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Alembic does it again

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by malthumb, Dec 6, 2002.


  1. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
  2. Wow! That is a great site! There are some real works of art going on at Alembic!

    I love this moon inlay...

    [​IMG]

    The starfield is Orion. They said they would do any constellation. Cool!
     
  3. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Fantastic detail and quality, but not my cup of tea. Have to admire the nice work though.
     
  4. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Their work always looked good and the basses always sounded good. I owned two (an Epic 6 and a Custom Series II 5 fretless) and they were heavy as sin and played like logs, unfortunately. Worse, in my case, was their customer service which was absolutely the worst I've ever encounted: arrogant, unresponsive and downright dishonest. As a result, I would never own another Alembic. But they turn out good looking/sounding basses, no question about it.
     
  5. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    Worse, in my case, was their customer service which was absolutely the worst I've ever encounted: arrogant, unresponsive and downright dishonest.

    Boogie,
    I've heard a few others state that but I've always gotten excellent customer service from Alembic. I've never used them for warranty work, just purchasing replacement parts and obtaining information. I guess that every company has individuals that aren't helpful and have bad attitudes!:(
     
  6. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Well, the worst offender in my case was, uh, someone reasonably high up in the organization. Don't wanna name names but let's just say that it wasn't a temp in the shipping department that I had major problems with!
     
  7. alembicbones

    alembicbones

    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I have a custom Europa 5 string w/ Series I electronics being built right now. So far they have been great to work with (I appreaciated Mica giving me a call at my office to confirm peghead design prior to cutting). However, I don't think Boogie's comments go without merit. I've emailed questions in the past and got no response.

    I'm very excited to see what piece of artwork they come up with for me.

    Bones
     
  8. that inlay kinda pisses off the nerd in me. the moon is still all there when it's in a crescent phase, you can't see stars through it.

    but then, the moon doesn't have a face either. :D
     
  9. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    And on that day I'm gonna plan a trip to your house :D
     
  10. Alembic is re-issueing THESE:

    (as John Entwistle 'tribute' models, 4-string and 8-string)

    [​IMG]

    (this pic from 'Too Late The Hero' album cover photoshoot)
     
  11. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    There is no price stated for that custom bass, but I would guess perhaps as much as $15.000.

    I have been known to succumb to GAS now and then :) but sometimes even for me reason wins.

    But, OK, I can certainly understand if someone will want that bass *really* bad.
     
  12. alembicbones

    alembicbones

    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    My guess is that this bass will be considerably less than $15K. I've seen a mid construction picture and it doesn't appear as though it will have Series electronics like the bass pictured above. Looks like Signature Deluxe electronics. I think the reissue will list for something like $7K, actual purchase price less.

    Bones
     
  13. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Sorry, I meant the one at the top of the thread.
     
  14. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    You're probably close on the price for the custom. Maybe closer to $13,000 but when you're playing around up there it's all ridiculous. My 5 string listed around $11,000. The one I started this thread with has a few more goodies (fretboard LEDs, custom inlay, omega heart cutout) so it probably listed for a couple more.

    The Entwistle will more than likely cost significantly less. But if you were to order it with Series I or II electronics, it'll get way up there in cost. Here's a link to discussion on the Entwistle Tribute Bass

    http://alembic.com/club/messages/631/1733.html?1039051624


    and here's a pic...

    [​IMG]

    Peace,

    James
     
  15. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Boogiebass,

    I'm sure I can relate to what you're talking about, though my experiences have no doubt not been as bad as yours. I've had the opportunity to deal with the folks at Alembic on a number of issues dealing from just getting info on a bass I might be interested in buying, to a long term restoration / repair project, to a new custom build. My experiences have kind of run the gamut, but on the whole swing way to the positive. Here are my thoughts...

    arrogant Can't say I've picked up on that. They think they have a great product, and they do, but I've never heard anyone there put down anyone elses product EXCEPT blatant ripoffs, like the guy in Texas who puts Alembic decals on cheap Fender clones.

    unresponsive From day 1 I've had trouble getting responses to e-mail. Same seems to be the experience of several of the members of the Alembic Club. I've always found them responsive to telephone calls. Mica Wickersham (president) has returned my phone calls at home, office, and in my car. Now that Alembic is hosting the Club website, Mica has been very responsive to messages and questions posted to the club.

    dishonest What I've experienced is that they will often promise dates that they have little chance of making. Time to do repairs and/or ship small parts vary, depending on how busy they are. I've had dates slip on a couple repairs. In fairness, one of the repairs required new invention on their part. The other was there at a time when high profile, high volume customers were getting multible instruments built / serviced. In these situations they remind me of the old Fed Ex (?) commercial where the guy goes " I can do that...I can do that...I can do that...", then hangs up the phone and says "How am I gonna do that?" They mean what the say when they say it. They just don't proactively tell you when things change. I don't consider this to be dishonest. I consider it to be hopelessly optimistic.

    YMMV

    Peace,

    James

    PS - boogiebass, what happened to your 5 string freetless? Is that the one at Bass Central? I might be interested in one at the right price.
     
  16. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    No, the one I had was unlined. Not sure what happened to it, James. John DiMaggio at Bassalone sold it for me.

    I hear ya, re: the Alembic points you make. However, they treated me with a real lack of respect and showed a cavalier attitude about my needs. They gave me the strong impression that I didn't matter as a customer. I'd rather not publicly post the details but I'll be happy to privately tell you the story via email if you're really interested.

    Of course, I'm sort of a tough consumer: I don't take much guff and expect to be treated with respect and dealt with honestly. I'm spoiled, I guess. When there are people like Keith Roscoe and Jim Bergantino, for instance, in the business who treat you with great courtesy and respect, I see no reason to be treated like a second-class customer by anyone including Alembic. As an example, some folks think Ken Smith is tough but I have always been treated very well by him and his folks. And I own a beautiful BSR6 GN that I like WAY more than any Alembic I've ever heard or seen. To each his own, I guess.

    Glad you've had good luck with Alembic and feel they meet your needs. Their basses definitely sound good. But that's about the only good thing I can say about them, unfortunately.
     
  17. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Couple years ago when I ordered my F-2B, I heard "two weeks" from the store for about two months. It had me fairly pissed off, and the store (BassNW) got the brunt of my anger. They said that, unfortunately, they were in the same situation, simply relaying to me what Alembic was telling them.

    I wouldn't call it dishonest either, but I would call it a shame. They had my money. If they were just hopelessly optimistic, they could've let me know that they wouldn't be keeping their last promise. Instead, I always ended up calling BassNW a few days after the deadline passed - they'd call Alembic and get back to me with another "sorry, another two weeks". It's not like this was a custom bass, either. They've been around long enough I'd think they'd have their act together a little better than that.
     
  18. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    The flip side of "honest" is "dishonest" in my book. To quote the immortal Marion Morrison, "If it ain't right, it's wrong."