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rv_bass
New
Username: rv_bass

Post Number: 2
Registered: 8-2014
Posted on Sunday, March 01, 2015 - 6:42 pm:   Edit Post

Hi,

I have a Guild Starfire I (recent reissue) and I'm thinking of installing two Fat Boy pickups and Europa electronics. I love the sound of the Starfire, and with Pyramid Gold flatwounds I can get a sound reminiscent an acoustic bass. I like the bisonic sound, but the G string is a little too bright and crisp, and adjusting for it with the amp (Eden WT550) alters the tones of the other strings too much. I'm thinking the Fat Boys for the robust low end and softer high end, and the Europa electronics to keep it simple, but still have some options for tone shaping as needed. I'd be interested in feedback on this proposed set up. I use this bass specifically for Jazz.

Thanks,

Rob
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3934
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Sunday, March 01, 2015 - 11:04 pm:   Edit Post

One word " Excellent "
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1930
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, March 01, 2015 - 11:51 pm:   Edit Post

I have Series II pickups and electronics in my Starfire (you can hear it here: http://alembic.com/club/messages/449/206554.html?1423839784 and there are pictures elsewhere on the site) and my guess is your plan would be great. Maybe get a stereo output and then tilt the pickups with one favoring the high strings and the other favoring the low and then you can EQ them differently.


Check out the build thread for Keith's Starfire, too.

I'm now thinking about getting Alembic pickups and electronics for my Modulus. Alembic setups spoil you.
5a_quilt_top
Senior Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 450
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Monday, March 02, 2015 - 8:20 am:   Edit Post

+ 1 on both. The Europa electronics are very intuitive and easy to navigate when playing live.

Word of caution, you may find the Fat Boy in the bass (neck) position to be a little too prominent.

I use an FB in the treble (bridge) position only and, for me, it balances nicely with the standard Alembic bass (neck) PU.

I never have a problem getting lows out of my Alembics, but when I emphasize the treble position, I find the standard PU to be a little thin.

YMMV.
rv_bass
New
Username: rv_bass

Post Number: 3
Registered: 8-2014
Posted on Monday, March 02, 2015 - 5:00 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks to both of you for the feedback, good food for thought! I will look into all of this further.

Edwin, your bass sounds amazing, fine playing as well! Your band gave fine treatment to a beautiful tune!

Thanks,
Rob
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3935
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Monday, March 02, 2015 - 5:17 pm:   Edit Post

Here are two more ! I sold the Maple but kept the Mahogany .

http://alembic.com/club/messages/411/2792.html?1262960781

http://alembic.com/club/messages/411/84774.html?1282495288
rv_bass
New
Username: rv_bass

Post Number: 4
Registered: 8-2014
Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2015 - 5:27 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks, Sonicus. I noticed that one of your basses as well as Keith's recent build have trapezoid pickups . Can you tell me what characteristics those pickups have?

Thanks,
Rob
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1935
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2015 - 5:57 pm:   Edit Post

My bass has trapezoidal structures in the rectangular shells as well. I don't notice a huge difference between them and traditionally shaped pickups, but they are the only Alembic pickups I've had in this bass. Mine have the wide end under the E string.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3943
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2015 - 6:56 pm:   Edit Post

Hello Rob .
Your Europa or Activator type cuicuit is a different animal and will cost you a bit less to install . You might want to inquire about an Activator fit for your bass as well .
I sold that Starfire in 1978 , that would be 37 years ago.Those pickups are even older then that dating to some of Alembics very early designs. Those pickups used hum cancelers that were inside the body of the bass ( you can see them in the pics in the links ) At this time Series I/II use's a hum canceler configuration but with low pass filters and Cue switches on the Series I and CVQ on the Series II . The original Alembic electronics circuit in that bass did not have filters but buffer preamps and passive tone controls instead. Your question asks for characteristics and because of my technical background I want to give you a very technical answer as to the exact NUMBERS as far as engineering data in finite measurement terminology. Is that what you would like to know ? It has been so long ago and I know far more now then I did then as far as how to answer your question. Back when I had that bass I was an audio engineering student at " The College for Recording Arts at Golden State Recorders. The recording studio owner and my teacher and mentor was Mr. Leo De Gar Kulka and I took the bass into the studio there where he was fascinated by it. He commented thus ; What a wonderfull full spectrum sound your bass provides ! . _______Quite certainly today's Alembic products can give you that and even more without any RF-EMF noise . The earliest Alembic cuircuits sounded awesome as far as frequency response and dynamic range and clarity compared to anything alse available but were a just a little more interferance sensitive then what can be provided at this time. I have a Bass with a PF-5 example as well as with the new version Series cuircuit. Both are wonderful but the newer very quiet.
rv_bass
New
Username: rv_bass

Post Number: 5
Registered: 8-2014
Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2015 - 8:05 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks, Edwin for your update, and thanks Sonicus for your comments as well. I'm not familiar with electrical engineering, so a technical explanation would go over my head. I was just curious about tonal quality. I appreciate all of the feedback, and I think for now I'm leaning towards my original idea of Fat Boys with Europa electronics. I think that will get me what I'm aiming for in tone and functionality.

Thanks again,

Rob
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 310
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 12:00 am:   Edit Post

I highly recommend putting Alembic pickups in your Starfire. The combo of hollow body warmth and thump with Alembics powerful, clean, even, and crisp tone is quite amazing. Especially with flatwounds.
The trapezoid pickups in my starfire have regular magnets in them, so they are trapezoid in appearance only. At the moment Alembic doesn't offer that shape of magnet. The entire bass was a tribute to the early days of Alembic, so I wanted that shape, whether the magnets were that shape or not.
rv_bass
New
Username: rv_bass

Post Number: 7
Registered: 8-2014
Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 6:03 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks, Moonliner, I saw your bass on the Build page, beautiful and I'm sure it is a dream to play! After hearing what you all have said, I'm going to see if I can get the alembic pickups installed in my Starfire.
Thanks!
Rob
rv_bass
Junior
Username: rv_bass

Post Number: 14
Registered: 8-2014
Posted on Tuesday, April 07, 2015 - 4:13 am:   Edit Post

I had a very nice talk with Mica yesterday, the wheel is turning...

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