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Alembic Club » Owning an Alembic » Troubleshooting » Archive through June 11, 2010 » What gauge strings came as standard on (or best suit) Spoilers? « Previous Next »

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clarkybass
New
Username: clarkybass

Post Number: 9
Registered: 4-2010
Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 7:05 am:   Edit Post

Hi all, just got my first Spoiler 4-string (a beautiful 86 quilt maple top; see Showcase http://alembic.com/club/messages/411/78714.html?1271290231 for pics). It has a set of slightly old non-Alembic strings on it and I want to freshen it up with some 'real' Alembic strings. Could anyone tell me which gauge and model of strings would have come as standard on this bass or - failing that - which ones you think are best suited? I am guessing its the CX-3/40L's (40-100) but would rather be safe and consult the Forum here. Thanks in advance, Clarky
clarkybass
New
Username: clarkybass

Post Number: 10
Registered: 4-2010
Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 10:39 am:   Edit Post

As an addendum, I use TI Flats on all my passive P basses. Do Alembics also suit flats or does the less bright sound of flats (compared with roundwounds) not work as well with the active electronics? PS, I play straight forward rock, if that helps in your answers - I am not interested in slapping/popping etc.
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 740
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 10:53 am:   Edit Post

I've got a thread on flatwounds here - I love them on my Stanley Clarke bass! I think they work great with the Alembic electronics - that what Phil Lesh and Jack Casady used back in the early days of the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.

Or check out official Alembic strings at the Alembic Store. My guess is that your bass is 32" scale (medium), but in my experience (I used to have a Spoiler Exploiter) you can still use long-scale strings.
clarkybass
Junior
Username: clarkybass

Post Number: 11
Registered: 4-2010
Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 11:54 am:   Edit Post

Thanks! My Spoiler is indeed a 32" scale and I was wondering whether TI Flats would be too long (ie, the silk windings would be too far from tuners so you end up with a huge ball of string around each peg or cutting strings down and hoping the metal surface grips and doesn't slip)?
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 741
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 12:17 pm:   Edit Post

One thing to factor in is the distance from the tailpiece to the bridge - this would seem to be what makes long-scale strings work on a medium scale, but then again it could depend on the brand too. Can you measure the TIs you already have on your other basses and compare?
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 6704
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 12:26 pm:   Edit Post

A 1986 Spoiler probably had Kaman strings on it, but I don't recall what the gauges were, sorry.

These days we would string with 45-105 CX-3/45L if there was no special request from the customer.
clarkybass
Junior
Username: clarkybass

Post Number: 12
Registered: 4-2010
Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 2:09 pm:   Edit Post

Many thanks. I have just tried 3 different sets of strings on - TI Flats (strangely didn't feel right, even though they are on all my Ps), TI Rounds (too low tension), finally EB nickel round Hybrid Slinkys (45-105). The latter feel best to me in the balance of tension, volume and tone. Based on this experiment, I think I will track down some Alembic strings in the same gauge (per mica's reply). Thanks everyone for your replies.
clarkybass
Junior
Username: clarkybass

Post Number: 14
Registered: 4-2010
Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 3:00 am:   Edit Post

Ooops, after they had settled down the 45-105's really pulled on the neck, causing forward bow, and feel significantly higher tension than when I has first put them on. I have swapped back for the TI Rounds (43,51,68,89) which are slightly too low tension but better for the time being. Having ordered the Alembic 45-105s through eBay, I think I have made a $55 mistake! Should have gone for the lower gauge Alembic strings (the 40-100s) :-(
tbrannon
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1168
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 7:14 am:   Edit Post

Not to worry! Check out the FAQ section and find Joey's post on setting up your bass. The design of Alembics make it so simple to adjust and to get the action right where you want it.

There isn't any reason you should be tied to a single string gauge or brand. A few adjustments and you'll be fine playing anything. The dual truss rods, adjustable nut and bridge design make it very easy.

(Message edited by Tbrannon on April 17, 2010)
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 744
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 11:49 am:   Edit Post

Also, different brand strings of the same gauge strings can have different tension, depending on what they are made of, their construction, etc. For instance, DR HiBeams are supposed to be slightly lower tension than LoRiders. Not sure about the Alembic strings - it'd probably be worth checking them out, especially in context of the setup suggestions Toby mentioned.
clarkybass
Junior
Username: clarkybass

Post Number: 19
Registered: 4-2010
Posted on Sunday, May 30, 2010 - 9:16 am:   Edit Post

Update: having (finally!) located a truss rod adjuster (we are metric in UK and its hard to find the gauge used by Alembic) I have installed the Alembic 45-105s and they play really nicely now. Very happy! So happy I am now after a 5 stringer (see For sales & Trade, and Wished For Items threads)
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 1962
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, May 30, 2010 - 10:13 am:   Edit Post

Hi Clarky, I'm a UK alembic owner too and I have used DR strings, Ken Smith and currently Fodera strings on my Europa 5 bass and they have all been good strings and I have preferred the Fodera of the three I've tried.

I usually order my strings on-line from www.juststrings.com as there isn't a good selection of strings in the music shops where I live. I may order some Alembics next time and see what they are like on this bass.

jazzyvee
clarkybass
Junior
Username: clarkybass

Post Number: 20
Registered: 4-2010
Posted on Sunday, May 30, 2010 - 11:28 am:   Edit Post

Thanks jazzyvee, I will check out that website. The American Guitar company in Kent has Alembic strings online, not cheap at 39 but the only source other than importing from the US.

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