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Considering my first EBMM purchase- Albert Lee

skhan007

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Hey Gang, New member here. I've been a musician for decades, formerly gigging/semi-pro for a long time. I've never owned and EBMM, but my neighbor has an early 90's EVH under his bed (he's not a player, but loves EVH and bought his guitar decades ago) and let me borrow it for about a month.

I fell in love with the neck feel. Since I own a lot of dual hum locking trem guitars, I was thinking about something different, but with a similar neck feel. Hence, my interest in the AL. I'm thinking hardtail and single coils. My favorite so far, is the three-tone burst with tortoise guard.

I've been looking at the AL pic threads, which are great. I see a couple for sale on Reverb and there's one for sale locally, although not my first-choice color, but the price seems good. Curious if I should be patient and wait for the right one or go for the reasonably priced one. Do EBMM take custom orders?Not sure how hard to find these might be in three tone, single coils, hardtail. Decisions! Any way, happy to be here amongst you all!
 

ctownsend

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Good news: I too was on the Albert Lee fence for YEARS, finally bit the bullet this week on a killer one from the Vault. Could not be happier. Have had 60+ guitars since '84, and this one is easily in the top 5 of that group. My #1 is an Axis Super Sport, and the Albert Lee neck is practically identical (my fav neck ever). Sounds incredible, feels great. And I think it looks pretty darn sharp. Mine is a Trem model, but it is essentially a hardtail when the bar is removed since it is flush to the body. The best part is that the bridge has a "lip" that one can pull on for dives... best of both worlds!

Better news: Willcutt has one in stock that fits your liking, and is super light taboot.

Bad news: Your Strat(s) are gonna be very lonely for a long time.

Get after it!
 

skhan007

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Cool, thanks for the feedback! I saw that one at Willcutt’s and it’s pretty close to the specs I want. It’s a two-tone burst vs. the three-tone burst, but it’s still a really cool finish. I can easily buy and install a tortoise guard. If it were a hard tail, I’d go for it, but it’s a trem. To my ears (I could be wrong), the hard tail gives more of a tele-like tone with the SSS models.
 

xjbebop

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Welcome to the club! (well, once you actually own one...) ;)
The EBMM family is the best of any brand I've experienced (which is many...)
As ctownsend wrote, the axis & AL necks are very similar, the main difference being the AL neck is a proper full "C" shape while the Axis is asymmetrical (thicker on the bass side by a wee bit).
The AL SSS has been called "strat killer" more than once... but I'd say find one that just looks good to you at a good price to start, as you will likely seek out more as time goes by...
Once I got past the 'funny' look and actually played one for the first time (and bought it!), I was hooked!
*this is an old pic.. I've modified a few of these and added a few more since then...

eP54lkp.jpg
 

skhan007

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Welcome to the club! (well, once you actually own one...) ;)
The EBMM family is the best of any brand I've experienced (which is many...)
As ctownsend wrote, the axis & AL necks are very similar, the main difference being the AL neck is a proper full "C" shape while the Axis is asymmetrical (thicker on the bass side by a wee bit).
The AL SSS has been called "strat killer" more than once... but I'd say find one that just looks good to you at a good price to start, as you will likely seek out more as time goes by...
Once I got past the 'funny' look and actually played one for the first time (and bought it!), I was hooked!
*this is an old pic.. I've modified a few of these and added a few more since then...

eP54lkp.jpg

Wow, wow, wow!! Let me know the next time you're having a backyard cookout and I'll head over. I can bring side dishes! OK, seriously that three-tone SSS is the one for me. I hope to track one down just like that. Question: Since you own both trem and hardtail AL's, can you confirm that the hardtail versions are closer to a tele-like tone with a single coil bridge pickup? That's what it sounds like to my ears, but I could be wrong.
 

GWDavis28

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Remember it doesn't exist without pictures, hahahahahahahaha.

Glenn |B)
 

xjbebop

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The 3-tone SSS is actually one that I modified... back story here -
http://forums.ernieball.com/ernie-ball-music-man-guitars/64056-worlds-albert-lee-tele-style.html

it's a '96 (?) as I recall. Great in the stock form, but I got a great deal on it and bought just for that project.
I do see these pop up on reverb from time to time, usually for reasonable prices. fwiw, I only bought 3 of those new, 1 was a trade with a forum member, and all the rest were used / rescues. IMHO, the older, well played ones always have more mojo than the new ones...
As for trem vs hardtail, I really don't notice much difference, but others may be more sensitive to the nuances...
 

skhan007

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Very cool! I would love to hear the tones with the tele pick ups. I found a guy who might sell me his 1994 pink burst Hardtail. He’s asking 1600, which is a bit higher than I think it should go for. It does not have the compensated nut or the silent circuit, which were not available at that time, but not sure how huge of a difference those make.
 
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skhan007

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Old vs. new?

Do any of you feel that the compensated nut and silent circuit are huge advantages compared to the pre-2005 models which did not have these? I have an opportunity to purchase a 1994 pink burst and was curious if lack of these current options is a deterrent for any of you?
 

beej

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As someone who bought an original Pinkburst, I don't think it's a big issue.

If you play with a lot of gain, then you can add a Silent Circuit later (which I did), or swap out the pickups. But that guitar is pretty perfect as is.
 

xjbebop

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As someone who bought an original Pinkburst, I don't think it's a big issue.

If you play with a lot of gain, then you can add a Silent Circuit later (which I did), or swap out the pickups. But that guitar is pretty perfect as is.

I concur....
 

skhan007

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Thanks for the feedback guys.

Question regarding AL stock pickups:

Somebody has offered me their SSS hard tail, but pickups have been swapped out to ones that wouldn't be right for me. If I wanted to return it to stock, would Seymour Duncan be able to sell me the proper AL Duncan APS2 pickups with the metal base plate? Could I possibly obtain a set directly from EBMM if I showed them that I was returning an AL model to stock? Honestly, the stock pickups are very important to me, as they get that perfect strat/tele middle ground tone. Thanks for any input!
 

GoKart Mozart

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Thanks for the feedback guys.
If I wanted to return it to stock, would Seymour Duncan be able to sell me the proper AL Duncan APS2 pickups with the metal base plate? Could I possibly obtain a set directly from EBMM if I showed them that I was returning an AL model to stock? Honestly, the stock pickups are very important to me, as they get that perfect strat/tele middle ground tone. Thanks for any input!

Pretty sure Customer Service would sell the stock pickups if you provide your serial number. I contacted them recently about getting a replacement factory pickup for my LIII and they had ones available for sale.
 

skhan007

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Pretty sure Customer Service would sell the stock pickups if you provide your serial number. I contacted them recently about getting a replacement factory pickup for my LIII and they had ones available for sale.
Great thank you- I’ll call them tomorrow to ask.
 

skhan007

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Man, I'm not having luck on my AL search so far. I posted a WTB ad here and on another gear forum. One guy offered me his pink-burst, which looks great. So I contacted him and now he's re-thinking letting it go. Another guy has one, but it has non-original pickups, so I contacted EBMM and can purchase three singles from them, but it's pricey. Not sure if it's cost-effective to buy a "project guitar." Maybe I need to be patient or consider one of the HH models. Not sure.
 

xjbebop

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Tangerine pearl! Gorgeous color in person! Haven't seen many AL's in that finish...
But, imho, they're asking too much for it. Some serious fret wear, corrosion on the bridge...
I wouldn't pay more than 1400 shipped, but that's me... and only that much because I love that finish.
If you're patient, I'll be happy to keep my eyes open for you...
 

skhan007

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Tangerine pearl! Gorgeous color in person! Haven't seen many AL's in that finish...
But, imho, they're asking too much for it. Some serious fret wear, corrosion on the bridge...
I wouldn't pay more than 1400 shipped, but that's me... and only that much because I love that finish.
If you're patient, I'll be happy to keep my eyes open for you...
Very kind- yes please. I’d love some guidance on my search.
 
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