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Username: onoffon

Post Number: 12
Registered: 2-2007
Posted on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 - 1:14 pm:   Edit Post

Hello Alembic -

I have owned this bass for 25 years and I am curious to know about it. I was told at the time of purchase that it was a "factory second" because the color of the mahogany in the core was "too grey". I liked the contrast of colors myself and bought it anyway.

Now, someone on the boards has said that Alembic cuts up factory seconds rather than put out an "inferior" product. Is this true?

Any clarification would be appreciated.


Von Babasin
Username: mica

Post Number: 4352
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 6:09 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Von,

Here's the details I found about your bass in the file:

top and back: Vermilion
core: Mahogany
neck: Maple and Purpleheart, 34" long scale
fingerboard: Ebony with mother of pearl ovals
peghead veneer: Vermilion
pickups: SC1
controls: Series I
birthday: June 17, 1982
originally made for: Guitar Center, Hollywood

The only history for the bass is that you are the original owner. There's a letter you wrote to us in 1983 regarding the lack of warranty information supplied by the dealer and a copy of our reply letter. There's also a dark copy of the warranty card you sent to us.

There is no notation about the FS other than that is is part of the serial number. We have never used FS as any official designator for Factory Second, but if you contacted us back then and got that response, it must have been how we felt that day about your bass.

In fact, there were problems in building your bass. It was started in March, and the body cracked in April while it was in spray. We cut the original body off and made a new body for it. There is a notation on the build record that says "kinda ugly" so I guess we weren't entirely happy with the bass, but it wasn't defective in any way to prevent its sale. Who knows, maybe yours is the only one with FS in the serial number.

We do not finish instruments that would be considered factory seconds. If a bass or guitar doesn't make it, it usually winds up in a small pile of others that will never be finished, but may be useful in experiments.

Hope all this helps.
Username: onoffon

Post Number: 20
Registered: 2-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 8:28 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the update, Mica!

It seems you have quite concise records. I still have a note, signed by you, that you included in an order I placed on 1-9-86 for a replacement 5-pin cord.

Interesting story about the bass - the first body cracking and all. I'd like to shake the hand of the person who deemed it "kinda ugly" - I got a GREAT deal on that bass when I purchased it just because of that lovely little "FS" designation. And to think that it may be one-of-a-kind or, at least, one of VERY few...

I've NEVER had ANY problems with this bass. It has performed exquisitely in every musical situation I have ever found myself in.

Thanks again for a wonderful instrument!


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