Purpleheart Neck Laminates When added to a neck, Purpleheart increases rigidity, making the neck less susceptible to movement, and helps with fundamental sustain. 4 string - 2 laminates; 5 string - 3 laminates; 6 string - 5 laminates
Deluxe Purpleheart Neck Laminates adds 3 laminates to 4 string necks.
Ebony Neck Laminates For the ultimate in fundamental sustain, we add ebony neck laminates.
Scale Length for basses: short=30.75; medium=32.00; long=34.00; extra long=35.00; also 36.00 extra long available. Scale length is independent from fret number. For guitars: short=23.25; medium=24.625; long=25.50; baritone=28.00
Custom Scale Length choose any length between 19.00 and 34.00 for no charge on all neck through models except Essence. Longer and shorter lengths are available, please ask for pricing.
Custom Neck Feel have the back surface of the neck, where it contacts your palm, carved to any profile. Either supply us with cross sectional drawings (especially for asymmetric shapes), depth measurements, or even send us your guitar or bass to duplicate
Ebony is our choice for all our bass and guitar fingerboards. It is a very strong dense wood, and will stand up to years of playing and refretting. All fingerboards are a full two octaves (24 frets).
Fretless, unlined This is a no charge option on all our basses. Side position dots are placed where the fret would be, with three dots at the 12th and 24th fret positions.
Fretless, lined We inlay maple fretlines for our lined fretless basses. If your customer wants a lower contrast wood for the lines, we suggest koa. Lots of other companies use plastic for fretlines, but you wind up with little fret-like ridges as the wood shrinks and the plastic doesn’t. Side position dots are placed in the normal, mid-fret position on a lined fretless with two dots at the 12th and 24th fret positions.
Custom Fingerboard Width This option allows you the ultimate in playing comfort. Simply tell us the dimension at the nut and 24th fret, and we’ll build it that way. Or, you can send us an instrument and we can duplicate the neck, feel and all. This is a no charge option on all instruments except: Essence, Epic, and Orion.
Custom Fingerboard Radius This describes the surface of the fingerboard where the frets are installed. We use a relatively flat twelve inch radius for all bass and guitar fingerboards. It is rare, but sometimes a customer wants a flatter or more severely curved fingerboard radius. Do not confuse this with the back of the neck, which we refer to as the neck feel.
Side Position Markers By default, all of our instruments are fitted with 1/16” bronze side dots, except the Series II which comes standard with red LEDs. The bronze dots and optional silver dots are inlaid 1/8” into the side of the fingerboard and will not wear off. We put the side dots at the center of each of the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 15th, 17th, 19th, and 21st positions, with two dots at the 12th and 24th positions. For fretless basses, check the fretless options for side dot placement.
Side LEDs For people who play on dark stages, having side LEDs instead of the standard bronze dots is more of a necessity than a luxury. Well, they are also just cool. The LEDs are mounted on a thin strip of ebony that we inlay under the tangs of the frets after the bass is fretted. For Series I and II basses, power for LEDs is from the external rackmounted power supply through the 5-pin jack. For mono basses, we route a separate 4-battery compartment on the back of the instrument. Power for the output of the bass is still from the standard 9V battery and completely independent from the LEDs, so if you let the LED batteries run down, you won’t lose the signal from the bass. We arrange them the same way as the side dots described above. For fretless basses, check the fretless options for side dot placement. The LEDs come on automatically when you plug your bass in. Side LEDs can be ordered in red, amber, or green.
Front LEDs These LEDs are for your audience. They are mounted in the center of each of the oval position markers, or you can opt for the LEDs alone, with no ovals. The LEDs come on automatically when you plug your bass in. You can order front LEDs in red, amber or green.
Laser LEDs Ok, here’s something for the true showman. These LEDs aren’t really lasers, but they sure feel like them at one thousand times brighter than our regular side LEDs. They are actually large 1/4” diameter aluminum gallium arsenide LEDs that are about 2 candlepower each. You can see their light under heavy stage lights for a vast distance, and from a dark stage, they can really get a crowd going. Mark King had the very first Laser LEDs. Laser LEDs come with an on/off switch near the output jack.
Graduated Oval Inlays An Alembic trademark since 1971, our two octave fingerboards have ten oval inlays available in a variety of materials. Mother of pearl, golden mother of pearl, black Tahitian mother of pearl, abalone shell, and laminated abalone are all options for our oval inlay pattern. We can even use various woods for the ovals. Series I and Series II instruments come with mother of pearl ovals, while the rest of our models with inlays have a pearloid (plastic) inlay. Inlays sure don’t affect the tone on fretted instruments, and so to keep prices lower, Excel, Epic, Orion, and Essence basses come with blank fingerboards. On a fretless bass, we recommend no inlays, since as you slide over different materials, the tone changes.
Initial Inlays For a personal touch, we can inlay two initials in a silver bound oval at the twelfth fret on any instrument. The oval border keeps the traditional inlay pattern consistent and we can make the initials from either mother of pearl or abalone. We use a type style like the gothic script found in our logo.
Dragon Inlay Our Dragon inlay is a masterpiece work of inlay art. The body is mother of pearl, with each individual scale inlaid in abalone. The dragon’s feet are copper with bone claws. Brass forms the ribbed belly of the dragon. Bone ridges line the back of the beast and a vermilion touge lashes at the his breath. We take gold dust and suspend it in an optically clear epoxy for the dragon’s breath. Eyes can be rubies or LEDs. Susan Wickersham designed our dragon inlay back in 1976.
Tree Of Life Inlay Another inlay masterpiece by Susan Wickersham. The intertwining silver vines are graced by leaves made from various types of mother of pearl and abalone. Its beauty is drawn from the wavy silver wire and generously large shell pieces. Our first Tree of Life was made in 1972, and our current design was originally made for John Paul Jones in 1976.
Birds of Prey Inlay Big silhouettes in mother of pearl of sea eagle, kike, opsrey, Egyptian vulture, and others grace this Susan Wickersham design. These are not blob-like shapes; talons, claws and flight feathers are all carefully detailed.
Alchemy Inlay We use sheet silver for the alchemy inlay. Ancient symbols representing a host of ingredients the alchemists used in their pursuit of gold.
Cone Peghead like our Essence and Spoiler basses.
Crown Peghead our traditional Alembic peghead found on Series I/II and Signature basses.
Elan Inline Peghead 4 inline on top side with strong hook at end.
Europa Inline Peghead 4 inline on top side with soft hook at end.
Fan Peghead similar to crown at bottom, but flares to a fan shape at top, same as Jimmy Johnson.
Knobby Peghead similar to crown at bottom, but mushroom-shaped knob at top, same as John Paul Jones.
V Peghead extreme V shape, same as John Entwistle.
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The Specials · The Products · The People · The Place · The Support · Site Index