Out of This World

Kevin's Out of the World Bass This bass began its life as another. Kevin's first Alembic was a medium scale 5-string with the 3/4 Omega body shape, but he found the balance not to his liking at around 2:30-3:00. We needed to design a body shape to meet his requirements - smaller and lighter weight than the Standard Omega found on the Series II basses, but retaining the feeling of that design with balance between 1:30-2:00. We made drawings and a mock up to assure Kevin and ourselves that the new design would satisfy his needs. When we received Kevin's enthusiastic approval, we had a pretty good idea this wouldn't be the last bass we'd make in this shape. Several others selected this new body shape after seeing its progress in the Factory to Customer section of the Alembic Club.
Kevin is very pleased and proud to be the first in this trend and thinks his bass is "out of this world!"
body The original Standard Omega shape was designed around a medium scale 4-string bass. As a long scale, it hangs around 2:30. Slap an extra string or two on it, and you can really see how that shape wasn't anticipating those variables. We've tried a few versions, but were never satisfied enough with any of them to make a regular offering.
A long time in the making, and several vesions later, we're ready to unveil the new Balance K Omega shape. This shape looks the Alembic part, but the cutaways are offset to bring the upper horn reach up farther. This in turn makes neck balance not an issue. The neck position balances at between 1:30 and 2:00 on a clockface. It's also a good bit smaller, and your back will thank you for the lighter weight.
Truss Rod Cover The Continuous wood truss rod cover matches the Ebony and Maple laminates in the neck. These plates are made with the next "slice" off the neck blank. We then make a veneer from the slice by sanding, and make a 5-ply custom plywood plate. This will keep the plate from warping like a solid wood one.
omega The Omega carving is independent from the body shape. In fact, we use the same template for the body shape regardless if it's getting a Point or Omega carving detail. It's a little scary to watch the Omega carving if you're not prepared. After tracing the shape from a template, the bass goes up on the bandsaw and with an artful flick of the wrists, out pops the Omega cut! Then it is ready to carve the rounded areas. Some shaping is done with a router, but in large this area is completely handcarved with rasps and files and sandpaper and skill.
Those little tips are somewhat delicate, so always place your Omega body basses in a stand or in the case, and never ever on the Omega tips directly.
tailpiece Gold-plated hardware is standard on a Series II bass. We send the brass parts to a jeweller's quality plater after cutting the slots in the saddles and string nut. We buff the parts for what seems like hours before sending them to the plater. The result is a gorgeous high lustre finish that won't tarnish.
Inlaid Logo The Sterling silver logo is inlaid under the finish and backed with mother of pearl and abalone shell. The inlay artist (in this case, James), selects the best suited piece of shell for the cloud and circle, and hand cuts the material with a jeweller's saw. We particularly like the billowy look of the white mother of pearl on this example.
peghead The top wood on Kevin's bass was so unusual, we were compelled to make our own veneer for the faces of the peghead to get the best possible match. We use a slice from the same board as the top and back laminates were cut from, then sand the slice down to veneer thickness. This allows us to get just as many glue joints in the peghead as when we use commercially produced veneer even when we can't find exactly what we want on the market.
It certainly is an extra effort, but we think it's all these little touches and extra attention that truly sets our basses apart and out of this world.
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  • Series II 5-string bass
  • Coco Bolo top and back
  • Balance K Omega body shape
  • Ebony neck laminates
  • Continuous wood backplates
  • Continuous wood truss rod cover
  • Custom THG knobs
  • Series II electronics
  • 24K gold plated hardware
  • Inlaid logo with shell
  • Polyester gloss finish with satin neck feel

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