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Username: wishbass

Post Number: 6
Registered: 5-2011
Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 3:31 pm:   Edit Post

4st Essance,32" neck,knobby headstock,1 ebony laminate,VallentinoII body with 5A quilted maple top,walnut body,gold logo and script.I'm new to this so any advice would be welcome.I play mostly rock,prog,and funk.thanks
Senior Member
Username: mario_farufyno

Post Number: 683
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 9:54 am:   Edit Post

The first thing to get used to in an Alembic is the use of the Filter. Note that they have a quite different approach to tone filtering. It is not a high cut filter as most basses has, just sending all highs above a fixed point to grounding, but it is a Low Pass Filter (with a pronounced ressonance peak) where you can set wich frequency will be the cut off point.

That way it can sound some like a Wha more than a ordinary Eq and emulate others PUs characteristics. Since any PU is defined by how high its response extends and how strong is the ressonance peak at its cut off frequency, Alembic decided to use very low impedance PUs to extend their response away beyond ordinary PUs and use this LPF to cut it down to where would be the roll off point of any other PU. To match other PU's ressonance peak character they provide variable control over it (but Essences has it fixed).

In fact, although all that, they have a character of their own and you should get used to how the Filter changes PU's tone. Most of the changes I do on my Rogue is based on how I balance between PUs (to change the mids) and how much open I'll use the Filter (to change highs and, above all, where the ressonance will be).
Username: wishbass

Post Number: 7
Registered: 5-2011
Posted on Friday, May 20, 2011 - 2:54 pm:   Edit Post

Sounds like I'd be better of with the Rogue electronics.Any tips on construction and materials(body wood,neck and neck laminates).I really like Mark Kings early sound with his Jaydee basses.I also love Geddy Lee and his sound in the late 70's and early 80's(partly due to the way he played with hard attack).I'd like input on body and neck composition and experience's from those of you who have had more exposure to more Alembics and their differences.
Senior Member
Username: briant

Post Number: 572
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2011 - 11:31 am:   Edit Post

Hi Karl/wishbass,

I currently own three Alembics: An ďoff the shelfĒ standard Essence, a custom Essence, and a custom Rogue. I also tend to play a lot of rock, prog, and funk/soul music. I also am very into Geddy Leeís tone in the late 70ís / early 80ís; I also really like Entwistleís live tone from this live footage. Generally speaking my tone is somewhere between the two. For what itís worth Iím achieving that through an Aguilar DB-680 preamp, Stewart World 1.6 amp, and a Mesa Boogie 2x15 cab. Though truth be told I pretty much sound like that through nearly any bass rig.

So what have I learned from going through two customs? For the sound I prefer I donít really need an ebony neck laminate. I prefer the maple/walnut combination that is standard on an Essence or the maple/purpleheart combination which Entwistle seemed to prefer. If you read my custom Essence build thread youíll see that I went with the standard Essence neck construction. Why? I completely fell in love with the sound of the standard Essence and I didnít want to screw around with that winning combination. I simply wanted a little more in the electronics department and a longer scale length; the rest is just eye candy and I could afford it so I got it. If I were going to do the Rogue over again I honestly donít know if Iíd get the ebony neck laminate. I wind up turning the master bass control down some (from center flat) most of the time to get a less bass heavy tone. The ebony really dominates the tone on my Rogue. Iíve never played another Alembic with an ebony lam so Iím not sure if thatís just mine or if that is common.

Speaking of electronics. My Rogue is like a swiss army knife of tone. Itís upgraded Signature electronics with an added master bass and master treble control. Between the two position filter switches, the filter for each pickup, and the EQ it can make an absurdly wide variety of sounds happen. That said I donít miss all that tonal option live when Iím playing my custom Essence. At all. I kind of tend to stick with one main sound live and donít fiddle with it terribly as the night goes on. My current and only gig only requires a 4 string. So I play my custom Essence always. The Essence is also very noticeably lighter than the Rogue; after 3 hours of playing it makes a huge difference.

I am absolutely floored by the tone I achieve from my custom Essence. Itís very simple as far as Alembics go in the electronics department however it still brings a lot of options to the table and it has that classic tone.

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