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Username: fender32

Post Number: 1
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 6:09 pm:   Edit Post

Greetings one and all!

I probably shouldn't be posting this just yet, as I have not actually received my first Alembic bass yet (although, I do now have an "Alembic-sized" hole in my bank account). It's just that I was so excited by the prospect, that I wanted to get started right away!

Like many others on this forum (I suspect), I won my Alembic in an eBay auction (there aren't too many stockists of these instruments in Germany, so "used" is the way to go).

As Alembics go, it's nothing special (oops, can I say that here?), but by any other standards, it's a work of art. It's a Rogue 4, with a (lightly) flamed, natural maple top, standard electronics and standard headstock shape. As I said, it looks quite modest by normal Alembic standards, but that was a large part of it's appeal to me. My playing skills are so modest, that I'd like to minimize the gap between my basses "wow factor" and my fingers "wow factor" (if you see what I mean).

Luckily though, we don't need to pass a playing test and apply for a license to own an Alembic (although, it's an idea ...), or I wouldn't be about to receive this one!

Having read quite a few of the threads here, I think that it's going to be great fun to be a small part of this forum, as you seem to show a lot of respect for each other. I hope I can trouble you for some advice, if needed in the future.

All the best,

Advanced Member
Username: tom_z

Post Number: 374
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 6:43 pm:   Edit Post

Welcome Andy and congratulations on the purchase of your Rogue. When it arrives, please post some pictures in the showcase section.

Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3747
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 6:50 pm:   Edit Post

Welcome and congrats. Yes, pics would be nice; I like Flame Maple! Oh and of course all Alembics are special! <g>
Username: fender32

Post Number: 2
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 4:05 pm:   Edit Post

I'll certainly try and get some better pictures once it arrives (as well as registering it's serial number here), but in the meantime ... here are the piccies from the eBay listing:

Rogue body
Rogue headstock
Rogue flame maple
Rogue electronics

(Message edited by davehouck on May 03, 2006)
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3755
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 4:32 pm:   Edit Post

I like the third picture; the flame Maple looks nice!

It looks like the control cavity may have been modified; and I'm guessing that perhaps the 1/4" jack has been replaced.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3756
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 4:35 pm:   Edit Post

Looks like a Purpleheart accent between the Maple and Mahogany.
Senior Member
Username: bracheen

Post Number: 1009
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 4:48 pm:   Edit Post

Hello Andy
Welcome and congratulations. I sure hope your test to own idea never comes about. I'd hate to have the Alembic police kicking in my door yelling "Step away from the Epic!"

Username: fender32

Post Number: 3
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 5:12 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for your comments folks!

Yeah, the flame finish is a bit of a puzzle to me. It looks almost non-existent in the head-on shot, but much more pronounced from the side view. The control cavity modification hadn't actually caught my eye before. I know that Alembics have lots of different control options, so it didn't seem strange that the cavity should be an odd shape. That said, looking at it, it doesn't seem to be as tidy as you might expect. I'll worry about that some more, after it arrives and I can survey the "damage".

Purpleheart accent? Yes, almost certainly, I'd say. It shows up better in the other pictures, which I'll post now too, just for the fun of it.

Headstock rear
Side view
Top horn
Top horn 2

Sam, sorry if I've given you nightmares regarding the "Alembic police"! Hopefully, it'll never come to that! ;-)

Thanks again for your comments. I look forward to bombarding you all with "newbie" questions like; "What is this switch supposed to do"?, as soon as possible.



(Message edited by davehouck on May 03, 2006)
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3757
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 6:04 pm:   Edit Post

My Flame Maple Essence is the same way; its appearance changes depending on the angle and the light.

To give you a head start on the "what is this switch" questions, the FAQs and Must Reads section is a good resource.
Username: walwarrior

Post Number: 10
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 12:59 pm:   Edit Post

Awesome bass - Congrats! What do you mean " nothing Special" I think that bass looks kickass!I too am in the same boat as you, My Alembic is held up in Customs at moment. I should recieve it May 5th, I'll then take some pics and report on its sound and playability after I give it a good workout with all my "WHO" CD's. I'm chomping at the bit to rip out "The Real Me" and "summertime blues". I mix the style between Entwistle and Geddy. As for "Audition for your Alembic", I bet everyone here would absolutely Smoke. Take care all!
Username: fender32

Post Number: 4
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2006 - 12:43 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for your congrats Mr. Warrior. ;-)
Yeah, I'm feeling a bit stupid about having described it as "nothing special by Alembic standards", earlier. What I was trying to get accross was the opinion that many of their basses use very strikingly contrasting woods for the central laminations, compared to the "wings", whereas mine is three laminations of maple, with erm ... more maple for the wings, so from a distance it's not so easy to see that it's a multi-laminate construction. As I said though, I really like this fact and it also kind of reminds me of John Entwhistle's basses, which were largely maple too, I believe.
Anyway, it should arrive tomorrow, so I too will be able to report on it.
Hope your bass arrived ok and has exceeded all expectations. I'm off to see if you've posted anything on it yet...
Intermediate Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 169
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2006 - 9:57 pm:   Edit Post

Congrats on a beautiful Rogue sir! I've always loved the look of flame, quilted, or birdseye maple over a dark mahagoney body.

Understated... but beautiful!
Username: fender32

Post Number: 5
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 - 9:29 am:   Edit Post

Well, the Rogue survived the rigours of DHL transportation and arrived in one piece this morning. Sadly, I only had about 15 minutes with it, before having to rush off to work.

First impressions (keeping in mind that I've never played an Alembic before);

1. Hmm, small isn't it? Not a bad thing, as it's much lighter than my other (mostly Fender) basses.

2. Eek! String rattle!!! Not what I was expecting at all. There is a pronounced rattle around the middle of the fretboard (5th to 12th frets, all strings). Hopefully just a case of tweaking things, as the frets don't appear to have been stoned at any point (unlike the person who designed the snazzy headstock logo ;-). Certainly no offence intended there, BTW, just being humorous.

3. Wow! Whopping big sound! Massive punch AND sustain (in my experience, basses often give one at the expense of the other, but not this baby).

4. Great slap sound, but where do I put my fingers for string plucking? My large, clumsy, arthritic fingers tend to need a lot of space for my own special "ham-fisted" brand of slap 'n' pluck, so I found that a little tricky on this bass, as there's not much room between the end of the neck and the high front pickup. Still, I'll just have to adapt my "style", as the sound is certainly worth striving for.

5. What a lovely neck profile. In the pictures I've seen, Alembic necks often look to be almost parallel, like a Rickenbacker, but this neck is just gently tapering and nicely rounded at the back (somewhere between Precision Bass and Jazz Bass in feel, I'd say). I like it a lot!

So, all in all, I'd say that I'm a happy bunny. Or at least, I will be once I've had it to bits, set it up properly and polished it.

Will post some more pics in the gallery, once that's done.

Cheers to all for your support and encouragement so far.


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