1996 5-string Essence, Zebrawood/Maple Log Out | Topics | Search
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Alembic Club » Swap Shop and Wish Lists » Seen on craigslist, eBay, and elsewhere » 1996 5-string Essence, Zebrawood/Maple « Previous Next »

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frankfiveinc
Junior
Username: frankfiveinc

Post Number: 14
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 6:03 am:   Edit Post

Found this for sale online at Guitar Center located in Ohio. I am planning to call to learn more about it, but I'm wondering about the Zebrawood. The description on the alembic site states "Zebrawood is another champion of the neutral, but with a slightly open and airy sound". Can anyone out there give me another description of how that wood affects the sound? I not sure what that description indicates, but it makes me picture a "hollow and thin sound". I think their price is high at $2199 by the recent auctions seen on eBay. Some Essence 5-strings have sold between $1525 and $1800 within the last year. Thanks in advance for any opinions given!
1996 Essence - Zebrawood/Maple 5-String
tbrannon
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1639
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 9:13 am:   Edit Post

Dan,

I wouldn't worry too much about the Zebrawood top laminate in terms of it majorly influencing the sound. It will have some nuance, but my best guess is that the Mahogany body (it looks to be mahogany) and the maple/walnut neck recipe will more directly influence what you hear.

I had the pleasure of playing a zebrawood Rogue for a few hours that had the mahogany/maple recipe that this one appears to have. It sounded fantastic.

In terms of price- I'd make them an offer somewhere near where you've seen them go at auction, if not a bit lower and use that to negotiate from. Guitar Center will usually discuss pricing and are almost always willing to move off of their list price. It wouldn't surprise me if you got this for ~1700 based on what they are listing it for.
frankfiveinc
Junior
Username: frankfiveinc

Post Number: 15
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 10:09 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the input Toby. I called and they are locked in price for 90 days because it just came into the store. I found that the serial number 96K10333 and he's going to email me more photos. Your suggested price point is around where I was thinking it would sell also.
tbrannon
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1640
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 10:51 am:   Edit Post

I would definitely wait out the 90 days and not pay that list price. You'll get it cheaper from them if you let it sit.

Plus, as our beloved brother Paul used to say, 'There will always be another.' You may well find that 90 day window several other Essences will pop up and you may love them a bit more. Patience is key here. :-) Know what you're willing to pay and then don't compromise just to 'get one'.

Happy hunting!
gtrguy
Senior Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 763
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 11:17 am:   Edit Post

I love Guitar Center because they are not in love with their stuff and want to get it gone!

Zebrawood looks nice. As far as 'locked in for 90 days', well, try talking to a salesperson who makes their money on commission at the store and are motivated to sell stuff. I have bought many items for less within 90 days of GC acquiring the item. End of the month is good as the stores often want to fill out their bottom line that month if they are a little low on the selling stats.

There used to be a fun website about GC called 'green screen' or something like that and it explained how they work from unhappy employees perspectives. Very informational
!!!
hammer
Senior Member
Username: hammer

Post Number: 514
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 11:51 am:   Edit Post

I'd definitely wait it out at least 30-60 days as I don't expect it to fly off the shelf at that price. When you do go in, bring with you print outs from EBay and other sales/auctions that ended with the sale of a similar Alembic Essence bass. I have found having that information handy has helped me to negotiate at least with respect to making sure the salesperson is aware that I know the real value of what I'm trying to purchase. The prices of most of the used gear one sees in Guitar Center appears to be set by people who look over what people are asking for instruments on Ebay rather than the prices for which instruments actually sell.
frankfiveinc
Junior
Username: frankfiveinc

Post Number: 16
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 12:29 pm:   Edit Post

All good advice and I'm not jumping the gun…."there will always be another". But I did tell him that I would be interested if they are pricing in the range of eBay sales within the last year. That's easy to research and I would agree that bringing printouts would be a great idea too.

Does anyone else know of a database of sales of used Alembics to look at and compare?
gtrguy
Senior Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 764
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 7:35 pm:   Edit Post

They use some kind of Voodoo for pricing! I have watched Alembics on their used gear website for years and the prices are all over the place. Sometimes they are even a bit low. I went in 4 years or so and looked at a Oasis bass they just got in (sold it) and talked them down to $700 cash on the spot.

As long as you are friendly, you can't insult them with an offer, unlike so many local music stores.
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2710
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Sunday, June 29, 2014 - 3:04 am:   Edit Post

You probably don't want to hear this, but $2200 for a five string Essence is not an unreasonable price. I would like to do better if I were buying, and you probably can, but it's fair for a bass with case in good shape.
wfmandmusic
Member
Username: wfmandmusic

Post Number: 66
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Sunday, June 29, 2014 - 8:58 am:   Edit Post

A different beast with a Zebra top. I cant tell you because I don't have anything to compare it to but this Zon sounds fantastic, even with a graphite neck. GC sets their prices and the manager or assistant sets them however they wish. Ask for the manager and give him your best price. If it is reasonable, he will take it. If you spend a lot of money there, have them pull up your account. good luck
wfmandmusic
Member
Username: wfmandmusic

Post Number: 67
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Sunday, June 29, 2014 - 9:04 am:   Edit Post

Sorry, forgot the pic.Zon 5 string
frankfiveinc
Junior
Username: frankfiveinc

Post Number: 17
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Sunday, June 29, 2014 - 5:59 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for the opinions everyone! I agree that $2200 isn't unreasonable, but I think I can wait for a better deal if that's their fixed price, given the history of 5-string Essence basses on eBay. That is a very nice bass you're showing above! I will certainly use every bit of negotiation leverage I have available. But I'm not sure if I want to spend that energy for this one yet. I "like" the Zebrawood but I'm not "crazy" about it. I'd like the Walnuts, Cocco Bolo, and other dark woods. I love the Bird's Eye Maple, but think it might force too bright of a sound, as I want the span of tone from bright to deep low's. Thanks for the input! I learn a bunch from the great people in this group!
gtrguy
Senior Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 766
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Monday, June 30, 2014 - 10:21 am:   Edit Post

Yes, if you have a history of being a spender with them, they are more likely to drop the price for you. Also, cash in hand should be worth a discount, vs. a credit card. Plus money talks!
hammer
Senior Member
Username: hammer

Post Number: 521
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2014 - 8:56 pm:   Edit Post

Here's an example of changes in Guitar Center pricing when they want to move an item: A 6-string Walnut Europa that I've been watching was originally going for $4,999 just reduced to $3,999.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-ALEMBIC-6-STRING-CUSTOM-EUROPA-BASS-WALNUT-109503552-i3394929.gc
frankfiveinc
Junior
Username: frankfiveinc

Post Number: 19
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2014 - 5:20 pm:   Edit Post

I saw the same Europa….looks beautiful. I would rather have a 6-string but I'm thinking 12+ lb.. on my shoulder will get heavy. I have an Ibanez 6-string and it's lighter because the body is all mahogany. I wish I had the opportunity to evaluate in person but there aren't any to be found within the state of PA…..at least on every search I have done over the past few month.
frankfiveinc
Junior
Username: frankfiveinc

Post Number: 20
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2014 - 5:21 pm:   Edit Post

I saw the same Europa….looks beautiful. I would rather have a 6-string but I'm thinking 12+ lb.. on my shoulder will get heavy. I have an Ibanez 6-string and it's lighter because the body is all mahogany. I wish I had the opportunity to evaluate in person but there aren't any to be found within the state of PA…..at least on every search I have done over the past few month.

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