Post Number: 2575
|Posted on Monday, August 30, 2010 - 7:06 am: |
[Moved two posts from this Showcase thread to this new thread.]
(Message edited by adriaan on August 30, 2010)
Post Number: 28
|Posted on Monday, August 30, 2010 - 5:45 am: |
After recently seeing the Elan Plus on ebay, I'm interested in breaking down the differences of the Europa and the Elan pictured above (the Elan shown here appears identical to the one ebay).
This Elan appears to have the AXY56 pickups. The Europa has the MXY56. What's the difference and were both pickups available as options back in the '90s? On the current custom order list, I don't see how you could get the "fatter" pickups unless you move up to signature electronics.
Bird tail piece versus half moon? Any difference in sound/performance or is it just personal preference.
What about the neck laminates; the Elan shows more slender purple heart. Both basses have the same number of laminates. Was this an option for ordering back in the 90's?
Maple body versus Mahogany. Looks like you can still select a Maple body on most current model basses. Apparently the mahogany body is most popular as I don't recall seeing many Maple bodies. I'm sure there is a difference in sound, sustain and weight. Can anyone direct me to a discussion of the pro's and con's of these body materials?
Speaking of weight, which of the two basses pictured here is the heavier bass? I know back plate material may influence the weight, but in general, Is one bass lighter than the other?
The way the auction went off, it would appear that a Europa is more desirable than an Elan plus, comments?
The seller of the bass on ebay explained he purchased the instrument in 2002. I'm wondering if this Elan is the same one: similar wood, same electronics, same pickups, tailpiece, headstock. Only difference I can make out is the Elan on ebay has a standard strap button on the bottom where the presenter of this comparison photo states the Elan has inset dunlop straplocks. Was this look of coco bolo and macassar ebony on a maple body a common look in the 90's?
Yeah, I'm interested because I'm the guy who bought the bass on Ebay. Seller hasn't provided the serial number, so I'm still not certain what I have.
As always, comments and feedback are appreciated.
Post Number: 764
|Posted on Monday, August 30, 2010 - 6:36 am: |
Hi Dennis; there are others much more knowedgable than I who will no doubt chime in, but I can tell you a couple of things. First, AXY & MXY are the same p/up in different shells; it purely an aesthetic thing. Series is the same shell as AXY with different guts. And keep in mind that the Custom Quote Generator has limited space; it includes a selection of popular options, but the actual list of possiblities is pretty much "What can you think up?"
And congratulations on the new bass.
Post Number: 9558
|Posted on Monday, August 30, 2010 - 9:23 am: |
Dennis, congrats on the Elan!
I don't think that the bass you purchased on Ebay is the same bass that's pictured in the Showcase thread you originally posted to. The pattern of the grain in the Coco Bolo appears to be quite different.
As Peter said, the only difference in the AXY and MXY is the appearance of the shell. There is another pickup that comes in the AXY shell called a Fat Boy that uses a larger magnet and does have a different sound.
The choice of tailpieces is also, essentially, cosmetic.
Neck laminates do have a significant impact on tone. Note that the two basses in the Showcase thread have different neck tapers. The Elan has the Classic taper and the Europa has the Comfort taper. So not only are the Purpleheart lams wider on that Europa, so are the Maple lams; it's a wider neck. Both of these basses appear to have standard neck configurations for the particular model.
There is a page describing body woods here.
I don't know the answer to the weight question. The Elan has a smaller body and a narrower neck; but I don't know the difference in the relative weights of Mahogany and Maple. I probably did know at some point, but the answer isn't coming to me now.
Not many Elan Plus's show up on Ebay, not nearly as many as Europas; and I tend to think that people are not as familiar with the Elan Plus as the Europa. The difference in the neck taper is, to me, a significant factor. Personally, I prefer the Classic taper on the Elan, but others prefer the Comfort taper of the Europa. The difference between the Mahogany and Maple bodies is also a significant factor; there will be a difference in tone. The price you paid does not seem significantly different from what one might be able to pick up a Europa for in the current market.
I think the bass you bought is a wonderful combination of woods, electronics, and aesthetics. I think you'll love the tone and the playability. Congrats again!
Post Number: 29
|Posted on Monday, August 30, 2010 - 9:58 am: |
Peter and David,
Thanks for your comments. They are especially welcome now as I wait for the new baby to arrive.
I believe I will ultimately be looking for a 5 string Series I or II. (Just got into the 5 string dimension this year.) I figure I need to try the Alembic 5 string in any neck through model before I splurge the extra cash to get the Series bass.
I did pick up an early model (#446) Tobias bass last month which is a 5er. While it has great sound and playability, it's not an Alembic.
Again thanks for you time.
Post Number: 1484
|Posted on Monday, August 30, 2010 - 12:53 pm: |
I own a 5-string Elan with Sig electronics and Alembic P/J pickups in 'white' woods, maple neckthru w/cherry pinstripes, ash wings, flame maple tops. I also own a 5-string Series-shaped spoiler in quilt maple, with mahogany wings, the three-stripe purpleheart neckthru ('deluxe' laminates) and FatBoy pickups (retrofits from the original AXY's).
In Alembics, the mostly maple axes like my Elan show more of that mid-range 'quack' most of us are used to from Fenders. You hear it in Spectors or Pedullas. It's a bit simpler sound, as there's not a lot of different woods to season the tone. My Spoiler sounds somewhat smoother due to the mahogany and the purpleheart.
As you proceed into the darker woods, it tends to lower the 'heard/felt' fundamental. Their favorite blend of cocobolo and ebony neck laminates really makes for a profound 'bottom' of the note, but it can get heavy fast.
As always, Mica or Susan, or the rest of us here can begin to help you crystallise what you're thinking into an actual axe. I congratulate you on your new axe, and it's way smarter to get one or two used ones to get a feel for what these are like, if you're on the way to having a personal guitar built.
J o e y
Post Number: 1485
|Posted on Monday, August 30, 2010 - 12:59 pm: |
Really, though, the one thing that's really important: You are joining a community that is based on the Wickersham's love of these axes and utter willingness to admit any- and everyone.
Like you, I bought a used one, and was treated like I'd spent a million dollars with them. Admittedly, no website could possibly cover everything, so I learned 'how to Alembic' and 'how to speak Alembic' right here in this forum from guys like Dave and Adriaan.
So, here you are, and we don't even have a secret handshake !
J o e y
Post Number: 2576
|Posted on Monday, August 30, 2010 - 1:28 pm: |
Well, Joey did pen this guide to a happy and troublefree Alembic ownership, which comes as close to a secret handshake as does knowledge of the 3Bs.