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Username: ampeglb100

Post Number: 36
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 10:41 pm:   Edit Post

So, this thread is related to my other one about body shapes for the Rogue and Europa. I have another bass with Signiture electonics and love the sound. I am going to build a custom Europa, but just relaized that I could upgrade to signiture elcetronics for another $300. First of all, does this change the pickups to the wider ones like with a S.C. or M.K. (as opposed to the narrower stock Europa's)? This is fine if it does, I was just curious. Second, is the sound range of the Europa electonics that much different from the Signiture? Again, I like what I am used to, but the Europa electronics seems pretty versitle as well, so I was wondering how close I could get to the S.C. sound with them. Any advice? Any advantages over the signiture electronics if I do go Europa?


Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1000
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 11:29 pm:   Edit Post

Pickup upgrades are separate from electronics. The Europa/Rogue use the narrower MXY shape and Signature basses come with the AXY shape. Other than shape, there is no difference between MXY and AXY. I believe you can select any shape you prefer, but there may be additional charges. There is also an option in the AXY shape called the Fatboy that uses a larger magnet for a small upcharge.

Signature vs. Europa electronics is a preference thing. You will find a tone you like with either setup. Signature lets you set a different filter for each pickup. Europa gives you the quick tone switches. Personally, I think Signature is more flexible if you're a knob twiddler. The EQ impact of the filter is more complex than the tone switches and harder to duplicate externally without an SF-2.
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 84
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 11:45 pm:   Edit Post

It's a toss-up, Andy. Each model has 6 controls; the Europa electronics are more versatile in that they have the "quick tone change" switches... the bass and treble boost/cut switches that can boost or cut 6 dbs...

The Signature electronics lack these toggles, and instead have separate filters and Qs for each pickup. Since this allows separate tone modification for each pickup, the Signature electronics are more versatile in that respect; but the Europa electronics are more versatile in that respect -that the bass and treble can be adjusted. (Both models have a master volume, balance and 0/+8 db Q switches).

My advice: choose the best of both worlds and get both. Get the Signature electronics and ALSO add the bass and treble boost/cut switches TOO. And I'd recommend paying the extra for 3 position Q switches (0/6/9 or 0/4/8 or something else).

I don't believe the addition of the "quick change switches" -nor the upgrade to 3 position Q switches- are terrible pricey; and the versatility they add is tremendous.

I know because my custom Europa (COTH, June 99 "8 strings of power" -in the custom archives near the very bottom) has 3 position Qs AND bass and treble -and mid- controls for each pickup... and they work VERY well.

You could get a really simple and awesome control configuration going... 4 knobs -volume, balance, and two filters forms a diamond shape... and between each of the knobs, you'd have 2 toggles (8 total): separate bass, mid, treble, and Q switches for each pickup.

Personally, I think my Europa sounds better than any Alembic I've ever heard, even the series... but then it also has a LOT of ebony in the neck, and I've never heard a series bass with ebony.

Anyway, good luck. I suggest considering this COMBINATION/blend of Europa and Signature electronics... the best of both worlds.

I can tell you from experience, it's worth the price (at least to me).

The tonal versatility of my bass -with 3 filter/Q controls AND 3 eq controls FOR EACH pickup- is in a class by itself.

My interpretation of the price quotes is that these options aren't terribly pricey; mid-range switches probably would be the most pricey, but they did 'em for me, so they should still have the specs.

By the way, the mid-controls are EXTREMELY useful.
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 85
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 11:52 pm:   Edit Post

Another thing: I give the highest/strongest possible recommendation to getting at least a little ebony in the neck... at least one laminate. Ask around, and I'm certain everyone who owns an Alembic with ebony in the neck will back me up that it's worth it... it'll give your sound and sustain something special that only ebony can give.

Even the folks that have just one center ebony laminate seem to feel it significantly enhances the sound and sustain. In fact, I think you'd be better off upgrading to an ebony laminate or two than you would be in upgrading to Signature electronics. It would enhance your sound/sustain in a more fundamental way. (Pun NOT intended... but it DOES apply).

Again, best wishes with your project, look forward to seeing what you decide on!

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