Templar Secrets

Templar Secrets After his first Alembic, Pierre decided he needed a fretless to compliment Grand Master. No, Pierre is not a Dan Brown freak, he's just enthusiastic about his Maltese heritage. The symbols hold a personal meaning, and a deep connection to his father.
Almost set as an opposite to Grand Master, the Templar Secrets bass is light colored Quilted Maple instead of Grand Master's dark Walnut. Where the neck is exposed in Grand Master, it's hidden beneath the top and the back in Templar Secrets with a bookmatch to center option. Oh, won't these two look great standing next to each other on stage?
There's more secrets to reveal in this bass, but that amazing sword is certainly not one of them, and demands to be discussed first.
Inlay It's hard to miss the sword across half of the fingerboard. We generally do not recommended inlays for fretless basses, but Pierre doesn't plan to use this bass for upper register soloing, and the gleaming silver blade, not cleaved by frets, has a certain purity to it.
We assembled all the parts for the inlay before placing it in the fingerboard. It looked just like a real sword! It also looks very nice without strings, but sounds much better with them.
Inlay Detail The hilt of the sword has a mother of pearl grip, inlaid with three red pearloid Maltese crosses. The pommel is mother of pearl circled in 18 karat gold with a black monogram of Christ. The cross guard is golden mother of pearl with 18 karat gold. The chappe is white mother of pearl inlaid with a red cross and bound in 18 karat gold. The blade itself is solid sterling silver.
Susan designed the inlay from an email request for a sword. She starts with pencil sketches which she refines to ink. We then scan this art and use a vector illustration program to make very fine line art for James to use as a pattern while he cuts the pieces of the inlay by hand with a jeweller's saw.
When you've got a nice bookmatched to center top, what better way to celebrate than with a continuous wood truss rod cover.
Satin Neck For a warm and rounded tone, Mahogany is the natural choice for the primary neck wood. Supported by Vermilion laminates to fill out the tone and a single Ebony laminate to make the sustain of the fundamental unrivaled. A satin finish keeps the feel fast and sleek. Our customers tell us our satin necks are the finest they have ever felt.
With the bookmatch to center option, the neck material is a total secret from the front view.
peghead peghead
Classic Alembic Crown peghead with matching Quilted Maple veneers on the front and back. Sterling silver logo is inlaid under the finish with mother of pearl and abalone.
On the back is a secret inlay of a Maltese cross in the colors of the Maltese flag: mother of pearl for the white and red pearloid for the red. When we do these small inlays on the back of the peghead, the idea is that it's not something for the audience to see per se, rather, one must be invited to see the little secret.
hardware 24 karat gold plating on the solid brass hardware for a glorious shine and no brass polishing in Pierre's future. It's yet another detail we do the hard way, but it's something that works out much better in the long run. Typical bridges have the slots cut after they are plated, creating an area for the plating to peel and wear much more quickly. We do a complete setup about half way through the finish process, called a preset. Each little brass piece is hand polished then we send the parts to our gold plater. The slots in the string nut and the bridge saddles are plated over, and there is no exposed brass for tarnishing to start.
Shhhhh..... At first, the specifications for this bass included a large inlay of a Maltese cross spanning the entire back of the body. Since the Quilted Maple was so beautiful, we suggested a more subtle application of the symbol that preserved the grain of the wood. Unless the light hits the back just right, you won't see this secret Maltese cross flash at you.
The front of the bass is rubbed out to a gloss finish, the back is rubbed out to a satin finish. We selectively masked the shape of a Maltese cross on the back and buffed it to a high gloss like the front. This rather understated, dare I say secret interpretation of this symbol is appropriate for the order of the Knights Templar.
As before, Pierre was a complete dream to work with. His ideas for the bass were great, and for us the best part was the back and forth design process, where we all participated in the resulting bass. These efforts will surely be passed on to future generations, and for this we are honored.

Front Back


  • Signature Deluxe 4-string bass
  • Quilted Maple top and back
  • Bookmatch to center top and back
  • 7-piece Mahogany, Vermilion and Ebony neck
  • Ebony unlined fretless fingerboard with Templar Sword inlay
  • Continuous wood truss rod cover
  • Continuous wood backplates
  • Gold plated hardware
  • Side LEDs in amber
  • Maltese Cross inlay on back of peghead
  • Selective Maltese Cross rubout on back
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Text and photos of guitar by Mica Wickersham Thomas, © 2010 Alembic, Inc.

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