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Trading MIA Deluxe Jazz for Alembic Esscence

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Cantstandsya, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. Cantstandsya

    Cantstandsya Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    Some guy is offering me an Alembic Essence 4 string fretless for my MIA Deluxe Jazz. He say's he bought it brand new in 1990 and had it converted to a Fretless(Professional Job)and also put a D-Tuner on it.I've never played an Alembic but this seems like a really good trade.The Alembic Essence lists for $3000 on the Alembic website.Even if I don't want to keep it,I bet I could get more money for it than my MIA Deluxe Jazz(98). Wonder what Guitar Center would give me for it?Mabye enough for the 5-String Stingray i've been craving. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Unless there's something seriously wrong with the bass--or it's off the back of a truck (contact Alembic with the serial # and find out if it's been stolen)--take it. NOW.
  3. Interms of resale value, the price for an alembic seems to dive steeply for the used one. My 5 string Alembic Rogue which list for around $5000-6000 only sells for $1700. Thats the price I bought it for from bassnw.

    It should be pretty easy to spot a faulty alembic, cause it's either very obvious, or it's unusable. Rarely the case when alembic has a dead spot or warping neck etc. It happens but rare. So the trade you get for the alembic's worth is normal, but don't hope you can get anything close to the retail price when you're considering selling the alembic.
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
  5. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    ....and since they're so hard to sell on the used market, you might well end up having to keep it. Be honest with yourself...what kind of stuff are you playing, and will an Alembic do what you want/need? Alembics are beautiful basses (most of them, anyway), but they aren't the greatest in terms of versatility. I can't think of many gigs where a MIA Deluxe Jazz wouldn't work just fine.

    Considering all the above...is it still such a great deal?
  6. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    The important thing is what kind of music can YOU make with the instrument? Just because it's worth more $$ doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be happier. My old guitarist traded his Telecaster for a fancy Gibson Les Paul. And he had no vibe, no connection with the Les Paul after he did it. He was very unhappy and the fact that the Paul was worth more didn't mean squat. So be careful...
  7. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    I'm rediscovering this concept (again). I've gone through probably 30 high-end basses over the past 4-5 years and just can't seem to be really happy enough to keep any of them with the exception of my current Lakland.

    I just got a '62 RI Jazz bass and as soon as I strapped it on, it was like "Honey, I'm Home!". How can this happen? A gorgeous MTD didn't do that for me....I held the thing in amazement and awe and couldn't believe the tones coming from it....but it didn't feel like part of me like the Lakland and the Fender.

    Higher-end ain't always better.
  8. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Before selling it to Guitar Center, make sure you try to sell it here by posting an ad in the Classifieds.

    You'll get a better price than GC will give you and some lucky bassist will (hopefully) get it for less than GC would charge.
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Ain't that the truth.
  10. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I have a 1990 Alembic Essence - this model should be all maple, unlike the current ones which have mahogany body core with various tops. List is $3,400 for this option. However, I got mine used, in perfect condition, with case, for $895! Check the used market before going for this deal.

    Otherwise, this is a very nice bass, and even though I have 11 basses, including a G&L, Rick Turner, Fender Jazz etc, this is my main axe.
  11. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    they ain't for everybody. That could seriously limit your resale value IF you decide that it is not for you.

    If you like Alembic basses, this deal is a steal (unless the bass was stolen, or is damaged) but if you are not sure, you could end up with a bass that you don't have a use for and may find hard to use and hard to move. If you are like me and haven't played a fretless, you should also take that into consideration.

    In terms of quality of construction, quality of materials, and quality of electronics, the Essence is (imho) far superior to the Fender. But fact of the matter is, more people are familiar with Fenders and have a better idea what they're getting when they buy a new or used Fender. For many of them, an Alembic ain't the ticket.

    If possible you should play the Essence for several days before you make a decision one way or the other.


    James L. Martin
  12. Cantstandsya

    Cantstandsya Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    Your absolutely right Petch.I took one look at the Alembic and knew it wasn't for me. It was very nice, but I think i've been playing Fenders so long I just couldn't get into the Alembic. Very small body and very narrow string spacing.As far as Fretless goes, I think I would really like it after a while. Mabye a used MIM fretless Jazz to get started.I have a brand new set of Model J's that would probably sound nice in one of those.

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