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cincinnati
New
Username: cincinnati

Post Number: 1
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Sunday, July 15, 2012 - 4:03 am:   Edit Post

I'm a total newbie. Now that that's out of the way, I am looking at getting a custom Further guitar made. I have some knowledge of Alembic and their history, but have never been able to actually pick one up. I have been playing for over twenty years so I am pretty well versed in guitar regalia in general. Many of the threads seem to be bass related. Hopefully there are guitar players out there... I am looking for advice, suggestions anything that someone with more experience with Alembic may have and be willing to share. Wood, plate covers, inlays, electronics- no topic is too small. I am about to begin this journey and would love input from the world. Thanks
tbrannon
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1519
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, July 15, 2012 - 8:03 am:   Edit Post

Welcome, Micah.

There are a fair number of skinny sting players on here, though us bass players do have you outnumbered a bit.

I imagine Bill will check in here before too long- he has a custom Further as well as several other Alembic guitars. I imagine he'll have lots of insight (as will others).

Here is a link to Bill's custom to get the creative juices flowing...
http://www.alembic.com/info/fc_woody.html
hammer
Intermediate Member
Username: hammer

Post Number: 182
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Sunday, July 15, 2012 - 8:25 am:   Edit Post

There are a number of Alembic guitarists out there you can probably provide you with more detailed information (and trust me they will) but here's my take as a "hack" guitarist who's really a bassist and just purchased a Further guitar for my son and has a bass in the process of being built.

I don't know what you play now, but my my son hasn't touched his Les Paul since the Further arrived. The sound is clean and clear and the action unbelievable. He describes the "feel" of the body and neck in his hands as similar to that of a Strat but has indicated that the quality of instrument is so far above what he has seen on the other guitars that he has played that comparisons to most other instruments just don't make sense.

After discussing things with Mica and Will (from Will Gunn Guitars who was extremely helpful) we went with the Stage version of the Further given that all of the playing my son does at this time is live and the control layout and electronics allow him to dial-in the sound he wants very quickly. You might want to consider the non-stage version if you're going to be doing a lot of studio work, but on stage it is possible to have too many options.

The only real customization he did was to upgrade to 5A quilted Chocolate Maple and the look of the instrument is just amazing. The upgrade costs were reasonable and it really made a difference in the look of the guitar. Based on my calculations for the bass I'm having constructed, the continuous wood back plates are probably not really worth it unless you have a lot of extra $$$ to spend and have already customized every other aspect of the guitar that you might want. For the bass, the retail price for this upgrade alone was $1,300. Even with the discount from Will, I thought it more important to use the $$$ I had available to focus on the sound rather than the look of the back of my instrument.

I can't say enough positive things about Mica and the people from Alembic. There have been wonderful individuals with whom to work and will make a lot of suggestions to help you make sure that you get what you want and need. As long as you can be patient, you'll end up with a build process as well as an instrument that you'll never forget.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 10824
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, July 15, 2012 - 11:49 am:   Edit Post

Welcome to the board Micah! Be sure to check out the Factory to Customer section, there are lots of guitars in there; and also the Showcase section.
cincinnati
New
Username: cincinnati

Post Number: 2
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Sunday, July 15, 2012 - 1:54 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for these responses! I appreciate all feedback.

Tbrannon & Davehouck- thanks , those are great places to check out others' options.

Hammer -thanks so much for the info.

One thing I'm real nervous about is the apparent inability to try one. I have two strats and two sg's. I'm looking for a custom where I can put features of each in one guitar. I have spoken with will gunn as well once. He was very nice- but also very far.

There is a Columbus dealer but he doesn't seem to keep anything in stock to old on to...

Currently I'm waiting on a "menu list" from Susan to help me with my education of choices.

Any other folks out there have any helpful pointers, suggestions?

Pickup info, electronics info, woods, customizing, anything?

Thanks all!

I guess there is lots of trust involved.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5192
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, July 15, 2012 - 3:02 pm:   Edit Post

Micah:

Welcome to the club. You may be a newbie, but with a name like "Micah", you are certainly starting out right! (Ron & Susan Wickersham - Alembic's founders - are the parents of one Mica Wickersham-Thomas. As you progress with your custom build and hang around here, you will definitely get to know Mica).

I would advise you to proceed slowly - read a lot, ask a lot of questions. Alembics aren't inexpensive and a custom build will take time and cost a lot of money, so you want to get it right. As for the stage set up, the blade switch (like on a Strat) is easier to use on the fly than the three 3-way mini toggles on the standard Further. In fact, I've been considering modifying mine to convert to the blade style switch as I play live far more often than in the studio. One upgrade I would strongly suggest, especially if you will be playing live, is side LEDs. They are wonderful on a dark stage. Don't hesitate to ask any specific questions you may have, and enjoy the ride!

Bill, the guitar one
jzstephan
Intermediate Member
Username: jzstephan

Post Number: 101
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Sunday, July 15, 2012 - 6:29 pm:   Edit Post

Continuous wood back plates save over a pound of weight. If you're at all concerned about weight, get 'em, they're worth it.

Start with the top wood choice (pick something that you think you'd like to look at and touch every day) and then listen to Susan and Mica's suggestions; they've made instruments for the best musicians in the world and really know what works.

http://www.alembic.com/info/fc_cheshire.html
cincinnati
New
Username: cincinnati

Post Number: 3
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Monday, July 16, 2012 - 6:56 pm:   Edit Post

Well, first choice would probably be a coco bolo topped further of some sort.

Wondering, is the difference between stage and studio electronics the difference between a standard strat style blade switch and the three independent pickup selector switches?

I don't know what the weight of the guitar is so I don't know if I feel the trade of $$$ is worth the trade of weight...
adriaan
Moderator
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 2951
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, July 16, 2012 - 11:40 pm:   Edit Post

You can find a description of the Stage electronics on this page.

The full Tribute/Further package has an on/off/bright switch for each pickup, instead of the 5-position blade on the Stage version, three filters instead of one, and an on/off switch for the effects loop, instead of a blend.
cincinnati
New
Username: cincinnati

Post Number: 4
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 4:30 am:   Edit Post

A-

Thanks!

Could you get the three filters, the on off switch for the effects loop with the blade style pickup selector?

If so, how could I have have the additional option of the neck and bridge pickups being used together?

-micah
hammer
Intermediate Member
Username: hammer

Post Number: 184
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 5:22 am:   Edit Post

Micah

You'd have to check with Mica to make sure but when you order custom you can get just about anything you want. The key is to not have to take out second mortgage on your house in order to do it. I think my son's Further came in at just under 8 lbs. I don't think that weight is as much of a problem with the Further as some of the large bodied basses. The Further body just isn't that big.

The other thing to be aware of is the monthly special. You typically get something free or 50% off (e.g., the price of a wood upgrade). I got the side LEDS free on the custom bass build they are just starting for me. It really depends on what you want and if you're patient enough to wait for a special that includes it to come around.

The last two things, I think it's important to know are about the custom quote generator and the model you select. I've found the quote generator to provide only a very approximate estimate of what you'll be paying as costs of wood, electronics etc change quite frequently. Talking with Mica or Susan is by far the best way to figure out the MSRP.

In addition, the custom quote generator does not take into consideration the discount that you'll receive from just about any reputable dealer, it only provides you with a MSRP. I don't know what everyone else's experiences have been but everyone with whom I checked provided an approximately 25% or greater dealer discount over MSRP. Many don't list this on their websites, but if you want to get a feel for discounts available look at the Bass Central Website or better yet call someone like Will Gunn.
hammer
Intermediate Member
Username: hammer

Post Number: 185
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 5:23 am:   Edit Post

Micah

You'd have to check with Mica to make sure but when you order custom you can get just about anything you want. The key is to not have to take out second mortgage on your house in order to do it. I think my son's Further came in at just under 8 lbs. I don't think that weight is as much of a problem with the Further as some of the large bodied basses. The Further body just isn't that big.

The other thing to be aware of is the monthly special. You typically get something free or 50% off (e.g., the price of a wood upgrade). I got the side LEDS free on the custom bass build they are just starting for me. It really depends on what you want and if you're patient enough to wait for a special that includes it to come around.

The last two things, I think it's important to know are about the custom quote generator and the model you select. I've found the quote generator to provide only a very approximate estimate of what you'll be paying as costs of wood, electronics etc. change quite frequently. Talking with Mica or Susan is by far the best way to figure out the MSRP.

In addition, the custom quote generator does not take into consideration the discount that you'll receive from just about any reputable dealer, it only provides you with a MSRP. I don't know what everyone else's experiences have been but everyone with whom I checked provided an approximately 25% or greater dealer discount over MSRP. Many don't list this on their websites, but if you want to get a feel for discounts available look at the Bass Central Website or better yet call someone like Will Gunn.
cincinnati
New
Username: cincinnati

Post Number: 5
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 12:31 pm:   Edit Post

I have found the custom quote generator only has options for bass.... I don't know, maybe I'm freaking out but I haven't been able to use it for guitar choices.

It would be very handy indeed if I could use that for guitar.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3030
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 3:34 pm:   Edit Post

Yeah, well spotted a guitar custom generator would be good but alas not yet it seems. :-)

You could check out the products and price lists for some options, then the best thing is to call Mica or Susan as has been suggested earlier and they can talk you through prices and options.
Also check out the monthly specials as you may be able to pick up some additional goodies without smashing your budget.

Price list
http://www.alembic.com/prod/prices.html

Guitars
http://www.alembic.com/prod/guitars.html

Specials
http://www.alembic.com/specials.html

Finally before I shut up. check the archive and read through some of the guitars, there is a heck of a lot of information there also. ( There are some interesting features and woods on some of the basses that you may like on guitar)

http://www.alembic.com/info/fcvault.html

Jazzyvee
cincinnati
New
Username: cincinnati

Post Number: 6
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 7:14 am:   Edit Post

has anyone here ever done custom electronics on their alembic? i want to blend the studio and the stage electronics into one animal.... a five way blade switch, with a separate toggle switch to activate the bridge pickup in any setting. i also want the three filter controls instead of one...

this is possible?

sidenote, i really appreciate everyone's input! thanks
cje
Intermediate Member
Username: cje

Post Number: 113
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 5:41 pm:   Edit Post

Only Mica and Ron can tell you if it's possible. I can tell you with absolute certainty that customizing the electronics package in a Further IS possible to great extent, but only those two can tell you for sure if what you want is electronically possible.

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