Rachel's Guitar Richard was looking for something special for his daughter's Christmas present last year. As the owner of both custom guitars and basses we've crafted, you can imagine his ten-year old guitarist daughter had eyed his collection more than once. So when shopping for this special surprise, he wanted to find something that was certainly custom, but not overly decorated.
When he saw this austere Spalted Maple, he knew it was the perfect choice. Just a couple of custom options like the blackened brass hardware and a cool peghead inlay later and we were off to the build. All we had to do was get it ready in time for Christmas! With just a day to spare, we had the guitar ready for the big reveal.
As fun as it is to give a big present, getting one can be almost intimidating, after the thrill of the surprise subsides. I remember when I wasn't much older than Rachel, having mentioned to my parents that I wanted to start learning the piano. When I got home from summer camp, there was a huge Walnut Baldwin piano dominating our living room. Time to get practicing!
But having an excellent instrument to learn on can bring the most out of your time learning. When you don't have to fight the guitar, you can enjoy playing more. And learning is faster when you can really hear exactly what you are doing. Can you imagine if your first guitar was an Alembic?
Spalted Maple Spalted Maple is just as varied as any wood in our coffers. Sometimes we have billets with the spalted black lines lacing over flame or quilted figure. Other times, when the dark web is woven over an otherwise nearly featureless board, an understated look is the result. This particular board has a rather dark yellow color as the main feature, so it contrasts with the spalted figure rather nicely.
Inlays Black Tahitian mother of pearl oval inlays on the fingerboard flash pink and green with changing light, sometimes nearly disappearing into the Ebony.
The inlays are a subtle but very beautiful addtion to the overal design, keeping things certainly custom, but nothing is overstated.
The blackened brass truss rod cover keeps the dark and sultry theme going.
Rachel inlay With her name emblazoned across the peghead, nobody is going to wonder whose guitar this is. We chose a retro script font for the job, Mr. Dafoe, with a swash capital. For font nerds out there, we shifted the baseline slightly for this setting.
The letters are all cut out by hand with a jeweler's saw. The white mother of pearl gives the maximum contrast to the Ebony front veneer.

peghead peghead
In context, the peghead inlay looks very natural next to the inlaid logo with shell. A gentle bevel on the front of the peghead reveals the supporting veneers nicely - they almost look like binding.
Alembic Logo Speaking of that logo, the shell on this is practically electric. Between the billowing figure of the mother of pearl in the cloud that actually resembles a cumulus cloud and the intense blues and green of the abalone, this logo inlay is a dainty crown jewel.
Rachel, we can't wait to hear you play, and we hope that making music will bring you much happiness your whole life.

Front Back


  • Further Guitar
  • Spalted Maple top
  • Flame Maple back
  • Purpleheart body
  • "Rachel" peghead inlay
  • Ebony fingerboard
  • Black Tahitian mother of pearl oval inlays
  • Bevelled peghead front
  • Spalted Maple backplates
  • Inlaid logo with shell
  • Almost black plated hardware
  • Side LEDs in amber
featured custom

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Text by Mica Wickersham Thomas, © 2013 Alembic, Inc.
Photos by Mica Wickersham Thomas, © 2013 Alembic, Inc.

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