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flpete1uw
Intermediate Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 170
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 5:38 am:   Edit Post

Hello Series Bass Players,
On a recent post Harry asks Stanley Clarke how he likes his new Bass, ďHe said that he just needs to practice on it - for a year! But he didn't say anything negativeĒ I found this intriguing because with much less talent Iím finding that it is taking me a long time to play my Series 1 (Purchased in 12/12!) live. I Love the Bass when practicing but I seem to have a lack of control on the Stage. The projection of the Series is so different than anything I have ever played. So I wind up using my Distillate which is 2 switches and a low pass setting and its set. Nice to have such problems :-)
So, not to hijack Harryís post on an awesome experience I was wondering if anybody found this to be in their learning curves. 4 months later I am getting better with the Series and Iím working her in to the Stage but occasionally getting looks ďDid you make your Bass LouderĒ on more energetic pieces.
On the Learning Curve,
Pete
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3443
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 7:25 am:   Edit Post

I am in the same boat as you Pete I have series basses and find that I''m getting pretty good at using them at home when practicing but when I play on stage the whole sound dynamic is different so it's hard to determine what sound I'm giving. I've had my S2 for just about a year now and still find it challenging to move from one sound to another confidently and quickly. Most of the time I use my signature basses live because I am much more familiar with their sound and I can get sounds pretty fast between numbers. In fact I took my S1 out for a gig last night and found myself trying to tweak the settings between long notes with very little success.

I don't subscribe to the idea of finding one setting and leaving it there. All the tracks I play live tend to require a different bass sound so I try to respect the track and do that.

I've seen players at the alembic forum like afrobeatfool, Victor Little and Nate tweaking their basses almost instinctively so I think it is gonna take both you and I some time. :-)


Jazzyvee
afrobeat_fool
Senior Member
Username: afrobeat_fool

Post Number: 512
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 7:29 pm:   Edit Post

Hi, fellas. It does take some time. The main question I have is if you are playing stereo or mono.
If mono, then I would start by playing in live settings with only the bridge pick up. I think there is enough variable in the filter to give you most of the tone you want, without having competing signals throwing your sound off. I have begun thinking of the signals as separate. I know this sounds redundant, but as bass players we are used to hearing mono. In a live setting it is much easier define the direction of mono signals.
Have you ever had the sound swirl and frequencies drop out? The music becomes muddy. You can create this same effect with too many filters running simultaneously in you bass. Crossover between the filters cancels signals.
So, mono, one pickup and then add the second after you feel good about the sound with one. You can always go back to one.
Stereo is another story. About half way thru this last road tour did I fully run confidently in Stereo. But, I did not run the super filter in the chain. It got way too weird. Plus, it is not necessary.
For the neck pickup I ran thru 2 12's and a 15. The bride pickup was thru 2 4/10 cabinet' s. I set them at what I consider my flat sound and brightened it with the bridge pickup.
There is a lot of feel with these basses. I really try to get out in front of the stage and close my eyes. Feel the music. Make my adjustments with almost intuitive sense. With S1 it could be moving from the high or low pass to the band pass switch and then roll the filter. With the S2 it is so much easier. Just roll and change the attack. I also feel the master volume setting changes the presence in the mix with other musicians.
I am glad to have a connection with both of you, Pete, and Jazzy. I hope my ramble has helped. Both of you have the bug and are great players. All the best.

Nick
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1519
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 - 3:01 am:   Edit Post

It's interesting. My philosophy has always been to jump off into the deep end with new gear. Practicing at home with things like this is good, but it's never the same, so by not playing the bass at a gig, I'm delaying the inevitable. It might mean that at a few gigs, I'm confused or frustrated, but the reality is that I'm the only one who feels that way. I've gone through shows where I've felt like my tone was utterly peculiar, but the only comments I've gotten were positive. So, it's come home to me again and again that 99% of this is all in the fingers and brain and the instrument and tonal settings are much less crucial. Of course, that's given that the gear is all good quality and functional. I'll set the bass and amp in a certain way, as an experiment or going for a certain sound, but, as I play the instrument, I'm always adapting my technique to get it to deliver the sound I want, regardless of where I set the controls.

It does seem to me that a Series II setup is a bit easier. I had always been a bit frustrated with the three position switches, because the sound I heard in my head always seemed to be in between two of the positions. Moving quickly between tones on a SII setup is a bit more involved, but it seems more satisfying to me. Of course, my experience is limited to a SII in a Starfire, not with an actual Alembic bass, but I think I can separate out the influence of the bass and the electronics.

Series electronics feel different to me from standard electronics in that they have different functions and outcomes. It's less about grand equalization shapes and a lot more about sculpting the attack and envelope of the notes. With a standard setup, getting that big fat reggae tone is a pretty straightforward affair. With a Series bass, but it's not going to be as easy to get that big low end boost in a similar fashion. But, I've found that if you think more about what the envelope of those notes should sound like and how each pickup contributes to that sense of the sound, it's pretty doable. However, the pickup blend control becomes even more important, as I find myself using the blend of the pickups like a mixer between two sources of sound that each have an aspect of the final tone I'm looking for.

I know that all sounds a bit abstract, but it's actually pretty visceral. After doing it for a while and feeling what it feels like on stage, it becomes clearer what I need to do. Maybe years of being an audio engineer helps make it more intuitive, but I really love the Series filters. Standard bass electronics tend to be a lot more set and forget, or compensation for issues with the bass, amp or room. Series electronics are a lot more about sculpting with sound.
flpete1uw
Intermediate Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 171
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 - 4:02 am:   Edit Post

Well Alright!!
To be in the same company as Stanley and this crew is quite humbling and also gives me comfort that Iím not alone.
Jazzy, weíll get it just because we are working at it and look at all this support!! Iím wondering if the Master Volume on your Signature and my Distillate helps? I also find the inflections playing the Series are much more sensitive with more Dynamic Range than the AXYĒS on the Distillate.

Nick, Your input is always welcome. I have been using the Series in Mono with both pickups on, similar to the how I use the Persuader. Neck pickup as a main and the Bridge as the Tonal bight. I have experienced the frequency issues you spoke of but with my limited experience it was more of a hollow sounding effect? No drop outs. I will try your suggestion of 1 pickup at a time.

Edwin, I did go for it at first but I found some of the people I play with and the Sound guy getting a little frustrated. No complaints when I was on but I just do not have the proficiency with the Series yet so if there is a mistake you hear it. Good observation on the standard electronics on the ease to get them dialed in. This is why it was so easy to fall back on. Just think a Distillate to fall back on! I will start to look at the Series a little differently in shapes sculpting the sound.

The one thing that keeps me going is the sound of the Series you hear everything. I find myself looking for chords more now. A Band member said that Bass is Wicked Awesome it needs to become an extension of your body.
Thanks Guys
Pete
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3446
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 - 12:40 pm:   Edit Post

Yeah I accept the long "on the job" learning experience as part of the territory with these basses. It took me ages to grasp the signature electronics and now I'm pretty confident at getting to and from sounds quickly so it will take quite a few gigs to grasp the controls with confidence in a live context.

Interestingly with both series basses adjusting the level of any one of the volume pots or filters changes the overall volume of the instrument. However with the series II, i can use the master volume and still keep the ratio I have found between the two filters. With the series I, generally I have to adjust the opposite volume control to keep the same instrument volume which then changes the sound so in that case i think it's similar to what happens on a signature bass with a pan pot.

The pickup switch to be honest I don't use at all during playing and generally it is used so I can isolate the pickup I want to form the basis of my tone. So for example If I want to get that kind of Victor Baily/Jaco/Jimmy Haslip kind of tone, I switch to the bridge pickup to get that familiar tone then switch back to both pickups and blend in the neck pickup to give me an appropriate amount of meat in the bottom adjusting both volumes to suit. For the times I need some slap tones I tend to start with the Neck pickup for most of my tone then add in some of the bridge with the filter virtually fully open to get some attack and sting to the tone.

I think my biggest problem is that when I'm playing and trying to reach a particular sound, I can't decide if what I want is more or less Q at the cut off frequency, adjustment of the filter position , an adjustment of the volume, change in plucking position, or any combination of those three parameters, then combine that with having that dilemma across two pickups.


Jazzyvee
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1254
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 - 7:54 pm:   Edit Post

This is a really interesting discussion. I am finally in a band again, but haven't used my Alembics with it yet. Well, I've used my AlFemBic, the P-Bass with P-J Activators. That was a trip, but I won't go into it here - it's like the opposite of Series I - you have one filter for two pickups, with no Q-switch! (I ended up leaving it with the highest filter setting and leaving it there - long story that will be told another time...)

I want to use my Stanley Clarke Signature 5-string but need to get the neck worked on first - needs a heat bend so I can use roundwounds. I had Alembic change the Signature guts to Anniversary, which is "as close as you can get to Series" in terms of control - separate volumes and filters for each pickup (and mono/stereo option). I'm imagining have the neck pickup set with 0 Q and cutting it off deep in the low end, maybe 300 Hz? Then having the bridge pickup set with higher Q and adjusting that depending on what we are doing - either blending it with the neck pickup or even cutting it out with the selector switch - not sure if I will have volume issues, but fun to fantasize about!

Up until now I've been using 4 basses with the band - the AlFemBic, a Fender CIJ Duck Dunn Signature P-Bass with GHS flats, an early-'70s Gibson Les Paul Triumph bass strung with LaBella flats (it's a short scale bass with low impedance pickups and built-in transformer), and an early-'70s Guild M-85 II fretless also with LaBella flats and also short scale. I'm finding that I enjoy playing both with oldschool thump with the flats, and also with a bright roundwound modern sound. Wondering if I can get the best of both worlds with the SC...

And SOMEDAY I WILL use the doubleneck live!!!
flpete1uw
Intermediate Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 172
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 - 3:22 am:   Edit Post

Harry,
Iím glad you chimed in and are interested because the light bulb moment for me came with your post with Stanley. Which by the way a very cool post!
Jazzyvees last post last paragraph has a nice summery as to what we are experiencing. I would add to that the Series pickups seem to have more Dynamic Range and are more responsive to finger control. The slightest inflection shows up when playing. One of my control issues is when the Music gets going a bit I need to be more on the lookout of pluck inflections. Inflection control of this type isnít nearly as important on any other Bass Iíve ever played including my other 2 non Series Alembics.
Canít wait to hear about your tales of discovery.
Living and Learning
Pete
flpete1uw
Intermediate Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 173
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 - 5:00 pm:   Edit Post

OK Iíve been spending a lot of time A/B ing My Series and Distillate. The Series has Chromes (Flats) the Distillate has Slinkys (Rounds nickel). Both 45 to 100. So the comparison isnít quite A/B however Iím finding much better low end on the Distillate? You would think the Flats on a Series would give a lower response. Amp setting is Mesa Walkabout all settings at 12.
So a general question, is there anything about the Series Bass on the Low End different from non Series Basses?
Pete
flpete1uw
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 7976
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 - 6:05 pm:   Edit Post

I think for Stan, it's a question of getting used to the extra string, Series I is second nature to him.

Different scale lengths + different woods + different strings = different tones. The filter controls have the same range, so the difference you are hearing is from the scale length, woods, strings or all of the above.

Also pickup height will have an impact on the sounds as well. Make sure you're not only noticing a gain difference, which sometimes is trixy to hear as just gain.
flpete1uw
Intermediate Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 175
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 - 7:00 pm:   Edit Post

Mica,
Your insight is always enlightening, yes my Series 1 is Short Scale, Maple/ Walnut neck, Koa top, Zebra Back, Maple body and the Distillate is 32Ē Scale, Maple / Purple Heart neck, Coco Bolo Top and Mahogany body. So there is a difference. I play both Basses with and without amplification and there is a nice correlation in what is being amplified from the tonal aspects of the unplugged Bass. This could definitely be a part of it. I donít hear it to be a gain difference but a Timbre one. At this moment of both Basses configuration my Distillate just sounds cleaner with a better snap and definition at the low end and the Series is muddy in comparison? Otherwise the Series is clean as a whistle and a joy to play.
The learning curve continues,
Pete
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1256
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 - 10:50 pm:   Edit Post

When I saw Stanley Clarke recently, it was the first time I had seen him play electric live in person. Mica is right - he was completely at ease with the bass, grabbing the filter knob and just slamming it into a new position and then ripping licks out of the bass!

Pete, great to hear about the comparison - maybe the Series is just way more flat - but it's giving you all the sonic information, just in a more even way, so that you can use a preamp or SF-2 to tweak out the frequencies you want in the bottom? Sometimes you hear people complain that Alembic pickups lack bass, but I think it's just that they are so clear and full-range whereas people get used to hearing a low-mid-frequency bump like with split-coil p-bass pickups, so not hearing that, they think the Alembics lack bass, but it's there. If that makes any sense...
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3449
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 - 11:14 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Harry I've heard and read that said about Alembic being bass shy. However I have been told many times especially on reggae gigs by musicians and engineers that the bottom end is so clear and even and heavy.

I have been experimenting with the bridge filter to see if I can get some of that emphasis/bump in tonality as many reggae tracks I play are heavy but have a different tone and feel.

Also Aston "Family Man" Barrett has a 5 string Elan so as a pioneer of heavy bass lines alembic must be up to the job. We just have to find the sounds we want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9erbL9j3v5M

Jazzyvee
afrobeat_fool
Senior Member
Username: afrobeat_fool

Post Number: 515
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 6:20 pm:   Edit Post

When I am playing raggae I have my neck pickup around 80 hertz. Afrobeat I set it a little higher. With afrobeat, I am looking for the tonal range of the Bootsy JBs era. The attack mid, and the dampening ratio at 7. Now with that being said, the stereo component of the equation, alters this somewhat.

The neck pickup going to the bassiest of speakers can bet set to a very low frequency, say 50hrz. The bridge pickup can create the mid and upper range and give the clarity desired. Talk about super dub tone. Bonus, the slap comes thru in a big way.

Mica, if you are reading this thread I have come to a wonderful description of the wonders of the stereo Alembic instrument. The ability of the instrument is the creation of the sum being greater than the parts.

The most awesome sound is the neck pickup too flat and muddy, and the bridge too thin and bright. Nasty. But combined, is very powerful.

Here is the point. It took years of playing first 1180, and then AC 405, before I really understood the subtleties of the electronics and then brought stereo into the mix. Now I can't imagine not having it. The expression on people's faces the first time they hear one channel clean and the second with wild effects is priceless!

Great link, baba. Love the family man!

Nick
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3450
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 10:59 pm:   Edit Post

Do you combine the channels back down to a mono signal after processing or do you keep them separated from bass all the way to the speaker cabs?

Jazzyvee
flpete1uw
Intermediate Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 176
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - 3:26 am:   Edit Post

In considering what Mica and Harry said and spent a good amount of time last night experimenting with different types of strings also learning how to ďScopeĒ as per Edwin. Iím finding myself closing in on a starting point from there the Sky will be the limit.
I reread the pickup height posts and Bass setup post for good measure. The one thing I may have an issue is the neck pickup clearance. My Bass is circa 1975 SN#215 ( She is Beautiful) however the last owner / owners might have tightened down on the screws a bit too much causing a warp age. As of now the pickup is at its bottom and the clearance is not at the starting point ľĒ. The string being to close could be causing some of my difficulties? Iím thinking about maybe shaving off some of the corners to gain some clearance.
The other thing it looks like I may have to use my Mesa Walkabout EQ / tonal control to get the sound I want. Normally thatís a last resort.
Man! This is good stuff! To think it all started with my misrepresentation of a Stanley Post. I have watched him in many videos sculpting sounds its Magic.
I am relieved Iím not alone.
Thank You All for all your inputs
Onwards to the next Sculpture
Pete
afrobeat_fool
Senior Member
Username: afrobeat_fool

Post Number: 516
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - 12:39 pm:   Edit Post

I keep them separated. But, I have been told that the sound man combined the signals into one path for the mains. His point was that it was better for the audience. I can't do anything about that. I tried to explain, but he said the sound sucked when it was separated. Whatever.

Don't piss off the sound guy!
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1523
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - 1:07 pm:   Edit Post

I can see his point. I have experimented with running in stereo, separating the speakers on the stage (two fEARful 15/6s) and sending two lines to the PA, which were also panned wide. Truthfully, it wasn't as dramatic as I had hoped. Even in stereo in ears, it was hard to tell. I've since gone to a mono rig, although sometimes I'll run each pickup through its own channel on an F2B. Of course, once effects enter the picture, it's a whole different story.
tubeperson
Senior Member
Username: tubeperson

Post Number: 433
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - 1:21 pm:   Edit Post

JazzyVee, I think by bass shy, people are really saying Alembics are "bloat" shy. The reason that Alembics cut thrugh the mix is the lack of bloat on the tone. The low bass frequencies are there, they are free of extra "pounds" (something I wish I was). I am told by our club members that an SF-2 will give you back the bloat, which most sound engineers are so used to havng in the mix. This is why so many of them want a "Fender" bass. I recently made a comment that sometimes I wanted that bloat using one of my Alembics, and the resulting response was to use the SF-2.

This exchange and sharing of ideas really makes me proud to have been allowed to enjoy the perks of discussions just like this.
slawie
Senior Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 514
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 1:23 am:   Edit Post

I am currently trying two amps in my set up.
One TCElectronic RH750 and 2 x RS212 + delay for the neck pickup and
One Aguilar TH350 and an RS210 + octaver for the bridge pickup.
It is taking me forever to try and dial it all in.
Once I get there sound should be rather unique I dare say.
slawie
that_sustain
Intermediate Member
Username: that_sustain

Post Number: 153
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 4:34 am:   Edit Post

Alembic is bass shy? They're the only bass I know of that is capable of complete boominess, if desired.

One day I'll own a Series for a more established comment on the matter.
rjmsteel
Intermediate Member
Username: rjmsteel

Post Number: 200
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 11:12 am:   Edit Post

JazzyVee and all;
This is what I`m thinking lately. Thanks to this great discussion thread!

Since I use my SF-2 as my outboard filter (system) for my Series custom, purposely ordered Sans Filter, (the idea could still be used on a Fully Filtered Series Bass), I setup with the following scenarios:

1.) DS-5 set as mono out and daisy chain Ch. A and Ch. B out to a mono amp head.
2.) DS-5 set as stereo, neck to Ch. A, Bridge to B on the SF-2 and sent to two heads/cabinets.

Both Scenarios require challenging pickup volume tweaking, at times, even with the Master Vol. while trying to switch tone(s) between or worse yet during songs.

With that said, what do you all think of another idea I had:
3.) Ch. A from the SF-2 to a Solo Loop Switcher, Ch. B to a second Loop Switcher, (using the send/return jacks), Loop Switcher Solo then from the switch outputs combine the two outputs into this Pan Pedal electro harmonix pan pedal, to create a Mono output to a mono amp head or other Mono input device, while keeping the stereo control up to this point. Now you could pan just how much Neck vs. Bridge pickup you would desire, plus have the ability to bypass either channel on the SF-2 or both!

You could, theoretically have the ability to switch between three different tone settings between channels, or bypassing, on the SF-2 in addition to blending the signals all done on the floor.

Thoughts?
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1528
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 11:59 am:   Edit Post

Just to chime in, I really loved the vol/pan setup that was in my SI shorty. It made life a lot easier when going to different tones. It was still fully stereo.
pasewark
Advanced Member
Username: pasewark

Post Number: 214
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Friday, May 10, 2013 - 11:40 am:   Edit Post

I haven't played out with my new short scale yet, but its a very interesting bass. Last night we rehearsed and it got a little loud, so I cranked it and the tone I was getting was phenomenal. It started growling too. This thing has a life of its own.
tubeperson
Senior Member
Username: tubeperson

Post Number: 436
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Friday, May 10, 2013 - 12:02 pm:   Edit Post

"This thing has a life of its own". I like that, except that "this thing" has much more of a life than I do!
flpete1uw
Intermediate Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 194
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Friday, September 06, 2013 - 6:55 pm:   Edit Post

As a follow up, after sending the electronics / Pickups back to the Mother Ship for the once over. I found some of the issues of phasing with both pickups on in Mono have been taken care of. An improper Q switch was replaced sometime in her life.
So having a fresh starting point I thought it prudent to start with a fresh way of thinking. Iím finding myself keeping the Low pass filters all up on both pickups and adjusting for tone using the volume controls. The more that is allowed to pass the better she sounds. Iím fine with whatever works but this is counter intuitive to what Iím used to. Even on my Distillate I use the Low Pass to adjust but this Series just likes being full tilt.
Anyway back to Chromes and still on the learning curve.
Thanks for all your input
Pete
gtrguy
Senior Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 627
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Friday, September 06, 2013 - 9:35 pm:   Edit Post

Gawd forgive me, but I am totally from the 'find a good sound and leave well enough alone' school. I like to dial in a good tone with both pickups on my series one short scale and then maybe hit the switches once in a while for a little more or less bright sound. It is so much up to the sound person with bigger shows and I don't want to second guess them too much or throw them off. I may talk to them between sets to let them know I want to crank up my amp on stage so I can hear myself better.

Am I bad...
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1616
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 3:38 am:   Edit Post

I'm with Pete right now. I'm experimenting with running in stereo: Showman on the neck pickup with double 15" JBLs (K 140s) and a Bandmaster on the bridge pickup with a 12" JBL K120. It's really different from how the same rig sound mono, much more open and clear. I love it! So the primary tone adjustment is the volume knob for each pickup (and some of the amp EQ). Using the filters to adjust the attack of each pickup is a lot of fun, but it takes a lot of the weight off the filters for achieving overall tone.

I find myself adjusting fairly often, depending on the songs. Sometimes they need pretty drastic adjustments.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3604
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 4:46 am:   Edit Post

So Edwin when running a stereo rig is it better to split the signals by frequency or by pickup?
My inexperienced logic in this area thinks that using the split by frequency method you can feed signals to cabs optimised for low and higher frequencies which would remove the problem of asking any one speaker cab to reproduce a wide frequency range from one box.
But then splitting by pickup you could/would be asking the cab to reproduce a larger range of frequencies in each cab. Which may or may not be a good thing. I'm not sure which is preferable.

That said if you were someone using effects then the ability to have them on the pickup route of choice would be a different benefit of having separate outs.

I've only really tried the crossover method using F1-x, splitting the mono signal by high and low frequency and could not get as full a sound as I did using a mono and full range out to both cabs.

Once I get a 2nd pre-amp, ( hopefully F1-x) then I can experiment a little more.
Jazzyvee
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1617
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 10:26 am:   Edit Post

I'm splitting by pickup. What seems to be happening is that the blending of the pickups is now acoustic (although for the FOH, it's still happening electronically) rather than electronically and that seems to make it somehow different.

Going the crossover route is cool, I did it for years, but it's a different kind of clarity. With a good cab like a fearful, it's not necessary, though. A passive crossover can be just as good or better, it's just not cheap and does suck some power.

All I can say is that 140 watts (85 for the Showman and 55 for the Bandmaster) has never sounded so good. It's a very dynamic sound.
briant
Senior Member
Username: briant

Post Number: 665
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 9:50 pm:   Edit Post

All this Series talk makes me want to play a Series bass really badly. I've only played one Series II bass and that was Bradley's. Unfortunately the power was out and that obviously did not give the overall desired effect.

I've had two basses with Signature electronics and two with Essence electronics. One of the Signature basses is my custom Rogue and that has an additional master bass and treble control knob (+/- 12dB). One of the Essence basses is my custom that also has an additional bass control knob (+/- 12dB).

When I first started playing an Alembic it was on standard Signature electronics and it took me a good 3-6 months before I was really comfortable playing with it live. That didn't stop me from using it live from the beginning but the learning curve and experience really took some time. I love the simplicity of the Essence electronics (+bass) that I'm using now for 99% of my gigs. It's a fabulous instrument that sounds incredible and very little needs to be done to make radical changes in tone. It also allows for adjustments to make up for changing tunings as the night goes on. We'll go from standard E tuning to full D tuning (D G C F) and all it takes is a little adjustment on the filter and bass control to keep everything consistent.

So... not to feed my GAS problem... but does anyone in the Seattle area have a Series instrument that they'd allow me to kick the tires on? I've been lusting after a Dragon Wing for some time now. Perhaps a Series I 5-string is in order.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3607
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 11:06 pm:   Edit Post

"Perhaps" is, in this case a silent word...!!!
It's just a simple matter of time. :-)

Jazzyvee
gtrguy
Senior Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 628
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 11:12 am:   Edit Post

Briant, there is a fine bass store in Seattle that often has several Alembics and is downtown near the water front. I can't remember the name and you may well know of it. Is it Bass Northwest?

Dave
charles_holmes
Advanced Member
Username: charles_holmes

Post Number: 269
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 4:40 pm:   Edit Post



Yep! That's where I got my Axe! And I love it!
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1316
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 5:05 pm:   Edit Post

Awesome picture Chalie!
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3608
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 12:40 am:   Edit Post

Yeah great bass and it looks like you have a good connection with it.

Love the T-shirt I remember seeing a tv documentary about it. I've probably got it recorded somewhere too.
http://www.a-great-day-in-harlem.com/

Maybe I will find it and watch it over the weekend. :-)
Jazzyvee
charles_holmes
Advanced Member
Username: charles_holmes

Post Number: 271
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 5:52 pm:   Edit Post

Thank you guys! I was lucky enough to get to talk to Evan, the owner of Bass Northwest and he is very knowledgeable, helpful and patient. As far as settings, for me I use too many different settings.It depends on the room, the song and frankly.. how I feel or hear. But I knew I had have to have the series and short scale.My top end I use the Lexicon MPX-1 and BassIQ (together & or separate). For the Bottom I'll use the EBS Octabass and when I'm not using the octabass and going clean I'll use the Boss Bass EQ just for a little more bottom. When these effects are combined, I feel that it just inspires the other musicians I'm playing with to become even more creative as well as myself. Thank you Alembic!
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 2128
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, September 13, 2013 - 1:43 am:   Edit Post

Double post..see below.I mean it is Friday 13th

(Message edited by TerryC on September 13, 2013)
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 2129
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, September 13, 2013 - 1:45 am:   Edit Post

I just have everything full on! LOL
Seriously though, using you rig at home with the intended gigging bass is obviously going to sound totally different to stage situation. Factors are;
1. Your ears are used to the sound in your home, your brain remembers the acoustics of your practice/living/kitchen/bedroom.
2. Do you ever crank your rig to stage volume in your house?, if you do you either have a detached residence or tolerant neighbours and have reinforced windows.
3. Most venues are acoustically crap, either boomy(the most popular), dead or too much reverb(except The Sage in Gateshead UK), there the battle commences.
4. Competing with the rest of the band, the acoustic physicists amongst us will tell us that the multitude of frequencies and sound levels are going to produce in/out of phase interference. Personally I have found keyboards the most problem as they have a massive octave range.
Is there a solution to all this?...I try and get to the gig before the rest of the band and try and I emphasise the word try, to get the tone which sounds okay..it will never be perfect.
We seem to have all sorts of electronic add ons to help but even they can be a hindrance.
Sometimes less is more!
Oh yes, then if you go through a PA and monitors..well you are at the mercy of the sound engineer...a never ending road!
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3613
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, September 13, 2013 - 3:27 am:   Edit Post

Yep Terry, there are many variables affecting the signal from both sides of the jack socket on the bass(or 5 pin socket). Many we as performers have little control of once it's in the cable from the bass. I guess for me I just want to hear a great sound coming from my part of the chain, my fingers at the bass to sound in my ears from the bass cab. The series bass has that capability but my problem this year has been bad back line bass rigs so as much as I've taken my series bass out gigging it has not sounded great on-stage for me. It's only when I've been able to use my own bass rig that I've got any idea on how good it can sound live. We have a great sound engineer he knows what Alembic basses are all about and what I want from my sound so we chat after gigs about this.

I do get a fantastic sound at home though so I expect to get that on gigs too but time is going to be the factor in getting that sound live and being able to reproduce it consistently.

Jazzyvee
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 2130
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, September 13, 2013 - 3:46 am:   Edit Post

Exactly Jazzyvee! I can a superb sound in my home, but when I play at some venues it can sound like a bull elephant farting!, even with my own gear..some places are just an absolute nightmare to get a decent sound..I guess we just look for that pure hi fi sound when our predecessors(back in the 60's) just put up with a 'thump' through a Selmer Treble'n'Bass amp and some discarded 4 x 12!
flpete1uw
Intermediate Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 197
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Friday, September 13, 2013 - 5:59 am:   Edit Post

Thank You All! For all the input,
During my learning curve stage of any new piece of gear the first thing I attempt to accomplish is to find a starting point. If I can get to this in, yes my living room using a Mesa Walkabout, I feel I can project what will eventually be heard out in the congregation. This is not a large venue and everything is close Micíd with little to no effects, just whatís coming out of the amp.
So from what I am gathering here is players like Nick, Edwin, Charles and Jazzy (Please correct me if Iím wrong) to name a few find the definition of their sculpted sounds far more pleasing in a split pickup setup than in a Mono. At the moment my only recourse is in Mono or one pickup at a time. And with all that said at this time of my learning curve Iím finding the Bridge filter all up and the Neck filter mostly up. Q switches changing.
Terry - all your points are well taken. My neighbor did say not to worry about loudness. Iím not sure he realizes what that means. Maybe one day ;-)
Charles- that is a killer Bass!!!
Jazzy- I think your post (3607) is hitting it on the head ("Perhaps" is, in this case a silent word...!!!
It's just a simple matter of time. :-) )
Iím so appreciative of all your advice and I think a lot of it is what Mica indicated about the Wood mix and getting used to this Basses own special place among the best Basses made!
Thanks again Alembic Brothers,
Pete
mtjam
Member
Username: mtjam

Post Number: 78
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 - 3:58 am:   Edit Post

I will finally get to play my Series 2 next weekend at 2 gigs I have, and I can't wait! I plan on taking it to both.
serialnumber12
Senior Member
Username: serialnumber12

Post Number: 1040
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2013 - 7:29 am:   Edit Post

it took me little time to get used to these SII electronics.
flpete1uw
Intermediate Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 199
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 4:57 am:   Edit Post

Finally, I have a starting my point! A combination of a wrong Q switch installed, improper strings for my style of playing along with being completely ignorant to the Series Electronics has led me on this now 9 Month journey. (Note: I should have heeded Micaís advice on the build and strings more closely)
However this process did push me to have my 1975 electronics checked out by the Mother ship and as frustrating at times as it was I did learn a ton. I almost gave up on this Bass.
I do realize this is truly subjective to each person but at the moment I have DR Nickel rounds on her. I find that this gives me the Low End punch and clarity along with the High End airiness for chord ell work. From there the Filters can do the rest. I have ordered La Bella Nickels rounds as well?
I am by no means done! In fact this is as I said the ďStarting PointĒ. After spending 2 hours playing last night I sat on my couch thinking, Iím Overwhelmed.
Example: 1 Pickup at a time, Q switch all up, adjusting filter 1/8 a turn at a time gives completely different Timbres!! Mind boggling
Thank you for all your patience and insight,
~Pete
slawie
Senior Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 552
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 5:38 am:   Edit Post

I've just got this rig together and I am going through a whole new learning curve!
flpete1uw
Intermediate Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 200
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 7:28 am:   Edit Post

Nice Slawie!,
I'm not to far off from an SF-2 as well. Happy and fruitful playing with that Sister "75" Series.
~Pete
flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 275
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 4:19 pm:   Edit Post

I was just rereading this post and realized how far off I and my Bass was last year! A lot of lessons were learned the hard way.
1- I underestimated the effects of 2 filters and 2 Qís and how they interact.
2- A Series Bass that has setup issues and an incorrectly replaced Q switch hurts the learning curve.
3- The effects of pickup height on the low end, distortion (magnetic coupling?) and overall timbre.

In this past year I gave up on this Bass probably 10 times and almost (Gasp!) sold her!
Also owning a Distillate I would sit there and say there is no reason a Series shouldnít sound just as good or better. So I refused to give up. I took what I think is the Alembic approach which is slow and deliberate. After sending the electronics back the Mother Ship getting the Q switch replaced and receiving a clean bill of health, I started scowering the Club for clues (You guys have no idea the value of your input).
The last piece of the puzzle was the pickup height. The Pickups were warped from 40 years of over tightening causing them to sit high in the Bass cavity way to close to the strings. So I took the plunge and grinded them down to flat. Walla! Bella She sounds so a Beautiful now.

I defiantly took a chance in buying a 1975 Bass sight un seen and I paid a price for that in frustration but I do now have an amazing Bass that I got for a good price. The value of the lessons learned will always be with me.
Peace my Alembic Brethren, and thank you all for your help in this adventure.
Pete
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3924
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 12:21 am:   Edit Post

I've just re-read this whole thread again and I'd just like some clarity on a thought I have. Do the controls also have a placebo effect?

Sometimes when i've been practicing at home and changing sounds I've been fine tuning both volumes and filters and Q find I have found an incredible tone and think MAN...... this bass is awesome, only to realise that I had the pickup selector on one pickup only!!!! So I then turn both pickups on and the sound becomes heaven?

So my first question is, is there some interaction between the controls that are supposedly off when only one pickup is selected? I have wondered about this because even when the standby switches are off, there is still a very low level output from the bass.

Second query relates to the fullness of the sound. I don't practice too loud at home just at a volume where I can feel the sound as well as hear it. :-)

There are times where the sound I'm getting is slightly muffled but then i turn the bass volumes right up and bang there is the great sound or I turn the input or master gain up on the walkabout bass amp and the sound is there clear and strong.

On advice gained from this forum, when I use my rack system I set the QSC power amp output level to max when using my own cabs and that gives me everything I want at all volume levels of my bass. But when I try that using the mesa amp, I just get a great sound but at the expense of also getting a lot of hiss in the signal.

So Iíd like to find out if there is an optimum level I need to set the input gain and master volume on my walkabout so that I get the best and cleanest bass sound from it. Iím assuming that the alembic should give me all the dynamics in itís output regardless of the position of the volume controls.

Jazzyvee

(Message edited by jazzyvee on March 26, 2014)
flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 285
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2014 - 4:20 am:   Edit Post

Hello Jazzy,
I can only answer from my experience with my setups but when I first started to play my Series I was getting weird phasing effects with both pickups on, even individually something wasnít right. In fact for a short time having the filters all the way one way or the other sounded better? Go figure?
Note: all stated issues have been dealt with.

I play through a Walkabout Scout and at least to my ďLearning earĒ I havenít felt a need to have the Bass all the way up. I feel it introduces noise. This could be an incorrect philosophy with Alembics but as a general rule I like to run all amplifiers at Ĺ to ĺ and this includes the amplifiers in the Bass.

Has far as low volume high volume (AKA Loudness) the way the ear perceives frequencies at different levels could have something to do with practicing at home and at stage level. (Fletcher Munson Curve) And of course all the zillion other factors of each location.

The Journey continues,
Peace
Pete
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3935
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, April 05, 2014 - 4:56 am:   Edit Post

http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/what_really_defines_good_bass_in_sound_reinforcement1/
flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 288
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2014 - 1:28 pm:   Edit Post

Informative article, thanks Jazzy
It's kind of nice to have such problems ;)

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