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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2009 » Archive through December 15, 2009 » Why are we selling our Alembics? « Previous Next »

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Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 1731
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 2:08 am:   Edit Post

It seems to me that this year more used alembics have appeared for sale on ebay and here and other places than at any time I can remember.

Have you noticed this?, and if so do you think it's due to hardship and the current economic climate that is prompting these sales as a way to raise funds for pay bills etc? Maybe it's totally unrelated and more that it's to fund a to move up the alembic range to higher spec instruments?

It's understandable that disposing of an alembic will bring in a good financial boost to your coffers compared to say an average everyday bass, although maybe not as easy to sell.

My personal circumstances are that I sold my baritone this year after having it just a few months. That was because I didn't see an opportunity for me to use it live in the forseeable future. Then good fortune hit with the chance to buy Dragon Magic so that money went into the pot to buy it.

ps: I'm not starting this thread to pry into anyone's personal financial situation. I just wonder what the driving force is for so many used Alembics appearing for sale.

(Message edited by jazzyvee on October 21, 2009)
Advanced Member
Username: 88persuader

Post Number: 346
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 2:52 am:   Edit Post

I'll bite ... I sold my 3 Alembics over a year ago for financial reasons. The debt I owed and wanted to pay off was due mostly to "buying 3 Alembics" on my credit card and by selling them I was able to not only pay off my debt but was also able to buy some very good Modulus basses (fretted and fretless) that not only got me through my gig but were great basses in and of themselves. That all said I do love Alembic basses and am currently saving my pennys and within the next year or so plan to buy a "used Alembic" that I can pay CASH for and not create debt to own. I'd love to find a nice Persuader again, there's a reason my forum name is 88persuader, I loved that bass. That's MY story.
Advanced Member
Username: mike1762

Post Number: 365
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 6:10 am:   Edit Post

An Alembic (for most of us) falls under the category of "Luxury Item"; therefore in times of hardship, you do what you have to do. I'd hate to be in the position of having to sell one if I were the original owner, but the used instruments hold their value pretty well. Fortunately, I still have all of mine.
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1123
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 9:56 am:   Edit Post

I cannot complain..mine was bought for an absolute bargain 11 years ago..in New York when I ws over there..900 sterling and it has paid for itself many times.
I can really understand why people have to sell stuff that is classed as luxury as necessities are far more important.
If it came to that I would rather sell some other items than my Alembic as it is an extra money earner which it will be doing this week end.
Intermediate Member
Username: laytonco

Post Number: 101
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 10:12 am:   Edit Post

Hey folks,
Yes times are tough. I actually considered selling my Tribute to help make ends meet. But in the end, I got a nice penny for my son and the rent I am getting on my wife is sufficient, so the Alembic stays.


Advanced Member
Username: spose

Post Number: 276
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 11:09 am:   Edit Post

I've had my Alembic longer than any girlfriend or wife(was married 15 years)
I will live in a van down by the river WITH MY ALEMBIC before I ever sell it. Nothing comes between me and my series one...until death do us part. At least my bass will honor that!
Advanced Member
Username: lmiwa

Post Number: 267
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 2:20 pm:   Edit Post

Bought a Rogue 5, bought a Rogue 6, sold the Rogue 5 to help buy a Series II 5. The Rogue 6 may eventually go if I can find a Series II 6.
Advanced Member
Username: toma_hawk01

Post Number: 207
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 6:58 pm:   Edit Post


For years, I owned "only" one Alembic at a time. I am not into collecting stuff like guitars. Every think must earn their keep, or they're out of here... Yard Sale, Garage Sale, Ebay etc...

As people get through the years, what they thought was important, don't hold water anymore. You might love something when you're young, and then find when you mature, "This got to go!!!"

My Father bought a huge boat 15 years ago, and wouldn't let me touch it... These days, he never forgets to let me know his boat is available if I need it.

I find that there are very few things (material things) that I am crazy about. I could watch people be happy with their pot of gold, and be happy for them, and boy don't I wish it would last, because it's good to see people in a great mood. But it never last.

As to understanding if there's more Alembics for sale, I hadn't paid any attention. I guess if I needed an Alembic, I would be pretty happy; for this means it is a buyers market. Either case, I don't see many Shorties for sale. People like myself, are holding on to them.
Username: bassilisk

Post Number: 61
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 9:10 am:   Edit Post

I bought my first Alembic new in 2000 (MK Std) with a loan. This year I was able to add 2 more used ones.

The '84 Distillate came from a friend who is a dealer and had gotten it for a debt owed. I was able to trade 2 basses I was thinking of selling plus a small sum of cash for it - worked out great for me since it wasn't really an outlay.

The '99 Rogue Custom has become a real favorite. I had flipped some basses, added some tax refund and bought a used NYC Sadowsky - great bass but it just didn't work out for me. I was able to flip that back to the seller and at that point went Alembic hunting specifically. The Rogue came up and the core money plus some manageable plastic got it. No regrets.

The bottom line is, flipping the Alembics would be a last resort. Selling them can set a bunch of things straight, and they would be the most difficult to replace for the same reason. But, you do what you got to do when your priorities are clear.

Fortunately, right now there are other items I have that would hit the block first.
Advanced Member
Username: bassfingers

Post Number: 223
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 9:12 am:   Edit Post

I'm with ya on paragraph 4 there toma_hawk,I like your thinking mate.

Intermediate Member
Username: afrobeat_fool

Post Number: 128
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 11:52 am:   Edit Post

Hello, all. I am coming from the opposite end of the spectrum. I saved my money like a good lad and waited till the time was right, and the economy was wrong. And because of that I was able to take advantage of getting quite a nice S1 for a very reasonable price. I had two essence basses to keep my interest till I got 1180. My thinking is that things come and go according to our needs and to let something go is probably good if it goes in the right direction. I know Edwin is glad I got 1180, and so am I.
Senior Member
Username: serialnumber12

Post Number: 559
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, October 23, 2009 - 11:03 am:   Edit Post

also too alembics arent for everybody ive known cats in the past who dont particularly care for the tone as well as some engineers....victor wooten's first professional gig with a well known R&B recording artist was told to Lose the alembic cause the artist did not want that sound on his album so he took victor try out some fodera basses and the rest is history!
Username: chrisalembic

Post Number: 81
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 1:39 am:   Edit Post

Letting go of my Spoiler was hard a thing to do, especially because it was such a special little bass (short scale, great maple top, purpleheart,/maple neck, mint condition from 87). I would have loved to keep it emotionally, but financial situations and practical reasons made me sell it.
On the other hand I see it as a good lesson learned, because now I know more about alembic basses and what i like and dont like regarding specs. Maybe its a good idea to try out and play a few used Alembics, before finding or even ordering the one.
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 465
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 5:27 pm:   Edit Post

I sold mine for two reasons: 1) debt. I had medical bills that were not going away and I just started school. I'm not playing every day like I was.
2) I loved 1180 (and am very very glad it's in good hands and playing some wonderful music with which I feel kinship) and felt a deep connection to it, but I always wanted a short scale Alembic. So, now I am concentrating on getting through school, but I know a nice Series I or II short scale is in my future!

Intermediate Member
Username: sjhoffma

Post Number: 122
Registered: 5-2008
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 11:45 pm:   Edit Post

In the past year I sold my 77 series 1 guitar, and my rogue 4 bass. Financial times have been rough as a musician working his way through college. Having taste in Alembics is NOT a cheap addiction.
Senior Member
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 1147
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 5:04 am:   Edit Post

I figured that 17 was too much and a dozen would be more than ridiculous. So the ones that were not made for me went to those who wanted what I had. I do have lowlife's Europa 5 now which is a superb instrument, exchanged for my 1st Excel. Not made for me but I may have Alembic make it over. Plus I was running out of wall space. I have other axes for sale but not Alembic. Korean Hamer 12, Custom Warwick Dolphin Pro 8 w/leds, el whappo jr cab etc. Trying to be more Zenish.
Intermediate Member
Username: otis

Post Number: 110
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 5:38 pm:   Edit Post

The First Alembic I owned was a Series I 4, 1977 with a Schedua Top and Back. It was an amazing bass, then I broke it at a show, sent it back to Alembic, bought a Zebrawood Epic 6 from them so that I'd have something to play, and promptly fell in love with playing a 6, again.

When I received the SI 4 back, it was like brand new, and I found myself not even playing it, so I sold it to fund a new vehicle.

A little later, I purchased a 6 String Alembic Europa (Emerald Green, but with Chrome Hardware) which I loved, but sold a little later. I then purchased an Epic 6 with Ebony Neck Lams, about 2 years ago, in October, which I lovingly referred to as "Thunderstick" for obvious reasons.

I found a Custom Alembic 6 that someone posted in the For Sale Section that had a Large Standard Body, Crown Headstock, and Flame Walnut Top.

I then sold these last 2 mighty Alembic 6's in order to fund the purchase of a Series II 6 (kungfusheriff's old bass) which I now have pictures of in the Showcase, Series II Section, under otisduo 6 String 95 9100.

Yeah, I'm the grinning idiot in the topmost picture, but I know all of you who have Series I or II Bass totally understand and are probably still grinning from your own acquisitions!

Mine was a long quest, and I'm very happy with the Series II, but if I come into some money, I will certainly be calling up Mica to place an order for another Series II Six so I'll have 2. I'd also like to have a fretless S2 6... Sigh. Maybe that's what I'll end up ordering when I finally come up with the money...

Either that, or maybe I'll just "happen" upon one. The Series II 6's are an extraordinarily difficult Alembic to find used. For some strange reason, it seems that no one wants to part with them...

Peace All;)


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