Post Number: 12
|Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 5:19 pm: |
I wanted to know if any of you ever saw or owned the Picture perfect copies that were made by Fernandes in the early eighties.
The only way to tell them apart from real Alembics is that hey have cream pickup casings instead of black ones (That's really the only way to tell them apart, they are so close to the real thing it's uncanny)
Anyway as a freak for strange and rare copy guitars I wanted to know how they compare.
Post Number: 19
|Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 6:55 pm: |
Not all of them had cream pickup casings...I had a short-scale bass copy with black pickups. In terms of the woodworking, it was a very close copy. They weren't quite up to snuff on the electronics though.
By the by, the copying issue is a very sore spot at Alembic. Beware the hairy eyeball.
Post Number: 237
|Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 7:15 pm: |
Blazer - I too had one with the black pickups, but I know someone that had a Fernandez with the cream ones. I think there were lots of differences. Of course the lack of a logo was a dead giveaway. But if you were to look inside, the differences were obvious. The electronics worked the same way, but were of very poor quality. I think these basses were supposed to be copies of the mid 70's Alembics. They had one truss rod, no cover, older bridge style and tailpiece, etc... The thing about Alembics of the time is that their finishes were a nice yellowish tint. The Fernandez finishes were browish and quite thin. I don't think they were very good copies at all.
The one I had, played and sounded ok, and it was my "beater" bass. I eventually traded it to a bassist in Nashville for a Steinberger. I wish I still had the Steinberger, not the Fernandez.
Post Number: 238
|Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 9:04 am: |
I remember working at The Music Mall here in Lowell. There is a company called Jay Turser Guitars that has a reputation for ripping off other companies. The sales rep, knowing I was an Alembic player, pulled out a very poor copy of a Spoiler and handed it to me. I handed it right back asking him if Mica and Susan knew about these. Funny, I never did see that particular bass again!!
Post Number: 20
|Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 10:54 am: |
Yeah, hairy eyeball. Do a search on the saga of the Texas Pawnshop Alembics that were being sold on eBay a while back. Alembic brought down the Million Pound Poophammer, as they've done with Fernandez and most of the other companies who have copied thir ideas a little too closely.
Post Number: 1300
|Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 10:56 am: |
I've seen many of the Fernandez copies, and while they did a pretty good job, I wouldn't quite say they were indistinguishable. The lack of a logo is a giveaway, also most of them were made in zebrawood. Wasn't the connector 3-pin? Plus, many Alembics from the early 70s had cream or brown pickups, so pickup color alone is not quite a litmus test.
I wouldn't say it was a sore spot, it's not like they interefered with our business with those copies. I would say we're not particularly excited about "Alembicizing" a Fernandes Master Hand, and those asking us to may get a bat of a hairy eyeball.
About the only sore spot in connection with those basses was a certain European importer of Fernandes that attempted to purchase 50 Alembic logos from us, reporting that logos on their Alembics "just fell off." Riiiiiggggghhhhhtttttt....
Post Number: 238
|Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 12:37 pm: |
Hairy eyeball? Isn't that a drink?
The Fernandez basses had the 5 pin connector just like the real thing. The power supplies were 18 volts too. I remember using my Alembic power supply with the Fernandez with no problems.
Mine was zebrawood too. I remember it to be a not very pretty piece. It had no luster or depth. Very plain and just dead. My Alembic with a zebra top would just dance under the lights.
Post Number: 203
|Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 10:41 pm: |
While I never saw one of those sleds in the flesh, we visited this subject some months ago. Maybe one was for sale on EBay, and someone posted the link, if memory serves me correctly.
This whole thing reminds me of those ads for those cars in the back of ROAD & TRACK that are 'just like a COUNTACH with Chevy power!'. Looks OK, but what a shock when you twist the key.
The Japanese correctly admire ALEMBICS a great deal. And some of the Japanese basses are very good, some in an ALEMBIC style (the ARIA SBs, YAMAHA BBs, the 80s IBANEZ Musician basses) and some in their own frame of design: TUNE's BASS MANIAC, WOODBASS, and more, and the other-worldly ATLANSIA (whose creator 'H. Noble', Noboyashi-san, did the SBs for Arai/Aria prior to founding ATLANSIA on his own).
And yet the Japanese copy each other like mad: HOSHINO/IBANEZ has sold a zillion SoundGear basses that are a less-radical rip-off of the BASS MANIAC (and FERNANDES with the GRAVITY series). YAMAHA RBXs are very-influenced by the TUNE Z.
Oh well, I gotta go start the Jagrolet and let it warm up . . . .
J o e y
Post Number: 1308
|Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 6:04 am: |
Other-worldly is the perfect descriptor for Atlansia. He makes some of the most interesting designs and he's a very personable fellow.
Post Number: 9
|Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 9:14 am: |
While looking for a used 6 string Alembic guitar, I came across two very odd "Alembics" or possible copies. Both of them had the Alembic logo, one looked like a hippie-sandwiched strat and had a fender strat style head with the Alembic logo next to the wording "Blacknife" model. The other was similar in shape to a series one in zebrawood and from the photo had one black Dimarzio-type PU installed. The most distinguishing feature on this guitar was an oval-ish shaped brass cover plate where the vol/tone/etc. controls are. The photo was not clear enough to make out how many controls there were or if there were coil splitters, a 5 pin connector, etc. I would be very interested to know if this particular model (not the strat model) is something Alembic recalls making, maybe custom. Does Alembic make different models or modified models to sell to the Japanese market?
Post Number: 38
|Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 9:28 am: |
You can see the Alembic influence in several of his basses. Very cool stuff. I think the Solitaire, Dualist and Tristar are interesting and the Victorias are gorgeous.
Post Number: 237
|Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 10:01 am: |
Scott; I believe the answer to your question is yes, Alembic did export modified models to Japan and yes many of the basses and apparently some guitars had a brass plate on the top in the control area.
Here is a guitar with a brass plate:
There are several basses with brass plates pictured at this site as well. This site has been mentioned in our group previously but for those of you who missed it and who like to look at pictures of Alembic basses and guitars <g> it's a nice site. Here's the link:
They also have a section on Fernandes copies here:
Val has a brass plate bass pictured here:
He talks a little about the history in that post.
Post Number: 1312
|Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 10:32 am: |
The guitars with the brass plate is one of the original Distillates. They originally had the AXY pickup.
The Blacknife would be the necks that Modulus marketed for a while with our logo. We never actually used on of these necks in our builds. I believe these necks were most likely used as replacement necks on existing guitars. So I wouldn't classify them as copies, but neither would I classify them as Alembics.
Post Number: 60
|Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 11:50 am: |
I own an Ibanez Musician. Its a bit of a knock off, but I think you would have to be totally unfamiliar with Alembic to mistake it for one. I think its more of a nod to the style of an Alembic than it is a copy. Its actually a pretty nice guitar for the price. The electronics stink, but the neck, fingerboard and body are all pretty well constructed and the things a solid workhorse and sounds nice unplugged.
I remember the Blacknife models from Modulus. Bob Weir used to have one and played one for sometime. I loved those guitars actually and they are very hard to find in my experience. As are used Alembic guitars.
Post Number: 14
|Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 1:15 pm: |
>This whole thing reminds me of those ads for those cars >in the back of ROAD & TRACK that are 'just like a >COUNTACH with Chevy power!'. Looks OK, but what a >shock when you twist the key.
Funnily enough, a friend of my dads actually owns one of those. Got it dirt cheap at a police auction. While it's no Lambo, the body and interior is dead on, and with north of 400hp, the acceleration isn't far off. But it's not the real thing ;)
Post Number: 69
|Posted on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 8:39 am: |
While at Ed Romans in October I played a Fernandez copy side by side with last months Triple omega featured custom............????!
how anyone could even think that these two are even from the same planet is beyond me!!!!