Alembic Spoiler Five String Reviews
I bought this as a slightly used consignment piece in 2000 for $1500. I'd always dreamed of an Alembic. Despite how many custom instruments they build, this one was if I'd ordered it myself, and an outright steal at the price.
Alembics are simply in a class by themselves. The wood and woodworking are exceptional. They build their own hardware, electronics, and pickups, so they don't have that generic EMG/Bartollini sound. The fingerboard taper on mine is 2" at the nut and 2 1/2" at the 24th fret: For me this was perfect. The pickups achieve any sound I need with just a volume, tone, Q-Switch for the filter, and a pickup selector. Alembic even includes separate volume pots in the control pocket to set the mix of both pickups AFTER you fine-tune the pickup sound by height !
My only change would be to change the rotary pickup selector to a pan pot. I'll get around to sending it back to Alembic to have this done one day soon.
The woodworking is stunning. The peghead alone contains 27 laminates to strengthen this traditional weak spot. Alembic uses NASA-spec electronic components, as mil-spec isn't good enough ! I could go on and on, but believe me, there are no other basses built to these standards.
I dreamed of owning an Alembic for twenty years. I've had lots of good basses over the years. But this is an entirely higher order of instrument than anything I've seen, and I've seen 'em all. This is a lifetime instrument on the order of a Steinway, a Selmer-Paris horn, a master-grade symphony violin. This is the bass I'll leave to my kids, because dying is the only way you'll ever get me to be without it. I can't sum it up any better than that.Joey Wilson
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