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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive 2006 » Archive through July 14, 2006 » On the differences between a sig standard and a sig deluxe « Previous Next »

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Username: karl

Post Number: 79
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2006 - 4:09 am:   Edit Post

I recently part-exchanged my MK sig standard for an SC deluxe. Apart from a few little cosmetic differences (purpleheart neck laminates, laminates on the back of the body) I was expecting the SC deluxe to be pretty much the same bass as my MK standard. Having now played it in a gig situation, I have to say that the SC deluxe is in a whole different league. I realise now that those differences between the standard and the deluxe (esp. the purpleheart in the neck) are a whole lot more than just 'cosmetic' - to me, this bass sounds deeper, warmer and more focussed, yet still keeping the sparkling highs that I was used to.

But I have a question: on close inspection of the neck of the SC deluxe, I see that there is a thin accent of some other wood between the maple/purpleheart and the ebony fretboard - don't think it's more purpleheart - could be mahogany. My old MK standard didn't have this - I knew about the other 'cosmetic' differences between the standard and the deluxe, but have never seen or heard about this before. Is this extra neck accent normal on sig deluxe basses? Does it contribute to a difference in tone or is it purely aesthetic?
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 905
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2006 - 5:11 am:   Edit Post

The sacrifical laminate under the fretboard was abandoned sometime after 1994 (my 94 Epic has one). It was usually walnut.

Its purpose, or so I seem to recall from earlier discussions, was to make the job of replacing the fretboard easier.
Advanced Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 350
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2006 - 9:55 am:   Edit Post

I have a MK 4 string std. that has Purple Heart lams in the neck. ???
Username: spliffy

Post Number: 58
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2006 - 10:01 am:   Edit Post

If you go to pics of my Distillate http://alembic.com/club/messages/411/4204.html?1148413001
Scroll down the page and you can see what it looks like up close. It was, as I am told, to make fretboard replacement easier.

Enjoy the SC... you lucky guy!!!!
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3898
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2006 - 10:22 am:   Edit Post

Olie; Purpleheart neck laminates on an MK
Standard are an upgrade to the basic feature set. On a Deluxe they are included in the basic feature set.
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 655
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 2:40 am:   Edit Post

Hi Karl.
What year is your new bass? My '95 epic also has the walnut laminate under the fingerboard so it was a feature up till then.


p.s. heading up to Edinburgh anytime this year?
Username: karl

Post Number: 80
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 3:31 am:   Edit Post

Hi Graeme,

It's a '93, so that makes sense.
And yes, we're hoping to get back up to Edinburgh for the festival again this year - I'll keep you posted! And now that I have a more portable Alembic, I'll be leaving the Status at home this time!

Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 445
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 4:15 am:   Edit Post

Karl, I have an sc Deluxe myself with the purpleheart neck lams and Coco bola top and back.

I had the opportunity to try a sc standard model recently that didn't have the purple heart neck lams and had i think a walnut top. The difference between the two was incredible. Up till that point I hadn't had the opportunity to hear for myself the marked difference the wood choice makes. Great news that you have a SC Deluxe. I'm sure you will love it as I do mine.
I just checked my bass (2002 model) and it doesn't have that laminate under the fretboard
Username: karl

Post Number: 82
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 5:48 am:   Edit Post

Hey Jazzy,

Yeah, I was really surprised at how marked the difference is when there are purpleheart lams in the neck - it seems to have a lot more punch and focus, which really helps it cut through the mix onstage. I really wouldn't have believed it could make that much difference until I heard it with my own ears.

Still getting used to the notorious neck dive, but I always wear my basses pretty high and hanging at about 3 o'clock, so it's not that much of a deal. Now I just need some LEDs in there - the short scale is playing havoc with my natural sense of where the frets are, especially on dark stages! I guess I'll get used to it in time - it certainly makes the big position jumps a lot easier and I'm starting to see how Stanley plays some of that stuff I'd previously thought was just superhuman . . . !

Yes, this one's definitely a keeper.

Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 446
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 7:46 am:   Edit Post

You do get used to where the frets are compared to 34" scale. I interchange between long and short scale and not have a problem. But as you say some things are much easier to articulate on a shortscale bass than it is on the longer scale.
The thing is use the long scale first, then when you get to the short scale, your fingers have losened up and things are just nice.

If you want led's you could try fretfx, they are always on ebay. They are based in the states but with the dollar pound in our favour at the moment they are pretty reasonable.

I've ordered some for my orion guitar so I'll let you know what they are like once they arrive.

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