David's Custom Bass Several emails David sent us after receiving his bass refer to his "leap of faith" for buying a custom ordered Alembic bass without having ever played one. Sure, he'd heard them on recordings and seen them, but without that first hand experience, he certainly did give us a big vote of confidence when he commissioned "Twilight."
nickel hardware With the cool bluish color of the Buckeye Burl, icy nickel plated hardware is a natural choice. We do a complete setup of the bass, then disassemble the bridge and nut. Next we take the hardware to a local plating shop. It takes more effort this way, but even the slots are plated in the bridge saddles and the string nut, so there is no point for corrossion to begin.
To see the glass-like smooth surface of the bass, enlarge this picture and check out the reflection of the tailpiece.

Buckeye Buckeye Burl is the focal point of Twilight. The top is exceptionally blue and dark, with a wonderful burst of a lighter cream color from between the pickups. It's an exciting wood, always piquing interest and provoking questions of, "is that marble?"
laminates The Mahogany body core is set off from the Buckeye Burl top and back with double accents of Maple and Purpleheart. The Purpleheart is a regular 1/8" laminate, and the Maple is a thin veneer. It's not the first thing you notice on the bass, but one of those cool things that after you start wearing it, you look down and notice a pleasant surprise.
LEDs Blue wood calls for blue side LEDs. As is our tradition, each LED has a tiny sterling silver circle inlaid around it, so even when the lights are off, the position is still clearly marked.
detail The interior veneers of the peghead are usually alternating layers of Maple and Walnut. Since this bass has such a restricted color pallete, we decided to use Maple and Purpleheart instead.
For the back and bookmatched front of the peghead, we used neighboring Buckeye Burl to coordinate with the different colors on each side.
Backplate It would be a shame to omit continuous wood backplates from such a back. Yeah, they cost more, and don't make the bass sound any better, but they sure are pretty!
To make them, Bob scroll saws the plate from the back laminate before Chip assembles to body. That little fallout piece is resawed to get two very thin sheets. We sand these very flat and thin, then add them to the front and back of a Maple and Purpleheart custom plywood we've made. Even though the interior Buckeye Burl veneer is eventually covered with silver shielding, keeping the laminates symmetrical make the finished piece much more stable over time.
inlaid logo David started with the inlaid logo with shell on his original order. During construction, he was able to take a short trip to the factory. While here, David saw another bass under construction that just got rays inlaid with the logo. He told us with a smile as he left, "I knew I'd wind up spending more if I came by."
James aligned the light reflecting ripples in the abalone perpendicular to the rays themselves. The effect is spectacular!
Thank you David, for your leap of faith in us. The pleasure of working with you is reflected in every aspect of your beautiful bass.

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  • Stanley Clarke Deluxe 4-string bass
  • Buckeye Burl top and back
  • Mahogany body core
  • Purpleheart and Maple laminates
  • Maple and Purpleheart neck
  • Continuous wood backplates
  • Inlaid logo with rays
  • Blue side LEDs
  • Abalone oval inlays
  • Nickel plated hardware
  • Polyester gloss finish with satin neck feel

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Photograph of maple tree at twilight © 2004 Mica Wickersham
Photographs of bass © 2004 Alembic, Inc.

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