Up for sale, a 1984 Alembic Spoiler bass SMSB-4 in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case and factory spec sheet. With a roster including The Who, The Grateful Dead, and Stanley Clark, Alembic quickly established themselves as one of the pioneering voices in bass guitar artistry in the 1970s, known for their exceptional craftsmanship and premium tonewoods/componentry.
This medium scale, neck-through Spoiler features a heavily-figured birdseye maple top on a mahogany core, with a flame maple neck capped by a thick slab ebony fretboard. The neck-through construction yields ample natural resonance and sustain, with the warmth of mahogany and the glassy articulation of the ebony board faithfully captured by the stock pickup pair. The SB II pickups are built around a “monolithic magnetic material,” designed for pristine, warm and natural-sounding tones. They’re very dynamic and responsive, with ample midrange complexity and low end heft. The bass also features Alembic’s proprietary Resonance “Q” Switch for further tone sculpting. This Alembic weighs 9lbs, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 45-100 groundwound strings, easy-playing action, and spot-on intonation.
The three-piece figured maple neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with well-rounded shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, gaining a hair more heft and roundness in the upper registers, measuring .835” deep at the 1st fret and .970” at the 12th. The thick slab ebony fretboard has a 16” radius, pearloid oval inlay, and jumbo fretwire. The frets have been leveled and crowned in this instrument’s lifetime and are in great shape, only showing a touch of wear beneath the strings on frets 1-4. This bass plays cleanly up the 32” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The adjustable nut measures 1 3/4“ in width, made of brass for optimal articulation and sustain. The headstock sports matching multi-ply birdseye maple veneers on both front and back, with a raised Alembic badge. The stock set of Schaller tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch.
All of the electronics function as intended, with the SB II pickups wired to the stock harness and governed by a four-way rotary pickup selector switch, Master Volume and Resonance (Tone) knobs, and the two-way Resonance “Q” switch. The fourth position on the rotary switch is a standby/off position, and the active Resonance (Tone) knob is powered by a 9V battery. Hardware includes the extremely robust machined brass bridge and toploader tailpiece.
The Natural finish highlights the dense birdseye figuring that extends evenly across the top. Extremely well-kept, cosmetic wear limited to some minor nicks along the lower bout body edge and an area of very light buckle wear on the back.
The original hardshell case is included, along with the factory spec sheet, which is dated to 9-25-84.