Proposition: Alembic Building Touch-S... Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive 2005 » Archive through December 23, 2005 » Proposition: Alembic Building Touch-Style Instruments « Previous Next »

Author Message
Username: brendan

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 8:55 am:   Edit Post

First, thanks for the warm welcome to the board in the Strap thread. :-)

Although this market is dominated by Warr and Chapman, I'd personally like to see Alembic produce a line of touch-style instruments. 8, 10, 12-string and up instruments. Warr--and especially Chapman--just don't offer the options that Alembic does. I understand Alembic has built at least one such instrument, Ocean Blue, but that seemed to be more of a one-time shot.

I have owned a Warr, and although it was a fine instrument and sounded great, I don't really like how he relies on Paduak and Ash as tonewoods. Alembic offers so much more in this area, not to mention little things like custom-turned control knobs. When I saw the custom bass with those, I flipped. Amazing stuff.

I'm considering commissioning a Warr Phalanx, simply on cost concerns. I don't know how much Ocean Blue cost, but I'm sure it's more than a Phalanx. Anyway, I think if Alembic were to break into this market, it would be huge. I know I'd buy one, eventually (when funds suffice.)
Intermediate Member
Username: pace

Post Number: 194
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 1:18 pm:   Edit Post

How about a line of pedal steels while we're at it???? :-)

Id really like to have a pedal steel with brass in place of the typical aluminum necks / bellcranks / pedal bar, steel endplates / cross shafts / etc etc...... and active electronics in place of single coils...... I dont care if it will wiegh 200lbs!!!!!
Intermediate Member
Username: harald_rost

Post Number: 109
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 1:02 am:   Edit Post

From the desciption of the website, Ocean Blue is a 8-string bass but not a tapping instrument. I can't speak for Warr but I have a new Chapman Stick (and owned two others/older models in the past). So a Chapman Stick is totally different from a bass. The main thing is the different string tension. And even the strings are different, more flexible (at least those from Stick Ent.). So players are able to tap on modern basses, probably we all know the amazing work from Victor Wooten, but especially the approach from Emmett Chapman, the two-handed tapping method of parallel hands, needs a special kind of instrument. And BTW: What kind of options do you miss? Stick Ent. offers different kinds of wood, including bamboo and graphite for the body, different kind of pickups and electronics, different kind of frets, 8, 10 or 12 strings, different kind of tunings and strings etc.
But of course it would be very thrilling to see a hippie sandwich Stick ;-))

Username: brendan

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 7:44 am:   Edit Post

Not to nitpick: It's a bass, but geared toward touch-style playing. Note this line from the page: "It's in this picture that something else unusual is evident: the flat fingerboard. Trip plays this bass with touch style techniques, and gosh darn it, he just wanted it that way!"

I'm doing two-handed tapping on a modern bass with a bass fingerboard radius. I've had the action lowered as low as it'll go without custom work, and while it's playable, it's just not the same. I've been spoiled by touch-style instruments.

The options I'm missing are listed above: mainly choice of tonewoods/tops and that truly custom-everything experience you get from Alembic.

I understand Chapman is completely different from a bass, with a completely different tuning and 25 frets, but Warr isn't. He uses the 34" bass scale, 24 frets, his instruments come with bodies (reversed bodies). The Phalanx model is basically a six-string bass and six-string guitar on one neck. Albeit a flat neck, like Ocean Blue, it even uses standard bass/guitar tuning.

That's what I'd like to see from Alembic... something like the Phalanx, but with the Alembic touch.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 2846
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 8:08 am:   Edit Post

I think that with bodies, if you order something for which a template already exists, then it is less expensive than ordering something that hasn't been done before. I don't know if that extends to necks, bridges, tailpieces, etc. But it might be worth your while to call Val and get a quote on something like Ocean Blue. The tricky part might be the electronics. If you can get a standard electronics package, that will keep the cost down. However, I don't know if that split pickup design will work with a standard package.

Also; Ocean Blue has some options like that burst finish, quilted Maple top, chrome hardware, and LED's that, depending on the monthly special, increase the price for that particular bass. So, again depending on the monthly special, going without some of the options that Ocean Blue has can help keep the price down too.

(Message edited by davehouck on December 20, 2005)
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 691
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 8:14 am:   Edit Post

I doubt Alembic will ever produce a model like the Chapman Stick - you may say "I think if Alembic were to break into this market, it would be huge" - well, seeing that there have been no newcomers to that market for a number of years, I doubt that there is much commercial potential - and I doubt Alembic would even be interested in tapping into such a potential, should it exist.

But by all means ask them directly about what you have in mind - who knows what is possible.
Intermediate Member
Username: harald_rost

Post Number: 111
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 11:49 am:   Edit Post

I think the main precondition for good tapping on bassguitars is a very straight neck without relief.
I just can judge about my Series 1 bass but if any bass is suitable for this technique it's an Alembic with that kind of neck. Wooten does it on a Fodera, so some other high end basses might fit this too. May be it would be interesting to use Stick strings on an Alembic? Than it might come close to a tapping instrument.
Username: zn_bassman

Post Number: 50
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 3:39 am:   Edit Post

John Entwistle had Status Graphite build his Buzzards specifically with several types of tapping in mind. Billy Sheehan uses Yamahas and Fenders. Stu Hamm has used Kubickis and Fenders (not sure if he's used others as well).

And my Alembic Rogue "taps" just fine - neck profile makes it better than my Epic, which is no slouch in its own right.

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration