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Alembic

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CaptainHueso, Feb 2, 2005.


  1. Why are they so expensive? I was checking out their custom department on the website, and the Series II STARTS at 13,000 bucks. and there was not a typo there. Are they really that nice? I know alot of hard work goes into their crafting, but is the end result (playability, versatility, tone) worth the money? Someone give me the scoop.
     
  2. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I suppose if you have 13k to blow... then they are worth it.
     
  3. It depends, I personally would not get an alembic unless it was used and a decent price. I just can't justify spending enough for a car on a bass. I know piano's can be well over 100,000, but it is pretty different comparing how much work goes into a piano compared to what goes into a bass. However, there are many people on this board who swear by alembics, and believe they are worth every penny. If I was rich, I would play alembics and foderas, but unless I was a professional musician full time, it is just overkill.
     
  4. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    They put a LOT of time into handcrafting each and every one of their instruments. They are individual works of art. Are they right for everyone? No!....I had an Anniversary model;
    I really put a lot of money, time & effort into this bass and in the end, found out it wasn't the bass for me...It was heavy,
    uncomfortable, and I just couldn't get the sound I wanted
    out of it. For me, too much of it's sound came from the electronics. I've come to appreciate basses that achieve
    a better balance of price, comfort, versatility, and a sound that comes from both the woods, AND the electronics. For me, I've found several instruments that can do this in the
    $1500-$2500 range all day long.

    Slug
     
  5. Alembics are made from the converted parts from Ferrari GT's :D
     
  6. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Well, if you don't have $13k to spend, then just don't buy one. I don't own an Alembic, but I have played several. Alembic charges what they feel is the correct price point to acheive a viable business model selling basses at a rate that they are comfortable with.

    Alembic knows their market. Are their basses worth $13k? Well, to someone they are because they wouldn't make them if they couldn't sell them. However, I would also guess that hardly anyone pays the list price. You can bet that they actual sale price is significantly less.
     
  7. A Honda will get you from point A to Point B just as reliably as a Rolls Royce. If you got the moola and want something made largely by hand, with exotic materials, then the Rolls will by your choice. I know people that can afford the Rolls but choose the Honda. Why, because all the factors that make the Rolls a Rolls are not important.
    For me, if I had the moola for an Alembic, I would get one as their electronics are incredible and the quality of the woods and finish are bar none. I would rather spend cash on an axe then on stomp boxes, amp simulators and all the other sh-t that people add to try sound different.
    It all comes down to choice and what you are looking for in an instrument and the sound you are trying to achieve as a musician!
     
  8. we all seem to be talking a lot about basses and their value in this forum.

    imo - alembic would have to be seriously something magic to pay 28K (in Aussie Dollars) for one. I don't know anyone who owns one, or has even played one, so I can't say.

    Maybe, as I have said in my thread, people believe that they will sound like Stanley Clarke if they shell out that much money. Sad really.
     
  9. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    No, they're just very good and they obviously have a customer base that is willing to pay for them. Form my readings of the Alembic Club Forum, the reasons for owning them are many. I own two, and owned another many years ago. My fave instruments, but like my homemede chilli (my fave food), they're not to everyone's taste.

    Also, I think you need to look at the price list and the exchange rates; unless you were to order the most extreme custom, it wouldn't come out anywhere near $A28k. I bought both of mine secondhand in Australia (a SC and a S1) and together they didn't come out to 1/5th of that.

    I also think it would be wise to even see one in the flesh before disparaging them, as well as getting the facts right about the costs. The $13k quoted was for the top model, a Series 2 and that is the RRP/MSRP, not the actual street price
    I wish that I could play like Stanley Clarke, but in several lifetimes I won't be that good. However, I love playing mine and so the cost is quite small compared to the pleasure I get from them.

    If you don't like my basses, fine, I couldn't give a rat's ass, but the sad comment is assinine.
     
  10. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    USA
    I was at a dinner event this week and there was a three piece band playing uptempo Peruvian music. The instruments were a pan flute, nylon string acoustic and a fretless Alembic. The were top-notch performers and they really had that Alembic sounding great.

    I think it's hard to make generalizations about brands. Even within brands--some basses sound great and some sound mediocre. When every bass is made out of graphite, or some other "perfect" material, then we can argue brands. Until then, and while basses are still made of wood (which varies WIDELY in behavior) we're left to argue basses.
     
  11. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    I thought there were some Alembic's from $5000 starting. Like the shorty "Stanly" model??? :confused: I know that if you have ever played them, I have played only a few, they are sweet. I do not have the money for one, but if I did I would definatly own one. Very unique styling and feel. I like that.
    Phil Lesh from the Dead played one for years and years back in the day.
     
  12. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    its only too much if you can't afford it.
     
  13. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    They make an incredible product (workmanship, high end electronics) and when they first came out in the mid to late 70's they were the ONLY widely available High quality Bass. Fenders of that era were of dubvious consistancy and although many of the luthers we now recognize were in bussiness, they were not household names, and had more regionalized word of mouth bussiness. I played a Series I in the 70's that was so much better then any thing else out it wasn't even worth debateing. Unfortunently they were about 4 grand back then, Bimmer 3 series were selling for about 7 grand in 76! The Series I still have a studio grade pre amp that probably would retail for 3-5 grand, stand alone! Fortunently for the bass playing public we now have multiple choices in the high end quality market and the quality of the middle has improved considerably. Alembic was one of the first real innovators in the bass market place. Haveing said that, I broke down and bought one in the mid 80's. They took 8 mounths and about 15 phone calls to get my order right (nothing exotic a 4 string distallate,34" scale, coco bollo top) Then my bass showed up, wrong scale lenght, wrong top!!! the Alembic rep claimed this was a 3 mounth process. The store gave me a deal on the wrong bass, Alembic threw in a T Shirt, And judging from my phone conversations I probably could have scored some good gonja direct from the factory too!!. My Alembic was a good bass, my taste have changed and there diffenently too high-fi for my taste now. But I have a feeling they hurt there rep durring the 80's because mine wasn't the only story like that. I am sure they are a different comapany today, but while they were enjoying a cool buzz durring the 80's, people like Vinnie and Rodger and Ken Smith came along and put a serious dent in there vibe.
     
  14. Yes, 13000 is way up in the sky but for their standard models, they are worthy as it costed. It's the best craftman bass guitar you ever find on earth and a good sounding too.
     
  15. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    MINNESOTA
    I DO own one, a Rogue5, it is very nice and the bottom end on it is like someone punching squarly in the gut, vs slapping you here, very focused! I think if people have the money, and nothing else more important to get with it, they probably would spend the money, I would not, but thats just me, I paid a few grand for mine back in 1998, not to bad, considering there are basses others make that start at that range as well :cool:

    Maybe, as I have said in my thread, people believe that they will sound like Stanley Clarke if they shell out that much money. Sad really.[/QUOTE]

    you ain't kidding, fact is...Stanley would sound like Stanley if he played a Squire :eyebrow: well ok, may thats a stretch, but you get the picture :D
     
  16. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    I have a Mark King Standard that I bought new (read ordered and had built) 5 years ago. Nothing tricked up other than side neck LED's which were the free upgrade that month. I have numerous other basses and I don't play the MK all the time, but it's in the rotation and when I do pick it up it's just a whole 'nother level. It's like art. I happen to like the sound of Alembics, which goes way beyond Stanley's tone. It's a beautiful instrument that is finely crafted. On the heavy side, but I can live with it. It was a treat to myself and I do not regret getting for one second. Like anything else, it's in the eye of the beholder (player).

    [img=http://img208.exs.cx/img208/1613/alembiccu7da.th.jpg]
     
  17. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
  18. EBMatt

    EBMatt

    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    Alembics are awesome basses if thats the sound you are going for. Nothing can get the alembic sound except for an alembic.

    Most alembics have a list price of around $5000 - $6000 dollars. Many alembics are well under that too. There is a used one selling for $1500 on basscentral.com too.

    Not all alembics are $13,000. Some are actually quite affordable (within the realm of high end basses). Some cost considerably less than MTD's, or Ken Smiths, or even pedullas and spectors.
     
  19. I own two fabulous Alembics. I have owned four at one moment in time, that cost me less than $8000 (3 secondhand, 1 N.O.S.) while they would've cost me certainly more than $20,000 when I had ordered them new.

    You should only order a new Alembic if you know EXACTLY what you want and plan to keep it for the rest of your life. If that's not the case just buy secondhand. The quality is outstanding, the sound is unique and IMHO no other brand/builder/luthier comes even close.

    This doesn't mean they're everybody's cup of tea BTW...
     
  20. But are the Alembics which ARENT the Series I or Series II models of comparable sound and playability? I understand that they all arent going to be as expensive as the most decked out Series II, but are they still considered amongst the best, even at the lower end of the brand?