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5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 302
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 12:26 pm:   Edit Post

A few weeks ago, I made my second pilgrimage to the mothership. As was the case with my first visit last August, a good time was had by all, relaxing in the late afternoon, swapping stories and admiring various instruments in progress - each one breathtaking in its own unique way.

In the midst of all of this merriment, the elves introduced me to THIS fair 4-string damsel:





with the explanation that she had recently become an orphan due to a rare specification miscommunication.

Needless to say, as I gazed deeply into the burled beauty of her redwood top and backside and admired the flawless craftsmanship of her purple heart and ebony neck laminates, I fell under her spell and was compelled to lend to her whatever assistance that might be required to ease her plight.

Over the next several days, I imagined what it would be like to give her a new home where she would be surrounded by other 4, 5 and (soon to be) 6-string siblings from the same place of birth.

Fortunately, as luck or karma, or... ? would have it, the head elf worked her magic and we figured out a way to make it possible and she will soon be finished and on her way to me.

Epilog: she has been renamed "Scarlet O'Hara" - because of her fiery redwood exterior coupled with the fact that she was almost "gone with the wind".

Moral: there are no mistakes in life, only paths that lead in unexpected directions. Opportunities will sometimes present themselves when you least expect them - try to be flexible as possible to be able to take advantage of the possibilities.

(Message edited by davehouck on June 10, 2014)
mtjam
Intermediate Member
Username: mtjam

Post Number: 168
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 3:28 pm:   Edit Post

Nice! I know you're looking forward to welcoming your new addition at home!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11352
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 4:21 pm:   Edit Post

Congrats! Will it have Europa controls?
moongerm
Junior
Username: moongerm

Post Number: 18
Registered: 8-2013
Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 4:29 pm:   Edit Post

Sweet!
5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 303
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 4:47 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks guys.

Re: controls - yes it will have the standard Europa / Rogue electronics. The original build sheet spec'd Signature electronics and although I like that package (I have it on both a Stanley Sig Deluxe and on the Crown of Creation custom), IMO the Europa / Rogue package is a little more performance-friendly. Since this will primarily be a "live" bass, I opted for simplicity.

Good thing the holes weren't drilled (!)

I also spec'd a Fatboy in the treble position. I have that on my Europa 5 and I love it.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3432
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 5:25 pm:   Edit Post

My ___ Congratulations ,

She be almost as darling as Vivien Leigh her self !
artswork99
Moderator
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 1988
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 7:40 am:   Edit Post

Congratulations!
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1789
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 5:39 pm:   Edit Post

Frankly, my dear, I. Oh, never mind.

Very lovely!
dead_head
New
Username: dead_head

Post Number: 9
Registered: 5-2014
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 7:45 pm:   Edit Post

Congratulations! Love the burled redwood. Best of luck with it.
growlypants
Member
Username: growlypants

Post Number: 85
Registered: 3-2011
Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 6:58 am:   Edit Post

Very Nice! Congrats on the rescue! I just can't imagine anyone not just loving that configuration... By the way - why the Fat Boy selection in the treble position? In other words, why do you prefer the Fat Boy to the other?

(Message edited by growlypants on June 12, 2014)
5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 305
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 9:02 am:   Edit Post

Thanks to all for the additional kind words (very funny edwin...).

Hey growly - Re: Fatboy in treble position - it adds a little more "girth" for want of another word. It makes that pickup stand out a little more in a live band mix. Maybe due to more mid-range - ?

Some have commented that the standard treble pickup is a little more "high fidelity" but slightly less punchy - maybe better in a studio setting. The difference is subtle. Others have remarked that a Fatboy in the bass position, depending upon the instrument, may be slightly overwhelming.

Since I have no problem coaxing low end out of any of my Alembics, I like the standard bass pickup. But in a live mix, I sometimes have a challenge cutting through when using the treble position.

I plan to use this bass primarily for live classic and contemporary rock, some R&B and funk and possibly some contemporary country, so I wanted a little more punch in the treble position.

One additional comment re: wood recipe on this one - the redwood / mahogany core body is very light, so overall, this bass will be fairly light by Alembic standards. This coupled with a 32" scale length and the inherent balance of the ergonomic Rogue body shape will make it very comfortable to play standing for extended periods of time.
growlypants
Member
Username: growlypants

Post Number: 86
Registered: 3-2011
Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 9:27 am:   Edit Post

I appreciate your thoughts, 5a. I know that, in the past, J-o-e-y has expressed his preferences for that particular pick-up as well, and being a relative novice to the finer points of Alembic-ness,(!) I was curious. I'm not involved in recording due to a lot of things (age, talent...) but I try to know the reasons for specific choices. Thanks, again!
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2176
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 - 10:25 am:   Edit Post

Dan, I originally had AXY's in my BigRedBass. They were just fine, but exceptionally transparent. I rolled the dice and changed out to FatBoys (thanks to Mica and Bob Novy). It's not a night+day difference, but I prefer the FatBoys for me. If it still had the AXY's, I'd be just fine, but since I had a choice, I went with the FatBoys. Since Alembic tends to put the bridge pickup right next to the bridge, using a FatBoy only at the bridge works for some guys to buy a little thicker sound from a thinner spot.

My best analogy would be that the AXY's sound like very good reference studio monitors or a very good studio mic, whereas the FatBoys are still very accurate, but with just a bit more coloration, as if you're now listening to the playback on exceptionally good home speakers, or mic'd up with an SM57.

J o e y
eastcoastepic
Advanced Member
Username: eastcoastepic

Post Number: 255
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 - 6:28 pm:   Edit Post

Stunning top wood figuration, like two dozen flickering candle flames; almost a 'mutant' redwood, as she seemingly melts away from the neck to the bridge. Basses like this are my favorites...absolutely nothing 'typical' about the wood, a true 'one of a kind' wood selection makes this priceless.
As the bumper stickers say..."who rescued who?" :-)

Fantastic find & acquisition; salute'!
Chris
5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 307
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2014 - 12:19 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Chris.

The wood had the same effect on me the first time I saw it. The pix, although very nice, do not completely convey the impact of the wood in person. It's absolutely mesmerizing.

Susan told me she chose it for this project because it looked like flames coming from the bottom of the bass ("this bass is on fire").

She then told me that the front and back are successive slices - which further compounds the awesomeness.

And, like the cherry on top, there are also matching front and back headstock veneers.

How could I refuse the lure of this burly, flame-y redwood feast!

"who rescued who" - INDEED!
coop
New
Username: coop

Post Number: 2
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2014 - 8:14 am:   Edit Post

Congrats on picking up that in-progress bass! It's a real stunner and I should know - I'm the player it was being made for. It's twin should be under construction now. As another SCSD player, let me know how you like the neck. It's basically an SCSD neck in 32" scale. I loved the top and, hopefully, the top on the twin will be as lovely. That top was, however, the second selection - ask Susan about the Eye of Sauron...
5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 317
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2014 - 8:54 am:   Edit Post

Kewl - thanks for the additional scoop, coop!

I thought there was something vaguely familiar about the neck - I also have a SCSD, so mystery solved!

I'm sure the twin will be just as stunning - as you know our hosts are incapable of making anything less.

I'll give a full report when I receive her and I'll be sure to ask about the Eye. I'm sure there's an interesting story waiting there.
hifiguy
Senior Member
Username: hifiguy

Post Number: 416
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2014 - 9:21 am:   Edit Post

What a sweetie of a bass.
coop
New
Username: coop

Post Number: 5
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - 5:43 am:   Edit Post

5a, I also have several pics taken of that bass under construction. If Mica didn't already send them to you, let me know and I'll post 'em for you.
5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 320
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Friday, July 11, 2014 - 12:04 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for the offer coop.

Mica did provide quite an impressive gallery of images, so I'm covered there.

However - if you have some progress pix of her beautiful twin sister...

;-)

Seeing these instruments evolve from the raw components never gets old!
coop
New
Username: coop

Post Number: 7
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Monday, July 28, 2014 - 8:18 am:   Edit Post

Funny you should ask... I received some pics of the work-in-progress from Mica this past week. Turning out to be as lovely as her sister.





Perhaps the most obvious difference is the "coopered" back - kind of like a Spector or Warwick Thumb body. Add in the Ruthenium hardware that will be added and it should be a real stunner!
5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 331
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Monday, July 28, 2014 - 8:53 am:   Edit Post

I think I'm seeing double...

;-)
dead_head
Junior
Username: dead_head

Post Number: 38
Registered: 5-2014
Posted on Monday, July 28, 2014 - 8:09 pm:   Edit Post

Wow...
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2221
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, July 28, 2014 - 10:25 pm:   Edit Post

So I've never been able to visualize it: HOW do they do the matching curve on the front and back of the body? It's a terrific feature I've long admired on Spectors, etc. Anybody know ?

J o e y
coop
New
Username: coop

Post Number: 8
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 7:50 am:   Edit Post

Masterful carving and flawless wood selection.

It's a little-known option Alembic offers and it provides a high degree of playing comfort for those of us who are livin' large.

I fell in love with coopered back basses when I got my first Warwick Thumb bass. While researching the Alembic archive before I ordered this bass, I came across a coopered-back bass they made several years ago. In spec'ing out this bass, I discussed it with Susan and, sho' nuff, it's still an option today.

There really is very little they can't do as far as bass building is concerned.
growlypants
Member
Username: growlypants

Post Number: 95
Registered: 3-2011
Posted on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 10:45 am:   Edit Post

Forgive my asking, but is a coopered back a concavity generated by joining the top portion at a slight angle to the rest of the bass??
coop
New
Username: coop

Post Number: 9
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2014 - 7:21 pm:   Edit Post

I have to admit ignorance on this front. That's a question best answered by Alembic. On my Warwicks, it was the carved shape of the body wood itself - no top or bindings, and my Warwicks were bolt-on which radically simplifies the issue.

This bass is in a whole other realm of beauty and complexity.
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2226
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2014 - 9:47 pm:   Edit Post

But . . . . HOW do they parallel the curve on the front and back? I once saw a small, grainy pic of a fixture that Spector uses. I still wonder what the method is.

J o e y
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3552
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2014 - 10:00 pm:   Edit Post

CNC woodworking ?
5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 359
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 11:54 am:   Edit Post

Just received notification that she is finished and is on her way to me - scheduled for delivery TOMORROW - which just happens to be the day before my birthday.

Here's a "couch pic" to hold me over until I can see the real thing in person:



What a great birthday present!
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3643
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 12:00 pm:   Edit Post

Congratulations !
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5836
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 12:05 pm:   Edit Post

Gorgeous top!

Bill, tgo
hydrargyrum
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 1237
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 3:29 pm:   Edit Post

The wood almost looks like staring into a fire. Beautiful!
funkyjazzjunky
Senior Member
Username: funkyjazzjunky

Post Number: 940
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 6:05 pm:   Edit Post

Spectacular looking bass
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11535
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 7:14 pm:   Edit Post

Beautiful!

Congrats!
5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 360
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 8:35 am:   Edit Post

Thanks guys!

FYI: her back side is just a nice.

Just checked UPS and "out for delivery" is the message.

I'll try to post some pix upon arrival.
coop
Junior
Username: coop

Post Number: 11
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 12:26 pm:   Edit Post

Awesome! Congrats on the new bass.

Her twin sister shouldn't be too far behind and I'm itching to get her here to Florida. Did you stay with the Ruthenium hardware or go to nickel or chrome?

In any case, she looks gorgeous and we can't wait for a full report! And happy b-day!
5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 362
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 2:31 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks!

Nickel hardware.

I've got that on two of her siblings, gold on another and the basic brass on two others.

BTW: SHE'S HERE - !

Unfortunately, I'm working in a construction zone right now, so no real good place for playing or pix. Gonna have to wait 'til I get home to do all of that and provide a review.

But, despite that, I can say with 100% certainty that SHE'S PRETTY AND PRETTY D*MN LIGHT.
mtjam
Advanced Member
Username: mtjam

Post Number: 204
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 3:24 pm:   Edit Post

Congratulations, she's a beauty! Have fun playing it, and don't forget to take a picture break!
5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 363
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2014 - 9:00 am:   Edit Post

Coop - if you like the SCSD neck profile, you will love this.

She's light & balanced sitting or standing - no neck dive at all - and very resonant.

Neck is slim & FAST. Slap is effortless (and I need all the help I can get there). 32" scale adds a bit of "twang" (subtle) over the SCSD and is almost as easy to play as the shorty.

And, like the SCSD, she's very articulate, notes jump off the fretboard. No lack of low end due to the ebony & purple heart lams in the neck.

Range of tones from the standard Europa / Rogue package is impressive and the rock tones in particular benefit from the Fatboy in the treble position.

Sustain is impressive, but not quite as good as my Europa 5, Spyder or Crown of Creation. I suspect the smaller neck may be a factor coupled with the fact that Scarlet is significantly lighter.

Bottom line: if you need a light, balanced, comfortable bass for stage work, this wood recipe and body style will get you there. I chose the standard electronics package for simplicity / ease of use, but Signature or Series would work as well (or better) and provide a little more versatility.

Add'l pix forthcoming.
coop
Junior
Username: coop

Post Number: 12
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2014 - 10:47 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the report. Now my anticipation is even greater (if possible).

Your review validates the decisions that Susan and I made in the original design, but your pup and electronics certainly make a different sounding bass than what I'll eventually get with standard Signature electronics. I'm also really happy to hear about the playing comfort. My SCSD is a balancing act sometimes, and your report gives me a good feeling that my bass will have the same characteristics as her sister.

I'm glad you got your beauty and rescued this bass! It's a win-win-win for all of us!

(Message edited by coop on October 01, 2014)
5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 365
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2014 - 1:06 pm:   Edit Post

Out of all of my Alembics, this one is the most comfortable. It will be easy to do four sets standing with her.

I know you'll be pleased with that and I'll be interested in your impressions of the impact of the Signature electronics package on the tone.
coop
Junior
Username: coop

Post Number: 15
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 8:05 am:   Edit Post

Well, I'll get to find out next week. UPS estimates delivery on Tuesday. Mica hasn't sent me the final pics yet, so I haven't seen the finished bass yet. Can't wait!
5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 391
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 9:07 am:   Edit Post

I know, I spoke with her on Saturday at the Grateful Dead symposium in San Jose and she mentioned it was ready to ship.

BTW: she's got a new camera so your pix should look +++ amazing +++!

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