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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive through November 22, 2013 » My new Alembic Bass (and there was much rejoicing!) « Previous Next »

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Advanced Member
Username: pasewark

Post Number: 209
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 4:12 pm:   Edit Post

It took awhile but I finally took delivery of my new Alembic Bass. She is a custom short scale. The body is what Mica calls the "Mac" bass design. I saw a '80 Alembic Graphite short scale bass with this body design at the 2011 Alembic Gathering and just fell in love with it. My bass has the same wood recipe as a Brown Bass, but I hand picked the burl walnut top (very trippy) and and flame walnut back. I also had the front book matched to center and had it set up with Anniversary electronics with a prep for a Series conversion which I hope to do later this year. Some of the other features include silver bound black Tahitian MOP oval fret inlays. The logo has the black MOP in the cloud and a psychedelic abalone behind the logo. What I love about this Alembic logo is the black MOP cloud had a natural dark to light gradient and reminds me of a storm cloud on a spring day.

I have the bass setup with a DS-5R and SF2 Superfilter, Mesa Boogie Carbine 6 amp and Mesa Boogie powerhouse 4x10 cabinet. I have the output going from the bass through the 5pin cable into the DS-5R power supply splitting the stereo signal (1 channel per pickup) with each pickup being assigned to each channel of the SF2 Superfilters. The range of tone I can get out of this setup is beyond amazing. I can tailor the sound of each pickup individually. While the Mesa Carbine 6 is not a stereo amp, If I were to use a stereo power amp, I could assign each pickup signal path through the superfilter into an FX-1 (or F2B) with each side of the amp driving two cabinets each dedicated to each of the two pickups. Just the fact that I can do that makes me smile.

So after playing it for the last 2 weeks I have come to the following conclusion. This is the best bass I have ever owned or played. The tonal qualities are pretty limitless. It's got amazing bottom end and nice clean highs. The sound of this bass is unlike any other I have played. I bought my first Alembic used in 1980, from there I have bought and sold lots of used Alembics over the years, even had 2 new stock ones built then replacing them over time. But this instrument is The One! This is the first time I ever had a bass custom made. It fits me perfectly (the neck is amazing) and it's really fun to play. Regarding price, we all know Alembics aren't cheap, but after the 2011 Alembic gathering, I decided that I wanted my own custom Alembic. So like many musicians, I had a collection of instruments and gear that didn't see a lot of use, so I sold most of my music collection to fund this build. It's the smartest musical investment I ever made.

I've never named a instrument before, but this one needs a name. Because of its design and build, I was thinking about naming it something powerful and cool like Andúril, Flame of the West (LOTR Fan alert!). But I decided to name it after my wife, Michelle. We've been married 11 years and she is the most supportive woman I have ever known. A true partner. She gives me 100% support in my musical endeavors, comes to 95% of my gigs and really enjoys herself. I couldn't ask for more!

Thanks to everyone at Alembic for making this bass for me, it's a true work of art.

Username: artswork99

Post Number: 1842
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 4:38 pm:   Edit Post

Absolutely beautiful, congratulations Donald! You and Michelle are destined for many years together. Play it Healthy! Art
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5423
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 4:42 pm:   Edit Post

Stunning! Gorgeous top! And I love the silver binding on the fret ovals. Why didn't I think of that? Enjoy and Congrats!

Bill, tgo
Username: growlypants

Post Number: 40
Registered: 3-2011
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 4:45 pm:   Edit Post

Very Nice!! (Congratulations!)
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2880
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 4:45 pm:   Edit Post

Donald ,
Congratulations . I really must mention that every last detail on this instrument really appeals to me. The electronics choice and control layout would be my choice as well . Such a perfect Bass ___!!!! To say that the wood choice is Stellar would still be an understatement !

Senior Member
Username: lidon2001

Post Number: 512
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 5:14 pm:   Edit Post

On a scale of 1 to 10, a definite 11. Congrats.
Senior Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 967
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 6:20 pm:   Edit Post

Sweet mother of god!
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1513
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 6:25 pm:   Edit Post

Truly gorgeous. You are very blessed (obviously in many ways).

Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 1447
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 6:29 pm:   Edit Post





Looks stunning, congrats!

I guess you'll have to get a second Carbine :-)

I would suggest to have the truss rods cover engraved, would be a nice surprise for Michelle. :-)
This was done by a local jeweler:

and this at the Mothership:

Also, please show us the flamed back
Intermediate Member
Username: rjmsteel

Post Number: 199
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 6:46 pm:   Edit Post

Stunning is Right...jaw dropping!

And yes I concur with FC.
My Custom has my wife's name engraved on the top side of the cover and my sons on the back side.

The hat knobs look great too.
Advanced Member
Username: pasewark

Post Number: 210
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 7:12 pm:   Edit Post

I love the idea about the engraving. I will have to do that. Can I just flip the serial side and engrave it?
Username: nnek

Post Number: 95
Registered: 8-2009
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 7:37 pm:   Edit Post

Love the silver bound MOP!
There is so much figure in that wood the top looks like its in motion.
Senior Member
Username: darkstar01

Post Number: 472
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 7:43 pm:   Edit Post

Love it. This body style is awesome, and that top is gorgeous. Love the engraving, too. Congrats!
Advanced Member
Username: wishbass

Post Number: 328
Registered: 5-2011
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 7:49 pm:   Edit Post

Wolf whistle! Nice bass Donald!
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1458
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 7:58 pm:   Edit Post


Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 1448
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 8:49 pm:   Edit Post

The sides of the truss rods covers are rounded on top and square on the other (under) side, also the screw heads are sunken into the top side.
So it would require some work and I'm not sure if you can sink the heads in on the other side without ruining the holes...

I think they put a coating over the cover now (both my two new Alembics have it, only on the front though)
If you have that side engraved, it has to be sanded off.

You could order a new cover, I don't recall exact figures (tend to forget that asap) but I don't think the engraving was too expensive and they know how to make it look stunning at the mothership!
Senior Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 606
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 9:53 pm:   Edit Post

That's nice!! Is the hum pickup real or just a place holder cover until such time as you convert it to series one specs?
Intermediate Member
Username: alembickoa

Post Number: 139
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 3:25 pm:   Edit Post

Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11056
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 7:27 pm:   Edit Post

Congrats! I love this body style, and the top goes great with it. The overall combination of features, control layout, hat knobs, hardware, everything goes together very nicely. Beautiful instrument!
Advanced Member
Username: oddmetersam

Post Number: 276
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 - 2:20 am:   Edit Post

Intermediate Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 138
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 - 2:49 am:   Edit Post

I love that body shape..... Absolutely love it.
The silver bound MOP is really a beautiful touch. The whole thing is just stunning. Congratulations!
Senior Member
Username: mario_farufyno

Post Number: 948
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 - 4:56 pm:   Edit Post

stormy chocolate swirls
Advanced Member
Username: charles_holmes

Post Number: 252
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 - 4:58 pm:   Edit Post

Ok..I'm jealous...(whew!) Now I feel better! Kudos!!That is an outrageously gorgeous axe you got there!
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 1068
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 - 4:34 am:   Edit Post

Have to agree with the body shape!!!!
THIS is the shape that all SC deluxes should be IMHO.
Maybe with a tiny Heart cut at the body?
I've got Abalone inlays with silver surrounds on my 1976 Series 1 (custom maybe??)and I think they just look the biz.
Once again.......wonderful bass!!!!!!!!!!!!
Username: rastap

Post Number: 3
Registered: 5-2013
Posted on Friday, May 24, 2013 - 1:38 pm:   Edit Post

What brand of rack enclosure is that? Would you happen to know the weight of the bass?
Senior Member
Username: rustyg61

Post Number: 911
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 11:20 pm:   Edit Post

WOW Donald!! Your bass is breathtaking!! I've often wondered what wood I would choose for my next Alembic & I think you just sealed the deal with your stunning burl walnut! It's absolutely gorgeous!! It looks like chocolate flames! I love the shape too! I play a SCSD & yours is a nice twist on that!
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3536
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 2:48 am:   Edit Post

FC, I liked the idea of engraving the truss cover to add that personal touch. I recently had my truss rod covers engraved with my name except for the continuous wood cover and my Elan 4 which has a chrome plated cover. In the future I plan to get my initials inlaid at the 12th fret but at the moment my preferred luthier is mega busy.

Those curly upper horns are cute.

Advanced Member
Username: smokin_dave

Post Number: 377
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 7:33 pm:   Edit Post

Did someone say STUNNING already?Well I concur.All the way around stunning.
Advanced Member
Username: pasewark

Post Number: 221
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 9:07 pm:   Edit Post

While I absolutely love the bass design, I have to say the more I play it the more it astounds me. I know a local engraver (also a drummer) who is working on the truss rod cover plate for me. Its looking pretty cool. I'll post a pic when I get it back along with a pic of the flame walnut back.

One of the things I love about the Alembic aesthetic is they remind me of antiques. I look at my bass and think it could very well be at home in Capt. Nemo's study on the Nautilus.
Intermediate Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 172
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 12:27 am:   Edit Post

I totally agree with the Nautilus reference! I always thought there was a bit of 'steam punk' in an Alembic!

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