Alembic or Pedulla?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jive1, Apr 11, 2003.

  1. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I know they are different basses, with different features. I was wondering what people prefer. Also, has anyone played or dealth with both and can give me a comparison?
    I am more interested in the Pedulla neck thru models, and I don't think Alembic makes a bolt on. The particular models that I am interested are the Pedulla Thunderbass and Alembic Epic. But information on any models would be helpful.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I am currently looking for an Alembic Series I.

    I love the tone nad the build of the bass. It is heavy tho. The only thing is I cannot slap on these basses because of the placement of the neck pickup - this is fine tho because I very rarely slap anymore.

    When I was much younger I was really disappointed that I could not slap on the thing. As much as I tried I just could not get used to that pickup.

    Thank goodness now it is no longer an issue.

    They are fine basses. Over looked now due to all the new very good luthiers we have today.
  3. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    I've played a few Alembics. They are very finely crafted instruments. But they're not for me. Something about the neck that doesn't suite me. Too chunky I think. I understand that when you get into their really custom models, they'll build it any way you want. So if I had the bucks, and assuming I really knew what I wanted in a neck, I'm sure they could please me.

    The only Pedulla I've played was an MVP5. After years of telling people I had no intention of getting a five-string, this is the one that convinced me I needed a fiver. It was one of the best basses I ever played. After trying it a couple of times, I had to force myself to stay out of that store. I was afraid I would fall too deeply in love with it and forget about all my other financial obligations.
  4. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA

    I just took possesion of my fourth Alembic, a Europa 5 string with Series I electronics. It's truly a fantastic bass and I believe that I've cured GAS for good. There's no question that these basses deliver a very Hi Fi sound, which I tend to like in a bass' tone. Although I've played a few Pedullas in our local GC, I think you can get more tonal variety out of the middle to higher end Alembics.

    As stated earlier, weight can be a big factor in choosing an Alembic. They are definitely heavy. My prior Alembic was a Series II that even though the tone was the best I've ever had in a bass, I had to sell it due to the weight and center of gravity.

    If you really want something custom, Alembic is the way to go, they'll do just about anything you desire (for a price of course).

    Happy Hunting in your bass search.

  5. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    If I'd really fallen for that Pedulla I was talking about, I would have gotten it. The price would have meant I'd just have to save longer, but once I have my heart set on something, I get it.

    The only somewhat negative thing I could say about that pedulla, and probably the real reason I never bought it, was that the sound really didn't do much for me. So it plays wonderful and looks beautiful, but if you don't like the sound, what's the point?

    But, I believe that once you get up to a certain level of quality basses, there's nothing really wrong with any of them. It's all about what turns you on.
  6. Ziggy


    May 9, 2001
    Orange County, CA

    I've played the Pedulla "Thunder" bass at "our local G.C." in California.

    From the little experience I've had, I would agree they are indeed a nice instrument with a big, 'fat' sound. But, as atleast one has already pointed up, not alot of variety...

    I do, however, currently own and have for sale, an Alembic "Epic" in mint / new condition. A beautiful instrument, and although some Alembics are apparantly slightly on the heavy side, I don't believe this particular model falls into that setback... I've never thought it was too heavy. Just like playing my Fender 'P' more so...

    If you're interested in checking out the Alembic - especially if you reside in the SoCal area, drop me an email and I can send along a pic or two for you to look over...

    michael s.
  7. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I've played some of each model, an dhave owned both brands, but different models than you are looking at.

    They are both very different, but of similar quality.
    I prefer Pedulla for fretless, Alembic for fretted, but that's just based on the ones I've tried.

    That's a tough choice there. Guess that's why I bought them both!

    well, I guess I should at least include one specific. I found the necks to compare thusly: the Alembic tend to be round but narrow, the Pedulla flat but wide. Very different profiles, so I'd check into which suits you best...
  8. Alembic does make a bolt on neck and it is one of their more expensive basses. I don't remember which model but I just happened to see it in Guitar magazine, buyers guide today. I looked at Alembics before buying my Modulus. They're great guitars. So are Pedullas.
  9. alembicfive


    Jan 17, 2003
    Correction: To date Alembic has not made a bolt on neck (I checked on the Alembic Forum). There was some mention of some custom jobs that would be $$$$. But their current line only includes neck-thru and set necks. I know the Alembic web site is kept pretty up to date as far as basses and such.

    Now as far as this thread, the Pedullas I have played in the past were all very nice instruments. Well made and great sounding. But there is something about the feel of their necks I did not like. On the other hand my Alembic's neck was built to my specs, so of course it feels great in my hands. But I think most Alembics necks tend to be more on the chunky side (All though I have not tried the newer models), and yes, they are heavy!
  10. The Thunderbass is awesome at what it does, but yeah not too versatile. The Rapture on the other hand, very versatile. Alembics, try before you buy. Some of them are wonderful, and some are truly awful. I was kind of surprised to find awful ones but there they were. I don't have all the model names straight for Alembic (since they have like 9), so I can't comment on the one you're interested in.
  11. You should pay attention when choosing Alembic. I had 5 in my hands before choosing the Orion. They offer a wide area of wishes and some of them are really not for everybody. Anyway, if you find the one, that fits you like hell, take it! You'll never regret becoming a member of Alembic family.
    I have mine for some years, used it live, in studio, with all sorts of amps and everything and the thing keeps surprising me everytime I put my hands on it!

    Have fun.

  12. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I've stayed out of this discussion because it's been years since I've picked up an Epic (GC was a distributor, that's how long ago it was).

    Just recently, though, I picked up an Essence that's on consignment at a Detroit area music store. It was sweet. The Essence is a step or two up the food chain from the Epic in the Alembic lineup.


    I a/b'ed it with a Gibson era Tobias Basic 5 and a Lakland Skyline 55-02. In terms of sound and tone, I liked the Essence best. Significantly different tone than my own Alembics, but definitely nice. In terms of playability, I liked the Skyline best. The Tobias was in the middle on both counts. The asking prices were....

    Lakland - $1,179
    Tobias - $2,100
    Essence - $1,100

    Given the overall quality and value of the three and the pricing, I would've taken the Essence hands down if I were truly in the market.



    BTW - Let me second Alembicfive's comments. Alembic has never produced a bolt on. They have modified instruments for artists and it is likely that some of those modifieds were bolt ons.
  13. chris h

    chris h Guest

    Jun 16, 2002
    Oxford, England
    I have never played an alembic so cant comment.. all i can do is show you my Pedulla and tell you that its the nicest thing in the world! second hand prices on these are pretty good from where im standing..

    what kind of sound are you after?
  14. I played a Pedulla Thunderbass at GC, and I nearly tried to put it in my pocket so I could walk away with it....DAMN NICE bass. The B was pretty good feeling too
  15. pitbill


    Mar 27, 2003
    Bluefield, WV
    I've never tried a Pedulla, but I absolutely love my Alembic Mark King Deluxe. I've got the 32" scale neck and to me the neck doesn't seem chunky at all. It will however put a hurtin' on your back due to its weight if you don't heve a heavily padded, wide strap. If you go with Alembic, then my best advice would be (don't go cheap on the strap!) I too thought I would have trouble slapping due to pickup being too close to neck, but with just a little practice and the smooth playability, I've actually improved my slapping with this bass. I get some great sounds out of it with my eq set pretty flat on my GK 2001 amp and maily just use the preamp on the bass to adjust my tones. Alembic will absolutely build your insrtument any way you would like if you choose to go custom, even put the LED's in the side of the neck like mine. I think Alembic is intending to raise costs this month however, so this could be the only downside of a new Alembic. Good luck on your decision!
  16. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    This is true. If you have a bass who's neck feel you absolutely love, Alembic will build your neck to the same dimensions. You can either mail them the measurements or mail them the bass and let them measure.

    Alembic's custom work is not always mega-expensive. Some Alembic "customs" are simply a customer buying a standard model with one or two minor tweaks, like neck dimensions or pick up placement.

    But on the other hand some are like.....



  17. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I have an Alembic Essence, pretty much the same model as one on the pic, but with slightly spalted flamed maple top (see my instruments page in the sig), except I got mine for $895 with case. It IS a very sweet bass, and fits me perfectly. I liked the neck on it so much that my DP Custom has the same neck dimensions.

    I don't think it's fair to compare an Epic to a Pedulla. Essence (or any other Alembic neck-through) would make for a more fair comparison.