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Username: zn_bassman

Post Number: 1
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 7:20 am:   Edit Post

Hi all,

I've had an Epic for about 11 years, and I'm considering upgrading to a new Rogue. Why a Rogue? Because it appears to have higher levels of workmanship, response, playability (general feel + better access to highest frets), and on-board sound control.

I'd be very grateful for any feedback from experienced Rogue-players (preferably those who have instruments made recently). Am I barking up the right tree? I don't have the money for a more expensive model. I'm a big fan of the sounds John Entwistle got from his Alembics (OK, also Status and Warwick Buzzards), especially the later model "Spyders". Can the Rogue provide a sound in that neighborhood (I can get relatively close with my Epic-Zoom pedal-Gallien-Krueger MBE minicombo rig)?

Looking forward to feedback,

Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 854
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 8:08 am:   Edit Post

Greetings, Zvi!

I think you may have some people taking exception to the statement about workmanship, but there will definitely be some differences otherwise. All Alembics are hand made by the same people in the same shop.

The Alembic filter (tone control) is exceptionally powerful. Combined with the quick tone switches that are part of the Europa/Rogue electronics package, it is very flexible and powerful. I suspect that you will find more control of your tone with Rogue electronics as compared to an Epic.

Balance and comfort are a matter of personal preference. I think the Rogue has excellent balance and playability, while I don't care for the way the Epic hangs or sits on my knee. You should also see a bit better response in bass and sustain from the neck-thru construction as opposed to the Epic's set neck.

Are you planning to pick one up used or off-the-shelf somewhere, or are you thining about a custom order? With a custom order, you will be able to tailor some specs to your perference. Things like wood choices and neck dimensions can be tweaked to find the feel and tone you are looking for if you have one made. You can also upgrade the electronics further to get more control if that's what you're looking for.

If you're in the used market, the Rogue is fairly rare. The Europa, also rare, is very similar, and the more common Signature basses tend not to be that much more expensive.

Certainly, if you can put your hands on the bass and play it, you should be able to judge from that. If it fits you and you like the sound, go for it. In general, a Rogue should be able to get you closer to an Entwistle tone than an Epic can. If that's really what you're after, though, I would seek out an Alembic with purpleheart neck laminates, optional on a Rogue. It will take a few hours of playing with the filter control to fully appreciate all the great tones you can get.

Best of Luck!
Username: zn_bassman

Post Number: 2
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 4:24 am:   Edit Post


Thanks for your very helpful answer.

Regarding workmanship, I certainly didn't intend to poke at the workmanship on the Epic, which is much better than on most other basses I've played (the "standards", some rare birds, and some other famous high-ends). "Design specs" would have been better terminology, keeping in mind the subjective nature of preference. So, I offer my apologies to any offended by my hasty typing - and my public compliments to the Alembic craftspeople, whose Epic continues to serve me extraordinarily.

I'd like the physical and sound characteristics you describe for the Rogue. I'd very much appreciate it if you (or anyone else) could answer the following:
- Is access to the highest frets unencumbered, or does your hand run into the body?
- Is the neck positioned more "conventionally" vis-a-vis the body, or does it jut away like on the Epic?
- Can you get a wide range of tones - from smooth and bassy through hot and trebly, all with the Alembic "crunchiness"?
- Is the fingerboard naturally "quick", like a Jazz as opposed to a Precision?
- Is the instrument "reasonably" weighted and balanced for long sessions playing standing up? Very subjective, I know, but my back complains sometimes...
- How is the Europa different from the Rogue in the practical sense?

I live overseas in a place where there are no Alembic dealers, and the cost of a custom-built Alembic is - unfortunately - prohibitive. On a recent visit to the States, I paid a quick visit to the dealer where I bought my Epic 11 years ago. They had a couple of Rogues in stock, but I didn't have time to try them. I was taken by their physical design and the quick strum I gave one, and I later got the idea of trading in my Epic for one on a return trip I might be making soon. I traded in my (beloved) 5-string Washburn toward the Epic, which was priced far below the retail listed on Alembic's site (this dealer is one of the larger music stores in the USA, and buys at volume discount). I'm waiting on their answer to my Rogue price and Epic trade-in idea. Considering my time, money, and geographical constraints, the Rogue seems the best way to upgrade.

I much appreciate any answers you can share with me.


Intermediate Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 163
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 4:48 am:   Edit Post

I was pretty much in your position until my rogue arrived - had (and still have) an epic but wanted something diffferent. My rogue is fretless but unless I play with alot of glissando? you'd think it was fretted. The tonal range far exceeds the Epic in anumber of areas. The Q switch and Bass/ Treble boost switches do exactly what they say, especially the Bass boost - i'm having to get hold of a 15" speaker cabinet to cope.
To answer some of your specific queries,
. access to the top frets is superb
. not sure what you mean about the neck 'jutting' away. It looks 'right'
.Tones - dealt with above - I'll just reiterate - the tonal pallette is fantastic.
.Mines frtless so the fingerboard is fast anyway. i'm not sure how old your epic is but, if like mine, it has the gloss finished neck you'll notice a real difference in the neck. Alembic now incorporate a 'satin' feel by sanding the last coat of finish. this gives me the fastest neck I've ever played.
.The bass hangs beautifully for me. i play fairly high but not as high as Mark King - think Chris Squire position. As for weight, I didn't add a back laminate so overall, it's a fair bit thinner and lighter than the Epic.
.Never played a Europa.

my Rogue has the optional Purpleheart Laminates in the neck so sustain is unbelievable.
You can see mine in the showcase section..http://alembic.com/club/messages/411/17164.html?1110857827

Hope this has been useful and welcome to the club

Intermediate Member
Username: kenbass4

Post Number: 171
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 8:42 am:   Edit Post

Hey Zvi,

I have a 2004 Rogue that you can check out Here http://alembic.com/club/messages/411/8019.html?1076387590

As Graeme said, the electronics are very versitile, ranging from very soft/mellow to very cutting and bright. I also wear mine at "Chris Squire" position, and find it very comfortable and light. I can wear it during a 3 hour gig without much fatigue.
Username: zn_bassman

Post Number: 3
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 4:30 am:   Edit Post

Graeme and Kenbass4,

Thanks much for the very helpful info. I also notice that very few Rogues are (or have been) up for sale on the 'Net, and all reviews I've found via Google have been very positive.

Temptation beckons, let's see what the dealer says about the price....

Both of you have gorgeous Rogues - thanks for the links to the pix.



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