Alembic Epic

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DanGouge, May 5, 2003.

  1. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Anyone own one of these? I saw one used for $1450 CDN (+/- $1000 US). It sounded good and it played well IMHO. Is that a good deal? What are your impressions of this bass? Any word on Alembics in general?
  2. I remember reading reviews of them that say their necks are unstable and require alot of tweaking. I'd like to add that I've never actually had experience with one but I figured it couldn't hurt to tell you that, as I've read it in several different reviews. Alembic's overall are the Bentley's of bass.
  3. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I don't know much about Epics, so I'll stay out of that part of the discussion.

    If you want to know whether or not you have a good price, I'd suggest going to eBay, search Alembic Epic, and check the Completed Items for sales that have actually transpired. My guess is you'll see that you can do better. I see Alembic Spoilers going in the $800 range. Although Spoilers are discontinued (except by special order) they are considered to be further up the Alembic food chain than Epics.

    You may want to consider going here to learn more about Epics and any other Alembic models.


  4. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    Personally, I think that's a pretty high price for that bass. They seem to sell for less than 1000 on ebay. As far as sound goes, I had one for about a year and was very impressed. It had a lot of output and a very nice tone. Overall, it was a good bass, but I never had it long enough to really know if it had any problems.
  5. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I had an Epic 6 for about a year and didn't like it at all. While the tone was pretty good, it was heavy and the neck was bulky and wide. The balance was poor on a strap, too. Not one of the better Alembics, IMO.
  6. Rusty Chainsaw

    Rusty Chainsaw

    Oct 15, 2002
    The Cronx
    I borrowed an Alembic Orion 5 for a gig a couple of weeks back (basically an Epic with a nicer shaped body) and found it not to my taste. While the wide string spacing was nice, the thickness of the neck wasn't... a veritable baseball bat of a neck. It was also very heavy, and had an odd "pingy" tone that sounded fine in the shop but not so good with a band. Be sure to audition one first and make sure it would fit your needs.

    Russ :bassist:
  7. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Hmm, from what I can see, these are the main areas of concern:

    -price (too high?)
    -neck stability
    -how it sounds in the mix

    I don't mind the neck profile personally, and I otherwise thought that it was a decent player. I am in no great need to buy a bass right now, so if the price cannot be improved upon, I have no compunction about letting this go...
  8. I have Alembic Orion 5 and I agree that the neck is wide, but I like that (that's also one of the reasons I took it). I wouldn't agree about the stability. Mine is as stable as it can be. I use it in the studio often and never had any negative comments about the sound. It is really a pleasure taking this on a gig.

    This would be a normal price in Europe, but like others said, for US it's a bit high.
  9. I'd just like to clarify, the neck stability issue I found while researching the bass only applied to the Epic model, not all Alembics.
  10. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    That's pretty much how I read your original post. I can't say one way or the other about whether neck stability is a perennial problem or one that just came & went. The Excel, Epic, and Orion are all set-neck basses. All the other Alembic models are neckthru and tend to have excellent stability.


  11. Yeah, that would be a concern--while Alembics equipped with the low-pass filter system can cut through any mix, the Excel/Epic/Orion series might have problems with it.
  12. I have an Alembic Epic 5 and I think it's an awesome bass. I like the string spacing, the loud and powerful preamp and although it's not a feather I like the sustain it gets from the ten pounds of bass magic. I traded two very nice basses for the bass. One of the basses I traded was a G&L L2500 and the other was a Spector 5 which were both decent basses. I think it all depends on who you ask about these basses how much they are worth. I contacted Alembic a few days ago and they are still being made according to Mica Wickersham. The neck on my bass seems okay to me. The neck on the L2500 seemed more unstable to me. The string spacing on the Spector and the L2500 was just a pinch too close.
  13. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    The "they don't make 'em anymore" comment was in reference to the Spoiler model, which is no longer in the Alembic catalog. As is typical for Alembic, though, if you want one, they'll make it.


  14. ChillerInstinct


    Dec 15, 2014
    After playing a Alembic Epic Special Edition for less then ten minutes I was convinced it was the one for me. fretboard spacing was perfect and comfortable....never had a single bad thing to say in the 10 years i owned it. Bright and sharp sound and powerful output. A much heavier bass than I had ever played yet that never bothered me and I found it to always be remarkably comfortable. I am very much considering getting another soon as I have another 1600.00 to spend on a guitar. Still.....worth every penny I think
    I owned an Epic for 10 years and never had a stability issue or the need to make ANY adjustment to the neck. Every note on that guitar played and sounded the exact way it had 10 years ago when I first picked one up: Perfectly. (though it DOES cause a bit of stress because its such an eye and ear grabber, you will worry about it being stolen 300% more than usual)
  15. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Alembic Epic-1.JPG Mine's a '94 lefty (so, yes, I probably paid too much for it), and I've never had a minute's problem with it. At 1-9/16" at the nut and 2-1/4" at the 17th fret, it doesn't feel particularly wide to me, and the contour is the nice shallow D that I prefer; very much like an early '70s Rick. Since the original set-up many years ago, the neck on mine is still straight as a string. As for "cutting thru the mix"; IMO that's primarily a function of your amp and cab. My Epic does that just as well as my T'bird; or my 4001/4003 Ricks; or my '78 P-Bass....;) Alembic will customize an Epic just like any of their instruments; see if anything extra's been done to the one you're considering. To me, the price seems OK; depending on the age and condition, and any extra features, of course. Good luck with it! Oh, yeah; you might want to have a chat with the folks on the Alembic Owners Club here on TB, too. :)
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
  16. Baird6869

    Baird6869 LET'S GO BLUE JAYS...(in 2016)...LET'S GO!!

    Wow! Revived after more than 11 1/2 years.

    That must be a record.
    EliasR likes this.
  17. Threads never die. They just curl up in a warm corner in the Internet and wait for the right moment to emerge. Like the Mothman.

    Rick B.
  18. EliasR


    Jul 29, 2008
    I was hoping it would be the OP following up 10 years later.
  19. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I love all the naysayers who never played an Epic but still have an opinion! I saw one in the local bass shop years ago and was in LOVE. I ordered a fretless 6 string in Flamed maple. The neck had problem but it wasn't stability. It had a tiny ridge down it where the wood pieces glued together. I sanded it. The body shape as far as I'm concerned is THE best design Alembic EVER put out. The other models are so ... well, I don't know. The ebony fingerboard developed some tiny cracks at the body end that I had to fill with glue but not serious. The tone is Amazing. Is STILL amazing. The 10" radius neck is the most comfortable bass I own. It plays like a dream STILL! And it IS an eye and ear grabber. I caught major flack from Blues Nazis for taking it to a blues gig. It did a GREAT job musically, but I was told it looked like it belonged in a jazz trio (and it didn't have a Fender-shaped headstock.) And yes a trip to the John DOES make you paranoid about it disappearing off the stage!

    Note I payed over two grand for it years ago. Go check the current prices on Epics and then come back and tell us that $1400 is too much! Yeah, I guess I'm still in love!