Edwin and the Fish

Fishie 4 Why a fish? It's kind of a long story. Once upon a time we had a small fishtank in our offices with several goldfish. Some were fancy, some were plain. One in particular was special because he didn't have a dorsal fin. Each of these fish had distinct personalities, so we named them after some of our friends. Kathleen was the orange and white fancy, Melody was the black moor, and Edwin was the finless comet (if you've never seen Edwin the bass player, he's had a shaved head as long as we can remember).
As it goes with goldfish, Kathleen and Melody weren't in this world for long, but that Edwin, he was our companion for a good long time. Well, eventually Edwin the bass player became Edwin the Fish, and the nickname has just sort of stuck, at least when we're talking to him!
Since it had been a few years since Edwin treated himself to a new Alembic, he decided to get some interesting custom features on this build, starting with the memorial fish inlay.
The Fish The fish inlay is done in laminated paua shell. Paua is the Maori word for abalone, and the shells from the New Zealand are particularly blue. The face of the fish is white mother of pearl.
Did you notice the bass clef disguised as the eye and gill? The clef and the outline are sterling silver and ebony.
Bottom contour The bottom cut is a distinctive feature for the Edwin body shape. We've been making the Edwin Van huik Signature model for many years, but until recently it's only been known in the Benelux region. The shape on this bass is the offical version III, but there are several other variations that were never even built. Once pictures of the EVH signatures began cropping up on the Showcase in the Alembic Club, we've started making custom versions for players on both sides of the pond.
In addition to the normal Series II electronics, Edwin asked Ron to create a separate bass boost control for each pickup. We've heard from Edwin after his first gig with The Fish that the bass boost controls did exactly what he wanted.
backplate It's always touchy making these fancy continuous wood backplates since you've only got one chance to make it right. A small slip of the blade and the entire lamiante is shot for the project. First, we trace the plate design on the back laminate, then Bob drills a starter hole for his scroll saw blade. Then comes the cutting.
After the 1/4" thick backplate is cut out, we slice it so we are left with a veneer for the front and back of the plate. Why bother putting the burl walnut on the back? Yeah, even though Edwin will never see it, the underside of the backplate is also burl walnut, so the whole thing is symmetrical and more stable over time. We then layer maple and purpleheart between the burl walnut for a most exotic plywood.
sandwich Front to back, the woods in the Fish are:
Burl Walnut
Burl Walnut
Rosewood board Edwin wanted a slightly different look and feel for the fingerboard, so he's chosen Rosewood. Another interesting part is that the side LEDs are not all one color. Edwin's got amber and red mixed up along the side of the neck for his playing reference points.
We've also used more of the beautiful paua shell for the oval inlays on the fingerboard.
Yellow LEDs Red LEDs tailpiece Fish Inlay Peghead back peghead upperhorn Logo with rays tummy
Front Back


  • Series II Custom 4-string bass
  • Burl Walnut top and back
  • Double accent: Maple pinstripe with Purpleheart
  • Alder body with center Purpleheart pinstripe
  • 33" scale length
  • Edwin III body shape
  • Maple and Purpleheart neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard with Abalaone oval inlays
  • Continuous wood backplates
  • Gold plated hardware
  • Custom electronics
    • Volume x2
    • Filter x2
    • Continuously Variable Q x2
    • Pickup selector switch
    • Bass boost x2
    • 5-pin stereo out
    • 1/4" mono/stereo out with switch
  • Price available on request
    Bass Connection
    Neuweg 207 1214 GP Hilversum Holland
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