Golden Girl

Golden Girl After enjoying his first Alembic, Leap of Faith, for a couple of years, Todd was ready to expand his Alembic collection with a 4-string. Curious about the shorter scale lengths, he decided to take another "leap of faith" and order up himself a nice custom Series I in a 30.75 inch scale.
The theme of the bass unfolded rather slowly. First was the decision on Flame Koa, to give a truly distinctive tone compared to his Series II. Other golden-themed features followed: golden mother of pearl inlays, gold plated hardware, and Todd's favorite gold strings. We were looking forward to trying out the golden colored frets, and since Todd was willing to be our guinea pig, that last touch of gold came to the design. All together, these gilded design aspects led to the creation of the Golden Girl.
Todd was blown away by the beauty of the Golden Girl, but what really hooked him was the tone. The large and deep tone didn't seem like it could originate on such a petite bass. "Another home run for you guys!" was the word from Todd when he pulled himself away from the bass to drop us a line.
Koa Koa is a remarkable wood from Hawaii. It's such a wonderful golden honey brown color, and the character of the figuring always looks like it is reflecting more than the available light, as if it's actually radiating light.
Koa shaves off some of the extreme highs, and makes for an exceptionally warm sounding bass. It's also a little less dense than some of our other offerings, so achy backs rejoice!
Gold Frets These golden colored frets were a last-minute inspiration for this bass. It's a nickel-free copper alloy that is harder than the regular frets we use, but not as hard as stainless steel. We just love the combination of the gold frets with all the other golden goodness on this bass.
It's actually sort of weird, but not one person who saw this bass in person before it shipped noticed the gold frets until they were pointed out. So wonderful when a cool feature doesn't overpower the design as a whole.
Gold Hardware Series I basses come standard with chrome plated hardware, but that just wouldn't do as the Golden Girl evolved. We plated all the solid brass hardware in 24 karat jeweller's quality gold. It's a longer process, where we have to set the bass up before it's complete. Then the individual brass pieces are painstakingly buffed by hand to an impossibly smooth finish.
Our metal plater then plates with copper, nickel and finally gold. We send them in a custom made wooden carrier so the parts don't get scuffed or scratched during shipping. Sure, there are easier ways to do it, but we've found that the easiest way doesn't always produce the consistent results we strive for.

peghead peghead
Of course the peghead has veneers that we made in our shop from the same wood as the top and back laminates on the body. On the back of the peghead, you might notice what at first looks like sloppy off-center carving, but we assure you that it's entirely intentional.
Todd wanted to have the neck with an asymmetic carve on the back. For his needs, to reduce the amount of "pinch" needed with his fretting hand, we carved the bass side of the neck thinner, so that on the bass side, there is a bit of a V-shape on the bass side and on the treble side is more of our regular shallow C type shape. Todd said that the neck is extremely easy for him to play.
Initials Golden mother of pearl for the fingerboard inlays, including this custom initial monogram at the 12th fret. The letters are cut by hand and then inlaid in the Ebony fingerboard, with a small sterling silver oval to tie it in to the rest of the ovals on the fingerboard.
Logo Inlay Just another touch of gold with the golden mother of pearl cloud in the inlaid Alembic logo. Paired with the polished bronze logo and gorgeous abalone, it's like a jewel on Golden Girl's crown peghead.
Oh Todd, we love making basses for you! Not only do you give us quite a bit of "carte blanche" in the design process, but your ever-positive attitude is inspiring. Thanks so much, and we are looking forward to our next adventure together (is that a touch of foreshadowing?).

Front Back


  • Series I 4-string bass
  • Flame Koa top and back
  • Maple and Purpleheart neck
  • Mahogany body
  • Ebony fingerboard with golden mother of pearl oval inlays
  • Custom initial inlay at 12th fret in golden mother of pearl with silver bound oval
  • 24K goldplated hardware
  • Gold color frets
  • Inlaid logo with golden mother of pearl cloud and abalone rays
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Text and photos of bass by Mica Wickersham Thomas, © 2011 Alembic, Inc.

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