April 1999

Sterling Anniversary bass

When we decided to make a 25th anniversary bass, we wanted to express a variety of concepts: clear tone, amazing wood, gorgeous inlay. It had to capture the traditional Alembic design but with a new twist. So we combined the Standard Point and Standard Omega body shapes to form the Stinger Omega.

The beautiful Burl Rosewood top and back are the absolute finest wood we've ever used on a bass. Ron Wickersham thought the first bass we made out of this wood (a Series II 5-string) was the best sounding bass we ever made. Then, a year later when that customer ordered a fretless 5-string to match, Ron thought it was the best sounding bass we ever made. We made 6 Burl Rosewood basses (all the greatest sounding) before designing the Sterling Anniversary bass to use the last few bookmatches we had.

Sterling Anniversary Bass
omega tip In this picture you can see the layering of woods used in the body. Under the Burl Rosewood top are two veneers, first Maple then Purpleheart. Under the veneers is a 1/8" accent laminate in Maple. The tip of the omega is the maple from the neck.
Here are closeups of the ornate fingerboard inlay. There are 396 different pieces in Susan Wickersham's desgin to hand cut and assemble. Kris fashions the large alchemical symbols from sheet silver. The leaves are abalone. There's a Pink Ivory (wood) lotus flower, Burl Maple wheat sheaves, Purpleheart Grapes with Flame Koa leaves, a golden mother of pearl pear, and lots of pretty mother of pearl flowers. The vine itself is Maple.

We leave the first fret position blank and can put any inlay there you like. Ben decided to leave his blank until he comes up with a good idea.

inlay 24-12

inlay 12-1

silver bridge A closeup of the sterling silver bridge. Look under the bridge to see the solid sterling silver sustain block.

The neck is Ebony and Maple and sounds markedly different from other neck wood combinations. The sustain you usually hear is from the second harmonic, the fundamental dies out relatively quickly. This is true for all basses, not just ours. Interestingly, the addition of Ebony for neck laminates allows the fundamental to sustain nearly as long as the second harmonic, producing a sound that "almost grows out of the ground" as one listener stated.

burl rosewood Just can't resist another picture detailing the gorgeous top of this bass.


  • 4-string Sterling Anniversary Bass
  • Burl Rosewood top and back
  • Ebony and Maple neck with satin feel
  • Stinger Omega body shape
  • Custom inlays: 396-piece bountiful vine entwined around alchemy symbols
  • Red side LEDs bound in silver
  • Solid Sterling Silver hardware
  • Limited Edition of 25 pieces
  • 17 pieces still available

Price available on request

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