Post Number: 135
|Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 7:31 pm: |
I took delivery of my new Series II with ebony neck laminates a couple of weeks ago. I've done a few rehearsals and a gig with the new bass. I've also compared it to a virtually identical Series I bass, both of which have mahagony cores, quilt maple tops, and Alembic CX strings. The only difference is the neck laminates - purpleheart on one, and ebony on the other.
After listening hard to both basses played acoustically, through headphones in my music room (a fancy description of my basement warren) and through my stage rig on the gig, the effect of the ebony neck lams on the Series tone has become easy to hear. Frankly, the effect is pretty dramatic. Simply put, the bass with ebony neck lams has noticably more bass, particularly at or below 200hz. The increase in the bass frequencies was so significant that I had to adjust the EQ on my stage rig. I usually run my rig with the bass boosted on the EQ, but with the ebony lam bass I had to back off and run it almost flat.
To my surprise, the increase in the fundamental harmonic produced by the ebony did not seem to affect the "punch" side of the envelope; the attack and decay seem unaltered, though there is clearly more sustain. Have you ever switched string gauges from medium light to heavy? The effect of the ebony neck lams is something like that. My ebony lam bass sounds just like that Series tone I know and love, but a bit bigger.
The degree of the effect surprised me. I assumed I would hear something, because Susan and Mica told me I would. However, they understated the diffence that ebony neck lams make. The effect is much greater than I have experienced as a result of comparing top woods on the basses. Conventional wisdom holds that on a neck-through bass the neck woods are much more important to the tone than the top wood, and based on my comparisons I would have to agree.
One player's pile of junk is another's vintage Fender - we all have our own preferences. That said, I think that any player who uses EQ to boost the bass freqs a bit will love the ebony neck lams.
(Message edited by s_wood on May 24, 2005)
(Message edited by s_wood on May 24, 2005)
Post Number: 1788
|Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 8:17 pm: |
Thanks Steve; great review of a side by side comparison!
Post Number: 409
|Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 8:19 pm: |
Thanks for the very helpful review.
Post Number: 2023
|Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 12:18 pm: |
Okay guys ...let's cancel all the purple heart/Amaranth laminates ...we go for ebony!
I can see it coming on E-bay "for sale ...as new purple heart Alembic laminates".
Post Number: 478
|Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 4:12 pm: |
I can vouch as well for the merits of Ebony and Purpleheart neck laminates.
My "Dark Prince" Bass is by far the best sounding Bass I have ever played. It is without comparison in terms of fundamental or sustain.
(Message edited by rami on May 25, 2005)
Post Number: 410
|Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 5:39 pm: |
Rami - how well does it balance? Is it heavy or neck heavy?
Post Number: 710
|Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 6:10 pm: |
It balances very well, David, it's not neck heavy, but it does weigh a ton.
Post Number: 19
|Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 10:00 pm: |
Dark Prince sounds like it should be in the Archives although I must of missed it.
Is that Macassar ebony all over the rest of your bass? My Essence with its mere three lam maple sounds pretty awesome. I do have a fretless Carvin with a quarter inch fretboard of Ebony that is just killer.
Post Number: 1800
|Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 3:29 am: |
Roy; you're right, Dark Prince is in the archives.
Post Number: 411
|Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 3:48 am: |
Dave's link lead me here, which I think is one of the coolest neck lam combos that I've seen: http://www.alembic.com/info/FC_dt12string.html
Post Number: 156
|Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 8:45 am: |
Rami's basses and the "12-string wonder", along with previous testamonials, is what convinced me to go with the PH / Ebony combo..... I cant wait to hear the results....
Post Number: 479
|Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 10:16 am: |
I just couldn't resist posting these pics:
Post Number: 471
|Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 10:29 am: |
Gorgeous bass! If it were mine, I would take advantage of every opportunity to show it off too.
Post Number: 115
|Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 12:25 pm: |
My new guitar (Non-Alembic) is going to have a five piece neck of Black Limba (AKA fancy Korina), Flame Maple, Ebony, Flame Maple, and Black Limba, respectivley. This post is really encouraging, and frustrating since I have another month or two to wait. . .
I wonder what the ebony will do for a guitar, and how just one ebony laminate will affect the tone versus the multi-laminates discussed here. Would it stand to logic that the greater the variety of woods in a neck, the more complex the tone will be? Obviously some woods are better for sustain and strength, but what about character? I wish I could have a thousand guitars built to find out.