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Username: erixxst

Post Number: 42
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 12:43 pm:   Edit Post

Hi just bought a 1982 Spoiler with standard electronics. I'm very surprise of how diffenrent it sound from my Excel. I tried to understand the working of the electronics but i'm still confused. Can you help me to clear this all,Remember the title FOR DUMMY. Thank!

If someone can jump in and explain it in french that might help.

Username: adriaan

Post Number: 2836
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 1:07 pm:   Edit Post

The Q switch adds an accent at the start of the note. The tone knob sets the frequency where the accent is placed.

French enough for you? :-)
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 10310
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 4:05 pm:   Edit Post

Beautiful bass!
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1740
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 10:42 pm:   Edit Post

Mica's tutorial on Spoiler electronics here:


J o e y
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1741
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 11:05 pm:   Edit Post

So . . . . you've got a gain knob next to the strings. The p/u selector runs mute/neck/both/bridge, really cool as you just turn it to mute and put it on the stand, no need to turn it down/off.

The tone control+Q Switch usually takes a little work to grasp (it sure did for me). So here goes:

The tone control actually controls a low-pass filter, not the typical tone pot found on virtually anything else (and all Alembics are like this).

All the way down (full anti-clockwise), everything below 350hz is let thru, everything above is shut out (very little treble, sounds like organ pedals, all mumbling thump and little else). As you turn the tone control to wide open, the 'ceiling' rises to 6khz (REALLY treble-y, lots of finger noise, clavinet-like tone with new roundwounds).

If you visualize a 31-band EQ, Imagine everything from the 6khz slider to the left is at the middle, every thing past it to the right is shoved all the way down. This will help you visualize what's happening.

Then when you kick in the Q Switch, there's a 'bump' that attack-related centered around whatever the tone control is set at. A dynamic related boost, if you will. Imagine that same 31-band EQ, bump that same 6k slider UP 8db, and the slider on either side of it about half of that, and you can visualize the Q function.

French enough?

Now I've owned a Spoiler 5 with exactly this layout for over 10 years. Living and playing it in real life, this is what I've found:

The Q-Switch reaction really is related to how you play. I'm basically an old-school fingerstyle player, so in that case, I don't hear much of a difference, Now when I play hard with a pick, I do hear a 'snarkier' more aggressive edge to the tone. It's seamless, you don't hear any sort of gate, it just gets that much more brighter, depending where the tone is set.

An instant Chris Suire tone can be had by running neck pickup only, Q on, and pick hard back towards the bridge. Instant 'Roundabout' tone, though more hifi than those old Rics.

As the pickups are at the end of the fingerboard and butted up against the bridge, there's a big difference in tone between the two.

While we're at it, do you know about the mixer in the control cavity for setting your relative gains?

But essentially you can go from organ pedal density to clavinet-like tone in about half a second, really amazing with just two knobs and two switches !

J o e y
Username: erixxst

Post Number: 44
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 5:45 am:   Edit Post

Thank Joey! this is what i call very helpful.
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1034
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 7:41 am:   Edit Post

The first Alembic I actually laid hands on was an '82 solid koa Spoiler. They were well named, indeed.


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