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Username: dtrice

Post Number: 6
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 12:49 pm:   Edit Post

Hello. I have my first alembic now (with Anniversary electronics). I got it yesterday and I am still trying to get the sound(s) I want out of it. The problem for me is I don't exactly know which knobs and switches control what. I think (but I'm not sure) I understand the bank of 4 knobs and 4 switchs between my pickups and the jack. There is a rotary pointer on my forward horn. I hear it change my sound as I rotate it, but I don't understand what it is doing. Understanding what each control does will help me to shape my sound more precisely. At the moment it's pretty much random experimentation with positions. Any help with this would be great. Also I'm open to your opinions on these electronics or anything else about my bass. Thanks.
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 637
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 1:06 pm:   Edit Post

Congratulations on the new bass. The pointy switch is the pickup selector. It has 4 positions neck pickup, both pickups, bridge pickup and standby.

Here is a link to the Anniversary controls FAQ.

Advanced Member
Username: lidon2001

Post Number: 264
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 1:20 pm:   Edit Post

Congrats on the Spyder Daniel. Spyders were a featured custom in 2003 and you can get more information there too.

I am curious to know how many they have left to build at this point.

Username: dtrice

Post Number: 7
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 5:58 pm:   Edit Post

Hey guys. I need your help. Like I said this is my first Alembic and may be missing something when it comes to the controls, but my selector on my horn is not working!!! There is no volume from my Treble pickup. I checked my turning off my bass pickup and then there was no sound at all! My rotary selector goes almost 360* but there are no detents or any sound changes when I rotate it. Does Mica or anyone in the company check this forum? If so would there be a way for me to contact someone directly so I can get some advice. It's a great bass and all, but it's only operating at half of its potential. Thanks.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 4638
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 6:32 pm:   Edit Post

A couple of things here.

First, the bridge pickup problem.

1 - if the stereo/mono switch is in stereo mode and you have a regular mono guitar cable plugged in, then you are only going to get one pickup. That may be why you're not getting the bridge pickup. Try it again after moving the stereo/mono switch.

2 - if that isn't it, then it may be that the pickup selector switch is pointing to the neck pickup. See below for the selector switch problem and if you get that fixed then maybe that will address this problem.

3 - if that isn't it, then remove the back plate from behind the control cavity and make sure both pickup leads are securely plugged in to the pc board.

Second, the pickup selector switch should not be moving 360 degrees.

1 - take the back plate off behind the pickup selector switch. Move the switch on top while watching underneath. Is the whole pot moving?

2 - if so, you'll need an .050" Allen wrench (hexhead wrench). There are two hex screws that hold the knob to the shaft. Carefully loosen these screws (you don't need to take them all the way out; they are very small, if you drop them on the carpet it might raise your frustration level). When the screws are loose, the knob can easily be removed from the shaft. At this point you may find that the nut is not tight on the shaft. You'll then need a 1/2" wrench or nut driver to tighten the nut on the shaft.

3 - if the pot is not moving, then it may be that the knob itself is loose, in which case you can tighten the hex screws on the knob as in 2 above.

Please let us know if this was helpful.
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 961
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 6:20 am:   Edit Post

"they are very small, if you drop them on the carpet it might raise your frustration level"

That's what I love about you Dave. Master of the understatement;-) Another superb post BTW.

Username: mica

Post Number: 3870
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 11:07 am:   Edit Post

Keep us posted on your progress with your Spyder bass. Here's an actual roadmap for the controls:
Spyder controls
Username: joram

Post Number: 49
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 2:03 pm:   Edit Post

Can't focus on the strings. I keep seeing them double. Shouldn't have tried Rami's cookie recipe...
Username: dtrice

Post Number: 8
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 9:50 pm:   Edit Post

Hey great advice Dave. Turns out the nut was loose on the selector, I followed your instructions and about 30 minutes later my Alembic was fixed! It's a great relief. I was worried I'd have to put it up somewhere for repair for something more serious. My bridge pickup is working fine now. I hate to be really nitpicky, but I noticed that treble pickup is less loud than the bass pickup. My treble pickup is raised much higher, but it still puts out less volume. Is this the design? Could I lower my bass pickup to try balance them out? I don't want to risk damaging any wiring underneath it. Would this be counterproductive considering the Alembic pickup tone design? Is the Alembic tone that I've heard all based around this weaker treble?
Username: dtrice

Post Number: 9
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 10:00 pm:   Edit Post

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Thanks Mica. Thanks for the picture it confirms how I thought my controls were working. Now I'm ready to start creating a few different interesting tones and really make use of the electronics. Also, I really do like the design of this bass, this body shape is my all-time favorite for comfort and looks. I think now that if I was going to get another Alembic, I would like one very similar to this one except with maybe the Series electronics. I know that the run is limited to 50 4-string models, but will you keep the templates so more could be made at an individual level? This is probably at least a few years down the line for me financialy, but I do think that I have the best bass I could possibly have and have no desire to ever really depart from this design. Also, after handling my own bass as well as other owners' basses I don't see any reason why I would want to buy anything except Alembic. Thanks for taking the time to do me the favor and thanks for the awesome bass.
Senior Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 779
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 10:42 pm:   Edit Post

Take a look at this note on trimpots. You should probably have two of them, so you can set the pickup heights as you please for tone, and then adjust the volume of each.

Your control layout will look different, but a little experimenting should tell you which trim goes with which pickup. Just don't force them, they only go through a little more than 3/4 of a turn from min to max.

Great to hear that you resolved your problem.
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 643
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 4:03 am:   Edit Post

Glad to hear things are working now.
You might like this thread. It is Alan's custom Exploiter project.


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