Article By Adam H
The first video that I did for TJ at Short Lane Studios was the Ibanez SR300 EB bass demo. The Ibanez bass is a popular instrument amongst bassists from the advanced to the beginner, because it is cheap and for that low price the Ibanez bass sounds and plays amazingly well. The popularity of the Ibanez bass is evident to us at Short Lane Studios as the video is currently, at the time of writing, the most viewed on the channel.
So TJ suggested that we do another bass demo video with yours truly, but this time we demo a bass at the other end of the spectrum, the top end, the expensive end. TJ had an Alembic Orion 4 string bass in the studio. A bass from an American factory whose output and reputation is truly at the top end of instrument makers across the world. Made with exotic woods, gold hardware and unique sounding pickups that are instantly recognisable as having the Alembic sound, this example of craftsmanship is at a standard that many instruments in the world compare, yet fail to emulate. And TJ trusted me with it? (It’s not his, so I think it was an easy decision on his part).
If you’re not in the know Alembic in the instrument world is akin to luxury car factories such as Rolls Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin. Companies that are world renowned for making highly sort after and luxurious pieces that stand on the frontier of being something more than what they make. Rolls Royce, Bentley and Aston Martin are not cars. Fiats, Peugeot’s, Citroen’s are cars the former are works of luxury that transcend what a car is into something more.
And with the Alembic Orion 4 bass we have a prime example of a bass transcending into something more than its function. This is a bass that is heavy yet comfortable with a precision and sustain that is unrivalled by any other bass I have yet to play. The craftsmanship of this instrument is superb, like having a piece of antique furniture strapped to your chest. The bass is beautiful, both elegant and stylish and plays like a dream with its neck fitting into ones palm of the hand like a glove.
Alembic basses have been played by some of the greatest bass players popular music has ever produced. Stanley Clarke, Mark King, Louis Johnson, John Entwistle (The Who), John Paul Jones (Led Zepplin), Tom Fowler (Zappa) and Nathan East are to name a few who have at one time played Alembic basses throughout their career.
I must confess. I have always wanted to play an Alembic bass. More of a series I or series II but I would have accepted the opportunity to play any Alembic as a teenager, just like teenage guitarists who wanted a proper Gibson Les Paul from the 70’s or a Fender Stratocaster from the 60’s I wanted to play an Alembic bass. Well, I’ve done that now and it was brilliant, now what?
If you want to see what all the fuss is about please click on the video provided and if you like that… You can always subscribe, comment and like on the video or give us a follow on the Short Lane Studios website.
Article By Adam H