December 1999

Tree of Life

What a striking combination of wood, metal, and shell. This fine example of our Series II bass is capped front and back with rich Indian Rosewood, but the focal point has got to be the stunning tree of life inlay that runs the length of the fingerboard. We made the through body neck from hard eastern maple with purpleheart accent laminates. The combination is balanced: the stiff maple has a consistent tone from one bass to another, and the heavier purpleheart brings even more rigidity, used in a quantity to not significantly increase the weight of the instrument. The Indian Rosewood is among the family of woods that produce some of the most sought after bass tones: a complex voice that is both bright and dark.

Tree Of Life
peghead front Steve makes the veneers for the front of the peghead. They are selected from the same board as the body woods and bookmatched on the front for a breathtaking effect.
When you flip the bass over, you can see the wonderful veneering details on the back of the peghead. We layer several contrasting veneers to build up strength in this vulnerable area. There are 17 glue joints in the peghead alone. All that joinery, carefully planned and executed, makes our angled pegheads quite strong. peghead back
LED connection Ever wonder just how the side LEDs light up? These wires connect the LED strip to the main elelctronics cavity by passing under the neck pickup in a little routed channel. This gets them to the juice they need to shine.
Here's half of the electronics in a Series II. Those big Clarostat 380 Series pots are super durable and ready to take years of twiddling and fiddling. The electronics are handwired and cable tied to keep the complicated bunch organized.
hardware All the brass hardware on this instrument has been goldplated after the setup. This assures there is no place for tarnish to start, since even the slots in the nut and bridge saddles are plated.
We're sure you'll want an up close look at Jonathan's fine inlay work. The generously large shell pieces allow an appreciation of the structure of the natural shells. Some pieces are selected for color, others for figure. Some of the Mother of Pearl has a blistered look, some is more green or pink. There are Abalone pieces with a rippled figure, and some with a wild maelstrom of alternating reds and greens. All artfully arranged with the entire design kept in mind. The solid sterling silver vines are individually bent by hand and then inlaid into the ebony fingerboard.

TOL body


  • 4-string Series II Bass
  • Indian Rosewood top and back
  • 24k Goldplated hardware
  • Alembic Tree of Life fingerboard inlay
  • Standard Omega body shape

Price available on request

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