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Alembic Club » Owning an Alembic » Fun Stories » Archive through April 11, 2004 » Guitar Center Experience - Why everyone should own an Alembic « Previous Next »

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Username: ajdover

Post Number: 41
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2004 - 12:54 pm:   Edit Post


I went to Guitar Center today (don't really care too much for Guitar Center - usually all I'll buy there is strings, picks, cables, etc.) to get new strings for my newly acquired Spyder 4. I wasn't sure which brand would fit (I tried a set of Rotosounds - RS66LD - and they didn't fit), so I took my Spyder with me.

The case is fairly large, so I stuck out like a sore thumb. I approached the counter, and told the salesman I needed strings, but I needed to show him my bass so he'd get an idea of what I needed. We moved off to an open area, and I opened my case. Within 1 minute, I was surrounded by about 15 fellow bassists, admiring my instrument, asking questions, and begging to play it. Several folks just stared, the amazement showing on their faces, saying nothing. I had some requests to be allowed to play it - I have to say I turned them down, not because I didn't want others to have the pleasure of playing an Alembic (I do), but I didn't want to take the chance of anything happening to my baby. Anyway, several asked me to plug it in so they could hear it about 10 folks followed me into the bass amplification area. I plugged it in, and soon, there were at least 10 more hovering around the entrance listening. Comments on the sound: "Amazing." "You can make that thing sound like anything you want, can't you?" "Man, what do you have in that thing?" "You better keep an eye on that thing - it might not leave the store."

Ahh, the joys of being a proud Alembic Owner. Everyone should be so lucky!

Advanced Member
Username: senmen

Post Number: 229
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2004 - 1:53 pm:   Edit Post

great experience, isnīt it?
So I think you are happy with my slight
advice to buy a Spyder?
Have fun mate with it.
It is really one of the best basses I have
every played,if not THE best....

Take care mate
Oliver (Spyderman)
Username: ajdover

Post Number: 42
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2004 - 3:20 pm:   Edit Post


My Spyder is the finest instrument I've ever owned. And your advice was most sage, of course.

As you can see, I'm already having fun with it. It truly is the best bass I currently own ... saving for an Europa,though.

Best regards, fellow Spyderman,

Username: poor_nigel

Post Number: 48
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2004 - 4:01 pm:   Edit Post

"Have fun mate with it."
This is something I have not thought about before. Hmmmm . . .

Never let anyone play your Alembic. Way back in the dark ages, I had just acquired my first Alembic - a great Series I. I took it to some jam night thing and a friend talked me into playing it, after I had a few beers in me.

What I got back was a bass with deep scratches in the back from his evil belt buckle that he never thought to remove. Sure he apologized big time. However, when the apologies had faded, the scratches were still there.

When someone asks to play any of my basses these days, I write down on a piece of paper and hand it to them and say, "That and a fist full of money with fulfill your request nicely." What? Me rude? Would you hand your newborn to a musician to rock? Not!
Intermediate Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 106
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2004 - 6:40 pm:   Edit Post

I've always let anyone halfway cordial play my Alembic. I figure it pretty much ruins them for life. I have in years past had more cash offers for it than I can even begin to remember. It's even more fun when they are exceedingly arrogant. They always try to hide how impressed they are, but they always fail in that regard. I am apparently pure evil...
John the pure evil one
Advanced Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 300
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2004 - 7:45 pm:   Edit Post

About 10 years ago I was in a band that hosted an open mic night. Of course I brought my Alembic. Most of the folks that would come to sit in brought their own instruments. I would always let bassists use my Alembic if they wanted. It definately ruined a lot of bass players. Most (all) players are used to those Fendersque instruments. I was using a 1975 short scale, small bodied Alembic. They always walked away in amazement and when they came back, they never brought their bass.
Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 1116
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, February 29, 2004 - 10:04 am:   Edit Post

That's weird.
There were some people asking to play Bonnie for a while but ...there must be something with the dimensions ...they just can't handle her. It seems the neck is too wide for most people. Ok's custom done for me but -apart from the tone I have- there are not much people who ask to play here again.

Paul the bad one
Intermediate Member
Username: malthumb

Post Number: 173
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, February 29, 2004 - 10:57 am:   Edit Post


Coincidentally, I also took my Alembic into a Guitar Center on the same day! Slightly different results. I was going to GC to check out PA systems for my church, but I obviously wasn't gonna leave my bass in the car.

The guy that checks incoming instruments knew what it was and could appreciate it. He let me keep it in my gig bag (one of the really nice ones on the Alembic Store site). Usually at GC, they make you leave the bag at the door and carry your instrument around uncovered.

The one sales guy who was a bassist was pretty cool. He knows the basses and just wanted to look at it. Another sales person catches up with us in the Pro Audio room and points at my bag..."I hear you got one of them Uhh-lim-becks (accent on 1st syllable)in there."

When I finished with the PA stuff I went to the bass room. I was fairly well behaved. I played a Spector and several Music Man basses. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the Bongo feels and sounds, compared to the cartoonish appearance.

Unfortunately (?) I was not able to resist the urge to whip out the MK/SII and plug in. There were a few people who asked questions. I heard one salesperson tell one guy "no we don't sell those I don't know how much they cost". Then I heard another salesperson "well, he brought that in with him, so you'd have to ask him if you can try it."

I did let one guy (a former Stanley Clarke owner) give it a ride. All-in-all, not a bad visit.


Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 90
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, February 29, 2004 - 11:04 am:   Edit Post

I had a similar experience to ajdover when I took my bass into a music store to find a decent amp, soon as i started playing people emerged from every corner to hear this amazing sounding bass.

Many had never heard of it nor heard anything like i before.

I never let anyone play my alembic or any of my instruments.....period.

If they damaged it, they would never pay to get it repaired, so it's not worth the risk.

I remember one gig during soundcheck for a session, I went off to the rest room only to hear my bass being played by another member of the band when I returned, I'm not violent by any means but it took a lot of willpower to prevent me lifting him off the stage with a well placed left hook.

Although the fact he still had the bass round his neck when I got on the stage was also his saving grace. :-)

Intermediate Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 107
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 29, 2004 - 4:59 pm:   Edit Post

This thread is making think it's about time to put a new set of Rotosounds on and head up to the GC to test drive some amps (and give a few haircuts with the highs)...
John the barber
Username: drz

Post Number: 31
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, March 01, 2004 - 8:57 pm:   Edit Post

I would bet that the Rotosounds make the instruments sound even better. I fear putting them on though. I just can't stand the thought of the damage the steel strings inflict upon the instrument opposed to nickle. I played them for years and I know what they did to my Jazz bass so many years ago, wasted it. I dont think I can do that to my Alembic. I do love the sound though. Hell, what do you do?
Username: keavin

Post Number: 60
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 6:59 am:   Edit Post

did you know guitar center no longer deals with alembic ,(I dont know why), so if you were to see an alembic at a guitarcenter, it would most likley be a trade in, or a used one.
Username: kungfusheriff

Post Number: 63
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 11:51 am:   Edit Post

Yep, and it's bound to have a stratospheric price tag. I know of a '70s Series 1 bass in a Texas GC that's been there since the early 1990s tagged at $6 grand. Wonder why it's still there?

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