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Username: bassplaynmatt

Post Number: 5
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 11:48 pm:   Edit Post

My name is matt and I am new to the website. I decided to join in the fun so I could get some ideas about my next Alembic. Anyway I think that I will impart my story with a bit of a fast forward. I started bass when I was just a wee lad (the age of 11) I decided on bass because even at 11 I was 5'9" and 180 pounds so guitar looked pretty damn stupid on me : ) Skip ahead 7 years and I have moved from 4 string to 5 and playing a Carvin that was not really keeping my attention. Then on November 12th 1996 I walked into the only cool music store in Winston-Salem, NC.
I was looking at the line of instruments that nobody wants you to touch and I saw the most beautiful bass that had ever crossed my path. The only problem with the Epic 6 that threw me off was the Price tag and that crazy C string!
To make a long story short I went back in that store at least 10 times before I finally came home with the prize and I actually had to catch a ride home from a friend because I sold my 1970 Dodge Challenger to pay for the bass (and buy a cheap 4 clyinder car).
Since then that bass has gotten me through a College Degree, 8 bands, 4 full length album recordings, and is currently makeing my living for me (with the help of the occational lame dinner jazz gig) As the bass has begun to take on age my desire to find a new sweet heart has grown. I did buy a fretless Roscoe 6 that I enjoy greatly but nothing can stop my need for a new Alembic.
I have read many other tales of entrance into the Alembic family and I am sure you all feel the same way so I am asking for the advice of all for my next steady girl.
Thanks, Matthew Everhart

Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 567
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 12:47 am:   Edit Post


hush-hus come here and I whisper in your ear so nobody can hear us: I LOVE THAT ROSCOE!
I'm a huge Roscoe fan for 2 years now but those guitars are not imported in EU anymore (there was 1 shop in UK who did but Keith stopped it).
It always was (and still is) a dream for me to own a Roscoe (is it the SKB 6??). I asked Keith if he would make me a Complete Birdseye maple (peghead + fingerboard + body top) with mahogany body, gold/black hardware (but with black Collet-style knobs) and 3 band EQ from Aguilar with 2 volumes instead of the standard volume/pan. HE AGREED AND LOVED IT TOO!!!!
Well ...I'm in a completely financial mess now and it will not go much better in the coming 4 years so I think that will be a dream to keep together with some others involving georgeous Alembics.

Paul the bad one

PS: BTW welcome to the club and I'm really glad I found another Roscoe lover. But ...ooops ...the other welcomers (the other Pauls and the whole bunch) will soon be here to welcome you too and give A LOT of ideas! So please don't tell the others about my Roscoe love, it's a secret!


Intermediate Member
Username: dean_m

Post Number: 171
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 7:24 am:   Edit Post

Paul, you're bagged!!! Hey Matthew, welcome to the club. You've got two beautiful basses there. Don't feel bad at all about your love for Roscoes. I too play (and somtimes work) with another bass comapany too. Although they do know my passion for Alembic too.
Hey don't knock those cheesy dinner gigs either. Sometimes they're actually good for something.... "Excuse me sir, are going to eat the rest of that?" HAH!!!!
There's more Pauls on the way!!!

Intermediate Member
Username: elzie

Post Number: 198
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 8:02 am:   Edit Post

That's Dino! Looking for free food!

Welcome Matthew! Don't feel bad about liking another bass. I'm sure you will find plenty of people with a place in their heart for other basses. That being said, there is nothing like an Alembic :-)

Too bad about the 70 Challenger, but it was sacrificed for a very good cause. It is an interesting story of how you and your first Alembic came to be together. I always like a good love story ;)

Paul II
Username: bassplaynmatt

Post Number: 6
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 11:25 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the warm welcome and the forgiveness as far as my affair with Roscoe is concerned
(She is an SKB 6 with Swamp Ash body, Flamed Maple top with matched headstock, 18 volt active Bartolini's, 7 piece maple/purple-heart neck, Ebony fingerboard and an antique stock Ivory nut)
I really do want your Ideas on my next bass if anybody can give me some direction I would appreciate it!

Thanks, Matt
Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 570
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 6:40 am:   Edit Post

I didn't blame you for the Roscoe love, on the contrary!
Ideas,ideas ...
Suppose you keep with the 6 strings?
I propose you a completely "rstyle"in sound then.
What about this (why must it be me to give the first shot ...augh):
- an Excel design or Rogue design
- a 4/2 Orion headstock
- 1 pick-up fatboy
- 1 volume, 1 filter, 1Q switch, 1cut/boost bass switch, 1 cut/boost treble switch
- maple body
- burled redwood top with ebony veneer
- sustain block under bridge
- brushed brass hardware (suggestion: ask for brushed tuners, the GOTOh are fine and they will sure have a solution to make it "brushed")
- old style "hat"shaped knobs
- mandoline frets
- no neck inlay except the Greek Mju (=M) at the 12th fret


Paul the bad one

O-oh-oh why am I doing this ...I torture myself ...what a beautiful bass I designed....sigh!
Username: bassplaynmatt

Post Number: 8
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 10:04 am:   Edit Post

That bass sounds sweet (except for the "M" at the 12th fret, it would feel to much like I really LOVE myself) what are the advatages of the Fat Boy pickup? Bigger, rounder sound? Also, I am not up on my fret technology. What is the difference in a Mandoline style fret? I really like the Burled Redwood Top and Ebony, sounds beautiful!

Thanks, Matt
Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 571
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 2:43 pm:   Edit Post

Hy Matt,

it's night over here so let's think this over again.
* that mju/thing.
I understand that you are unconfortable with it but (hopla) let me tell you this (I'm not a friend, not a shrink, not your lover, just a strange voice that means you well coming to you from the infinite world of internet): please as a bass player it's importnat to love yourself but you have to choose your "degree", I mean how do you "show it off". I know from the time I spend on this club (seen my postnumber it seems to be enormous but it isn't, I just can't keep my mouth shut and I talk to much- ask the brothers)that one of the main thing people look for in an Alembic is a "transfer"from their personality into their instrument. So in a way that instrument will be "theirs"in any way. THe idea of no positionmarks came from your Epic. The "mju"thing is there because the symbol of the letter M in old greek (Mju) is nice to see (go to a photocamera dealer and ask to see the Olympus "mju"camera, this computer hasn't on it so I can't show you) but nobody will couple it to your name. So it's clear for those who understand (the smart bassplayers) for the others (the bassplayers) it's just nice. Another thing people react on the question "what would it be if I could restart it all" is "I would put my name or initials on it somewhere". My suggestion of the Mju is to avoid that strcit personal ïnitial thing and come up with something nice and stylish.
* The "fat-bot"is standard on the Excel. It has indeed a "wider tonal range". Please ask to other brothers what this means. (I suggest you try to ask Rami. He's an absolute authority on Excels, he has a WOOD of Alembics -about 30 I guess- and if you put some cool white whine on the edge of that wood and ask him nicely I think he will stop practicing and comne out of his wood to answer some questions, he is shy but nows A LOT about tone, Excels and other Alembic stuff LOL).I suggest you 1 PU because it will change your tone termenduously regarding to your Epic and your Roscoe. However, my suggestion is a 1 PU set-up with a "full scale"tone control. If there is 1 guitarbrand I could accpet with 1 PU and still have a WIDE range of sound and tone it's an Alembic.
* The "mandoline frets" are very thin and low. According to some players here (and Lee Sklar) the sound goes very close to fretless without being a fretless. Advice: never use them with rotosound strings!
* The Excel design gives you an excellent balance it's a neck-set guitar. Rogues are neck through and 35 inch scales.
* Burled (or highly figured) redwood I suggest to stay within the red tones. So I take back my maple body and would go for Red Alder. If I'm well informed it's not really red but more or less "reddish".
* correction: not a ebony veneer but a ebony laminate. BTW: I suggest to choose for the "old roundings"for the body, maybe you'll need the old thickness of the body too (thickness and rounding changed over the years).
* If there are neck laminates accepted in set-necks bodies you could go for thin ebony laminates. Again I think Rami experimented with that.
Well ...I talked to much again but please accept it just as it is: and old man sitting in the dark of a roon at night, having no intention to sleep and willing to help others out there.
Sweet dreams.

Paul the bad one
Username: bassplaynmatt

Post Number: 12
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 6:19 pm:   Edit Post

Man Paul (TBO) you are well spoken er.. written... you know what I mean. Anyway, I appreciate the serious thought you put into the response so I did some reserch and I agree that the mju is pretty cool, looks artistic. I think that I am wanting to go in the neck through direction for a change because both my Epic and my Roscoe are set neck basses. What is your opion on the Essence. I have never played one so I can't make any judgment on it compared to the Rouge and Europa. I am just looking for info from you wise and experanced owners since the only Alembic I have ever played is my Epic. A decent music store is what I need.

Thanks, Matt
Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 586
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 1:14 am:   Edit Post

Well, as a matter of fact I played an Essence this past weekend!
It was an Essence with Europe electronics. The action on the guitar was not the one I was used to but that's a complete personal thing and -as you know- well correctable yourself. I really liked the Europa electronics but for one or another reason I will always prefer an electronic set-up with 2 volumes instead of a pan.
Teh guitar was extremely well balanced but I was not used at the small body. I own a Series I with II electronics 5 string (see "Bonnie" in the Series-showcase department) and she has a large body AND it is a large guitar (there are people who tried to play her and must admit that they simply couldn't) so the contrast with the Essence was high.

Paul the bad one
Username: bishopqdog

Post Number: 19
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 10:20 am:   Edit Post

Hey Paul. Got a question for ya. I was wondering about the sound of series electronics compared to nonseries electronics. Is the sound like night and day? More than a 50% improvement over nonseries instruments. I realize that they have to be good considering the price, but could you give us nonseries guys something to inspire drool? Just share a little about your experience and the basics of using those extra knobs. Thanks

Username: bishopqdog

Post Number: 20
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 10:22 am:   Edit Post

oh yeah! forgive my manners, welcome Matt
Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 619
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 11:23 am:   Edit Post

Wew ...
THAT's a question!
I WILL answer WITH the risk I got all the blasfemies of brothers and sisters over me but ... what the %&*****>)--€¿/¿/¿/¿* I care.

You have to understand that Series electronics are build around SINGLE COIL pick-ups and the other electronics around HUMBUCKER-type PU's.
The best thing you can do is ring your colleague musicians and 1: ask a dude 1 for a tiny guitar practive amp, 2: ask another dude for a Gibson Les Paul or PRS, 3 the last dude yoyu ask his Fender Strat.
Now put up the amp with 1 of the 2 guitars to a sound that you really like (I hope you play SOME chords, otherwise you ask the dudes WITH their guitars). The best thing you can do is select 1 PU, if possible the neck PU. Please put the tone knob and volume at "full open". Now do the same with the other guitar without touching the knobs on the amp. Do the same with the tone knob "closed".
You hear the difference?
I bet you do!
Now take notes of the setting of the amp settings for guitar 1. Now try to adjust the settings ON THE AMP for an acceptable tone for the 2nd guitar. Or better to IMITATE with the 2nd guitar the 1st.
This routine (yes-yes I know I'm talking too much) will give you insight in the difference between "single coil" and "Humbucker". What are the sounds you seem to bother. MOst of the cases I did this routine and people say to me "There is 'somthing' with the highs".
I always comparise sounds of guitars with "triangles" (I have to write a thread about this once but I still don't have the courage ...but ...it will come one day).
Without discussing the volume or shape of the triangle, one can say that single coil PU are triangles with rasor-sharp corner edges, normal Humbuckers have more "rounded" corners. So Humbuckers always sound a little bit more "wooly". Single coils are ...well ..sharper. There is no other word for it. The difference is in the treatment of the HIGH (even super high) sounds.
You have to understand that there is a REASON why S1's and S2's have a "dummy humcanceller" that is in fact a NOICE GATE! If you compare the single coils on a Strat and hear the "hiss" they naturally make due to the magnetic field they have. A PU for a Series bass is about 6 to 8 times that magnetic surface. Can you imagine the "hiss" without the dummy humcanceller?? Back in time Ron W. wanted the characteristics of a single coil with the magnetic force of a Humbucker WITHOUT the "hiss". Well ...it is THAT trick that makes the Series Elctronics so expensive and ...special. You have to realize it's a concept of about 35 YEARS OLD!!!!!!
Alembic DON'T MAKE HUMBUCKERS THE WAY THE OTHER BRANDS DO! So returning to my triangle concept: the corners of an Alembic "non-series" PU-sound are A LOT more "edgy" than a standard humbucker! And really, I DO admire them for achieving this! But alas ...it is physically impossible to have the same sound on a non-Series as on a Series. Again ...play the dude-and-them-guitars-with-one-tiny-amp-trick.
Now, about the knobs being in "Tweak Peaks".
Considering the fact that those Series are "special" in treating the "highs" (because of the simple fact they are "Single coil"). Now if you all take a look at your Alembics (HA ...that's why we're here no???) you will see that thoses basses (AND guitars) have LOW-PASS filters.
( In fact they imitate on an active way the passive electronics. So you say: why not use passive electronics? Answer: because of the extended range you can control.)
Yessir-indeed sir, because of the simple reason that Alembicians start from the concept of the "neutral PU sound" a rasor sharp, full range pickuping PU (that's not English Paul). The low pass filter "tops off" what the PU delivers in sound and (originally) that sound info has A LOT of highs! Also, for those brothers who have Q switches on their basses (Q or VQ not important) you will notice that also THAT device threats the ...highs!!!!
Now this is in "guitarland". Now for those who are lucky enough to work with a SF-2 (like this lucky bastard) you will notice that that "ting" is nothing more than a Series with AN XXXXXXXXXXL RANGE (and some more "focus" abilities to work with well chosen frequencies).
(HAAAAAAAAAA at last ...he's going to stop)
Do I like the non-series electronics?
Yes, with a preference for Europe/Rogue who are basically the same.
Are they the same as Series?
No way, but they are the closest you can get!
Where do they differ?
In the threatment of the high frequencies.
Is an Alembic Humbucker different from other humbuckers (other brands)?
Yes ..tremenduously! In the same domain: they threat the highs differently. More: it is a completely different sound shaping concept based on magnets who are diffenently made.
Beware ...this is pure "gut feeling", just my heart and ears speaking. It could be that Ron find this the biggest rubbish ever written about his invention but again ...well ...the ears are mine!

And now ... I'm going back to work!

Paul the bad one

Pffffffffffffffffffff ...they should me paying for this!

(Message edited by palembic on September 25, 2003)
Username: bishopqdog

Post Number: 21
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 5:09 pm:   Edit Post

WOW! great stuff. Thanks for those heart stirring words. :-) Really, I 've been curious about the series electronics. My next instrument will be a series 2

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