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Username: deano

Post Number: 2
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 9:18 am:   Edit Post

Hello Members,

Greetings from Mandan (just across the Missouri River from Bismarck) North Dakota. For those of you who have seen the movie "Fargo," you may also refer to our state as Nord Dakota; as this pronounciation is more commonly used here. For those of you needing to look at a map, Nord Dakota is just above Sow Dakota. I'm going to try to keep this short, but it probably won't be. Oh well, here goes.

I have 'lurked' on this board for a year or so and finally signed up in July; just after I acquired my first Alembic. Alembics have captured my interest for over 30 years, but I never thought I'd own one. So, I took the plunge and purchased a used Orion 5 string. You can see my serial number request in that thread - 99OW11968. (BTW - A belated thanks to Mark, the 8 String King, for his kind response and to Mica for looking up the history.)

I have been playing electric bass for (lets see..) about 43 years. Wow, that's scary. My current arsenal consists of a vintage 1968 Hofner violin, a Fender 50th anniversary jazz 4, a Yahama (strung as a tenor), the Orion 5, and (you guessed it - I couldn't stop at one) a signature deluxe custom 5 string I just purchased new from Will Gunn Guitars. For those of you familiar with the Featured Customs, it is the November, 2000 bass, the "Coco Bolo Fantasy" that Will had built for himself. He never got around to playing it (he did admit to about an hour or so of very careful tuning), so I am the first original registered owner of this absolutely knock out bass!! Even though the bass was built in 2000, I am its first owner other than the dealer and it comes with full factory warranty.

Just lucky for me, Will decided to sell it a few months ago. I had been wrestling with ordering a new 5 string with the classic taper neck. After all of my years playing 4 strings, I found the normal size neck of a 5 string a little too wide for my small hands (no jokes please). And, although I very much enjoyed the added versatility of the 5 string instrument and the lower 4 notes provided by the B string, I had difficulty from about the 10th fret up.

Over the years, I have had opportunities to see Jimmy Johnson and others play with classic taper necks and as far as the fret board was concerned, I was sold. But, I was very concerned about the string spacing for my right hand. I'm a finger plucker; don't ever use a pick; and rarely slap or pop.

The classic taper 5-string neck widths are 2" at the nut and 2.5" at the 24th fret. The Coco Bolo Fantasy custom (I should say, "my Coco..." :-) is 1 13/16" at the nut, and 2 11/16" at the the 24th fret. The neck feels like a 60's P-Bass; only with 5 strings instead of 4.

After many emails and phone conversations with Will Gunn, he convinced me that the Coco Bolo Fantasy was what I wanted. He was right!! Will, if you happen to read this post, thank you very much for your outstanding guidance and advice. This guitar is simply stunning to look at and even better to play and hear. My feet haven't hit the ground since I opened the box.

I'm sure I'll have other questions and comments later in other posts. But the only thing I need help with right now is advice about how to handle the situation with my wife :-) After all of these years, she's fairly well adjusted to my eccentricities (sp?), but I think I may have reached her limit. "How many of these things do you really need, Dean?"

Another nice thing about buying a Featured Custom is I don't have to post any pictures :-) They're all here:

I'm looking forward to many years of making great music with my new Alembics and to interesting, fun, and informative exchanges on this Board with all of you.

Best Regards,
Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 1530
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 9:32 am:   Edit Post

Welcome to the clud Dean.

Your new Alembic is most definately a sweet axe. I bet it sound great with the ebony lams in the neck.

As for advice with the wife, after 28 years with my wife I still don't have that one answered. My wife thinks you need only ONE instrument, GEEZ what's she thinking.

Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 619
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 10:03 am:   Edit Post

A woman who thinks you only need one instrument, deserves just one pair of shoes...

Awesome bass, been looking a lot at that one, awaiting the ship filled with money...(still waiting)
Definitely in my personal top 10 of coolest Alembics

Welcome to the club and congrats!

(Message edited by fc_spoiler on August 23, 2007)
Username: willgunn

Post Number: 13
Registered: 2-2007
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 10:07 am:   Edit Post

Hey Dean,

You know what, I'd COMPLETELY forgotten to advise you on how to best handle "the wife situation"...I've been finding that it happens nearly every time I sell a new Alembic to someone, and it certainly needs to be formally addressed for EVERYONE'S sake! I've been toying with the idea of having a little card printed up to be enclosed along with each instrument stating something like, "Congratulations on the purchase of your new Alembic - WARNING: Failure to likewise purchase some equally nifty new goody for your Significant Other could result in major domestic meltdown". Well, it might be a SMALL step in the right direction, at the very least!
Advanced Member
Username: kenbass4

Post Number: 263
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 10:18 am:   Edit Post


Around these parts, the "Significant Other" is refered to as "Senior Management". As such, it is best to keep Senior Management appraised (and in agreement)of all such aquisitions. Not doing so may result in another "Roman Conquerer" incident. (Do a search for some scary reading)

Enjoy the new (to you) bass, and post some pictures of your own!

Ken (TEO)
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 2590
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 12:35 pm:   Edit Post

I prepped my wife well in advance. We met when I was 44 and married when I was 46. All along I told her how I had promisd myself more than 20 years before that for my 50th birthday I would buy myself either a Jaguar XKE or a custom Alembic. After showing her the typical price of the E-type Jag, the Alembic didn't seem so scary! Welcome to the club, Dean, and enjoy your new beauty.

Bill, the guitar one
Intermediate Member
Username: chuck

Post Number: 193
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 1:51 pm:   Edit Post

And never forget to always say I got it on sale.

Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 837
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 2:36 pm:   Edit Post

Congrats on the bass.

My wife has never been bothered by my buying binges or being bands. Her attitude is if you think we can afford it go for it. Of course it might help that we met and started dating at my drummers wedding.

Username: deano

Post Number: 3
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Friday, August 24, 2007 - 7:02 am:   Edit Post

Thanks to all of you for the warm welcome. I especially enjoyed the advice and councel regarding the situation with Senior Management. I should have mentioned that she DID receive a dozen roses at her office a couple of days before the Coco Bolo Fantasy arrived just to thank her for her concurrence with 'our' decision to purchase it. (She was made aware that it was on sale and of how much money we saved.)

I spent yesterday afternoon tinkering with it and last night playing. I'm not telling anything "out of class," because it was mentioned on the Feature Page, but Will still had the 7 year old flat wounds on it. He told me in advance I might want to change strings because they sounded a little "thudy." That was an understatement! Will - I think I could have strung up baling twine and got the same result. :-) (Baling twine is something we use here in Nord Dakota to tie up bales of hay.)

Anyway, the action was a little high for my taste, and with the expert advice contained on this board, adjusting for a little less neck relief and bridge height was straightforward, and a new set of Alembic strings; WOW!

As mentioned in numerous other posts on this board, the ebony neck laminates and, of course the supurb electronics, make this bass simply astounding on the lower fundamental tone presence. And, I simply can't get over the sustain. Alembic has just plain "nailed it" with their overall design.

Thanks again for the nice welcome. I'll post a photo of the arsenal over in the Showcase later today. (Wife has digital camera in her purse at the office.)

Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 707
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Friday, August 24, 2007 - 7:40 am:   Edit Post

Welcome aboard Dean, and congrats on a great bass at a great price. The Coco Bolo Fantasy has a truly impressive list of features. I also have a custom Europa with Ebony laminates, so I know well the awesomeness of the sound they bring.

Some advice: don't damage your tendons by overplaying too much at first; break into it gradually, and come up for air every once in a while. And when you DO put it down and go out, check yourself in the mirror to make sure there isn't any drool showing!
Senior Member
Username: alembic76407

Post Number: 534
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, August 24, 2007 - 9:32 am:   Edit Post

Welcome to the club Dean , maybe the next time the Dallas Cartel has a get together you can come on down, after all it down hill all the way, and if you can make it to Okla. City I'll drive from here

Sir David
Senior Member
Username: bracheen

Post Number: 1258
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 - 7:40 am:   Edit Post

Good to meet you Dean. I saw the photo in Showcase and that is a beautiful bass. Roses huh? My last purchase cost me a Lexus for Senior Management as a trade off. Now whenever I mention moving up to a 5 string I get that "And just why do we need ANOTHER bass?" look. All part of the fun.

Username: davehouck

Post Number: 5443
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 - 5:22 pm:   Edit Post

Wow! What a great bass!!

Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 622
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 - 10:28 pm:   Edit Post

Ebony lams and BTC Coco Bolo + Coco Bolo back, as good as it gets tonewise I guess
Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 870
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 26, 2007 - 8:49 am:   Edit Post

Congrats on "Coco" and welcome to the club.
Username: jbybj

Post Number: 89
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 10:12 am:   Edit Post

Hola Dean,

I had never seen pix of your bass before, but that continuous top is something I will remember for my future custom. Congrats. I just finished an excellent novel, part of which takes place in Mandan, in the winter. "Peace Like a River" by Leif Enger. One of the best reading experiences I've ever had. You know, for when your fingers get tired of playing :-) Enjoy, James

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