It's one of those features that doesn't call too much attention
to itself, but gold plated hardware is a nice touch on any Alembic. Not only are you relieved of the chore of cleaning tarnished brass,
the little extra gleam from the gold plating is always pleasing.
Vermilion looks best under the nice shiny polyester finish. The
earliest instruments we made all had oil finsihes (we didn't have a spray booth back then). Later, after we were spraying polyurethane
coatings, we hand-rubbed the finish to a satin lustre. That's fine and good for some woods, but darker woods wind up looking a little
"smeary" with finger oils getting trapped in the extra fine scratches that make up a satin finish. Once we got a buffing wheel, there
was no turning back - finishes had increased depth, the wood grain couldn't look better.
But, some folks wind up sticking to glossy finish with their fretting hand, so we brought back the satin finish just on the neck feel. So fast and smooth, it's a joy to play, and the rest of the bass looks as pretty as can be with that shiny polyester finish - the best of both worlds.
Crown peghead shape is the natural pairing for the
Small Standard body shape. It's the quintessential Alembic style that's been gracing pegheads of our basses and guitars
since the very first one.
Today we typically coordinate the peghead veneers with the body laminations, unlike the early examples of our work. So while this bass has a nod to the past, we've incorporated some features and decorative options from today.
Vermilion's main impact is its striking color.
An intense near-yellow orange when first sanded, Vermilion mellows with age and exposure to ultra violet
light to a beautiful cinnabar color.
|Side LEDs glow red when turned on. This photo shows the LEDs in their unilluminated state, ringed by tiny inlays of sterling silver. Even if you're playing with the LEDs off, you can still navigate the positions easily with the silver circles.
Shoji asked for the logo and script to be cast from solid 14
karat gold. The jeweler that makes the logos has been carving and casting in precious metals for over thirty years. The 14 karat
gold doesn't look as yellow as the tuners or the 24 karat plated hardware, but it's sturdy enough to be mounted in the traditional
fashion on the peghead. When we've done logos with higher percentages of gold, they are inlaid under the finish to protect
the soft metal.
We can't help but wax a little nostalgic when we see your bass,
Shoji. It's a reminder of a simpler time, and mindful of the improvements we've made since the earliest builds.
Text © 2008 Alembic, Inc., photographs of bass © 2007 Alembic, Inc.
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