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Les bois : propriétés

Pas facile de s'y retrouver en matière de bois. Chaque luthier combine les essences de bois pour trouver son son.

 

Article à venir pour aider les bassistes...

Origines de la basse électrique

La basse électrique est un instrument récent , voire même le plus récent dans la musique moderne. Il est né officiellement en 1951 avec la sortie de la première « Precision Bass » des ateliers Fender. Son inventeur est le luthier Leo Fender, personnage important dans l'histoire de la basse puisqu'on lui attribue l'invention de cet instrument et de ses modèles les plus joués au monde : les Jazz Bass et Precision Bass sous la marque Fender , les Stingray sous la marque Musicman et les L2000 sous la marque G&L. Trois marques qu'il a successivement crées puis revendues.

L'invention de la basse répond à l'origine à plusieurs besoins :

  • soutenir et enrichir rythmiquement la batterie (le couple basse-batterie constitue la base de la section rythmique des ensembles de jazz)

  • soutenir harmoniquement les solistes (le bassiste martèle les toniques des accords pendant les soli histoire que les créatifs ne perdent pas de vue la structure du morceau)

  • pouvoir jouer plus fort qu'une contrebasse (écouter les soli des contrebassistes de jazz suffit à s'en convaincre)

  • rendre la contrebasse plus accessible techniquement (il suffit d'essayer d'en jouer pour le comprendre )

Ce dernier argument vaut d'ailleurs son nom à la première basse de série la « Precision Bass » puisque les frettes apposées au manche permettent de jouer les notes avec « précision ». Il est interessant de noter aussi que le P-basse a été mise au point la même année que la guitare électrique Telecaster , montrant de la part de Léo une approche commune aux deux instruments.

Ce qui est moins connu c'est l'invention de la basse électrique peut être attribuée à un autre américain Paul Tutmarc.

En 1933, l'inventeur américain Paul Tutmarc crée une première basse électrique ayant la forme et la taille d'un violoncelle au corps plein1. Insatisfait par la taille de l'instrument, il en fabrique une deuxième inspirée des guitares électriques, frettée et conçue pour être utilisée à l'horizontale. En 1935, Audiovox, le catalogue commercial de la société de Tutmarc propose le « Model #736 Electric Bass Fiddle » 2, à quatre cordes, le corps plein et un manche fretté d'une longueur de 77,5 cm. De par son design proche de celui d'une guitare, l'instrument était plus simple à tenir et l'apposition de frettes sur le manche rendait la basse plus accessible, en facilitant le jeu juste. Cependant, le modèle développé par Tutmarc ne rencontra pas d'engouement particulier et le concept de basse électrique est abandonné jusqu'aux années 1950.

C'est pas beau une basse de 1935 !

Un diapason de 30 pouces et demi qui s'apparente aux diapasons courts actuels (Short Scale) de 30 pouces. Quand on sait que Léo Fender tâtonnera pour trouver les 34 pouces qui sont la référence actuelle (en effet, Léo Fender va construire plusieurs prototypes avec un diapason différent sans "calculs scientifiques" pour garder celui que les musiciens préfèrent).
Une électronique d'avant-garde comprenant un micro magnétique avec un bouton de volume.
Une forme assez similaire aux basses actuelles avec un corps en noyer, un pickguard pearloid.
L'instrument se joue horizontalement et non plus verticalement comme la contrebasse. Ce qui offre une position plus naturelle au poignée pour la justesse et la fatigue. Ajoutées à cela des frettes qui apportent confort de jeu et justesse (subjugué par la justesse et la précision, Léo Fender appellera sa basse la "Precision"). La basse de Paul Tutmarc avait vraiment tout pour plaire. A part peut-être le nom : #736 (le # en anglais signifie numéro) Electronic Bass Fiddle.

 

 

Réglage de la basse

En cours d'écriture...

Les bois : traduction

Pas toujours simple de s'y retrouver côté bois...

A commencer par comprendre duquel on parle quand on part se balader sur les site américains.... pour rêver...

Avant de venir essayer chez BassClubParis !

 

Alder : Aulne

Ash : Frêne

Bubinga : Bubinga

Cedar : Cèdre

Curly Maple : Erable ondé

Ebony : Ebène

Mahagany : Acajou

Maple : Erable

Oak : Chêne

Poplar : Peuplier

Purpleheart : Amarante

Rosewood : Palissandre

Sitka spruce : Epicéa du Sitka

Spruce : Epicéa

Swamp Ash : Frêne des marais

Tulipwood : Bois de rose

Walnut : Noyer

 

Pour aller plus loin, en anglais malheureusement...

http://www.piecesofwood.com/woods.html

Les formes des Alembic

How our body shapes evolved

First there was the Standard Point. It was made so you would have to put it in a stand (ever try not to?). Remember, we were a repair and modification shop before we made instruments, and one of the most common repairs we performed was fixing pegheads because people would lean their instrument on the wall rather than putting it in a proper stand.
Next was the Omega, and the Small Standard. Heart Omega variation was an early one. Later, our customer David Fung designed the Stinger Omega. Triple Omega, Point, Omega, Heart Omega and Stinger are all the same template, the bottom detail is done in the carving department.
The Distillate blends the Point and the Small Standard, with a flat bottom.
John Entwistle wanted the Exploiter body. He bought 15 of them. We made lots of Spoilers and Distillates in the 80's with this shape. Contrary to its appearance, this is one of the best balancing body shapes.
The Spoiler has nearly all unique curves, and nearly all were 32" medium scale.
Scorpion shape was really many different ones, but all versions had "pistol grip" horn(s), and a Heart Omega bottom. The most popular on was a version we made for Germany, about 3/4 scale of a Standard Point blended with the Spoiler.
The first Elan was made for a customer in Japan that wanted a very Jazz looking bass (the "H" in the Elan serial number is for "Hojin"). Take an Elan and shave 1/4" off and voila, Europa emerges. The first Europa was made for Ron that used to work at the Bass Centre in LA way back when. These were the first bodies with tummy and elbow carving standard.
The Essence draws its lower body half from the Small Standard. The upper horn is extended so that it will balance in a long scale. The Essence is our smallest body, and is narrower than most guitars.
To make a Rogue, merge an Essence into the Europa, and then stretch the horn to match the length of the 6-string custom Series II in the 1990 brochure. Everyone loved that shape, but it was really quite enormous. The Rogue captures the feeling of that bass, but is a much more manageable size.
Epic was the first set neck version bass. The key feature here was to have the horns part of the same curve. The bottom curve of the body is borrowed from the Elan, but a little more rounded.
Orion is the set neck version of the Europa. Same thing as the Epic on the inner surface of the horns... they are on the same curve.
Excel is sort of like a set neck new Spoiler, but more circular. This body has the most extreme inner horn curve.
That covers the major body shapes. There are lots more stories of course, and many countless more bodies, including some that never made it off paper!

Histoire d'Alembic

Alembic is a lot more that just a company or a logo on the end of the peghead. Alembic is a way of creating musical instruments unique and outstanding in their field. Alembic is a place where ideas and materials come together in a search for knowledge and wisdom focusing on the purest aspects of each. Alembic is the concept of complete flexibility in design.

Our company was started more than twenty five years ago by my parents Ron and Susan Wickersham. Originally it was a consulting firm that worked closely with the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby Stills Nash & Young and the like. We were trying to improve the quality of live sound and recordings of live concerts.

After improving many aspects of the sound system and live recording techniques, the guitars and basses the musicians were playing needed attention to further improve the live concert experience. Too much noise and too many repairs required for a touring band to deal with. It was clearly time to improve the electronics.

High impedance pickups have limited bandwidth. My father designed our pickups to be low impedance to increase the bandwidth. This also made the pickups low output and so he had to design an active onboard preamp to boost the signal. They were, in fact, the first active electric guitar electronics ever.

Our shop became quite busy installing these new active electronics in player’s guitars and basses. We also did a lot of modifications on the instruments like remanufacturing the pegheads with a fourteen degree angle, machining solid brass parts for the bridge, tailpiece and nut, carving necks and the like. This eventually led to manufacturing our own line of guitars and basses from start to finish. The very first Alembic bass, number 72-01, was made for Jack Casady, then of the Jefferson Airplane. In 1972 the bass cost more than four thousand dollars. It resembled nothing that came before it and was to be the bass that has influenced and shaped bass design ever since.

About 1974 Stanley Clarke started getting really famous, and our basses along with him. This is the primary reason we became a bass company. Since the bass player was usually the worst guitar player in the band, no one else concentrated on making finely crafted basses.

We continued to improve our studio Standard Series I and II basses and guitars until 1979 when we introduced the first of our lower priced lines, the Distillate. Since that time, we have maintained the Series I and II’s so they continue to be the pinnacle of electric basses even now, all these years later. We have been introducing a new model every one or two years, so that the Alembic products are now more available to more musicians.

Presently, our company employs twenty-six wonderful people, including my mother and father, my aunt and uncle, my grandfather and grandmother, and a bunch of our friends. Our company is so completely different from most you encounter because of our very strong family bonds, we really care what our customers think and feel. This is the primary drive beind our continued innovation.

http://www.alembic.com/family/historyintro.html

Spec Emperor 5 Standard

Emperor 5 Standard Specifications:

  • Medium Weight Ash Body

  • 1-pc. Hard Rock Maple Neck (quartersawn)

  • Fodera 45-125 Stainless Steel String Set

  • Fodera / Pope Standard 3-Band Preamp

 
  • Bi-Color  5A Flame Maple Top

  • Bolt-on neck construction

  • Mother-of-Pearl Dot Inlays

  • Emperor Standard Control Layout

 
  • Premium Pau Ferro Fingerboard

  • 34" Scale with 24 Large Frets

  • Fodera Dual Coil Pickups

  • Available for Direct Sale or through Our Dealer Network

 

Descriptif Emperor 5 Standard

Emperor 5 Standard

The Emperor 5 Standard (E5S) was designed from the ground up to provide every ounce of playability and sonic performance we are capable of delivering based on our 28 years of handcrafting some of the finest electric bass guitars in the World. By building just one configuration, with no options, we are able to offer the same legendary Fodera quality of our custom instruments at a very competitive price point.  Every E5S is built right here in our Brooklyn, NY shop alongside our custom instruments by the very same people, using the same tools. For tonewoods we use a mixture of ingredients that we feel works beautifully on virtually any gig...medium weight Ash bodies, quartersawn Hard Rock Maple necks, and old-growth Pau Ferro fingerboards -- all perfectly complimented by stunning 5A Bi-Color Flame Maple tops. Rounding out the package is our Fodera / Pope 3-band Standard Preamp and our own Fodera Dual Coil pickups.  The E5S delivers deep, tight lows, transparent mids and just enough top-end to make for an incredibly balanced sonic presentation.

Released on October 22, 2011 at Bass Player Live, the Emperor 5 Standard began shipping to customers April 1, 2012.

If you are wondering just how serious these instruments are, our dear friend and bassist extraordinaire, Tom Kennedy, has been playing one almost exclusively since he received the first prototype in early October, 2012.  Given that he also owns an amazing Custom Fodera (his Signature Model, no less), we consider Tom's desire to take the E5S out on the road high praise indeed!

Check out Hadrien Feraud playing our Emperor 5 Standard at the NAMM Show 2012, here

Spec Yin Yang Standard

Yin Yang Standard Specifications:

  • Premium Red Alder Body

  • 1-pc. Maple Neck with Flat Headstock

  • Fodera Ultra Light 4095 Nickel String Set

  • Fodera / Pope Standard, 3-Band Preamp

 
  • Flame Maple Top with Painted Yin Yang Symbol

  • Bolt-on neck construction

  • Pearloid Dot Inlays with Mother-of-Pearl Side Position Markers

  •  Yin Yang Standard Control Layout

 
  • Premium Ebony Fingerboard

  • 34" Scale with 24 Large Frets

  • Fodera / EMG P/J pickups

  • Available for Direct Sale or through Our Dealer Network

 

Descriptif Yin Yang Standard

Yin Yang Standard

Based on our coveted Victor Wooten Yin Yang Deluxe, the Yin Yang Standard has been developed in close consultation with our dear friend and bass player extraordinaire, Victor Wooten.  Victor has long wanted us to develop a Yin Yang that could be more widely available and within reach of a broader range of players...

The Yin Yang Standard is the result of countless hours spent in the pursuit of this quest. 

The Yin Yang Standard was designed with a meticulously chosen set of build specifications and is crafted from exactly the same materials as all of our custom made Brooklyn instruments to ensure that legendary Fodera playability and tone -- at a price that is considerably less than the Victor Wooten Yin Yang Deluxe.

Released on January 13, 2011 at the Winter NAMM Show, the Yin Yang Standard began shipping to customers in June, 2011.  You can watch an interview from the morning after the release of the Yin Yang Standard.

Read the review from NoTreble.com showing off our Yin Yang Standard as one of the top 10 best reveals from the 2011 NAMM Show.

Check out our new Fodera Artist, Michel Labaky, sporting the Yin Yang Standard! Take a look at his bio here and take a look at his music video!

Some of the milestones working with Victor along the way to the Yin Yang Standard...

1st Yin Yang = 7/7/95 – Ebony & Holly Top, Alder Body, Ebony FB (Fretless)

2nd Yin Yang = 4/9/96 – Ebony & Holly Top, Alder Body, Maple & Ebony FB

 3rd Yin Yang = 1/24/99 – Purpleheart & Pau Amarillo Top, Alder Body, Maple & Purpleheart FB (5-String)

 4th Yin Yang = 1/13/06 – Ebony & Satinwood Top, Walnut Body, Ebony FB

Spec Monarch Standard

Monarch 4 Standard Specifications:

  • Ash Body

  • 1-pc. Hard Rock Maple Neck 

  • 45-105 Nickel String Set

  • Fodera / Pope Standard 3-Band Preamp

 
  • Bi-Color 5A Flame Maple Top

  • Bolt-on neck construction

  • Mother-of-Pearl Dot Inlays

  • Monarch Standard Control Layout

 
  • Premium Pau Ferro Fingerboard

  • 34" Scale with 24 Large Frets

  • Fodera Dual Coil Pickups

  • Available for Direct Sale or through Our Dealer Network

 

Descriptif Monarch Standard

Monarch 4 Standard

The Monarch 4 Standard (M4S) was designed from the ground up to provide every ounce of playability and sonic performance we are capable of delivering based on our 28 years of handcrafting some of the finest electric bass guitars in the World. By building just one configuration, with no options, we are able to offer the same legendary Fodera quality of our custom instruments at a very competitive price point.  Every M4S is built right here in our Brooklyn, NY shop alongside our custom instruments by the very same people, using the same tools. For tonewoods we use a mixture of ingredients that we feel works beautifully on virtually any gig...medium weight Ash bodies, quartersawn Hard Rock Maple necks, and old-growth Pau Ferro fingerboards -- all perfectly complimented by stunning 5A Bi-Color Flame Maple tops. Rounding out the package is our Fodera / Pope 3-band Standard Preamp and our own Fodera Dual Coil pickups.  The M4S delivers deep, tight lows, transparent mids and just enough top-end to make for an incredibly balanced sonic presentation.

Released on October 20, 2012 at Bass Player Live, the Monarch 4 Standard began shipping to customers on January 1, 2013.

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