August 2003

East Meets West

Orion Quilted Maple When the guys at Larry Morgan Music ordered this custom Orion bass, they had a very specific idea of the bass they wanted to offer their customers. The goal was to marry the "hippie sandwich" basses of the west coast with the high end jazz basses of the east coast. The woods and electronics were selected to get a punchy tone with a bright edge, and an almost brutal clarity.
Of course, it also had to be drop dead gorgeous.
wood The premium 5A Quilted Maple top is stunning. The edge to edge figuring is so deep it's hard to believe the surface is flat. The accent pinstripe is a Purpleheart veneer, just enough to set off the top from the Ash back. We selected an especially pretty billet of Ash for the body (you'll see the back when you scroll down).
This combination of woods gives the bass a naturally tight and punchy tone. Quilted Maple adds some brightness to the highs, with a delightful shimmer on the decay.
peghead The Orion peghead's inline design keeps that "east coast feel" and is a natural match to the Orion body shape. Quilted Maple front veneer finishes the look.
The adjustable nut has been a standard feature on Alembic basses and guitars since the late seventies. It allows you to raise the action at the nut, quite useful if you have a buzz on an open string that goes away once you fret. It's also handy after years and years of playing and wearing the nut to simply raise it so the bottom of the slot is returned to its original position.
sidejack At first glance, this jack may not look all that special, but once you plug in, you'll notice how solid and satisfying the "click" is. This style jack was originally designed for telephone switchboards and are made for repeated use. It was our dissatisfaction with the commercially available barrel jacks that led to a quest for an improvement. The barrel jacks simply fail too quickly. And while we make the connection to the jack modular so repairs are simple, you shouldn't have to worry about replacing your jack every few years.
Ron worked with Switchcraft to produce for us a massive and wonderful jack, and Mike worked out tooling so we could achieve the clean look pictured here. All mounting hardware is concealed inside the instrument, and no flat spot is required on the smooth round-over of the Alembic body. The entrance of the jack is tapered to assist in easy insertion by feel since the jack is normally out of your line of vision. Special materials used in the construction and superior welded palladium contacts instead of the nickel plated bump found in ordinary jacks assure that this jack will never fail.
pickups The electronics are volume, blend, treble, bass, filter and Q switch. With the Q switch off, the bass sounds like a modern jazz. With the Q switch on, you suddenly think Stanley or Mark King.
This bass was designed to change the conceptions some people have of an Alembic as a heavy, overly refined instrument. With the ash body, set neck, and versatile electronics, plus a jazz bass vibe, this bass will blow away the east coast including the land of lakes. Your money buys detail and craftsmanship, not a parts bass with a pretty finish. This is the gospel according to Phil, call him at (972) 864-8485 to learn even more about this bass.

Front Back


  • 4-string Orion bass
  • 5A Quilted Maple top
  • Ash body
  • Alembic JZ pickups
  • Custom electronics
    • Volume
    • Pan
    • Filter with Q switch
    • Bass cut and boost
    • Treble cut and boost
  • Polyester finish
Offered by Larry Morgan Music and Sound. Price available on request.
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