Post Number: 2
|Posted on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - 7:40 pm: |
OK everyone, here are the pictures as promised. Hope you like 'em
(Message edited by davehouck on April 23, 2009)
Post Number: 186
|Posted on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - 8:48 pm: |
Wow, Ezra, some inlays!! Great looking bass. Is the neck purpleheart and maple? It's like a living bit of history to look at - really proud and well kept. So many vintage basses look beat up (broken omega tips, etc). Yours looks really good. What year is it?
Welcome and congratulations on a really cool and unique instrument.
Post Number: 154
|Posted on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - 9:28 pm: |
Amazing, you even have the scalloped nut - I'm not a trivia expert, but from what I recall reading (and the general looks) that would probably date it to 74 or earlier?
Okay, I'd say 72 but I don't remember when these things started... dela will probably give us the serial number momentarily.
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - 9:39 pm: |
Thanks for the kind words re: the bass.
Yes , the neck is purple heart with maple, although the purpleheart has lost some of its purple and faded to brownish. Top and back are koa and the body is walnut. She is 1976 vintage, #489, short scale with a narrow neck and string spacing. She recently had a fret job and a finger board planing, with the result being that some of the inlays lost their sharp edges. I suppose at some point she'll need to be sent to the mother ship to effect some inlay repair. I was also thinking about the electronics upgrade, to bring her into the 21st century. Anybody out there have the upgrade done, and did it make a difference? This is a great club to be in, and thanks everyone for the warm welcome!!! All the best.
Post Number: 1122
|Posted on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - 10:33 pm: |
I think with that guitar you're in heaven ...well given those neck inlays ... . Here in Flanders we have an expression when somebody plays well "he plays the stars out of the sky"...
thatt fits definitely ...oh ...huh ...well the starts are there already.
Paul the bad one
Post Number: 230
|Posted on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - 11:41 pm: |
wow, cool bass and cool inlays.
Post Number: 54
|Posted on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - 11:43 pm: |
Great inlays! Also very firmly solidified my thinking on it is best to send your baby to the mother ship first. I need some minor work done on one of mine, and now I will just save a bit longer and forget about the thought of sending it to Boston to be worked on.
As far as the electronics upgrade, for $1,500, don't fix what ain't broke. If it buzzes more than you want it to, then send it in.
Again, I really like those inlays, big time, especially the little crab!
Post Number: 42
|Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 5:05 am: |
I agree with everyone else: GREAT INLAYS!
It's interesting to see an early Omega. The proportions seem very different from recent ones. The upper horns seem shorter, too. But with the "sandwich" not having a contrasting accent layer, the proportions look good this way.
What IS it with old Series basses and missing truss rod covers??? ;-)
Post Number: 304
|Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 5:20 am: |
Lovely. These inlays are the best. I have seen similar inlays with palm trees and crabs and stuff. It was called California gothic. I like these better. I love the dolphins kissing. Great bass! I personally am not a real fan of plain maple necks and I really like that purpleheart is the dominant wood. I know it is a bit hard to tell, but is that an oil finish on that bass?? Good stuff.
Post Number: 305
|Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 5:22 am: |
(Message edited by dela217 on March 03, 2004)
Post Number: 48
|Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 6:05 am: |
Wow, great bass, love the inlays!!
Post Number: 109
|Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 8:36 am: |
"What IS it with old Series basses and missing truss rod covers??? ;-)"
If you'd ever pulled your fingernail off popping on one, you'd leave the truss rod cover off as well. :-) BTW, I just found my cover a couple of weeks ago after having not seen it for a very long time...
Post Number: 269
|Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 8:39 am: |
Very impressive Ezra. I'll have to agree with the rest on the inlays. The bass as a whole is beautiful though. I bet it sounds every bit as good as it looks.
Post Number: 134
|Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 9:55 am: |
Love the inlays - more lighthearted than the current designs.
"What IS it with old Series basses and missing truss rod covers??? ;-)"
Perhaps Dela will jump in here, but I remember reading somewhere that the earliest Alembics simply did not have truss rod covers. This one also looks like it has a single truss rod, not two.
John, if you pull your fingernail off on the truss rod cover, you mean it's not recessed into the top?
And to add my own "What IS it with ...": what IS it with Alembics that are just slightly asymmetrical? Like the upper horn on Ezra's Series I is deeper than the lower horn. Similar thing with some early large bodies with the long horns. And like the bottom corners on the cone headstock - the narrow one on my 88 Spoiler and the 'wide' one on my 94 Epic both have different angles left and right.
Or is the assymmetry on purpose, like there's always a 'fault' in the patterns of an oriental carpet because perfection belongs to the supreme being alone?
Post Number: 1459
|Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 9:59 am: |
Gorgeous condition you've kept the bass in. I too like the kissing dolphins and the vestigal oval at the 24th.
Truss rod covers: if you look, there are no holes to hold one on, the original basses didn't have a cover. Later ones had a surface mounted one, some with beveled edges. Way back then, most players weren't slapping, but when they did, you'll notice the truss rod covers were quickly recessed,
Post Number: 43
|Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 10:04 am: |
Aha, I thought for a minute I couldn't see any holes for a cover.
As for the asymmetry, I think we all forget (because they seem so flawless otherwise) that there's a brave soul with a drawblade hand carving these things, not some robot routing machine. If Alembic does have machinery for body shaping, I would think it would just be for the roughing-out.
Post Number: 110
|Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 10:17 am: |
I'm amazed at the consistency of the heart-omega work on these things, given that it's all done by hand. I'm pretty much amazed by the whole instrument I reckon. Obviously these people are good. Beautiful inlay work on Ezra's bass. These are the sorts of skills that are going away for the most part because of the economics of technology. I would guess that Alembic already has to train in-house, since the workforce simply doesn't have very many true craftsmen these days. :-( I'd love to be an apprentice Alembician in my next life...
Post Number: 50
|Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 11:06 am: |
Soooooooo Nice! I think the thing I love the most about it is the obvious loving care it has received over the years.....A thing of beauty!
Post Number: 306
|Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 11:18 am: |
As far as I know, the earliest basses did not come with truss rod covers. From what I noticed, Alembic did not start putting them on as standard until after the introduction of the 2 truss rod set up in late 1977. I have seen a very few 1977 instruments with 2 truss rods with no cover fitted so the 2 rods were not introduced at the same time as the cover.
A looong time ago, 1978, I bought a new Alembic short scale bass from Sam Fields at Alembic. I had it for about a year or so and was sent back to Alembic for some work. It was a bass that came with a truss rod cover. While it was there, I suggested that they countersink the truss rod cover since it got in my way. And of course they did. Shortly after that, I noticed that all of the truss rod covers were recessed.
I would like to belive that I started that.
Post Number: 31
|Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 8:38 pm: |
Ezra, wow, It really is amazing how different each bass was back then. My 76 also has the Omega, though quite different from yours. The horns are also shaped very different. However, like yours mine shares the same single truss rod and also does not have the cover. Also, oddly, my Omega is fairly flat and has a strap button on each side. Those inlays though...............
Post Number: 4
|Posted on Thursday, March 04, 2004 - 1:27 am: |
Yikes, I'm overwhelmed by everyones feedback and positive comments. It's interesting how each persons eyes are drawn to different aspects. In the 28 years I've owned this bass I never noticed the slight asymmetry of the two horns. Good eye adriaan. Maybe through our collective "eye" we get to see the big picture. And speaking of 28 years, makes me realize I've had a longer relationship with this bass than with most of the people I know, other than family, of course. During all those years I only had to play another bass for an interminable 3 month stint whilst the alembic was in for repair(leds went south). A rental that wouldn't stay in tune. I'm sure it was divine retribution. Sure made me appreciate what I've got!
dela: to answer your question, yes, it is an oil finish.
All the best,
Post Number: 7
|Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 4:21 pm: |
I enjoyed meeting you and seeing your Series I in person today at Guitar-X. I was memorized by its sound and beauty. I've always collected Alembics for their eye appeal, but seeing and hearing you play it has inspired me to pickup a Series I and take some lessons!
Thanks for being friendly and letting me listen to you jam.