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potato1992
New
Username: potato1992

Post Number: 7
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 10:03 am:   Edit Post

Hey guys. I'm looking forward to buy an Alembic bass. It's my 5 year dream for now :D
anyway, I'm thinking about alembic Spoiler though, since it's the cheapest, good looking and ofc nice sounding bass. Well I'm playing metal, and i don't have much money to spend, so I need a cheaper model.
If you can and know something about what I'm looking for, please share you opinion! Oh, it can be used (if you offer), 24 frets, 5 or 4 string ( i know 5 is rare)
For an example, I would love a sound similar to this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8t2dJZRRW0

Thanks a lot for your answers! Cheers, Laurin.

(Message edited by potato1992 on March 31, 2010)
gregduboc
Advanced Member
Username: gregduboc

Post Number: 387
Registered: 11-2008
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 11:10 am:   Edit Post

Laurin, welcome.

There has been an increase in the amount of people searching for Spoiler, here in the club, for what I've seen.
What you have to do is keep an eye on the Swap Shop and Wish Lists, where everyone here posts when we have to get rid of one of our beloved basses, or when we spot someone else doing it!
Good luck!

Greg
potato1992
New
Username: potato1992

Post Number: 8
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 12:15 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks.
Any offers about the electronics i should pick to make it cheaper and keep the good sound?
eligilam
Advanced Member
Username: eligilam

Post Number: 243
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 12:53 pm:   Edit Post

Try to find one with Bartolini's, those are usually a little cheaper.
slammin
Junior
Username: slammin

Post Number: 32
Registered: 10-2009
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 2:11 pm:   Edit Post

Some Alembics use Barts? I wonder if they retain the 'Alembic sound'?

I was really bent on getting a Series instrument but I think I will go for an Alembic preamp instead. From what I can gather, all the Alembics share a common 'sound', and playability doesn't change much between the different models and I am just in love with the way my Persuader plays, and sounds, for that matter. But I still want to experience all the sound possibilities when coupled with an F2B.

I currently play through a Line 6 Pod XT Live and due to some amp modelling and other settings, I am able to get a very nice variety of sounds, but I want to get away from the digital processing.

Still, I will always wonder what I'm missing in getting a Persuader vs. a Spoiler vs. a Signature vs. a Series...... At least until I get one :-)

For now, I am amazed and very happy with my Persuader. Matter of fact, I just spent $89.00 for a nice 4" strap for it.

I do so wonder though if I'd be happier with a Spoiler. It kind of irks me that the PJ pickup on this Persuader is SO much more powerful than the J pickup is. Not that I cannot dial-in great tones, I can, but it is a little tricky sometimes. Getting used to it though.
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 556
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 2:27 pm:   Edit Post

Alembics don't use Barts from the factory, but every now and then you find a bass that has had the pickups swapped out. Barts are fine pickups, but they aren't Alembics. They are made according to a different philosophy, which includes being used passively or with more standard electronics. Alembic pickups are lower impedance and require the proper electronics.

From my perspective, I think the Alembics with neck through construction and the sustain block provide what is considered the classic Alembic tone (although that can vary greatly just from putting the instrument in different hands. While Stanley and Mark King can sound similar, they sound way different from Danny Bowens, Jim Cammach, or Phil Lesh, all Alembic players that have influenced me.). Series basses certainly take it to the next level.

Spoilers sound great, to get back to the OP, but so do Distillates, if you are looking used. I do wonder what the bass is in the Youtube clip. My laptop speakers don't tell me much about the tone, it sounds very Fenderish through them.

Edwin
PS Slammin', you might look in the control cavity and see if there are any trimpots that could even out the pickup balance. I'm not familiar with Persuader electronics, but it's possible. The other way to adjust it is to play with pickup height. It does change the tone, but you might like it.
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 1095
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 2:30 pm:   Edit Post

Some people have placed Barts in Alembic, close to heresy to some here.

I'm pretty sure Jason used an Aria Pro II Black 'n Gold I (one pickup version, probably Cliff's) on the entire Album. ;-)
I've had one and it sounded 100% the same. You can get (very) close with a filter equipped Alembic, but the Aria really nails that sound.
eligilam
Advanced Member
Username: eligilam

Post Number: 244
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 3:26 pm:   Edit Post

Hi all!

Just to clarify, my comment 243 above was a lame attempt at humor. IMO, sometimes you just can't achieve Alembic-type tone on the cheap---if you wanna play, you gotta pay. No free lunch. You get what you pay for. etc etc, cliches ad nauseum.
dannobasso
Senior Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 1226
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 4:31 pm:   Edit Post

You do not need an Alembic to achieve that sound. Please understand that any studio recording of this type can be achieved with most basses through good gear.It sounds bolt on to me or was eq'ed to sound Fenderish to my ears as did Edwin. Flip can probably document how many Alembics actually made it on any Metallica albums.I don't think it will be very many.( Then there is the old loke about there being any bass on Newstead era recordings.)

I heartily recommend any Spoiler. My first was a new 83 koa model. I still have it and it does indeed have the Alembic sound.

My band plays heavy punk influenced metal and hard rock and I only perform and record with Alembics but the way they end up on cd. most would not instantly pick out that Alembics were used. Here is my Excel 5 with Europa guts picked up by my Macbook mic. Not a true representation of the classic tone but it does have some of the characteristics. Best of luck in your search. It can be life changing owning one. Ask anyone here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUfLozlL-HY
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 558
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 4:31 pm:   Edit Post

I guessed that it was a joke, but thought I should chime in, in case other people didn't know and thought that the Alembics that show up with Barts on ebay every now and then might be factory original.
dannobasso
Senior Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 1227
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 4:38 pm:   Edit Post

You do not need an Alembic to achieve that sound. Please understand that any studio recording of this type can be achieved with most basses through good gear.It sounds bolt on to me or was eq'ed to sound Fenderish to my ears as did Edwin. Flip can probably document how many Alembics actually made it on any Metallica albums.I don't think it will be very many.( Then there is the old loke about there being any bass on Newstead era recordings.)

I heartily recommend any Spoiler. My first was a new 83 koa model. I still have it and it does indeed have the Alembic sound.

My band plays heavy punk influenced metal and hard rock and I only perform and record with Alembics but the way they end up on cd. most would not instantly pick out that Alembics were used. Here is my Excel 5 with Europa guts picked up by my Macbook mic. Not a true representation of the classic tone but it does have some of the characteristics. Best of luck in your search. It can be life changing owning one. Ask anyone here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUfLozlL-HY
tmoney61092
Advanced Member
Username: tmoney61092

Post Number: 350
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 6:55 pm:   Edit Post

just wanted to share about the Bartolini comments, they started making a parametric EQ which is based around Alembics concept for the spoilers and persuaders, heres a link to one of them http://bestbassgear.com/bartolini-ezq.htm

~Taylor
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 559
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 7:16 pm:   Edit Post

While the Bartolini EZQ is quite possibly influenced by Alembic, I think it predates the Persuader and Spoiler. It wasn't until 1979 (according to my admittedly unreliable memory and the Short History page) that Alembic started making basses other than the custom and Series basses. I seem to recall the EZQ being available at that time if not before. I think it's probably more based on the Series I or II electronics. There were also other similar filter designs floating around at the time, but most of them were clunkier and noisier than the Alembic design. I remember building a Craig Anderton Super Tone Control into a bass and while it could do crazy things (it was a state variable filter, but unlike the Alembic filters, it could also bring in the signal that fell above and below the filter. It was capable of resonance so high that it would oscillate and the low end could be truly profound. However, it was unreliable (my soldering skills weren't the best back then) and noisy.

I have Bartolini pickups in a number of basses (including my Starfire) and they do always sound nice.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 807
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 7:44 pm:   Edit Post

I remember my old Pluto filters ( also a state variable filter design) would sometimes oscillate in high pass mode at a high gain setting . They had high pass , band pass , low pass and notch . I have HI-A pickups in my remaining Starfire that were from a Bill Bartolini experimental batch. They have "HI A " on them instead of Bartolini.
tmoney61092
Advanced Member
Username: tmoney61092

Post Number: 351
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 7:45 pm:   Edit Post

sorry Edwin, my mistake, i meant persuader/spoiler as in a single filter, i have yet to try one but am VERY anxious, does anyone have experience with it?

~Taylor
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 560
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 7:49 pm:   Edit Post

No worries! Do you mean you want to try a single filter (also seen on the Distillate), an EZQ or something else?

I have an EZQ sitting in a box in my basement that I had in a bass for a while. I liked it well enough. In fact, I don't remember why I stopped using it, or what bass I had it in, for that matter.

Edwin
potato1992
New
Username: potato1992

Post Number: 9
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2010 - 12:26 pm:   Edit Post

Thank you guys for the support.
Well, I want to get an alembic not only becouse someone (Jason in this case) played one. It's just i fell in love with the alembic looks, sounds... everything. (well not the cost ofc :D )
Anyway, I want a cheaper model for now becouse im pretty young now (18), i don't work for now, so i will try to get some cash in summer.
And by the way, what model should i get then, spoiler or persuader, since i can't find some bigger differences between them (except for pickups)
THANKS!
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 568
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2010 - 1:26 pm:   Edit Post

I would just look to see what comes your way used. Between those two instruments, there's still a lot of variation in woods, etc. so wait until find one that you can afford and speaks to you. Be patient and you'll know it when it's right.

If the tone of that clip really appeals to you, you might consider a set neck instrument over a neck through. It will get you the kind of midrange you hear there. A neck through will have less midrange information and be more hifi sounding. The real question is: what sound do you hear in your head when you hear a perfect bass?
potato1992
New
Username: potato1992

Post Number: 10
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Saturday, April 03, 2010 - 8:58 am:   Edit Post

edwin, the sound is almost like in that video, that's why i posted it. It's deep and "thrashy" if you know what i mean.
Some people offered an aria bass (i know it's not the place to talk about it probably), since arias have that sound i mentioned before.
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1376
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, April 03, 2010 - 11:34 am:   Edit Post

Slammin, I have both: A P/J Elan, and a Spoiler, both fives. The Spoiler I retrofitted with Fatboys from the original AXY's.

Bear in mind that the Elan is all maple and ash, while the Spoiler is maple over mahogany with the purpleheart/maple center lam.

The P/J sound is very Fender-ish, no doubt aided by the Fender-ish woods I spec'd for my Elan deliberately. Yes the P is a lot louder than the J, but this is aggravated by Alembic's placement of the J backed right up to the bridge: The string is just not making much movement relative to the big sweet spot the P is sitting in. If I didn't have two preamps it would be very hard to reach any knd of blend. But it's a great rendition of a very recognizable tone. The P is very meaty, and the J is more tenor than baritone, but not thin-sounding. The blend is just what I like, that fat tone with the articulation on top.

The Spoiler with the FatBoys sounds to me like a MusicMan on steroids with way more definition. The AXY's are fine, but the FatBoys are just meatier. I always say the AXY's sound like a great studio mic, the FatBoys like an SM57 or 58: That tone is just built in.

But they both sound like Alembic: You're gonna hear everything unless you turn the tone/filters way down. With new strings, a great amp, a little treble dialed in, you can cut through anything!

J o e y
richbass939
Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 1086
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, April 03, 2010 - 2:56 pm:   Edit Post

Potato,
One way you can help your bass get the "Alembic sound" is with an Alembic Superfilter 2 (SF2). They really help to dial in the sound you are after. They aren't exactly cheap but worth the money. They come up sometimes on the used market, too.
Rich

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