John K's Alembic

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John K's Alembic

Postby TheMissingDigit » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:21 am

Anybody know whatever happened to the new Alembic John was having built? Maybe I missed mention of it here. Anybody know if it got made and/or why it didn't make it into live rotation? Thought someone here might have the inside scoop.
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Re: John K's Alembic

Postby TI4-1009 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:31 am

Interesting, I was just wondering over the weekend why Phil never gravitated towards Alembics? They specialize in basses, grew out of the early Dead family, but Phil seemed to always use the Guild, Fenders, mainly Modulus, and the one Irwin (I'm not even going to include the black "thing"... :shock: ). Just wasn't his thing? As for JK's, don't know, but you hear alot of comments about how Alembic is really a bass-oriented company and how not that many guitarists end up with them. They always stick with their own pickups, which puts off some guitarists.
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Re: John K's Alembic

Postby mijknahs » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:15 am

TI4-1009 wrote: I was just wondering over the weekend why Phil never gravitated towards Alembics?


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Re: John K's Alembic

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:28 am

TI4-1009 wrote:Interesting, I was just wondering over the weekend why Phil never gravitated towards Alembics? They specialize in basses, grew out of the early Dead family, but Phil seemed to always use the Guild, Fenders, mainly Modulus, and the one Irwin (I'm not even going to include the black "thing"... :shock: ). Just wasn't his thing? As for JK's, don't know, but you hear alot of comments about how Alembic is really a bass-oriented company and how not that many guitarists end up with them. They always stick with their own pickups, which puts off some guitarists.


Phil's main 70's basses were an old Starfire that was heavily Alembicised, and a bass that was roughly a Series I prototype (posted above). Then he got that Irwin in 1980 and must have liked it somewhat, since the Fender and G&L that followed were fairly similar, playingwise and tonewise.

Then he discovered the early Graphite 6-strings and never looked back. They're totally up Phil's alley: super predictable, reliable with weather changes, very even in tone from high notes to low notes, etc. So I think that's why he never saw the value of going back to Alembic for more basses... they just aren't high-tech enough or nerdy enough for him.
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Re: John K's Alembic

Postby zambiland » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:30 pm

TI4-1009 wrote:Interesting, I was just wondering over the weekend why Phil never gravitated towards Alembics? They specialize in basses, grew out of the early Dead family, but Phil seemed to always use the Guild, Fenders, mainly Modulus, and the one Irwin (I'm not even going to include the black "thing"... :shock: ). Just wasn't his thing? As for JK's, don't know, but you hear alot of comments about how Alembic is really a bass-oriented company and how not that many guitarists end up with them. They always stick with their own pickups, which puts off some guitarists.


For some great Phil Alembic moments, see the 1974 Grateful Dead Movie. It even shows the interior and there is a great scene with interaction with the camera.

He used that bass at a bunch of the shows I saw in the 70s, switching off between that and the Alembicised Guild.
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Re: John K's Alembic

Postby Chuckles » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:54 am

Per John, Alembic is evidently doing the final measurements on the body cavity in which he is having quite a bit of custom (for alembic!) circuitry installed... Synth, etc. Measure twice, cut once, right? John said NBD about the wait, as he knows there are folks who wait much longer for their Alembic builds. So, measure, cut/drill, then couple more coats finish... and who knows the final delivery date.

Also, confirmed no LED geegaws along the neck. 8)
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Re: John K's Alembic

Postby broesau » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:00 pm

I doubt they are going to let him install anything other than Alembic electronics. Wonder if it's going to be a 3 HB config? I don't think I've ever seen that in an Alembic, they also seem to only do the individual toggles instead of a 5 way, I'd prefer the 5 way. I'm pretty excited to see what he's come up with. I've checked the Alembic board and there doesn't seem to be any updates on his build.
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Re: John K's Alembic

Postby mijknahs » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:12 pm

I hate Alembic pickups for guitar (fine for bass). Too clean and sterile. For A friend of mine finally switched out his Alembic pickups/electronics for DiMarzios in his Tribute and it improved the tone greatly.
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Re: John K's Alembic

Postby Chuckles » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:21 pm

It will be HHS and wired for midi. John could have whatever he wanted installed but is going with the Alembic pups 'cause really, how many HHH DiMarzio guitars does one guy need? He's got the PRS, Carvin, Vantage and an ESP F-Series all wired to those specs... and a "student model" Tiger-lookin' thing "with a really crappy neck" he's thinking about wiring up to true Tiger specs as a project.

Re: The Alembic pups, I'm sure he'll get great sounds from them!
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