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Alembic Club » Dreaming... for now » Archive through December 22, 2006 » Placed order for custom Alembic #2 today...! « Previous Next »

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Advanced Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 227
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 7:54 pm:   Edit Post

Well, I took the plunge and ordered Alembic #3/Custom Alembic #2 today…! It was the culmination of a pretty intense process. I ultimately got NEARLY everything I want… but I decided I had to pass on at least one option –and I chose the extended range.

It wasn’t easy. This bass has a LOT of schuh-weet options… it’s going to be exceedingly awesome. Now I could have got the extended fingerboard and/or a 7th string… but I would have had to lose some of my other options… and ultimately, I wasn’t willing to do that.

I most definitely had a price limit for this instrument… Alembics aren’t inexpensive… and I started this project with as little options as I could, to keep the cost as low as possible.

Ultimately, I just couldn’t get everything I wanted… as it was, my final specifications exceed the price tag I wanted… but still, it could only go so far. After I got the quote from Valentino, it became increasingly clear that I could either go way over what I’m comfortable paying if I got everything (which I ruled out)… or I’d have to pass on some option(s).

So, the question became, “what is the paradigm?” This bass is meant to do two things: be a complement to my ultra-awesome 8-String Europa; and be a replacement for my stolen 6-String Elan Plus. If I was forced to chose, I’d say it’s more the latter than the former.

This bass is NOT my dream bass… I’ve already got that. This bass is meant to be a replacement for my stolen Elan. And it will be quite an upgrade. Within that context, the purpose of this bass is to have a very different type of sound from the Ebony/Maple-dominated sound of my Europa.

Mica agreed that Alembics’ “house recipe” of Coco Bolo over a Mahogany body would provide a very different and very satisfying sound that would contrast my Europa.

I love the look of bookmatch to center, and have chosen to have it on both the front and the back; and I’ve come to view continuous rear woodplates as absolutely necessary in general –and especially with Coco Bolo. I considered losing some combination of these options to pay for the extended fingerboard… but I just couldn’t do it.

I already have the bass with the ultimate range. While I consider a 6-String with 24 frets to be the minimally-acceptable range for me, it will be enough. This bass is going to be about the great sound and great beauty of Coco Bolo. 8-Strings of Power is a big male bass, lots of range, lots of controls, lots of options and details… this bass will be a girl, and she’s gonna look really purdy…

I did elect to go ahead on another extra-special detail, which is a very cool, special custom neck, which will be both VERY colorful and gorgeous, but will also be extremely functional and relevant to my bass’ sound.

My neck is going to have one center Ebony laminate flanked by Vermillion on either side –black flanked by red; to either side, a Maple laminate will be sandwiched within 2 purpleheart laminates –white//yellow flanked by purple; finally the two outer laminates of the neck will be (hopefully dark brown mahogany). You get this recipe if you take the standard 11-piece Alembic neck of 6 Rock Maple laminates alternating with Purpleheart, and then swap out the center Purpleheart lam for Ebony, swap out the 2 center Maple lams for Vermillion, and swap out the 2 outer Maple laminates for Mahogany.

This neck will thus be made of 5 different woods, and Mica and Valentino assure me the Mahogany in the neck will have a major and pleasing impact on the sound. Vermillion is said to sound similar to mahogany, while being more brilliant. So I should have a powerful Mahogany/Vermillion component augmenting my sound. I’m figuring the combination of these 5 proven tone woods in the neck should produce a pretty rich and flavorful sound –especially with a Mahogany body sandwiched between BTC Coco Bolo…! I’m hoping the Vermillion and the extra Mahogany in the neck will transmit the Coco Bolo up into the neck. We’ll see!!!

Final specifications:

Custom Alembic 6-String Bass

Mark King Signature Deluxe –No Mark King Logo

Balance K Omega body

Coco Bolo BTC on front & back with continuous wood backplate(s).

Custom Neck: Mahogany/Purp/Map/Purp/Verm/Ebony/Verm/Purp/Map/Purp/Mahogany

Europa electronics with 3-position Q switch (0/6/9)

Tummy & Elbow contours

Pinstripe(s) Laminate(s) at Alembics’ discretion

I want to thank my fellow club members with their help and input at various times during the conceptualization of this bass –it was greatly appreciated!

I’ve asked them for a “factory to customer”… so anyone interested will be able to monitor its progress; Valentino sez there’s a little line in front of me, but that it could start production as early as Jan/Feb…

It should be really nice…

(Message edited by the 8 string king on December 01, 2006)
Intermediate Member
Username: keurosix

Post Number: 134
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 9:46 pm:   Edit Post

Congratulations Mark!
You are the man!
I will watch this one with great anticipation!
Sounds utterly fantastic already!
Intermediate Member
Username: keurosix

Post Number: 135
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 9:49 pm:   Edit Post

I forgot to ask:
Scale length: 34"?
Standard tuning?
Hi-C to Low B?
Just gotta know!
Advanced Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 228
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 10:25 pm:   Edit Post

Sorry, should have specified!!!

34 inch scale, BEADGC!!!
Advanced Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 255
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 10:27 pm:   Edit Post

Congratulations on the new custom. I'll be sitting on that FTC thread. Enjoy the process.

Advanced Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 229
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 10:29 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Toby! Howz the weather out there?
Username: hifiguy

Post Number: 45
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 10:34 pm:   Edit Post

This sounds like it will be one bodacious bass and I will be following the FTC thread with great interest. The combination of neck woods sounds intriguing. I have been toying with the idea of one central ebony neck lam myself.

Congratulations, Mark!

Advanced Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 256
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 11:37 pm:   Edit Post

It's Springtime- 4 seasons in an hour..... although the warm and sunny stretches are starting to stay longer.

Just curious- you obviously put heaps of thought into this custom and know exactly what you were after. Care to share why you chose the electronic package you chose?
Senior Member
Username: tom_z

Post Number: 475
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Saturday, December 02, 2006 - 12:26 am:   Edit Post

Congrats Mark! I too will be watching your FTC with great interest. Maybe one day, I might even get a look at this bass and the 8-string in person.

Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 935
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 02, 2006 - 6:28 am:   Edit Post

Very cool Mark. I be on the lok out for your FTC thread. I really love the way Alembic handles that, with photos and all. I kind of get this "kid-on-Christmas-moring" excitement wheever I see an email about my custom.

Congrats, Olie
Username: bassjigga

Post Number: 60
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Saturday, December 02, 2006 - 12:57 pm:   Edit Post

Sounds cool. Interesting neck. That will be somethin!

Advanced Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 230
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Saturday, December 02, 2006 - 7:17 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for the hoo-rahs, guys!

Toby, as far as the electronics go, my choice was largely be default.

I actually considered a Series I -which interestingly, I could have go for $100 dollars LESS than what I paid... but it would have had NO options (other than the standard ones)... I would have had to give up on the Ebony in the neck, and the custom neck... and the Coco Bolo... and the continuous wood backplates...

And I just didn't want to do that.

Having and being familiar with the filter/Q setup, I'd never have something without it -so the Epic package is out.

The Series, as just mentioned, is too expensive/would have required sacrificing all options.

The Essense is too limited

So it came down to Europa or Signature. (Actually, the ideal would be a custom package -but it became clear this would involve both a lot more money and time).

I prefer the Europa because it has BOTH the Alembic filter/Q setup AND the eq switches -simple though they be; I also wanted a 4-position Q and a mid-range boost/cut switch... but it became clear that this would entail additional time and LOTS of extra money... so I settled for the Europa setup with the 1 minor -yet significant- upgrade of the Q switch to 3 positions.

I definitely like the Signature setup of having individual filters & Qs for each pickup... but I really like having the eq switches, and, forced to choose, I prefer the Europa.

Part of this is also the fact that the Signature basses come with the 2-position Q switches... which are 0/8 dbs; I don't like this. It's too big a jump. If the Signature basses came with 3-position Q switches with a softer Q setting -like the Series I (0/6/9) I would have really had to mull it over.

But choosing between the Europa electronics with a 3-position 0/6/9 Q switch AND the eq switches vs. the dual filters and 0/8 db Q switches of the Signature package... was no contest -at least, for me.

The custom electronics on my 8-String allow me to mimic the electronics of nearly all non-Series models (the Anniversery, with its individual volumes is the only exception)... so I've got some perspective on this!
Username: inthelows

Post Number: 88
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 02, 2006 - 8:03 pm:   Edit Post

What's the possibility of getting a sound clip of the monster when done? I've seen many posted and they sure do look nice but it would really be cool to actually hear it in action!!!!
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 912
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Monday, December 04, 2006 - 4:32 am:   Edit Post

Way to go Mark! I'm looking forward to seeing your FTC thread kick off.

Advanced Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 232
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Monday, December 04, 2006 - 4:34 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks guys! I'm really looking forward to custom #2! The interesting thing is that the only Coco Bolo bass (an Alembic Elan) that I ever played -for a few seconds when I bought my original Alembic- wasn't plugged in... so I've no clue (as far as I know) what it sounds like...

But everyone raves about it and sez it's a great sound... so I'm just going on... well, I won't say the term "blind faith", 'cause it's stupid to believe anything on "faith" (to believe something without -or in spite- of valid reasons)...

I'm going on total confidence with the wizards and elves at Alembic!!! No one knows basses like they do, and I have the utmost confidence that their house recipe will deliver -especially with the dual BTC and the special neck!!!

As far as sound clips go... I don't have the slightest clue how to do that -although I assume it requires equipment that I don't have... some sort of recording and or digital transfer technology/medium...?

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