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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2006 » Archive through July 16, 2006 » Ribbecke Halfling bass « Previous Next »

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Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 882
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, July 05, 2006 - 5:57 pm:   Edit Post

One of the best parts of living in Nashville is lots of music stores, including some GREAT ones.

When I went to Gruhn's today to scout the used ALEMBICs, they have a Ribbecke Halfling Bobby Vega model. (see www.ribbeckehalfling.com) Solid Red Cedar top, solid flame maple sides and arched back, maple neck with carbon fiber pinstripes and ebony fingerboard, ebony trapeze tailpiece and bridge. And some very clever engineering, as these guys have obviously bent physics to produce an amazing acoustic bass guitar, that, go figure, sounds like a BASS!!

This is as stunning in its sound and tone as the first time I tried an ALEMBIC. These are very rare birds and not cheap, but worth every cent. If you EVER have the chance to try one, do NOT pass it up. This is the FIRST ABG I've tried that could easily pass for an upright and sounds like a bass, albeit with frets. I can NOT imagine how good the fretless version would be.

Naturally, these are made in Healdsburg, CA. Is it something in the water in Northern Cali that just grows great axes?

My mind is just blown . . .

J o e y
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 4039
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, July 05, 2006 - 8:16 pm:   Edit Post

Cool! The vids of Bobby Vega on the web site sound great!
Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 530
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Wednesday, July 05, 2006 - 8:27 pm:   Edit Post

Very nice sound on these. I wonder how they play.
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 883
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, July 05, 2006 - 10:33 pm:   Edit Post

Yes, remember, Bobby Vega was called in to sub for Prestia with Tower of Power while FRP was out with his liver problems.

Olie, I'd be very surprised if they couldn't be setup to play any way you want it. This one was a little high for me, but the funny thing was if I really dug in and played hard, it almost sounded like the strings on an upright slapping back against the fingerboard.

I was really looking to pick up an ABG cheap, hope I could preamp it back to useability, and hope for the best. Loud enough to where I could play with acoustics. Then I ran across this thing . . . at least it's so expensive I don't even have to imagine how I could 'get-er-done', but it's really and truly an amazing axe. I was really convinced you couldn't take a Jumbo body with a bass neck and get anywhere near a bass sound.

And OF COURSE, I can't get one in a five-string.

J o e y
Senior Member
Username: tom_z

Post Number: 422
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2006 - 7:46 am:   Edit Post

Bobby Vega also did some incredible work in several Bay-area bands: Zero, KVHW, and Steve Kimock Band among them. He's really inventive and has a great touch.


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