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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive 2005 » Archive through December 23, 2005 » I am getting a lovely Orion Guitar « Previous Next »

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Advanced Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 283
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 2:46 pm:   Edit Post

I have been looking for an alembic guitar for quite a while now and have lost a number of auctions on ebay.
Thankfully I have agreed a buy now price for an Orion Guitar that was on sale on ebay from a German Music store rather than risk losing this in a battle at the end of the auction.

The guitar has a quilted maple top, maple neck , ebony fretboard, mahogany body with purpleheart pinstripe, gold tuners, bronze logo, 25.75 scale
length, brass hardware, gold strap pins, plastic oval inlays completed 10/03/95, serial No: 9509260USA

Hopefully I will get my grubby little fingers on it it during the next week. Here are some photo's of it from the Ebay listing.

Full frontal

close up of that lovely quilted maple


I currently use my Fender strat ultra which also has an ebony fretboard as my main guitar for touring as it sounds ( to my ears anyway ) better than any other solid body guitar I have heard. So It will be interesting to compare it with the Orion when it arrives.

I've never to my knowledge heard an Alembic guitar nor even seen one in the flesh so to speak so it will be nice to know the first one I will ever see will be mine :-)

Hopefully if we get on well I will bring it on the road with me next year.

If you were a previous owner of this guitar maybe you could tell me what you think of it.

Advanced Member
Username: jalevinemd

Post Number: 257
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 2:58 pm:   Edit Post

Congrats! My Alembic cherry, too, was broken on an Orion that I bought never having played one before. You won't be sorry.

Advanced Member
Username: tom_z

Post Number: 221
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 4:02 pm:   Edit Post

Nice score Jazzy. It looks like a beautiful guitar. Enjoy it.

Intermediate Member
Username: j_gary

Post Number: 152
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 9:11 pm:   Edit Post

Wow, that is one of the nicest guitars I've seen.
Congrats, I would be very interested in how she sounds and compares. You were smart to grab her.
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 425
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 3:13 am:   Edit Post

Beautiful guitar jazzy. You'll have to do some gigs up here so I can see and hear it.

Username: karl

Post Number: 61
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 4:27 am:   Edit Post

Ah yes, I saw that on ebay and drooled over it for a while . . . Almost made me wish I was a guitarist rather than a bass player! Congratulations anyway! A really beautiful guitar.

Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 1287
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 4:56 am:   Edit Post

Beautiful! Very nice...congrats and play it in good health!
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 2637
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 5:17 am:   Edit Post

Congrats Jazzy!
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 773
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 7:37 am:   Edit Post


Warning! Once you start playing more guitar it will open up amazing new facets of music that you previously, as a bass player, had no idea existed. Things like melody, and notes that most people can actually hear! LOL! Just kidding. It's a stunning instrument. I love the way the elbow contour sets off the quilted maple/mahogany combo. As your first Alembic guitar, you will find that it's a different beast than your strat. You'll be able to get clear bell-like tones that your strat can never achieve. You'll also find that you will need to pay a little more attention to technique. A little fudge here and there that isn't apparent when you play a strat will stand out naked for all to hear on the Alembic. As a result, it will make you a better player. Enjoy and keep us posted regarding your impressions after you've had some time with your beautiful Orion.

Bill, tgo
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 664
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 8:23 am:   Edit Post

Hey Bill, pssst ... Jazzyvee IS a professional guitar player. He also happens to play bass - even in a Stanley Clarke tribute band, so he can't be all that bad on 4 strings.

Jazzy, that's a mighty fine Orion!
Advanced Member
Username: serialnumber12

Post Number: 255
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 1:15 pm:   Edit Post

Make sure you've got plenty of paper towels, for after you "Plug" Her in!!!

(Message edited by serialnumber12 on November 25, 2005)
Advanced Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 285
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 4:48 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for all the vibes guys on the Orion, I will certainly let you know how she sounds and feels in my loving embrace. I do actually play more guitar than bass, well that was until I got my Alembic SC DLX bass then I got loads of session work as a bass player.
Last year I got the call to join Asian Reggae artiste Apache Indian's band, then I got back into doing exclusively guitar apart from a handful of Stanley Clarke Project gigs which went down a storm.

I absolutely Lurve my strat and although I have taken it on the road most of the past year, I 'm just worried about losing it or having something dreadful happpen to it.

In one of my other posts I did recall a story that was told to me by the band I'm in where the hotel they stayed in in Brazil refused to hand over their equipment from the store room as the promoter slipped out of the hotel overnight without paying the bill. That was about 6 years ago and they have not seen any of their stuff.

Not saying I want my Alembic to get stolen. But that strat has been with me for years and I'm quite posessive over her...lol

This summer I got a brand new Parker Fly P-44 to take on the road as a backup guitar before going on tour to the USA this summer and also took it to Singapore for the WOMAD Festival we played there. There is nothing wrong with the guitar , it's just that i'm more into the crispness and versatility of my Strat Ultra.


so now its on sale on Ebay.


Anyway once again thanks for the vibes and will report back soon.
Intermediate Member
Username: pace

Post Number: 189
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 9:03 am:   Edit Post

Congrats on the "new" Orion.... I purchased an Orion Baritone with the same woods from a fourm member not too long ago! The one thing you may not like ( not like your SC or Europa ) is the cut/boost treble and bass knobs in place of an LP filter & Q combo..... I swapped my Orion guts for some Essence controls, and I am extra happy to own such a fine guitar now.... Enjoy!!!

Advanced Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 286
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 9:36 am:   Edit Post

Funny you should say that cos I was thinking the same thing about the filters.
I did try an orion bass that was on sale on ebay. I did find the controls less flexible than the filters on my SC but still more flexible than my non alembic Musicman.
So i think that with the bass and trebble i would still have more tonal range than my strat which just has a single tone control.

I haven't got it yet and i guess I'm just speculating buy I'm preparing for the shock.
Intermediate Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 168
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 11:33 am:   Edit Post

Nice guitar. I was the above mentioned forum member.

Hey Mike,

I was just thinking about how much I missed that Orion baritone. Glad to hear it is still singing sweet. Upon reflection I liked it even better than the skylark I had. I watch all the time to see if another one comes around. I have not seen very many with the walnut pinstripes yours has though.

Advanced Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 290
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 12:14 pm:   Edit Post

Well the Orion arrived yesterday and it looks as wonderful as those pictures above show.
Unfortunately, when I got home and plugged it into my amp. no sound whatsoever came out of it........
Not even a crackly or a ding.... :-(
so i twiddled the knobs and they were just stiff and grating and not making any difference.

I changed the battery for a new duracell one and tried again... nothing....

Then I took the back off the control cavity and looked... everything was loose on the back of the pots.

I disconnected everything I could without solder and removed the pots had a look and they seemed fine. So I re-fitted them and tightened them up properly, Plugged it in and bingo.... sound.

I didnt have a long play on it as it needed adjusting so I lowered the bridge as far as I could without it choking or buzzing.
I notice the nut has been slightly raised maybe a millimetre or so.

I'd like to get the action very low as possible. without choking on string bends or buzzing. Any advice. I looked in the support pages but there was nothing about setting up alembic guitars. DOes that mean they are set up in the same manner as the basses?

Other than that. I got some info on it from Valentino and apparently the bass was finished 10/3/1995.
However, it is completely unblemished and has no signs that it has even been played. It does look brand new.
Zero fret wear, no plectrum marks or any marks at all on the pickup covers, the original alembic logos on the covers are completely gold without any wear no pick or finger markings on the body, no buckle marks on the back or anything at all on the control cavity cover either. No marks at all on the fretboard, tuning pegs nothing at all.......

It really does look like it has never been used.
I'm going to have a play with it in a bit and get a better grip of the sounds, then report back.

I'll post the serial number on here later as I'd really be interested in tracking its history.
I bought it from a shop in Bochum Germany called Beyers Music.

I have a gig on 17th with the Reggae band called Musical Youth, so that will probably be its first outing as long as i get comfortable with it by next weekend.

Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 442
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 1:32 am:   Edit Post

Have a great time with the new Guitar Jazzy.
Is that the same Musical Youth that 'Passed the dutchy'?

Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 1449
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 2:53 am:   Edit Post

While those Au-plated modular connectors Alembic uses are good for service and upgrades, rough handling during shipping can dislodge them. Same thing happened to me when my new Orion arrived....only one activator worked due to dislodged connectors (after I replaced the dead battery).
Advanced Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 293
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 10:52 am:   Edit Post

Yes Jacko ,that is the very same band. I was on tour with them earlier this summer in the states as well.

You can check the tour photo's on my web site.

We could be back on the road next year too.
As for the guitar, since the initial hick-up its been great. I'm still getting used to its sound.

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