Stanley Clarke Album: What Bass On Cover?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Pauly 4001, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. I am asking the best forum that could possibly answer this nagging question :
    What is the bass Stanley Clarke is pictured with on the cover of his first solo album?
    I know he was closely associated with Alembic but frankly that looks as much like a Bartell/Hohner mutation as any Alembic. Most of the body is not pictured but it looks like a bolt on neck on what looks like it ought to be a contoured maple hollow body with rounded carved horns. Headstock is laminated so it's no Hohner.
    Alembic? Framus? Custom?
  2. Bassist30


    Mar 19, 2004
    Alembic. He hasn't really changed since he got it. That looks like the Stanley Model, the little that is shown.
    gebass6 likes this.
  3. middlebit


    Sep 10, 2005
    Alembic all the way. I believe that's the so-called "1st", or one of the first ones, at least. It's not entirely clear exactly which model it was - Alembic made a lot of one-offs, and this was way before the more streamlined signature series came out. There are a couple of threads about his various early electric basses floating around. Be careful not to fall in!
    Alembic Club: Stanley Clarke's first alembic
    Alembic Club: History of the Stanley Clarke small body shape?
    malthumb likes this.
  4. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    The second best forum that could answer this question. :) The best would be this one. Alembic Club - Index. There is also a really good recounting of his progression with Alembic basses on the liner of the "If This Bass Could Only Talk" album.
  5. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    And the funny thing? Stanley is a large, full-growed man with NBA-sized hands, and yet . . . . his signature 4-strings have TINY necks, which gives me a giggle every time I read these posts about a neck being 'big enough' to slap.
  6. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    That is an Alembic Series I SSB (Short Scale Bass). It is neck through, and typical Alembic Series I construction (which meant at the time that they used various hardwoods). The pickups and preamp are essentially the same Alembic is using in this model bass today; designed by Ron Wickersham, and still the pinnacle of bass guitar pickups and preamps, retaining single coil sound without hum.

    Here is some footage of the bass in action.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
    jim nolte and sowilson like this.
  7. Sorry, don't see your link to the promised video.
    I'm surprised to hear that it's a standard Series 1: the contours and horns seem different but my imagination must be filling in all that the photo on the cover doesn't show.
  8. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Maybe this will help you....the bass in the middle in this picture is serial number 74 84. The bass Stanley used on "School Days" was serial number 74 80, so they are likely very similar in design, and probably the same as the one on the album cover you are asking about. The contours of the horns on Alembic basses have evolved over time.

  9. Garret Graves

    Garret Graves website- Gold Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Arcadia, Ca
    Victor Wooten owns the original now doesn’t he?
  10. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    Apologies. Apparently my Paste didn’t happen. Fixed & enjoy!
  11. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Yes. Unless he sold it.
    Garret Graves likes this.
  12. Wow. That's a stunning bunch of Alembics.
    I've got Spoiler pickups with Q switches and stereo/ mono wiring in my poor early Hamer 8 string short scale bass and Alembic soap bar pickups and Q switches in a Warmoth 5 string but nothing can compare with what Alembic has always done. The wood selection, construction and electronics on those three basses is about as good as it gets.
    Now you just need Greg Lake's 8 string with manticore inlays and you'll have completely cornered the market on ultimate basses.
  13. jim nolte

    jim nolte

    Oct 26, 2006
    I saw this the first time it was aired , 1975 I think, never heard Stanley before, seriously blew my mind !
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  14. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    Same. Caused me to minimize my Brit Prog Rock interest at the time, take up the upright, and chase down the whole Miles Davis/Charlie Parker rabbit hole. One of the events that I remember exactly where I was and the huge disruptive influence it had on me.
    jim nolte, Bob_Ross and Pauly 4001 like this.
  15. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Me too!

    ME TOO!!!
    jim nolte and bucephylus like this.

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