Alembic owner anyone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by arvidgunardi, Mar 19, 2001.

  1. Hi guys/gals. I own an Alembic Rogue 5 string. I was wondering if anybody out there who also own any Alembic basses. What do you guys think of it, your likes and dislikes. Their electronics, preamp, pick up, craftmanships? Shoot!!
  2. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I have a '90 Alembic Essence (the first series) with ash body and flamed maple top, ebony board. It is a very easy bass to play with excellent neck, wide range of modern sounds and impeccable craftsmanship. The elctronics are very quiet, no hum/noise etc. I'll never part with this one
  3. I own a 4-string 1984 Spoiler, and I love it. It has the unique sound of the selectable filter control, plus passive tone control if you want that. I also really like the big differences in tone between the bridge pu, the neck pu, and the combined position -- a lot of versatility right there.

    However, I'm trading it away this week (sob!) for a Musicman Sterling plus cash, only because I need the $ to pay for the frightening, continuous expansion of my guitar/bass collection. . .

    I think I'll eventually buy an Alembic Superfilter, so I can have the tone filtering capability with any of my basses. . .
  4. Alembic super filter? What's that? Mine has the filtering EQ too. But there's one thing weird(or not) about the's level is usually lower than my other basses. Is that normal? Considering that my bridge PU was replaced before by a tech in a music store that doesn't know that Alembic PU is not spring mounted. So he tighten the srew so hard to lower it down until it breaks. Both PU still works fine, but I noticed that the level is waaay lower than other basses. Is that normal? Or the guy changed electronics inside my bass to cause that?
  5. two thoughts about lower volume:

    1. try changing the battery
    2. check in the control cavity for little trimpots you can adjust. On both Alembics I've owned, the output of each pu was adjustable.

    About the Superfilter: it's a stand-alone device with a preamp and (I think) three adjustable bands of frequency filtering. Check it out at
  6. I'm about to own a 1997 Epic 4 string. It's coming in the mail today. When I get it I'm going to play the heck out of it. Then I'll tell you how it is.
  7. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I own an Alembic Essence 5 string, the F-1X pre amp, and the SF-2 Superfilter. All are top line products, albeit the Essence is a "lesser" instrument to your Rogue.

    The SF-2 is one of the cooler tone shaping devices out there. In essence, it's the same electronics as on their Series II basses, except you have band pass and high pass options added to the low pass option. I've heard this thing make a cheap bass sound like a million buck. You wouldn't believe how cool your Rogue would sound.

    Take Care,

  8. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Heavy as logs, mostly great tone, depending on model. I have a Custom 5 fretless that's very good. You can do better, however, especially with mult-string instruments. Ken Smith and Roscoe, to name two makers who make consistently better, more playable instruments that sound as good and sometimes better than Alembics.
  9. Well, I got my bass(Epic 4 string) a couple hours ago and I have been playing it. It is, most definitely the nicest bass I have ever played. I can get a major variety of tones with the 2 band eq and blend knob, and to add to it's striking beauty it is extremely comfortable to play. I got the action as low as I possibly could and there's no fret buzz at all.
    There are only two things I don't like. First, the fact that the input is on the front rather than the side(not really a big deal, only cosmetic). And second, when you select the bridge pickup only and stand at the right angle it picks up the local oldies station (i guess this could be fixed with some better shielding).Overall this is a Great bass that I plan on using a lot.
  10. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I was about to post a new thread on Alembics. I've never played one, but based on searching, reading and listening, i think that Alembics are the Rolls-Royces of the bass world., However, a friend recently played one (doesn't know which model) and had complaints about its weight and its low output. I want to know if Alembics are really these "Rolls-Royces" that i think, or if i'm wrong. If so, which bass is it for you? I know that personal taste has much to do with the choice, but maybe there's some consensus. :)
  11. You are right on two accounts. Alembics are the Rolls-Royces of basses and they are very heavy but the output, at least on my Epic is not low at all. It's actually exceptionally high.
  12. Alembic is undoubtly one of the Rolls Royces of basses. I experienced the same problem with Alvaro's story, about the bass being too heavy, and volume too low. But then I read one of the previous comments from Jsonnenblick about a small trimpots. I opened it up, and sure enough it's there. I turned up the gain, and my Rogue is doing great!! Regarding the weight...chsssss!!!...What do you expect from FINE exotic wood huh?? Even more than that...the tone comes from the denseness of the wood which is the result of it being so heavy.

    Below are the pic of the trimpots. Notice the 2 blue boxes with the small white circle in the middle.
  13. Thanks for the heads up on the trimpots. My Epic only has one white thing to adjust but the volume on it is pretty high but I opened up the control cavity and the thing was set half way so I cranked it all the way up. It still sounds the same, just louder.
  14. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I currently still have 3 of the 6 Alembics I have ever owned. I started with a Spoiler and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread, except that my Music Man was a better slap bass. Not because of tone, but because I kept hitting the neck pick up on G-String plucks. I traded that and some cash for a Stanley Clarke Signature. Much better bass. No longer have that one either.

    What I do still have are 2 Series I 4 string basses (one long scale big body, one medium scale small body) and a Series II custom 5 string big body.

    The Series I basses I own are actually quite light (the big body is just over 9 lbs) pretty much because they are semi hollow. The 5 string custom is a heavyweight, coming in just north of 13 lbs.

    All of them have serious output. An earlier post recommended adjusting the trim pots if the output seemed low. Good recommendation, but mine all came to me really hot.

    Oddly enough, my basses are all 13 years apart. My small body was built in '74 (one of the 1st 100), My other Series I was built in '87, and my custom was built in 2000. Guess I'll need to get another one in 2013.

    Check out the Alembic Club on Yahoo. Also accessible thorugh


  15. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    I used to have Alembic ELAN 5 neck thru, beautiful wood and finish, I sold it because the strings were so close , hard to play , string distance at bridge only 3/5" [15 mm] . so cramp.
    The other problem was the body was soo good and so heavy , I could not play more than 1 hour, I'd have shoulderitis.
    Other than that the sound was good.