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Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2497
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, July 08, 2011 - 6:05 am:   Edit Post

Sorry for posting twice but after I put it in the showcase I realised that the thread i placed it in is for instruments customised by alembic. So in the presumption that it may be removed i decided here was the most appropriate place.

I just wanted to share with you that I picked my Wailers Stratocaster guitar up from John Diggins today. All that remains now is to get some suitable wooden knobs then all is done.
It looks absolutely gorgeous. I've wanted this design on something for years.

For the record, the guitar has Orion electronics, bass treble boost and cut with master volume 5 position blade switch and three alembic activator pickups. The body has a gloss finish and the wooden scratch plate and spring and pickup covers are a satin finish. the etched parts are not filled flush with the surface as we originally planned as we later decided to leave some texture to give the body a tactile feel. I just love it.

I got it home and plugged it in. I'd forgotten how fantastic this guitar sounds. In fact I think it seems to sound better than before. Maybe the thick blue paint was stifling some of the vibrations. It sounds very sparkly and more acoustic sounding now.

I will be taking some high quality photo's once I have sourced some suitable knobs as the laser etching company are having some in exchange for doing the laser etch for free.

Here is a link to more photo's on my web site.



Username: davehouck

Post Number: 10264
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, July 08, 2011 - 8:40 am:   Edit Post

Very cool!!!
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2503
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 - 2:11 pm:   Edit Post

I've found a wood turner hobbyist who is going to make me some custom knobs. Unfortunately, since he doesn't do metalwork he can't make the brass inserts that we need to fix the knobs onto the pot shafts. I plan to give jaydee a call tomorrow to see if he has any that I can buy.

Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4900
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 7:30 am:   Edit Post


You might want to check out thgknobs.com. Several people around here have had Roger do knobs for them. I have them on two of my guitars. Great work, not too expensive (I think I paid about $16/knob.)

Bill, tgo
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 1278
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 8:05 am:   Edit Post

Awesome and unique Strat!

I might have some Alembic inserts lying around somewhere, if you come to Amsterdam this year (and if I can find 'em) they're yours ;-)

16/knob isn't bad either, x 3 plus shipping costs would also be tax/duty free I think.
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1399
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 9:16 am:   Edit Post

Somehow I missed this- love the artwork Jazzy. Very, very cool. Is it going to be a player, or is this for hanging on the wall? How durable is the finish over the top of the etching?
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 1279
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 9:29 am:   Edit Post

Is that a new neck, or just refinished?
I try to read the inlay, but fail hopelessly... :-(
Please explain :-)
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2508
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 10:54 am:   Edit Post

Ok here is the lowdown on the guitar. It was an original Standard 1984 USA Fender Stratocaster that I bought in around 1994 and use it primarily for reggae as it had the right sound for that. The Wailers were always my favourite reggae band and their Burnin' The Wailers album was the first album of theirs that I heard as a teenager. I had always wanted that album cover reproduced in some way. You may recall a few years back I added some alembic activators( i won on ebay) into the guitar and swapped in the bass and treble circuit from my orion guitar with the filters that came with the activators. About two years ago I decided that I would remove the paint from this guitar and have the "Burnin' the wailers" album artwork laser etched onto the natural wood body of the guitar.

I then got John Diggins to rebuild the guitar and respray the body. This took just over 2 years because he was busy building guitars and If I wasn't in a hurry he would give me a good price. He did a fantastic job especially rebuilding the rear spring cover that actually caught fire during the laser etching and was very badly charred.

Now I have found a wood turner to make me some knobs, which he is refusing to charge me for, and yesterday went to a metal supplier to get some brass tubing to make the inserts for the knobs. So very soon it will be complete and I can get some high quality photo's taken and take some time getting re-acquainted with it.

I don't know anything about the finish and how durable it is. I presume it's the same clear finish he would use on any other of the instruments he makes but whatever it is it doesn't seem to have any detrimental affect on the sound. In fact it sounds more acoustic in tone than it was before I had the work done. Maybe its also the maple scratch plate that is adding some brightness to the sound.

The inlay in the 12th fret is just my initials V M in an alembic ish font. I have the same on my other strat and a couple of my basses that I think are definite keepers. The neck is the original neck and no work has been done to it for this project. However I think at some point in the future If I start gigging a lot of reggae with it I will get the neck re-profiled to be less rounded at the back of the neck like my Strat Ultra as I find it much more comfortable when chopping reggae.

FC do you happen to have an alembic switch in your collection of goodies? I have emailed Mica with a request for a replacement ages ago since the mute switch on my europa/elan broke off and not got any response back..... yet.

tbrannon, it is going to be a player, once I get some of these bass playing gigs out of the way. And... like my other instruments I take great care of them so it should stay looking great for a while.

Username: mica

Post Number: 7388
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 1:53 pm:   Edit Post

Vince - there's a forwarded message on its way to you now. I sent the reply back on a Friday in February, you emailed again over the weekend, so I resent it the very next Monday, since it seemed you weren't getting the emails.

Let me know if you still didn't get the message.

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