Post Number: 194
|Posted on Thursday, November 02, 2006 - 7:45 pm: |
I want to thank everyone one the photo (for the obvious reason) as well as all the members who contributed, offered advice, suggestions and so on...
It's a Funk'ed-up Aria SB-900 - Code name: Arialembic LG MK2, it doesn't sound GOOD, it sounds BAD!
I'll get some MP3 together, you'll be the judge...
On my next post I will describe the controls in detail, but for now, I am going to plug it again and keep going until I fall asleep...
Thanks for checking,
Post Number: 217
|Posted on Friday, November 03, 2006 - 12:25 am: |
I'd love to see that control layout and a few soundclips when you have some time.
Post Number: 4486
|Posted on Friday, November 03, 2006 - 1:30 pm: |
Nice pics of Mica and Ron; I don't recall seeing those before!
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Friday, November 03, 2006 - 2:35 pm: |
So what are these low price Alembics? Is there a website for these things, google can't find anything.
Post Number: 4489
|Posted on Friday, November 03, 2006 - 2:50 pm: |
Hi Jordan, welcome to the board. LG's bass is an Aria; he has removed the original electronics and installed what I believe are Alembic pickups and electronics that he has taken from various used setups that he has acquired.
Post Number: 195
|Posted on Friday, November 03, 2006 - 7:12 pm: |
Tbrannon, thanks, I'll post the control layout first/soon.
Dave, I got those pictures from an older Alembic catalogue at the Bass Centre in London. It's the one with the 25th Anniversary Beast!
Jsaylor, welcome - Dave is 100% right.
This is a custom project, and it was NOT CHEAP in the end! (the instrument, the parts, the labor, the time... loooooong time...)
The Bass is an Aria SB-900, and the PUs + electronics are Alembic, I had to hunt for the parts, then I had to find someone in London who was familiar enough with Alembic, so that was Chris at the Bass Centre, then he did some carving/routing, wiring and so on... BIG JOB!
I wouldn't really encourage anyone to do what I did, it took me long time to get this project completed, and the cost wasn't "low".
I would suggest you save a bit of money and look for a real used Alembic on Ebay, maybe a Persuader or an Epic (two "extremes").
If I were you, I would ask advice to the experts on this forum, Dave is one of them. It's good to get various opinions from different members, then, once you've got some knowledge, you can go and hunt... things like; short, medium, long scale, thru neck, set neck, filter, tone control, PUs and so on... most importantly, ask yourself: "why do I want an Alembic?" once you know the answer, it's a good start, i.e. you might like Stanley Clarke, or John Entwistle or x or Y, then you know what sound you need/want and you can look for the right bass.
Saying that, if you want to do like I did, good luck and be patient. But beware, it won't be as "cheap" as you might have expected. To give you an idea, this bass has cost me around £1000/$2000 in the end, and this because I found "cheap" parts (that were not cheap for me), otherwise, expect to spend around £1700/$3400 to get a bass like that, with this sort of "custom" electronics PUs and wood.
(Message edited by lg71 on November 03, 2006)
Post Number: 23
|Posted on Friday, November 03, 2006 - 7:47 pm: |
Hey LG, nice Arialembic, this one looks like it took a lot more time than the red one you showed a while back. I like the walnut finish on this bass. Just out of curiosity, is there a serial number on the back of the headstock of your SB-900? I guess I am asking if it's an older SB-900 or one of the newer ones? The serial number would mean it's one of the older ones from the Matsumoko factory. Did you change the tuners to gold? The bridge looks nice and shiny, I've collected a lot of those SBs and many times I'll get them with the bridge all corroded.
Anyway, I don't suppose you have an extra Aria SB pickup lying around from your projects that you'd like to sell?
Post Number: 196
|Posted on Friday, November 03, 2006 - 8:17 pm: |
Hi Jason, thanks. That's right, this one has been back and forth to the work shop quite few times, although it took a while to get the red one completed as well, now I need PUs for it...
Yes, I remember, you are an SB fan too, this SB-900 is from 1982 (serial number is 20XXXXX). As for the PUs, I cherish them and hold on to them, but, I would consider a deal with some Alembic parts, or a generous offer, a bit like in the movie you know..."I'll make you an offer you can't refuse.." who knows...
The bridge look good on the picture, but it is not 100% clean, in fact I'd like to find a place were I can get it cleaned + re-plated for a low fee. I know what you are saying about this, they always come awful looking those SB bridges. I cleaned the one from my SB-700 it took m e a week! (which my last "real" SB now, as I was forced to sell the SB-1000 fret-less to help financing the new "LG MK2"). So, I only have three SBs now, and two of them are Alembicised (MK1 + MK2), and of them needs Alembic PUs, I might get them for my birthday soon, if there are any seconds available at the Mother-ship.
Sorry, forgot to answer, the tuners came like this, they have been replaced, you are right. I'd like to get some nice Gotoh with the Alembic logo when I become richer. this Bass deserve some logo that say: "Powered by Alembic", a bit like the "Intel inside" sticker you now...
(Message edited by LG71 on November 03, 2006)
Post Number: 7
|Posted on Friday, November 03, 2006 - 11:13 pm: |
HI nice job, a real looker. So from start to finish how long did it take? Does it sound like what you had imagened it would before you started before the mod?
Post Number: 198
|Posted on Sunday, November 05, 2006 - 7:31 pm: |
Hi NLP, thanks & welcome.
From start to finish? Well... this project IS directly linked with the first project, so that would takes us back to March 2006, no later - not earlier.
If it sounds like I had imagine? Absolutely, my very first "physical" encounter with Alembic was March this year, it was with a Persuader P/J 1987.
I enclose an other photo;
Post Number: 199
|Posted on Sunday, November 05, 2006 - 7:54 pm: |
Post Number: 200
|Posted on Sunday, November 05, 2006 - 8:58 pm: |
My 200th post! While it "deserved" 200 lines, I have tried my best...
As promised, I enclose a photo with the controls and some personnel comments;
I am glad I chose to have the third pickup fitted, and although the pickups are close together, it's amazing how different it sounds when playing with the pan and two volumes. Because the neck pickup is a Fatboy and the middle one is an AXY, it's not easy to say how big that difference would be if I used two AXYs instead, I'd like to find out soon or later.
The other strange thing is that on this bass I quite like the Fatboy in the neck, for various reason is sounds better and is less boomy than on the first project (the Red Arialembic LG MK1), although I can say that the MK2 is much heavier, so that can explain it a little bit.
Having the third pickups also doubles up as a luxury thumb rest, my thumb rest around this spot quite a lot, although I sometimes move closer to the neck, and on some occasion closer to the bridge.
I hope everyone who is reading and watching can understand my explanation of the controls on the picture.
I really like the sound a lot, it's very versatile and this slightly extended amount of control suits me very well. Also want to mention that I am so happy with the sound, that I have a "little funny" problem; too many settings sound good, so good that I don't need to tweak much, and get sucked in for hours, until I fall asleep, and then I realize and say to myself: "I can't believe it, I haven't played with any of the settings, it sounded so good that I was extremely satisfied and didn't feel the need to touch anything..." This will change of course, I'll be tweaking that monster...
I haven't played with the stereo/reverse option yet, but this is going to be an other powerful feature that I'll be checking "post recording" for further processing.
Now, the thing(s) I really need/want, is some Mid control (boost + cut) option, I can get close to the Aria SB sound using a parametric EQ (DSP plugin).
I really hope that somehow I will be able to insert a couple of peak/notch parametric filters, as well as keeping the Low pass and Q-switch of course.
The great thing about the Alembic PUs and electronics, is that apparently you get a flat response out of it, and that is VERY flexible for shaping the sound with external Filters/EQs...
My "last" word, if Ron came up with a NEW Peak/Notch parametric Filter, that could simply be inserted in the harness, you could cover any bass sound out there, really, I mean it, Jazz, Precision, SB, Ricky and so on...
I insist again, I have been playing with external EQ DSP on the computer, and to be realistic, I only used one band (I'll play with two bands soon), and I nearly "sh*t" myself because of what sound I could get, so I imagined how flexible an powerful it could be with an Alembic equivalent fitted. In my experience and ears, what differentiate bass guitar sounds mostly, its the Mid range response, boost(s), or cut(s) at various frequency, playing with a Parametric EQ demonstrates this easily. Of course, some basses sound trebly, some sound thin, some boomy or bassy... nut in general, I found that the Mid/low-mid section is the one that differentiate most of the sought after + big historical bass sound, and probably why no one is happy with one single bass...
Let's hope that soon or later, Ron will update/tweak the low pass filter and Q-switch and design a Peak/Notch Filter version that could simply work in conjunction with a Q-switch that at could at least boost/cut and "flat/0" the selected frequency, then for people with money, they would get a knob instead of a switch/preset...
How many of you agree with this? Maybe we could all get together and pay Alembic to design something like that, to financially help them for the development.
If 100 of us contribute $20/30 for example, that would make $2000/3000 to help them, and so on... it is possible I think.
One last word, if something like this happened, you'd be so astonished by the sound shaping possibility, that without being rude, be prepared to through away all your other basses
Thanks for reading + watching (you, peeper... ) lol
PS: If I haven't convinced Ron or Mica with my post, I will put some clips together, demonstrating how big a difference it could/would make with at least one Peak/Notch parametric filter per PU. Preset (Q-switch) version would be good, but CVQ (boost/cut) type would be Nirvana!
Sorry, re-edited because many mistakes, after reading again...
(Message edited by LG71 on November 05, 2006)
Post Number: 222
|Posted on Sunday, November 05, 2006 - 11:24 pm: |
My head hurts trying to get that all sorted. Sounds like LOTS of tweaking options. Enjoy and be sure to post sound clips when you get around to it.
Enjoy the fruits of your labour!
Post Number: 203
|Posted on Monday, November 06, 2006 - 12:11 am: |
Hi Tbrannon, thanks.
I have to say in all honesty, that it has been many people's labour in many ways, Mica (and probably the Alembic team), Chris, the members... I don't forget that. Thanks to everyone again, many of the posts were invaluable, even if not directly connected, it helped a lot, and I have learnt a lot in few months.
I always believed in constructive collaboration, personally.
The control is not as confusing or "scary" that it might look, is a mixture of Anniversary/Signature electronics, with a third PU that is sharing the Filter, Volume and Q-switch with one of the other two PU, added a selector to get different "grouping" options, as it made sense, and added a "reverse" stereo option for convenience, so you wouldn't have to swap cables going to the amp, effects... in case it sounds better with a different PU config. again just for convenience. While it sound techie, it's not bad at all.
Sound clip coming soon...