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Question for Alembic owners

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bryan Hassing, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. Hi there: I just visited the Alembic web site. In short, I cannot believe how expensive their basses are. I mean, really, $14000 for a six-string Series II? For those that own an Alembic, did you pay anything near the list price for your bass? Also, do you actually take them to gigs? And, if so, do you keep an eagle's eye on them or just trust in insurance coverage. I'm not knocking those who spend the money on an Alembic. If you can afford it, that's great.
  2. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    You'll find that used Alembics are MUCH cheaper. I got my Essence for $895..and yeah, I take it to practice and gig with it too, why not?

  3. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    There's no denying the quality, but new prices on Alembics are out this world. I paid a tiny fraction of new for my Epic used, sure it's not my perfect "dream bass" but it didn't cost a year's pay either. It's still the only Epic I've seen with a Zebrawood top, and a low end Alembic really is comparable to many other makers' high end instruments. I'm no more or less careful with it than with any of my others, which is to say paranoid...
  4. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I've owned a total of six Alembics, still have two. I don't know of anyone who has paid list price for an Alembic. For what it's worth I don't know anyone who's paid list for any custom ordered bass.

    If you want to know what most custom ordered basses really sell for, a good template would be to assume about 70% of list. Actual price depends on the dealer you go through and what their terms of franchise are with the company (This holds true for Alembic and other companies as well).

    These are the two I still have. The one strapped up is my main "gigging" bass of the four basses I currently own. It's also the one I paid the most for.


    Since I don't plan to ever part with either of these, I don't have a problem with stating that I paid $5K for the 4 string Series I and just over $6K for the 5 string Series II. They are worth it to me, because I'll never lose a penny on them.


  5. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Sweet pair of Series basses, James. Bet they've both got tone for days! :cool:
  6. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Damn! I forgot I had agreed to warn you. ;)
  7. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    James is spot on with the 70% of retail figure. That's what I paid when I ordered the bass contained on the attached file. Couple of other things to consider. Alembic recently increased all of their prices significantly. They had remained stagnant for around 5 years. Also, when ordering a custom Alembic, they usually have specials on certain components. When I ordered, I got half off on Series I electronics and abalone inlays. That conbined with the 70% discount brought the bass in at $4.5K. As with James, I will never part with this bass.

    Best Wishes,
  8. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    I bought my Mark King Sig Std 3 years ago through Evan at BassNorthwest - with the HSC and shipped to my door = $2950. I ordered it in a month that Alembic was offering the free side neck LED upgrade, and it took about 2 months to build. I got it before the price jump the following year, so I was pretty lucky. I'll never sell it - it was my first true boutique bass and I feel it was worth every penny and more.
  9. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Sadowskys go for $3500 new all day long. Alembic
    pricing is not too out of line for what you get.
  10. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    That's right and basically you have to buy direct from Roger.
  11. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yeah, so their basses cost five times as much as some of their competitors. Do I believe they do five times as much work to build a bass? You bet. Their stock Series II's are superb, and their custom Series II's are works of art. No one does a hippie sandwich like Ron and company. I've owned a good dozen Alembics over the years, from my very first Series I in the late 70's. There's only one that's been a real "keeper" so far, my custom 35" Series II with extra wide string spacing. I'm totally convinced I'll never be able to find another bass like it anywhere at any time, not sound wise or any other wise. It's just "the one". There's no other bass (not even another Alembic) that can do what this one can do straight through the board. That one I'm keeping. But I've bought and sold and horse traded a bunch of others (you know how GAS gets), they've all been great in one way or another. An Epic was my main gigging bass for a couple of years, that's a fine instrument although it's not in the same league as a Series II. I've had a couple of good fretlesses (si? never mind:)) that I kept for a while, one with the Series II electronics and one with the Europa electronics. I had a baritone five string for a minute, that was a nice hippie sandwich, beautiful cocobolo top. Those guys do great work. You know, with them, the whole issue boils down to a question of whether or not you like their sound. There's not many manufacturers I can say that about, most of the time you have to pick through a dozen or so specimens before you find one that's acceptable. And once you get familiar with the way they do their EQ and the philosophy behind it, you'll get a lot more flexibility out of the sound. I like Alembics. Do I have 14 grand to plunk down just 'cause I happen to be gassin' for their latest featured custom? Not likely. On average I've paid between a grand and 1500 for most of mine. Top price was 2400. None of 'em were new though. But a couple of 'em were "as good as", like used on one gig and for less than two weeks. The deals are out there if you're patient. Alembics do command a substantial resale value, but you have to find the guy with bills to pay who's decided to give up playing bass for a while...

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