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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive 2006 » Archive through March 20, 2006 » Which Body Balances Better - Europa or Rogue? « Previous Next »

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Username: ampeglb100

Post Number: 35
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 8:27 pm:   Edit Post


So I am finally ready to build my dream Alembic and I am unsure of what body style is for me. I have a Stanley Clarke Deluxe that I love and basically want to build something that sounds, plays, and looks as great as it does but has a more "Fender-like" ergonomic design. I really like the Europa and want to add a Cocobolo top and back and get it in 32" scale. But looking at the Rogue with the longer upper horn it seems like that would balance out better. However, by the time I make all the upgrades (inlays, top and back, neck lams, brass, etc) for this model I am at the Europa price anyways, so... Any advice? Specifically, I am concenred about where the upper horn terminates and having the nut not feel like it's way out there when I play strapped on (I play very high - armpit). I am thinking the 32" scale on the Europa should be OK, but I don't know...

Thanks in advance.

Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 999
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 9:34 pm:   Edit Post

The Rogue shape is about balancing longer (35") scales and extra strings. If you're building a 32" 4-string, then you shouldn't need the Rogue upper horn to get good balance. The Spoiler/Persuader body shapes balance just fine at 32" scale and they have a very short horn.

If you're looking for something "Fender-like", you should also look at the Vector and Elan body shapes. The quote generator doesn't show any change in cost for selecting these shapes on a Rogue or Europa bass.

Good luck!
Username: apdavis

Post Number: 44
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 7:11 am:   Edit Post

I have an Excel with a medium neck the balance isn't an issue and I tend to wear it high. You could loook at some of Rami's Excels to see if you like the shape. Not fender-esque, but the Balance point body hangs well.
Username: george_wright

Post Number: 71
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 7:31 am:   Edit Post

Bob, I note you qualify your comment with "If you're building a 32'' 4-string...." Nevertheless, I thought I'd add a comment about the Spoiler body shape on a five-string.

I have an '87 Spoiler five. With a relatively frictionless, two-inch-wide, nylon strap, the neck takes an immediate dive for the deck the moment I let it go. (Consequently, I use a high-friction, four-inch-wide Moody.)

Before I put in my custom order, I took the same nylon strap to Washington Music Center and tried on a Rogue five. No such neck dive at all.

Never thought about a Vector or Elan shape, but I think I'd want to try one on before I sprang for a custom.
Username: pas

Post Number: 61
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 8:19 am:   Edit Post

Spoiler - end of story.
Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 2287
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 8:40 am:   Edit Post

without havinfg the intention to be rude ...but this is the wrong discussion.
A 5 Spoiler will balance differently than a Europa or a Rogue, but to say that some balances "better" is a bit much to say.
As was been said in other threads: playing a more "older" and "classic" designed Alembic asks for a non-Fenderish holding of that bass.
I can alas not describe it but it IS true that Series basses (my Bonnie 5 string for example) will find another balancing point than a Europa or Rogue. See the wood "mass" behind the bridge: there is a serious amoiunt of wood behind the bridge available with those old designs. A Europa, a Rogue and an Excel have no woodmass behind the bridge so ...there is no weight. So ...consequently you will need an longer upper horn to balance. I CAN be wrong but I am fairly certain that My Series 5 or the Spoiler 5 will balance the same as the Rogue and the Europa do BUT ...BUT ... the RELATIVE POSITION of the neck versus your body and your arms is changed!!!!
THat is something you have to learn to cope with.
Both are WELL BALANCED ...but in a different way!
Again ...some ideas ...no insults meant.
After all ...this isn't my mother tongue to explain things in.

Paul the bad one
Intermediate Member
Username: s_wood

Post Number: 181
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 8:56 am:   Edit Post

I've got a few 34" 5 strings with a Europa body, and I think that they balance very well.
Username: ampeglb100

Post Number: 37
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 10:39 am:   Edit Post

Yeah, it is all about the layout of the bridge to nut relative to the body style and the weight distribution, I think, that determines how the bass is going to feels and balance. With a Fender style bass, you have the bridge terminating at the end of the body with the upper horn terminating at the 12th fret. This, to me, lays out the best for a 34" scale (again, just for me playing super high). Basses that have the bridge terminate above the end of the body (say 2-3") and have an upper horn the terminates at the 14th or 15th fret (or at the body) can very well balance, but when you strap it on the nut is going to feel much further away, relatively speaking. Which for high players like me, makes playing the bass strapped on almost impossible. As long as the mass on either end of the balance point, where ever it is, is more or less equal, then the bass will not neck dive. Anyways, I guess I am sort of answering my own question... I had an Essence with a 34" scale and lighter body woods that totally neck dove on me, whereas my S.C. balances great (in my lap, Coco Bolo top and back). I think a 32" Europa should be OK as the upper horn ought to terminate at the 13th fret or so and the bridge will (obviously) terminate at the end of the body, plus it will have a Coco Bolo top and back, so... I am just at a toss up though, because I just found a used Essence, maple core and top, 32" scale, with Europa electronics - all for much, much less... Hmmm... tempting...


Advanced Member
Username: byoung

Post Number: 213
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 11:29 am:   Edit Post

So, Andy, have you considered getting a custom body shape? There are some Alembics floating around that have a Jazz-bass shape.

Since you specifically mentioned it, I thought that might interest you.

Advanced Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 347
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 11:30 am:   Edit Post

Maybe what you are looking for is one of these Alembic custom Jazz basses. Its the 2nd one down on the list.

They are in the UK, but still it may give you an idea for your custom.
Username: ampeglb100

Post Number: 38
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 12:21 pm:   Edit Post

Oh my god... I wish I lived in the UK... all these are in stock!?! How do you guys sleep at night?

Advanced Member
Username: gare

Post Number: 345
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 3:25 pm:   Edit Post

I also have a 32" Excel and have had no balance problems.
Have you considered a K balance ?
Username: valvil

Post Number: 859
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 4:32 pm:   Edit Post

A 32 inch scale Europa will have great balance. So will the Rogue. The Rogue's upper horn hangs a tiny bit further than the Europa, but balance on those 2 models is a non-issue, unless you want the neck to hang vertically, in which case an upright would be in order. :-)

Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 515
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 7:35 am:   Edit Post

I've compared the balence between my Rogue 5 and MPISANEKs Europa 6 and they feel pretty much identical. (both 34 inch scale)


p.s. all those Alembics may be in stock in our 'local' Alembic dealer but he's 450 miles away so visiting isn't the daily occurence it should be.
Username: foth

Post Number: 69
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 1:57 pm:   Edit Post

I have a 35" Rogue 5 that balances well, as Bob stated earlier. I have a 32" warwick corvette that balances at 12, and is a little crowded to play above the 12th fret. My S II that's being built will balance at 14-15, which is just right, and the same as the Essence.
I'd say go for the Essence unless you think all that maple would be too bright for your style.
Good luck! Paul
Advanced Member
Username: jlpicard

Post Number: 371
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 3:26 pm:   Edit Post

Had my Europa 4 for almost eight years now as my main bass for most of that time. Neck dive? a total non-issue. Balances very Jazz Bass-ish if you know what I mean.

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