As much as these approximately monthly installments about basses and guitars are about describing the work we do, they are also about people: the people that commission Alembic basses and guitars, the people that design and build them, and the people that as curious onlookers encourage us both.
This month's Alembic bass is Bonnie and this month's person is Paul. "I baptised her 'Bonnie' after my music 'godess' Bonnie Raitt," Paul wrote when he originally shared these pictures on the Alembic Club. Not only a staple at the Club, early on Paul imbued our members with his humor and joy, and has made our little piece of the electronic world one of the friendliest places and truly a community.

Wood Bonnie's top and back laminates are made from Claro Walnut. In California we have large expanses of walnut orchards that are composed of trees that have European Walnut (Juglans regia) grafted to our native California Walnut(Juglans hindii) rootstocks. The roots of the California Walnut are adapted for the typical clay soils found here, and the nuts from the European Walnuts have a much better flavor. Near the margin where these two species are grafted, some of the most beautiful Walnut is born, with rich colors, figure and a marble-like effect.

peghead The Claro Walnut also serves as the front and back veneers of the peghead.
Paul had asked me (Mica) to select the wood for him. Mind you, this was in the days before everyone emailed digital photos. So, taking the charge seriously, I plowed through the wood stocks to find the perfect piece. It has everything I love about Walnut: on the outside edge, it's all about the rich color. Then the transition to a lighter hue mixed with flamey figuring. Stop! Don't miss that margin of near black then the alternating light and dark streaks as you approach the neck.
Tailpiece View Paul ordered an especially wide neck for Bonnie. From Paul: "Generally the Alembics keep their 'sleek' figure because the not wide neck (f.i. look at the Jimmy Johnson one). This guitar has a more 'stout' look and is overall wider than standard."

Omega Carving The shape of the Omega is an artifact of the width of the neck more than anything, but Paul was always happy about his "manta" shaped Omega carving.

Bonnie and Paul These pictures were taken by Paul (also a photography enthusiast) a few years after he got Bonnie. He wrote, "After being together for 6 years there are small bruises and points the high gloss finish going 'matte' but I don't care. Being alive and in music leaves bruises on minds, souls, hearts and ...instruments."

We are "bruised" for the better having known you, Paul.

Front Back
Photographs of Bonnie © 2002 Paul Lindemans, Text © 2009 Alembic, Inc.


  • Series II 5-string bass
  • Claro Walnut top and back
  • Maple and Purpleheart neck
  • Ebony fingerboard with mother of pearl inlays
  • 34 inch long scale
  • Alembic Classic Omega body shape
  • Inlaid bronze side markers
  • Series II electronics
  • Solid brass hardware with oversized sustain block
  • Played with love by Paul for 12 years
Custom Archive · Get a Custom Quote
The Specials · The Products · The People · The Place · The Support · Site Index