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nameless_v2
New
Username: nameless_v2

Post Number: 1
Registered: 5-2014
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2014 - 12:34 am:   Edit Post

Hello,

This week, at 39, I received a very nice gift from my mother : An Alembic Stanley Clarcke, serial number 94SJ87831990USA. I already have a very nice Spoiler but this sounds really more 'complex' (seems like Signature Electronics) and the short scale is so comfortable. Surprisingly, the sound is really heavy and you can go from darkest to brightest tones. But something is a bit strange to me. Pick-ups are clearly narrower than the classical soap bar I have on my Spoiler. It sounds great but it was a bit disturbing to me when I received the instrument. Can someone explain me the difference compared to my 'classic' AXY pick-ups ? Also is there any well known differences between SC and SJ signature bass ?

The full spec or history is of course interesting to me (I received the bass in its genuine hard case but not official docs).

Best for you,

Thomas
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4019
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2014 - 3:30 am:   Edit Post

Hi there Thomas, welcome to the forum. I can't recall off hand seeing any SC signature basses without the AXY pickups. However whether there is a sound difference as apposed to a visual difference would depend on the size of the pickup magnet and windings in each pickup casing. They may actually be the same size in both types of pickups but with a larger casing on the AXY to visually make it look more similar to it's older brother the series I bass.

The differences between the SJ & SC basses are in the construction and not the electronics. The SC basses as standard have a top and back wood, two purple heart neck laminates and a brass backplate of the electronics.
In contrast the SJ has walnut neck pinstripes, no back wood and plastic electronics backplate. Also it comes with walnut as standard top laminate with being coco bolo an upgrade cost and SC comes with Cocobolo as part of it's package. Of course with alembic, a buyer can customise options at will.
I could not say really how much difference in the sound you would find from both basses. You may find some answers in the signature bass thread on the forum.
http://alembic.com/club/messages/411/418.html?1399503370

Also check out the products page for the signature basses.
http://www.alembic.com/prod/basses.html

Jazzyvee
nameless_v2
New
Username: nameless_v2

Post Number: 2
Registered: 5-2014
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2014 - 3:05 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Jazzy,

Thanks a lot for your reply. Your explanations fit very well to what I see with instruments 'in my hands'. Mine is std walnut top and it sounds very punchy... And really heavier than what I expected for such a small bass. I'll change strings tomorrow, just to hear the effect... Cause I believe that previous ones are really aged. But otherwise, this sound is incredible and the short scale neck so comfortable... I'm really waiting for my next gig.

Best regards,

Thomas
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4022
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2014 - 7:55 am:   Edit Post

Be careful on what short scale strings you buy as some are too short between bridge and nut. Alembic short scale are fine. All other brands I've used on mine have to be medium scale length.
nameless_v2
New
Username: nameless_v2

Post Number: 3
Registered: 5-2014
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2014 - 10:20 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Jazzy,

As alembic instruments and strings are not represented in Belgium, I bought other brand.... Like on my Spoiler. Now it's mounted with Elixir nanoweb medium scale and the sound is definitively better. I received more treeble and still keep this incredible growl and punch for bass and medium... Is this walnut top producing such a powefrfull and heavy response?Tonal range is also really larger than the Spoiler and the short scale is so confortable... Will need much time to find approriate settings as electronic is really more complex.

I believe I'm in love... For a long time. How can they build so nice instruments ? I'm sure that other brands are making beautifull things (did your try Fbass Alain Caron... Seems like a killer too)... But when you touch an Alembic.... You're locked for your entire life.

Have a nice day

Thomas
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4024
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2014 - 10:58 am:   Edit Post

Alembics with two filter circuits offer a greater variety of tonal possibilities than single filter instruments. I think a good place to start is to determine which pickup gives you the dominant part of your tone. For me it's the neck pickup as I like to have a predominantly warm and heavy bass tone. I then adjust the balance and bridge tone to shape my tone and give the notes more clarity in the attack. On my signature I usually have the neck filter fully closed or almost closed (anticlockwise) with the q-switch off. Then the bridge fully open (clockwise) and the q-switch on. The balance/pan is just slightly off fully towards the neck position so I have lots of bottom with a crisp attack.
Most of my tone changes then is by using the balance between pickups. If I'm playing anything by Stanley Clarke then I tend to use whatever I need from the combination of filter, balance and q to get my tone. But I rarely use q on the neck pickup unless I want that hollow nasally tone that Stanley uses for some of his solos.
Any chance you could post a photo of your bass?
Jazzyvee
nameless_v2
New
Username: nameless_v2

Post Number: 4
Registered: 5-2014
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2014 - 7:13 am:   Edit Post

Hi Jazzy,

Thanks for your answer... For sure it will help to quickly shape my sound. I tried to upload pictures but it was impossible as I immediatly reach the150k limit. I need to degrademy picture definition or save it in another format... Which I'll do later when a bit less busy.

Have a nice day

Regards,

Thomas
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4028
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2014 - 8:08 am:   Edit Post

The moderators here are good at providing support for members having trouble posting pictures as in fact many members also help out this way. You could try sending it to one of the moderators or you could send them to me and I will gladly resize and post them here for you. Whichever way suits you.
Jazzyvee
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 1520
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2014 - 8:11 am:   Edit Post

You can send them to the emailaddress in my profile (click username)
nameless_v2
New
Username: nameless_v2

Post Number: 5
Registered: 5-2014
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2014 - 12:44 pm:   Edit Post

Here is a post with downsized picture of the bass. I'll try to send other pictures to you (with both Spoiler and Signature) when available.

On this one, you can see the narrower pickups I mentionned in my original thread. Maybe, as Jazzy explained, it's the same stuff inside. To me, it seems like MXY models, no? I don't know the reason of this potential change and what's the expected impact on the sound... in overall and as a baseline, this sounds heavier than my Spoiler.

Regards,

ThomasMy last Alembic

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