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Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by duke2004, Feb 3, 2009.
I almost said that yesterday. Also, with an unlined fretless you end up playing more by ear anyway.
It's a solidbody guitar, custom made by Rick Turner, a former Alembic employee. Rick makes a few of these a year and also a bass version.
Very cool unique look and sound.
I understand all that - I play a fretless, unlined, which is why I don't go crazy setting the intonation on it, close enough it good enough.
That said - I fail to see any advantage to this bridge design for an electric bass, so what's the point? Alembic HAS a compensating bridge, why not use it? It's certainly not a cost saving measure - it's a freaking Alembic.....
So why choose to do it this way? It makes ZERO sense to me, unless the aim is to be as purist as possible - "just like an upright" - being the mindset.
OK - quick update to my post above. I found a picture of another FL Alembic, and they at least have the bridge angled to make a bit of an adjustment:
This make good sense, and would be close enough, I'm sure. And - I have seen similar on fretted electrics.
But McVie's is straight across - with no consideration for proper intonation. Weird I say.
If you look at an upright bass bridge it goes parallel to the nut. Just an observation.
I know that.
But think about how OLD that design is.
Just because something has always been done a certain way, doesn't mean it should continue to be done that way.
My point is - Alembic had their own compensating bridge design at the time, why not use it? Why would they deliberately say "well, it's fretless, the player can adjust on the fly."
While that is certainly true, you are still making things more challenging than they need to be.
I'm always up for a good challenge, but it seems to me, this would simply get in the way of creativity and expression.
Here's one somebody I know owns. This is supposedly the only one in this color.
I'm guessing that was the next evolution of fretless (ahem, *continuously fretted*) Alembics.
FWIW, I recently ordered a custom fretless 5-string from Alembic, loosely based on McVie's and a couple others, but I really hadn't given much thought to the bridge. Since mine will have sidelines, I assume the bridge will be the modern standard, compensated on each individual string.
Cool color for a Model One. I started a thread for Turner instruments a while back... it's pretty quiet in there. Renaissance/Turner Basses Club
A surprisingly good album. (the Billy Joel debut).
One of my favorite McVie performances is on Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London. It's a deceptively simple part, but if you listen he never plays the riff exactly the same. An eye opener- to me at least.
Sure would be interesting if not!!
nolaguy, thanks for the video, I either never knew McVie played on Zevons WOL, or had forgotten. I have been a seeker, collector, and purveyor of vinyl since the late 1970's, and I will never forget the reaction of a friend and customer, when I came back from an out of state record show with the Werewolves of London picture disc he had requested. (seen above at the 8 second mark in the video you posted) The bear hug and check was more than enough, but he insisted on providing a steak dinner and way too many beers as well.
39 years ago today...
The alternative take rocks out, is a bit more rough and ready and has the bass up front. Check it out.
Love that run down at the 1:02 mark!
John McVie... His superb playing got me interested in major pentatonics. He weaves the five black-key notes into melodic, supportive bass lines that never seem repetitive, in spite of the need to be concise in a big sounding band. The lock-in with Mick Fleetwood is phenomenal.
So good that Silver Springs didn't make the cut!
There is a moment on the "Classic Albums--Rumours" episode where Mick is listening to the isolated bass track on one of the songs and says, "awww, you're a monster, John".
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