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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive through July 26, 2013 » Featured Custom: June "Crown of Creation" « Previous Next »

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Username: mica

Post Number: 7996
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, June 24, 2013 - 7:27 pm:   Edit Post

Check out the new Featured Custom for June.

Massively cool bass with extraordinary versatility. I was really surprised how it could easily adapt to so many types of music.
Intermediate Member
Username: that_sustain

Post Number: 194
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Monday, June 24, 2013 - 7:50 pm:   Edit Post

Love the early 70's horns and cutaways. That extra ebony in the neck will have it's benefits, for sure. That's some bass!
Intermediate Member
Username: cje

Post Number: 134
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 7:00 am:   Edit Post

I LOVE this bass. The shape is fantastically psychedelic, and it looks like a lot of fun to play. And, of course, the neck recipe is "just exactly perfect."

Congrats. I'd really like to hear this one sometime...
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 1873
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 7:19 am:   Edit Post

Congratulations David, Beautiful Bass!
Advanced Member
Username: xlrogue6

Post Number: 264
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 11:16 am:   Edit Post

Could also be called "Brown of Creation".
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11100
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 7:05 pm:   Edit Post

I love the inlays on this bass; I think turquoise is a beautiful material for inlays. And combined with the color of the Vermilion, there's something of a southwestern desert vibe. The symmetrical point body is a nice touch too.
Username: growlypants

Post Number: 51
Registered: 3-2011
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 6:24 am:   Edit Post

It's amazing to me how the good folks at Alembic can make a bass look just like they used to.... Incredible!! Best of luck - it's a beauty!
Username: deburgh

Post Number: 77
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 8:15 am:   Edit Post

What a gorgeous bass, congrats David!!
Senior Member
Username: briant

Post Number: 652
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 8:57 am:   Edit Post

Very nice. Looks heavy!
Intermediate Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 138
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 9:34 am:   Edit Post

Thanks to all of you for the kinds words so far.

Just finished playing her again before leaving for work this am and was amazed all over again. Fuel for the soul to get me through the day!

Re: neck -

The optional flame maple neck is a standard Alembic 32" scale comfort taper with one ebony and two purple heart lams. "Comfort" taper is an accurate description - it fits my hand perfectly and is VERY comfortable to play.

I can hear the influence of the ebony when compared to my other two non-ebony Alembics. All other things being equal (amp, settings, cable, strings, etc.) the ebony does produce some additional clarity and presence that is missing from the non-ebony necks. Each note sounds very dense and "focused" - almost 3-dimensional. Sort of like the difference between using cheap instrument cable and more expensive "hi-fi" instrument cable with higher silver content. And, the effect is more (or less) pronounced relative to the precision (or lack thereof) of my playing technique.

Re: appearance -

The southwest vibe was intentional. I wanted to live in Arizona since I was 7 and finally moved here at 34. So it is my "adopted" home. The color scheme is a composite of the colors used on the Airplane's "Crown of Creation" album cover art and the desert sky at sunset. The cool turquoise and silver details contrast nicely with those rich warm colors and provide a little visual "spark".

The "retro" vibe was also intentional. I asked Alembic to recreate the body shape of the iconic 72-01 as closely as possible. They got it dead on to my eye - but not as thick due to the space-saving improvements that have been made to the electronics over the last 40 years. 72-01 was thicker due to having to accommodate bulkier 70's era electronics.

Overall, COC is very sleek and organic - sort of an updated version of 72-01. As I mentioned in the Featured Custom remarks - although the photos are very nice, it must be seen (and felt) in person to truly appreciate the amount of care and attention to detail that went into creating the body contours (especially around the "point").

It is this type of craftsmanship and vision that elevates Alembic beyond other companies that merely build fine custom instruments to customer spec.

Alembic is somehow able to translate the personality - the "soul" - of a custom-build concept into the finished piece and this difference places them in the realm of the "artist".
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2965
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 10:33 am:   Edit Post

I can not say anymore except that "I LOVE IT ". Congratulations ____

72-01 also made a permanent impression on me. I Feel fortunate to have heard the thunder standing just a few feet from the speakers while Jack was playing on many occasions , back in the day. Great memories !!
Advanced Member
Username: oddmetersam

Post Number: 313
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 12:04 pm:   Edit Post

I just got finished looking at a Ferrari 458 Italia up close and personal and the whole time I was flashing back and forth between the similarities of your bass and the car! Sexy shapes, an homage to the past (perhaps more subtle in the Ferrari), otherworldly craftsmanship evident in even the most minute details, etc. And I'm sure their sounds at full throttle are similarly visceral in their effect on the listener.

When you get a chance, please post more pics. I'd love to see an angle that shows more of the purpleheart core. And what are your impressions of the sonic differences in the non-standard pickup placement/spacing relative to your other basses?

Mainly, though, congrats on a truly fabulous instrument.
Username: mtjam

Post Number: 57
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 3:58 pm:   Edit Post

I really like this bass!! Congratulations, and enjoy it for many years to come!
Advanced Member
Username: hifiguy

Post Number: 371
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 4:22 pm:   Edit Post

How cool. Total old-school, early Alembic vibe.

I remember an article on the Airplane in Crawdaddy! magazine back in 1972 or '73 which featured a big pic of Jack playing 72-01. I had been playing bass for a few months and my eyes got as big as saucers when I saw that instrument. I swore then and there that one day I would own an Alembic. It took me until 1999, but I finally did get my hands on one and I will never let go of it.

Enjoy, brother Alembician!
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 1078
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 6:59 am:   Edit Post

LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Intermediate Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 141
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 12:03 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for the additional kind remarks.

Thunder indeed! Sonicus, I wish I could have experienced 72-01 in person. If it was anything like on "30 Seconds Over Winterland", it must have been amazing.

Re: Ferrari - it's interesting that you should mention the comparison, Sam. I made virtually the same remark to my wife a few days ago. Playing it feels how I imagine it would feel to drive one - effortless, exiting and responsive.

More photos will be coming soon and I'll try to show the body lams and the subtle details of the carving.

Re: sonic differences of pickup placement - first off, no lack of low end. IMO, the relocated bass PU now sits in what I'd call the "sweet spot" for this body style and the 32" scale. It is hearing a slightly different part of the string and this works well for slap. On my other two Alembics, I don't use the bass PU "Q" switch very often because it can sound a little brittle. On COC I can use it in conjunction with the non-Q'd Fat Boy treble PU for a less bright slap tone with more "balls".

Also, I really like the way the Signature electronics "blend" control works with this pickup arrangement.

Re: weight - it's about 12 lb. I haven't weighed it (I don't know if I really want to know), but it's real close to the Spyder and it weighs 12 lb.
Intermediate Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 148
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 12:37 pm:   Edit Post

I've created a thread in the "Showcase" section under "Custom Basses" that contains some additional photos, including several of the carving details.

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