It's hard to decide which feature to start with (there's so many interesting
ones to choose from), so the double pistol grip horn is as good as any. Wow! It's long, reaching very nearly to the twelfth fret, so you know
the balance is fantastic. To keep with the aesthetic of the rest of the body shape, a double pistol grip is carved on the inside surface to break
up the length and to serve the purpose of looking downright cool.
One can't resist the Omega peghead for pairing with the 5-point
Balance K body shape. Scultped in exactly the same manner as the Omega on the bottom of the body only in minature, this delicate
detail is one of many gems found on the bass we call She.
Of course Quilted Coco Bolo veneer isn't something you can pick up at your local lumberyard, so we make our own. First by resawing a fairly thin sheet on the big bandsaw, then sanding to the final thickness with an abrasive planer. Fun fact: a veneer thickness of Quilted Coco Bolo glows when held up to a light source.
I think this bass is further evidence that any instrument made with this
luscious wood must be fitted with continuous wood pickup covers and a continuous wood truss rod cover. It's just absolutely gorgeous.
What a treat to have continuous wood backplates. Not only do they lighten
the load compared to brass plates, they are also a joy to behold. The back of She is particularly insteresting. It's a regular
bookmatch, but because of the density and angle of the grain, a positive and negative effect emerges. As David remarked, "the back is
'ordinary' Coco Bolo, but may be the most interesting piece of wood I've seen on an instrument (other than what's on the front)."
Everything comes down to the Omega carving. The neck woods, the body woods all
converge and are revealed in the contour that we sculpt by hand. When you touch this part, your hand is recreating the movements that created it.
And while the Omega tips are somewhat fragile, we're quite certain that David will be using a proper stand and stowing She away safely
in her case when She is not making music with him.
We really enjoyed working with David to create this bass. While he had his own ideas for the design, his willingness to think about the bass as a whole and collaborate with us on the wood recipe and other minor details materialized into something we can all enjoy.
Text and photos by Mica Wickersham Thomas, © 2009 Alembic, Inc.
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