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NBD: Alembic Essence Fretless 5 MMMMWWWHHAAAA!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Twocan, Jan 21, 2017.


  1. Twocan

    Twocan Living the Dream

    Oct 5, 2009
    MA
    This past week, after 2 years of hunting, I found the elusive Alembic Essence 5 Fretless on Reverb and shot it before it could get away. It's now mounted and hung on my wall:

    IMG_2610.JPG

    The Birdseye is purrrrdy
    IMG_2623.JPG IMG_2624.JPG

    A look at the rump:
    IMG_2626.JPG

    Here it is, compared to a fretted specimen:
    IMG_2627.JPG
    It's interesting that, while the same breed, the body sizes and horns can vary: IMG_2628.JPG

    This is how GAS ends.
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    smiley-shocked016.gif drool drool drool
     
  3. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    You are a lucky man!

    The variation in body dimensions isn't terribly surprising seeing how they are all hand-built, although I'm sure there's a template to get started with floating around there somewhere.
     
    BBQisgood likes this.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    very nice. congratulations on your new instrument. while i go for unlined, i'm thinking those lines are pretty subtle --- way to go! :thumbsup:
     
    BBQisgood likes this.
  5. Twocan

    Twocan Living the Dream

    Oct 5, 2009
    MA
    Thanks! It came strung with Elixirs, and the jury is still out as far as keeping those, going to flats or to tapes. My last fretless had La Bella back tapes, which I loved. The rounds are getting A LOT of mwha/buzz - I wonder whether the later choices might tame this a bit? Set up is consistent with my fretted Essence.
     
  6. adje

    adje

    Feb 3, 2004
    The fretless is likely to be a little older than the fretted one, as they changed the bodyshapes slightly after a while - basically, there's more wood behind the tailpiece on the earliest examples.

    Then again, the 5 and 6 string Essences have a longer upper horn, compared to the regular 4 string Essence. Line up the horns, and the bridges and tailpieces should line up too.

    Alembic use templates. They use CNC for the bits where only a machine can deliver, but they do carve by hand - the best of both worlds.

    All that, and quite the eye to maximize the impact of the wood - just look at how those bird's eyes fill out the shape. Mesmerizing stuff.
     
  7. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Nice! What is that brass/metal think at the neck heel? Piezo pickup? Truss rod cover? Secret compartment?
     
    BBQisgood likes this.
  8. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Yep, id say your Need for more basses is moot, but Gas knows no logic. You could always get more Alembics! Beautiful pair, i am fair livid with jealousy.
     
    sigmafloyd and Dr. Cheese like this.
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That is one sexy pair of basses!
     
    Twocan likes this.
  10. jaybones

    jaybones Inactive

    Mar 4, 2015
    Kelleys Island, Ohio
    none
    That's where the tone lives!
     
  11. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Ahhh the tone fairy. Of course!
     
  12. Oneud

    Oneud

    Apr 16, 2016
    Ankh-Morpork
    Wow. Those are truly works of art. The body on the fretless is gorgeous.
     
  13. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Really Nice! I totally endorse matched fretted and fretless basses, and have admired (but never played) the Essence basses for years. How is balance on a strap, sitting and standing, with those bad boys?
     
  14. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    NYC
    Hey Twocan, that birdseye is purrrrdy. The fretted specimen looks like chocolate and the fretless one looks like gold!
     
  15. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    NYC
    Exactly!
     
  16. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Nice! Chocolate and caramel. Alembic really does a great job with Essence basses. Small beautifully carved body with huge tone.
     
  17. EdwardofHuncote

    EdwardofHuncote I Still Dream of Jeannie Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Southwest Virginia
    Truss rod(s) adjustment in there. ;)
     
  18. EdwardofHuncote

    EdwardofHuncote I Still Dream of Jeannie Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Southwest Virginia
    You already know how I feel about fretless Alembics rendered in birdseye maple. :laugh:

    Again, Congratulations & Compliments!
     
    Twocan likes this.
  19. Madhouse27

    Madhouse27

    Sep 19, 2016
    That's quite a pair!
     
  20. alembicbones

    alembicbones

    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    The Essence 5 was my first Alembic. What a simple but super powerful electronics package on that bass. I can only imagine your new fretless just sings.

    Enjoy in great health.
    Bones
     
    Twocan likes this.

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