Post Number: 54
|Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 9:38 am: |
Just some more questions for you knowledgeable Alembicians. Am I correct in my assumption that the "Comfort Taper" neck is what is on my Excel 5? I can't seem to locate the definitive answer in any of the searches. I'm trying to decide what to order on an MK5. I know the standard neckon the MK is the "classic Taper", but the 2" at the nut is not gonna cut it. I have moderately small hands, and the 2" at the nut is the same as my 6-string, and I sure don't play that to start the gig out with. I have to warm up a little for that!
Also, does anyone have the "shaved neck" option on their bass? I read in an archive about it. Supposedly makes the depth of the neck about 1/8 " thinner. Also, is that part of the neck spec deal, or is there an Option upcharge for that??
Thanks for the info and insight!!
Post Number: 1932
|Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 9:58 am: |
If you are ordering a new instrument, you can get any neck dimension/profile you want. For example, I brought my beloved '61 Strat up to Alembic and they copied the neck for my custom Further. Just tell 'em what you want.
Post Number: 266
|Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 10:03 am: |
I think custom neck dimensions may cost extra on set-neck models -whereas it's generally no charge on neck-thrus -other than for extra-long scale on non-Rogue models, and for "extreme" specifications.
Post Number: 1419
|Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 10:12 am: |
Yes, I believe that all set-neck instruments have the "comfort Taper" as standard. Narrower at the nut and wider in the upper frets. The MK may be wider at the nut, but it is straighter up the neck. By the time you get to the 24th fret, the MK5 neck is almost 1/2" narrower than the comfort taper.
If you're going for a MK signature 5, look for Jeff's Direwolf custom thread in the FTC board. Jeff got a pretty small neck on that one and there are plenty of specs and discussion there.
Cost varies depending on how odd you want to go. From what I have read, it can be an upcharge to mess around with the neck width on a set-neck instrument, but is included on an MK. You should talk to Alembic directly or your dealer to verify any costs associated with your custom neck shape.
Relative to cost, you should probably make sure you have plenty of purpleheart or even some ebony in your neck if you're going to thin it out. You'll want the extra stiffness and density to make up for the material you are removing for two reasons, stability and tone. Without some solid woods and several laminations, you may lose some bass response and need frequent truss rod adjustments to keep your bass playable. I recommend an ebony stringer in there, and I doubt anyone that has a bass with ebony would disagree.
Post Number: 233
|Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 10:24 am: |
Yo, Ho (sorry, couldn't resist!):
I have smallish hands, too, and I have found that it is the depth of the neck (the dimension from the front of the fingerboard to the back of the neck) that matters the most for me.
As you've read, if you are having an instrument built from scratch the fine folks at Alembic will make the neck to your custom specs. For my first custom order, I sent the gang an old Tobias that had what I thought of at the time as the most comfortable neck I ever played and they copied it
exactly! I've also had them shave necks down to my liking. Because of all of that variability, there's really no such thing as a "standard" Alembic neck. Sure, they have dimensions they will use if the customer doesn't specify something else, but if you are playing an Alembic built originally for someone else the customer may well have spec'd out the neck, too.
Post Number: 55
|Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 12:40 pm: |
Bill, King, Bob, Woodie;
Thanks for the insights. Always appreciated. I'm looking at a King Deluxe, of course with the purpleheart stringers with DEFINITLY 1 Ebony stringer (damn the weight, FULL SPEED AHEAD!)That would probably stablize the neck enough to not worry about much movement.
I have a Warrior Signature Soldier (bolt on) that is rather wide (for me!) @ 1 7/8" wide at the nut,2 15/16" at the 24th but it has a really shallow "C" profile, about a 7/8' depth, board to back. It's wenge with a 3/4" purpleheart laminate in the center. I've owned that bass for 2 years, gigged with it all over the area in all seasons and weather, and never touched the trussrod. I imagine the maple, purpleheart and ebony would handle a little thinner profile without whacking out. If anybody has any experience with this, please let me know (s_ wood, perhaps??) Otherwise, any other comments or suggestions are still welcome!!
Thanxxx again, the 'Ho
Post Number: 1097
|Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 6:47 pm: |
The Classic taper is what I have on the BigRedBass (five-string): 2" at the nut to 2.5" at the 24th fret. The biggest thing is that the strings feel almost parallel, very little flare-out as you go up the neck, which I really like. I frankly have never understood where it came from that there should be that big spread at the top of the neck. as it's hard enough reaching around that neck/body meeting anyway, even on a neck-thru. Personally, I've found that my left hand position on the back of the neck is key to getting around on anything short of a baseball bat type of neck.
Of course, they will make you anything you want. Just contact Val or Mica. I often find they have already run across anything I could think of.
J o e y
Post Number: 1340
|Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 6:26 am: |
my wolf is 1.75 at the nut with .500 spacing and 2.45 at the 24th fret
the neck was shaved a bit on the back side. i believe they take off about .125 inch
but it is not flat like the comfort taper
and i have no problems with it. i personally dont like the comfort taper as the neck is too flat for my liking. it reminds me of washburn necks and it makes for muscle burning
i do not think there is an upcharge for set neck customs as there was none on my tribute bass.
if you have small fingers i highly recommend taking a look at the "flaxneck"
mica has small fingers and my bass is the only 5 string she can play.
feel free to look at my cotm in archives and go way back in the ftc for other dimensions
Post Number: 426
|Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 6:36 am: |
My Essences are, from what I can tell narrow at both the nut and the end of the fingerboard, and I like it that way. I've never been a fan of wide necks, but I realize others may not feel that way. Bob is right - send them what you want, or at least measure what you want, and they will replicate what you seek. I've done this with my Series II Entwistle Replica - John liked wider necks, with a flat radius. I don't, so they're changing that aspect for me.
Everyone here is right when they say "if you want it, they can build it." My advice is to tell them exactly what you want; the elves at Alembic will make it happen.
Best of luck,
Post Number: 124
|Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 7:52 am: |
So, could you get an Excel or any custom taper for that matter done up in a neck through? The neck-piece would be pretty wide by the time you got to the bridge or bottom of the bass, if it followed on a straight line from the nut. Like a triangle. Would that look strange?
Post Number: 1423
|Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 7:57 am: |
They would cut the sides of the neck parallel once it entered the body. Unless, maybe, you wanted that look. Then it would probably be expensive custom work and a small electronics cavity...
Post Number: 427
|Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 8:00 am: |
What I'm saying is that if you have something specific in mind, and it's within Alembic's ability to do so, they can make you the neck of your dreams. If you want a triangle neck, I'm confident they could make you one (though I doubt the utility of it personally). When Alembic says they're "beyond custom," they mean it. If you want a triangularly shaped neck or fingerboard, well, the folks at Alembic will do their best to accomodate you (with some exceptions - they refused to make a copy of John Entwistle's "Buzzard Bass" because it was "too ugly," and they don't do maple fingerboards). If you have a particular fingerboard width in mind at both ends, call the folks at Alembic and tell them what you want. They'll do their best to make it happen for you.
Post Number: 125
|Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 8:06 am: |
Makes sense. This looks like an aggressive taper to start, then leveled (FTC):
Anyway, I was just thinking about it. I'm a few years away from ordering a custom. But when I do- look out!
Post Number: 1034
|Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 8:21 am: |
Here is a shot of my MK-5 with a custom neck.
Specs that Mica sent me are as following;
35" extra long scale.
neck feel: custom @nut=.8125, @12th=.9375 (that's a little thinner than standard)
fingerboard:custom size 1.750 x 2.930
The neck on this bass has a Jazz bass feel to it.
It's a heavy monster but the neck feels great.
Post Number: 4
|Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 10:20 am: |
Flax, I have a custom MK-5 on order and am currently finalizing the neck proportions. I like the proportions you used on wolf except I'd probably like things a bit thinner front-to-back, but quick question. Do you do a lot of slap style playing? The only concern I have with such narrow strings is it being difficult to get your finger around the D string to pop it.
Post Number: 3896
|Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 11:14 am: |
There is a physical limit on how thin we can carve the fromt to back. If it goes too thin, the truss rods will pop out of the back, making a very sad day. Usually, we are about .9 inch thick. We can shave it down to .8 safely, but keep in mind that the thinner the neck, the more reactive it will be to humidity changes since it will be less massive.
I know not everyone is Stanley Clarke and Mark King, but these guys play with very narrow necks. I think it's because they are less fatiguing to play and with a shorter distance to travel between strings, it's faster to switch between them. Of course, misfires are more likely the closer the strings are.
Post Number: 3897
|Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 11:16 am: |
And for the question that started the thread - yes Mike, the Excel has the comfort taper as stadard.
Post Number: 57
|Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 12:42 pm: |
Mica, Thanks for your knowledge, insights, and suggestions! You are the best!! As per our recently concluded conversation, I'll get the old calipers out and get busy! Call you next week (if not sooner!)
Thanxxx again, Mike..........
(Message edited by 5stringho on December 27, 2006)
Post Number: 5
|Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 5:54 pm: |
Ok. My proposed neck dimensions (on a five-string MK) for comment:
Nut width: 1 7/8" (1.875")
24th fret: 2 7/8" (2.875")
This is pretty close to my 5-string Fender Jazz.
I could probably live with a smaller 24th fret. Thoughts?
Post Number: 6
|Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 6:01 pm: |
And, by the way, can anyone tell me what a "standard" MK 5-string with classic taper measures in nut, 24th and thickness?
Post Number: 92
|Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 10:14 pm: |
I'm curious where that measurement (the 0.9" thickness) is taken since I'm assuming there's a bit of a taper.
Post Number: 4668
|Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - 5:11 pm: |
Jim; according to the Alembic site, the "classic" taper on an MK Standard 5 string is 2.00" at the nut and 2.50" at the 24th fret. The site doesn't list the thickness, but Mica's post above suggests 0.90". For comparison, the "comfort" taper on a 5 string is 1.875" at the nut and 2.930" at the 24th fret.