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bassguitarman
New
Username: bassguitarman

Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2011
Posted on Monday, October 03, 2011 - 8:37 pm:   Edit Post

I picked up an old battle axe of a Gibson Sg bass with an Alembic pickup at the neck. It was just soldered straight to the output jack when I got it. I've added a standard volume and tone set up. (wired passively I guess you would say) I would like to get the alembic set up for this with if at all possible a j bass pickup at the bridge. There is room for 3 pots in the cavity (I'm thinking volume/pickup blend/filter but I dont know anything about alembic electronics). Any information or suggestions about what I could do is greatly appreciated.


Where can I get alembic or alembic style pots?
What exactly does the Filter do?
do I have to go active?
If I go active what all does that buy me?
Do I have to use an active j bass pickup or can I just use a passive one I have laying around?
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1713
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - 3:48 am:   Edit Post

Bassguitarman.
Okay, firstly is it definitely an Alembic PU as the embossed 'Alembic' is not clear(Kent Armstrong made some Alembic clones back in the 90's that were passive units only)
This PU will not work passively with a vol & tone pot configuration as the output is so low(does it work with that wiring specification I would think not) it needs the Alembic preamp/tone filter package.
The preamps/filters DO NOT COME CHEAP as they are all specific to certain Alembic PU's
For explanations on how Alembic electronics work then go to this link;

http://alembic.com/club/messages/16271/16376.html?1206759755

In a nutshell Alembic filters are unlike any other you will come across, they enhance the everything that the bass is made of(including strings and your technique), they are all bespoke made for Alembic PU's only as I don't think they will work effectively with any other make of PU as they are all calibrated by Ron Wickersham(one of the owners and electronics wizard).
Maybe stuff a passive humbucker in there as an easier & cheaper option??

(Note; could one of the moderators place this thread in the 'Owning an Alembic/Troubleshooting Section)
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2598
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - 7:38 am:   Edit Post

If that is not an alembic pickup on your bass here is a set on Ebay
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VINTAGE-ALEMBIC-PICK-UPS-USED-EX-WORKING-CONDITION-/330618594596?pt=Guitar_Accessories&hash=item4cfa676524#ht_500wt_933

Here is a Scottish company who make low pass filters for basses. You could try them out.

http://www.acguitars.co.uk/shop/

Jazzyvee
adriaan
Moderator
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 2867
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - 10:21 am:   Edit Post

There have been one or two members who added an active/passive switch to their Alembic, proving that you don't have to have an onboard preamp. Someone posted some clips of his Excel on YouTube, I thought it made the bass sound rather anaemic.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2600
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - 3:05 pm:   Edit Post

Yeah Adriaan I saw that thread. It did sound anaemic compared to the active circuit but it didn't sound bad. Very useful mod to have as a backup.if you ever got a battery go down in the middle of a gig. Good to know you can get at least some sound out. That said I won't be modifying any of mine anytime soon.

I wonder if the alembic blaster would be useable on a bass like this one? I think that would give enough gain to get a good signal assuming it could be used with a bass pickup.

Jazzyvee
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4952
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - 8:08 am:   Edit Post

I have an Alembic Employee shopnight Strat that uses a blaster as the only pre-amp. It works fairly well.

Bill, tgo
bassguitarman
New
Username: bassguitarman

Post Number: 2
Registered: 10-2011
Posted on Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - 1:44 pm:   Edit Post

Here is a close up of the pickup



It does indeed work passively. I got it with the pickup wired straight to the output jack and there was sound there. All Ive done is put a standard passive volume and tone control. Its pretty low output and muddy (Probably just due to the short scale and the pickup position). It does a great upright impression but I would like some versatility.

That blaster looks interesting. Is there anyway I can get that filter control using the blaster? My ultimate goal would be to get it up to the volume of where it should be, have the ability to blend that pickup and some jazz style pickup,and get some decent tone controls.

Thank you for the input.
bassguitarman
New
Username: bassguitarman

Post Number: 3
Registered: 10-2011
Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2012 - 9:13 pm:   Edit Post

I now have this bass wired with a bass mods preamp, a carvin jazz pickup at the bridge, and the Alembic pup at the neck. Works great.
bassguitarman
New
Username: bassguitarman

Post Number: 4
Registered: 10-2011
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2012 - 10:39 am:   Edit Post

Here's a pic.

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