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Username: hammer

Post Number: 70
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 7:09 am:   Edit Post

A while back, I decided to purchase an Alembic guitar for my son for his college graduation. Well college has gone by a lot faster than I expected (including the money coming out of my wallet for tution). Given that he graduates in less than year and has developed quite nicely as a guitarist, I now need to get serious about pulling the trigger on something whether its new or used. I'm a bassist and while I know the differences between the various Alembic bass lines, I admit that when it comes to guitars I don't know much.

Based on my conversations with my son, I had originally decided to get him a Further. After searching craigslist and ebay for two years and seeing not more than two up for sale, I've come to the conclusion that if that's the direction I'm going to go it will need to be new one. One of my questions is, if I'm looking for a stock Further what would be a good store to work through?

Recently however, I've seen several Series guitars up for sale for what appear to be reasonable prices including one just pointed out by Taylor in North Carolina. Other than body style and I assume weight, can someone explain what the differences would be between a new Further and a 70s series guitar and the pros and cons of going one way or the other with this purchase.
Username: wookie

Post Number: 28
Registered: 8-2010
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 8:15 am:   Edit Post

Intermediate Member
Username: barryr1

Post Number: 120
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 8:59 am:   Edit Post

I believe that a series instrument is a much better instrument but not as "Stylish". I've had 2 old series and both were terrific. They are not really that heavy. The Further looks like it's going fast but I have never played one. I think the Further is more popular because of its association with Garcia and the fact that it looks like a Strat. Had a Skylark and didn't like the pickup placement. Maybe try one out
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2553
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 12:00 pm:   Edit Post

I can recommend the orion even though it is much cheaper. I've had mine for about 6 years now and did quite a lot of touring with it and it's been a great reliable instrument with a great sound on big and small stages. My only reservation is if you intend to use it for over driven sound. To my ears i couldn't get the sound I wanted unless I used the overdrive channel on my Fender Twin Amp. It doesn't seem to dirty up like a strat.

The thing to consider if buying a 1970's series guitar is that you may need to do get the upgrade to the electronics if it suffers from modern day noise and interference. It's not a given that it will suffer from that but I've read here some series basses have required the modification.

Technically the series is a "better" instrument but in the real world it depends what you are seeking. With me quick tone and volume changes were important so a simple guitar like the Orion works well in that respect and I would imagine that would be the same with the Further with the pickup switching arrangement.

I hope you find something soon and suitable.
Senior Member
Username: pace

Post Number: 764
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 1:01 pm:   Edit Post

Having a Series guitar is tricky.... the inclination is to upgrade your whole rig in order to meet the full potential of the Series (stereo) electronics.... the Further and Tribute are essentially mono instruments, and much easier to incorporate into an existing rig.

No matter what you decide on, Alembic guitars are the BOMB!!! I've yet to play one that I did not want to take home....
Username: hammer

Post Number: 71
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 1:27 pm:   Edit Post

Right now my son plays an SG and a early-80s Les Paul. He's in two bands that do both covers (Band-1 Lots of GD, RPS, Neil Young; Band-2 A lot of Blues and much harder stuff) and some original material. He plays through a Fender Twin like you do Jazzyvee, but doesn't seem to have a problem getting over driven sound using the Gibsons. He's actually talked about wanting something that provides more of a clean sound option.

Has anyone purchased an alembic guitar new and through what retailer did you work?

In addition, do the electronics in Series guitars provide the same type of flexible sonic palate as a Series bass? and are they set up so that one can actually use them effectively in a live performance?

As far as being the best Dad ever, I certainly don't rate that designation. I've just always wanted my kids to find something in life about which they are passionate and have been willing to support them to that end. For my son it's music and philosophy (I'm probably one of the few parents who can encourage my kid to go into music and truthfully say that even if he never makes it beyond being in local bar bands, it will still provide him with a better income than he'll be able to make with a B.A. in philosophy). I also have to admit that with my purchasing an FX-1 and Yamaha Power amp in the last 6-months, I'm feeling a bit guilty given that he's in two working bands while I just jam with friends.
Intermediate Member
Username: skyboltone

Post Number: 127
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 2:41 pm:   Edit Post

<quote> (I'm probably one of the few parents who can encourage my kid to go into music and truthfully say that even if he never makes it beyond being in local bar bands, it will still provide him with a better income than he'll be able to make with a B.A. in philosophy) <endquote> Hey, I've got a BA in Philosophy and I made a great an electrician.
Intermediate Member
Username: barryr1

Post Number: 121
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 3:04 pm:   Edit Post

I play through a number of heads dependent upon the situation. My real preferences are Hiwatt Custom 100 PA head and Fender Super. The series plays extremely clean when you want it to. I have had 2 earlier alembics one as early as number 20 or less and the other a 76. Neither was upgraded for noise reduction and neither suffered but I think it is the environment where you play. The extra cable can be more to work with (for the series electronics) but thats how you get the sound. I have overdriven the preamp on the series into the Hiwatt 2x and blown the power tubes so that is something you have to be conservative on, but unless he is playing something needing death distortion, the series will drive the amp quite hard and you will get tube overdrive quite easily. I do maintain different instruments for different sounds as no instrument can do everything just due to it's physical limitations unless you adjust everything with processors. The Series has a sound of it's own and I haven't found that I get a Les Paul sound or a P90 sound with it. They are just different animals. Gibson pickups are traditionally muddy on the bottom and alembics are very ringy but not brittle. I don't think it will be a replacement as much as icing on the cake.
Intermediate Member
Username: jcdlc72

Post Number: 107
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 8:24 am:   Edit Post

Me, I Want a California Special. No, wait.. I want two :P
Username: msmri

Post Number: 2
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 2:25 pm:   Edit Post

I acquited my Further with brass pup plate from Will Gunn Guitars--picture still on his website. It was a great transaction... Will is the best!
Username: msmri

Post Number: 3
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 2:29 pm:   Edit Post

oops... auto correction strikes again. That would be "acquired". Unlike our friend Bill, I am not a lawyer :-)
Username: hammer

Post Number: 74
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 8:39 pm:   Edit Post

Will has actually already contacted me and I intend to get a hold of him within the next few days. I've only read positive feedback from those who have purchased through him. What do people make of could be legit, but it could also be that people are trolling the site.

Hi Mr. Abery,

I noticed your interest in acquiring an Alembic Further guitar for your son on the Alembic Club web site. I am not a member of the Club, but I do regularly browse the items for sale area of the site. I suppose that I'm a little too shy to join the club. Nevertheless, let me know if you are still interested in a Further, as I may have one for sale in the not too distant future.


[moderator's edit: removed email address]

(Message edited by adriaan on August 23, 2011)
Username: barryold

Post Number: 6
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2011 - 7:25 pm:   Edit Post

I have a 1976 Series I that has a hum in the bass pickup.

It just started doing that this year.

I am offering it at a reduced price for that reason, on eBay.

Otherwise a very nice example of that model.
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1761
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2011 - 10:24 pm:   Edit Post

Brian, IF you decide to go the new guitar route, I can not recommend Will Gunn highly enough. He has an encyclopedic grasp of all things ALEMBIC, and he's as honest as the day is long, JUST the kind of guy you hope you're dealing with when there's lots of $$$ involved.

J o e y
Username: redcloud

Post Number: 39
Registered: 5-2011
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 - 4:28 pm:   Edit Post

I can't recommend Will Gunn more highly and he has some nice guitars. I have also had good fortune dealing with Guitar Resurection in Texas.
Username: hammer

Post Number: 92
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Monday, November 14, 2011 - 8:58 pm:   Edit Post

Talked with Will Gunn over the weekend (after resolving some issues with my son to insure he would be graduating from college this May) and those of you who recommended him were definitely correct, He spent a lot of time with me on the phone, came back with quotes from Susan in a matter of less than 30 minutes and seems like a genuinely nice guy. Sending in my deposit for the Stage version of the Further in 5A Chocolate quilted maple tomorrow.

A little worried about time lines (both Alembic's and whether my son will follow through in time and earn the additional credits he needs to graduate at the end of this spring semester) but it will be worth it to see his eyes when I present him with the guitar.
Intermediate Member
Username: pasewark

Post Number: 131
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, November 14, 2011 - 9:34 pm:   Edit Post

I've seen that Chocolate Quilted Maple. It's an absolutely gorgeous wood. Congrats on the build!
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 1071
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 6:48 am:   Edit Post

Heck, if he doesn't make the credits in time, you'll just have to hold onto it until he's done (and make sure it's broken in properly of course). :-)
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1068
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, November 18, 2011 - 11:50 am:   Edit Post

Does he follow the Alembic club? I'd hate for us to spoil the surprise!
Username: hammer

Post Number: 93
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Friday, November 18, 2011 - 5:00 pm:   Edit Post

My son doesn't follow the Alembic club or just about anything else on the web. He and the guys with whom he is living don't even have an internet connection at home and must go to the school library or a coffee shop in order to even check their e-mail. He's of a generation that believe that the web is passť.

It's interesting in that although he will text, he appears to have been born about a generation too late. His musical tastes run from the Dead, Neil Young, and the Allman Brothers to Sonny Rollins, Coltrane, and Charlie Parker. He convinced me to let him take my 30-year old Thorens turntable from the early 70s to school with him and he's more likely to be playing LPs than listening to MP3s or CDs. The house in which he lives (which has the nickname on campus of "the condemned house) actually still has framed posters of the Dead, Santana, Janis Joplin etc. that look yellowed enough to have been placed there by former students in the 1970s.

The good thing about all of this is that father and son have very similar musical tastes and to tell you the truth I can't wait for him to get home later this weekend so that we can play together over his thanksgiving break.

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