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Username: redcloud

Post Number: 2
Registered: 5-2011
Posted on Sunday, May 08, 2011 - 8:49 am:   Edit Post

OK, I'll admit it; I am really gassing for a Cocobolo "Tribute". Reviews on the internet are mixed re: the pups (some say they are too "clean"), seems odd.

I am fortunate to have a fairly extensive family of other solid bodies offering quite a wide tonal variety , which include:

Fender Custom Shop Strat (Abby wound pups)
Fender American Deluxe Tele (N3 pups)
Gibson Les Paul "Traditional"
Parker Supreme Fly in Koa
Parker "Bronze" Fly
Taylor "Builder's Reserve" in Walnut

Would a Coco "Tribute" add very much as re: tone (I realize that a major contributing factor to tone is technique)?

Are their better choices from Alembic other than than the "Tribute" model?

Any comments/comparative reviews/comments would be appreciated.

Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4863
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, May 08, 2011 - 10:46 am:   Edit Post


Welcome to the club! Alembic guitars are quite unique in two respects. First of all, the woodwork is second to none. They are literally pieces of art, even the "entry level" instruments. The attention to detail, materials used, build quality, etc. are nothing short of astounding. Secondly, the electronics. None of your other instruments will ever sound like an Alembic (unless you install Alembic electronics - something that many people around here have done).

You are correct in that Alembic pickups and electronics yield a very clean tone. For those who want to play heavily distorted rock, thrash metal, and other styles that require distortion, an Alembic will indeed present an uphill battle, though some have had satisfactory results, (and, admittedly, some haven't). If that is your style, I would recommend to stay away from Alembic guitars. But if you like to play clean, (as I do - I play a lot of Grateful Dead style music), there is nothing like the full, rich, almost piano-like tone of an Alembic.

As for choices in instruments, there are only two major choices, tonewise, in my opinion. First of all is choosing whether to get a neck-through or a set neck. The Tribute is a set neck while, for example, the Further is a neck-through. You can find lots of info on the net about the relative advantages and disadvantages of the two build methods. I have both and think both are top notch, though I personally prefer neck-throughs.

Second, the choice is between Series and non-Series electronics. All of the non-Series Alembic guitars share similar attributes. The pickups are essentially the same across the board, only differing in shape which does effect the size of the aperture and subsequently the tone. Like single coil vs. humbucker, thinner Alembic pickups will tend to provide a thinner tone than wider Alembics. (Alembic pickups are "hum canceling". They have one coil around a magnet, and a second "dummy coil" with no magnet). Then the electronic packages differ in whether the pickups have individual volume and filter controls or share such controls, and whether they have "Q" switches. The Tribute has the same electronics package as the Further.

Series instruments are a whole other beast. They have single coil pickups with a hum canceler in the middle position. If you are willing to spend the money, there is nothing like a Series instrument.

One thing that is very cool: if you are buying a new instrument, you can get whatever you want. For example, the stock Further (and Tribute) configuration employs a "humbucker" size pickup in the middle position. When I had my Further built, I replaced that with a "single coil" size in the middle position.

Of course, if possible, try out an Alembic before you make any decisions. You can check to see if there is a dealer in your area, or just ask and, if any club members are near you, you can probably arrange to meet up and take one for a spin. You will find the members here to be extremely helpful and eager to proselytize about their Alembics.

So poke around this forum, ask your questions, and enjoy the ride.

Bill, the guitar one.

(Message edited by lbpesq on May 08, 2011)
Username: redcloud

Post Number: 4
Registered: 5-2011
Posted on Sunday, May 08, 2011 - 12:12 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks, Bill.

I believe there is a dealer in Columbus, Ohio, near me. I did buy the Alembic basses sight unseen and by their reputation from Will Gunn. I already have several nice solid bodies and can/should afford some time A/Bing them.

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