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Username: thehophouse

Post Number: 2
Registered: 8-2007
Posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 - 1:08 am:   Edit Post

Serial no: 03C13158 --- bought at shop here in the UK. Guitar is new, with case, certificate etc etc. I was kinda assuming that the 'Telecaster' style body is a stock Alembic item... but from the small amount of research I've done, it would appear that this isn't the case... Any info on the guitar would be appreciated. I'm guessing that this must've been a custom job for someone... which perhaps they didn't want when finished (if so, they must've been MAD... the guitar is awesome. Easily the best guitar I've played in 25 years of playing!).

Other info from the certificate:
Top: Flame maple / Body: Ash / Fingerboard: Ebony / Inlays: Mother of Pearl / Veneers: Maple / Electrics: custom (three way p/u selector, one vol pot for each of two pick-ups, single tone control to govern both -- BUT there is a small two-way toggle next to the tone pot that seems to alter the way the tone pot works... up it seems 'normal' but down it makes the pot act like a wah-wah pedal if you turn it... interesting but I'm struggling to find a real use for this...! Bridge p/u is a humbucker and neck p/u sounds like a single coil --- although both have humbucker size covers so I may be wrong). Last but not least, the colour/finish is 'rose red'.

Model no on the certificate is: CLG6... and is simly listed as being a 'custom guitar'. It was completed on 10/17/03... which kind of indicates it has been sitting on a shelf for a while...

Any help / info much appreciated.

Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 835
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 - 5:34 am:   Edit Post

The tone control is a low pass filter. When it is full on all of the tones are going through. When you turn it down you roll off the high frequency. The switch you mention is a Q-switch. Its function is to boost the frequency at the current filter setting. Typical values for basses are +8db and +6db of boost. I don't know if guitars are the same. The wah-wah that you hear when turning the control is the result of the Q-switch being set to boost and is normal. I believe there is a write up explaining filters in the "FAQ & Must Reads".

Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 663
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 - 9:40 am:   Edit Post

Mike, the "real use" of the low pass filter and the Q switch is that it gives/provides an incredibly wide range of useful tone options for the instrument.

It lets you tailor your sound, so that one guitar or bass can have a dozen or more distinct sounds -at the swirl of a single knob.

Give yourself some time to get to know and understand it; it's extremely useful.

With the Q switch off, the filter has an essentially passive sound, kind of like a treble rolloff... but not exactly; the difference is that the filter rolls off frequencies in a "horizonal" manner... instead of "vertically" -like an eq control.

When the Q switch is on, the effect is the same, but there is an added emphasis at the frequency selected by the filter; it puts a boost wherever you select, and cuts most of the frequencies above that point.

A good way to hear/get to know/understand the effect is to have your fretting hand trill a couple middle frets on one of the middle strings while turning the filter back and forth (with the Q on); you'll find the frequency that grabs you. Try it with different pickup combinations.

Congrats on your purchase! I think once you get the hand of the filter and Q -it shouldn't take long- and your mind/ear understands it, you'll be amazed at how useable it is, and at the versatility it provides.
Username: thehophouse

Post Number: 4
Registered: 8-2007
Posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 - 10:13 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the info! Your explanations are different to how it was described to me when I bought the guitar... And I certainly have been playing around with the controls to get to know what the guitar can do... hampered I have to say by the fact that it is nigh on impossible to get a bad sound out of the damn thing! In every position and combination the guitar is a delight!

All said in total contrast to an RD Custom that I own. Boy is that thing a nightmare! Although in its defence, the RD is superbly made and plays very well --- many times have I pondered ripping the Moog guts out!
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 5415
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 - 2:40 pm:   Edit Post

The pickups are neither humbucking nor single coil. A description of Alembic pickups is here.
Username: squirefan01

Post Number: 15
Registered: 6-2007
Posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 - 3:49 pm:   Edit Post

Nice explanation 8 String. I have been trying to get the feel of the Q switch in my "new" '99 Essence with Europa controls. I read the FAQ controller overviews but didn't really get the info as you explained it.

Username: thehophouse

Post Number: 5
Registered: 8-2007
Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 2:55 am:   Edit Post

I echo that... the FAQs don't explain it as well. Many thanks!

As for the pick-ups... the guys who sold me the guitar (UK Alembic dealer --- the only one!) gave me the info. Looks like Alembic need to educate the dealers a bit better... but thanks for the link, I'll have a read (and tell the dealer my findings next time I see them!).

Which brings me to my one and only gripe... the documentation! Not only is it an photocopied A4 sheet (at least second generation) but it is also titled with bass players in mind. Zero mention of a guitar anywhere. I know that a lot of the info re caring for your instrument is relevant... but when you pay a premium for a top quality instrument then the least you can expect is a quality 'manual' or brochure/leaflet.

In these days of digital print (and therefore low print runs) there really is no excuse. Mind you, I'm biased... I run a design and advertising studio here in the UK. And can sympathise with anyone seeking to get things designed and printed. It can be intimidating at times.

Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 1288
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 5:39 am:   Edit Post

Both the basses I had delivered from the factory came with both the build sheet and a professionally printed booklet describing care and adjustment of the instruments. They also came with allen keys and a trussrod spanner. When I bought my first New Alembic from the Bass centre in Birmingham they didn't even supply the case, never mind any documentation.

Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 511
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 7:03 am:   Edit Post


I'm the 3rd owner of my 99 Rogue. When I received it from another club member, the handwritten buildsheet and tools were included.

I have a feeling that the fault lies with the dealer in this case. Either way, hang around here a bit and you'll have all the info you ever wanted!

Enjoy the guitar and post a few pics in the showcase section when you have a chance.

Username: thehophouse

Post Number: 7
Registered: 8-2007
Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 7:47 am:   Edit Post

I got the allen keys and trussrod spanner (and certificate of course)... it was just the 'professionally printed booklet' that was missing. Shame... but yeah, I think you're right in that the dealer is probably at fault --- especially in light of the info I was given re the electrics, pick-ups etc.

Graham, if you're reading this... take note!

(and yes to the pics... I'll do it as soon as I can...)

The guitar will get its first outing tomorrow evening at a local jam night... The White Hart pub in Wadhurst, Kent. Now that we have a no smoking ban in UK pubs, these events are an absolute joy! (no smelly guitars either!).

Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 927
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 10:49 am:   Edit Post

None of my alembics came with any documentation as to how it works, filters etc.
I found out all about the filters by reading threads here but it still took a while to get used to it and be able to dial in the sound desired especially as the controls are so sensitive. You will find that even the most minute changes are audible so you can really fine tune your sound till you get what you want.

One of the many great things about alembics is being able to lower the volume without losing the top end.

If your Tele is like my strat, then with the filter wide open and the q switch on the sound is as sharp as glass whatever the pickup position. I find when using it live i have to close the filter up far more than I do at home to keep the tone mellow.

Enjoy your session.
Username: mica

Post Number: 4772
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 7:02 pm:   Edit Post

It sounds like you received the information about the build with your guitar. There is a cute little guitar-specific user care manual that if you email me your mailing address I will happily send to you.

The electronics on this instrument are completely custom, though they are relatively simple. The controls are volume, volume, filter and Q switch, and 3-position pickup selector switch. The file contains a schematic drawn by my dad.

The guitar was originally made for Bass World, our importer in the UK. As far as I know, this is the only one we've built in this shape, and it was at Graham's request. It was a custom job, specifically for Graham's shop.

It has never been registered, and it sounds like you purcahsed it new.
Username: thehophouse

Post Number: 9
Registered: 8-2007
Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 6:43 am:   Edit Post

Hi Mica, thanks for the info. I have since asked Graham about the guitar --- although he didn't say he'd commissioned the guitar, which is odd. I kinda got the impression that it was built as an experiment or project with a view to Alembic gaining an endorsement deal with the guitarist from Coldplay. However, thinking about this, maybe Graham had the guitar built because HE wanted to do an endorsement deal to promote Alembic here in the UK. I don't think Coldplay are that well known in the States are they? Anyway, the deal obviously didn't work out --- lucky for me!

Thanks for the offer re the 'cute little guitar-specific user care manual'. I'll email you my mailing address and I look forward to receiving it!

The guitar has now been gigged... and it is working out well. You will no doubt be pleased to hear that my Les Paul, Strat, Explorer, Tele, RD Custom, 335 (and several others!) are now 'gathering dust'. Is it only a matter of time before I sell them to raise funds for another Alembic?
Advanced Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 286
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 9:44 am:   Edit Post

That's a pretty sweet guitar Mike. Coldplay are not unknown here in the states (it seemed like you couldn't go anywhere for a few months without hearing "Yellow"). Anyway, as a huge simpsons fan I had to give you kudos on your band name.

Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 2624
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 1:44 pm:   Edit Post


Congrats on the Alembic/Tele. Howzabout some pics! It's always nice to see another six-stringer around these bottom-heavy parts. As for your band's name, are you aware that you are helping to perpetuate a fraud? The Flaming Moe is nothing more than a re-branded Flaming Homer*!!! Dohhhhh!

Bill, the guitar one

* don't forget the cough syrup!
Advanced Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 287
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 2:54 pm:   Edit Post

"For some reason, fire made it good . . ."

Flaming Moe
Username: thehophouse

Post Number: 10
Registered: 8-2007
Posted on Sunday, October 07, 2007 - 4:59 am:   Edit Post

The Flaming Moe's? Yeah. Good grief! etc. Singer's idea that name. Keyboard player (at the time) also voted for it and the name stuck. Luckily (sort of... I need another band!), the band is on its uppers and about to disintegrate. I have always hated the name. But no copyright worries, this was only a pub band not a serious thing...

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