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mgatov
New
Username: mgatov

Post Number: 1
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 6:57 pm:   Edit Post

I've been lusting after a Tribute for a number of months now. Currently my two main guitars are a PRS Custom 22 and a Deluxe Players Strat... both of which have lovely clean tones. I've never had the opportunity to play or listen to a Tribute (or Further) and would like to know how they might compare to my current guitars. What types of tonal differences should I expect? How the active pickups would compare to my two guitars? Any difference in the action or playablity? Also, how do the Furthers and Tribute compare and contrast (other than in appearance). Many thanks in advance for any information you might be able to share.

Cheers,
Michael
kmh364
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 964
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Saturday, August 13, 2005 - 7:30 am:   Edit Post

Michael,

Whew! That's a lot of questions. Sounds like you need the help of Jonathan (jalevinemd). He has A PRS, A Strat, and two Alembics: One Orion and One Custom, with another on the way. He also has a ton of other nice guitars. Ck his past threads for more insight.

We could also use the input of current Tribute/Further owners. I've played a Tribute, have two Strats, but no PRS and no Alembic guitars (save my Orion Bass), so I have no direct means of comparison, sorry.

Can anyone out there help?
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 590
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Saturday, August 13, 2005 - 9:05 am:   Edit Post

Michael:

FWIW, here's my 2 cents.

The closest I have to your collection is a PRS CE24, a 1961 Strat (the real thing, not a "1961" manufactured in 2005), and my '83 Alembic Electrum. (My custom Further is on the way, you can check it out in FTC - "Bill's Custom Further"). I play mostly rhythm with my band with some leads and slide. I prefer a clean tone. All three guitars supply that. The Alembic, however, has far more presence and is much more flexible that the other two.

Generally I love the rhythm sound of my strat (usually using the neck pickup) but have always found the lead sound lacking. I often find myself playing lead on the neck pickup rather than the bridge to get closer to the tone I want.

The PRS is just the opposite. I love the bridge pickup tone for lead, but have found the neck/rhythm tone lacking. And the 5 position rotary pickup selector switch is a bit unwieldy.

The Alembic gives me everything I'm looking for. Very clear bell-like tones for rhythm. Between the pickup pan knob and the filter I can dial in just about any tone I'm looking for. I use the Q on rhythm when I want to cut through the mix without adding mud, typically on a country flavored tune like the Byrds' "Mr. Spacemen". I find I can use this setting to approximate the middle pickup sound of the Strat. The Q also is frequently kicked in for leads. The Alembic is the closest I've found yet to that Santana cosmic heartfelt sustain.

As for necks, I like all three, but admittedly in my case the Alembic comes in last. The PRS is the wide thin carve - very comfortable. The Strat is a slabboard '61 - 'nuff said. It is simply the best feeling neck I have ever played. (My custom Further's neck is based on the Strat's). The Alembic has a very comfortable neck, but the original owner had the nut cut for very narrow string spacing. I plan on having Alembic widen the spacing (there is more than the usual amount of neck on the outside of the E strings, so there is room to spread them out a little). If you order a new one, I would certainly pay attention to string spacing. Measure your favorite's nut width and let Alembic know. I hope some of this helps you. Bottom line, there is nothing like an Alembic except another Alembic.

Bill, the guitar one
hollis
Senior Member
Username: hollis

Post Number: 638
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, August 13, 2005 - 10:51 am:   Edit Post

Michael,

I find everything that Bill is saying goes for me except that my Skylarkís neck is the easiest neck Iíve ever played. I love my PRS, Les Paul, and Travis Bean, however, I donít play any of them at all any more.

I know that not all people feel the same way as I do, but I seem to be able to get whatever sound Iím after with the Skylark. It has a definite learning curve, so Iím sure the Tribute will require that much more ďgetting used to timeĒ.

Iíll shut up now and let those who actually own Tributes as well as others more qualified than myself to lend their insight.......

Take care,

Hollis
mgatov
New
Username: mgatov

Post Number: 2
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Saturday, August 13, 2005 - 12:08 pm:   Edit Post

Thank you so much for your insights! I love my Strat and it is usually the first thing I grab when I come home. I find I spend most of my time on the neck pickup. It is one of those guitars that are only found after playing 100 of them in the store. It's notes just ring. The PRS has a lovely feel and makes me seem a better player than I really am because of its neck.

But the Alembic looks to be everything both of these are and more. Other than appearance, is there much sonic difference between the Further and the Tribute? It seems that they both have the same active pickups. But one is a neck-thru and the other has a denser wood.

I appreciate all the help. Getting any knowledge about Alembic seems to be difficult as there are few out there (relatively speaking).

Kind Regards,
Michael
kmh364
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 971
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Saturday, August 13, 2005 - 2:19 pm:   Edit Post

Michael,

You might wanna try contacting those in the "Factory To Customer" thread that have already had Tributes and/or Furthers made via private email. You might be able to glean a little more info that way versus waiting for someone to find this thread and respond.

Just my $0.02.

Cheers,

Kevin
jalevinemd
Advanced Member
Username: jalevinemd

Post Number: 216
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Saturday, August 13, 2005 - 3:03 pm:   Edit Post

Michael,

I second Bill and Hollis. I can get any tone I want out of my Alembics, though I found there is a HUGE learning curve. Without any B/S acoustic simulator pedals or piezo yada yada's, I can make the Alembic sound exactly like an amplified acoustic guitar. By the same token, kick on my Fulltone OCD pedal through the dirty channel and the thing screams! The neck on my Little Bear is my favorite ever! I don't have huge hands and it is, without a doubt, the Goldilocks of guitar necks...just right. I love all of my guitars for different reasons, but I find the Alembics the most versatile of the lot.

Regards,

Jonathan
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 592
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Saturday, August 13, 2005 - 3:09 pm:   Edit Post

Michael:

As for the Tribute having "denser wood", I don't know if that is really accurate. The stock Tribute has cocobolo back and top, admittedly denser than the maple back and top on the stock Further. However, the stock Further has a purpleheart core which, I believe, is denser than the maple used for the Tribute core. Bare in mind, though, that you are not limited to the "stock" wood recipe. Alembic will do just about anything you want. For example, my Further is being built with vermilion core and neck lams rather than the purpleheart, and with a cocobolo back. I'm expecting a little warmer sound from the vermilion, and I like the way it looks too. The folks at Alembic will be glad to spend time with you, answer questions, and make appropriate suggestions regarding woods. While you are correct about the scarcity of Alembics, you can still get quite a bit of knowledge about them from the folks at this site and from the factory. They put more effort into customer service than any company I have ever come across. And they're really nice people too! The kicker is that you can't just go down to the local guitar center and play a few. I'm lucky enough to live just down the road from Santa Rosa. If there is any way you can swing a factory trip prior to ordering, you will not be disappointed.

Bill, tgo
jalevinemd
Advanced Member
Username: jalevinemd

Post Number: 217
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Saturday, August 13, 2005 - 3:12 pm:   Edit Post

But doesn't the Tribute have a double thick coco bolo top? I don't know how that affects tone.

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