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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by grooveguru, Aug 21, 2001.
How many do you own and which models? What do you like or dislike about them. Any good stories?
Oops forgot to mention mine. Mark King Standard in quilted maple w/ side l.e.d.s
Hey Groove, what's up?
Got that MK mastered yet?
Okay, here's my rap sheet.....
Currently have 3 Alembics, a 1987 Series I long scale with the Omega body style, a 1974 Series I medium scale small body, and a 2000 Mark King Deluxe 5 string with Series II electronics. The MK / Series II is my favorite and my primary weapon, uh, bass.
I have at some time or another owned 3 others, a 1983 Spoiler, birds-eye maple & mahogany with a medium scale neck, a 1987 Stanley Clarke Deluxe short scale, and a 1979 Series II medium scale small body.
Needless to say, I'm sorta partial to Alembics.
Got a '82 ebony top Persuader. Nice little bass.
Hope to have another Alembic in the fold soon...
Hey Malthumb, I'm workin it! Just got my rig to where I'm happy so I'm workin da funk as we speak!I think you should tell everyone who's 87' it is you now own and the story behind it. I think it's pretty cool!
What I like about Alembics
* The tone is KILLER. My three have three distinct tonal characteristics and they are all very versatile.
* Most beautiful woods you're likely to see. Especially my '87 and my 2000. The '87 is flamed and burled walnut on the top and back, mahogany core. The 2000 is cocobolo top & back, mahogany core, and maple accents between the cocobolo & the core.
Top notch materials. The woods, brass adjustable nut, brass two piece bridge, ebony fingerboards.
* The designs!! I have a Point Body, and Omega Body, and a Small Body. They're all classic designs.
* The support. Just spoke to Mica today about some minor work on my '87. We chatted a bit about my other two. She was as familiar with them as if they'd just left the factory.
Lots of cool options. Two of my basses have side LEDs. Very cool and useful. My 2000 has continuous wood backplates and golden mother of pearl inlays. Niiiice.
.What I don't like about Alembics
* My 2000 is heavy. The other two are not. I expected the 2000 to be heavy because of the way I ordered it, so I'm not really complaining. Cocobolo is a heavy wood and I ordered it solid body instead of semi hollow. More wood = more weight = more tone.
* Versatility is sometimes a double edged sword. They have lots of knobs and switches. It's easy to adjust your way into oblivion.
* Four screws to get to the batteries.
* I can't find a gig bag that'll fit my '87 or my 2000. My MK/Series II is 51" tip to tip.
I've burned enough bandwidth. Someone elses turn.
Malthumb, I just put on a set of Elixirs and the gauges are a little heavier that what the MK was set up for so I've got a slight buzz, sorta Mark King the player kinda sound. I was wondering how the heck do you raise the action on these wonderfully complex pieces of art?
Frankly, James, I believe bandwidth exists just for your kind of contributions...
I love hearing about your Alembics.
That's Stanley's '87, no?
You've got some fine machines there!
I hope to broaden my Alembic experience soon-
either a Distillate or a Series I. I have yet to play an Alembic I didn't like!
have you been to the yahoo forum lately? I haven't been in a while...
My suggestion is to adjust the nut up, then adjust the bridge up. You should plan on having to intonate when you're done. I'm not sure this is the BEST way, but it's the method I've used.
The story behind the '74 is probably more interesting, but I got the '87 from Stanley Clarke last summer. He was liquidating a bunch of his stuff, so I called his engineer, Dan Humann and made an offer on the bass. It's not the "School Days" brown bass or the "I Wanna Play For You" black bass, each of which he was selling for 5 digit numbers . Anyway, I bought the bass, he signed the back of the neck and headstock. I had it resealed to protect the signature.
I'm pretty sure I saw him play my bass in Detroit. He was touring with George Duke. I was in the second row. He stood on the empty seat in front of me and went to work. I remember that he was not playing one of his customary small body short scale basses, so I'm pretty sure it was this one.
When I'm not here, (or practicing ), I'm there. Have you entered the "How many basses in the club" pool?
Here's the Stanley Clarke Bass
Here's 3/4 of my current stable...
Left to Right
2000 Mark King / Series II, 1974 Series I small body medium scale, and 1987 Series I Omega Body
Howdy Alembic Aficionados,
I currently own a '96 Essence 5 string. Vermillon top. It's been my workhorse for over 4 years now. Additionally, I use an F-1X and an SF-2 as part of my sound reinforcement package.
I swear James, everytime I see that 5 string Series II of yours, my mouth just waters. What a beautiful instrument.
Someday, my custom Alembic will be a 5 or 6 string Europa, with Series II electronics.
She's a beauty, kind of like my MK's cousin.
Alembics owned (2):
1. Mark King Standard 4, quilted maple top (very similar to Groove's), siennaburst finish.
2. Europa Fretless, cocobolo top, standard electronics.
They look so cool! These guitars are beautiful works of art, in my optinion (you could eat off them). Lots of different tones and sounds. I like to have a mix going (drum boxes, synths, et. al), and while playing the bass, start tweaking the filters so the bass sits nicely in the respective sonic void. Good way to fill in the sonic spectrum. I use flat wounds and tape wounds on the fretless for darker sounds, and use the fretted for buzzsaw like sounds (rounds). Low action, easy to play.
HEAVY!!! The MK isn't the most balanced bass sitting down, but you learn to find the right spots.
I sometimes have a weak back, but you make due for the tone! (That's why I keep the Steinberger nearby, if the back isn't cooperating!). Malthumb makes a good point, with too many tone options, fine tuned tweaks can be hard to find sometimes. The filters are like playing with an analog synth. Find the settings and keep them! Use a grease pencil....!>)
Groove, regarding action, I agree with Mal. Work with the nut height, as well as bridge height using the supplied allen wrench Might help you with those big daddy strings. Keep an eye on the neck and truss rods
How do you like those Elixir's on the MK?
I have two, a Series I and a Series II. What I like about them is the workmanship and the tone and the medium scale length of the two that I have.
What I don't like is the weight, but the likes far outweigh the weight issue.
1977 Series I
1981 Series II
While not really suitable for most of the down 'n dirty, roadhouse, classic rock gigs that I survive on, I break out my '98 fretless 5 string Custom for dinner sets or jazz gigs when the room is right. My mainstays are Fender and Musicman basses but the Alembic is fun when the drunks aren't quite so "dangerous." Also, I find the Alembic sound more useful for jazz than it is for classic rock although obviously they can get just about any sound you might want. As has been pointed out, they really are heavy, however, and that's another reason I wouldn't use one 3 and 4 nights a week for 4 sets a night. Sitting on a stool on a laid-back gig or in a studio, they're very comfortable. Mine is a bitch hanging from a strap, tho.
The Elixirs sound and feel great on the MK. I loved them on my Warwick Thumb. I e-mailed Mica to check on some setup tips as well and she thought that because two of the Elixirs are lighter gauge this would decrease the tension on my neck by about 10-14lbs per string thus increasing the backbow on the neck. So it looks like Truss Rod tweaking time. Before I do however I soaked the Alembic strings in a PVC tube filled with denatured alcohol as per someone's suggestion here at Talkbass. This is suppose to return them to a like new condition and can be repeated as often as needed until the string finally goes snap. If anyone would like directions e-mail me. If it worked I'll just slap the Alembics back on and problem solved. If not I'll put the Elixirs back on and tweak the rod. I'm a bit nervous about messing with the bass due to inexperience doing this as well as it being my Alembic. Kubla, I know you have tweaked your rod numerous times Any tricks to it?
I play air bass on a Series II...
Do I count?
MARK YOUR STARTING POINTS!!!!!!