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Steve Wood (s_wood)
Junior
Username: s_wood

Post Number: 36
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 1:01 pm:   Edit Post

This '96 Series II 5 string is the older sister of the August '99 Featured Custom called "Understated Elegance," and it's mentioned in the description of that bass. Go here for "Understated Elegance"
http://www.alembic.com/info/JEfretless.html

Well, there's nothing understated about this bass! The quilted maple top and back of this Series II is amazing. Call it 5A, call it exhibition grade, call it master grade, whatever -- it's beautiful. Plus, there are knobs galore, because each pickup has its own bass and treble control, in addition to the standard Q and filter controls! (The electronics are also described at the Featured Custom link above.)

10208 front

10208 closefront

10208 closeback




(Message edited by s_wood on January 11, 2003)
Duncan Muller (muller1007)
Junior
Username: muller1007

Post Number: 13
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 3:18 pm:   Edit Post

Steve,

This bass is gorgeous!! An absolute looker (and player probably). I really love quilted maple and the top is actually the best looking quilt I've ever seen. It's so even, although it appropriately seems to become smaller toward the neck. Aesthetically perfect.

How do you like the custom electronics? In what way do they differ from the "basic" series II electronics, both in sound and in comfort in operating the controls to get that sound?

Duncan
Duncan Muller (muller1007)
Junior
Username: muller1007

Post Number: 14
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 11:25 am:   Edit Post

.....Although I must admit I love the quilted maple top on the "Unicorn bass" equally much.

http://www.alembic.com/info/fc_unicorn.html

Duncan
Paul Lindemans (palembic)
Intermediate Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 177
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 6:42 am:   Edit Post

GASP!!! Is the expression you use in the US??
Paul

Yep: more info about the electronics please?
Steve Wood (s_wood)
Junior
Username: s_wood

Post Number: 37
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 10:02 am:   Edit Post

The custom electronics on this bass, although complex, are very useful and provide total control over one's tone. Think of it like this: the standard Series II controls are like having a Superfilter right on your bass. This bass has teh equivalent of a Superfilter on board, plus the bass and treble controls that would normally be on the pre-amp. I do very little studio work, but I imagine this versatility would be incredible for a studio player who usually records direct because the player gets total control over his or her tone right on the bass!
Edwin Hurwitz (edwin)
Junior
Username: edwin

Post Number: 12
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 7:40 pm:   Edit Post

Does that mean you can get the same range of control from the filters as a SF2? In other words, does it go low like that? That's the one thing I miss about the regular Series I electronics. I really want an onboard SF2!

Edwin
Bob Novy (bob)
Junior
Username: bob

Post Number: 14
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 11:13 pm:   Edit Post

Well, it's not quite the same as having an onboard SF-2, for at least the following reasons:

1) The standard onboard filters are low-pass only, while the SF-2 also offers band and high pass.

2) The standard frequency control only goes down to 350 Hz on the instrument, while the SF-2 will go all the way down to 45 Hz (the upper limit is 6K for both).

3) The SF-2 allows you to blend the direct and filtered signals, whereas the instrument signal always goes through the filter. With a 12 dB/octave rolloff in the filter, you can't really get much back beyond the Q frequency by boosting treble (as I recall, maximum treble boost is 6 dB).

The standard onboard cutoff at 350 makes reasonable sense for a low pass filter which is always in the circuit. If my math is right, 350 is approximately the fundamental of an F played at the 10th fret on the G string, so you're already starting to "lose" notes if you set it that low. However, it can be useful to do so on the SF-2, even when set to low-pass, because there you have the option of mixing the direct and filtered signals, and of course a lower frequency setting can be interesting in band or high pass mode.

So you might say that the standard Series II electronics are "like" having one channel of an SF-2 per pickup, except they won't filter as low, won't do band or high pass, and won't give you the option to mix in the unfiltered signal (but they're still pretty amazing, of course).

Aside from all that, separate bass/treble controls for each pickup adds a lot of flexibility, without requiring a stereo preamp. Unless you really needed a tube sound or something, you could probably plug this thing straight into a power amp (with a gain control) and be very happy.

And that is a pretty piece of wood...
Michael Delacerda (dela217)
Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 73
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 7:19 am:   Edit Post

Bob, My thoughts exactly!
Steve Wood (s_wood)
Junior
Username: s_wood

Post Number: 38
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 7:35 am:   Edit Post

Edwin:

Bob is exactly right. The standard Series electronics are sort of like a "Superfilter Lite," but they are much more akin to a Superfilter in concept than they are to a standard bass-mid-treble EQ.

Because I'm not a studio player, I sometimes feel that the electronics on this bass are overkill.
I play in bars, where the drunks don't know if I'm playing an Alembic or a trombone :-( In the studio, though, having this much control over your tone right at your fingertips would be great. This is especially true in the less-elaborate home or "project" studios, which often have more limited EQ and tone-shaping gear. Similarly, though I've never done any jingle work, I bet this bass would be great because you could dial in your tone very, very quickly -- plug in, tweak and play!
Michael Delacerda (dela217)
Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 74
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 8:16 am:   Edit Post

I have a bass with twin superfilters in it. The soundmen hate it! It makes me quite happy to see the look on his face when I pull out that bass.
Bob Novy (bob)
Junior
Username: bob

Post Number: 15
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 11:02 am:   Edit Post

Michael, can you tell us a bit more about your bass with twin superfilters? When was it made, what other controls does it have, how is the circuit arranged - and how many knobs??? Is there a picture out here somewhere?
Michael Delacerda (dela217)
Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 75
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 12:04 pm:   Edit Post

Bob, It is a Guild Starfire that was modified by Alembic in 71 or 72. There is a picture of it in the Instruments Modified by Alembic folder. There is a superfilter for each pickup. Check it out!
Edwin Hurwitz (edwin)
Junior
Username: edwin

Post Number: 13
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 7:20 pm:   Edit Post

As an owner of both a Series I and a SF2, I am pretty aware of the comparison, I just keep hoping that someone has come up with a Series electronic setup that has the range of the SF. I suppose using the outboard SF gives me the same options, I just find myself limited by the Series electronics. It seems so intuitive to me that you would want to be able to boost the very lowest end of the spectrum! I wonder if the circuit can be modded to SF specs with the additional range and a mixer section. Anyway, this bass looks awesome!

Edwin
Mica Wickersham (mica)
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 625
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, January 17, 2003 - 7:03 pm:   Edit Post

We can put Superfilters in basses, but it's pricey to make everything small enough to fit inside of a bass. It's my understanding that the electronics on a Series I/II can be extended to a lower cutoff frequency, but at the expense of the highs. The range moves as a whole. So if you're after lows, we can translate the range down as long as you won't miss the highs.

It's already somewhat difficult for many players to find repeatable sounds on the Series I/II filter controls. A small rotation of the filter control produces such a huge shift in tone, making even more choices in the same space would be even more challenging. Of course, you know you can always get it made the way you want on a custom order.
johnnybassboy
New
Username: johnnybassboy

Post Number: 3
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 7:37 pm:   Edit Post

Steve,
do you still have my bass? I miss it a lot. Your quiver must be something crazy by now :-)
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2711
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2012 - 8:31 am:   Edit Post

Bump. Just picking up on what mica says in her response here about small changes in filter rotation and tone shift. Am I rights in thinking that the filters on a series bass are different to signatures etc and have a finer resolution and hence the ability to select from a greater number of frequencies within the upper and lower range of the filter span?

Jazzyvee
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3872
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 3:34 pm:   Edit Post

Just been doing some re-reading on some threads today and this one got me so I thought I'd add some of my own experiences with it.
Until recently I had a set of non alembic filters in one of my europa basses that went down to 80Hz so I had a good low end that I could boost with the cvq on the bass before I even touched the SF-2.

Like Edwin touched on, being able to boost the lowest end of the spectrum does have it's uses. Especially for me playing reggae. That rich warm low end was a great asset.

The problem I had in using the really low end of the range was that on the bigger stages I was playing on, none of the back line or monitors could cope with those low frequencies and still produce any useable volume without the speakers complaining. Also if you are standing in front of the cab you actually can't hear your bass clearly above the band regardless of the volume so confirming your note choices can be problematic. Out front the FOH subs could cope easily and the bass was awesome.

jazzyvee

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