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johnp
New
Username: johnp

Post Number: 1
Registered: 2-2013
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 9:22 am:   Edit Post

Here is my contribution to the communal Alembic porn stash. This is a Series I, and unless my eyes deceive me, it is the very guitar featured on Alembic's Series I page. The original owner upgraded it with Series II electronics and a Roland MIDI pickup.

Just got it a few days ago from the nice folks at Wildwood Guitars in Colorado, and have had to remember to eat and sleep ever since.

Series I/II
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5347
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 9:34 am:   Edit Post

John:

Welcome to the club and congrats on your new Alembic. Beautiful guitar! Looks like you have a few extra knobs there. So what do they all do?

Bill, the guitar one
cje
Intermediate Member
Username: cje

Post Number: 128
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 9:48 am:   Edit Post

I've always liked that guitar. My guess for the extra controls are:

MIDI patch up/down (small buttons above 5-pin XLR)
MIDI/guitar/both switch under 1/4" jack
and one of those knobs would be the MIDI volume

I'd love to hear what that guitar sounds like - any chance of posting some clips at some point?
pierreyves
Senior Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 1152
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 9:59 am:   Edit Post

one of the nicest I never see... if its not THE nicest :-)
johnp
New
Username: johnp

Post Number: 2
Registered: 2-2013
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 10:47 am:   Edit Post

Thanks, ibpesq - great to be among the Happy Few...! The far-right button is the MIDI volume, the two little ones, as cje says, are MIDI up/down, and I believe the switch under the 1/4" jack is the stereo/mono toggle (haven't been able to try it yet). I am going out of town for a while, but will try to post a clip or two of it when I return.
musashi
Intermediate Member
Username: musashi

Post Number: 178
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 9:23 pm:   Edit Post

Wow. I agree with Pierre-Yves.
jcdlc72
Advanced Member
Username: jcdlc72

Post Number: 218
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 - 4:54 am:   Edit Post

I wonder... in this case will still the guitar audio come out from the GK 13-pin connector? Should be the two cables (The Alembic power supply/audio one AND the GK's 13-pin) connected at the same time to have both the guitar and synth sounds simultaneously? In that case... would the Guitar/Synth/Both switch still work the same? I'm having a hard time already trying to get my GK Strat system under control... :P
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3337
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 - 6:04 am:   Edit Post

That is indeed a splendid guitar. I've been impressed by that guitar too and have photo's of it in my favourite alembics iphoto album It did cross my mind a while back to try to acquire.

I've glad you have bought it let us know what you think of it if/when you gig with it.
Jazzyvee
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3338
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 - 6:07 am:   Edit Post

That is indeed a splendid guitar. I've been impressed by that guitar too and have photo's of it in my favourite alembics iphoto album and it did cross my mind a while back to try to acquire it.

I've glad you have bought it and please let us know what you think of it if/when you gig with it.
Jazzyvee
johnp
New
Username: johnp

Post Number: 3
Registered: 2-2013
Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 - 11:14 am:   Edit Post

@Jcdlc72: What I do is send the MIDI synth output to one amp and the guitar to another: that lets me tweak the two independently. Do you want to run them together for reasons of floor space? Any other MIDIphiles out there? What do you do?

This guitar has no Guitar/Synth switch - both are always on, in effect. The rightmost knob in the photo controls the MIDI volume (the switch underneath it is for the LEDs). Between that, the guitar's master volume, and the volume pedal on the Line 5 hd500 I use, there are lots of realtime mixing possibilities.

@Jazzyvee: maybe someday when I'm feeling more blasť I will take this on a gig. For the moment, it's not leaving the house! It's strange - I went through the Alembic site a few months ago, and really liked the look of the one on the Series I page. "If only it had the series II electronics, and MIDI..." And lo, googling around one day, there it was, that very guitar, for sale with just those mods... A coincidence? I think not.
dadabass2001
Senior Member
Username: dadabass2001

Post Number: 1715
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 - 2:35 pm:   Edit Post

I would love to hear what this (guitar output) sounds like. It should be amazing with the ebony lams in the neck and series II controls!
Congratulations on a beautiful find.
Mike
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5348
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 - 8:24 pm:   Edit Post

I suspect what Juan Carlos was asking was whether you use two output cables (Alembic 5 pin + synth 13 pin), or just the synth cable. I have a Roland GR-33 synth and I can run both the guitar signal and synth signal through the 13 pin synth cable and still split the signal into two different amps. I use a standard guitar amp for guitar and a Roland keyboard amp for the synth. I'm using a heavily modified Fernandes with Alembic guts and RMC piezos. I can switch between guitar only, synth only, or both at the same time. (Playing guitar and organ at the same time is cool!). But my Ferlembic doesn't have series electronics.

Bill, tgo
jcdlc72
Advanced Member
Username: jcdlc72

Post Number: 219
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 - 10:44 pm:   Edit Post

What I did was building myself a sort of 2-floored pedalboard. On the "Top" shelf is a Roland GR33 synth board which is directly fed via the 13-pin GK cable from a Fender "Roland Ready" Strat (built-in GK-2a, separate Guitar/Synth volume knobs -single tone pot for the guitar pups- MIDI up/down switches, and 3-way toggle Guitar/Synth/Both switch). From the "Guitar out: jack in the GR33 I go into a modified (changed tube and lowered noise floor) Art Tube MP which is set just below the "shelf", and from there I go to a Digitech RP2000 pedal, which then handles all my guitar effects for this setup. Then I return -in stereo, speaker simulation activated- to the GR33, and go out in stereo to a double channel DI box also fixed on the "lower floor" along with a power strip which holds all the P/S. The board has a swivel so I can fold it and get it inside a decent-sized travel suitcase, when I get to the venue I only have to take it out, "spread it open", and connect 2 XLR's, the AC cord and the 13-pin cable from the guitar. Since I mix and control the Synth/Guitar mix (as well as adding/substracting sound on the synth patches with the GR33's expression pedal) I mostly have to play sitting down (is quite hard not to fall over while playing and handling all the pedals). I am mostly using this rig in a small group where I have to play bass/guitar/synth lines altogether, therefore I go direct to PA to avoid further hassle. Not the best sound in some cases -specially guitar OR bass- but I have to keep it somewhat portable and versatile. Some weeks ago we had the chance to play with a "real" keyboard player and I brought a bass instead, it was SUCH a breeze having not to worry on playing several instrument lines at once for a change!
johnp
New
Username: johnp

Post Number: 4
Registered: 2-2013
Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2013 - 11:24 am:   Edit Post

I have a GR-55, and with a Godin Multiac Jazz, 'guitar out' on the GR-55 works as you guys are using it (the Godin's piezo pickups providing both GK data and straight guitar). With the Alembic, though, 'guitar out' on the GR produces nothing. Its GK pickup was added after the fact, and is apparently the only thing feeding the 13-pin - so I'm using both 5-pin and 13-pin outputs. An added benefit of the 5-pin: the LEDs work - woohoo!

The Alembic, btw, came with an Axon AX100 mkII, which is really nice - a shame the company went under. It doesn't have the COSM stuff, but seems to track as well as the Roland and has much better synth sounds, IMO.
tncaveman
Intermediate Member
Username: tncaveman

Post Number: 158
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 7:55 pm:   Edit Post

WOW. That's a gorgeous guitar. Welcome to the club John.

Stephen
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1430
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 - 9:04 pm:   Edit Post

I was staying away from Wildwood because I knew that was there.
johnp
New
Username: johnp

Post Number: 5
Registered: 2-2013
Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 7:23 am:   Edit Post

The original owner was kind enough to get in touch with me and give me some background on the guitar. It turns out that the MIDI pickup was designed in from the start. The chosen colors are those of Mardi Gras (purpleheart laminate, gold maple, green LEDs). It took quite some time to create, according to the build history: http://alembic.com/club/messages/631/31694.html?1262617346 .
johnp
New
Username: johnp

Post Number: 6
Registered: 2-2013
Posted on Monday, April 01, 2013 - 4:46 am:   Edit Post

Hey Bill,

I'm spending a forced separation from my guitar by drooling over other people's (and even dreaming about a sibling for mine), and was checking out your Ferlembic. The ability to blend the piezo guitar output with the Alembic pickups must deliver some sweeeeet jazz tones. How do you tend to use it? Anything words of wisdom/experience/caution now that you've logged some time with the piezo/Alembic combo?

- John
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5399
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, April 01, 2013 - 9:15 am:   Edit Post

John:

Honestly, the best advice I can offer is to turn the knob until it sounds good! Of course, if I want an acoustic guitar sound, I pan all the way to the piezos and set my amp to it's acoustic setting. (I have a Pritchard Sword of Satori that has an acoustic voice and a little horn that kicks in with a footswitch). Otherwise I'm probably at 2/3 - 3/4 magnetic at most times. And sometimes it sounds better with all magnetic. It depends on the song, but also seems to depend on how the other people I'm playing with sound, how my tone fits in with theirs, and even the vibes on any particular night. (or maybe how my ears are working on any particular night?) The blend usually does give a nice sound. It's subtle, but adds character.

Bill, tgo
johnp
New
Username: johnp

Post Number: 7
Registered: 2-2013
Posted on Monday, April 01, 2013 - 12:24 pm:   Edit Post

Was mainly asking because I'm thinking of a companion - down the road - for my Series guitar and was considering adding a piezo. It seems Alembic doesn't do piezo, though, and I'm not sure I want a multiple cooks scenario, though it sounds like it worked out fine in the Ferlembic's case. Anyway the current wet dream (Further electronics in a Darling body) would give me more than enough tonal possibilities. And a ready-made Tolkien-esque nickname: the Farling...
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5401
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, April 01, 2013 - 1:30 pm:   Edit Post

Alembic just recently worked out piezos with RMC, the company that did the ones in my Ferlembic. They installed them on this Darling.

Bill, tgo
johnp
New
Username: johnp

Post Number: 8
Registered: 2-2013
Posted on Monday, April 01, 2013 - 2:01 pm:   Edit Post

Egad! That thing is absolutely gorgeous!! Looks like it took awhile, between the pickups and coco bolo and the inlays, but... yowza.
peekaboobassist
New
Username: peekaboobassist

Post Number: 1
Registered: 7-2013
Posted on Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 10:41 pm:   Edit Post

Beautiful spalted wood.

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