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Username: bikerflyer

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 9:42 am:   Edit Post

I just found out about this forum in researching my Alembic.
I'm an amatuer classical/jazz guitar player, but had always wanted an Alembic after becoming a RTF, SClarke fan in the mid 70s.

I bought this new at Santa Ana Guitar Center moving sale for a killer price in 1992. Came with original case, but no manual. Tag on case says Alembic Elan/Europa. I just registered it on Alembic web site, and am hoping to get info/manual on the electronics.

Elan 5 string 1992
elan 2
elan 3
elan 4
elan 5

(Message edited by davehouck on December 08, 2006)
Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 963
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 9:59 am:   Edit Post

Welcome to the club Mark. Thats' a real nice looking Elan. I have a Mark King with the Europa electronics and I really like how it sounds.

Intermediate Member
Username: inthelows

Post Number: 148
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 10:24 am:   Edit Post

Welcome and congrats on your acquisition.
Nice top! Vol, pan, filter & Q switch or is it set up a little different? And 5 string ta boot!
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 1834
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 10:39 am:   Edit Post

Welcome Mark:

Very pretty top, looks like superb flame walnut to my eyes. And the back looks to be flame maple maybe? This would be a little unusual as most I've seen have a mahogany back. You definitely have a very nice axe there. Hang around these parts a while and I think you'll find the members to be as special as their Alembic instruments.

Bill, the guitar one
Username: chuck

Post Number: 41
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 11:31 am:   Edit Post

Welcome Mark.Nice Elan.I may be mistaken but I believe the Elan Plus's all came with euorpa electronics.Yours could be Elan standard.Whats missing is bass cut/flat/boost and treble cut/flat/boost switch's.All bodys I think had maple core and backs.Unless otherwise specified in what may have been a custom order.Check with Mica And ask for a history to know for sure.BTW beautiful walnut top.--------Chuck
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 4592
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 11:42 am:   Edit Post

Hi Mark, welcome to the group!

Nice Elan! And yes, it appears to be an Elan with standard Elan electronics; volume, pan, filter, Q switch. The neck is probably Maple with Purpleheart laminates, and the body is probably Maple with a Walnut top. Very nice!
Username: bikerflyer

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 5:26 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks guys for the welcome.

I asked for it's history when I registered it with Alembic this am, but suspect it's std Elan electronics, since it only has 1 switch. Puzzled as to why the Guitar Center tag had Elan/Europa listed.

Couple questions for the group -

1. Is there any source for manuals on the various models that explain the electronics? Alembic site does not list anything - their online manual is generic and does not cover anything about various electronics options. I noticed a lot of variation in the pickups of Elans pictured here, and mine look more like what I see on the Europa pics.

2. Is it a big job to upgrade to Europa electronics, and can the Elan have the Europa brass plate installed under the bridge for extra sustain?

3. Why did Alembic discontinue the Elan? What makes the Europa better other than the electronics and nicer hardware?

4. what are street prices these days for 5 string Elans and Europas with upgraded tops like mine in mint condition? I'm not planning on selling, but my homeowners insurance no longer covers musical instruments without a special declared value policy.
Thanks for any info.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 4600
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 5:52 pm:   Edit Post

1. See our FAQ section. My apologies, but I haven't yet put up anything on Elan electronics. But they are essentially the same as Spoiler electronics except that the Elan has a pan control instead of a pickup selector switch. And yes, while some Elans have AXY's, others have combinations of P & J pickups.

2. You can send the bass to Alembic and have them install a brass sustain block. I believe it is the case that usually this procedure does not require a refinish, but check with Alembic to make sure. I'm pretty sure Alembic could upgrade the electronics to Europa; it would depend on whether there is enough room in the control cavity.

3. While not a current model, you could still probably order a new Elan if you want. I believe the Elan has the "classic" neck taper (my memory may be faltering here), while the Europa has the "comfort" taper.

4. I don't follow prices too closely but I don't think I would be too far off to say that Elans go for between 1,500 and 1,900US, while Europas closer to 2,500. There are a number of prior threads about insurance. You might be able to find something helpful if you run a search of this forum on the word "insurance".
Username: bikerflyer

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 6:40 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for the info.
After checking the FAQ, my Elan is a long scale with AXY56 pickups.

I think my next Alembic will be a 5 string, fretless Europa.
Username: chuck

Post Number: 47
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 7:53 pm:   Edit Post

The Elan/Europa tag on your case was because both basses used the same factory case.You can still get an Elan with europa electronics.
Just order a Europa with elan body and headstock.

Username: manticore

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2012
Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2012 - 12:22 pm:   Edit Post

Wow! I bought my '92 Elan 6 at the same Santa Ana Guitar Center moving sale. When I arrived at the store there was your 5, my 6 and a Europa 6 still available. Despite its rather extreme weight, I have used this bass more than any other over the last 20 years. The finish on the back and top (under where my arm rests) is heavily checked, but the rest of the bass is still in very good condition after all this time and heavy use.
'92 Elan

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