Alauda speciosa

Alauda speciosa Family: Alembicae
Genus: Alauda (Skylark)
Species: speciosa (special)

Alauda speciosa: Back in 1996, Ezra had crossed paths with an Alembic Electrum guitar in a small guitar shop in Colorado. He felt a connection, sort of a kindred spirit in that guitar, and it eventually led him to have his own custom guitar built.
"When deciding to order this instrument, I was initially drawn to the overall form of the Skylark but preferred the fully rounded profile and neck-through construction found on many Alembic basses and guitars. Thus the hybrid body shape."
The custom shape may be what you notice first, but it's just the beginning of how special this Skylark is.

tailpiece When Ezra saw the tailpiece shape on the Bird of Prey Featured Custom, he knew it was the very thing for his custom guitar. Adapted for guitar string spacing, and fit with a tiny Ebony shim, it looks right at home on this special Skylark guitar. In the gleaming nickel finish, it's just a little more special.
The bridge's assembly hardware is concealed along the long upper and lower rails. To intonate, you reach in the hole on the lower rail with a hex driver and access the intonation screw. The look is clean and modern.
Truss rod cover The continuous wood truss rod cover shows off the neck lamination pattern. We take a slice off the original neck blank and reserve it to make this little plate.
The neck is flanked with Ebony framing veneers. These tiny laminates are just slightly thicker than commercial veneers, and we make them here in our shop.
peghead peghead
The Omega on Ezra's peghead is a scaled down version of body shape on the guitar. The front veneer is Ebony and the sterling silver logo is placed just above the string nut per Ezra's request.
On the back of the peghead, the decorative veneer is Vermilion. Normally the volute carving is reserved for set neck guitars, but Ezra wanted to include it on his custom guitar.

Wood The Flame Maple top has lots of character. Many of the rippled waves terminate in delicate points, and there is lots of activity to the figure. Many examples of Flame Maple are more homogenous.

backplate The main body wood is Vermilion, and we made the backplates out of the ajacent slice for a nearly continuous grain pattern. This small plate covers the 9-volt battery that powers the electronics. The larger plate covers the electronics assembly.
Neck The main neck wood of Maple surrounds laminates of Vermilion and Ebony. The Ebony center stripe is lined with thin veneers of Maple. This wood combination gives Ezra a stiff, stable neck with plenty of high frequency response. Vermilion and Ebony contribute to fuller and more clear lows. With great sustain, this combination is extremely versatile.

Omega The shape of the Omega is also scaled from the overall body shape, just like the peghead Omega. These consistent forms visually reverberate and seem to encourage the viewer to explore with their eyes, "flying" around like the guitar's namesake.
Ezra had Roger at THG Knobs craft some simple black Ebony knobs with dual set screws. Only Ebony, Maple, and Vermilion woods are used on this guitar.
Electronics The assembly fixture for wiring up the electronics is a scrap of Mahogany. The wire lengths are tailored to fit the exact control layout. Unlike traditional guitars, Ezra specified a blend control to mix the treble and bass pickups together, a feature not uncommon on electric basses.
The effects loop not only has an on/off switch, but also a mixer that controls how much of the outboard effects are incorporated into the original guitar tone. As Ezra told us, "The effects loop is an electronics feature that is extremely useful and having the ability to blend between the processed and dry signals is simply amazing. The tonal possibilities that emerge as the clarity of the Activator signal is mixed with a processed signal are vast and inspiring. This is an electronic specification I would recommend to anyone interested in integrating an effects loop with their instrument."
This was a fun project for all of us. Ezra, your clear instructions gave us confidence, and it was a pleasure to build you the guitar of your dreams.

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  • Skylark guitar
  • Flame Maple top
  • Vermilion body
  • Maple, Vermilion and Ebony through body neck
  • Ebony neck framing veneers
  • Ebony fingerboard
  • Continuous wood backplates and truss rod cover
  • Nickel plated hardware
  • Bird of Prey tailpiece shape
  • Custom body shape
  • Omega peghead shape
  • Custom electronics: volume, blend, 2 filters, off/on/bright for each pickup, effects loop on/off, effect loop mixer
  • Sold by:
    G Guitars
    153 East Street 4th Floor
    New Haven CT 06511
    203-786-4734 or 866-508-5550
featured custom

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Text and Photographs of guitar © 2008 Alembic, Inc.
Background artwork © 2008 Ezra Ardolino.

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