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Username: mrbassman42

Post Number: 6
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 1:50 am:   Edit Post

Hi Guys, I'm back on the Alembic scene again, after a year off !! I've just got sorted with a New Series II making it my 3rd series II having previously had a Series I a MK sig and a SC sig.

I love the Alembic tone and love how it "carves" it's way through the mix, I'm planning to make this new bass my main gigging instrument... my only reservation is that after using Jazz Basses for a year or so the Alembic sounds a little thin on some of the songs where a big powerfull bass sound is intergral....

My question for you guys is what (apart from Amp EQ - I use Eden Amps) do you guys use to "big up" the tone and make it more of a physical presence in the mix. Is the Alembic pre-amp the answer or is there some other effect / pedal that is favoured by Alembic users to achieve this result.

All the Best

Username: 5stringho

Post Number: 53
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 7:51 am:   Edit Post


Thin? Well, try more neck P/U, pluck closer to the neck.
I also use a BBE Opto-Stomp compressor with my Excel (although it does not need thickening up) Just set it for a tad bit of compression. It will thicken up the tone a little, and will sustain for about as long as you want it to.

Have fun! The 'Ho....
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 651
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 7:58 am:   Edit Post

What type of Eden rig are you using and what settings? I use a Navigator and have no problems with the low end.

Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1418
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 9:11 am:   Edit Post

I build my tone as follows:

First, make sure the amp is set flat and any effects are off...

1. Max the neck pickup volume and Q (on 9bB for me, you have that pot for your SII).

2. Play and spin the filter until I am happy with the bass punch. Usually the filter ends up between 1/3 and 1/2 way up. Don't worry about anything trebly at this point.

3. Max the neck filter with the Q on and balance the volumes until I am happy.

4. Apply any additional EQ necessary from the amplifier. Usually a little more boost in the 100-250 Hz range.

I could see that both filters wide open with Q up would really cut through without much "natural" meat.
Username: mrbassman42

Post Number: 9
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 11:27 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Guys....

Hi Keith I'm using a Metro Combo with a D115XLT cab, really pleased with that set-up.... With my last Alembic I had the WT800 with 2 x 410XLT's I had pretty much the same issues to be fair...

Hi Bsee... I'll try that approach next rehearsal, I've usually used everything full on as a starting point and tweeked from there.... Yeah it's the "meat" i'm missing!! Beginning at a different point is well worth a shot...


Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1420
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 3:25 pm:   Edit Post

Everything full on will give you a sizable boost around 6 KHz. That won't help with the meat, and will make it hard to bring up the overall gain without getting an excessive quantity of treble. If you run the filters wide open, you're probably better off minimizing the Q values, especially for the neck pickup, to get a flat full-range signal to work with.
Advanced Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 275
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 3:33 pm:   Edit Post

I can't speak with any experience about the Series electronics, but I do have a signature setup on my Rogue.

I select the neck pickup, flick on the Q on and dial down to about 60% on the neck filter. Then I pan all the way to the Bridge and do the same thing- except probably about 70-75% on the bridge filter. I flick both Q's off and then dial my pan to be slightly bridge heavy (about 60/40)- Those settings absolutely thump for me. If I want it fuller for R&B or reggae, I just dial down the neck filter a bit more and pull the pan more and more towards the neck pickup.

The sound your after is certainly do-able- if I can get it with my Rogue, I'm positive you can surpass it with your Series.

Username: davehouck

Post Number: 4657
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 4:58 pm:   Edit Post

My tone is probably not what you're looking for, but my settings might add to what others have said.

For my main tone, I have the neck pickup filter all the way down with the Q off and the bridge filter all the way up with the Q on 9. The volumes favor the bridge pickup.

I guess my point here is to add to what others were saying about rolling back the neck filter.
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1096
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 6:34 pm:   Edit Post

What a small world . . . I too play through a METRO/D115XLT stack, you obviously have EXCELLENT taste in amps!

While I've never owned/played a Series 2, maybe I can offer a general suggestion: I'm going to guess you want a fat sound without bulk and that ALEMBIC definition. From that standpoint I'd run more neck pickup at a somewhat darker setting and add enough back pickup at a reasonably bright sound to round it out. ALEMBIC's traditional layout of the neck pickup at the end of the fingerboard and the bridge pickup at the bridge is a little more extreme than other instruments' placement. The brdige pickup can get real twangy real fast.

I play a long scale SPOILER, updated with twin FATBOY pickups. I have no balancer, just a both pickups on position. As such, I've adjusted the trim pots' mix to be a bit neck-heavy to anchor my sound, but with enough bridge to grab that back pickup definition. I fine tune it by playing closer to the bridge or neck depending what I need at a given spot in a tune.

The other part would be the METRO: I would not add another preamp. David Nordschow has put in tone controls that cover a LOT of ground, to the point the tone can get VERY extreme pretty easily. The Enhance knob doesn't do much for me.
I sometimes will get the basic tone in the SS channel with its 3 knobs, then transpose that layout to the tube side where I can fine tune that handoff with its greater control depth and tube warmth.

IF it were me, leave the METRO in a flat configuration on the tube channel. Get the S2 as close as possible on the bass first. Then start your amp tweaks. Between the endless variations available in S2 electronics, and the huge range of tone available in the METRO, I would NOT expect you to figure this out in one sitting. I would not be surprised if it took weeks to find your sweet spot, as this is WAY more involved than slapping a Jazz into an SVT.

Of course the payoff is a tone like no other, impossible to achieve with anything else.

'A little thin in spots' is usually cured by some push in the 100-300hz range, or more neck and less bridge pickup.

People are often a bit surprised that an ALEMBIC doesn't sound as 'bassy' as a lot of other instruments. I liken this to the first time most people hear an 'Absolute Sound' level, high-end audiophile stereo set-up: It sounds so clean because 1) it is, and 2)all the usual lumps and humps present in lesser gear are eliminated by the result of first class design and execution. The beauty of this is on the great gear, you can dirty it up to sound like that, but you can never clear the lumps in cheap stuff.

PS In the EDEN website, go to the METRO page in the products section. You'll see a prompt for a pdf of a METRO control panel with all the 'in-between' EQ frequencies printed on the panel. Helped me a lot.

J o e y
Senior Member
Username: kungfusheriff

Post Number: 577
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 8:40 pm:   Edit Post

My favorite recipe is the bass, strung with Thomastik Jazz Flats, with the master volume at 90% and both pickup volumes at 100%, neck pickup tone at 100% with no filter, bridge pickup tone control at about 50% with 25% filter --> Walter Woods head run stereo --> 15" Bag End for the bridge pickup and an 18" Ampeg for the neck pickup.
That should get you meat, and get you heard.
Username: mrbassman42

Post Number: 10
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 12:24 am:   Edit Post

HI Guys....

Some great responses, thanks to you all, I agree with Hifi Audio Analogy BigRed, .... I have a Naim Audio system at home and initially it does sound thin and lacking in weight.... sorting out the mains (dedicated spurs) experimenting with placement and isolation of the units, and ofcourse educating one's ears over time has revealed dynamics and detail that couldn't be achieved with bargain basement electonics...

There are paralels there for sure.... I've always thought that Alembic & Eden work really well together.... with these top tips i'm sure i'll have a load of fun finding what i'm after.

I've got some cool Jazz Basses that really thump, but I find that I only get near the definition I like to hear with brand new strings.... and some EQ boost at the amp. With the alembic 90% of what i'm looking for is ther in the guitar regardless of other external factors.... I'm sure that final 10% (just a little more balls) can be coaxed using the tips you guys have shared with me....

Keep 'em coming though !!


Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 652
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 6:13 am:   Edit Post

I don't know if you are using Enhance or not but this scoops the low mid frequencies. In a band situation this can cause the bass to sound thin and not cut through the mix.

I use Bag End 18" ELF subs and Bag End D10BX-D running full range. I have a more percussive style so like a fair amount of high end. With this in mind my general setup on the Navigator is Bass is
boosted to around 1 o'clock, Low frequency is 11 o'clock gain is slight boost (less than 1 o'clock), Mid frequency is about 1 o'clock and gain is 0, High frequency is 1 o'clock and gain is 2 o'clock and Treble is flat. When I use Enhance it is usually set around 9 o'clock. I typically only use it in quiet settings or as a solo effect.

Forgot about my bass settings. I have Anniversary electronics so there is a difference between our basses. For general playing I have both Q-switches off. The neck pickup volume full and filter set about the half way. The bridge pickup the volume is full or turned down slightly and filter is up full. If I need a little more presence I will turn on the neck pickup Q switch (8 db boost). For soloing I typically turn on both Q switches.


(Message edited by keith_h on December 26, 2006)
Intermediate Member
Username: keurosix

Post Number: 140
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 6:25 am:   Edit Post

If you still own the Jazz bass, plug it in your Eden and try to isolate the frequency that you like from it. By starting flat on the EQ, and only boosting the bass while rotating the frequency (assuming the Eden has a semi-parametric EQ with frequency and boost knobs) you will find the magic frequency that gives you the thick bottom sound. Then you can plug in the alembic and you should be able to boost the selected bass frequency for as close as possible Jazz thickness. I have an SWR SM400 with a similar bass boost and graphic EQ which enables me to fine tune the boosted or cut frequencies, and am told it is similar to Eden's preamp. In fact, my SWR 4x10 cab says manufactured by Eden on the rear plate! Try to cut back or scoop the lower mids, around 300~400 Hz for a slap tone that may also enhance the bass boost. If that doesn't help, my only other suggestion for thick tone: An 18" sub-woofer really supports the lower octave like no other speaker. Most 15"s go down to about 40 Hz, whereas the 18" settles in around 32~35 Hz which really supports a low B string. Just check the freq specs from the manufacturer. SWR's Big Ben goes down to 32Hz.
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1422
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 11:05 am:   Edit Post


I think you're onto a good idea, but I would reverse it. If he can easily get the "right" tone from the Jazz, he should start there. Then use the parametric EQ as a cut to find the frequency that makes it go away. That should also be the frequency that needs boosting for the Alembic.
Senior Member
Username: flaxattack

Post Number: 1339
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 6:14 am:   Edit Post

take a swing with d'dario chrome flats
the g string is not as thin as the TI flats
and its real good for rock n roll
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 973
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 1:57 pm:   Edit Post

I'm using a navigator in my rig and I've found the Aphex Big Bottom/Aural exciter stompbox can give a real thump to the low end.


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