This isn't the first Alembic with a Snakewood fingerboard, but there are
only a handful of others. The Snakewood tree is rather small, with trunks typically ranging from 12 inches to 20 inches in diameter. The sapwood
takes up a good portion of the wood, so it's rare to find a piece that is wider than 6 inches of clear heartwood. It is also difficult to dry,
and it shrinks a great deal and is prone to cracking and checking. But all that is worth it - it's a stunning wood, with the reddish-brown color and
near black figure. Well-suited for fingerboards, the Snakewood we find is usually as dense as Ebony.
Front sandwich stacks Superb Walnut, Purpleheart accent laminate, and
Maple veneer next to the Mahogany core. Even with such sharply contrasting woods on the top and back, the matching accent
laminates keep the look harmonious.
Back sandwich stacks Bird's-eye Maple, Purpleheart accent laminate,
and Maple veneer next to the Mahogany core.
The Balance K 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. That means there is
more material on the upper half of the body where it meets the neck.
The carver blends and sculpts these different attachment points to a useful and comfortable shape.
|The peghead veeners are selected to match with the front and back of the bass. Each side is layered with alternating veneers of Maple and Purpleheart for added strength.
|Superb Walnut top is a place to get lost! There is so much going on in this wood - colors, grain, swirl, flame, touch o'burl, one doesn't tire of gazing into it deeply.
We paired natural Abalone with the Snakewood on this bass. The subtle colors and figure of the shell don't compete with the woods.
We know Lothar won't mind taking care of Snake Eyes until the right person comes along to adopt this special bass.
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Text and Photographs of bass © 2006 Alembic, Inc.
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