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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive through December 03, 2011 » Alembic distillate 1982 vs. Fender Jazz 1974 « Previous Next »

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valentina
New
Username: valentina

Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2011
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 7:23 am:   Edit Post

Hi everyone! new in this forum. I'd like to get some advice on what to do:I have been proposed an exchange, my alembic distillate 1982 (VG+) for a fender jazz 1974 (very used with visible wears and scraps on the body).. Now, except for the vintage "added" value of the FJ, I really don't know anything about the real value of both basses... what do you suggest?
rami
Senior Member
Username: rami

Post Number: 968
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 8:02 am:   Edit Post

Hi Valentina!

Welcome to the club! First of all, an old Fender will always have a certain collector value over the Alembic. That's just the way it is. But old Fenders are not consistent in quality or sound. You may get lucky and find one that plays and sounds great, or you could end up with one that has neck problems (twisted or bowed) that can't be fixed, and buzzes and hums. The Alembic is obviously of superior quality and sound. It's really up to you which sounds, plays and looks better.
I would recommend keeping the Alembic and perhaps finding an old Jazz Bass later. Old Fenders are easy to find, but a really good one is not. Every Alembic that I've tried sounds and plays great.
The most important thing is to try the Fender before deciding. If an instrument doesn't play or sound to your liking, it doesn't matter whose name is on it - it is worthless.
I can say all this from personal experience because I own a very large collection of Alembics and a very large collection of Fenders (mostly Jazz Basses).

Best regards and again, welcome to the club!

Rami

:-)
valentina
New
Username: valentina

Post Number: 2
Registered: 10-2011
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 8:11 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Rami,
that's exactly what I want to do! I've given the guy my alembic for a try.. and I've got his fender for a couple of days.. just to see how it works.. the body has huge signs of wear, but I want to check the sound anyway!
you have been very kind, thanks a lot for the full and quick reply!
:-)
artswork99
Moderator
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 1606
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 9:04 am:   Edit Post

Well put Rami!
valentina
New
Username: valentina

Post Number: 3
Registered: 10-2011
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 9:45 am:   Edit Post

I agree with rami under any point of view.. of course the value is totally subjective and depends on what you use the bass for.. but is it a balanced exchange under an economic point of view? :-)
thanks in advance again!!
nnek
Member
Username: nnek

Post Number: 68
Registered: 8-2009
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 10:17 am:   Edit Post

I also agree whole hardheartedly and ad a note to the "collector " value of a '74 Fender...
When did the mid 70's fenders become good? I would think mid 70's quality control might be some of the worst for total production. Individual "good" ones may be rare.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2116
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 10:17 am:   Edit Post

Hello Valentina . Welcome to our Alembic world here.

I think that rami has made an excellent explanation . I own both Fender and Alembic Bass Guitars as well. I love my Alembics for their wonderful sound and exemplary playability but my Fenders are also important in other aspects and I consider them as tools of the trade as well. Personally I reach for an Alembic before a Fender these days most of the time.

Speaking from my heart and mind equally I suggest that if you can afford to keep your Distillate to do so so that you do not have big regrets after a sale or trade. You are likely to find a Vintage Fender Jazz Bass that has appeal to you at a higher percentage then another Alembic Distillate . I own a Distillate as well and they are special instruments.
valentina
New
Username: valentina

Post Number: 4
Registered: 10-2011
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 10:48 am:   Edit Post

thanks everybody for the help and excellent support!!
rami
Senior Member
Username: rami

Post Number: 969
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, October 31, 2011 - 9:30 am:   Edit Post

The modern American Series and American Deluxe Jazz Basses are truely amazing instruments. They sound and play wonderfully. And most importantly, there is consistency. From the first one you try to the hundredth.

Old Jazz Basses will always have a special place in my heart, but finding a good one is really by chance. Other than that, their appeal is mostly symbolic and esthetic.

As well, an Alembic may be harder to replace than a Jazz Bass should you ever miss it. The Distillate is dicontinued and although I'm sure they'll make one for you if you ask, it won't be cheap.

Cheers,

:-)
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2117
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Monday, October 31, 2011 - 9:42 am:   Edit Post

Well stated Rami________
rjmsteel
Intermediate Member
Username: rjmsteel

Post Number: 172
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Monday, October 31, 2011 - 10:40 am:   Edit Post

FWIW:
I Still own my originally purchased (by me) 1981 Distillate and would never sell (or trade) it!
Fast neck.. because of the scale
Deep tone... because of the electronics and the wood, you might not get that with the Fender.

Also agreed, as stated above regarding the likeliness of finding a Vintage Fender.

-Rich
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1057
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, October 31, 2011 - 5:24 pm:   Edit Post

I can't think of any reason why I would trade an Alembic for a Fender made after 1968 or so. There are plenty of modern instruments that, for my taste, do the Fender thing very well and don't command the prices of a vintage instrument. As others have stated, just because a Fender is from the 70s, doesn't mean that it's going to be good. Those of us who lived through the era for the most part disdained 70s Fenders as being inferior in quality and consistency. Sure, there are a few great ones, but pretty much all Alembics are head and shoulders above the Fenders.

Ask the question at the Fender forum, and I'll guarantee that you'll get a different answer!
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1095
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, October 31, 2011 - 6:30 pm:   Edit Post

"....just because a Fender is from the 70s, doesn't mean that it's going to be good. Those of us who lived through the era for the most part disdained 70s Fenders as being inferior in quality...."

Indeed, that a Fender is from the 70s means that it is highly unlikely that it will be even good, let alone great; we disdained them with good reason. I would go Edwin 2 years sooner, and wouldn't think about a Fender from 1967-1990.

Peter
afrobeat_fool
Advanced Member
Username: afrobeat_fool

Post Number: 380
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Monday, October 31, 2011 - 6:43 pm:   Edit Post

I'm with Edwin! I just sold all but one vintage fender, now I have 4 Alembics! Including Edwin's old Series bass

Nick
rami
Senior Member
Username: rami

Post Number: 970
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - 9:59 am:   Edit Post

The majority of my Jazz Basses are from the 70s.
I particularly love the Maple boards with the Pearl blocks. I also have several with the Black blocks '71-'73. I can't knock them because I own so many of them - for a reason. They actually DO sound great, they weigh a ton and look really cool. Obviously not the quality of Alembics, but neither the price. I don't think I would trade an Alembic for one, but they would be the last of my Basses that I would sell.

They have me.

:-)
rami
Senior Member
Username: rami

Post Number: 971
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - 4:10 pm:   Edit Post

Here's one of my '74s:


74 Sunburst

I can't imagine ever parting with it.
jphilauren
Member
Username: jphilauren

Post Number: 57
Registered: 5-2008
Posted on Monday, November 07, 2011 - 1:46 pm:   Edit Post

I own a 83 Distillate and a 71 Jazz in mint condition. No comparison the Alembic has it over the Jazz. My Lakland Joe Osborn sounds better than the Jazz, My Jazz is unique and probably one of the better Jazz basses that Fender made considering the mid 70's models were a joke with mismatched parts etc, With a good amp set up you can really hear the differences between the basses but that's for another discussion
hydrargyrum
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 1066
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, November 07, 2011 - 2:15 pm:   Edit Post

So my question is could a person trade the Alembic for the J-bass, sell the J-bass, and buy a nicer Alembic?

:-)
pauldo
Senior Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 694
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Monday, November 07, 2011 - 6:36 pm:   Edit Post

I would will never part with my Distillate!*
It is shameful enough that I sold a beautiful zebrawood Exploiter.

* when I pass my son will inherit it
longhorncat
Senior Member
Username: longhorncat

Post Number: 426
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - 3:52 pm:   Edit Post

"So my question is could a person trade the Alembic for the J-bass, sell the J-bass, and buy a nicer Alembic?"

It's a pretty even swap $$ wise.
The Jazz is more valuable if it's a custom color or in mint (unplayed) condition;
less valuable if it has any non original parts.

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