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Intermediate Member
Username: muller1007

Post Number: 149
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 12:41 pm:   Edit Post

I purchased my 1978 Series 1 bass about six months ago. I found it for sale on an Ebay kind of website in The Netherlands. On the pictures in the ad the bass seemed in pretty poor shape. The finish seemed dull and had some visible dings and scratches on it. The brass parts and the silver logo appeared to be entirely discoloured and corroded. The hat knobs looked worn. Also, it had four visible screws per pickup, instead of the Alembic system of pickup height adjustment (two screws under the pu, two on top). The seller said that the bass probably needed an upgrade because of noise being picked up.

On the other hand, it did have some very nice features, like medium scale, red side leds with a dimmer, an omega cutout and the pu selector switch was neatly moved to the controls. The DS-5 was included and so was a new 5-pin cable. And best of all, the price was incredible!!!!

So after a split second, I decided to go for it. I was the first bidder (bid the asking price) and the owner granted it to me.

When I picked it up, the bass was just as it seemed on the pictures. It appeared to have lacked some tender loving care over the years.
But wow, what a feeling to go home with a Series 1 bass sitting on the backseat of my car. I had, however, quite some overhaul work to do on the bass.

Here are some pics of the bass before the overhaul:




In the past months I treated the bass to a nice fix up:
- cleaned and polished the brass parts, silver logo and gold Schaller tuning pegs
- cleaned and buffed the finish to a lustre
- cleaned and lemon oiled the fingerboard
- re-fixed the Schaller straplocks
- replaced the batteries
- replaced all of the hat knobs by new ones
- replaced the (oddly fitted) pickups screws by original Alembic pickup screws and fitted them correctly
- replaced a variety of different control cavity screws, by new ones
- had a master volume pot added, using all original Alembic parts
- had all electronics checked
- replaced the DS-5 with a DS-5R
- put on fresh strings
- purchased a Mogami/Neutrik stereo to mono cable to play the bass with both pickups on battery power.

Oh, and the noise the previous owner mentioned was largely solved with the humcancelling trimpots. It still picks up some interference if you listen really closely, but I think it's totally negligible. No need for an acute upgrade.

Here are some pics of the bass after the overhaul:



In a few years time I'll probably drop it off at Alembic to have it completely refinished and have the electronics upgraded, but for now it's just a stunning bass and it plays like a dream. Definately worth the trouble and money spent.

Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 2251
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 2:04 pm:   Edit Post


Looking good! I thought the before pics looked pretty sweet, but the after is beautiful. Congrats and enjoy. What happened to the original DS-5? Might you, perchance, be looking to sell it?

Bill, tgo
Intermediate Member
Username: muller1007

Post Number: 150
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 3:19 pm:   Edit Post

Sorry Bill, swapped the DS-5 for the DS-5R. It's somewhere in Ireland now.

Advanced Member
Username: rraymond

Post Number: 213
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 3:21 pm:   Edit Post

Wow! Excellent work, it's a beauty!

Username: davehouck

Post Number: 4920
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 4:13 pm:   Edit Post

Looks great!!
Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 822
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 9:06 pm:   Edit Post

What a beautiful shine the wood has now. Very nice.
Advanced Member
Username: jet_powers

Post Number: 323
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 5:45 am:   Edit Post

Wow! What a difference. I didn't realize how dull the finish on my Persuader was becoming. How exactly did you buff it out?

Intermediate Member
Username: muller1007

Post Number: 152
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 9:10 am:   Edit Post

The finish and all the visible parts, were almost completely dull, probably due the touch of dirty and greasy fingers, dust and and smoke over the years, without ever cleaning it. Leaving it to develop a matt film over the finish, the fingerboard, the brass, the silver logo and gold tuners.

For cleaning the finish I used a lightly moist microfiber cloth to wipe most of the dirt film off. Next I cleaned it with Alembic Supreme Polish and buffed it to a brilliant shine with a polishing chamois. I thought I would need a polishing machine, but this was sufficient.

Cleaning the silver logo and the brass parts was quite a time consuming job. I had to use soft (to prevent scratching the finish) wooden tooth picks, to get old dirt and old dried up polish residu off that was firmly stuck inbetween.

To get back the shine on the gold Schaller tuning pegs and the silver logo, I used "Jewelry Wipes" from Connoisseurs ( That made them shine brightly and it provides a anti tarnish shield.

The brass parts were polished with Brasso fluid brass polish, which shines and protects (and leaves no residu).

I cleaned the fingerboard with a lightly moist microfiber cloth. Next I cleaned it more intensiveley with lemon oil, using cotton buds and wiping it clear with a soft cloth. Then I rubbed the fingerboard in with essential lemon oil en let it draw into it and feed the ebony for a few hours, and wipe off any residu afterwards.

Well, that about covers it. Oh yes, and I put some Vaseline on/in the straplocks, to prevent them from becoming squeaky.

I know what's best for my baby ;-)

Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1163
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 7:02 am:   Edit Post

Great work, Duncan. I love finding used basses like this: Really sound and just needing lots of TLC to restore them to this kind of shape. Those 'After' pictures are what makes it all worthwhile to me.

J o e y
Intermediate Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 167
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, June 01, 2007 - 6:47 am:   Edit Post

what a difference some effort does...see my other thread in troubleshooting..The Knowledge

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