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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive: 2003 » Archive through March 15, 2003 » Sustain Blocks « Previous Next »

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Jazzy Vee (jazzyvee)
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 6
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 12:37 am:   Edit Post

A frew questions for you :-) I notice on this months Featured custom model there is what looks like a brass block centrally positioned at the bottom of the body on the back of the instrument. I notice a similar sized hole on the back fo the Brown bass construction preview. Is this the sustain block I have heard about? I have a SC Signature Deluxe Bass will that have a sustain block in it?

What effect does this block have on the sound and performance of the instrument. Is it available as a post sales option. ? If so, How much is it and where would I get it done in the UK or would I have to send my precious instrument in the post or take a vacation to sunny california and bring it with me. :-) ?
James L. Martin (malthumb)
Username: malthumb

Post Number: 28
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 2:11 pm:   Edit Post

I'm thinking that you are referring to the control plate covers. These are not sustain blocks and don't have anything to do with tone. The sustain block is UNDER the bridge and flush with the front bass wood.

Depending on the bass / vintage, there may be one, two, or three covers on the back. Both my Alembics have three covers on the back. If you lay them backside up the covers are (from left to right)

Left: Access to volume and tone pots.
Center: Access to batteries
Right: Access to circuit board


James L. Martin (malthumb)
Username: malthumb

Post Number: 29
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 2:18 pm:   Edit Post


Check out this picture. If these are the plates you were describing in your message, then it holds true to my previous reply.

In case the link doesn't work, this picture is in the Series I Showcase under Series I 87-4431.


Mica Wickersham (mica)
Username: mica

Post Number: 329
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 3:03 pm:   Edit Post

James is correct - the central plate on the back of the Series I and II instruments is for the internal 9V batteries.

If you have a Stanley Clarke Deluxe bass, you should notice the bridge mounted into a large brass block. You can just barely see it in this picture from the Featured Custom. It's peeking out on the right hand edge.

To answer your other question, it is possible to add a sustain block later. Anyone that's handy with a router and brave can do it, and you can buy the block from us - these run about $55. We cna retrofit for $185 total including disassembly and reassembly.

What effect does it have? It increases sustain and adds a certain brightness to the tone. You can also experiment with various materials - we've made aluminum and wooden blocks as well.

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