The Alembic Classico Upright Bass

Upon seeing the Classico, it is clear our intention is to bridge the gap between traditional upright bass and modern electric bass. Borrowing from the lines of traditional instruments, we are able to construct an instrument that has the familiar feel of a double bass, but the ease and convenience of an electric solidbody bass.

The Classico is a departure from both traditional acoustic instruments and other electric upright basses. In these instruments, the string vibrations cause movement of the bridge, which, in the case of the acoustic instrument, causes the top wood to move and create a louder sound than the string alone. In the case of electric uprights with piezoelectric sensors at the feet of the bridge, the movement of the bridge sensors causes the electrical signal which is the output from the instrument. In either case, the energy you put in the string when you plucked or bowed it is partially lost to the bridge as it vibrates to cause the sound you hear.

In the Classico, we kept the bridge solid and it rigidly sits on the hard maple top plates of the bass. As a result, the energy you impart to the string when you play it is reflected from the bridge and stays in the strings. Our design gives you greater sustain of the critical lower-frequency components of the note, making it easier for you to make a more expressive tone. In addition, the hard maple top reflects to higher overtones making the tone naturally bright and crisp. Both actions make the bass respond to your playing technique and give you the ability to control the expression, timbre, attack and sustain.

The woods are carefully chosen not only for their beauty, but for their stability. That large piece of maple and mahogany must be very heavy, right? Wrong! We employ a special hollow core construction to make this beast easy to capture at 24 pounds.

The neck is made from three pieces of maple. The center piece is straight grained and the outer pieces are aligned so the grains of each piece oppose each other. This ensures minimum neck movement over the life of the bass. While the shape of the peghead is purely aesthetic, the tilt is a very specific draft angle to fully isolate the strings.

The pickups are very unique. You will find them completely concealed within the maple and rosewood pickup bridge just below the fingerboard. On the underside of this bridge, four easily accessible trimpots are provided to allow you to determine the volume of each string independently.

We hand make every part possible; from the body itself to the tailpiece, we craft it in our complete wood shop.

From the machined stainless steel peg to the brass plates, we make it all in our machine shop.

From the winding of the pickups to designing and building the electronics themselves, we do it all in our electronics laboratory and assembly shop.

It becomes quite easy to see what sets our company and products apart from the masses. Our staff of musicians takes personal pride in building each instrument as if it were their own.