Reid's Pinot Reid bought a used Elan bass in Bird's-eye Maple. He sent it in to the shop to have it refinished with the Wineburst finish, and it was love at first sight! He knew that when the time came for his next custom, it too would share the Wineburst.
Right when Reid ordered this bass, we had just finished designing the Balance K body, first featured in July. Susan stongly suggested he swap the Standard Omega body shape for the new Balance K, because of the improved balance and reduced weight. Reid went for it and was not disappointed. He reported to us that after his first 2 hour practice with Pinot, he felt like a "normal human being" without shoulder pain or strain.
As much as as Reid loves the look, the sound is of course paramount, "The tones produced by the bass are phenomenal. I can easily get thick dub bass and still maintain that clear high-end your basses are noted for. I've got an old Series 1 and I owned a Distillate for a while, so I had an idea what the Signature electronics would sound like. I'm not surprised, but I am blown away by them!"
Peghead To coordinate with the smaller, more sleek Balance K body shape, we redesigned the Fan peghead shape for this project. It's our tradition to take every opportunity for the burst finish, so Bob sprayed the peghead with the Wineburst finish on the front and back. It's an exceptionally good pairing with the Balance K body, since the Fan shape is smaller and therefore lighter weight than the Crown (though we have added a smaller Crown shape too). Pinot is the first bass we made with this new peghead shape.
Surface logo with shell With a tinted finish, the only way to get a fancy logo is the surface mount option, but that's far from bad news - just look at how the 24 karat gold-plated logo shines. And that New Zealand Paua shell behind the circle, is just awesome with the green and blue swirls.
Bi colo LEDs Red LEDs mark the edge of the fingerboard, with amber marking the 12th and 24th frets. The combination perfectly compliments the Wineburst finish.
Golden MOP Oval Golden Mother of Pearl matches the center of the Wineburst finish. It's near to impossible to capture how beautiful these are by camera. Like white Mother of Pearl, the Golden version flashes opalencent greens and pinks. Each inlay is cut out by hand with a small jeweller's saw, the blade of which looks like three hairs twisted together. Typically eighteen blades are consumed when cutting out a set of ten ovals.
backplate Plenty of "Wow!" factor here - this is the first time we used continuous wood backplates with a tinted finish, and we're all very happy with the result. Reid's happy too, here's a little more of what he has to say about his newest Alembic:

Pinot has been on several gigs and to several rehearsals. It passes the sight, sound and feel tests every time, and with flying colors! My main impression as I play it is that it is the most comfortable Alembic I've ever owned! I can't thank Susan enough for talking me into the Balance K body style. This is my first experience with Signature electronics and I find they provide a very wide range of sounds. I knew I'd like them! Lastly, Pinot is a treat for the eyes, just a gorgeous piece of work. When I decided to have a custom Alembic built, I planned on it becoming a piece of bass jewelry! I think we succeeded. The selections of quilt maple, mother-of-pearl, golden mother-of-pearl and abalone you made are all wonderful and work so well together. I love the mother-of-pearl and abalone in the logo! I'd also like to thank all the artisans who worked on Pinot.

We'd like to thank you as well, Reid. Pinot was an fun project and everyone that worked on it enjoyed the experience.

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  • Mark King Deluxe 5-string bass
  • Quilted Maple top and back
  • Mahogany core
  • Purple Heart accent laminates
  • Fan peghead shape
  • Golden Mother of Pearl oval inlays
  • Side LEDs in red and amber
  • Polyester gloss finish
  • Purchased from Bass Northwest
featured custom

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Photograph of vineyard in southern Sonoma County © 2004 Mica Wickersham
Photographs of bass © 2004 Alembic, Inc.

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