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grooveman
New
Username: grooveman

Post Number: 5
Registered: 6-2007
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2007 - 11:47 pm:   Edit Post

Hai everybody,

I started this thread because I think this is the right place to continue my 'Spoiler'-story from the 'introduction'-section ...

For everybody who wants to know about my Spoiler ... please read this thread first:

http://alembic.com/club/messages/397/41268.html?1182468440
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 531
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, June 22, 2007 - 7:28 am:   Edit Post

I think your Spoiler must be placed between '87 and '90. I asume there's the "Alembic" script under the logo. If I'm not mistaken, they started with that in '86/'87. I'm not sure when they started to put the serial number on the truss rod cover and in the controls cavity, but that's where the serial number on my '90 Elan is.
There are numbers on the preamp and pots which will help and of course the (handwritten) number under one of the pickups.

My '87 Spoiler:




So you can see what to look for ;-)

Welcome here! And enjoy your Spoiler , they're great basses :-)
grooveman
New
Username: grooveman

Post Number: 7
Registered: 6-2007
Posted on Monday, June 25, 2007 - 12:09 am:   Edit Post

Hai mr. fs-spoiler,

There is no 'Alembic'-script under the logo (same as one of your basses from '83) and the handwritten 'workjob'-number I found in the pickup hole is #824, I'm not shure but I think this is a low number in the Alembic-workrange so this must be the 824st 'Spoiler' made or maybe it's the next 'workjob'-number in the productionrange of all early Alembic basses!

... Mica told me that with the old Spoilerseries the serialnumber was printed next to the 24th fret and that's exact what they did cutout! Even the original electronics on your picture does not seem's the same as mine and I also can't find numbers on it! (I will post a picture later!)

There's are still two things left ...

1st - there's no brass-plate under the bridge! Is that original? I don't know when Alembic started with that ....

2nd - There are no screws in the 'brass top-nut' for adjusting height! I Think this is still the original but did Alembic always mount it on all basses?

What I think (and hope) is that my spoiler is realy a very old one!



(Message edited by grooveman on June 25, 2007)
grooveman
New
Username: grooveman

Post Number: 8
Registered: 6-2007
Posted on Monday, June 25, 2007 - 12:43 am:   Edit Post

Here's a picture of my Peghead, the nut, and original 'Schaller'-tuners ... (I will upload the electronics later when possible)


Picture of my Peghead
adriaan
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 1521
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, June 25, 2007 - 3:09 am:   Edit Post

The more affordable Alembics come without the brass plate under the bridge.

The nut is fixed, not adjustable, so it is most probably a Spoiler from the early 1980s.
dannobasso
Senior Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 574
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, June 25, 2007 - 3:25 am:   Edit Post

I have 5 Spoilers. The oldest is an 83. They all have adjustable nuts. The brass sustain block was not a standard item. I ordered it on 3 of mine. I think the nut is not origional nor the 5 screws under the bridge which looks like the real thing. I believe Yours is after 85-86. The first runs had solid koa wings with no top laminate.

Enjoy it and play in good health.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 5164
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, June 25, 2007 - 7:46 am:   Edit Post

I doubt that the "workjob" number refers to the production number of Spoilers; I don't think Alembic kept track of models in that manner. And as far as the production range of all Alembics, my guess is that there were at least 1,500 Alembics made before the Spoiler model was first produced. The earliest serial number for a Spoiler that I've found in the serial number section of the board is 82S2194, which would be approximately the 2,194th Alembic and made in 1982; however there are some that are older than that. The earliest Spoilers had a really nice decal instead of the bronze logo; they are kind of rare. There is a picture of an '82 decal Spoiler here. If you haven't already, you may enjoy perusing the Spoiler section of the Showcase.
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 535
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, June 25, 2007 - 8:16 am:   Edit Post

I'm with Danno, but think '84 would also be possible, most (or all) 'pre '84 models have the "much thinner" truss rod cover. (like my '83 Spoiler)
On my '83 Spoiler the Filter and the Volume are on the board (as you can see on my '87 the pickup selector and volume are on the board)
grooveman
New
Username: grooveman

Post Number: 9
Registered: 6-2007
Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - 12:13 am:   Edit Post

Dave, I think you're right with the worknumber-theory! All togheter ... I hope Micha can do or find 'something' or 'whatever' with my worknumber #824! I only don't know if she's busy with it!?!?

And look at that ... the spoiler with the Decal logo has a fixed nut to! So there are Spoilers with a fixed one! The 'truss rod cover' on my spoiler is not the 'thin' version! It's a blanco thick version! The serialnumber once was on the 24th fret ... and that was only done with the old one's! For the bridge-'brassplate/sustainblock' I think the story is right! I now have seen more Spoilers without this option!

Nice mystery here, but it still is a beautifull bass with a sound like the voice of god!

(Message edited by grooveman on June 26, 2007)
adriaan
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 1523
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - 1:31 am:   Edit Post

The serial number was still under the last fret in 1988, not just for Spoilers.

I think what Flip meant by the 'thin' truss rod cover is that on the earliest Spoilers, the neck pickup was even closer to the neck than it is on yours, and so the cover is not as wide.
grooveman
New
Username: grooveman

Post Number: 10
Registered: 6-2007
Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - 2:18 am:   Edit Post

Adriaan ... thanks for the serial-info! I didn't know that! But when did they start with the number stanced in the TR-cover?

And what year did Alembic increase the neckpickup distance (+ bigger cover) and was it from that point a definitely modification for the Spoiler?

and ...

Remember ... OK, it's in a way a model from the standard A-collection but we always have to deal with customized instruments here with Alembic ... nor or not modified with all kind of personal wishes in the past! So ... you never know! (wat een rare zin ;-)
adriaan
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 1524
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - 3:00 am:   Edit Post

So is it but tidy ... ;-)

You will find small variations on non-customized Alembics as well. My Spoiler has a cone peghead as usual, but it is a lot slimmer than normal, and also different from the one on the earliest Spoilers. I have the buildsheet, and there is no remark about any modification. Perhaps there was a small problem with the original peghead, which they took care of in a clever sort of way, or perhaps they just wanted to experiment a little. And it looks just great - better than the standard cone, if you ask me.

The neck pickup was moved in the early years, probably around the same time they stopped making Spoilers with solid koa body wings. IIRC, the peghead decal was replaced with the proper brass logo earlier on.
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 537
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - 7:34 am:   Edit Post

Thats correct, only the first +/- 50 Spoilers had the decal ('81/'82)
I think the "wide" truss rod cover was introduced late '83 early '84. They started with the serial number in the cavity and on the trussrod cover around '89 I think, me is not sure though (bewust raar zinnetje) :-)

@ Adriaan the headstock on your Spoiler and the logo above the nut does look sharp

(Message edited by fc_spoiler on June 26, 2007)
adriaan
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 1525
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - 7:59 am:   Edit Post

@ Flip - and I haven't seen a second one quite like it. And you don't see that many watermark koa tops either
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 539
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - 8:34 am:   Edit Post

That top is gorgeous indeed!
The cones on my Spoilers are excactly the same shape btw. Only the thickness (sideview) is different, +/- 17, 5 mm on the '87 (same as the Elan) and +/- 15,5 mm on the '83
Yours look like a fusion between the "standard cone and the JHE Exploiter.
adriaan
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 1527
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - 8:40 am:   Edit Post

And the tops on those Spoilers of yours aren't too shabby either! But we're digressing from the serial number request here ...
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 546
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 30, 2007 - 11:47 am:   Edit Post

Can you post a picture of the truss rod cover? I wonder if it's rounded or if it has sharp edges.
Do the screws go into threaded inserts or directly into the wood?
A picture of the neck/headstock connection can also tell something about age.
grooveman
Junior
Username: grooveman

Post Number: 20
Registered: 6-2007
Posted on Sunday, July 01, 2007 - 11:06 am:   Edit Post

I'll post the pictures as soon as I'm back home cause I'm not there for a few days! What I can tell you from here is that the cover has sharp edges, no serial on it, and the (little) brass-screws are using those 'threaded inserts'..!!

(Message edited by grooveman on July 03, 2007)
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 548
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Sunday, July 01, 2007 - 11:17 am:   Edit Post

I believe the '86 models have rounded edges and inserts, that would narrow it down to '84/'85

I guess...

I guess the neck/headstock connection looks like this:



On my '87 it looks like this:

grooveman
Junior
Username: grooveman

Post Number: 21
Registered: 6-2007
Posted on Sunday, July 01, 2007 - 11:42 am:   Edit Post

Indeed ... It lookes exactly the same as your upper-picture (isn't that the 83'r?)! Even the type Schaller-tuners with those ribs in/on them looks exactly the same!
grooveman
Junior
Username: grooveman

Post Number: 25
Registered: 6-2007
Posted on Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - 7:42 am:   Edit Post

Hey Flip,

A little Rectification:

The little screws from the TR-Cover are using the 'threaded inserts'..!! (Not straight in the wood!) But the neck/headstock connection still looks like your upper picture! I can see that on the (more) round shape on the start of the neck!
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 556
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 05, 2007 - 8:32 pm:   Edit Post

Check this link and compare: '84 Spoiler on the Bay
I'm not sure if they changed anything in '85... maybe the finish?
grooveman
Junior
Username: grooveman

Post Number: 29
Registered: 6-2007
Posted on Friday, July 06, 2007 - 12:55 am:   Edit Post

Hey Flip,

Thanks for the tip!

It's a different wood, but this one is exact the same spoiler as mine, even details in shape, headstock connection and all other parts! Neck is also a three piece maple, bridgedetails, tuners, TR-cover, screwies, etc ... everything is the same!

aaaand ... not to forget ... Watch this detail! ... >>> the laque on the brass-parts <<< (I polished it off),

I think this is a good indication for getting the age of my spoiler! For now let's say that mine is a 84'r, unless we can find more about this type! It could be a late '83 or early '85 but this info would make it a little easyer for Mica doing database-search!

Thanks again!
Andy

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