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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2006 » Archive through January 01, 2007 » Alembic on BP cover « Previous Next »

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Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 772
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 4:19 pm:   Edit Post

Bass Player all but ingores Alembic. It takes Stanley to get Alembic on the cover (Jan. 2007).
Advanced Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 255
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 5:30 pm:   Edit Post

Yeah, and that was, for me, the final straw/reason I stopped (occaissionally) buying "Bass Owner" magazine.

The publication doesn't give me much reason to take it seriously or buy it... but pretending Alembic doesn't exist (my theory -could be right, or totally off-base, no pun intended, is that they don't acknowledge Alembic since Alembic doesn't advertise in their rag) just clinches it.

I haven't bothered to even pick one up to skim through in years. If a magazine that calls itself "Bass Player" refuses to acknowledge the most innovative and important bass (and guitar) manufacturer out there... why would I acknowledge them?

I can't think of one good reason. They got my last dollar long ago!
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 1191
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 1:42 am:   Edit Post

In their defense, I bought my Epic after reading their glowing review back in 1994. And the Orion 5 got a pretty positive review in the 5 string shootout a year or two later.

I was flipping through the pages of the German magazine Gitarre und Bass a couple of months ago, and they had a raving review of a MK Standard Balance K. The magazine usually has a complete list of the gear reviewed on both the cover and the list of contents - but there was absolutely no mention of the Alembic!
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 1901
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 7:13 am:   Edit Post

For obvious reasons, I've never read BP magazine. But if it is anything like Guitar Player, I wouldn't put much stock in their reviews. It seems as if GP has never met an instrument or piece of equipment that it didn't like. I wonder if this has anything to do with the reviewer gets free gear and the company being reviewed advertises in the magazine? Nah, I'm just being paranoid. (snicker).

Bill, tgo
Senior Member
Username: keavin

Post Number: 1009
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 7:38 am:   Edit Post
Senior Member
Username: rami

Post Number: 604
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 12:05 pm:   Edit Post

I like reading Bass Player from time to time, but it's a little pricey and it's mostly advertising now. To their credit though, I learned "Portrait of Tracy" from BP. I spent years after that trying to play it like Jaco.
There aren't many magazines that represent us, so I do appreciate what they have to offer. I don't care as much about their product reviews as I do about their workshops and interviews. I was never as big a fan of Stanley Clarke as I was of Jaco, Jack Bruce, Geddy Lee, JPJ and others. I got turned on to Alembics the first time I tried one rather than reading about one.
Intermediate Member
Username: spliffy

Post Number: 103
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 5:29 am:   Edit Post

I think you are putting too much emphasis on Alembic. Bass Player mag is a great magasine for bass enthusiasts! It does though have to focus on the largest target possible - the average bass player. Now the average bass player cannot afford a $15,000 bass guitar, or a $3,000 used Alembic. nor do most of us really care to own one. Sure the Alembics look great, sound fantastic, but it is a niche market and one that many do not care for. Besides, If you are thrashing out Emo music at ear bleeding levels, a $200 SX bass will sound fine.

I personally could not care less if I see an Alembic in Bass Player. As long as they review different instruments that I can afford, or I can play at my local music store, I am happy! I do think the Fender Custom Shop Pino bass and the Dingwall they reviewed earlier in the year were complete overkill!

just my 2cents.
P.S. I own a Distillate, and love the bass, but I would never risk it being stolen or broken at a gig! I cannot afford to replace it!

Intermediate Member
Username: southpaw

Post Number: 101
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 9:41 am:   Edit Post

I agree with Rami & Bill, too much advertising and "glowing" reviews of everything. There are about a dozen pages each month that are worthwhile; the instructional columns including Dan Erlewine repairs, jazz workshop and the Retro column. I would like to see these areas expanded. Regarding price, call them and ask for the best deal, I think I paid about $15 for the year, at just over a dollar per issue it's worth it, but not at the full price.
Senior Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 733
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 10:55 am:   Edit Post

When they first started the Retro column, there was a very good picture and article on the very 1st Alembic. I have it stored somewhere. I need to find it and post the pic here. It is Jack's old Alembic #1 in it's current electronics set up.

Didn't they do a feature article on Alembic a few years back? Or maybe it was another bass magazine. I remember an article showing the factory and staff. They also showed basses in different stages of construction. I guess I need to look for that one too.

Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 777
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 8:53 am:   Edit Post

I didn't mean to start a slam-BP thread, even though they only rarely mention Alembic. I don't expect to agree with all or even most of what they print. I like reading the interviews with band/touring/session bassists. I don't know where else I can hear their angle. BP reminds me of college. There are a lot of things I learned that I have never used. However, there are some things that have proven to be invaluable on a daily basis.
They do slant things toward their advertisers. It would be pretty ballsy for a business to slam a product from a company that puts hundreds of thousands (or more) of dollars a year into its pocket.
The brands and proportions of basses that you see in BP seems to be fairly consistent with what I see on videos and album credits. So I suppose that BP is representative of the market. It's puzzling to me that the bass world hasn't caught on to Alembic in a big way. There seem to be a lot of bass (and to some degree, guitar) builders out there charging thousands of dollars for an instrument and staying in business, so price probably isn't a huge factor.
BP's product reviews don't matter much to me because rarely will I buy something that I haven't tried and liked. The only exceptions are my two Alembics. I bought the first one based on the reputation alone. It was the first time I had ever touched one. I couldn't be more pleased with what I got.
Senior Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 426
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 9:42 am:   Edit Post

As we know Alembic does not advertise like in the old days. I remember being told that an ad budget was moved over into purchasing an amazing supply of cocobolo. Thay is making priority choices imho. I will buy the Stanley issue just for the Alembic connection. I used to subscribe but that fell off. When you become more interested in looking at the pictures than reading what the flavor of the month emo guy who has 3 years experience has to say, you can make other choices for the cost of the mag.
Intermediate Member
Username: precarius

Post Number: 115
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 12:04 pm:   Edit Post

Michael- Bass Player did an article and factory tour in the Feb.1997 issue. If you want, I'll try to scan and post it.
Username: hifiguy

Post Number: 57
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 1:59 pm:   Edit Post

That would be cool to see again! Don't know if I have the magazine anymore.
Advanced Member
Username: j_gary

Post Number: 221
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 9:31 am:   Edit Post

If I were a large musical instrument company that channels big bucks to BP in ads, I would encourage BP to downplay the Alembic connection.

If the word gets out how big a difference is between Alembic and the others, the Relic market money could disappear, and their big seller would be to the SX crowd.

I was a proud member of the SX crowd for many years. Once I became a student of the bottom, my search for "the bass" became all consuming. It took a lot of time, money and basses before I landed in the Alembic world. I had all the mentioned concerns, the look, the price, availability. The stores, the media, most players are simply unaware of the difference.

Once I got the word from this site, not from stores, media, or print, I took a chance as I had to find "the bass". I bought sight unseen from a member 3000 miles away, a quilted maple SC. Beautiful looking and constructed, but the first time I used her in battle it was clear.

A Series I and Series II soon followed. I own a variety of basses from various builders starting in the 60's to today. I feel my Alembics are the best value for the money I've ever purchased. If I see another Alembic I desire, I simply sell some of my other hardware or plan to drive the old 98 Ford for another year. It is an easy choice to make if you "understand".

I can't help but think that the big outfits must know of this Alembic thing and are watching. I saw a car hauler pulling into the General Motors Tech Center hauling a Lexus LS 460. I would imagine they had the same reaction as any guitar manufacturer would after examining an Alembic.
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 99
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 2:10 pm:   Edit Post

I've started reading Bass Player Magazine again in the past 4 or 5 years. It's really not a bad magazine, and in fact may have gotten better in the past year or so. Another one is Bass Guitar, which I think is from the same people that do Guitar World or something like that. They help me be aware of new players and genres, and they've had articles on older players that I like too.
Username: pts

Post Number: 17
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, December 28, 2006 - 12:14 pm:   Edit Post

I used to read BP a lot back in the day. In fact, the first issue I bought had a glowing review of the 20th anniversary Alembic. I'm sympathetic to the ad overkill and putting flavour-of-the-month rock stars on the covers and in the pages - it's how they pay the bills. Very, very few magazines and newspapers could possibly survive on subscription and newsstand sales alone. And I also remember in one of those earlier editions, they did a critical review of the Hartke Transporter 4x10, saying it had too much vibration and lacked the tonal definition of traditional Hartkes. This despite the fact that Hartke was a huge advertiser in the mag.

I stopped buying it because I grew out of bassist/celebrity worship, and now have all the gear that I care to own. I'll leaf through it at the newsstand a couple of times a year just to see if there's anything of real pedagogic value.

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