Alembic Spoiler

Bass Guitar

The Alembic Spoiler is an electric bass used by Prince, Brownmark and Levi Seacer Jr. Brownmark first used one on the Purple Rain tour and it became his main bass. This bass was white with a custom flower design. This bass was fitted with some kind of synth pickup to connect with a Roland bass synthesizer, possibly a Roland GR-700.

Levi Seacer Jr then used a black Spoiler on the Sign O The Times tour - this might be the same bass refinished. This bass remains in the collection at Paisley Park.

I started with the “zebra bass,” an early ’80s, passive Fender Jazz. After 1999, I went to the “flower bass,” a custom Alembic Spoiler. Prince liked that bright, clean sound, but I hated it. I don’t like people to understand what I’m playing. Prince insisted on it because for big arenas, the Alembics cut through, especially with my Crown PA rig and paisley Ampeg cabs loaded with 15s.
Brownmark; "Brownmark: Purple Rain" - Bass Player, November 2017
A Fender Jazz through an Ampeg SVT, but the amp didn’t growl enough so I went to two Crowns and custom boxes with four 10s and an 18. I used separate preamps, a Lexicon phaser and parametric EQ. Here’s a secret about Prince’s sound: he liked everything mixed high, so the low presence would cut through. Eventually I migrated to an Alembic Spoiler and by the Parade album (1986), I had a Roland interface built in so I didn’t have to play that weird-looking Roland bass thing.

Used By

  • Prince, Brownmark, Levi Seacer Jr, Sonny T
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