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Username: pnchad

Post Number: 1
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 7:10 pm:   Edit Post

This seems to be quite a clic. I feel like I'm entering an AA meeting. ,>)
Older Xpro player here with too many basses but no Alembics. Looking for a first but need more education, (options, values, etc.)
Interested in short or medium scale 4 string.
Any available? I like the look of the little SC style body but haven't played any other than Epics and Europas? The modern models seen in MI retailers.
Any advice or leads would be appreciated.
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 826
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 8:03 pm:   Edit Post

Greetings and welcome!

There's a dealer in Stuart, FL according to the Alembic dealers list. Not sure what they would have in stock as they don't have a linked web presence.

If you can find your way up to the Orlando area, Bass Central usually has *MANY* Alembics in stock. I would make the effort to get up there and check them out if you're serious about understanding your options. That's what, a three or four hour drive for you to get up there?

Relative to short/medium scale instruments, I'd make the following points:

1. Almost all short (30.75") scale Alembics are in that body shape. They may have just about any electronics package in them, but they tend to have that shape.

2. Medium scale basses from 10-20 years old are common on the used market. Many Spoiler and Persuader basses of that era were 32" scale. These are great basses for the money (as low as $1K), but have relatively simple electronics packages.

3. More recently, medium scale tends to only appear on special orders. They are less common on the used market.

4. Read back through the archives on this board and you'll see a lot of basses offered for sale, and most of them sold. That will give you an idea of what's there with some photos and build details as well as asking prices.

Personally, I'll have an interesting bass for sale in a few months when my custom is ready. It's an '82 medium scale Spoiler that was upgraded to have the Signature electronics package about 5-6 years ago. I suspect the value of that bass is in the vicinity of $1500 to $1750 by today's standards.

Best of luck in your search!

Username: pnchad

Post Number: 2
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 8:15 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks bsee,
I know Bass Central but had an uncomfortable experience with them a few years back.
I would probably go used at least for the first one and see if it's for me since I play upright, EUB and almost exclusively fretless.
When do you think yours will be available?
Thanks for the info.
Advanced Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 387
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 10:40 pm:   Edit Post

Welcome, Yet Another Paul.

Yes, we talk a lot here, sometimes venturing into quite personal areas (knowing we're among supportive friends, or perhaps mostly just a bunch of old farts), but the reason we aren't called "Alembics Anonymous" is that, as far as I can tell, none of us are trying to quit.

As for your experience with Bass Central, I'd be inclined to consider it a fluke and give them another try. I have no personal experience with them, but from what I've read here over the years, it seems pretty clear they must be among the top two or three dealers in the US, and I don't really remember any other complaints here.

I'm curious: why is a mostly upright and almost exclusively fretless player looking for a short or medium scale? I've been moving in the opposite direction myself, having played guitar for a long time, switching to a 34" bass, currently a 35 1/2, and still having these dreams about jumping from string to string, where they actually appear to be giant bungie cords (haven't yet figured out how the fingering mechanism is supposed to work...)

Are you having hand/arm problems perhaps, looking to play faster, what? (without meaning to pry, just curious) And unless I missed it, you haven't said whether you were looking for fretted or fretless.

(hit the wrong button too soon, and can't seem to spell tonight)

(Message edited by bob on April 01, 2005)
Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 1975
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 11:16 pm:   Edit Post

Yesssssssssssssss ...another Palladin of the Alembic Users League (well ...almost no??)
This is must be definitely "Paul the upright one".
So we have:
Paul the good one
Paul the aaargh one
Paul the john one
Paul the fake one (the artist formerly known as Dino)
seems I am missing some here...
anyway ... welcome!

Paul the bad one

Username: drjenney

Post Number: 18
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 4:32 am:   Edit Post

I'll add my vote for Bass Central. Very helpful folks there, even if you're just trying basses to collect more information for a purchase down the road. I'd contact Beaver Felton there and try to work things out.
Username: petiteblonde

Post Number: 10
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 5:13 am:   Edit Post

I also vote for Bass Central and Beaver Felton. He's earned my next Alembic purchase (when the budget allows). They have the biggest inventory I've run into so far, and they're convenient for us Florida folk to check out before buying.
Username: essencetimestwo

Post Number: 90
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 7:36 am:   Edit Post

My two cents go towards a Spoiler. I just got one and I have to admit that they are a great value for someone looking to jump into Alembics. Especially someone looking for a medium scale. The electronics package is pretty simple but it sounds amazing. For someone looking for their first Alembic a more complex set up might be a little intimidating. Spoilers are relatively easy to find used and average price is about $1000.00. If you get one and don't like it or want to upgrade later you can always unload it on me, tee-hee. Anyway, welcome to the club and good luck on your quest. Just remember, like tattoos, one Alembic is never enough!

P.S. Bass Central rocks!
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 11
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 9:54 am:   Edit Post

Another vote for Bass Central. I bought both of my Alembics through them and had good results. I've always dealt with Beaver and found him very helpfull and easy to work with.
Username: pnchad

Post Number: 3
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 3:25 pm:   Edit Post

Well that didn't take long! Thanks for all the advice.
I am just a geezer with a little more money than brains. Played pro for 25 yrs. Jazz/R&B.
I have 3 solid 70+y/o uprights including the earliest Juzek 1905 flatback I know of made by the man himself. Holy grail of jazz basses.
I also have (all fretless):
36"/5 Fodera
34"/6 Bebensee (one of the best - little machine tools involved)
35"/5 Harvey Citron AE5F (super pups/electronics)
27"/4 Kinal KB
'68 Jazz
'76 P
34"/5 Smith
Washburn Status
blah, blah ...
Here's why I want a SC short. I NEVER learned to slap well!
Except for a couple of years when RTF was big, slap was not that cool with purists mainly because of disco & COoljAzZ players butchering it.
So although I come from the land of Jaco and Mingus, I needs to slap.
Username: steve_90029

Post Number: 11
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 07, 2005 - 5:54 pm:   Edit Post

Check out the 1976 series # 506 Birds eye Maple Med Scale for sale on this site.It's a beauty
Advanced Member
Username: kungfusheriff

Post Number: 301
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 07, 2005 - 7:03 pm:   Edit Post

steve_90029 is the party selling the bass in the above post.
Username: pnchad

Post Number: 5
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2005 - 4:45 pm:   Edit Post

Doesn't anyone have a short scale/small body w/good electronics they want to sell???
I would rather give money to a member than a music store anyday.
Username: jl_mitchell

Post Number: 28
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 1:44 am:   Edit Post

I have been thinking of selling my short-scale Series II.

You can have a look at some pictures of it on the Alembic site:

Go to the "Factory to Customer" section and then at the date "7-21-03" there is a heading for "James' short scale custom."

I'm thinking of selling as after two years of playing I've decided that I prefer long-scale instruments. It is in pristine condition and has never been played outside the house.

Advanced Member
Username: serialnumber12

Post Number: 213
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 4:31 am:   Edit Post

(Message edited by Serialnumber12 on May 10, 2005)
Advanced Member
Username: serialnumber12

Post Number: 214
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 4:37 am:   Edit Post

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