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mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 3900
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 3:09 pm:   Edit Post

In the thread about string spacing/fingerboard dimensions, you mentioned that you had some special requests for control layout. Please collect those thoughts and links to any helpful images on this page.
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 3902
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 7:13 pm:   Edit Post

Was this the red Essence you were talking about?
the_8_string_king
Advanced Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 277
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Thursday, December 28, 2006 - 9:43 am:   Edit Post

No, that's not the one, but I did find it! It's the (red flame maple) "Essense of Life" in the Essense section in Showcase.

Now the pictures are at an angle, so I'm not getting a perfect straight-on view of the controls; it looks like they're not perfectly centered/symetrical... but I really like the basic design.

If this design were perfectly symetrical, I'd really love it... love the aethetics of it. The design I'm talking about is simple: you form a symetrical diamond shape with 4 knobs, and then replace the 4th (lower) knob with a line of 3 toggle switches, with the center one centered where the center of the 4th knob was. And then maybe slightly raise/lower the line. Sort of like this:

..................B

....F..........................V

..............T..Q..B

Any, Mica, my price quote didn't include customizing the control configuration, and I don't want you folks to do anything that's going to add to your time or make this sale less profitable for you. I view any such request like this as a bonus subject to your discretion, and I withdraw the request in the event that it would require any extra-difficult measures. I'm just asking 'cause... it doesn't hurt to ask. Maybe it wouldn't be any harder, and I'd be missing out by not asking.

Anyway, I wasn't planning on asking for a custom layout. I just noticed that you already seemed to have an alternate layout for the Europa/Rogue controls, which I've seen on several Essense basses, two of which are in the Essense section in Showcase: the Burl Amboyna Essense (with Ebony neck laminates, what a beauty!) and the Erratic Zebrawood Essense.

I find that (even though I prefer symettry in general) I prefer the assymetrical layout used for the Essense basses to the standard Europa/Rogue configuration.

So I thought that it might be the case that this would be an existing variant/model/configuration that would be no harder to do than the standard configuration. I don't even want to ask you to do anything that will add to your time... but I thought this might not (add any more/be any different).

Then I noticed the setup on that "Essense of Life", which I'd like even better -provided it was symetrical.

That's it. I'm trying to be detailed here, but it just seems to come out long-winded! Sorry!

Short version: standard setup is fine, I don't expect more; but I'd prefer the setup used on those Essense basses, and I'd prefer the symetrical diamond setup above even more.
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 3936
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 5:33 pm:   Edit Post

The control layouts on the Erratic Zebrawood and the Amboyna Burl are the standard layout for adding Europa electronics to an Essence body. The Amboyna one has an added switch for LEDs, and is a little cramped for my style. We have a program to route this already. Usually we route the electronics cavity and the holes for the controls with our CNC machine. If we do it by hand, it takes more time. We still cut the backplate with the CNC, but the hole placement is done with a hand drill.

On the Essence of Life bass, it looks like it originally had Essence controls, then the Europa, including side jack was added later. This was certainly drilled by hand.

If you want a custom control layout, it will probably be drilled by hand, and it may involve an additional charge, it just sort of depends.

The wiring you've specified would be custom and have a minimum bench charge associated with it. Usually we connect the Bass and treble switched adjacent to each other with the Q switch on the end.

Here's what I think you were getting out with your sketch:

control layout v1

This isn't the body shape you have under consideration, but I've made it symmetrical, and also noted that the output jack has to live somewhere.
the_8_string_king
Advanced Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 314
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 11:29 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks, Mica, I sure appreciate your detailed response.

If I've understood you correctly, you've got a program for the machine to route for Europa/Rogue controls in an "Essense-Europa" configuration, and that would be no extra charge.

My preference, then, would be for one of two things. The "Essense-Europa" configuration would be the default preference -if what I'm about to propose would either be extra $ and/or significantly increase production.

I wouldn't want to pay extra for bench time -to "custom wire" as it were; but... question... what if you followed the (diamond) pattern, but just placed the specific switches at your discretion...?

You see, I REALLY love the aesthetics of your mock-up... (you did a GREAT job with it, by the way). However, 90% of the oodles (units of mental gratification) lie in the configuration, and only 10% in the specific order.

So, punch line here, if this "diamond" configuration were something that Alembic could easily do for no extra headache nor extra charge for me, I'd be psyched, and the minor lack of oodles for not getting my precise ideal configuration would be instantly forgotten as I'd still prefer the diamond shape (with the electronics in "whatever" configuration) twice as much as the "Essense-Europa" configuration -which I'd prefer twice as much as the standard configuration!

Bottom line: this is a MINOR detail... BUT...

If the cost/labor is equal/not extra, let's go for the Essense-Europa configuration...

UNLESS... the cost/labor -for the "diamond" configuration (specifics position of controls at Alembic's discretion) was equal/not extra -in which case THAT would be my preference (assuming it was all nice and symetrical).

That's it. Minor detail. You've got all you need to know what I want, and how feasible everything is. I know I'll be extremely happy regardless, so I'm not going to bring this up again, either. I won't be disappointed with whatever you come up with; the only question will be if I'm super-duper satisfied, or merely super-satisfied!

Thanks again, I appreciate the work you put into this, the detailed explaination and mockup made everything totally clear!
the_8_string_king
Advanced Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 315
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 11:56 pm:   Edit Post

Oh, duh, and regarding the jack position...

I couldn't find a price difference on the quote generator... I seem to dimly recall/believe that it's 2 or 3 hundred retail extra for the side jack I'd prefer, so I think I'm just defaulting to the standard front jack, which is no biggie.

I'd pretty much defer to your recommendation regarding jack placement. The only objections I'd have were if the jack were placed in a place that interfered with the controls or practical function -and I can't see you coming up with anything like that!
the_8_string_king
Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 471
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 10:36 pm:   Edit Post

One more thing:

I've given this some thought, and come to the conclusion that IF the "Diamond Formation" control-configuration is something that Alembic can provide for me at no extra cost -and I'm only interested if (A) it DOESN'T cost extra; and (B) y'all do it PERFECTLY symmetrical- I'd prefer to flip it around, and have the 3 toggle switches be closer to the strings -instead of closer to the outer edge of the body.

Now, if Alembic CAN do this at no extra cost, it would be a nice bonus, and EITHER WAY would be preferred to the other options. Maybe y'all were prepared to do it the original "Diamond Formation" way I requested, but it would be harder to flip it around for some reason (or maybe not).

Anyway, to update/clarify:

Here are the four options for my Europa electronics control configuration, in order of preference:

(1) "Symmetric Diamond Formation" -with the toggles closer to the strings;

(2) "Symmetric Diamond Formation" -with the toggles closer to the edge of the body;

(3) "Essence/Europa-Style"; and

(4) Standard Europa/Rogue Configuration

I prefer the side jack, but my understanding is this is extra -and I don't have the moolah to pay for it, and wouldn't ask you to lose any money giving it to me as a freebee if it does have an extra charge associated with it.

So if this is so, just mount it on the front at your discretion -wherever you think best. I have full confidence in your judgement.

Thanks again for everything! I can't wait to see it when it's set up... I know it'll look great with whatever configuration it ultimately has!!!
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 4317
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 9:46 am:   Edit Post

At this point, we have to decide on the side jack. You've already paid for it because Europa electronics come with a side jack, so if you dn't want it, you can use the $ for the custom control layout. We can't glue up the body until the jack is decided, because the side jack takes a slightly thicker body (1.65 compared to 1.55).

If we do a custom layout, you'll be approving the layout with a mock-up. You'll have to give me some direction, like a particular post number or a URL to a photo that has what you want or a piece of paper in the mail to get me started on the layout.

But for now, I simply need to know: side or face mounted jack.
the_8_string_king
Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 476
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 4:11 pm:   Edit Post

Ooh, that's great news... that the side jack isn't any extra $!!!

I prefer the side jack... and, if/since it doesn't cost extra, then it's a no-brainer!

I DEFINITELY WANT THE SIDE JACK!!!
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 4322
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 4:21 pm:   Edit Post

We need to get some visual references for your custom control layout. Or else we can just do the standard Europa layout. Let me know what you prefer.
the_8_string_king
Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 477
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 4:35 pm:   Edit Post

As far as the control layout goes, you've ALREADY DONE the mockup -in your post above, with the red Essence (post 3936).

This is option (2) that I described above (my post -#471).

The mockup you've done seems to nail it perfectly -at least as far as I can tell. You can use it as a reference.

Option (1) (above, same post -#471) consists of just switching (location[s] of) the toggles with the pan/blend control -so the toggles are closer to the strings, and the pan/blend closer to the edge of the body.

But again, I don't want to pay for this... I just don't have the money. I guess I could consider it if the charge was very little... more than a little, I'll have to pass. (In which case, my preference would be to have the controls laid out like the layout you use when using Europa electronics on an Essence bass -like the Erratic Zebrawood and Burl Amboyna Essence basses we discussed earlier.)

It's no big deal, regardless. I'll be VERY HAPPY with this bass with ANY of these layouts. I'm already pleased as punch that there's no charge for the side jack... I wasn't sure, but I sorta thought there was... and I'm glad to be wrong!

I got the impression from you there WASN'T any extra charge to get the "Essence/Europa" layout -as you already have a program for this in the CNC machine. Please confirm. If so, then this should be the tentative layout plan. If not, then we'll just default to the standard Europa/Rogue layout. No biggie either way.

The "Symmetrical Diamond" formation/layout would just be a little bonus. But it sounds like it's probably extra, so I'll probably write it off.

But I guess I'd be interested in a quote for it, just to cover the basses. For clarification, I'm just asking for a quote on the PATTERN, NOT the LOCATION of individual controls. You already made it clear there would be a "minimum bench charge", for example, to put the Q switch BETWEEN the bass & treble toggles. My primary interest in the "Symmetrical Diamond" formation is that the symmetry of the pattern is pleasing to my eye; customized/specific control locations WITHIN THAT PATTERN is a secondary interest.
the_8_string_king
Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 480
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 7:17 pm:   Edit Post

So the plan, in short, is to have a side jack, with the control layout that is standard when Europa controls are installed in/on an Essense body. For visual reference, you can refer to the Erratic Zebrawood Essense you linked about (or the Amboyna Essense -but that has an extra toggle).

This is based on the understanding that there is NO EXTRA CHARGE to have this layout.

I'm 100% CERTAIN I want the side jack, and 98% certain I want the "Essense/Europa" setup.

The 2% difference is due to the fact that I'd prefer the Diamond setup... but I'm probably not able/willing to pay the cost.

Please (A) confirm that the "Essense/Europa" layout isn't extra; and (B) give me a quote for the cost of the "Diamond" setup -at which point I can be 100% sure... and then there won't be ANY other issues at my end other than the minor issue of 3 vs 5 screws on the tailpiece.

Thanks, Mica!
the_8_string_king
Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 693
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 10:19 am:   Edit Post

Since I've settled on my electronics package -Signature electronics with Q switches upgraded to 3-position & a single pair of master bass & treble controls- I'm posting my control layout preferences in this thread -where they belong (more than in the other thread... or at least as much.

First of all, I'll be easy to please. The second and third options you offered Shim (see his control layout thread) are all adequate). But I'll start with my #1 ideal configuration. Copied from other threads, here it is:

..........NECK...............BASS
..........FILT................CONT
..........KNOB...............KNOB
.................................
.......................N..........
.......................Q..........
.................................
......MAST.......................BLEN
......VOLU.........LED.........CONT
......KNOB.......................KNOB
.................................
.......................B..........
.......................Q..........
.................................
..........BRID...............TREB
..........FILT................CONT
..........KNOB..............KNOB

Obviously, the LED switch should be disregarded, as my bass doesn't have LEDs. The setup is similar to my 8-String: two rows of three knobs, with the center knobs in each row slightly farther away from each other, and the Q switches centered in the area/space between the center 2 knobs, and the pairs on either side.

The row of (neck) filter, volume, (bridge) filter would be closest to the strings, while the (other) row of bass, blend, treble (the 3 knobs with center dentents) would be closer to the edge of the body.

Being symmetrical/even/non-irregular is important -whether this configuration is selected, or another is selected.

Now this is my ideal, but -as I said- some of the other ones you offered Shim are fine. For clarification, my next most desired configuration would be what you posted in your post 4038 in his "control layout" thread; my third most desired configuration would be in your post 4044 (same thread) WITH THE MINOR MODIFICATION of REPOSITIONING THE 2 q SWITCHES TO HAVE THEM CENTERED BETWEEN THE CENTER PAIR OF KNOBS AND THE OUTER PAIRS TO EITHER SIDE.

All three of these choices are very similar, of course. I'm much less fond of the first option you offered him (your post 4032) and in your posts 4108 and 4110. I don't like these.

So, these are my 3 preferred choices -in order of preference. Hopefully at least one of them will work. As long as any of them will, cool! If not, please get back to me when convenient and communicate the challenge/issue.

It looks to me like the jack shouldn't be a problem in any case. Ideally, I'd prefer for it to be outside the perimeter of the knobs.

Oh yeah, something I was thinking about asking for was to have (just) the two center knobs (volume & blend) be the older/larger style knobs. I'd love to see a mockup at your convenience when it's close to time. I envision it as looking cool in my head... but maybe in reality it would look goofy!

Thanks, Mica!
the_8_string_king
Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 711
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 7:52 pm:   Edit Post

Hey Mica, upon further consideration I will NOT be considering asking you for the two "old style" knobs for the two middle knobs.

I realized, upon thinking about it, that it would impose an extra and unnecessary challenge for whoever drills the holes for the electronics; I'm already asking for a symmetrical layout; and having to consider the additional factor of the differing radius' of the different knobs... it's too much. I'll just keep it simple, and ask for all six of my knobs to be the same type, the standard knobs you use currently.


Thanks again, Mark
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 4787
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 8:14 pm:   Edit Post

So is this sort of what you had in mind?
layout
(apply your labels from post 693)
If the orientation is right for you, I will make an exact layout for drilling, since your bass is ready to drill.
the_8_string_king
Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 713
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 8:17 pm:   Edit Post

Yes, ma'am, that's EXACTLY what I had in mind!!!

Thanks, it looks absolutely AWESOME!!!

Now please excuse me, I need to go wipe up some drool...
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 4803
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - 4:37 pm:   Edit Post

Ready to do the drilling. Here's the knobs in position before we do the deed:

control layout v2

This is slightly revised from the rough draft above. Give me the go ahead and we will drill away.
the_8_string_king
Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 781
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - 7:13 pm:   Edit Post

It looks pretty good, essentially just what I'd like... and it even looks a little better than the previous version, with the jack being in-line with the Q switches... I prefer the aesthetics of this version.

There's just one thing... maybe it's just the picture here... but the Q switches -at least the bridge pickup Q switch- don't seem centered. The bridge pickup Q switch appears to be closer to the bridge filter than to the (should be) treble knob below it.

Again, maybe it's just this picture... I realize that this is a mockup, and that you've just taped on the stuff.

I just want to emphasize that I'd like it to be as symmetrical as possible, so I'd like each of the Q switches to be centered between the two inner knobs (volume and balance) and the outer knobs on either side, so that they're the same distance from either of the outer knobs, and the same distance from either of the inner knobs.

(Obviously, since I've request the inner knobs be a little farther from each other, the Q switches will necessarily be farther from the two inner knobs than from the 2 knobs on either side.)

So that's it! It looks great, and even better than the previous mockup -because of the new jack location. I kind of disliked the old jack position a little, but it was a minor snivel, and I just didn't want to ask you to move it as it might be a hassle. But since you came up with this new mockup, I gotta tell you I like it better, and it'll be 100% perfect as long as the layout is symmetrical.

So thanks for the mockup, and please proceed with my blessing. I'll call tomorrow to go over shipping and to see if you have the red shirt or an acceptable substitute.

Thanks again for everything, the bass looks absolutely stunningly gorgeous!!!
:-)
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 4810
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - 8:53 pm:   Edit Post

I am happier with the jack in line too, but the jack wasn't something you were concerned with historically, so I didn't fret over it much on my Aug 28th post.

It must be the angle or some lens distortion, 'cause it looks completely symmetrical to me in person. James did the layout with careful measuring, so I'm sure you'll be pleased with the symmetry.
the_8_string_king
Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 786
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - 9:31 pm:   Edit Post

Sounds great, Mica... I figured there was a good chance it was just the picture! Thanks again, I appreciate the careful measuring, and I'm sure I'll be pleased with it!

Hey, on a separate note, I was "google-ing" "perfect pitch" (which I don't have, although I've worked on it, and am usually within a half step -or a whole step on a bad day- and I found something interesting. Research indicates that children raised in Asian cultures -where INTONATION is a BIG part of the meaning of words- seem to have a DRAMATICALLY greater likelyhood of having perfect pitch. Also, there is a lot of evidence that children who are exposed to scales, and have the notes READ to them as they're played "See, Dee, Eee, Eff, Gee, Aay, Bee, See, etc" seem to natually develope perfect pitch. The prevailing viewpoint seems to be that there is a limited cognitive window of opportunity/development...

Just a thought; your youngster come from a musical family... maybe a little training at the right age will help his potential/future musical aptitude.

If you have any interest on the subject, just google "perfect pitch", and read up on that Wincapedia online dictionary, there's plenty of info there!

Take care, thanks again for everything, it just looks so phenomenal!!!
adriaan
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 1604
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2007 - 1:50 am:   Edit Post

Perfect pitch is nice, but it can be a bother ... and it certainly cannot replace musical talent! In my experience ...

Singing in an a capella choir, you notice that everyone else goes flat (inevitably!) or sometimes the conductor gives an Ab instead of an A - either way you have to transpose on the spot. This means you're basically singing vue, which is always a good musical workout. And you don't have to learn note intervals - you just hit the individual notes. On the flipside of that, I find it difficult to study scales and harmonic progressions. Plus my wife doesn't like my singing (and we usually agree when listening to other people singing).

As a pianist, you may encounter a piano that is tuned far too low and your fingers get completely lost. This is a nightmare situation that I actually ran into once ... luckily they had a second piano, which was tuned just a fraction higher. My own piano is tuned at A=430, which to me is clearly not an Ab. I suppose there is a absolute frequency where things get off my scale - I ran into borderline pianos once or twice where I knew it shouldn't go much further down.

Then again, I can tune by ear, with open strings only. And when I compare two basses that I've tuned independently, they are in tune with eachother (only found that out a couple of months ago, would you believe it). On a guitar, the G and B strings always take some extra time to get right.

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