MM Sterling VS Alembic Orion

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Söderberg, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. Söderberg


    Sep 30, 2004
    Hey guys!

    Oh, this is the one - now I´m actually after about 12 months of saving up and ...websearching for "THE BASS", buying myself a new bass! PHEW!

    The only thing is that I´m choosing between the following:

    An Alembic Orion 4-string with flame mapletop (and bottom), used bass, lowpassfilter...has a few dings on it but it sounds great (from what I´ve heard - sadly I haven´t actually tried it yet!! I´m buying it "untried")

    A Musicman Sterling (translucent red)... :cool:

    I´m aming for a bass with sort of a jazzy neck (since I sold my Musicman Stingray due to it´s pretty IMO wide neck). I like the Stingray/Sterling sound but if the neck on the Orion is anything like jazzy I´d go for the Alembic since I can get it pretty cheap used compared to the new Sterling.

    Any comments, opinions, advice? :bassist:

    Sorry about the spelling, I´m swedish!:)

    /The Swede
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I have a Sterling and love it, best bass ive played. Love the tone and the feel, everything, its an amazing bass. Dont have experience with the Alembic.
  3. Söderberg


    Sep 30, 2004
    The fastest answer EVER! :hyper:
  4. alembic76407


    Apr 29, 2004
    once you own an Alembic, it's hard to even look at any other basses.

    and I'm not saying that other basses are bad, their not!!!!
    I love all basses
    I just play Alembic's
  5. my bass teacher has an alembic but it's a little higher end than an orion, but I love it!!!! Sterlings are awesome too but if a store here in nashville had a used alembic, it would be mine and my other basses would be gone.
  6. Söderberg


    Sep 30, 2004
    I´ve heard nothing but great stuff about Alembics ...but I don´t KNOW so much about the basses. Orion and Epic seems great and "affordable" but what about the set in neck? Do they ever warp?
  7. Söderberg


    Sep 30, 2004
  8. AlembicBob


    Dec 28, 2004
    MA, US
    Well, here's the problem: Everything can be customized.

    The stock measurements, according to the respective manufacturers are as follows:

    Sterling: 1.5" @ nut, 2.5" @ 21st fret

    Stingray: 1.625" @ nut, 2.5" @ 21st fret

    Orion: 1.625" @ nut, 2.36" @ 24th fret

    I also did see someone mention that they had a Stingray with a 1.75" wide nut. 1.75" is also the measurement for the older Fender P-bass, so it is possible that older MM basses were made a bit wider than the current spec.

    If these basses are all factory-spec on the neck, the sterling will provide tighter spacing at the lower positions. Once you get up past the 5th fret or so, the Alembic will have narrower spacing the rest of the way to the bridge. A lot of difference in feel could come from the depth of the neck as well, and there's no real spec available for that to tell you which will feel smaller in your hand.
  9. Söderberg


    Sep 30, 2004
    Yeah! And I thought that the Stingrayneck was a bit...clumpsy on the depth-side.
  10. It just happens to be that I'm a real Orion enthousiast (I start singing the same titled Jethro Tull tune every time I see one or look at my own fine specimen), but you have to take into account the huge difference in sound between the two instruments you mentioned. The Sterling will sound much more active than your Orion, I can guarantee that. I know the one you're thinking about has a low-pass filter that makes it a non-standard Orion, but unless you take that to extreme highs it will certainly surprise you with stunningly natural tone, almost (dare I say it) un-Alembic in character. Conclusion: you really have to compare the two yourself, and choose with your ears... Good luck!
  11. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Get the Orion.
  12. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    I've owned both. Get the Sterling.
  13. alembic5


    Dec 5, 2004
    Seattle, Wa.
    I'll second that! I've been playing Alembic since '96, and it will be hard for me to play anything else!
  14. Söderberg


    Sep 30, 2004

    I´m getting the orion. It has a few dings on it but it sounds AWSOME! Natural is the place I´m going!:) What a sound!!!!

  15. If you know how people decided to buy a pair of jeans that is the same way you would do to the MM. You would wanted to have this jeans with you from winter to summer and you would do the same to MM.

    But you know for those who lastly owned the Alembic, they might still get many more basses after including MM but they will never let go their Alembics.

    What ever is your decission today. You will own the Alembic with the matter of time only because your heart already know what you really want.
  16. bino

    bino Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    I'd buy that Alembic just 'cuz it looks so good.
  17. alembic76407


    Apr 29, 2004
    Good move!!! be sure to go to and join the Alembic club, post your seriel # and ask Mica for your build record.

    David T
  18. Söderberg


    Sep 30, 2004
    I can´t wait to get my hands on the Orion! It will be like heaven! :hyper: I´m thinking about buying an EBS GORM, DROME or some kind of rig to match the pure sound. :ninja: