Sunday, October 13, 2013

Alembic Stanley Clarke "small standard" Bass

PRODUCED: 1988-present

TYPE: Solid body, 4-string
BODY: Mahogany wings with quilted maple top
NECK: Laminated three maple/two walnut pinstripes neck-through body, 24 medium frets

SCALE LENGTH: 864mm (34-inch)
FINGERBOARD: Ebony with oval pearloid inlays
HARDWARE: Bass multi-adjustable bridge, sealed gear tuners
PICKUPS: Pair of Alembic AXY4 hum-cancelling units, active circuitry and EQ
CONTROLS: Volume, two tone filters, pan/blend control, two Q switches
FEATURES: Brass nut, solid brass ‘Bird’ tailpiece
FINISHES: High gloss polyester with satin neck
COMMENTS: This was by no means the first Stanley Clarke model as it was built in 1994 but it’s certainly one of the most striking basses that Alembic have ever built. In spite of its 'Small Standard' tag it’s actually a full-scale bass whereas most of its predecessors were a keener 30.75-inch length.

The symmetrical body here holds much of its appeal, along with its relatively modest proportions. The ultimate in adjustability the Stanley Clarke comes with a tool kit and once the pickups and bridge are set as required they can be locked into place.
The active electronics give this model a mighty boost in performance and punch thus taking the muscle out of playing. With a headstock of this size poor balance is inevitable but it’s a minor annoyance and in spite of its comparatively high price, in Alembic terms this particular model was a lot cheaper than most at the time of production.
Initailly launched with this symmetrical body the later versions saw a slightly larger upper body horn with the strap button placed there for improved balance. In spite of their strict no endorsement policy, after thirty years of working together Alembic presented Stanley with a specially inlaid instrument.