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Username: rraymond

Post Number: 32
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 31, 2003 - 4:29 pm:   Edit Post

Well, as long as I'm posting, I might as well get the last of my Alembic buddies up on the site. This is an 85 model that the seller said had a Coco Bolo top, but the wood card says Bocate. I've got a Bocate topped Orion and this wood seems too dark to me. It looks like other examples of Coco Bolo I've seen on this site, and I have to admit, I really want it to be Coco Bolo. Can anybody clarify this issue? Is there overlap in the woods appearances that might suggest one when it is the other? Regardless of the wood type, the little bass sounds amazing! No surprise there, anyway!

Distillate front fullDistillate back full
Distillate front closeDistillate headstock
Username: malthumb

Post Number: 96
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 8:44 am:   Edit Post

Looks to me like cocobolo. In fact, the grain pattern looks like an opposite grain pattern to my cocobolo 5. http://alembic.com/club/messages/411/460.html?1054003279

Yours is much darker, but I'd attribute that to age (mine is a 2000) and lighting (I used a fairly bright flash in at least one of the pictures.)

To me, the beauty of the cocobolo is as much in the ear as in the eye. The complexity of the tone is amazing. I've often described it as a built in chorus effect.


Username: rraymond

Post Number: 34
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 9:06 am:   Edit Post

I see what you mean, the rings run counter to your gorgeous Mark King 5. Man, I bet that thing rocks! The wood on my Distillate is every bit as dark as it appears in the photo. I've found that I can get really accurate color by photographing the basses in my sunroom between dawn and when the sun actually breaks over the horizon. There's just lots of natural, but soft, light then. There are probably other ways of attaining that result, but I'm no student of photography, I stumbled on this technique by accident. Works for me anyway! Thanks for your input,

Intermediate Member
Username: alembic76407

Post Number: 168
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 2:04 pm:   Edit Post

rraymond, just because the wood card says it's Bocate, don't make it so, my wood card says Bocate and Mica is still trying to figure what kind of wood my Epic is made from, my Epic looks nothing like your Distillate, by the way that is a fine looking Distillate.

David T
Username: rraymond

Post Number: 35
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 4:42 pm:   Edit Post

I remember this, your Epic looks like its topped with Bubinga to me. As I recall, several others thought so, too. I've got a bubinga topped Orion and the grain pattern and basic coloration are all there. Bubinga definitely imparts a clarity to the instrument's sound. BTW, that's a good looking Series 1 you have, also.
Username: mica

Post Number: 1101
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 10:39 pm:   Edit Post

Bocate and Coco Bolo aren't closely related, though sometimes Bocate is marketed as "Mexican Rosewood." Both Bocate and Coco Bolo exhibit a huge range of figuring and color, making it hard to make an identifaction from just looking at the wood. They also get darker over time -- if you ever have need to remove the tailpiece, the difference in the color may be shocking.

From these photos, I'm inclined to agree with the wood card on this one. Coco Bolo's dark stripes are usually less fibrous looking than Bocate.

If the color is fairly accurate, the back peghead veneer looks very Bocate-ish. 1985 basses would usually have matching peghead veneers to the top laminate.
Username: rraymond

Post Number: 36
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 10:16 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Mica, thanks for your input here. I have to wonder though how the back of the headstock and the front, not to mention the front of the body, could be the same wood but have aged so differently? The front is very dark and red-ish, and the back of the headstock is kind of orange-ish? I'm playing devil's advocate here because you guys, I freely admit, have light years more experience with woods than I do. Also, I'm haunted by the desire to have a Coco Bolo topped instrument in the collection! :-0 Thanks again for the brilliant work on my Elan. I can't put it down, and when I do, I can't take my eyes off it! And to think that you guys bust your humps for somebody that's not a Stanley Clark, Mark King or John Entwistle, you guys are absolutely the best! Say, if I sent the Distillate back to you for refinishing, what would I be looking at price-wise. I'm talking: sanding the instrument down, refinishing in a clear coat (high gloss), and cleaning and restoring the brass hardware. Thx!
Intermediate Member
Username: serialnumber12

Post Number: 135
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 5:13 am:   Edit Post

What's the extra toggle?
Intermediate Member
Username: rraymond

Post Number: 164
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 12:33 pm:   Edit Post

This thread hasn't had a hit in awhile! Actually, it's kind of funny rereading it cause I now realize that the back laminate on the headstock is zebra wood, not bocate. I didn't make the connection at the time. Also, I sold the bass last year to help pay for the custom Mark King I had built. But none of that tells you what the extra toggle is all about, does it? Some previous owner to me installed an extra battery and this three-way switch. It lets you turn off the power in the middle position and select either battery in the other positions. Nifty idea!

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