July 2002

Crimson Tide

Chris' Vermilion Bass Awash in firey orange-red, this bass is one of those double-takers. You see it, and have to look again as you can scarcely believe the striking appearanceof the wood. In fact, there isn't a surface where the color isn't the dominant feature, and that's just the way Chris ordered this custom bass.
The Vermilion top is all about color with some subtle figuring that seems to eminate from the bridge. When you flip the bass over, the main body wood is revealed to be Vermilion as well. We heard later that Chris' girlfriend suggested the Vermilion body, what a great call and we're sure Chris is glad he followed her advice. The solid Vermilion body not only looks handsome, but its density contributes to this bass' solid and warm sound, never clanky for the EADGC tuning Chris specified. This isn't the first 5-string Alembic he custom ordered with this tuning, so he knew it was a neccesity for this bass. And just like his last Stanley Clarke model, the neck pickup is moved as close the fingerboard as possible, yielding a deeper and bassier tone.
There isn't one single feature on this bass screaming for attention. It's intended to be appreciated as a whole, this bass is an excercise in restraint, a masterpiece of color and a monster of tone.
peghead front peghead back
Another feature important to Chris on this bass was the fan peghead shape. One of his favorite bass players is Jimmy Johnson, whose Series II basses share the fan peghead shape. Just like Jimmy's, Chris chose the 2+3 tuning key arrangement. The 3/4 sized body, the medium scale and the smaller, lighter weight fan peghead are key in keeping the bass balanced, not neck heavy. The Alembic script is omitted from this peghead shape.
Heart omega

The Heart Omega is a nice touch on the bass, where form and color are the points of interest. It's a tricky bit of bandsaw maneuvering and then the skilled work of the carver sets the final shape in place. The Heart Omega can shed a good four ounces off a Standard Point body shape, and with that solid Vermilion body, every ounce counts.

Coco Bolo fingerboard

To keep the red theme alive and well, Chris selected Coco Bolo as the fingerboard material. In the shop, our Kris chose an especially pretty piece to suit this purpose.
As a member of the rosewood family, Coco Bolo works well as an alternative to our standard Ebony fingerboard. As Chris observed when he received the bass, the contrast between the swirly grain of the fingerboard and the plainer grain of the body and peghead is visually stunning. Over time, the oiled Coco Bolo fingerboard will continue to darken, and in our opinon, become even more beautiful with age.

Front Back


  • 5-string Signature Standard bass
  • 32.00 medium scale, tuned EADGC
  • Coco Bolo fingerboard
  • Vermilion top
  • Vermilion body
  • 3/4 Heart Omega body
  • 2+3 Fan peghead
  • Maple and Purpleheart neck
  • Special pickup placement

Price available on request

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