Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

I won some Alembic Pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Petebass, Nov 10, 2003.


  1. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I've never won anything before. I just came home from the Australian Alembic launch as the winner of the major door prize, a set of Alembic AE JZ BT Jazz style pickups, complete with electronics. It looks like these are the ones with the Volume/Pan/Bass/Treble configuration as opposed to the Filter.... I'm STOKED!!!!!! (Once again, thanks Dave).

    I'm presuming these pickups are for a 4 string, but is there any way I can check?

    If they are 4 stringers, I'll have to start scanning Ebay for a suitable bass, but that's a good problem to have!

    :) :) :) :)
     
  2. I was at the launch too.... big props to David and his team for such a generous introduction to Alembic and Green Square music....

    Go and see Jackie Orszacky now, all of you!

    Its free on Tuesday Night......


    and buy an Alembic,I would!!
     
  3. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Hey,

    I was there last night as well...congratulations on the pickups...I have got AXY's with the signature electronics in my 6 - they are awesome pickups.

    You should get an Essex jazz bass and put the Alembics in they are fairly well built and at around $290 they are cheap enough to play with without worrying if you break something!
     
  4. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    That's the plan. Get something cheap but reasonably well made, then slot the pickups into it. Either that or save my pennies and get a Fender Jazz next year. I'd even consider a Squier, but it all depends on how the cashflow goes over the next few months - so throw me some extra gigs please :)

    I don't know if I can wait that long though - every single Alembic bass at the launch sounded brilliant. Extremely clear IMO. Luke it's a shame you had to bolt coz you missed out on having a play of the basses. Each sounds different but they all had that family resemblance - clarity! I was sitting there thinking "I wish I could afford one of these". Suddenly I own a set of pickups.

    I've always thought that pickups and electronics have more of an effect on overall sound than anything else. Sure fingers come into it a bit, so does timber. But I did an experiment as a learner with a cheap ONYX bass and Bartolini pickups which transformed the bass 1000%. SO I'm really looking forward to this........
     
  5. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Peter,

    The only thing I am not sure of, maybe David Burgess could help, is whether the Alembic J's will deliver that classic J bass tone. I would guess (if they are anything like the AXY's) that they would be a more modern ultra clear hi-fi tone. If thats the case, its probably not necessary to throw them into a real J bass.

    You could always have a custom built sans-pickups and have them installed - im sure one of the local luthiers could do a reasonable price on a basic ash / maple J clone that would do the trick. You would have an awesome slap tone with ash / maple and alembic pickups!
     
  6. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Well I'm hoping they don't sound like a J bass. I much prefer the Alembic signature clarity.

    How much do you reckon a custom bass would cost sans-pickups? I have absolutely no idea. I guess I just discounted the idea because I presumed it would cost quite a bit.
     
  7. dnburgess

    dnburgess

    Jul 20, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Proprietor: Bass People, Green Square Music
    Glad everyone had a good time at the launch.

    We really have the kind folks at Alembic to thank for all the door prizes - T-shirts, strings and Pete's PUs.

    I haven't heard that set in action - but will ask Alembic.
     
  8. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    In that case, a very loud and very public thank you to Alembic. I'm gonna shoot them an email in appreciation right now


    :bassist:
     
  9. Congratulations on your win Pete.
    mmmmmmmmmmmm... got any pick-up's you want to sell?
    :D
     
  10. kboyd

    kboyd

    Jul 6, 2002
    Loranger
    Petebass...........Alembic PU's are junk, everyone here is just trying to make you feel better about winning them. Send them to me and I will dispose of them properly or give you some other pu's in return just cause I feel sooooo bad for you. :)
     
  11. Im kicking myself now......but I love my customers and they rely on me so......

    So tell me about the ones you played Poida....

    L.
     
  12. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I first had a play of the 5 stringer that Christian used to open the show. Loved everything about it. Feel, sound, everything. It took me about 10 seconds to work out what all the knobs did and that's a good thing. I don't like it when basses get too complicated. Actually I couldn't work out what the toggle switch did at first. I was looking at the speaker cab wondering why I couldnt hear anything changing, but when I looked back at the bass I realised I was turning the fretboard LED's on and off :)

    But as soon as I saw someone looking like they were going to put down the Mark King bass, I signaled for a swap. This one felt slightly narrower in the string spacing. The pickups were placed right where I'd normally slap, so I had to adjust my playing style a bit. Once I did that, WOW! That same signature clarity and punch. A Little more complicated in the knob department, I still don't now what the second toggle switch was for, or how to operate the low filter. But I'm sure it's easy once you know how.

    I played both these basses through the Acme B2 and a Clarus head.

    I also played the Zebra wood Excel and that was also beautiful. It may be entry level but I couldn't fault it. It sounded a bit thinner than the other basses but by this stage I was playing through a different amp/cab configuration (the F1x pre, some French power amp, and a B4) so that may have contributed. I think Dave was saying that the B4 had the tweeter turned up all the way but the B2 didn't. Maybe that had something to do with it.

    I couldn't muster the courage to play the Series 2 piccolo or the Spider 8 string.
     
  13. dnburgess

    dnburgess

    Jul 20, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Proprietor: Bass People, Green Square Music
    One of the really satisfying things about the night was hearing so many players have go after the formalities were over. (Also makes me realise I've got to spend a LOT more time in the woodshed.)

    Pete - the knobs on the Mark King are Volume, Pan, 2 x Low pass filter (one for each PU). Each filter has a toggle switch which introduces an 8dB boost at the filter frequency (which is swept via the knob.)

    Interestingly, while many people admired the Spyder's amazing craftsmanship, and some played it unplugged - I don't recall anyone plugging it in for a blast. Christian also found it challenging. The secret to playing this instrument is to use a very light touch with lots of amplifaction.
     
  14. dnburgess

    dnburgess

    Jul 20, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Proprietor: Bass People, Green Square Music
    Pete - here is some feedback I got from a user of the Alembic J style PUs:

    "I've been using a standard J/J Activator set (including the original 2x volume & 1x low pass filter pots that come with it) for 10+ years now. Since the instrument they should go into may make a difference, here's what mine have been sittin' on since August '99: 2-pce swamp ash J-body; 3-pce hard rock maple J-neck with rosewood fretboard and graphite inlays; Schaller bridge and tuners; graphite nut; satin finish; medium light GHS Boomers.

    The sound? They're amazing! They make any J sound better, more "hifi" (no way keeping those harmonics hidden, not even with the filter "closed" all the way, so you'd better refresh your string-damping skills!!). Both volume pots offer output adjustment on the circuit board. This set is capable of pushing any (pre-)amp to its limits (I use a solid state class A pre, renowned for its huge headroom, yet it "soft-clips" wonderfully!).

    Turn the filter all the way "up", full neck PU and bridge rolled a little back, hit that open E and a certain guy named Miller comes to mind immediately, no matter how old your strings are! Or turn the brigde PU down a little more and tweak the filter down to the right hi-mid "peak" before rolling off. Sound familiar? That's Abe Laboriel's cutting P-sound, great for making those slides/vibrato's. Jaco? Stanley? Anthony Jackson in his Chaka days (add a little flanging..)? They're all living in your bass and all it takes to get them out is a 30-minute, solder free connecting job.

    It takes some time to get used to the sheer endless combinations the 3 controls offer (just listen to what shifting the filter pot by as little as 1mm does!!), but once you've heard your bass with Activators installed, there's no going back to the (passive) stuff installed on regular J's (unless you're a huge Duck Dunn-fan and proud of using the original 1964 factory-installed strings: then these PU's may not be your cup o' tea)."
     
  15. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    They're cheaper than that, more like $139
     
  16. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    That's exactly what I was hoping to hear. More Alembic, less Fender :)

    I read his suggestions for settings but it seems his PU's are slightly different to mine. He has 3 knobs (volume x 2 and a filter). I've got 4 knobs and, no filter, (volume, pan, Bass, and treble).

    Either way it's all good info. Thanks Dave.
     
  17. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Don't forget he's talking Australian Dollars :)
     
  18. dnburgess

    dnburgess

    Jul 20, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Proprietor: Bass People, Green Square Music
  19. Jontom

    Jontom

    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    I'm presuming these pickups are for a 4 string, but is there any way I can check?

    :) :) :) :) [/B][/QUOTE]
    Take some plastic wrap, wrap the whole pickup, then sprinkle some metal filings on the top side. The filings will be drawn right to the pole pieces. Be sure the filings are on the other side of the room in the garbage before unwrapping! ;)
     
  20. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I couldn't wait any longer. Those pu's were just sitting there, taunting me.

    I just got off the phone with my mates at Music Workshop in North Ryde. They've done me a great deal on a Essex Jazz, the sunburst one with the tiger flame maple top, maple neck and rosewood fretboard. They have told me that they get the occasional the essex with a crappy neck, but they'll make sure I get a good one. It will be here in a few weeks.

    I might have a crack at installing these pickups myself. They seem to be designed for easy installation, but if I get into trouble I can always enlist help.

    I'll keep ou posted............