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thanwarin
New
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 1
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2010 - 9:32 am:   Edit Post

Hello, glad to have found this website. I am trying to ID this Alembic guitar, but only have this picture.

We believe it is one of the first if not the first custom guitar built by Doug Irwin. Its been used in the studio by Jerry and has a letter of authentication from Bob Weir. We just don't know officially which Alembic this is.Alembic #???
artswork99
Moderator
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 1316
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2010 - 9:41 am:   Edit Post

Very nice and very cool... calling Bill (tgo).

And welcome to the forum thanwarin!
nnek
Junior
Username: nnek

Post Number: 42
Registered: 8-2009
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2010 - 9:56 am:   Edit Post

More PICS! this looks really cool. Is the nut cut for a 12 or multi position for a sixer? why the offset pickups? Eight knobs!!! do tell
adriaan
Moderator
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 2664
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2010 - 11:04 am:   Edit Post

That's a scalloped nut, seen on more early instruments. Large body with the lower horn resembling #1.

Serial number should be printed on the top of the peghead, flanking the point of the crown. Might well be one of the earliest instruments - 1972/3? Great to see it!
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 7033
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2010 - 1:01 pm:   Edit Post

Do check the tippy top of the peghead for the stamped serial number. From the looks of it, the nut needs to be reglued.

Every Alembic was made by more than one person. From the looks of it, this instrument may have been built here when Doug worked here, and if so, he certainly had a hand in its construction. But it's not accurate to identify a single person as the maker of any Alembic instrument.

I'd like to see the inside of the electronics cavity as well.

Thanks for posting!
thanwarin
New
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 2
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2010 - 2:02 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for the feedback, everybody. The guitar is tucked away where I don't have easy access.I have about a dozen more pictures but they are basically the same as the one above. They are ALL face on, no pictures of the top of the peghead, back or sides. It will be a few weeks before I can have pictures taken. Stay tuned.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2226
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2010 - 4:16 pm:   Edit Post

Looks a very similar shape to Keavins No12 .

Jazzyvee
room037
Advanced Member
Username: room037

Post Number: 348
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2010 - 4:55 pm:   Edit Post

And Pickups are similar to No 10.
Only two guitars have this PUs in my archives.
I think the guitar was made 1972. (72-13 ? It's made for J.Garcia)

Eiji

(Message edited by room037 on November 12, 2010)
thanwarin
New
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 3
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 9:34 am:   Edit Post

Good news I will be getting access for more pictures in about a week. The pics will not be like the studio shot used above but rather captured with my iPhone... good enough to show the serial numbers and maybe some shots of the electronic cavity.

This is a fun project trying to figure out the "lineage" of this guitar. Thanks Alembic Forum for your helpful info.
thanwarin
New
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 4
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 9:40 pm:   Edit Post

Just took a bunch of new pictures and will post soon. The serial number is 72-13

Mica, could you please give us a little background on this guitar?

Thanks.
room037
Advanced Member
Username: room037

Post Number: 352
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 10:15 pm:   Edit Post

BINGO !

It's 72-13 !
Please show us new pictures.

Eiji
elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 1135
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 11:25 pm:   Edit Post

Cool !!
You mentioned this guitar was used in the studio,
do you know which recordings it can be heard on?

Looking forward to more pics, love that old good wood .
artswork99
Moderator
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 1318
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 5:30 am:   Edit Post

Now discovered, I've added the serial number to your thread title. Looking forward to the additional pictures.
thanwarin
New
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 5
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 8:56 am:   Edit Post

Lucky #13!

Artswork 99, Thanks for the thread title update.

elwoodblue, this guitar was used on Jerry Garcia's fist solo album in Bob Weir's studio

Here are some more pictures.

From the research I have done on Jerry and his guitars, I would guess that this is a stock Alembic that was later retro fitted with Jerry's custom electronics? Was Ramrods guitar (serials; D. Irwin 025 or GD 025) before or after this guitar? Any one with info, I would love to hear it. Please help us unfold the mystery!

72-13 Knobs and ITT Canon 5 plug XLR or DIN?
72-13 bottom up
72-13 pickups
72-13 neck
72-13 peghead
72-13 peghead back
72-13 "72"
72-13 lucky thirteen
72-13 back of the neck
72-13 back body
72-13  guts
72-13 guts.1

[moderator's edit: stacked pictures]

(Message edited by davehouck on November 18, 2010)

(Message edited by thanwarin on November 18, 2010)
thanwarin
New
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 6
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 9:24 am:   Edit Post

some more pics...
72-13 guts.2
72-13 guts.3
72-13 guts.4
72-13 guts.5
72-13 guts.6
72-13 missing knobs?
72-13 5 pin ITT Cannon jack XLR or DIN?
artswork99
Moderator
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 1319
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 1:21 pm:   Edit Post

Nice Shots!
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 799
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 2:45 pm:   Edit Post

Very cool cavity shots! Even though it's a little crowded in there, there's something very appealing about the layout.

Does this instrument also run on batteries?
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 837
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 3:31 pm:   Edit Post

Don't know about "serials; D. Irwin 025 or GD 025", but according to Mica Alembic 25 is Wolf; it would be about 12 instruments after this one.

Peter
dela217
Senior Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 1053
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 7:21 pm:   Edit Post

Edwin -

The battery cover is on the front of the instrument right behind the tailpiece.

I am surprised that the guitar does not have the stereo/mono switch that is found on the other instruments from around then.

Nice guitar! It's nice to see all these old ones coming out of the closet.

All of these early instruments had Dead connections it seems. I wish I knew more about my 72 Alembic bass. I would love to know what it went through before I got it 25 years ago.

Michael
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 801
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 7:56 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks, Michael, I missed the battery cover in that shot!
dela217
Senior Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 1054
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 9:02 pm:   Edit Post

Now that I'm looking at it I believe the stereo/mono switch is the hat knob between the 5-pin and the 1/4 inch out.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4643
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 9:21 pm:   Edit Post

My guess is that the stereo/mono switch is now the silver topped knob with the black marker dot just in front of the 5-pin jack. That's where it lives on Old #10.

The variety of shapes and build techniques in these early ones are really a tribute to the creativity that seemed to percolate throughout the Bay Area music scene back in the day. We're very fortunate that Alembic and the Wickershams had their sh*t together enough to keep the whole thing going and moving forward for all these years. It would be really cool if we could ever get all of these old ones together in the same place at the same time.

Bill, tgo
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1403
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 9:48 pm:   Edit Post

@Dela217 , Michael _______ there was a Female Bass player in The San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1970's who's nick name was "Mouse" that had a very early Alembic Bass that must have had a Low Serial number such as the instrument 72-13 in this thread. I think I might recognize it if I saw a picture of it. It looked a little like #12 as well ! I Have always wondered what happened to her Bass . Do you still have your 72 ? Do you know who owned it before you ? . I Think you might guess where I am going with this ! Got Pics?
room037
Advanced Member
Username: room037

Post Number: 353
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010 - 12:58 am:   Edit Post

Is this the bass that you pointed out ?

Body shape is similar as 72-12 and 13, and the battery cover on the body top.
I don't know the serial number, but I think, this bass is one of the first instruments too.
(72-17 for J. Cassady ?)

Eiji

(Message edited by room037 on November 19, 2010)
dela217
Senior Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 1055
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010 - 3:43 am:   Edit Post

Eiji - are you sure about that serial number on the picture of the bass you posted? I was at a guitar show where I saw an Alembic that was numbered 72-17. It was a small standard guitar and not a bass.

Sonicus - My bass was found in a pawn shop in Dallas Tx. It sold for $300.00 to someone who bought it that KNEW I'd buy it from him. He was right! He sold it to me for $1600.00. All I know is that the pawn broker told him something about it belonging to the bassist for Willie Nelson. That's all I know.

I still have the bass. It is a walnut topped small standard with trapezoidal pickups. It can be seen in the showcase section. I would post a current picture, but I am heading out the house right now. Later...Michael
serialnumber12
Senior Member
Username: serialnumber12

Post Number: 845
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010 - 4:03 am:   Edit Post

It's a damn shame these old lembics aint been touched in years ......pull Granny out & Make Love to her every now & then!
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1411
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010 - 4:34 am:   Edit Post

Michael, I looked at your bass in the showcase section , very nice but not the one that " Mouse " had.

Thanks
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1412
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010 - 4:42 am:   Edit Post

@ room037____Eiji ____ Thanks for your response to my post.

Perhaps ! Yes __This might be that Bass ! That looks like an old pic . Any more info ?
Thanks
Wolf
room037
Advanced Member
Username: room037

Post Number: 354
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010 - 7:09 am:   Edit Post

Hi Michael,
I found this page.
The picture said 72-17 for J. Cassady, but bass or guitar ?

Wolf,
I found whole shot, but there is no more info.
72'.jpg

Eiji
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1421
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010 - 6:44 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Eiji . I think that might be the one .
thanwarin
New
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 7
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Saturday, November 20, 2010 - 7:25 am:   Edit Post

@sonicus, we were moving along, the airplane coming into the airport then BAM, hijacked. ;)

So back to the topic thats prominently displayed in the title of your browser.

What we know;

Alembic Serial number 72-13
Owned by Jerry Garcia (do not know if it was it made for Jerry or did he just purchased it off the shelf in the Alembic shop?)
Stayed in Bob Weirs studio from around 1971'ish? until 1998
Bob Weir in a signed letter states this guitar was used on Jerry's first solo album


This guitar will be auctioned off and all proceeds will go to Amicus Foundation to help Burmese refugees living in Thailand. Bob Weir is on the board of Amicus. http://www.amicusfoundation.com


Any insight on this guitar, like who helped make it, was it custom made for Jerry or was it purchased stock off the show room floor, who worked on the electronics, did Rick Turner or Doug Irwin work on it or modify the electronics at a later date. etc.

Thanks for any info or direction anyone can provide any info or leads
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1422
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Saturday, November 20, 2010 - 8:24 am:   Edit Post

@thanwarin ; As it may appear that I might have been hijacking this thread, this was a positive motive that was a constructive part of the process to ascertain leads to help your search for information during the time period of the creation of 72-13. I have been hanging around the Bay Area music scene for several decades and have experienced a large part of it over the years.

There was a Female Guitarist named Debbie Hutchins who's teacher was Jerry Garcia. She ALSO worked at a shop called" Stars Guitars" . She also played music with the female Bassist" Mouse" in some ensembles. Read all the info on the link that I am providing and it may help you on your search for knowledge and may provide some leads!
http://www.myspace.com/goodmedicinemusic

Sonic Regards ______
thanwarin
New
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 8
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 1:59 am:   Edit Post

@Sonicus, OK, thanks, I'll dig into it.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1423
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 3:15 am:   Edit Post

thanwarin __ I remember quite a bit from her live performances , from " Stars Guitars" & Alembic and from when Debbie came in to " Golden State Recorders" to do some recording In 1976, I was in the control room behind the glass with my teacher Leo De Gar Kulka .
thanwarin
New
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 9
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 12:11 pm:   Edit Post

@Sonicus, I don't understand how this would be related to 72-13. Can you explain please?
pace
Senior Member
Username: pace

Post Number: 653
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 4:43 pm:   Edit Post

Does the offset shape of these pickups (#10 as well) house an emitter/follower circuit right off the winding, incased in epoxy???

Just speculation.... I don't expect you to know, Thanwarin... :-)
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1424
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 6:52 pm:   Edit Post

@Thanwarin , It is relative to 72-13 because it is within a close chronological time frame about a person who worked with and knew other individuals who might be able to help you with your questions.

I some had work done back in the 1970's by Mr. Doug Irwin
on a couple of my Guild Starfire Bass's . I got to meet him as well.

Let me offer you some friendly advice and wisdom ; don't keep " biting the hand" of those who might be able to help you get the information that your are asking for . I wish you well .
Sonic Regards _____

(Message edited by sonicus on November 21, 2010)
darkstar01
Advanced Member
Username: darkstar01

Post Number: 297
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 7:25 pm:   Edit Post

i don't really think there were any ill feelings meant in that question, sonicus. that wasn't a particularly relevant story for someone looking for information directly pertaining to their instrument. relax, man.

(not trying to hijack, so calm down mods)
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1426
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 8:12 pm:   Edit Post

No offense , All is cool . I was trying to help this person as well and have had contact with several individuals in the past that could help in the very benevolent efforts that are clearly intended.

The process of going back over three decades in my memory in order to assist bring along other related experiences as well. Sorry about that _____
I really have good intentions for the common good here. It is unfortunate however that there was less tolerance for my graphic recollections along the way.

I will refrain from further disruptions.
thanwarin
New
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 10
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Monday, November 22, 2010 - 12:42 am:   Edit Post

@Pace I really don't know. Maybe this will shed some light. The following is copied from a an email Rick Turner recently sent to me (he said it was OK to share with the Alembic Forum) I asked him about the rectangular orange epoxy blocks in the body cavity:

<Snip>


I'd just have to know if the electronics work. Those are a very early prototype of the low pass filters, I think. That would be Ron Wickersham's work, and this would pre-date the filter/active humcancelling electronics that we used a few instruments later and Alembic kept using for many years. I wouldn't mess with the electronics if everything does work.

RT



(Message edited by Thanwarin on November 22, 2010)
thanwarin
Junior
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 11
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Monday, November 22, 2010 - 12:45 am:   Edit Post

@Sonicus, I am sorry you felt that I was biting the hand. My intentions are far from that. I am just to get down to the facts but very difficult considering how much time has elapsed. Lets bury this and get on with the 72-13 fact finding mission or something close to it.

Cozmik_Cowboy shared a great quote with me the other day by Bill Ayers in the intro to his memior Fugitive Days, "memory can be a mother@$#%er". ROFLOL when I read that.
thanwarin
Junior
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 12
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Monday, November 22, 2010 - 2:41 am:   Edit Post

@ Pace, I also want to include this info from Rick Turner:

The orange blocks are "dummy" hum cancelling coils wired in series with the pickups. Their orientation is critical to cancel hum...one way up and they cancel...the other way up and they double the hum.

Also, the output is probably stereo, that is neck pickup on one channel, bridge pickup on the other. You'll need a stereo "Y" cord to run it off of batteries. The 5 pin connector is for running on an external power supply with a special cable.
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 7057
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, November 22, 2010 - 3:49 pm:   Edit Post

Since time is of the essence for the charity auction - I'm answering this out of order, so I hope nobody is too upset.

Here's what is in the scant file:
-----------------------------------------------
13-72 Garcia
Dub Guitar
top: Walnut
back: Walnut
body: Mahogany
neck: Mahogany and Walnut
Prototype monofilter
-----------------------------------------------

The file is a 3x5 card with details written on it, now stapled in a file jacket. There are no additional notes in the file.

I interpret the "Dub Guitar" as "Double Cutaway Guitar" but I have no other reference to back that up.

My dad looked at the pictures of the electronics with me. It seems like there were things done in 2 stages, based on the connections themselves, and the drilling pattern. Here's a roadmap of what we're thinking the controls are based on the photos you supplied:

roadmap

We think the original controls did not include the filter frequency and damping (and probably the master). Originally, the filter and Q controls were probably where the volume controls were, and where the volume control are now is likely where the tone controls were originally.

When time came to install the filter and Q, some new drilling took place. I can't say if the installation was done here or not, as there is no records, but it wasn't like we kept a journal. By the looks of the circuit, the filter has a pretty narrow range, and a Superfilter box was probably used to determine the range values.

So while we installed Superfilters in instruments predating this guitar, this is the earliest one I can find that has the filters wired to be on all the time, like we use now. The records may show something else later, but that's what I can say from what's before me at this time.

There's no indication if the guitar was made for Garcia or he bought it. Many of the instruments made for the Dead were ordered by them, but not with a strict spec sheet like is more common today.

Hope that helps!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 9884
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, November 22, 2010 - 4:06 pm:   Edit Post

Nice graphic Mica!
thanwarin
Junior
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 13
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Monday, November 22, 2010 - 6:39 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for the prompt reply Ron and Mica. Our apologies to all the others in line.
pace
Senior Member
Username: pace

Post Number: 656
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Sunday, November 28, 2010 - 7:48 am:   Edit Post

"this is the earliest one I can find that has the filters wired to be on all the time"

Mica,
I'm trying to follow wires, but I'm confused. Do the Filter Freq & Q knobs sweep each pickup simultaneously? Or is the signal summed and run thru the filter parallel to the direct signal?
You're referring to the circuit in the plural, but I'd imagine you'd need quadruple stacked pots to pull off my first guess?!???!?
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 812
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, November 29, 2010 - 10:34 pm:   Edit Post

Anyone know where to get a couple of those double bar knobs? They would be perfect for my coil selector rotary switches on my Starfire!
thanwarin
Junior
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 14
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2011 - 1:01 pm:   Edit Post

Finally, the website is ready and a date has been picked for the eBay auction, June 5th until June 12th 7PM PST. Lots of photos, history, auction info and even video of Alembic 72-13 here;
http://www.jerrygarciaguitar.com
thanwarin
Junior
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 17
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2011 - 8:12 am:   Edit Post

The Jerry Garcia Alembic 72-13, Lucky #13, auction is now live.

Visit eBay http://cgi.ebay.com/300559286552

Put in a bid before it ends June 12, 2011 19:00 PDT

More info and photos here http://www.jerrygarciaguitar.com

All proceeds from this auction to benefit Amicus Foundation of Thailand. Please spread the word via Facebook and/or Twitter.

A BIG THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US AT AMICUS TO EVERYONE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THIS POST. You helped us discover some of the early details and provenance of Lucky #13. See you at eBay?
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4884
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2011 - 9:34 am:   Edit Post

Complete with a letter from Bob Weir stating the guitar was made by Doug Irwin????!!!!!! WTF!!!!

Bill, tgo
thanwarin
Junior
Username: thanwarin

Post Number: 18
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2011 - 2:22 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Bill, this Letter of Authentication was written before I had come across this site and learned more of the history of the guitar. On the home page of our website and in the eBay auction description of the guitar I include Ron Wickersham, Rick Turner, and Frank Fuller.

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