Post Number: 3
|Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 8:40 am: |
I am a new member and thrilled that I just got my first Alembic, a 92 Essence in sunburst quilted maple.
The tone is everything I thought it might be and even more.
Can anybody recommend any mainstream rock or r&b recordings that the bass player is using an Essence?
I don't mean youtube covers but actual original hits.
Post Number: 358
|Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 11:32 am: |
Hmmm. I can't think of any Essence-specific recordings, but any recording of James Taylor featuring the Club's own Jimmy "Flim" Johnson will give you a superb representation of the Alembic sound as presented by one of the finest bassists on the planet.
For a more old-school approach there is Jefferson Airplane's "Thirty Seconds Over Winterland" where The Great Jack Casady brings the inimitable and overpowering thunder of Alembic Number One (literally).
Post Number: 5334
|Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 1:25 pm: |
Most 70's Grateful Dead recordings feature Phil Lesh on "The Godfather", an Alembic modded Guild Starfire, or "Mission Control", his quadraphonic Alembic. And, of course, John Entwhistle played Alembics for many years with The Who.
Post Number: 45
|Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 2:35 pm: |
John MacVie in FleetwoodMac,John Paul Jones in later Led Zepplin,the guy in Nazareth,Bros. Johnson,Tiran Porter in the Doobies......to name some more.
Post Number: 1425
|Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 3:43 pm: |
Not really mainstream rock, but I've been practicing a lot of Sepultura lately. Mainly guitar, but I also tried with my '83 Spoiler and it struck me how it sounded exactly the same as the bass on "Chaos AD" (through my Line 6 Ampeg simulation)
I'm pretty sure Paulo used a classic SVT combi and either a 5 string Essence or a 4 string Spoiler. Good example: Click here (try @ very low volume first)
Even more extreme: Click here (turn volume more down) :-) That's an all Maple (except Ebony fretboard) Elan through an SVT
Now the next seems more like mainstream :-) (though I guess it actually is mainstream today)
'tallica! :-) I'm pretty sure this is recorded with an Alembic (JPJ Elan, Spoiler or Exploiter Spoiler) through an SVT: Breadfan
Live recordings with Series II basses through SVT's: (lots of 'em) San Diego 1992
For more mainstream look also into Level 42 and Prince, should be a lot Alembic there. I have now clue what on which song, there might be someone here that can be more helpful on those.
The only Essence I know of for sure is on the Sepultura album, It looks like a quite standard 5 string model with a Vermillion top (or something that looks familiar)
The Elan on the Gorefest Album is specswise almost identical to the Essence, it has another body/headstock shape and slightly more versatile electronics (probably extra trimpot for individual pickup gain settings and a Q switch, last not being a factor in this case (I'm pretty sure the Q is on in the recording, as is on the Essence electronics package)
Post Number: 2777
|Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 4:34 pm: |
If you want to hear Alembic 72-01 , Jack Casady with the Jefferson Airplane plays Alembic #1 on the Album "Thirty Seconds Over Winterland" .
Monster Alembic Tone !
Post Number: 98
|Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 4:46 pm: |
I just recently saw a maple Essence 4 string in a 90's country vid. Diamond Rio maybe?? Sawyer Brown..one of those kind of bands. I'll find it later.
Post Number: 6
|Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 6:15 pm: |
I've got some listening to do...
I am pleasantly surprised about John McVie, I have always loved the Fleetwood Mac sound, so clean.
Post Number: 1211
|Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 7:14 pm: |
Don't forget Stanley Clarke! Or how about John Entwistle:
You have to wait a bit for it to come in, but it's worth it!
Post Number: 359
|Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 7:40 pm: |
The Ox clip posted by Hieronymous is pretty much definitive Alembic tone. It sounds like anvils being dropped on high-tension electric lines or the inside of The Great Piano In The Sky. In other words unbelievably huge and _absolutely_ Alembic. No other bass can begin to sound like that. Play it through a real stereo - not just computer speakers - and there's your target.
Post Number: 3321
|Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 6:55 am: |
Jeff Langston, bassist with Anthony and the Johnsons plays an epic. There's a thread about hin in the showcase section
The music is a bit of an acquired taste though.
Post Number: 7
|Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 9:26 am: |
I love the image of 'anvils being dropped on high tension electric lines' it would make a great 70's album cover or, ( iTunes album art as it is called now I think)
I have to ask a friend who is good with photoshop to give it a shot
Post Number: 196
|Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 2:31 pm: |
I have always thought Alembics sound like pianos, really nice pianos.
Post Number: 925
|Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 4:06 pm: |
I uploaded a new song called Uecker's Revenge here:
It is a 1984 Alembic Distillate played with a pick w/ neck pickup. I don't use a pick often but it works well on this song (especially around 2:47).
Play it LOUD!
p.s. all the other songs on that page have the same bass used on them.
Post Number: 926
|Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 4:10 pm: |
oops - sorry - the OP asked for "Mainstream" - the above link really isn't very mainstream.
But it IS an Alembic sounding pretty darn nice.
Post Number: 1409
|Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 6:35 pm: |
Or for a different tone, check out Gil Scott-Heron's It's Your World with Danny Bowen on a Series I. The bassist who followed him, Robert Gordon, also used a Series I on Reflections and Moving Target, which is some great Alembic tone. I guess you could call it R&B of a kind.
Post Number: 364
|Posted on Friday, February 01, 2013 - 6:33 am: |
As the above examples show, there is certainly more than one kind of "classic Alembic tone" The incredible versatility of Alembic electronics is one of the things we all love about them. John McVie and John Entwistle both played Alembics and their tone is about as different as can be,
That said...how about Tom Fowler's Alembic tone with Frank Zappa on "One Size Fits All," or Allen Woody on "Shades of Two Worlds," the first album he recorded with the Allman Brothers.
Post Number: 197
|Posted on Friday, February 01, 2013 - 3:56 pm: |
I really like Jimmy Johnson on James Taylor's Live at the Beacon Theatre DVD. But then, that's more my type of music.
Post Number: 500
|Posted on Friday, February 01, 2013 - 6:46 pm: |
You asked for an essence recording, so I will give you what I can. I have had an essence in my collection for many years. This walnut one was my first. I am actually sad I got rid of it. Light , warm, versatile, well balanced. Anyway here you go.
Post Number: 5337
|Posted on Saturday, February 02, 2013 - 11:26 am: |
Hey Nick, is that you under all that hair? Sounds great!
Post Number: 501
|Posted on Saturday, February 02, 2013 - 2:19 pm: |
Thanks,Bill. Yeah, that was back in the day, huh.
Post Number: 920
|Posted on Saturday, February 02, 2013 - 3:41 pm: |
Hi Suat, and welcome to the club!!!!!
Mike Gordon from Phish ordered an Essence 5 back around '95...... Although to my best recollection I never saw him play it, there might be some documentation amongst Phisheads as to any shows or recordings Mike grabbed it......
Post Number: 500
|Posted on Sunday, February 03, 2013 - 6:49 am: |
Well, if Nick is going to use his 500th post for this thread, I will too.
For classic, as opposed to contemporary, 8 string Alembics you have Greg Lake on various ELP tracks, along with Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick on 'Gonna Raise Hell'. Tom's bass can been seen in the video of the Cheap Trick song 'Voices'.
(Message edited by lidon2001 on February 03, 2013)
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Monday, April 01, 2013 - 9:13 am: |
Dead.net is streaming 16 shows from various times. I found several shows from the 1970’s during which Phil Lesh was playing various of his Alembics. “Morning Dew” from the Denver, November 1973, for example, displays some rather unique tone.
Post Number: 1972
|Posted on Monday, April 01, 2013 - 10:50 pm: |
Don't know if it's 'typical' for us mere mortals, but John Entwistle's live work with The Who when he was playing Alembics is just a savage tone; I often think of the live 'Won't Get Fooled Again' from the 'Kids Are Alright' movie, it sounds like like, hell it's hard to say, but almost like a clavinet on steroids, but that was his tone. Geez, that would have cut through anything.
For me, it's hard to pick out one axe from another on recordings. At least on the latter-day James Taylor stuff, you can hear Jimmy Johnson on his Series axes, probably the most accessible of any Alembic recordings. Not to mention his work is an utter primer for taste, pocket, and tone. JJ's work on more frenetic music (his outings with Holdsworth, for instance) are jaw-dropping, but it's just over my head. The JT stuff I can actually understand, and it's wonderful to hear him at work, and speaks to an amazing versatility that's he's just at home with either.
J o e y
Post Number: 2071
|Posted on Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - 1:08 pm: |
'Breadfan' - originally recorded by a Welsh band called Budgie in 1971
Takes me back to my youth!
Post Number: 9
|Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 10:08 am: |
I have always thought that Entwistle's tone on The Who's "Face Dances" album was a great example of The Alembic Tone.
Check it out...
Post Number: 188
|Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 1:41 am: |
Check out the Alembic sounds on the Songs For The Live Set page:
"Baby Fights To Survive" features a 1986 Series I/II, medium scale with a Rosewood top.
"Pink and Blue" features a 1975 LSB with a zebra wood top.
"Drug" features a Wilkins fretless on the opening, and the 1975 zebra wood LSB as the fretted bass on the track.
"Homicide" (Live) features a 1980 Rick Turner bass (2-pickup).
Post Number: 189
|Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 2:01 am: |
Here's another one featuring the 1975 zebra LSB (the fretted track-- the fretless track is played on a 1986 Wal Doubleneck):
Post Number: 207
|Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 4:17 pm: |
He's better known for being a Fender guy but Norman Watt-Roy of Ian Dury and the Blockheads played Alembics in their later career.
The man is a monster, hear him go...
Post Number: 367
|Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 6:02 pm: |
Yeppers, Norman is a freaking BEAST of a player.
Post Number: 190
|Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 12:35 am: |
This may be an example of a more "typical" Alembic Series sound than the previous examples I posted:
The bass is a 1976 short-scale with a boluca top.
Post Number: 70
|Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 8:01 am: |
I know the OP asked for popular bands, but when my old band recorded our last album, I used my Epic, and a Warmoth fretless with Alembic pickups/electronics for all my basslines (oh, and a Godin A4 fretless on one song).
I can't say if they are typical of the Alembic sounds, but you can hear what an Alembic sounds like in an everyday-type setting (i.e. local band).
The band name was Left Turn at Albuquerque, and the album is up on Spotify:
Post Number: 10
|Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 9:36 am: |
If we're posting "local band" stuff, too, here's a recording of my old band doing a song called "Karma Time".
I used my Alembic Elan (with SC signature electronics) through a Trace Elliot rig. (No DI; the cabs were mic'd.)
You can see the bass and the rig in the video, too: