A Fitting Tribute

Erik's Annabelle As many of you may have observed, the Tribute has become a popular guitar here at Alembic. It's like a blank canvas waiting for art, and seems to shout, "Decorate Me!"
When Erik called to inquire about ordering his custom guitar he knew he wanted a body inlay. He made many trips to the Alembic Club and Featured Custom Archives to see what others had done. Finally, after several phone calls and emails, he decided that what he really wanted was something similar to Jerry Garcia's Rosebud.
The first step is always to pick out the woods. Susan sifted through a freshly cracked 1 ton pallet of Coco Bolo to find the perfect piece for Erik's Tribute. When Chip resawed the board, it revealed a good omen: the image of a wood nymph hiding within, destined for this exceptional guitar.
Annabelle The most striking detail of this guitar is the image of dear Annabelle. She's beautiful with her golden mother of pearl hair and a white mother of pearl skeleton. Her skirt is abalone lined in black Tahitian mother of pearl. She holds a red rose and a copper ankh strung on a 14K gold chain in her hand. The rose is red and green custom cast pearloid.
Susan and Mike selected the materials carefully - notice how the lining of the skirt fades into a shadow, creating a three dimensional effect. Mike spent many hours sawing and filing the individual pieces of Annabelle before assembling them in the Ebony oval. Since the Roland pickup and electronics were part of the original design of Erik's guitar, the inlay is not mounted on a removeable cover plate - it's affixed to the body permanently.
Fingerboard inlay Erik also wanted inlays on the fingerboard similar to Rosebud. Susan designed the Florentine Scroll inlays for this purpose. The symetrical shapes are cut by hand in white mother of pearl. The shifting lines and delicate curves were a challenge even for an experienced inlay artist like Mike, and casualties are inevitable.
5th inlay 7th inlay 9th inlay 12th inlay 22 and 24 inlays

peghead The inlaid Alembic logo appears to glow against the rich natural black frame of Ebony. The logo is sterling silver inlaid with white mother of pearl and abalone shell.
peghead side After Erik had his guitar a while, he commented Analogous to the highest quality jewelry, attention to detail is remarkable - surreal transition from gloss body to satin finish on the neck, continuous wood back plates so perfect they almost look fake, purple heart/flame maple detail in headstock is ridiculous, quality of flame maple and centerwood is far superior than most AAA tops; the finish and quality of the coco is hypnotic, the detail and vibrance of inlays is 3 dimensional and leaves one wondering, "how'd they do that!"
Roland connector We've installed the Roland GK2 pickup in many guitars, but this is the first time we used a wooden mounting plate. Of course, it must be Coco Bolo. Mike made this carved oval wrap just over the Maple pinstripe on the front and back of the body. Since it's carved to match, the plate doesn't interrupt the contour of the body shape.
body side side The figure of the Flame Maple core is really deep, but it's also unusually dark, with a good deal of darker yet mineral streaking. We decided that with all the amazing figuring on this guitar, that the natural beauty of this wood made Annabelle that much more unique.
Battery Plate Continuous wood backplates make the back a wall to wall Coco Bolo mesmerizer. It's easy to lose yourself in the cinnamon swirls that melt in to candied red hots, looping 'round and 'round. We've bound each plate with a small helping of Ebony.

Thank you Erik - it was our pleasure to create this guitar for you.

Annabelle's face

Dear Susan,

Without question, this is the most beautiful and highest quality instrument I own. I have 30 in my collection including private stocks from PRS, custom shops from Gibson and Fender, custom McNaught, Goodall, Breedlove, Eggle, etc. - they all look out of place next to Annabelle.

Although I'm not a professional musician, I can appreciate the enormous forethought that went into its development; brass nut and bridge coupled with woods provide a tone and sustain that is unparalleled, the action is such that one feels as if there are no strings. The configuration of the controls allows one to truly create a unique playing style and the Roland adds a dimension that will keep me occupied for years.

Perhaps the best compliment I can think of is that it far exceeded my expectations and left me wanting nothing more. It is truly the centerpiece of my collection. Thank you for pouring your heart and soul into my guitar, it is very apparent why Alembic is viewed as the Holy Grail of instruments.

Best regards,

Front Back


  • Tribute 6-string guitar
  • Carved Coco Bolo top
  • Western Flame Maple core
  • Vermilion accent laminates with Maple pinstripes
  • Coco Bolo back
  • Continuous wood backplates
  • Custom tailpiece shape
  • Western Flame Maple, Purpleheart and Cherry set neck
  • Custom medallion inlay
  • Florentine Scrolls fingerboard inlays
  • Roland GK-2 pickup
  • Polyester gloss finish with satin neck feel

  • Sold by Washington Music Center
featured custom

Wallpaper: 1600x1200 1280x1024 1024x768 800x600
Order this Featured Custom on a coffee mug

Photograph of retreating storm over Sonoma Mountain © 2004 Mica Wickersham
Photographs of guitar © 2004 Alembic, Inc.

Custom Archive · Get a Custom Quote
The Specials · The Products · The People · The Place · The Support · Site Index