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Alembic Club » Owning an Alembic » Troubleshooting » Archive through December 18, 2006 » No treble on plugging in « Previous Next »

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Username: karl

Post Number: 100
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 7:46 am:   Edit Post


Wondering if you can help - I've noticed an intermittent problem with my SC: occasionally, when plugging in the cable and playing a few notes, I notice that there is no top end to the sound at all. It's not the cable, battery or amp - I've changed all of these and still managed to replicate the problem. However, if I then twang the G string (or play somthing else which really requires that top end), the treble suddenly kicks in and the sound is back to how it should be and generally remains so. The problem only ever occurs when first plugging in. It almost seems as if some component responsible for the treble only kicks in when it's really needed, like there's some kind of gate on it. However, as I said, it doesn't happen absolutely every time I plug in - only occasionally.

Any idea what may be amiss and how it can be fixed? It's not a critical problem yet - as long as I twang a note or two to make sure the treble's there before the set starts I know it'll be fine from then on. But I'd like to get it fixed.


Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 1186
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 8:11 am:   Edit Post

Have you tried with different amps, speakers? Have you tried a different instrument cable?

Is the battery perhaps a little old?
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 951
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 8:14 am:   Edit Post

Sounds like it might be a dry joint on the circuit board losing contact occasionally.


(Message edited by jacko on December 14, 2006)
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 635
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 8:42 am:   Edit Post

Have you tried plugging and unplugging the chord 20 or 30 times to see if it will clear up? I would do it on both the guitar and amp. Dirty contacts can cause the symptom you describe.

Intermediate Member
Username: inthelows

Post Number: 190
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 8:48 am:   Edit Post

I agree with Graeme. Have you tried removing the back plate and reseating the connectors? Have a look at the wiring and boards just to see if anything looks not right. (frayed/broken wire or connection like the tone control lead into the board).
There have been threads from members and the pics where parts have broken.
If your not sure you could try posting a picture of the control cavity. Possible somebody my see a problem from having the experience working with the electonics.
Best of luck
One other thing...I'm having problems with my Spoiler pup selector switch cutting out. If its the high side missing here and there try tapping notes while moving the switch it see if it cuts out. I'm getting my switch replaced, no way to fix it otherwise.

(Message edited by inthelows on December 14, 2006)
Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 991
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 8:50 am:   Edit Post

I think Graeme may be right here. I had a similar problem on a Warwick bass I have and it turned out to be a loose solder on the circuit board.
Intermediate Member
Username: inthelows

Post Number: 200
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 5:28 pm:   Edit Post out there? Any luck yet??
Intermediate Member
Username: karl

Post Number: 102
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2006 - 5:41 am:   Edit Post

Wow, you guys are quick! Thanks for the responses - I've opened her up and don't see anything loose or funky in there. Anyway, the loose solder explanation sounds reasonable, so I'll take her into my local bass place (the Bass Gallery in Camden) on Monday and see if they can find anything.

Thanks for all your help,

Intermediate Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 167
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Sunday, December 17, 2006 - 5:54 am:   Edit Post

Hi Karl,
Take your bass to Chris ward at the Bass centre in Brune Street.
He is a genious, and has done some work for me before, with perfect results. He knows Alembic inside out.
Intermediate Member
Username: karl

Post Number: 103
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 6:15 am:   Edit Post

Thanks guys - well, I took the bass in to Martin at the Bass Gallery. Of course, when he plugged it in, it was on its best behaviour and seemed to be working just fine! As a result he's having to work on a very vague description of what the problem is ('Sometimes when you plug it in, there's no treble until you try twanging it . . .') and doesn't seem too hopeful that he'll turn anything up. However, he's promised to give the electronics a thorough service, checking the pots and connectors. Hopefully this should do the trick. If it happens again, though, I'll try Georgie Boy's advice and take it to Chris at the Bass Centre. I would have done that today but, of course, the one day of the year I try to use the tube to get there, the central line is paralysed because of a signal failure somewhere, so it had to be Camden rather than Liverpool St . . . Grr, I hate this city's public transport system.


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