Post Number: 1
|Posted on Monday, September 22, 2008 - 3:08 pm: |
I am new to this forum, which I found quite by accident. I am a learning bassist and luthier, and while running a search for custom creators, I ran into the Alembic page. I have spent literally the last two days just sitting and looking at all the featured customs, and now, now I can't get Alembic weapons off my mind.
I am a pretty traditional guy when it comes to body shape, so the more outlandish shapes like the triple Omega don't really appeal to my sensible design style. I appreciate them for what they are, but I could never own or play one like that - it just isn't me. But some of the more standard styles are great for me, like the rogue or the elite.
Now, I am trying to think of a design to suit me and my playing style, which will not only sound nice, but will reflect upon me, my history, and my life to date. I would want it to utilize almost a tri-color scheme, with buckeye burl, ebony, and purpleheart. The face, headstock, and back would be burl, ebony fingerboard, and the body would be purpleheart and ebony, alternating. I am not sure exactly how it would work out, but I like the idea. Don't really know how to explain what I am thinking.
I would want it to have continuous wood covering for all plates/access doors, as well as on the pickups. I would want all hardware to be pewter or cast iron colored - you know, the dull, matted gunmetal color. The knobs would need to be matched wood or the same metal. Not sure which would be more feasible. I am not particularly fond of active electronics, I hate batteries, and I would not need LEDs anywhere. I would want position markers that match the hardware metal.
The thing that will really make bass mine will be the inlays, not only in the fingerboard, but I also want a medallion inlay. The medallion would be pretty simple, really. It would be round, or course, with the same pewter colored metal bordering it, a black background, and featured largely in the center would be a replica of the US Navy's CT rating symbol, a crossed quill and spark. Above it, and in the upper crotch of the emblem will be a small replica of the submarine warfare badge, and below the lower crotch will be a second class petty officer's grade emblem, an eagle perched above two downward pointing chevrons. The fingerboard inlays will be far less complicated. Centered in each marked fret will be one bone-shaped marker, except in the twelfth fret, where a jolly-roger will be featured - either a skull and crossbones or skull and crossed sabres. Probably sabres. The headstock inlay, I really like the Alembic logo that has the rays onn it, and I would want it to be flush with the rest of the headstock, smooth to the touch. If at all possible, I would want the fingerboard and headstock to be given a false binding, an inlay of abalone or MoP.
And I would prefer the elite body shape.
Any thoughts, guys? I would love to hear from you guys, both members and mods - and anybody with any inside-knowledge who could tell me if this is feasible. Not sure how much something like this would cost, but I am sure I'd have to save for a good long while before I could afford it - but this is my ultimate goal.
Post Number: 3272
|Posted on Monday, September 22, 2008 - 3:18 pm: |
First, where did you see a body shape called the "elite"?
Second: if you don't want active electronics, don't waste your money on an Alembic. There are numerous others that can build an instrument in the Alembic "hippie sandwich" style. What really sets Alembic apart from all the pretenders are the electronics, designed and manufactured in-house. It's what gives an Alembic it's unique and extremely variable tone. An Alembic with standard passive pick-ups is like buying a Ferrari and then removing the 12 cylinder engine and dropping in a small block Chevy engine
Bill, the guitar one
Post Number: 2
|Posted on Monday, September 22, 2008 - 3:49 pm: |
Sorry, not elite, Epic. My fingers tend to type things that my mind isnt thinking.
And it isn't that I don't want active, it's just that in the one bass I have that has active, the batteries go dead very, very quickly, and I don't want to have to deal with that all the time. I don't have much experience with active, either, so I don't know if that's even normal.
Post Number: 3273
|Posted on Monday, September 22, 2008 - 5:15 pm: |
The Epic is a very nice instrument. The bass player in one of my bands plays a five-string Epic. He loves it and it sure sounds great. I have a Custom Further and several guitars with Alembic guts that all run on a 9 volt battery. I probably don't have to change it more than a couple of times a year, if that. Series instruments are another story entirely. They run on two 9 volts and many find they have to replace the batteries every few gigs. That's why most people with Series instruments prefer to use the power supply. I think you'd be very happy with an Epic.
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Monday, September 22, 2008 - 9:44 pm: |
Well, that's a relief. The active bass I have now is an Aria Sinsonido, which I got used to take with me while travelling. It burns a 9-VOLT in about an hour, and the kill-switch seems to not be working.
Aside from that, what do you think of my idea? I am new to this style of guitar making, though I have seen some similar to this at on of the local guitar shops. They were Carvins, I think. I am generally used to the simple slab design you find on most bolt on guitars, like Epiphones and Squiers, and I've actually built a couple of my own using that same type of woodwork. Only thing I have trouble with is finish, since I don't have an airbruch or anything.
Anyhow. Comments on the design idea? Feasible or no?
Post Number: 372
|Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - 4:31 am: |
Welcome to the club. If you've looked at the custom archive of customs featured in the past, you already know that anything is possible here at Alembic! You basically want an Epic style bass (set-neck) or Rogue (neck-thru) with a custom hippie sandwich body, inlaid logo with rays, bookmatch to center front and back buckeye burl, continuous wood plates everywhere, special hardware finish, binding on neck and peghead, and custom inlays on the neck and body. Sounds like a really nice custom. Don't forget that you can choose special neck laminates too! A laminate of Ebony in the neck makes for a killer sound! Check out the "Custom Quote Generator" to get a feel of what some of the custom and standard features are priced at. (To find this feature from the Alembic Home page: click "The Products"; "Basses"; then "About custom orders" at the bottom), A lot of customs start as a Mark King Deluxe because that model includes a front and back laminate for the body, and signature electronics which are powerful and the "classic" Alembic sound at an affordable price. The Epic model is not in the generator, but can be quoted directly at Alembic. Also, choose a good dealer who can offer you some great advice and the final price to you. Alembic will furnish you "list" prices - the dealer will provide you with a discount. Don't worry about the active electronics. Battery life for non-Series electronics is closer to a year as long as you unplug the guitar cord when putting away the bass - something most of us do without thinking. If you haven't heard the "Alembic" sound, you're in for a treat! Try to listen to some of the artists that have recorded with their Alembics to get an idea of what's in store. Stanley Clark is one of the best examples, because he most often uses his Alembics for recording. It's an infectious sound and one you can't easily forget!
Also, go to a store that stocks Alembics, and try them for yourself. One can't appreciate them fully without trying it out in their own hands through an amp! Godd luck in designing you very own custom!
Post Number: 3274
|Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - 7:36 am: |
I suspect a body composed of alternating purpleheart and ebony would be expensive and VERY heavy.
Post Number: 4
|Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - 4:22 pm: |
I don't mind the weight, and I can save up, that's not an issue.
No stores carry Alembic here in Hawaii. There was a used one on craigslist a couple days ago, but it was gone maybe 5 minutes after it posted. :P
I tried the custom quote generator, but it doesn't have everything I'm thinking of in it, and it doesn't have a button for the Epic model.
Anywho. I am open to other suggestions for body build - I just like the purple and black, the way it comes together is nice, I think.
Post Number: 16
|Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2008 - 5:46 am: |
About batteries - there is a huge difference in battery life between Active Pickups and Passive Pickups with a Preamp... All my basses with fully active pickups eat batteries for breakfast, but they last quite a while in all my basses with passive pickups and an active preamp. Usually those preamps are also bypassable in case of emergency or just to get that passive tone.
Post Number: 37
|Posted on Saturday, December 13, 2008 - 3:58 pm: |
But I don't think is normal to any active bass to totaly drain out one battery in just an hour. Seems to me the Aria got serious problem in the circuit, don't you all agree?
No bass I ever put my hands on could burn a battery that fast and I've never heard such thing about any friend's basses. You may have bigger problems than just a not-workin switch, actually I think the problem is a short circuit on this Aria's preamp.
(Message edited by Mario Farufyno on December 13, 2008)
Post Number: 149
|Posted on Sunday, December 14, 2008 - 8:51 am: |
James, sorry that I didn't see this post sooner. I'd say that your inlay ideas are definitely possible. I was an AE in the Navy and put the rating symbol on my Surine bass (Kenneth Lofquist, the luthier for Scott Surine was also an AE). I also had the air warfare qual, but I didn't think of putting that symbol on an inlay. I'm sure your dolphins would look cool. The inlays might not come out exactly like the real symbols, but they would still look good.