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jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3324
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 4:37 pm:   Edit Post

I've just bought this Series I bass from a collector in Hamburg, Germany. It's on it's way over and it should arrive here on Tuesday
Here are some photo's from when it was on sale at Station-Music in Germany.

It's strange how things work out. I'd seen this on the Station-Music site not long after buying "The Other Twin" last year. Later on in the year after being taken in by the series II, I procrastinated too long about buying this Series I bass, then when I called the shop to make an offer, it had gone.

Thankfully a keen eyed member of the forum, chrisalembic, found it on bassmarkt.de and posted the message here and bingo I was on to it. After speaking at length to the current owner it appears that the bass was ordered by the Alembic Dealer in Switzerland, (I was able to confirm that with a call to Alembic), and sold to a non playing collector. The person I bought it off bought the bass in 2004 and is also a non player and has had it in storage with his other collectable basses. So, it seems it has not been played to any extent since it was made. The seller says it still has the original strings that were on the bass when it was delivered which are showing signs of tarnishing but other than that the bass is in absolute mint condition.

I think it looks stunning, but then I'm a sucker for Europa basses.

Let's hope it is all





Jazzyvee

(Message edited by jazzyvee on February 10, 2013)
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2790
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 5:11 pm:   Edit Post

Very nice! Are those ebony neck laminates ?
wishbass
Advanced Member
Username: wishbass

Post Number: 315
Registered: 5-2011
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 5:17 pm:   Edit Post

JEALOUS..... as usual. Great buy Jazzyvee!
pierreyves
Senior Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 1147
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 5:28 pm:   Edit Post

Nice bass... swiss import is already working with Alembic ?
oddmetersam
Advanced Member
Username: oddmetersam

Post Number: 234
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 5:29 pm:   Edit Post

Yes. STUNNING is the word I'd use! Congrats.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3325
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 5:51 pm:   Edit Post

I think they are regular purple heart neck laminates Sonicus. Maybe the tint is making them look darker than normal. Mica informs me, with a smile, that there are 100 in front of me in the serial number/history list so I guess I'll find out sometime what the exact construction of the bass is.


Jazzyvee
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2791
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 5:58 pm:   Edit Post

Congratulations Jazzyvee on a very fine catch !
jcdlc72
Advanced Member
Username: jcdlc72

Post Number: 215
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 6:41 pm:   Edit Post

Stunned cannot even try to describe how this left me. It is an amazing piece of art. Congratulations on such fantastic catch, Jazzyvee, play it in good health to make the best music it has been born to make!
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1957
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 11:21 pm:   Edit Post

Very nice, JV, I really like the light pinstripe with this color combination.

I don't know who orders the Alembics at Station Music, but to me they always have the most interesting, 'gee I'd have never thought of that' axes of anyone. Good Stuff !

J o e y
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3326
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 - 1:03 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the comments guys, Yeah there have been some really interesting Alembics at Station Music although their prices are far too high for me to consider a new purchase. However If I was in that part of Germany I would try to make a visit there.

And good news is that the UPS tracking now says it's arriving sometime today.

Jazzyvee
that_sustain
Intermediate Member
Username: that_sustain

Post Number: 103
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 - 6:07 am:   Edit Post

Oh dude the top on that Europa is a story all it's own. Wow man.
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1398
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 - 11:05 am:   Edit Post

Thank you for rescuing that from the oblivion of a collector's vault; it deserves - nay, requires - to be played!

Peter
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3330
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 6:42 am:   Edit Post

Just to let you know, the bass has just been delivered to me at work and in true alembic fashion, it looks soooooo much more gorgeous in the flesh.
It's incredible looking, there is not a mark,fingerprint, smudge or anything that would indicate that it has been played. I will check it out tonight once it has aclimatised to the temperature as it's still pretty cold to the touch after it's journey.

Anyway I better get back to work and look forward to getting home, which will be late as I have my radio programme to do this evening.

Thanks again for your inspiring comments.
Jazzyvee
chrisalembic
Intermediate Member
Username: chrisalembic

Post Number: 156
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 11:19 am:   Edit Post

Sounds great! I saw your vids on the tube, and knew this bass would be in good hands. Make sure to post some with this beauty as well :-)
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3331
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 1:51 pm:   Edit Post

Not long got home and have been quickly checking this baby out before dinner. On first hearing, it sounds just as impressive as the Series II. Clearly there is not the same sound shaping possibilities but man this thing can kick out some sound!!!!

The thing I immediately noticed is that it seems to have a more pronounced bottom end than the SII. I presume that is mainly due to the neck pickup being closer to the end of the fretboard. In fact it's right up against the truss rod cover.

1, 2 to the bass.... :-)

Jazzyvee
5a_quilt_top
Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 63
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 8:23 am:   Edit Post

If I recall correctly - your SII "Europa" has 3 ebony neck lams - ?

If so, from your observation, it would seem that PU placement has as much, if not more of an impact on low end than ebony vs purpleheart neck lams.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3333
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 11:35 am:   Edit Post

You are correct David that it does indeed have ebony neck lams. However I can't even determine what the ebony adds to the sound of the Series II without comparing it to anything else. So as much as I'm assuming the difference is pickup placement, someone with more sophisticated ears would probably be better at analysing what is going on. That said, i had a conversation with Will Gunn on facebook last night and he confirmed that the pickup placement would be a strong factor in the pronounced bottom end. When I have some free time, i'm going to look for a frequency analyser in my Logic Pro software and see if there is anything there I can use to compare signals from both instruments.

Jazzyvee
mario_farufyno
Senior Member
Username: mario_farufyno

Post Number: 875
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 5:30 am:   Edit Post

Jazzyvee, Europa King!
5a_quilt_top
Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 64
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 8:34 am:   Edit Post

Forgot to mention that your new bass is stunning, BTW.

On one hand, I envy you for acquiring both this AND the 5-string quilt maple "twin". On the other hand, I don't envy you re: choosing which one to play...;-)

Also, I asked about the ebony lam vs PU placement because, after much deliberation, I recently decided to revise the neck spec on my custom Europa 5 string project to remove the 1 ebony + 2 purpleheart lams that I originally requested and go with the standard 3 purpleheart lams.

The thought of sacrificing the effect of the ebony in the neck made me a little nervous, but your remark validated a similar observation that I had while playing my Spyder (which has 3 purpleheart lams and no ebony) - PU placement is critical.

That beast certainly does not lack low end OR sustain...
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3335
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 9:17 am:   Edit Post

Hi David, I guess I am fortunate that I did not have to make the decision in respect of ebony or not. if I was having a new build I think the financial outlay would be the deciding factor. So for me it is what it is and as a package it sounds incredible with the Ebony and the other bass does sound great without it. The narrower gap between pickup and neck will require more accuracy when plaing slap and pop style to stay in the space and avoid the extra click of hitting the strings over the bottom of the neck. But having that extra booty in the sound will be welcome.

I'm not being negative against ebony at all i'm sure it adds a lot to the game otherwise it wouldn't have been used as a premier musical instrument wood for as long as it has.

I look forward to seeing your Custom Europa. Are you having a build record of it?


Jazzyvee
5a_quilt_top
Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 65
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 11:00 am:   Edit Post

JV -

No FTC yet for the Europa, although I have received some pix of work in progress.

Re: ebony - nothing negative from me, either. In fact, it's in one of my other necks (also in progress). $$ was the reason for the Europa neck spec change.

To prevent further "hijack" here, I'll send you a private email.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3340
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 6:37 am:   Edit Post

Hi 5A, I have a few reggae gigs coming up and I usually use my Black or Bocate Europa for those gigs, but in April I have a couple of gigs with my Jazz-funk band so will use that opportunity to take a different series bass to each gig. That should give me a feel for how each of them fare.

To my shame I haven't taken the Other Twin on a full gig yet.

Jazzyvee
5a_quilt_top
Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 67
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 8:28 am:   Edit Post

Looking forward to your evaluation!
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3373
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 4:34 am:   Edit Post

I've been playing both this bass and my SII side by side for a few weeks now and they sound ridiculously awesome. I do now wish I had access to a premier non-alembic bass so that I could compare the sound to these. But alas I don't.
Here's the thing even though the Q application is different on each bass, when I'm playing the SI I don't feel anything is lacking by having the q-switched rather than via a pot or that there is some sound I am not able to get. They both are different instruments and have their own character. What I do miss though is the master volume. I do wonder if there a mod to give me that and whether I am brave enough to take a drill to the bass to install it if there is?

Jazzyvee

(Message edited by jazzyvee on March 14, 2013)
flpete1uw
Intermediate Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 159
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 7:30 am:   Edit Post

Hi Jazzy,
This is what I presented to the club here http://alembic.com/club/messages/394/146978.html?1357768198 I to would love a master volume maybe something will come up other than the suggestions I recieved. I am getting used to it but a Master would go a long way. Good Luck!

Pete
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3374
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 10:48 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the link, I just read the thread and it's interesting. The thing is that it's not just turning the sound up generally, when you change the filter by a significant amount the overall volume output from the instrument changes, then you end up having to alter both volumes to keep the bass output the same and try to maintain the same ratio between the pickups in order to keep the tone at a lower or higher volume. On the Series II I can just whack the master volume up or down and it's sorted, however with the SI I have think do I alter the volume of the filter I just changed or adjust the other volume pot.

I guess I've been spoilt as a guitarist by just having master volumes on my strats so that feels normal. Had I been a Les Paul player this migration would have been simpler. I have no doubt that in a significantly large number of months time I will put it down to experience and I will become a fine tuning instinctive and confident tweaker like Mr Clarke and it will be all second nature.

I have to say that at the meet last year, I was watching with interest the way Victor, Nate, AfroBeatFool and others were instinctively changing the controls as they found the sounds they wanted. No hint of confusion or uncertainty, so it is possible. Time is the great healer I guess and patience is a virtue I need to embrace in this respect.

Right time to get fingers at the bass.
Jazzyvee
5a_quilt_top
Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 85
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 11:49 am:   Edit Post

Hey Jazzy -

Any other observations re: the effect of the 3 ebony neck lams in the S2 vs the effect of the pickup placement in the S1 with 3 PH neck lams?
flpete1uw
Intermediate Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 160
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 1:52 pm:   Edit Post

Youíre Welcome Jazzy,
That was my point exactly by changing the pots separately in fact does change the overall sound so hard sought after. I'm having the same issues. I just don't want to put another thing in the chain IE Volume pedal. The beauty of these series Ladies are in the subtleties. I still wish I had a master volume. But Iím working on it.

Pete
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1464
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, March 15, 2013 - 12:18 am:   Edit Post

I have to say that I love the vol/blend setup that Alembic can do on a Series bass. My shorty had it and it was really intuitive and allowed excellent tonal variation and the volume adjustment didn't affect the tone at all. When I sold it to Pierreyves, I bet he was thinking of bringing back to the standard vol/vol setup but he agreed that it was very flexible.

A master volume addition electronically is pretty straightforward. It's basically a dual 10k pot. I thought about going that way, but three volumes just seems a little crazy if you can get it all done with two knobs that each do a specific function.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3408
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, April 01, 2013 - 11:10 pm:   Edit Post

Yeah I really thought that arrangement would be perfect for me because I am really used to single volume guitars so its an arrangement that still feels natural and instinctive to me. However having basses with both options signature basses and their vol/blend and series with individual volumes, i think there is a place for both in my collection but there is a bigger learning curve with the series because turning a blend knob does different things to the sound than turning an individual volume knob. But both systems are great and have their merits.


Jazzyvee
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3441
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 6:40 am:   Edit Post

Me and bass on gig last night with Musical Youth.



Jazzyvee
tbrannon
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1561
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 8:49 am:   Edit Post

Man, that is a beautiful bass.

How'd the gig go and how did that Series bass fit into the mix. Do you end up dialing in that fat, dub reggae tone with the Series electronics or dial in a bit more bite?
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3444
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 11:05 am:   Edit Post

I have the filter closed completely on the neck pickup with no Q at all when playing reggae as it tends to have a nasally tone with q on the lower frequencies that doesn't tend to work for me. I get the bite with the bridge pickup but at the moment it's a bit hit and miss to get the right tone for different reggae tracks.

I try as best I can to get close to the bass tone that is on any of the original reggae recordings that we cover as I personally think the bass tone is pretty critical in getting the right feel in reggae. The current tour is called "When Reggae Was King" and covers many classic tracks from the Desmond Dekker, Toots, through the Wailers to Sugar Minot and Matumbi. All have characteristically different bass tones that give a flavour of the era so it is not all about having massive amounts of dub bass tone although having that option available is important. I did use the SF-2 for the second half of the set so set at just under 110Hz in the band pass mode with and about 1/4 damping and filter gain about 3 so it gave me some extra punch but not overtly heavy.

Jazzyvee

(Message edited by jazzyvee on April 27, 2013)
mtjam
Member
Username: mtjam

Post Number: 54
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 4:37 pm:   Edit Post

Great looking bass and cool pic! I'm sure you had a fun gig. Enjoy!
afrobeat_fool
Senior Member
Username: afrobeat_fool

Post Number: 513
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 7:37 pm:   Edit Post

Looking good, baby!
zomnius
Junior
Username: zomnius

Post Number: 11
Registered: 9-2013
Posted on Monday, January 06, 2014 - 11:24 am:   Edit Post

seems like a good playable neck.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3797
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, January 06, 2014 - 1:21 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Zomnius, it is a comfortable neck and easy to navigate round. A very rewarding bass to play. I absolutely love it.

jazzyvee
charles_holmes
Advanced Member
Username: charles_holmes

Post Number: 291
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Monday, January 06, 2014 - 3:53 pm:   Edit Post

Nice Axe indeed!
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3798
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - 1:41 am:   Edit Post

Here is a video clip that has just been released with me playing this bass with musical youth at bestival 2013 on the Isle of Wight in 2013.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=696212090409580
It's on Facebook so you may need an account to see it.

Jazzyvee
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3800
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - 2:29 pm:   Edit Post

Here is a better link now that the footage has been put on you tube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIqOtbg6zWo

Jazzyvee
charles_holmes
Advanced Member
Username: charles_holmes

Post Number: 292
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - 4:16 pm:   Edit Post

Nice groove!

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