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Alembics for Schecter Stiletto...?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by thwackless, May 20, 2004.

  1. thwackless


    Nov 24, 2003
    Smithfield, RI
    Greetings, House of Thunder,

    I'm picking up a Schetcter Stiletto Elite-4, and it comes w/ EMG HZ passives, EMG 2-band EQ is on board. It's a neck-thru.

    I'm being pitched Alembic soapbars w/ Q-filter and pan control- the set-up is called "Alembic Activators"- by a guy at the store I teach at. Now, I don't see coming up with the bread for an Alembic bass, and I realize there's more to the sound of an axe than the p'ups! But, I've always dug the sound of Phil Lesh's bass, as well as the guy from Styx (can't remember his name). Both at some point big Alembic players.
    I'm no Dead-head, and not a great fan of Styx (or the guy's bass lines!), but what a sweet-yet-pummeling sound! :bassist:

    Am I barking up the right tree in trying to cop a piece of that sound this way? Am I so wrong?!

  2. Wayner


    May 7, 2004
    Maryland, USA

    Alembic electronics (like everything else they make) = $$$. Have you had a chance to play any alembic basses? This is just me, but it would be hard to justify spending that kind of cheddar without hearing it first.

    I have an Alembic Orion 4-string - it doesn't even have the q-filter on it, but it sounds better than just about anything I've ever played. Some people complain that the sound is too thin or too hi-fi. therefore, play for yourself and be the judge!
  3. thwackless


    Nov 24, 2003
    Smithfield, RI
    Nothing like common sense when you can find it. The set-up I mentioned was highly recommended (as I made mention of), so I'm tossing the subject out to see how it bounces back.

    I once played a Midnight-Blue 'Spoiler' bass, and I found it's called that for a good reason- the impression has stayed with me, though there's something to be said for the enhancement of passing time! What a pleasant feel, and it sounded pretty wonderful, as I recall. I think the p'up set-up I'm being spoken to about includes the Spoiler soapbars.

    Even with the feel and all, I don't know if I could be into spending $3000+ on a bass (approx. current price of a Spoiler :rollno: ). I think after $2000 the curve to perfection gets more and more incremental...

  4. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    For What It's Worth:

    I had a Stiletto Elite 4 and thought it was a decent bass. Original owner had pulled the EMGs and guts and dropped in a pair of Bart M34C's and had it professionally wired passive with some kind of rigging that totally sucked. The bass was so dark you couldn't use it for anything. But he had also had the frets dressed and the bass had a straight neck, played like butter, was well balanced, not too heavy, and the craftsmanship in the bass was very good.

    I know a number of seasoned players that like the EMG HZ's. And I've had a BTC control with a set of EMG PJ's and it was a decent preamp. You may be very satisfied with it as is.

    But if you're not, you can do the Alembic thing, and if it's done in a manner that doesn't alter the bass, you can pull it out and drop the originals back when it comes time to sell. If after a year it looks like the bass is a keeper with the Alembics, you can sell the EMG stuff which is always in demand. Currently EMG HZ's are going for about $50 on ebay and the BTC the same. Personally, I'd keep them regardless for whenever the bass does have to go. Also, the Alembic stuff sold seperately usually commands a pretty hefty price used.

    What I can virtually gaurantee you is, if you drop the Alembics in and have to leave them in, you'll never get anywhere near the value of that upgrade out of that bass. Most people buying used basses want it stock cause they're looking for something they know, not something they've never heard. Either that or they'd love to have it but they'll only pay what the stock Schec's go for.

    I bought my Schec for $280 shipped with a hadshell case and it was near mint. I sold it for $350 plus shipping after I rewired it so that it sounded as good as it played. I'd probably still have it if I hadn't changed my approach to basses.
  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    wise words Dr D, we often forget that about upgrades.
  6. thwackless


    Nov 24, 2003
    Smithfield, RI
    Y'know, every new bass I get, I tell myself, "This one's a keeper.", and it's never true! I'm bad for that- though this Schecter is a sweeter player than most all the basses I've played in the last couple years, which is worthy. But on that note I'll consider your word about re-sale value (the Alembic idea) as good advice. A good heads-up on the loss concerning the upgrade idea. I'll try the HZ's for a while before I go off on it!

    My Fender Jazz I had I downgraded from EMG VJ's to stock Fender p'ups- and it was a good move for that bass, so there's a voucher for not 'upgrading'...

    Thanks for the note, 'Luk'