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navymike
New
Username: navymike

Post Number: 8
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2013 - 7:55 pm:   Edit Post

I am a basist on a budget. I sold my essence 5 string years ago thinking, "I just need he money now, I'll buy another one later." Well 2 kids and a pregnant wife means later is a very long time. I am not super picky, but I like natural wood, not so much painted finishes, and I realize I will have to find a bass that is very, "used." As long as it sounds good and is a solid player , looks can come later. What models should I be looking for? What kind of problems would make a rough bass not worth it? I wish I could get a permission slip for dada's 81 Distillate, but that's how it goes I guess. Thanks guys.
pasewark
Intermediate Member
Username: pasewark

Post Number: 191
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2013 - 8:13 pm:   Edit Post

You could always try a SF-2 Superfilters with a non-alembic bass. The superfilter sund great with my Guild Starfire.
afrobeat_fool
Senior Member
Username: afrobeat_fool

Post Number: 498
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2013 - 8:25 pm:   Edit Post

Or you could pick up some electronics and activators and put them in anything. Harry has had good results with his fenlebic. J/P basses are pretty cheap. and the swap out is easy.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2770
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2013 - 8:44 pm:   Edit Post

Yes! I think that's a good idea !
wookie
Intermediate Member
Username: wookie

Post Number: 146
Registered: 8-2010
Posted on Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 10:32 am:   Edit Post

Yes, wise words indeed! BUT! There is a spoiler (one of my favorite sounding Alembics) on Talkbass.com classifieds for $850.
I understand the "I'll get another later" thing. I love being married and being a dad (2 girls). But when my first daughter was on the way I thought, "wookie, you'd better think of something expensive that you've always wanted, and get it! because as soon as that baby is here, it's going to be a lot harder to get."

...... I hope it works out for you and most importantly CONGRATULATIONS! Being a dad is so awesome!

I think as part of this forum we should have a kind of esupport group for navymike! For 1) protecting my (our) freedom. (I'm assuming from the "navy" part of the name) 2) for being a dad, it's hard, but awesome. And 3) liking Alembic!

So keep us updated on baby stuff and at least I will keep my eye out for an Alembic for you, brotha!
gtrguy
Senior Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 565
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 10:38 am:   Edit Post

Some may say "shoot me", but I would opt for a used Musicman Stingray for that price range. It worked for the Brothers Johnson back in the day and they sound great.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11007
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 11:15 am:   Edit Post

As a generalization, I think you can still get a used Epic four string for under $1K. And again as a generalization, the least expensive used Alembic with a filter will be a Persuader. If you liked your Essence, you may want to consider saving up a little longer and picking up another one; they are generally between the price of a Persuader and a Distillate.
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2639
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 12:41 pm:   Edit Post

Weren't there some Aria basses made with Alembic guts? In non-Alembic basses, I would look at a Peavey TL-5 if five strings is your goal. These can be had for $500 or so and seem to have pretty good wood, a nice ebony board, and the 2nd generation has a reasonable electronics package.
navymike
New
Username: navymike

Post Number: 9
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Monday, January 28, 2013 - 7:42 am:   Edit Post

Thanks guys. I think I will probably wait and save a little longer. Though I hate waiting, but I don't want to just buy something and compare it to my old essence. I appreciate the help.
ojo
Member
Username: ojo

Post Number: 64
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 8:53 am:   Edit Post

I've got a couple of alembicized basses (pickups/electronics), and they get close to the alembic tone. You'll hear the characteristic hi-fi and open E boom, but the meat isn't quite there when compared to a stock Alembic.

So, what I'm saying is that the Alembic tone comes from the combination of wood and electronics (duh, right?). I'd bet that you could Alembicize the right instrument, and get close to what you're looking for on a budget.

Otherwise, keep you eyes open for a deal on an Alembic. As a side note, I was talking to this dude, and he was all about the Peavey Cirrus as a close competitor to Alembic. I haven't played one, but his description made me interested in trying one. From what I saw, you could easily score one of those under a grand.

Good luck.
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1390
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 11:07 am:   Edit Post

And a Pinto is a close competitor to a Ferrari.

Peter
ojo
Member
Username: ojo

Post Number: 67
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 11:27 am:   Edit Post

Mmmmm, I wouldn't make that comparison. Admittedly, there is a difference between a fender style instrument (read: bolt on) and an Alembic. However, a hand made fender style verses a hand made Alembic can be of comparable quality.

Alembics are quality instruments, and there are many other quality builders out there.
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1391
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 6:38 pm:   Edit Post

Yes, there are many high-end builders making superb instruments. Peavy ain't one of them; quoth Hartley his own self, "I make gear for the picker working down at Sadie's Bar and Grill". Decent, solid, instrument? Quite possibly. Close competition to Alembic - or any other top-end maker? Not by a long shot.

Peter
adriaan
Moderator
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 3015
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 11:29 pm:   Edit Post

Yamaha makes some very decent budget instruments that would make a good candidate for an upgrade.

But I'd say at least half the joy of playing an Alembic is in the responsiveness that is rooted in the design and the build quality, which unfortunately are not available as an after-market upgrade. :-)
gtrguy
Senior Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 569
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2013 - 10:07 am:   Edit Post

The Yamaha TRB-P neck-throughs are fine instruments and the higher end BBs and the mysterious BX-1 can be.
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1214
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2013 - 12:57 pm:   Edit Post

I'd say this Alembicized Fender sounds pretty good, though the player has a lot to do with it! ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_T2h00DR5Q
that_sustain
Member
Username: that_sustain

Post Number: 99
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Saturday, February 02, 2013 - 4:18 am:   Edit Post

If you want an Alembic..you won't be happy with anything else. I learned this the hard way after letting go of my first. 20 years(and a few basses later), and I'm back in tone heaven. Other boutique basses are nice..but they don't have the electronics that come with Alembic.
that_sustain
Member
Username: that_sustain

Post Number: 100
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Saturday, February 02, 2013 - 4:29 am:   Edit Post

...and if you can, hold out for one with the brass sustain block. Whole lotta clarity and zing.
slawie
Senior Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 470
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Saturday, February 09, 2013 - 6:40 pm:   Edit Post

If you pick up a "Washburn Taurus T24 Neck-Thru Electric Bass Guitar Natural Mahogany" for around $450 new and then throw in a set of Alembic Jbass activators you will probably get the closest resemblance of what you may be striving to acheive.
Believe me there is no substitute for the original instrument but this may be a way of getting "close" (probably around 15 gigaparsec off target)

slawie
musashi
Intermediate Member
Username: musashi

Post Number: 177
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Saturday, February 09, 2013 - 11:26 pm:   Edit Post

Superfilter. For real.
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2640
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 3:03 pm:   Edit Post

Those of us commenting on alternatives are familiar with all the products involved. I have owned five different Alembics and still own a couple. When I tell you the Peavey TL-5 I own is close to an Alembic in build, I am not deceived. The tone isn't there because it doesn't have Alembic guts. The beauty isn't there because it doesn't have Alembic's hand-picked and carefully finished wood. The rest is there. These basses are well-glued neck through instruments that are cut to reasonable neck dimensions. The neck is five pieces and the top is flame maple. The ebony board is thick, and that makes a difference as well. This bass is as solid as any of the "lesser" models Alembic made in the same time frame. It isn't an Alembic, but if you never looked at the bass and went purely on feel in your hands, you might think it was a Europa. I am confident that dropping a set of East Meets West guts and a pair of Activators in this bass would have it stand up favorably to any Alembic you could buy on the used market for $2K or so. The only other thing that would make a difference is a sustain block, but that's a matter of preference in terms of tone anyway.
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1420
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 6:10 pm:   Edit Post

I'm not saying you aren't right, but do you feel that acoustically it is the equivalent of an Alembic? Just curious because if that were so, then an electronics transfusion would certainly be worthwhile. I've played other basses that had similar construction, but somehow they still didn't have the vibrancy of Alembics I've owned and played.
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2641
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 8:43 pm:   Edit Post

It is better than some, not as good as others. I would say that it has better sustain than most of the basses with a maple-only neck recipe. If anything, it's maybe a little bit naturally bassy. I was wrong about the wood recipe, by the way, the wings are solid flamed maple (mine is less figured than others I have seen). It looks like a five piece neck of maple with a couple walnut stringers. The body also has a pair of similarly sized pieces of walnut separating the neck from the wings. I can practice with songs coming from laptop speakers unamplified. The bass can be heard in the next room when played without an amp. Not loud, but you can identify the notes.

Also, I have the 2nd generation model which only has four knob electronics. The originals had five. I guess this model doesn't get EMW, it would have to settle for Spoiler or Orion guts. Or maybe some sort of hybrid Signature without Q switches.

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