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Just won an Alembic F-1X on ebay!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BassistGod, Mar 14, 2003.


  1. Just won this baby on ebay a few minutes ago! It cost a few bucks but I've been gassing for one so bad I had to have it.

    Alembic F-1X preamp

    I hope this baby gets that fat warm tone I'm searching for.
    What do all you f-1x owners and past owners think of it? What settings do you like to use for your sounds? I know the eq is a bit tricky.

    :D Dang I'm giddy!
     
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Hey,

    congratulations! The F-1X is a great preamp. You'll definitely get that fat warm tone from it. I had one and loved it, only sold it to get a Kern which is similar to the Alembic but with, IMO, more flexibility. But that's no diss on the Alembic at all, it's a great preamp.

    The fender style passive eq does take some getting used to, it can be like 'whack a mole' sometimes - turn this thing down, this thing over there goes up.
    Important thing to remember - bass / treble controls are boost, mid is cut only. So 'flat' eq on the F-1X is 2-10-2 ish on bass/mid/treble respectively.

    To help get to grips with how the tone controls interact, download the Tone Stack Calculator from here and select the Fender circuit when running. you can then see how different settings affect the frequency response curve. Have fun, and congratulations again!
     
  3. sweet little program. I just can'wait to get my hands on the real thing though.
     
  4. You will not be dissapointed. The EQ is funky but once you wrap your head around it you may find it surprisingly flexible. The tone is massive, deep and buttery rich. Just goes to show what a single tube can do if enough volta is applied to it (300v.) That "deep switch" is a low mid cut. I also have a SF-2 that I was sure I'd need but it hasn't been needed at all so far. I struggled with so many rigs, heads and set-ups but only now can I honestly say that I am completely satisfied with my live tone. Start out with the EQ "flat" (2-10-2) and go from there. Those knobs pack a whole lotta punch so be careful...(!) Geshel has pretty much the same rig as me so maybe he'll chime in a bit too. Ol' man Wickersham's design is right on the money and for me it's a real "plug n' play" setup...thank God.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    Congrats BassistGod...

    The F1X is a nice choice...I hope to have one someday too.
     
  6. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    I don't have an F-1X, but I do have the F-2B which is very similar.
    The setting I use most is 4-10-7 (Bass-Middle-Trebel) with the Bright switch off (the F-2B doesn't have a Deep switch).
    Tubes make a difference too, and everyone likes something different. The tubes in mine are Amperex (early '80's W. Germany) and they are wonderful sounding tubes.


    Well, it's not exactly Ron Wickersham's design.
    The F-1X is a single-channel variation of the F-2B which in turn is almost a direct copy of the preamp found in an old Fender Dual Showman.
    The F-1X does have some extra features that the F-2B doesn't have though like the deep switch, DI, & crossover.
     
  7. Once I get the F-1x, I'm going to AB it against my svp pro. Then it will be a shootout to see if I keep both or sell one off.
     
  8. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    :confused: Huh?

    I've tried the F-1X & it's really nice but I liked my SVP-PRO better.
     
  9. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    The Alembic (and Kern) preamps have the Fender type passive eq circuit. Bass and Treble are boost, Mid is cut. So, Bass at 2, Mid at 10, Treble at 2 is the closest there is to a 'flat' eq setting.
     
  10. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    You might as well post your Ampeg!:D

    Seriously, you'd have to work to get a bad sound out of the F1-X. However, it is nice to have an active Mid band on your bass. The Alembic excells in the high and low range but IMO is somewhat lacking in the mid range. My Roscoe's have the 3-band EQ so no problem there.
     
  11. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    I've got the F-2B (hey Mad, forgot you got the PLX - yeah, pretty similar rigs now eh?). It does excell at warm and fat. I use a SansAmp and an SF-2 to get a more aggressive sound. In hindsight, I might have been better off with an SWR IOD or an Ampeg BSP, but this works very well.

    As for the EQ on it . . . yeah it's a bit funny how it works. My basses have a good amount of mids, so with 2-10-2 I've got plenty of them. Some basses, you might want more though.
     
  12. I've never had an issue with getting enough mids from my F-1X? I like a fair bit for "slice" and "growl" and am thinking maybe my use of both Warwick basses and 12" cabs have probably compensated for this. I like a fat, round sound and can't stand that "scooped" tone much at all. Works for me?
    Yeah Geshel, pretty much the same set-ups, ironic. It took me so much to arrive at where I am rig wise...funny we both ended up at the same place rack wise.
    I still really like my SWR IOD but NO WAY does it come close to the depth and richness of tone that the Alembic excells at. Funny, you'd think the IOD to be huge with all those tubes but the F-1X and it's single tiny AX7 sound gargantuan in comparison. I wouldn't mind trading my SWR for a SVP Pro just to have that "classic" SVT tone but from the folks I've chatted up, the F-1X still beats it tone-wise, hands down. Of course, both the Ampeg and SWR have their own "vibe" that could endear a player to them regardless.
     
  13. rok51

    rok51

    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    I'd keep both the SVP Pro and the F-1X. Ditto the above regarding no mid boost. I, too, have active 3 band eq on all of my basses, so it's easy to tweek the mids there. I run 2,9-10 and 4 on the bass/middle/treble. I love the simplicity, construction and, oh yeah, tone of the F-1X. I also love the tone from my SVT III Pro-the only way I'll part with it is if I get the SVP Pro and an amp.

    Kim
     
  14. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Cool, you finally found your F-1X. I figured that one would show up with your name on it pretty soon.

    Congratulations ;)
     
  15. Hey MAD DUB HOOFER - can you post a signal chain diagram for your rack? I'm curious.

    Thanx.:)
     
  16. I too would like to see it Madsubwoofer!
     
  17. Hmmm...not much to tell.
    Rane DC24 set for split-band mode in the Fx loop of the F-1X into the SF-2 which is used to extend the lows maybe a bit but mostly is just not needed at all, into the PLX3002, ch.1 in parallel mode. I drive a 800w EB-MM HD212 on each channel of the QSC.
    When i get a proper subwoofer I will run the SF-2 in stereo using one channel to drive the sub with massively extended lows not unlike a BE ELF system.
    Is that what you meant?
     
  18. Yes, that's what I'm after. I'm considering replacing my SWR amp with an Alembic pre/QSC PLX power amp setup along with my SF-2. I have read quite a bit about the versatility of the FX-1, and was wondering if my SF-2 would be redundant.

    Right now I plug my bass into the SF-2's preamp section, then mono through an FMR RNC compressor into the preamp (active) input of my SWR 350 (in order to get some tube warmth). I had not been happy with my previous setup with the SF-2 in the FX loop of the SWR (too much gain fiddling to get right), but I really am happy with it on the front end of the chain.

    Just was curious how things came together for you functionally and sound-wise. Merci, monsieur!:)
     
  19. Well, I replaced my Mesa M-2000 with it's three tube preamp for a QSC/Alembic rig and couldn't be happier. I now have more tube warmth, depth and buttery richness than I ever thought possible; all out of a single tube preamp! SWR doesn't deliver nearly enough plate voltage to their tube preamp to reach the same level of tone that the F-1X has.
    I honestly haven't needed my SF-2 so far? People view the F-1X as being limited but I have gotten lots of great and different tones from it and it just sounds so damn good. I am glad to have the SF-2 though, I'm sure it will be put to use some day.
     
  20. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    The parametric really helps out. I've been switching back and forth between an Ashley 31 band and an Ashley parametric and it has made the F-1X a bit more user/room friendly. I just run the Alembic flat.