Radiance With its stunning Superb Walnut top, this bass just glows... it's radiant! Jeff wanted a 5-string bass that had a really full sounding low-end without sacrificing upper range definition or attack. We formulated the neck recipe to have those rich deep lows by pairing the primary neck wood of Mahogany with twin beams of Ebony. Additional laminates of Purpleheart and Maple add stability and give the highs a place to reflect from. Adding this neck to the Walnut front and back bumps up the attack. Everywhere this bass goes, the tone is sweet, smooth, round, and full.
But Radiance is more than a selection of woods. She is the realization of a dream, and a conduit to tones only before imagined. Radiance is a vessel for Jeff's musical expression, expertly tailored to his needs. Though this bass is understated, the sum of its parts adds up to a very custom bass.

Nestorian Cross Jeff had provided an image of an elaborate Nestorian cross for the inlay. Originally, we were going to inlay a large mother of pearl plate on the back of the peghead with engravings of the artwork. The shape of the plate just wasn't working out too well with the tuning key placement, so we opted for just the cross portion of the artwork as a direct inlay in sterling silver and mother of pearl. James did some crosshatch engraving on the silver portion of the cross.
wood This is a prime example of what we term "Superb Walnut." For the wood to receive this classification, it must have lots going on - alternating color zoning, preferably with some wiggle to the grain. Flame figuring is a given on Superb Walnut.

peghead peghead
We faced the front and back of the peghead with coordinating veneers of Superb Walnut over layers of alternating Vermilion and Mahogany. Usually we employ Walnut and Maple for this purpose, but this time we've matched the subtle accent laminates in the body.

CWB It would practically be a crime to have anything other than continuous wood backplates on this amazing wood. Another benefit besides beauty is that wooden backplates weigh significantly less than traditional brass backplates.

Hardware With the extra long scale, we needed to make a more slender tailpiece and have it wrap around the omega carving so that it would fit well without modifying the body shape.
Jeff opted for regular polished brass hardware without plating. While that does mean a little polishing in his future, it keeps well with the overall understated look of the bass.
We had a great time making your bass and working with you, Jeff, not to mention the delightful visit with you and your wife.

Front Back


  • Series II 5-string bass
  • Superb Walnut top and back
  • Mahogany body core
  • Mahogany, Maple, Ebony and Purpleheart neck
  • 35" Extra long scale
  • Balance K body shape with Omega carving
  • Ebony fingerboard with tulip tip
  • Mother of pearl oval inlays
  • Continuous wood backplates
  • Inlaid logo with shell
  • Side LEDs in blue
  • Polished brass hardware
  • Custom Nestorian Cross engraved inlay on peghead back
  • Sold by: Bass Central
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Text and photos of guitar by Mica Wickersham Thomas, © 2011 Alembic, Inc.

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