Rosewood/Maple Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Alembic Club » Showcase » Elan basses » Rosewood/Maple « Previous Next »

Author Message
Username: popboy

Post Number: 4
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 1:58 pm:   Edit Post

Valentino gave me this 89H 5320 Elan,1989 long scale 4 string Elan bass
Rosewood top, maple body, maple neck, ebony fretboard
Elan electronics (1 volume, 1 tone filter, 1 pan 1 Q switch), Plastic oval inlays Schaller tuners, Completed March 23 1989, Sold through Kenman.

I'm not an Alembic fanatic or fetichist, and the price was always a bit too much to think about buying one.
When i saw this one for around 1000 $ i decided to dive, for the wood, i'm not sure the sound would be so much better than other basses, for now, the bass is totally noise free (good point)
but i'm not so impressed because the strings seems to be The nickel type, and i don't like them. After i polish everything, oil the neck i will change the strings fine tune the hardware and make my opinion on this bass, a cheap alembic ?

The last picture show some trace of the time, and the maple is not realy tolerant :-(

(Message edited by popboy on September 04, 2004)
Senior Member
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 812
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 4:11 pm:   Edit Post

I have to disagree. I don't think it's a "cheap" Alembic; I think it is a very nice Alembic. The top wood is really nice. I think $1,000 is a very good price for that bass. Especially given that body style, those controls, long scale neck through, and that top. And I think the nicks in the body are not bad for an '89. I really like the combination of the top wood with the Maple body. I have a Maple bodied Essence that I think has a very nice tone; so I think your bass is going to sound great! Is that a black plastic control cavity cover with the protective backing still on? Very nice bass. If you decide it's not for you, I would imagine there might be a member or two of this club that would be interested in it.
Username: popboy

Post Number: 5
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 5:00 pm:   Edit Post

Ok i like to troll slightly, but as english is not my usual tongue maybe i was to strong.
As i said, it was cheap enough for me to buy without taking an exagerate risk. But i didn't said it's a bad bass, i was really happy when i saw the top because it's near mint and the rosewood is very, very nice, creamy with sweet strips , the head is perfect and hopefully the nicks are on the back.
I have to admit that the maple is way better on natural light than
the neon one.
Yes, a screw is missing but the protective is in place.
Intermediate Member
Username: poor_nigel

Post Number: 151
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 5:32 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Mathias and welcome.

Your new (to you) bass looks exactly like the Elan I used to have, but mine had a macassar ebony top. I believe mine did not have a brass block under its bridge, either. These are not top-of-the-line for Alembics, but they are sure not toward the bottom of the pile for basses in general.

These basses are much better than the average bass made in the world, and they are a GREAT first Alembic. You can play it for a year or two, sell it for what you paid or more, even, and then get a better one when you have become addicted to Alembics. For many people, after playing Alembics for a while, nothing else plays the same or sounds as good. So when it is time to upgrade their bass(s), they buy more Alembics.

I like your bass. I hope you enjoy it when you get it tweaked (adjust the hardware) and put a new set of strings on it. Have fun and take care.

BTW - If you have a problem finding screws to match your missing one, you can get replacements for them here:
Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 1550
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 5:42 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Mathias,

yeah Switzerland.
It IS not always simple to know in advance what language to talk: French?? German ?? Italian?? I think there is even a 4th language involved. So we can praise ourselves lucky with our 3 official languages in Belgium!

"La bienvenue!"
" Härtzlich Wilkommen"

Man ...I just LOVE that Elan!
Nice wood!
I know the electronics. I got those too and a friend of mine temporary installed them on a Fender P "light". The sound was huge! I can only say that on this bass it WILL be far more huge!
Of course it wil need some adjustment but if you browse around in this club you will find all teh info you need!
Keep us posted!!!

Paul the bad one
Username: popboy

Post Number: 6
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 5:48 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for the welcome and the tip Nigel, you're right, it's like new for me and it's a pleasure to touch it and clean it.
Advanced Member
Username: the_mule

Post Number: 254
Registered: 1-2004
Posted on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 5:53 am:   Edit Post

Very nice Elan Mathias! As soon as you've set her up to your specs and wishes you'll see that they're far from being a compromise. I'm lucky enough to own four very different Alembics: Series I, EVH Sig, Orion and a 1988 Elan with even a more simple electronics configuration (Persuader, no Q-switch). You can see it directly under your thread (two-tone burl walnut). It definitely has its own distinctive role in the passion play, great tones, and a wonderful 'punch' thanks to the maple body...

Username: popboy

Post Number: 7
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 7:21 am:   Edit Post

I've seen it, the top is so nicely "tormented", i'm jealous.
You know in french we said "l'herbe est toujours plus verte dans le jardin du voisin"->"the grass is always greener in the neighbour's garden".

Now i must clean the bridge, the picture don't show it well, but it's stongly oxydised, it works surpisingly well for is state, but i want a shiny brass bridge.

P.S. Once more thanks for your welcome everybody, yes we have many languages in Switzerland the forth is "Romanche" said in french,
they don't have a TV channel but some time on the other channels (we have 2 channels for each major tongue) so i can hear them from time to time, this is a sweet mix and blend from German, Italian and French with a "zest" of stone accent from the Alpes it seems Latin sometimes.
As i live in Genève->Geneva my tongue is French, but my wife is from Napoli and logically i understand quite well Italian and some Napolitan vocabulary. I'm sorry but my English is poor -> Bass player ;)

(Message edited by popboy on September 05, 2004)

(Message edited by popboy on September 05, 2004)
Username: alemboid

Post Number: 98
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 9:15 am:   Edit Post

Hello Mathias,

Welcome to the Alembic Club.

Yes, you will find members speak many tongues, and for that matter I wish my French was as good as your english!

Your bass is beautiful, and I am happy to see an Alembic is in Geneva.

Take a look around the club, and I hope you enjoy your bass!

A bientot!

Username: tom_z

Post Number: 18
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 9:26 am:   Edit Post

I too would like to extend my welcome from the upper registers of the club (the shy guitar players) and congratulate you on your Alembic acquisition. Mathias, your English is not at all poor - it is quite good.

Incidentally, I have been enjoying watching your countryman, Roger Federer, in the US Open this week. He is my favorite tennis player to watch. On the women's side I enjoy the game of Justine Henin-Hardenne, a neighbor of Paul TBO. German, Tommy Haas is doing the "beat-down" as I type this. Love the international flavor of tennis. (My apologies for this thread-distraction - "And now back to your regularly scheduled program.")


Username: popboy

Post Number: 8
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 10:03 am:   Edit Post

I don't have a great interest for sport, but tennis is strong for swiss people for the last years, after Martina, Roger.

But, about my Elan, after cleaning the body, oiling the neck (let it dry for a night)
I put my Elite steel strings on it, finally i played a bit, comparing with my Aria pro II SB 900 fretless and pro II integra fretted both bartolinized.
Now it's clear the nickel strings on the Elan where dead.
With the new steel on it i just elevate the bridge a bit and zing,
the neck is well curved and didn't move when i changed the strings, no buzz. As yesterday the electronics is absolutely silent.
The tone is very well balanced full bass, vibrant mediums and the highs are not agressive.What suprised me is the tone control
very subtle but
1) the sound is very good full open, and the pan give me enough tonal colours between the two microphones.
2) i think ther are some mini pot in the cavity that i would. explore.

Comparing the Bartolinized Aria with the Alembic was stupid,
both sound good but the texture is different less defined for the Aria but seems louder, but medium oriented.

(Message edited by popboy on September 05, 2004)
Senior Member
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 820
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 10:32 am:   Edit Post

The pots in the cavity are gain controls. They control the amount of signal being sent to your amp. Do you have two or one? I don't remember which the Elan has. If you have two, you can also use them to balance the outputs of your pickups.
Username: popboy

Post Number: 9
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 11:00 am:   Edit Post

I didn't look inside now, but the online picture shows two,
thanks for your help dave.

Add Your Message Here
Username: Posting Information:
This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration