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Username: ed_too

Post Number: 10
Registered: 3-2011
Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 - 12:36 pm:   Edit Post

Iím a lefty with small hands and I really like the small bodyís symmetry, so Iím thinking BB or SC. Iíve gotten a lot of great info from other threads, but Iíve still got some questions, so Iíll just throw some out there. Any responses or directions to threads Iíve missed that answer my questions would be appreciated.

A. Am I correct in thinking that a BB is somewhat comparable to a SC with anniversary electronics? Are there build differences or tone differences that one should consider? I realize a BB with a walnut top and mahogany body should sound different from an SC with a maple top and birch body. So lets say both are walnut top, mahogany body.

B. I was hoping to try one first, but the closest dealer only has guitars (Brianís in Conn.) and the next closest has no lefties, never mind short scale lefties. Any suggestions about how to find a short scale lefty with a neck that might approximate this feel? (Iím not expecting anything to be ďcloseĒ in any significant way Ė or why would I be here?)

C. What difference (tone and weight) might I get changing the BB to a myrtle body?

D. Iím leaning toward an oil finish on the walnut top. Any opinions on how oil wears vs. satin poly? Any other considerations about oil finish?

E. I want to be delicate with this last issue. I think Iím going to have to work with a dealer from a distance. Any suggestions about who was good at ďgettingĒ what it is you wanted entirely over the phone? I donít want to put anyone into the position of seeming to ďplay favoritesĒ or criticizing dealers on the clubís (and so the companyís) open forum. I can be reached at the email address on my profile page.

I hope IĎm not abusing the posting privilege by going on so long. If so, let me know and Iíll edit it down.

Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1947
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 - 1:14 pm:   Edit Post

I think the biggest factor in the electronics is whether you want V/V/F/F or a V/P/F/F setup. The Anniversary also gives you a choice between stereo and mono but that is minor for most folks. I like the separate volume controls but you will find others here that prefer a pan control. It boils down to personal preference.

A Brown Bass is a specific wood recipe. It has walnut top and back, myrtle core and birch/mahogany/walnut neck.

The SC model is a mix and match bass but the default setup have maple/walnut pinstripe or maple/purple heart necks. Mahogany would be the standard body wood. Being mix and match you can order any mixture of body and neck woods as long as Susan approves (trust me you want her approval to avoid woods that don't work well together).

As far as tonal differences. The BB has a rounder/mellower sound due to the wood types. A little more mid-range. You can still get a bright slapping tone out of it but it doesn't have the bite you get with maple. Maple necks and any place else you add maple will add brightness to the sound. Things like purple heart or more so ebony stringers will bring more emphasis to the fundamental. Same goes for denser body woods such as vermilion. Start here to get an idea of wood characteristics. Talking to Mica or Susan you can get and idea of what wood mixture has what type of tonal tendencies.

Sorry can't help here.

As I said above the BB comes with myrtle body core. You could save weight by ordering one with a wood back plate and truss rod cover as opposed to the standard brass plates. My Series One small body (i.e. SC) has heavier woods than my BB yet with wood back plates is slightly lighter.

The wear on my BB isn't too bad from my perspective. I have some scratch/denting where my plucking hand thumb rubs the wood over the pickups. I don't notice this on my gloss poly Alembics. I have not had to touch up the oil finish as the polymerized oil holds up well. The BB was also my main bass for years and while I take great care it is still a players bass so has that natural wear. I would get an oiled bass again if I was ever in the market.

Popped you an e-mail


(Message edited by keith_h on January 11, 2014)
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1597
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 - 4:28 pm:   Edit Post


I think Keith nailed things for you pretty well.

In terms of dealers, I've only ever dealt with one- Will Gunn. Highly recommended. He is incredibly knowledgeable and will spend as much time as you want to spend talking through options. He'll likely have several suggestions and/or bring up things you probably haven't even considered.

Senior Member
Username: hammer

Post Number: 446
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 - 10:12 pm:   Edit Post

I have to second Toby's recommendation of Will. He is extremely knowledgeable, fair with pricing, and knows a heck of a lot about Alembic basses (it's all he carries). I have purchased both Further and and custom Signature through him and both were excellent experiences.
Username: ed_too

Post Number: 12
Registered: 3-2011
Posted on Sunday, January 12, 2014 - 2:30 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks to each of you for the information and Keith especially for answering so many questions so clearly.

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