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Username: kkwaks

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 8:26 pm:   Edit Post


I'm Yonghoon Kwak. I wonder what shoud i do to my bass.
I have a Alembic '89 Spoiler.
I bought it 2 month ago but my Spoiler had some problem.

First of all it didn't sound at two pickup's mixed mode and
at each pickup selected it sounded like "Bong~ bong~" as weak fender bass,
It hadn't no power like other Alembic basses and
It had less power than my MikeLull passive bass.

So I brought it to Alembic distributor's shop in Korea.
Engineer said that after 15years Alembic pickup's magnetic dimished too much to use
and he recommended pickups' replacement.

Engineer repalced original two pickups as AXY pickup set
and replaced bad volume pot and knob.

After repair, my bass recovered powerful and it feels like Alembic brother.
but these days condition of bass was unstable, some days was good and some days sounded "Bong~Bong~"

last Saturday , I asked for Engineer to solve this problem of my bass
and he recommended to replace circuit board.

What is good repair for my Spoiler?
I wonder the reason of my spoiler's problem also.
Intermediate Member
Username: essencetimestwo

Post Number: 104
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 8:53 pm:   Edit Post

When I originally got my Spoiler the neck pickup buzzed. I took it to the factory to be checked out and they discovered that it had a Series pickup installed in the neck position. Without the "dummy" coil it had normal single coil hum. They were very gracious and replaced not only the neck but the bridge pickup, due to cosmetic differences, at no cost to me. I am lucky that I live so close to Alembic. I think you should contact Mica, Val and the gang and I know they will do what thay can to help. It is unfortunate that you are so far away but I think that you will find that geographical issues are the only hurdle you will have to overcome to repair your bass. My Spoiler has been trouble free since and I hope that you stick with it until yours is fixed. Nothing beats that Alembic tone. Good luck!
Username: kkwaks

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 9:28 pm:   Edit Post

It sounds fantastic.

I had to pay $700 for repair including pickup replacement.
Senior Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 551
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 9:51 pm:   Edit Post

Welcome, Yonghoon! Congratulations on getting your Spoiler, but we are sorry to hear you are having trouble with it.

I'm not really the most expert on these things (they should be here soon), but I will offer a few suggestions.

Generally, it sounds like you have some sort of connection problem. At first, it was always bad; after the initial repair, it worked sometimes but still has "bong~bong~" days. So now it is an intermittent problem, which suggests that maybe just moving things around helped a little, but did not really address the problem.

With all respect to your Engineer, I doubt that the magnets in the pickups wore out. Sometimes a winding (wire in the coil) may fail, or more likely (but still not very often) the wire leads coming out of the pickup may become disconnected from the coil.

If you are lucky enough to still have the original pickups, someone here can tell you how to easily test them. It may turn out that the pickups were actually okay, in which case you might be able to sell them to someone here (or at least keep them as spares).

You say that the "bad volume pot and knob" were replaced. Do you mean just the volume pot, and the knob that goes with it, or was some other control replaced besides the volume? Sometimes the pots get dirty, and since they are sealed you cannot clean them. The recommended procedure is to rotate them back and forth, 20 or 30 times, to clean them up, and this often seems to work. You should do this with the filter frequency pot (I think that's the only other pot you have on a spoiler).

What about the pickup selector knob? Since the original problem seemed different depending on the pickup selection, I would suspect that dirty or worn contacts in this switch could be a problem.

In general, you should clean any electrical contacts you can get to, including any modular connector plugs and the instrument cable jack, and exercise any knobs or toggles that you cannot get inside to clean.

You might also experiment a little more. On the days when it sounds bad, does it suddenly get better if you switch pickups, toggle the Q switch, or change the volume? Or is it really just random?

And of course, make sure you have a full strength battery, and good connection there. I'm probably forgetting something, but others will join in with suggestions for you.

You may need to replace the circuit board, but make sure you've considered everything else before doing so.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
Advanced Member
Username: ajdover

Post Number: 279
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 10:41 pm:   Edit Post


Welcome to the club!

I had a somewhat similar problem with my Europa. What was happening was the circuit board itself was shorting out because it was touching the silver shielding paint inside the control cavity. I fixed this by using some pieces of masking tape affixed to the top of the circuit board touching the control cavity when installed. This prevented the circuit board from making contact with the shielding paint. Solved the problem immediately. You could also use a matchbook cover, cut to fit, or perhaps a small amount of silicone as well.

Did you buy your Spoiler in Seoul at Nakwon? I've spent the majority of the last year and a half in Korea, and have been to Nakwon (near Insa-dong) many times. The only Alembics I've seen there was an '81 Series I, and an '80's Persuader.

Alembic's distributor, from what I know, is in Pusan. Not sure where you're living, but if you can, you might want to take a trip down there. I'd contact Susan or Mica to inquire as to where it exactly is.

I should be returning to Korea after my tour in Iraq is up (in July of next year), so hopefully we can meet, drink soju, and talk all things Alembic.

Best regards,


Username: kkwaks

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 12:21 am:   Edit Post

Thank you for your kindnesses.

I bought Spoiler from bassist in web board of used basses.
I'll let you know Alembic's distributor in Korea opened second shop in Seoul this year.
It is easy to contact him in Seoul.

Almost things of problems was fixed but I'd like to get back and feel Alembic's own sound.
When I tested Europa 4 String, it was fantastic experience for Alembic bass.
I didn't forget fantastic ballance of tone and power.
I think Spoiler's wood is midrange level of Alembic's currently model.
It is enough to sound Alembic!!

This weekend I'll buy new amp to prepare next concert.
Now I have used SWR 35W Combo amp for practice and monitoring
but when I put in my Spoiler, it didn't work well. In case of mikelull, it is OK.
I wonder "Does this problem depends on input power of bass?"

Maybe I'll buy Eden World Tour 500 used.
After I change my amp,I hope all problem should be gone.
Not to change my problem, I shoud replace circuit board.

Username: davehouck

Post Number: 2852
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 5:06 am:   Edit Post

Hi Kwak, welcome to the group!

You said:
Now I have used SWR 35W Combo amp for practice and monitoring
but when I put in my Spoiler, it didn't work well. In case of mikelull, it is OK.
I wonder "Does this problem depends on input power of bass?"

Perhaps the Spoiler is overdriving the SWR. Inside the Spoiler's control cavity you will see two little blue boxes. These are the trim pots. There is one for each pickup and they control the output of the pickups to your amp. Try turning these down (counter clockwise) and see if that helps with your SWR.

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