August 1999

Understated Elegance

The first question you might ask about this custom Series II is "Where's the neck?" Not to worry, it's safely tucked behind a bookmatched to center Superb Flame Walnut top that conceals it from the front view. John has us build this, his second Alembic, as a fretless dark twin of his first Quilted Maple Series II. The basses differ only in color and fingerboard surface, making a seemless transition when John switches between the two basses.
John's Bass
detail Since the central design feature of the bass is the bookmatched to center top, let's look at some details. In this picture, you can see the way the top fits around the fingerboard. This is actually a very tricky part, and Steve takes his time and gets a really clean fit. Also, the inlaid maple fretlines show up nicely here.
At the bottom of the bass, where the Standard Point body forms a "tail" you can get a good idea of how the top laminate covers the neck. You can also just glimpse the maple veneer at the center of the mahogany core. tail
peghead back Some veneer we buy and some we make. If we can't find a good match in manufactured veneer, Steve or Kris will use our big TimeSaver abrasive planer and make the peghead veneers out of left over wood from the body to get a perfect match.
If the woodworking wasn't enough, John also ordered custom electronics. We replaced the normal 2 volume arrangement with a master volume and pan configuration. Then, in addition to the standard low-pass filter and CVQ control for each pickup, John requested we add bass and treble controls be to each pickup. With four useful tone controls for each pickup, John has a broad sonic pallete to select his favorite tones. controls
front front


  • 5-string Custom Series II Bass
  • Supreme Flame Walnut Top and Back
  • Top Bookmatched to Center
  • Ebony Fretless with Inlaid Faple Fretlines
  • Custom neck dimensions
  • Custom electronics: Volume, Pan, plus Low-pass Filter, CVQ, Bass and Treble controls for each pickup
  • Standard Point body
  • 24k Gold Plated Hardware
  • Red side LEDs
  • High Gloss Polyester Finish with Satin Neck Feel

Price available on request

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