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Alembic = Lamborghini?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ras1983, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia

    Expensive, we know that they exist, but you see one maybe once or twice a year on the street. they are like a mythological creation not destined to be owned by any of te regular joes such as me.

    is Alembic the Lamborghini of the bass world?

    Alembic seems like the company that everyone's heard of, the greatest players played on and they cost an absolute fortune. yet they are that ever elusive bass that most players will probably never get to see let alone own.

    Think of it, Stanley Clarke, JPJ, The Ox and i know many other bass gods used them. they must be great basses, possibly a cut above all others (including fodera, sadowsky, f bass, etc etc).

    Is this the case?
  2. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne

    much more in australia!

    i've been lucky enough to see a ken smith in the flesh but i have never seen a alembic...
  3. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    just looking at www.greensquare.net pricelists in australian dollars. :eek:

    starting from a basic 5,200aus for the excel to 19,400aus for the series 2

    not bad really :(
  4. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    yeah, when i sold my car a few months ago i should have bought an alembic instead of paying off the loan... :bag:
  5. 6-3-2


    Sep 20, 2003
    If Alembics had an extremely chic and sexy Italian design, then perhaps. I'd say Alembics are more like a Rolls-Royce, style wise.
  6. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    So, you're suggesting that if you play an Alembic, you need to keep a guy named Mario around to do emergency setups in the middle of your gigs?

    Sorry, but referring to something as a "Lamborghini" does nothing to instill confidence!

  7. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    I'd agree, but not for the fanboy reasons.

    Alembics, like Lamborghinis, look fantastic but feel like @$$ in use. Clunky and heavy-handed.

    Heh, very insightful quote from James May (Top Gear) about Lambos: Don't meet your childhood heroes.

    I personally felt the same upon playing a couple Alembics. 'sall I'm sayin.
  8. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    Lambos are more of a show car though. Not trying to belittle their performance (as it is still better than anything i'll ever own) but it isn't as good as say a Ferrari or Mclaren with F1 technology
  9. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I think you're right on here. I've played two or three Alembics ever, and all of them felt strange to me. Heavy as an ox, really thick, round neck, pretty dead tone. They were all pretty old though.

    I can't deny that the tone I hear the pros who play Alembic get is special, but I haven't been thrilled up close. Especially for the price.
  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I guess in Australia Alembics are like Lamborghinis, but here they are a bit more common. Even a lowly amatuer like me has owned two in his lifetime, a four and later a five. Neither one cost me that much either, but they were both lowend Alembics. Here in the St. Louis area, I don't see as many around. If I were in LA, NYC, Nashville, Chicago, or Atlanta, I would not have hard time finding one at all.
  11. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Well, I'm in Oz and have owned 3, the first in 1984 and still own 2, a Series 1 and a Stanley Clarke Sig Deluxe. If you're patient and lucky you can pick them up for very good prices secondhand, much less than new.

    I think the Lambo comments are a bad analogy. More like a modern Aston or Bentley Continental GT. They're not for everyone, and lots of people don't like them for whatever reason, but along with my Status and Steinberger, the best instruments I've ever played.
  12. cosmic


    Jun 21, 2005
  13. threshar


    Jul 30, 2002
    You want whats whacked?
    I was at GC yesterday and they had an Alembic [forget the model] for $1500. It looked nice, but I didn't say OMFGROFLMAOBBQ.

    Could have been a bottom of the line one or something.
  14. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    Agreed, especially when they've never owned one. I've only owned one Alembic, but it's a really amazing instrument. Slim neck, supurb action, and balances well for a six string. I'd agree about the weight though, they're heavier than most but that doesn't bother me.

    Oh, and yeah, more of a Rolls than a Lambo.
  15. jazzbo58

    jazzbo58 Bassist for My Man Godbey

    Apr 21, 2001
    New Orleans, LA USA
    I have a 1979 SeriesII with the Modulus Graphite neck. The neck is extremely thin and fast.


  16. Mclaren hasnt made a great car in 8 years. They stopped production of the Mclaren F1 in 1997. The Mercedes-Mclaren SLR (the one that looks like a S500 -Mclaren breeded and on powerful steroids), Still doesnt compete with the F1. It still continues to hold the title of fastes production car in the world, with 0-60 in 3.4 seconds and a top speed, recorded to be 271 mph. This was recorded by Mclaren, and is available for listening. Although people say that the top speed is only 240-245, It changes to 6 sixth gear at around 230mph. So who knows for sure (besides the 300 or so lucky ****s who own one).
  17. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    I bop down to Guitar Showcase in San Jose every so often and play the Alembics there. They had a used Stanley Clarke Sig for a few grand, and lots of other models. They also have a few of Jerry Garcia Signature guitars, and a couple of Baritones kicking around. I've seen a few guys here play them at shows, but then I've been impressed with the quality of gear that even club-going metal bands play in the Bay Area.

    I'm not sure about the car analogy, but I found all the basses, and the baritone guitars, eminently playable and extremely quick. Their tone is distinctive, though, and I suspect you either like it or you don't.
  18. rok51

    rok51 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    'bout sh*t my pants when on US 98 in rural (is there anything else, here?) Wakulla County, FL...I spy what appears to be-DAMN! It IS a McLaren F1!!! Only doing about 70 with a Sheriff's car close behind. I came to find out that the guy who developed the local golf course has TWO F1s...one he keeps here and the other in Europe. I had never seen one on the road before.

    Oh yeah, the Sheriff's car...seems like the owner was letting our Sheriff take the F1 for a 'spin'...

    Just when you think you've seen it all...

  19. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I have an Alembic series 1 (that's for sale). It's a great bass, but certainly not a lamborghini. It's more like the hummer of basses. Huge, powerful, heavy, eats gas/batteries like I eat cookies.. and I love cookies. It's a great bass, but they're certainly not for everyone. I've ordered a Roscoe LG3005, and I'm hoping that'll suit my needs more :).
  20. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    Maybe a Ritter is more like a Lamborghini?