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Alembic Time-Travel Price

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by joe vegas, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. joe vegas

    joe vegas

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    Saw this flier on the 'bay.
    Distillates for $1850? with HSC?
    If only my basement time-capsule still worked.

    Attached Files:

  2. malthumb

    malthumb Supporting Member

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    Today's comparable model to the Distillate is the Essence. Current list for a 4-string Essence is $7,500 (but there's a sweet '98 5-string on the bay for $2,500).

    I'll go halfsies with you on the time capsule repair.
  3. j.kernodle

    j.kernodle

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    it's funny. that ad looks like it was printed in the 1950's.

    a guy posted a wal flyer from the mid 80's when the cost £1000. equivalent to about 1600 bucks. now they're $6000 bucks starting price. :O


    occasionally you see distillates sell for around 1800 used though so you've got that going for you.
  4. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist Supporting Member

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    True, if you are patient and want that Distillate you should be able to find one at about that price still :)
  5. voodoobassist

    voodoobassist Supporting Member

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    Bought my first Series 1 in about 1974, brand new, with a monstrous anvil case. I seem to remember it was right around $1200.
    I picked up another one about 6 years later from a guy going into his residency for med school, didn't have time to play anymore he said. He wanted me to have it, so he sold it to me for what I had on me,....300 bucks!
  6. Root 5

    Root 5

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    I think many of the so-called "Boutique" brands are obscenely over-priced today. There just isn't enough work to be done to justify $6,000 to $15,000 for a solidbody bass. Warwick, Spector, Alembic, Fodera, etcetera, all need to have a long hard look in the mirror where their prices are concerned.
  7. malthumb

    malthumb Supporting Member

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    In a sense I agree with you. At some point too much is too much. But on the other hand, NONE of those companies are hurtin' for orders. I frequent the Alembic Club. There's a section where they provide in progress detail and photos of members' basses (and guitars) being built. Some of the stuff that people are ordering goes waaaay beyond the list price. And people are standing in line to place orders.

    I think it may be a while before those mirrors get polished.
  8. MtJam

    MtJam Supporting Member

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    To each his own...

    I bought a Distillate 2 years ago, and I liked it enough that I am about to get my 4th Alembic. They are very well-built, but no you can't drop them on the floor like a Fender without doing some damage.

    I take care of mine, and they take care of my musical needs.
  9. svtb15

    svtb15

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist:Alleva-Coppolo| MESA |Genz-Benz R.I.P.|REDDI|Westone
    I bought my first Alembic Series 1 for $1700 from Alex Music on 48th street in NYC in 1978... I should have kept that one..
  10. Bassconbeatz

    Bassconbeatz Way down low Supporting Member

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    Alembic is one of the true originals. With hippie roots from the 70's and it's still family owned. Just check out their site,, really cool history. I'm currently looking for a Rogue 5 for 6 to go with my Essence. :)
  11. CnB77

    CnB77

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    According to the inflation calculator:
    So the real price, assuming that the ad is from around 1978, is not too far off from what it is now. It's gone up, but not really by all that much.

    For the Wal example,
    Running that through the calculator,
    So the price for a Wal has gone way way up.

    Alembics were never cheap, and Wals were pricy but more reasonable than what we see now. They charge the prices they do because people are willing to pay them.
  12. j.kernodle

    j.kernodle

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    don't I know. put a deposit down on a wal this march. the only thing that's made it somewhat bearable is the fact that it takes almost 2 years for him to finish it. :)
  13. spade2you

    spade2you

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    The brands you mentioned are very well known and have quite the waiting list despite the prices. Alembic makes their own proprietary electronics, which makes it difficult to find alternatives.

    In the acoustic guitar world, the second a guitar company has a famous player $5k becomes $10k.
  14. spade2you

    spade2you

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    One of these days, I'm probably going to have to do that with Wal. Better start savin' and picking up extra shifts.
  15. WretchedExcess

    WretchedExcess

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    thanks to whoever cleaned up the second and third posts that were in this thread yesterday.
  16. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

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    I bought my first Alembic Series I new off the shelf in 1976 for $1350. I kept that sales receipt for a long time. People thought I was nuts at the time. In fact, I probably am. I sold everything to get that instrument. Everything. Ended up with a $400 Pontiac Catalina with 150k miles on it to go to gigs. $1300 bass in a $400 car. It made sense to me; but, I'm nuts.

    About 5 years ago I asked Susan Wickersham to quote me on a Series I 5 string build, specified to be under 9 pounds. "Sure we can do that," she told me. That will be $18,000.

    I did the arithmetic and decided I would stay with my current '76 SSB. But, when you think about it, that instrument would have been roughly the same cost ratio to my Honda Accord with 100k miles on it.

    I'm just not quite that nuts. :D
  17. spade2you

    spade2you

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    We have good mods here. I've visited guitar sites where they would have heavily urinated upon something like an Alembic and "flashy playing". Ya can't call a mod because they're one of the ones doing the trash talk. :meh:
  18. awilkie84

    awilkie84

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    Why? People can't have an opinion that's opposite to the rest of the thread?
  19. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

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    I think the point of the thread is cost escalation (there is no inflation). It is unfortunately true, even for basses you may actually like.

    OTOH, posting into a thread that has Bass Brand X in the title just to use it as a stage for expressing personal dislikes about the brand is not what the TB community is really looking for. And, it won't help the hater's bass development very much. There are other opportunities on the board.

    My <2c.
  20. j.kernodle

    j.kernodle

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    word. and for the record I do regret my response to the post (mine was also deleted). knee jerk reaction that shouldn't have been posted.

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