Elan or Essence? Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Elan or Essence? « Previous Next »

Author Message
rapsak_v
New
Username: rapsak_v

Post Number: 2
Registered: 8-2013
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2014 - 9:51 am:   Edit Post

Hi, looking to purchase my first Alembic, 5-string. I've set my sight on a used maple bodied Elan with purple heart laminations in the neck or an Essence with mahogany body, also used.
I'm afraid the maple in the Elan will make it too harsh/bright, but my question is, will the purple heart laminations in the neck warm the bass up, so it gets closer to the mahogany bodied Essence?
I don't have the chance to try either of them out beforehand, but I can return the Essence if it's not to my liking. The Elan is a private listing.
Btw, I strive for a Jimmy J kind of tone (and no, I don't have the bread for a series bass...)

Thanks!
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3899
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2014 - 11:37 am:   Edit Post

Hey. Welcome. I have two Úlan basses. . A 4 string all maple body and neck and a 5 string all maple except 3 Purple Heart neck lams. They can both be bright and the 4 stringer maple bass is incredibly so and I think with the filters fully open it is closer to the sound of my series basses than any of my others.
The 5 stringer is less bright, maybe that's due to the purple heart in the neck but both basses can be tamed with the filters. I use them both in my reggae band but mostly the five string because they can be made to sound mellow and have an incredible punchy tone. Don't worry about it being too bright.
I will see if I can find some YouTube links of mine so you can hear.
Jazzyvee
gtrguy
Senior Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 709
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2014 - 11:45 am:   Edit Post

I would buy one or the other based on playing the actual instruments or if you are more comfortable with the shape of each.

You can always tone down a bright bass, using EQ, flat wounds, the right amp, the tone controls, etc.

Good luck to you!
rapsak_v
New
Username: rapsak_v

Post Number: 3
Registered: 8-2013
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2014 - 11:48 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Jazzywee.
I want to pursue a useful sound with the filters open to get close to the beautiful openness of Jimmy J's tone. Maybe the maple is too bright for this? Any YouTube link is appreciated.

Rapsak
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3900
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2014 - 12:47 pm:   Edit Post

Here are three clips of my maple 5 string Europa/Úlan bass.

http://youtu.be/0i_x7X1_vNM

http://youtu.be/txtYgxWNwOs

http://youtu.be/gobWQJGRQE8

http://youtu.be/sZe_4u6HqxY

http://youtu.be/Qxq0VOhQe-g


Jazzyvee

(Message edited by Jazzyvee on March 06, 2014)
rapsak_v
New
Username: rapsak_v

Post Number: 4
Registered: 8-2013
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2014 - 1:52 pm:   Edit Post

Thx for the clips!
It can get quite funky, eh ;-)
How do you compare your Elan to your other Alembics?

Rapsak
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2125
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2014 - 11:32 pm:   Edit Post

When I ordered my five string P/J Elan, I purposely spec'd the maple neck-thru with pinstripes laminations (in Cherry, thanks Susan!) and ash body wings, topped with flame maple.

I purposely went with that menu inasmuch as I wanted to approximate a typically 'white wood' build as you'd see on a Fender or Sadowsky. I too had concerns after the saws had begun their work that just maybe it might get a bit harsh . . .

In practice it hasn't been the case. Susan suggested Signature electronics, so I have a filter on each pickup, and with that, of course it goes from organ pedal tone to clavinet-ish with no problem at all, just like most Alembics.

Of course, as pointed out above, you can tailor things further with your amp settings, string choice, how you play, etc.

My other five is a Series shaped Spoiler with the deluxe (three purpleheart stripes) lamination, with mahogany wings topped in quilt maple, running FatBoys. My brain tells me this should be a warmer, rounder tone than the Elan, and I may hear just a bit more mellow in it, but then with the FatBoys, it just rumbles like an exceptionally clean MusicMan. So I suppose I hear the 'larger aperture' of the FatBoys' magnetic spread more than I hear the wood.

The Elan runs P/J Activators, and even though the J is a stack, it can get quite pointed if required.

I have noticed this, though: The Elan with all that maple has the clearest, firmest low C's and D's of any other five I've ever owned or tried.

Of course this is all SO subjective, and as they say, your ears' results may vary.

I don't know what all you've owned/played in the past, but neckthrus (and Alembics in particular) tend to carry the fundamental and first several harmonics thru to the pickups better than any bolt-neck instrument. In lots of cases, that 'interruption' between body and neck can still make a good five- or six-string bass, but something about that two-piece system tends to rob the very bottom of the notes, and tends to make alder or maple Fenders just have that white-wood 'squawk' that is part of their signature tone. I'd dare say my Elan is utter proof of this neckthru Alembic difference.

J o e y
rapsak_v
New
Username: rapsak_v

Post Number: 5
Registered: 8-2013
Posted on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 7:21 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the replies.
I owned a Tobias basic, pre-Gibson with maple wings, and the tone didn't cut it for me. Funny thing, it was the LACK of highs...(or hi mids)
I tried to swap out the barts for M°rch custom made pu's, and while it was an improvement, it didn't make enough of a difference.
Guess my ears were into that Jimmy J-tone.
gtrguy
Senior Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 711
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 11:24 am:   Edit Post

He usually play a beautiful Series II 5'er, I think. An SF-2 may get you into the tonal range you want with many basses. It's like having a series-in-a-box.

My old Epic 5 could get pretty close.
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 1508
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 12:56 pm:   Edit Post

Here some more Elan clips, Maple body, Flame Maple top, Maple/Purpleheart neck:

Youtube link (clean sounds after 1:00)

Youtube link 2 (live and loud)

Link to youtube

Link to Youtube 2 Same as the last song (only studio version) with 1988 Spoiler/Mahogany body (with different preset on the Line 6 modeller)
mtjam
Intermediate Member
Username: mtjam

Post Number: 148
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 5:14 pm:   Edit Post

Nice playing on those Elans! I've had my eye on one recently.
rapsak_v
New
Username: rapsak_v

Post Number: 10
Registered: 8-2013
Posted on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 1:41 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for the help.
As I've written in a couple of other posts, I just won this auction:http://www.ebay.com/itm/Alembic-Essence-Custom-5-string-bass-guitar-Macassar-Ebony-side-LEDs-hard-case-/111306105852?&autorefresh=true

-Soo excited.....
artswork99
Moderator
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 1975
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 2:59 pm:   Edit Post

Beautiful bass, congratulations!
flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 282
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 3:13 pm:   Edit Post

Congratulations! That is one fine Bass. Please make sure you play her often.
Peace,
Pete
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3926
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 4:42 pm:   Edit Post

Excellent choice and congratulations on your auction victory.
I look forward to your evaluation when you get it home.

Jazzyvee
rapsak_v
Junior
Username: rapsak_v

Post Number: 12
Registered: 8-2013
Posted on Thursday, April 03, 2014 - 3:50 pm:   Edit Post

Just got the bass, after waiting for the brown truck the whole day. It's very beautiful and VERY heavy! Plugging it in at bedroom volume, I was initially underwhelmed, but it really did shine on a jazz/groove gig in the evening. Thunderous low end and very articulate top. The "too" hifi sound at bedroom volume was completely transformed at gig volume. So far I'm very pleased. I just hope my back can handle the weight!
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3934
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2014 - 2:53 am:   Edit Post

Not sure how old the strings are on that bass but a new set should really give you a better impression of the full range of the bass. If I can pass on a bit of advice I learned from the forum. Turn the volume up high on your bass rig and control how loud it is from the bass. That way you get your amp headroom and it sounds much more hi-fi and powerful even at low volume.
Glad you are having a good experience with the bass.
Jazzyvee

Add Your Message Here
Post:
Username: Posting Information:
This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Password:
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message
Action:

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration