Full Spectrum

Paul's Full Spectrum Guitar Paul originally ordered a Spectrum guitar with a Spalted Maple top and Tribute electronics. Sadly, this instrument was damaged in shipping. Instead of simply replacing what he lost, he decided to go all out and upgrade the second instrument with more wood options and electronics, and that's the guitar you see on the right, this month's Featured Custom.
Through all this Paul was as patient as anyone could expect, having had a taste of what was to come and then having to wait for the new instrument to be built. We had many conversations along with the Factory to Customer progress reports to console each of us. The time passed and finally his second guitar was delivered (fully intact). When we asked him if it was worth the extra wait, we received a resounding, "Yes!"
It's always a challenge to name the new Featured Custom. Usually there is some feature that sparks the name. This month the body shape and long list of custom features lent the inspiration, for Full Spectrum definitely describes this guitar. It sports the Spectrum body style but instead of the standard electronics package for that model, it is very full of Series II electronics, giving it the "full spectrum" of tonal ranges.
Fingerboard On this instrument, everything centers around the wood. No inlays clutter the interesting grain in this Ebony fingerboard. We use black Ebony for fingerboards except by special request. Paul saw the fingerboard on the Big Bass and asked for something similar on his guitar. In fact, we still had a piece left from that bass, so we were able to use exactly what he wanted.
Not to break anyone's heart, but there's no more of this board left, though we still have some very nice "spotted" Ebony.
In addition to the Spalted Maple top and back, the body also includes accent laminates of Ebony with Maple pinstripes. These are sandwiched along with the Mahogany main body wood. Those black spalting lines paired with the black Ebony keep the focus on contrast.
Truss Rod Cover The continuous wood truss rod cover looks best on a bookmatched to center top. On a guitar, it's a really tiny part!
Hardware Nickel plating protects the brass hardware from tarnish, providing a hard and durable finish. The bridge is our special concealed hardware style. Notice the intonation screws are accessed through the lower bridge rail. The usual aircraft fasteners on the pickup side that hold the intonation screws are absent.
The bar shape tailpiece looks nice and clean on this Spalted Maple top. We've put an Ebony shim under the tailpiece. It's a purely decorative feature, but we think it looks so nice with the black spalting lines and all the other Ebony accents on this guitar.
Logo Wow! A person could get lost in that abalone sunrise.
Volute Layers for strength in Maple and Walnut with Spalted Maple for faces. It would be nice for the look if we could use Ebony in the peghead veneers, but the dust pollutes the Maple so much that it isn't remotely practical. The Maple winds up looking dirty.
Check out how the reflectivity changes from the peghead to the neck. The back of the neck has a final sanding with 3000 grit sandpaper to achieve a satin finish. The feel is extremely smooth and never ever sticky. Ebony neck laminates contribute massive sustain.
Preamp plate Some woods simply demand to have continuous wood backplates. Before we glue the body together, Chip maps out the location for the backplates and Bob scroll saws the plate material and reserves it for the plate making. Then the long process of making the custom plywood built up from Maple and Purpleheart with facing veneers of Spalted Maple begins.
Under the plate is the preamp for the guitar. The controls accessible through the plate are the gain for each pickup and the hum balance controls. The hum balance controls (center two) are set at the factory and rarely need to be reset. The gain is something the performer gets to play with. Our design is such that you set the height of the pickup to get the desired tone, then you can separately correct the gain with the preamp.
The Full Spectrum guitar is a great example of how all of us at Alembic contribute effort and design to realize just about any challenge presented by our customers.
peghead peghead back back detail tailpiece
5-pin main plate spalted maple battery plate
Front Back


  • Series II 6-string guitar
  • Spalted maple top and back
  • Double accent laminates: Ebony with Maple pinstripe
  • Ebony neck laminates
  • Continuous wood backplates
  • Continuous wood truss rod cover
  • Spectrum body shape
  • Series II electronics with side-mounted output jacks
  • Nickel plated hardware
  • Ebony shim bar tailpiece
  • Inlaid logo with shell and rays
  • Polyester gloss finish with satin neck feel

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