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toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 299
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011 - 6:20 pm:   Edit Post

Time has come to part with my prized green pickup'd early Alembic Series I short scale. So many things to tell. First, a mint 1960 concentric knob Fender Jazz bass and a near mint 59 P anodized guard have my full attention and I can't keep everything. I won this bass on eBay in 2009 for $3700 from Harry of Bunny Bass. He had kept it as the finest one he'd ever handled. Super lightweight, resonant, perfect straight neck and gorgeous flamed top and back. The veneer on the front of the headstock appears to be flamed mahogany not certain but certainly stunning! When he got it the finish had peeled off and he had had it refinished, losing the serial number in the process - he remembers it as 74- 143, but Mica said that didn't match the build records for this particular construction- she did say she'd found a few others that it could be, but there is no trace of the serial number - all characteristics (scalloped brass nut) shape of tailpiece and pickups match 1974 sub 150 models. The finish that was on it when I got it was bubbling up and I recently sent it to Pat Wilkins for a refinish which is perfect and gorgeous. I also bought and will include a 25' cable for $175 and the bass comes with an early silver (not blue) box DS-5 with bass and treble out - it does not sum the two pickups if you only go with one output. The bass also comes with an early blue form fitting hard case which is in rough shape (torn cloth and one latch missing) I paid $3800 for the bass, $175 for the cable and $700 to refinish. It is like a new series I from 1974 - will take $4300 shipped from a club member - this is stunning early series I. Again, it is a featherweight no scale here, but about 8 lbs. Electronics work great and are super quiet. Please write me with any questions. Thanks, Todd

toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 300
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011 - 6:24 pm:   Edit Post

tbrannon
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1345
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011 - 6:25 pm:   Edit Post

Man....somebody please buy this quickly. Please?!
toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 301
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011 - 6:27 pm:   Edit Post

toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 302
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011 - 6:30 pm:   Edit Post



toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 303
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011 - 6:33 pm:   Edit Post





toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 304
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011 - 6:35 pm:   Edit Post





toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 305
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011 - 6:41 pm:   Edit Post

In case I may have missed anything above (superfast neck, low action, amazing tone - feels too good to be true....) The original early Schallers hold tune perfectly - never goes out of tune. I have only ever played flatwound strings and the original frets are in great shape. Here is Harry's original description from the 2009 eBay auction prior to my having Pat Wilkins re-finish the bass. ....a beautiful vintage Alembic bass from the early 70's. the bass has a wonderful flame maple top & back on a mahogany core, walnut/maple neck, ebony fingerboard with mop inlays and flame mahogany headstock with hand cut sterling silver logo and scalloped hand cut brass-nut. the bass is very lightweight and resonant and has the great vintage alembic sound that made the company so famous. The all original electronics are in perfect working order along with the brown colored pickup's and polished brass hardware. the original finish of the bass was literally fallen of the instrument and therefore refinished a couple of years ago with the identical "yellowish" lacquer and locks all original and like brand new. During this procedure the serial number on top of the headstock faded away, as far i remember it was serial #143 or so. the "dummy-coil" pickup is attached to the body with a brass screw right through the middle of the housing (i saw the same attachment in a different bass from 1973 on the "alembic-user-club-page"), in my bass this screw is covered with a brown sticker (see detail on picture)... That's it for now - please ask any questions you may have. Best regards, Todd

(Message edited by toddharris on April 25, 2011)
skyboltone
Intermediate Member
Username: skyboltone

Post Number: 111
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011 - 8:39 pm:   Edit Post

Todd: Maybe Harry recorded the serial #? Might be worth a try. Perhaps Alembic would re-stamp and all would be well?

Just a thought

Dan
hifiguy
Advanced Member
Username: hifiguy

Post Number: 277
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 8:35 am:   Edit Post

Lordy lu, what a drop-dead gorgeous piece of early Alembic history. Wow. Just wow.
toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 307
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 9:00 am:   Edit Post

Hi Paul,
Thanks - in perfect honesty, I am a poor photographer - the pictures don't do it proper justice! It has less than 2 hours playtime since the re-finish. Best of all, it plays fast and perfectly and is lighter than any bass I've had - love the short scale of the neck.
toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 308
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 2:50 pm:   Edit Post

I just took the bass over to UPS and put it on their scale - weight is exactly 8 lbs - crazy light for an Alembic or any other much less maple.
toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 309
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 3:56 pm:   Edit Post

Deal pending - will take and hold any potential backup buyer info should things change. Thanks, Todd
pace
Senior Member
Username: pace

Post Number: 712
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 4:37 pm:   Edit Post

Awesome!

This is a great bass.

I played it for a quick second at the NJ gathering two years ago, and can vouch for the fit, finish, setup, and sound!!!!
toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 310
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 8:11 pm:   Edit Post

Here is the August 1960 near mint concentric knob Jazz bass I'm now into! Someone please stop me when the custom color mate shows up!

toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 311
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 7:13 pm:   Edit Post

Hi,
The bass is still available. The interested buyer expressed his concern that the back plate may be a replacement as it is not seated even with the surface and that the original silver body shielding was removed during re-finish. I can state without question that the back plate is original - it does not seat in the cavity as the re-finish overlaps the lip by a bit too much and prior to my sending it for re-finish, it was perfectly seated. The bass was re-wired using what I have no doubt, and which Harry assured me (he is VERY honest with great integrity) are the original parts by Gary Brawer's shop and it is as quiet as can be and fully working. The Q switches are amazing. Please feel free to write with any questions. Please contact me directly with any question, Todd

(Message edited by toddharris on April 27, 2011)
toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 312
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 7:21 pm:   Edit Post

Here is the body cavity

toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 313
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 7:31 pm:   Edit Post

Measurement at the nut is 1 7/8"
toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 315
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 6:54 am:   Edit Post

Just went back through the archives of ebay sales to the thread that started when this bass first appeared. Very excited to see that member room037 had posted a picture from his archives of bass number 74-86 that appears, based on the wood grain showing in the maple top to be this bass - it looks like a perfect match line for line. If so, that would clear up the serial number question. Though the pickups look darker, Harry had lit his photos and the ones on 74-86 are also one darker than the other - the more I look at and match the grain patterns, I am convinced that that is the same bas I have prior to the re-finish.

Here is the link:
http://alembic.com/club/messages/395/61876.html?1237003320
toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 318
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 7:11 am:   Edit Post

Here is the picture that room037 posted in 2009 from his archives which indicate it is serial number 74-86. the grain appears to be a perfect match looking at the long lines and where they line up - check the lines through the tone and volumen knobs. I've posted this information on the serial number thread and asked that records for 74-86 be checked and posted. I'm posting another of my bass below for comparison.



tbrannon
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1350
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 7:43 am:   Edit Post

Looks like you got it nailed.
room037
Senior Member
Username: room037

Post Number: 406
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 8:41 am:   Edit Post

Hi Todd,

OK, Now I up some more pict.
I don't remember when I got these pict.
But these are in my archives before 2006 (or 2003?) with serial No.(74' 86) and last price info (about 30% lower from current average price).



Eiji

(Message edited by room037 on April 28, 2011)
room037
Senior Member
Username: room037

Post Number: 407
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 9:15 am:   Edit Post

P.S.
Serial No.143 were recorded 2 SSB.
The link is here.
Mica said 75-143's info.
There is not flame maple top and back.
So eBay's description (serial No. 75-143) was incorrect.

Eiji
mike1762
Senior Member
Username: mike1762

Post Number: 810
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 10:30 am:   Edit Post

The dummy coil looks different to me. There seems to be a screw going through the coil on the archive pic but not on the current pic. Any chance that was replaced? Otherwise, it looks like the same bass.
artswork99
Moderator
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 1481
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 11:01 am:   Edit Post

Mike, Todd mentioned a piece of brown tape covering the screw on one of his threads. Best, Art
artswork99
Moderator
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 1482
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 11:06 am:   Edit Post

And in Eiji's archived pictures the 21st fret marker appears missing.
toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 319
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 1:01 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Mike - yeah, the dummy coil has the screw and that is covered by a small piece of colored tape- - I understand that that is a good thing - the ones that were glued get destroyed if they have to come out.
toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 320
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 2:50 pm:   Edit Post

Interesting and keen observation about the 21st fret inlay - looking at it in person, it is quite small (they b\get smaller and smaller going down from the 12th) - depending on how the lighting hit it, it is hard to see - not sure if it came out and was replaced since those earlier photos or if it was there. BTW - Eiji, thanks so much - if this is the mate, you solved a riddle that I've been wondering about for over 2 years! Much appreciated, Todd
pasewark
Member
Username: pasewark

Post Number: 80
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 3:45 pm:   Edit Post

My first Alembic was a short scale Series 1 #74-49. It had the battery compartment between the pickups and you had to access the dummy pickup from the back of the instrument (if I remember correctly).
pasewark
Member
Username: pasewark

Post Number: 81
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 3:52 pm:   Edit Post

BTW - That's a beautiful looking Jazz bass!
toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 321
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 4:55 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Don,
That matches with a few other very early Alembics that I've seen - on Gbase now, the Doobie Brothers bassist's bass (lower than serial 40 I believe) has the battery between the pickups - it lost its brass plate cover and has a plastic strip. Guessing that didn't go 20 more based on other early exmaples in the gallery of Series I's. Love that kind of history - it would be very cool to have a reference of serial numbers and changes in hardware though I understand that many things (carmel pickups) overlapped depending on what parts were on hand.

(Message edited by toddharris on April 28, 2011)
toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 322
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 5:00 pm:   Edit Post

OOPS - width of the neck at the nut is 1 5/8ths, not 7/8ths
room037
Senior Member
Username: room037

Post Number: 408
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 7:49 pm:   Edit Post

Hi,

Screwed dummycoil is started 1974, these are counted 9 instruments (74-53 to 74-94) on my archives.
I believe some mores are replaced glued type.

Why did Alembic change the mount method ?
It's easy to replace by screwed one, isn't it?
But steel screw is magnetized material.
I think the screw interfered with perfect noise provision.

Always the early Alembic instruments have each story.
The thought of story is my pleasure !

Eiji
toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 326
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Monday, May 02, 2011 - 5:33 pm:   Edit Post

The bass is now being auctioned on eBay.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270744082566

(Message edited by toddharris on May 02, 2011)
mike1762
Senior Member
Username: mike1762

Post Number: 825
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2011 - 5:41 pm:   Edit Post

Congrats on the sale... the price jumped up $1000 w/in a couple of seconds!!!
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1837
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2011 - 6:33 pm:   Edit Post

I observed the last 30 minutes and watched the biding leaps.

Congratulations to the winner and to Todd as well.
toddharris
Advanced Member
Username: toddharris

Post Number: 329
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2011 - 6:44 pm:   Edit Post

It's going to be a tough sending off party for me! My only consolation is that I will be receiving a near mint 59 Fender P Bass with Maple Neck and Anodized guard.
pasewark
Member
Username: pasewark

Post Number: 88
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2011 - 7:06 pm:   Edit Post

Reminds me of my first Alembic. 74-49 short scale with birds eye maple top!

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