#3
Boyce is right.

Guitar showcase in San Jose carries Alembic basses. Yes they are very, very, very nice basses and probably worth every red cent.
#4
Well, there are 2 types of Alembic - the $1500-$3000 boutique Alembics, which are very similar to the Pedullas, Foderas, etc in terms of looks, feature sets, and quality, and there are the $25,000 custom Alembics that you're talking about here.

The expensive ones are one of a kind instruments that you can design down to the body shape, completely handmade, and are more than just players' instruments. Asking if Alembic basses are worth that much is like asking if Bentleys are worth that much. If you have to ask, you're missing the point and will probably never understand it anyway.

And for those who loved Cliff's basslines on St. Anger, the Alembic he used is worth about $600-$800. There was a point where Alembic made budget instruments, and that's the Alembic Cliff used. It's not a situation where if you like Cliff's Alembic tone (not sure I can provide an example of it) you need $25000. My guess is that he was looking for a brand name that wasn't Fender, for whatever reason.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
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#5
Quote by thefitz
Well, there are 2 types of Alembic - the $1500-$3000 boutique Alembics, which are very similar to the Pedullas, Foderas, etc in terms of looks, feature sets, and quality, and there are the $25,000 custom Alembics that you're talking about here.

The expensive ones are one of a kind instruments that you can design down to the body shape, completely handmade, and are more than just players' instruments. Asking if Alembic basses are worth that much is like asking if Bentleys are worth that much. If you have to ask, you're missing the point and will probably never understand it anyway.

And for those who loved Cliff's basslines on St. Anger, the Alembic he used is worth about $600-$800. There was a point where Alembic made budget instruments, and that's the Alembic Cliff used. It's not a situation where if you like Cliff's Alembic tone (not sure I can provide an example of it) you need $25000. My guess is that he was looking for a brand name that wasn't Fender, for whatever reason.

I never knew Cliff played an Alembic...
I know he played an Aria (woooo! Aria!) and a Ricy but not an Alembic...

Anyways, I think Alembics are awesome. But I think that because Stanley Clarke plays them.
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#6
Fitz, you aren't thinking of Bob Rock? He was the guy who played on St. Anger.....
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#7
Yeah, he had an Alembic Spoiler.

One thing that you gotta take into the account is that they were the first active basses (if not instruments) ever, and that sound impressed the hell out of many, if not all the greats that tried them. These things were overly high-tech - if I'm not mistaken, you needed to plug them into the wall, and you had to use an XLR cable, not a patch chord.

Quote by Nikki197666
Fitz, you aren't thinking of Bob Rock? He was the guy who played on St. Anger.....
No, I was just alluding to clueless Cliff fans whose lack of ability to understand his skill/sound comes partly from misinformation (with my usual unfairly subtle sarcasm that pretty much nobody understands). A while ago on some sort of "great bassists" thread, after 15 pages of Cliff praise, some dude came in and in one capitalized sentence went on to talk about how pissed he was that nobody mentioned Cliff, and listed ...AJFA and St. Anger among others as examples of his work that we better listen to, or else.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
Last edited by thefitz at Aug 12, 2008,
#8
If I was going to spend that much on a bass, I'd go straight to Ritter... much nicer looking basses than the Alembics, but I've never had a chance to play either...
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#9
Alot of the big 70's rock bassists all had them. People like John Entwistle, JPJ, Pete Angnew, ect. I don't think that they are very feasable to own these days because they are more collectors items then anything else.
#10
Go onto eBAy and get a vintage Spoiler or an epic for less that $2,000,

Nothing compares to an Alembic
#11
Jason Newstead used 4 and 5 string JJ Spoilers. Although I must admit, I thought Bob Rock was using a bunch of bungee cords and a shoebox.

Alembics were pretty much the first actives (excluding an obscure and unsuccessful Burns prototype from '62), born of Owsley Stanley's acid-induced tinkering with Phil Lesh's Guild Starfire on a Grateful Dead off day. PA builder Ron Wickersham perfected the ideas, expanded the concept, then employed some good luthiers to make basses to put his system on. Thus Alembic was born.

They are damn fine basses, whether they're worth the asking price is entirely personal. Here in the UK, you might try searching for a JayDee. They're a fraction of the price and suspiciously similar.

BTW, Pete Agnews' #1 Alembic was the victim of a flood, and needed stripped and rebuilt from its component parts. His long-standing tech has nothing but praise for the quality of them.
#12
Quote by Randy Bobandy
Alot of the big 70's rock bassists all had them. People like John Entwistle, JPJ, Pete Angnew, ect. I don't think that they are very feasable to own these days because they are more collectors items then anything else.

Didn't JPJ play a Fender Jazz.
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#14
Jack Cassady, JPJ ,Entwistle and Stanley Clarke were the first major bass players to use Alembics. Rick Turner was also one of their first luthiers, who went on to form his own company Renaissance guitars which is my own backyard of Santa Cruz, CA. Rick just released another limited run bass with Stanley Clarke called Spellbinder, which is featured in this month's Bass Player mag. Its similar to the Alembic boutique basses and about as expensive.
#15
Quote by m30wc0w
I know he played an Aria (woooo! Aria!) and a Ricy but not an Alembic...


Yes. He owned an Alembic, Aria, Rick and I believe he even had a fender p-bass, though I don't think he ever used it with Metallica.
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#16
Quote by bassmaster57
Go onto eBAy and get a vintage Spoiler or an epic for less that $2,000,

Nothing compares to an Alembic

necroposting? tsk tsk.

Alembics are usually pretty ugly. but worth the price.
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#17
The Alembic Spoiler was one of the few Alembic models that were made to be affordable. From what I understand, $2000 for an Alembic Spoiler is about $1200 too much.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#18
Well, it's sort of like the whole vintage fender market, it should be worth that much but because of desirability it isn't.
#19
To each his or her own.

necroposting? tsk tsk. ?????? wtf?

If you ever play a Series bass and don't like it please post and describe why. Again, to each his or her own.....I also have Gibson basses, Fender Americans, Kramer Tuning Fork, Linus International, Polaris, Dean, Rick 4001, Aria Pro II SB 900, Peavey T 60, Ibanez, etc. I like them all in their own way.