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frankfiveinc
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Username: frankfiveinc

Post Number: 1
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 - 3:03 pm:   Edit Post

Interested in this model Persuader for sale online. Stated that it has a Bartolini factory installation. Has 4 control knobs that he thinks are v, v, t, b. It's a 5-string bass and has a quilted maple top. Looks like it might have a neck-dive issue as the horn goes to the 17th fret. Wondering about the modifications and how different that may sound for an Alembic. Tone described and "buttery & smooth." Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!!
frankfiveinc
New
Username: frankfiveinc

Post Number: 2
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 - 3:17 pm:   Edit Post

Persuader 89P5559
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 1531
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 - 4:13 pm:   Edit Post

The electronics are not from Alembic and I don't think they were installed by Alembic:



Bass looks stunning, with the way the mods were done you can easily get it back to the (almost) original state.
You might need to do some routing (+ re-apply some silver shielding paint) if you want to use a two filter + Q switch setup

Hope Mica will correct me if I'm wrong: I think you'll have to use 4 string sized P/J's if you want to change pickups.
flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 308
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 - 5:10 pm:   Edit Post

That didn't look like my Persuader electronics when I had it.
My personal opinion is an Alembic Bass is in large part the electronics as well as the build. That Bass I have no doubt will play beautifully, and in fact I miss playing my Persuader it just felt right in my hands. Not having experience with electronics on this Bass I do have a bias towards the Alembic Pickups / Electronics.
Good Luck!
Pete
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 8188
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 - 5:29 pm:   Edit Post

Correct, Flip - those are not the original electronics in the bass.

Pretty bass!
frankfiveinc
New
Username: frankfiveinc

Post Number: 3
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 - 6:47 pm:   Edit Post

Thank you so much! That explains why nobody bid on it yet and it's done by tomorrow evening….there are many watchers but no bids….unusual behavior for such a nice bass! I'll bet it sounds great and maybe the new electronics were installed to boost the soft j pickup, but it' not a true Alembic and I would like the "real thing" as my first Alembic purchase.
frankfiveinc
New
Username: frankfiveinc

Post Number: 4
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 - 7:06 pm:   Edit Post

What would it cost to restore the original electronics? With the extra knob, would that create a problem?
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11357
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 - 8:03 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Dan; welcome to the board!

If you are considering having Alembic restore the electronics, you should probably call the shop and discuss over the phone. While it's too late to do that before the current auction ends, maybe it will be relisted if no one buys it.

The original Persuader electronics only had one preamp; and the different pickup shapes of the P-J setup left something of a gain mismatch between the two pickups.

Personally, I would suggest something like Elan electronics as an upgrade. The Elan package has volume, pan, filter, and Q switch. There are also two preamps with individual gain controls inside the control cavity, which could be used to balance out the P and J pickups. My guess is that it should fit the current hole pattern.

If you went with the original package of volume, volume, and filter, you could add a Q switch for the fourth hole. The two volumes would still work for balancing out the pickups, but it wouldn't be as flexible as the Elan setup. I think you can also request this setup with two preamps (I think I recall someone having done this as an upgrade to an existing bass). This would be like the Elan package but with two volumes instead of volume and pan.

Oh, and speaking of Q switches, you might want to consider a three way switch instead of the standard two way.

I have no idea what the cost would be; again, you would need to call the shop. It might be more economical to just wait for another opportunity; I don't know. But I'm guessing you could sell the Bart electronics to help defray the cost. And this particular five string with that top does look nice.

Hope that helps some.
flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 309
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 - 8:08 pm:   Edit Post

Dan,
If you decide to go the restore route you might want to consider using the 4th hole for a 3 way Q switch. Pretty inexpensive and an easy install. Adds a lot to the basses versatility.
Peace,
Pete
flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 310
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 - 8:14 pm:   Edit Post

Dave, you beat me to the punch! Great minds think alike!
Getting caught watching the Stanley Cup.
Pete
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11358
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 - 9:23 pm:   Edit Post

:-)
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2178
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 - 10:33 pm:   Edit Post

Dan, I wouldn't think it's all that neck-heavy, there's a lot of wood in that Persuader body.

If there's no weird custom spec involved when that was built, that's the Alembic 'Classic Taper' neck/fingerboard: 2" at the adjustable brass nut, 2.5" at the 24th fret, the strings almost feel parallel all the way up the fingerboard. It's the Alembic standard 1/4" ebony fingerboard, and the neck-thru is the 'Deluxe Laminates', the three purpleheart 'stripes' you see: This is a VERY stable neck.

While I have a slightly different build, this is the same neck on my two five strings, and somewhat similar pickups to my Elan:



The Elan is running Alembic Signature electronics, like this:

http://alembic.com/club/messages/16271/16368.html?1320955206

I forget what a rat's nest regular pickup wiring looks like; here's what Signature Electronics look like, 'under the hood':



I'm sure you could do just fine with Barts in this axe, most of us here have or have had basses with them, but NOTHING is like the genuine article. Don't know your experience or what your ears want to hear, but there's nothing like owning an Alembic. Everything else is just . . . . everything else. Lots of good basses out there, but until you've had one of these, there's just nothing else like theses axes or the people who make them.

Best of Luck,

J o e y
frankfiveinc
New
Username: frankfiveinc

Post Number: 5
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Saturday, June 14, 2014 - 5:59 am:   Edit Post

Thank you so much, everyone, for the very detailed responses!! It gives me a more vivid picture of the quality of these basses by your knowledge of their engineering specs and the enthusiasm of your responses that projects off this board…what a great club!

I have loved the sound of Alembics from the days Lesh played them and just heard a Series I played at a DSO concert last year and fell in love again (long time GD fan). I don't see them much here in eastern PA and have been scoping them out online…I desperately need to play one!

I have a 6-string Ibanez SR506, which is a nice bass for the price, but it's not an Alembic by far. It's hard for me to justify paying for a new Alembic (I need to pay for college tuition - 3 kids), so I've been looking for a used 5-string bass for less than $2k, at which price some Persuaders, Spoilers, and Distillates seem to be selling. I would love a neck-through model in great condition and tone with great range for playing jazz to rock. I love the quilted maple top but also love some dark woods (walnut), especially if they provide the deep low for dropping bombs on the b. I think maple tends toward being a bright, punchy tone, but I don't know for sure as I haven't had the pleasure of hearing/playing a variety of these beauties.

I will watch the current auction and may place a bid. But I would rather buy a true Alembic to the core, so I'm somewhat hesitant unless I could convert to the Elan electronics, as mentioned by Dave, but the expense is a big question.

Again, thank you so much for all the help and I'm certain to learn a lot about these beautiful basses from this club!

All the best….Dan
flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 311
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Saturday, June 14, 2014 - 7:29 am:   Edit Post

Keep in mind there are always Bases coming for sale online and within this club. If this bass speaks to you then go for it. If you truly want an Alembic then you might want to wait. There have few things in my life that felt as good as playing and hearing my first Alembic bass. That first bass ( a Persuader) hooked me in. But I felt it was the whole package that did it.

Anyway that a IMO and the elevated value of 1 1/2 c worth.

Best of luck, she sure is a pretty bass!
Pete
frankfiveinc
New
Username: frankfiveinc

Post Number: 6
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Saturday, June 14, 2014 - 8:41 am:   Edit Post

Thank you for the advice Pete….I think I'm going to follow it and pass on this Persuader. I will keep my eyes open! All the best….Dan
5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 308
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2014 - 12:40 pm:   Edit Post

+1 on waiting for the real deal.

You'd probably spend a significant amount of $$ and time getting this one put back to original (or close to original) spec's.

My advice: cruise ALL of the models and specifications on the Alembic site and narrow down your preferred spec packages. Then ask questions on the forum to dial in your ideal choice. Chances are someone here has experience with what you're considering and can guide you to what will work best for you.

Who knows - you might wind up going for a build so you can get exactly what you want!
frankfiveinc
New
Username: frankfiveinc

Post Number: 7
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2014 - 5:43 pm:   Edit Post

Thank you David…I already passed up the Persuader for the reasons you cited….I am looking and looking, but want to take my time as quality and cost are too important to make a fast decision.
tbrannon
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1635
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2014 - 9:27 pm:   Edit Post

Dan,

The other nice thing about buying used Alembics is that if you get yourself a reasonable deal on a used Alembic, you can pretty much always get your money back if you decide to upgrade or decide that you've changed your mind on a specification.

I started out by buying a used Rogue from a forum member who was having a custom built (http://www.alembic.com/info/fc_dragonfly.html). I played the Rogue for about 2 years and then decided to build my own custom Elan. I sold the Rogue for the same price I bought it for to another club member to fund my Elan build. Alembics hold their used retail value very, very well.

So- I would recommend taking David's advice…. poke around through the showcase threads and for sale area for awhile. Get a pretty decent idea of specs that you'd consider and then know that if something does come up that tickles your fancy, that it's normally a safe purchase- assuming you don't overpay tremendously to get it.

Happy hunting and keep us up to speed on how it goes. There really isn't anything quite like an Alembic.

Toby
frankfiveinc
New
Username: frankfiveinc

Post Number: 8
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 5:31 am:   Edit Post

Toby….thanks again. I just read your post. I have taken all of the advice given by this group….you have all be so helpful! I will be out hunting!!!
edwardofhuncote
New
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 3
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 9:09 am:   Edit Post

Greetings All,

Well, I'm the chap who wound up with this bass... but I sure wish I'd known about this resource before I bid (what I did) on it. When I asked the seller specifically about the pickups, they responded describing them as "factory installed upgrades", which led me to assume they were Alembic replacements, not aftermarket Bartolinis. I felt it was a misleading answer, and following an exchange with the seller, a partial cash refund has been agreed upon over the discrepancy.

This is my first Alembic after 25 years of wanting one, so I kinda' hate that it went down this way... OTOH, with exception for the incorrect electronics, I absolutely LOVE the bass. It really is a beauty, and after a couple tweaks to the action and a new set of TI's, it plays very well too. FWIW, the Barts don't sound bad, and they work fine, but they most definitely don't have that Alembic tone I'm after.

I've read about all I could find and weighed options... and after talking to Mica, (Thanks Mica!) decided I'm going to restore this old Persuader rather than bail out and start over. The only question left to be decided is what to put back in there. At the moment, leaning towards Vol/Pan/Filter/Q-switch, although the Elan setup mentioned above is attractive as well.

So, I'll see you folks around here...
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3478
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 9:25 am:   Edit Post

Hello & Congratulations !
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11390
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 9:31 am:   Edit Post

Thank you for deciding to restore this bass! It's a nice looking instrument, and with Alembic electronics it will be a great bass.
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 1542
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 4:13 pm:   Edit Post

Good you found the club, welcome! :-)
frankfiveinc
Junior
Username: frankfiveinc

Post Number: 13
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 5:42 pm:   Edit Post

Glad you're happy with the bass. I emailed the seller over eBay that the pickups were not Alembic factory installation on 6-13-14, as a result of the knowledge I gained from this communication thread. He confirmed on the same day and said he didn't know and that he was told by the original owner. I hope you asked your question about the pickups before I did or he knowingly misrepresented the bass again. He described the Bart's tone as "buttery with a smooth b", which is another reason I didn't want it because it didn't sound like an Alembic. Either way, it's a beautiful bass and going the route of restoration is the way I would have gone as well, had I won the bid. Good luck!!
edwardofhuncote
New
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 4
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 7:06 pm:   Edit Post

Interesting. They told me roughly the same thing on the 14th. I believe they must have been trying to confirm before committing to change the description... haven't gotten the sense that they were intentionally dishonest, but more that someone else wasn't completely honest with them. He asked for this week to refund me for some of the pickup replacement cost - I agreed. Will update.
edwardofhuncote
New
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 5
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 7:23 pm:   Edit Post

Pre-restoration pictures tomorrow... files too big to post.

(Message edited by edwardofhuncote on June 24, 2014)
edwardofhuncote
New
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 7
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 6:01 pm:   Edit Post

Any opinions appreciated here... after a couple days browsing the FAQ must reads on the many various Alembic activator sets, the two best options for restoring this bass' electronics (ahem - activators) looks to be a Volume/Pan/Filter/ & Q switch, or a Volume/Pan/Bass/Treble setup. The latter being more of what I'm used to, the former however seems heavily favored by the experienced Alembic players. I would rather not rout or drill any more on the control cavity...


A little background - my playing style involves very little need for high-end articulation, as I solo very seldom, and do zero slapping. (I will confess to having at least one well-rehearsed, however gratuitous solo per set) Strictly speaking, my job is being an almost "invisible" part of the rhythm section. I absolutely do need tight low-end, especially on the B, as I tend to use the sub-E notes often. Typically, I tend to pan 60/40 more toward neck pu's and roll off a touch of treble, while pushing bass. I like just enough midrange growl to be aware of it. I'm very seldom in need of extreme high volume.

With that information, what advice can you folks give on which would be most useful to me. High pass? Low pass? Simple rotary Cut/Boost for Bass & Treble?

Thanks All, for the help!
slawie
Senior Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 640
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 7:16 pm:   Edit Post

I am only recently experienced with the Rogue/Europa electronics which is;
Vol/Pan/Filter
Cut/Flat/Boost switch Neck pickup
Cut/Flat/Boost switch Bridge pickup
2 position Q

I think that this arrangement would suit you except better with a 3 position Q from what I have read here.

I find it super quick to dial in the sound I want which is similar to what you have explained.

slawie
tbrannon
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1641
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 8:57 pm:   Edit Post

I will admit to having never played the Alembic version of V/pan/B/T. I have played several basses equipped with V/P/filter/Q and I really, really prefer that over any other non-Alembic electronic setup I've ever played.

The filter takes a little while to get used to, but with the filter and Q, you have a really different way of shaping your sound, yet you're still capable of doing what you could do with standard B/T controls.

If it were me, I'd go Filter/Q over B/T controls.
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2194
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 10:04 pm:   Edit Post

With P/J Activators, you will have no problem with this axe being bassy: Alembic's exact pickup placement varies from axe to axe, and on this particular one, the P relatively forward (closer to the end on the fingerboard, a fuller sounding spot) and the J is spaced away from the bridge, which will tend to take it away from being quite so twangy and a little deeper voiced.

For me, the bass+treble boost/cut choice would be faster to get you where you want to go. Some guys prefer to do this rather than a lot of amp tweaking, and if that's you, that's fine.

If you are interested enough to hunt for a while, the filters are hard to beat. With the filters, you will need to be sure if your amp will add enough to get your sound without onboard boost and cut, most will. But it's a cleaner signal going to the amp for me (without those big peaks that onboard EQ can induce, sometimes pushing amps into distortion). Don't get me wrong, either setup is very clean sounding, but I prefer dealing with a less lumpy input at the amp.

I run these same pickups with the 'Signature' electronics: Volume, balance, separate tone/filter for each pickup. This way you can have straight tone on both, filter on either, or filter on both, which is a lot of possibilities.
I typically seem to gravitate to both filters on and cracked about halfway open, and vary the tone with my hand position along with the balance control.

Whatever you decide, be sure and have your wiring harness built with a preamp for each pickup: This gives you a trim pot for each to set the blend of the two pickups: The P is way louder than the J and balancing is usually necessary to find that right mix for you.

J o e y
5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 314
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Friday, June 27, 2014 - 12:12 pm:   Edit Post

+1 for Rogue / Europa style.

Very performance friendly.
edwardofhuncote
New
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 8
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Monday, June 30, 2014 - 3:58 pm:   Edit Post

Hey folks, thanks again for the helpful advice and educated opinions... if you've been following this (does it qualify as a saga yet?) here's the latest update.

I just made the call... and after a brief but informative conversation with Mica about the installations, a set of Alembic's PJ / PVF activators are headed my way later this week. For the controls, I opted for Volume/Pan/Filter + Q (3 position switch) Sounds like the only mod necessary is I may possibly need to slightly recess for clearance on the Q switch. If so, may also need to dab some shielding paint in there. Very soon I hope to have this old bass back up to spec.
slawie
Senior Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 641
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Monday, June 30, 2014 - 5:45 pm:   Edit Post

Congratulations.
The waiting is the hardest part.
Take your time when installing.
Measure twice, cut once!
slawie
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11400
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, June 30, 2014 - 7:38 pm:   Edit Post

Congrats!!
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2198
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, June 30, 2014 - 9:55 pm:   Edit Post

Bingo ! The single filter is faster in that you're Q'ing both filters 'globally'. Looking forward to hearing your impressions once everything's restored.

BTW, you've stumbled (like a lot of us did) into Alembic ownership from a used axe, only to find Mica and Alembic treat you like you just spent a fortune with them on a new axe. They are just the best people in the world. Encyclopedic in their knowledge of their guitars and basses, they are so vitally interested in the lives of these axes, new or used.

I appreciate Mica, and Susan, and Mary greatly, they're just the best.

J o e y
flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 320
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2014 - 4:06 am:   Edit Post

Couldn't agree more with Joey, All my Alembic Basses were purchased used (1 being a 1975!) and all needed to be worked on or I wanted to modify.
The modify was a Persuader in adding a Q switch, good choice Edward by the way ;).
The good people at Alembic were amazing at their support and quickly with much care helped me in getting my girls singing like they were meant to. Couldn't have done it without them.
Best of luck with your new Bass and like Slawie states go slowly, if you even think there is an issue stop, think, take a break, then come back to it. This is probably one of the reason's it takes so long to build one. Time spent well.
Peace,
Pete

(Message edited by flpete1uw on July 01, 2014)
edwardofhuncote
New
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 9
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2014 - 5:16 am:   Edit Post

Pictures of progress coming when I figure out how to shrink the files... saw an FAQ on that somewhere around here... =)

(Message edited by edwardofhuncote on July 01, 2014)
edwardofhuncote
New
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 10
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2014 - 5:20 am:   Edit Post

Was telling Mica yesterday - last year, after thinking it over for several years, I finally ordered a guitar from C.F. Martin & Co. going through their Custom Shop, painstakingly replicating a treasured 1930 vintage Martin guitar. Talking with the director, I was able to specify every minute detail of the guitar, from selecting the tonewood, right down to the traditional hide glue they used constructing the body. I now look forward to doing that here with Alembic... though admittedly I have no idea yet what that bass will look like or what wiring I'll prefer, sort of the 'fun part' is figuring all that out.

In addition to building top quality instruments, I can't recall having a more personable experience than the past couple exchanges with the Alembic office staff. I would be willing to bet a sizable percentage of Alembic players are return customers having multiple Alembics, many of them having started out with a secondhand one.

As we say here in Virginia - they are a fine buncha' folks!
edwardofhuncote
Junior
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 13
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 7:29 am:   Edit Post

I haven't updated this thread in a while, but 89P5559USA is almost ready for business again.

The new activators, Volume/Pan/Filter/3 position Q-switch arrived week before last, just as I was headed out for a week of playing music/vacation... (is there a difference?!) I only had time to open the box and admire the new parts, and remove all the installed aftermarket Bartolini equipment. Sadly, but not surprisingly, I found the control cavity was a mess too. The Volume and Pan, and Jack holes were unscathed, but the hole where the Filter pot would go had been moved almost a half-inch to the left, which didn't allow for clearance on the card. It would have to be plugged and re-drilled in it's original position. The hole that the Q-switch would go in was way oversized, and wasn't even round, so it would have to be completely redone as well.

A couple late evenings of shopwork and the repairs are complete. After some pre-fitting, including a somewhat un-nerving counterbore recess for the Q-switch, followed by brushing in a new coat of shielding paint, the control cavity is now ready to accept the new equipment.

I swear I'll post some start-to-finish pictures one day!
edwardofhuncote
Junior
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 14
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 9:48 am:   Edit Post

Control Cavity before:



and after:



and on the outside:

davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11454
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 3:14 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for the pics; nice to see this bass getting its Alembic magic back!
jon_jackson
Advanced Member
Username: jon_jackson

Post Number: 208
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 5:35 pm:   Edit Post

Very nice woodworking. Good job.
Jon
edwardofhuncote
Junior
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 15
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2014 - 6:49 am:   Edit Post

Spent yesterday evening in the shop installing all the new electronics into the repaired cavity, then re-mounted the brass hardware after polishing. Ran out of time last night, so this evening I'll re-string the bass, set the action and pickup height. Then, at long last, I hope to PLAY IT.

Looking forward to that magic, Dave!

Thanks, Jon!

P.S. I'm ordering a set of "hat" knobs this afternoon... they will be just large enough to cover the fix on the filter pot re-drill. (Thanks FC and Mica.)

Here's last nights' work:









artswork99
Moderator
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 2000
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2014 - 7:18 am:   Edit Post

Real nice woodwork! The installed electronics look really good ;) I'm sure they sound even better!
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 1554
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2014 - 8:31 am:   Edit Post

Yeah, looks great! Way to go!
edwardofhuncote
Junior
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 17
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2014 - 11:35 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Fellas!

Took it on the first round of gigs this past weekend. It's not quite like anything I've ever played... you guys (and girls!) are absolutely correct about the Filter & Q-Switch. It only took a few minutes to dial in *exactly* what I like to hear, and after a little experimenting, I found some alternate settings that are quite usable. Purposefully left all my amp settings (Mesa Walkabout) at flat response, and left compressor and chorus pedals out of the signal path just to see what the bass would do on it's own - it's simply fantastic. The only incident, at one point I could hear an odd crackle followed by a pop-pop-pop-pop-pop. From reading the various forums both here and elsewhere, I gather this is cellular phone noise? I cut my phone off, it stopped, and I haven't heard it since.

Not 100% satisfied with my set-up just yet, but I think it's mostly the strings. I'm used to TI Jazz Flats, and this bass is currently strung with TI SuperAlloys. Just feels a little stiff in the middle with the higher tension. I was planning on staying with roundwounds on this bass, but may have to rethink that choice.

All that's really left to do is replace the collet knobs with the hat-type knobs, and post a couple "finished pictures".

Before closing out this thread, I want to thank ALL you folks at the Alembic Club, and especially the staff at HQ for the helpful advice and patience with a new Alembic owner... as some of you know, this started out as an ebay deal gone south, but two months later, I'm pleased to report it's come to a happy ending. I love the bass... couldn't have done it without you!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11460
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2014 - 12:02 pm:   Edit Post

Congrats!

On strings; I use TI Jazz Rounds, considerably less tension than the Super Alloys.
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2229
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2014 - 10:11 pm:   Edit Post

Terrific repair skills. The Witch-Hat knobs should cover your tracks, and they just 'look' Alembic.

I'm just tickled you've rescued this bass and done the right thing by returning it to Alembic internals. As you've found out, axes with Barts or EMG's are just fine, but they do not sound like Alembic filter-driven electronics. Not everyone 'gets it', but if you do, there's just no substitute for that sound. And as all of us know, when you are looked after by Mica and the crew, there's just nothing like it.

So many congrats, glad you're digging it, and can't wait to see the finished pics.

There's nothing like owning an often whispered about, rarely seen legend. I live in Nashville, a town crawling with zillions of guitars and basses, and I've seen four of them here, and I own two of 'em.

J o e y
poor_nigel
Advanced Member
Username: poor_nigel

Post Number: 353
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 7:47 pm:   Edit Post

Hey Gregory (I Gregory! Too obscure?), I have a box of old hat knobs and would not mind donating to your cause, if you have not already found a set. E-mail me your address if ya want em.
edwardofhuncote
Junior
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 18
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 11:45 am:   Edit Post

Many thanks Nigel, but Alembic HQ has a set on the way to me now... should be here in another day or so. Right now I have the new stock collet knobs on the bass, and obscured my repairs with some homemade brass bushings. Actually doesn't look too bad...

@ dave - Also got a set of TI Jazz Flats coming... I am going to try those TI Jazz Rounds, but on a different bass first, might eventually put them on this one too.

I'm going to try posting some downsized pictures of the finished job here... Installed some new brass strap buttons, and recessed the underneath of each so they would mount flush to the contour of the bass. Just aftermarket D'Addario buttons, but I think they complement the rest of the brass hardware nicely.
edwardofhuncote
Junior
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 19
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 10:21 am:   Edit Post




(Message edited by davehouck on August 21, 2014)
edwardofhuncote
Junior
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 20
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 10:24 am:   Edit Post

edwardofhuncote
Junior
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 21
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 10:28 am:   Edit Post

edwardofhuncote
Junior
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 22
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 10:45 am:   Edit Post

Well, here she is folks... 89P5559USA in completion.

It's been fun chronicling this project through the stages, but I'll quit on this note, and fade back to lurking on you guys' posts for a while.

Thanks Again!
flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 356
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 10:49 am:   Edit Post

Gregory,
This is how I like to run my Basses as well with the amp positions at noon and let the Bass show what she's got! I to use a Walkabout (12" Scout) the one thing I found out recently about the Walkabout is the Mid adjustment is a passive tone adj. in that a flat response is around 10 o'clock. I bet its pretty shocking what that Bass can do huh? Again good choice on the Q switch.
Peace,
Pete
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2231
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 9:36 pm:   Edit Post

You've done a remarkable job restoring this axe. Many congrats and hope you enjoy it. Well done !

J o e y
jcdlc72
Advanced Member
Username: jcdlc72

Post Number: 374
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 7:49 am:   Edit Post

That´s an amazing looking bass! Play it and enjoy it in good health!

Out of sheer curiosity, as I have always thought it is (definitely) easier to drill and make holes on a piece of wood, rather than filling them up (and specially the way you did on that control cavity!), would you explain with some little how did you fixed those out-of-shape holes in the wood, and achieved such a result? The washers in the top are, I assume, the easy part, but I am really interested in knowing how to fix the wrong-shaped holes for the pots and stuff (Have a bass here that suffered from a similar "mod" by its previous owner)...
edwardofhuncote
Junior
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 26
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 6:49 am:   Edit Post

Yeah, that control cavity was a mess. Fixing the holes wasn't too bad... I have a background in musical instrument repair, though almost exclusively my experience is work on upright basses. Actually, just some carefully fit pieces of maple, and slow-set epoxy mixed with some maple sawdust from my bandsaw, to bind them in place. Used low-tack masking tape for a form. After a day to set and fully cure, I carefully flushed up the mating surface with chisels and sandpaper. The scariest step was counter-sinking the inside of the control cavity for the Q-switch, but worst-case scenario, I'd simply have had to redo that hole altogether. (it was the oversized and oblong one) I had given some thought to inlaying some quilted maple veneer on the outside to cover the repairs, and I would have if a complete refinish was in order, but that would've been a very tricky touch-up.

Oddly, those brass washers were the hard part - I had to make them, out of some very thin (.0010) brass flashing. It necessarily had to be thin, since the threads on the pots don't extend very far through the body. And they're just temporary, until my hat-style knobs come in.
edwardofhuncote
Junior
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 34
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2014 - 6:26 am:   Edit Post

Last Update - The final piece(s) in this restoration came this past weekend, via a small box from the Mothership... I have now installed the period correct "hat" style knobs. It was very close, but the larger diameter knobs completely cover the repairs.

Taking Mica's advice, I offset them from contacting the top with a sturdy business card, and carefully tightened *both* set screws. For giggles, and so it would match the one I'd made for the Q-switch, I decided to leave one of my homemade brass bushings, but moved it over to the jack.

Many small tweaks later, this bass has settled into an *extremely* comfortable player... it took a while to let the neck do all the moving it was going to after putting on the lighter tension TI's, and adjusting the truss rods. Went up a couple rounds on each side of the bridge, down a turn on the treble side of the nut. Then finally, I carefully dialed the intonation back in.

It's perfect.

flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 364
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2014 - 7:26 am:   Edit Post

Job well done Sir, Congratulations!
Play with great joy in your accomplishments and knowledge of the tradition of the art of these modern day Stradivarius's
Peace,
Pete
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 2075
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2014 - 7:35 am:   Edit Post

Good job. Even though not original the brass bushings fit with Alembic styling from the past.

Keith
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2239
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2014 - 8:13 am:   Edit Post

GOT to have the Witch Hats, they just say 'Alembic', and I figured the skirts would cover your repairs.

If yours is at all representative, you'll find that with all the laminates and the ebony fingerboard, once the truss rod adjustments settle in, on an older example like this where the wood has finished aging, it should be very stable set-upwise with the same string set.

Again, great work.

J o e y
edwardofhuncote
Junior
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 35
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2014 - 12:29 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks All... I really am loving this bass. Already making plans on the next one, but that's another thread. =)

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