Dave supplied his own piece of Macassar
Ebony for the top of this bass. Armed with the minimum rough dimensions, he was able to source the gorgeous
piece of wood that has great grain configuration, crazy color zones, and fantastic flame figure to boot.
"I've always loved Macassar Ebony for its beauty and knew its strong lows and crystal highs would fit the
recipe perfectly - not to mention it's rare to find it with flame figuring!"
Nature never fails to demonstrate how the beauty of wood can surprise you again and again, and no matter how many times you think you've seen it all, there is yet more to discover!
With such a beautiful top wood already bookmatched
to center, it was only natural to make the truss rod cover continuous wood. With that unbroken sea of Ebony across
the front, it's easy to miss this little detail, but once you do see it, such a pleasant surprise it is!
Since the Ebony that Dave supplied was so
unique, it was necessary to make our own decorative peghead veneers. There is no way commercially supplied material
would even approach looking as good as the actual board.
Especially on the back of the peghead, it's evident that black hardware was the way to go on this bass. The back of the peghead is also the first peek you get at the wide Vermilion neck laminates. We love these in fretless necks, they impart such a wonderful deep tone that is reinforced by the main neck wood of Maple. Plus there is just no denying how cool it looks!
Dave wanted the side dots to be more
prominent than on our fretted basses, and also to combine with the inlaid "side lines" that we sometimes
include on fretless basses. They are arranged so that positions that would normally get a marker have a
marker "on the fretline" and the in-between positions have a side line inlaid in Maple. This makes it
fairly easy to navigate.
Blackened brass hardware is so sublime on this
bass. To intensify the "blackness" our metal finisher applied a clear coating over the black nickel oxide finish
he usually does. Looks really great against the grain of the top wood.
"The bass couldn't have turned out better. It sounds amazing and surpassed every expectation I had." We so enjoyed working with Dave on this project. He had really specific goals for this instrument, he was able to communicate them to us clearly, and we were able to make his dream bass something he could hold and love and play. It's the classic "win-win" and we're so happy to have been able to craft this bass for him.
Text and photos of bass by Mica Wickersham Thomas, ©2013 Alembic, Inc.
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