' 86 ALEMBIC EXPLOITER 4sring bass, John Entwistle Explorer Body style,super top!Near Mint Conditions OHC


John Entwistle Alembic Bass

Alembic are true pioneers when it comes to modern electric bass, having introduced many features that are today considered standard in the industry. Alembic have a story as a brand that goes back almost 40 years, so we'll just tell you some details about the beginning of this now classic name:

At first Alembic was a consulting firm for some of San Francisco Bay area bands, and started to work on some instruments that needed constant repairs and also had noisy electronics. Ron realized high impedance pickups have a very limited badwidth, so he designed low impedance pickups that had a much broader frequency response, but also lower output, so he also developed the first onboard active electronics to boost the signal. Alembic founders Ron Wickersham, Bob Mathews & Rick Turner used the instruments of Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane) and Phil Lesh (the Grateful Dead) to analize all the details and come up with improvements in electronics and more. The first Alembic bass was delivered to Jack Casady in 1971. By 1974 Stanley Clarke was sarting to get reckognicion and he needed a better instrument, so when he chose an Alembic, he boosted the company's name significantly and this in part made Alembic a primarly bass company.

John Entwistle with The Who during the 'Who Put The Boot In' tour in May 1976, playing one of a number of Alembic Series 1s.The drinks bottles contained rum and coke, by the way. These two Bass guitars are from John Entwistle's personal collection that he sold at auction in April of 1988.The one on the top is a Peter Cook customized Bass. This was the highest priced Bass of all the ones that John sold fetching approximately 33,000 Dollars. John stated in the catalog that this was used on the U.K. Television show Top of the Pops in the early 1970's. The one on the Bottom  is an Alembic bass guitar that was used on stage in 1975 and 1976. This was John's second Alembic that he bought.

  • John Entwistle 1974–1976 Alembic Series I basses

    One in natural finish zebra wood (the first one); others finished as pictured at right and below.

    These Alembics featured active electronics and five-pin connector along with the standard jack.

    John (about the first one): Bought from Fred Walecki whilst holidaying in L.A.… I had it re-wired back to stereo by Peter Cook. He brought it along to a Who rehearsal when he’d finished — I plugged it in and it blew my mind. I jetted to San Francisco 3 days before the tour started and bought three more!

    From the August 1989 Guitar Player

    He happened upon a second-hand Alembic in a Los Angeles music store. “Someone had wired it incorrectly, so I gave it to my guitar tech, Pete Cook, to fix. Right before we were to leave for a U.S. tour, he brought it to a rehearsal, where I tried it and was, of course, blown away. I flew over early to order three more basses from Alembic, who eventually built me the Explorer-shaped models.”

    Instrument at right owned by Brad Rodgers; on display at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1998–2007.

  • Stanley Clarke

    Phil Lesh (the Grateful Dead)

    Jack Casady

    John Paul Jones

    John Paul Jones -Led Zeppelin-
    This bass guitar was used on-stage from April 1977 through 1988

    Body: Series II Omega, mahogany body, burl rosewood top
    Finish: High gloss polyester
    Neck: Mahogany
    Fingerboard: Ebony
    Frets: 24
    Hardware: Gold Alembic-Gotoh
    Pickups: SC-1 w/hx
    Controls: Volume, low-pass filter with continuously variable Q for each pickup plus Pickup selector switch and master volume