Raging Bass

Raging Bull Michael's been playing Alembics for a good long time. He's owned several, and appreciated them for their unique voices. When it came time to custom order, we tried to combine aspects of what he's liked about each of these instruments into a bass made specifically for him.
After about eight months building, Michael received his custom bass. “I got it! And it is FANTASTIC!!! The pictures just don't compare. Jaws hitting the floor all around! Some do double takes, others stare for a while and them come back and stare some more. The sound is wonderful and so versatile. I can dial up a great rear pickup Jaco-esque tone and one flip of the pup selector and its Slap city! The front pickup tone is very deep and ballsy yet tight while the rear gets that great bark and growl while still being thick and full! Ebony neck lams are the best! Thats all for now. Gotta play more, more, more!”
Another four months have gone by, and Michael shared some more thoughts about his “Raging Bass”: “The visual image I get when playing this bass is that of an angry (or if you like, raging) bull being held back with a leash made for a pomeranian!! I feel like I have to be very careful not to overpower other members of the band as this bass speaks with authority and PUNCH!! Say, wasn't there a Robert DeNiro movie about a boxer with a very powerful punch?”

MD inlay What better way to personalize a bass than to have it made with your initials inlaid? James cut the art nouveau styled letters from mother of pearl. The circles on either side of the initials are front laser LEDs.
neck laminates The neck laminations stack Flame Maple, Ebony and Purpleheart. Notice the tiny Maple veneers framing each side of the central Purpleheart laminate.
Looking good is great, but sounding great is what it's all about. Most of the contribution to tone from woods in an Alembic bass is from the neck. With the added Ebony laminates, the bass responds with a long-sustaining fundamental. Michael has noticed an increase in the midrange between 100Hz-250Hz compared to his other Alembics. Maybe it's the 33 inch scale - maybe it's the Flame Maple main neck wood. We'll keep learning and observing.
Satin neck feel Looks good, feels good. The finish on the back of the neck is carefully sanded to acheive an ultra-fine satin feel.
heel carving The Balance Point body shape is able to have the upper horn reach toward the center of the string and still have an "Alembic" look because the cutaways are offset. The body halves do not join at the same place on each side of the neck. Rather, the upper body half is shifted towards the peghead. The carver then sculpts these different attachment points to create a comfortable shape.
This is the full-sized version of the Balance Point series of shapes. It's larger than the Balance K and larger yet compared to the classic Series I/II Point/Omega shapes.
body sandwich The body “sandwich” stacks:
  • Coco Bolo
  • Maple pinstripe
  • Purpleheart
  • Maple pinstripe
  • Vermilion
  • Maple pinstripe
  • Vermilion
  • Maple pinstripe
  • Purpleheart
  • Maple pinstripe
  • Coco Bolo

pistol grip A Pistol Grip detail can be applied to nearly any shape we offer. The extra point on the interior curve always reveals interesting information about the grain of the top and back. It also is longer than the standard horn, so the balance is improved even more.

Heart Omega The tailpiece, bridge, truss rod cover and string nut are all plated with jeweler's quality 24k gold. This is a standard feature of Series II basses. But it's not just for looks - Michael will not need to clean his hardware except for an ocassional wipe with a soft cloth. The hardware doesn't tarnish like brass.

heart omega laminations Way down at the Heart Omega, the Maple framed Purpleheart laminates all get together. The delicately carved heart point just barely escapes the Maple veneers at its tip.

Continuous Wood Backplate A little planning goes a long way. Before we glue the body laminations together, Bob cuts the future backplates out with a scroll saw. Then Chip can proceed with the body assembly and the plate making.
To make the actual plates, we resaw the wood very thin, and sand it even thinner. Then, we stack up Maple and Purpleheart veneers, and finish off with Coco Bolo on the inside and outside for the most stability.
The plates travel in the finish department right along with the bass. It takes just as many coats of finish for the plates.
coco bolo Michael and Valentino spent a good amount of time to get just the right piece of Coco Bolo selected. Michael wanted something that wasn't super dark, but had good dark grain lines. We found this piece with straight grain, swirls, and some small figure details that just was begging to be on a large body instrument to appreciate all the transitions.

Peghead Peghead back
The peghead veeners are selected to match with the front and back of the bass.
The front edge of the peghead is slightly bevelled and reveals the alternating interior veneers of Maple and Purpleheart..
Bevel detail The bevel needs to transition to a flat spot so the nut can be mounted without a void below it at the ends. This blending is gentle, and done with an artist's touch.
logo inlay
We inlay a sterling silver Alembic logo on the peghead with mother of pearl and abalone. This is under the finish, and completely flush with the finish - you can't feel it at all.
It was a true pleasure building this bass for you, Michael. The combinations you selected were restrained but unique. We all loved the way it turned out, but only three of us could play it!

Front Back


  • Series II 4-string bass
  • Coco Bolo top and back
  • Vermilion body core
  • Special accent laminates
  • Balance body, full size
  • Heart Omega and Pistol Grip, Tummy Contour carving details
  • Flame Maple, Purpleheart and Ebony left-handed neck, 33" scale
  • Gold plated hardware
  • Continuous wood backplates
  • Abalone oval inlays
  • Initial inlays at 12th fret
  • Laser front LEDs
  • Side LEDs
  • Bevelled peghead front
  • Inlaid logo with shell
  • Series II electronics with stereo/mono switch for 1/4" jack
Sold by: Providence Music
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