edit Post

OK, The plot thickens... There is a serial number on the headstock: 82707 But that doesn't add up because 707th bass was made before 1982...

room037
Senior Member
Username: room037

Post Number: 507
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014 - 8:40 pm:   Edit Post

Both serials are fault for 75' and 82' numbers.
Ferbic's serial was embossed same place that I remember, but I don't know the number range.
Now I ask my friend who own Ferbic.

My opinion is the body was made by Fernandes, not Alembic.

Eiji
pauldo
Senior Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 1335
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 4:08 am:   Edit Post

Rather interesting, not knowing much about Fernandes. . .
sure would like to see inside the electronics cavity.
edwardofhuncote
Intermediate Member
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 105
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 5:38 am:   Edit Post

Fascinating... being a relative noob, I haven't seen such a convincing copy yet, if that's what this indeed is. Notice also, the stamped number on the headstock reads 827-07, rather than 82-707. Why? Surely Alembic wouldn't have made that goof.

Even the infamous Craigslist "reproduction" Series bass didn't come this close. That logo looks real too.
edwardofhuncote
Intermediate Member
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 106
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 7:41 am:   Edit Post

found this information doing a little searching...

http://basschat.co.uk/topic/192441-fernandes-alembic-copy/

for comparison, there's a picture of the control cavity in one shot.
room037
Senior Member
Username: room037

Post Number: 508
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 8:27 am:   Edit Post

The picture of control cavity on Basschat site is Alembic circuit board (first edition of PF-6 with Harris opeamp), not Fernandes's circuit.
Fernandes circuit board is here at this thread.
The member "Ulli" uproaded the picture of his Fernandes FAB180.

Eiji
frenske
New
Username: frenske

Post Number: 6
Registered: 11-2014
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 12:51 pm:   Edit Post

Here's a picture of the electronics.
The "original" electronics are removed and replaced with genuine (at least I hope so) Alembic pickups and basic controls: volume per pickup (the pots marked with P0360) and filter.

From what I read, I thought that the Fernandes had a 3 pin imput on the power supply but in this one there were 5.

Meanwhile, the bass plays great and has a great sound. I was very surprised with the sparkling tone that comes from the bass compared to my stingray, even on a simple 30W amp and with older strings.

The neck is straight and the truss-rod works fine. I can get a very low action without fret-rattle. Also I thought the fernades did not have a truss-rod.

Anyway, after having had 4 stingrays, I'm going to keep this one and see where he adventure ends.
But with being a copy and the repaired headstock I don't think there's going to be any upgrades.

BTW, can I still join the club owning just 2 Alembic elements?

edwardofhuncote
Intermediate Member
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 107
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 2:13 pm:   Edit Post

For what's pictured here, and at the price mentioned above, I don't see how you could go wrong. It's a beautiful piece of luthierie, plus with what appears to be genuine Alembic pickups and filters in there, I bet it sounds amazing too.

Congrats!

Just curious/nosey - Did the seller confirm the make as Fernandes?
pauldo
Senior Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 1336
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 2:36 pm:   Edit Post

Frank, you can join the club without owning anything Alembic!
All that is required is a genuine kindness and a healthy sense of community.
Welcome to the camp!

:-D
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3737
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 3:47 pm:   Edit Post

Hello Frank , Welcome to our little corner of the internet.____ This is a really swell place .
room037
Senior Member
Username: room037

Post Number: 509
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 3:53 pm:   Edit Post

The circuit is replaced to Alembic Activator 2 Volume for each PU and 1 Filter with 1 Q SW, 1 knob, 5 pin and PU selector are not working at now.
The cavity has Aluminium shielding and the dent under the shield is same as Ferbic.
Is there a circuit board on the back of cavity plate ?
I found 4 trimpots on the plate.

I got the serial number info. from my friend.
It has 016-01 on the top of the head.
Only common point is 3 digit on left, 2 digit on right.
But Alembic has 2 digit on left and 3 digit on right at that days.

One more point that he pointed out,
All position mark on the fingerboard are pearloid plastic, not real pearl.
Series 1 instruments has real pearl. (only few irregulars are.)

I think the serial on the neck plate is added for fraud.
The body is definitely Fernandes made.
Of course, Fernandes has truss-rod and 5 pins.

I also welcome to you join the club.
Many Alembic fans are here !

Eiji
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3738
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 4:18 pm:   Edit Post

Eiji noticed what I also noticed after looking at the control & circuit
cavity picture. I would tend to agree with him . This Bass was likely NOT really an Alembic at birth .
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 8401
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 9:15 pm:   Edit Post

I agree with the experts that have already posted here. It is a nice piece of Koa though!

I find the proportion of the neck laminates is the first giveaway on the Fernandes. Then I take a closer look and usually that first instinct is correct.

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