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mindido
New
Username: mindido

Post Number: 1
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Sunday, July 22, 2012 - 6:56 pm:   Edit Post

Please let me say that I don't own an Alembic nor am I even a musician (although I used to be a roadie and soundman way back in the 70's.

The reason I'm here is that my girlfriend's brother just passed a few weeks ago and left the family five guitars. Since no one in the family is a musician they asked me to dispose of the guitars. Three of them were easily identified and will be sold locally. But one has proven to be a bit of a problem which is why I'm here.

The guys over at Harmony Central have been ably assisting me in identifying this guitar and have suggested that the bridge and tail piece on the guitar may be yours from back in the 70's. One of the guys believes he found a match with one of your old ones on ebay so wanted me to come here and ask for your opinion. Please note that they do not believe the guitar was built by you, only that your bridge and tail piece were used on this guitar. I'll put a few photos of the guitar here for your inspection:

[URL=http://img158.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=007144636_IMG_5523_122_186lo.JPG][IMG]http://img158.imagevenue.com/loc186/th_007144636_IMG_5523_122_186lo.JPG[/IMG][/URL] [URL=http://img13.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=007154946_IMG_5528_122_42lo.JPG][IMG]http://img13.imagevenue.com/loc42/th_007154946_IMG_5528_122_42lo.JPG[/IMG][/URL] [URL=http://img173.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=007164522_IMG_5539_122_102lo.JPG][IMG]http://img173.imagevenue.com/loc102/th_007164522_IMG_5539_122_102lo.JPG[/IMG][/URL]
[URL=http://img199.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=430071702_IMG_5593_122_176lo.JPG][IMG]http://img199.imagevenue.com/loc176/th_430071702_IMG_5593_122_176lo.JPG[/IMG][/URL] [URL=http://img218.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=007184245_IMG_5579_122_1126lo.JPG][IMG]http://img218.imagevenue.com/loc1126/th_007184245_IMG_5579_122_1126lo.JPG[/IMG][/URL]

If this is one of yours is there any way to tell more specific info about it? Sale date and who it was sold to?

If this is not one of yours please just delete this message. But thank you for any consideration.
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1244
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, July 22, 2012 - 8:31 pm:   Edit Post

First, sorry for your loss. The bridge and tailpiece are Gibson or Gibson-style.

Peter
elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 1425
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, July 22, 2012 - 11:44 pm:   Edit Post

The tailpiece looks just like a Stars Guitars part that I have on a Les Paul, I bet some of those other brass pieces came from there too.
The mods (inlays,headstock reshaping) have that 70's San Fran vibe.
headless
New
Username: headless

Post Number: 1
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 7:53 am:   Edit Post

First an introduction:

I am, "headless", (my username at Harmony Cenral, as well), and I am one of the guys trying to help mindido with his quest to positively idendify his mystery guitar. I don't own an Alembic, but have admired their designs since I was a teen, in the seventies.

The reason I sent mindido to your forum is we found an ebay auction (now closed) that had a bridge indentical to the one on mindido's guitar, and it was identified as a, "1970's N.O.S. Alemic Bridge".

I know that this bridge isn't the type that is to be found on any Alembic factory guitar, but it does share the unique design of each saddle having an adjustment machine-screw, with a parallel guide-rod.

In reading the (long-version) history, at the Alembic site, I see that in 1977 Alembic began selling, "Kit Parts". And I was thinking that mindido's bridge might be one of those kit-part items. (I assume Alembic was branching into the market that DiMarzio and Schecter had carved-out, by marking drop-in replacement parts for Gibson and Fender guitars)

I know that it's possible that those kit-parts were made by another manufacturer, and marketed through Alembic. But Alembic may have had these bridges made to their spec's, since they have a unique design.

I was just hoping that one of you had seen some of these briges in you travels, and could positively identify it.

I did some reseach on elwoodblue's suggest of a Stars Guitar part and found this page:

http://www.a6string.net/MI/Hardware/hardware.html

And although those bridge do have some resemblance, their body shape is quite different, and, more significant, they don't use the unique saddle adjustment/stabilizer, that mindido's (and Alembic's) bridge has.

I've not seen any other maker's bridge with the same saddle adjustmen/stabilzer arrangement, but I'm far from an expert.

With the overall 70's vibe of the the guitar, I thought maybe one of the old-timers (hey, I'm one myself) in the Alembic culture might have come across a similar instrument.

Thanks in advance, for your help.
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1776
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 9:24 am:   Edit Post

I'm wondering if it is a Japanese import from the 70's that has been modified.

As a side note I did find a couple of pictures of Gibsons with similar bridges. Here is a link to a Les Paul. There is also a Heritage on the same site with this style.

I take it there are no labels or markings inside the body cavity that might help identify it's make?

Keith
mindido
New
Username: mindido

Post Number: 2
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 9:30 am:   Edit Post

headless,

Oh man, thanks for the help. To others on this forum, headless is the person who sent me here so I guess you can blame him if this discussion goes south :-)

Anyway, I'm also following up on elwood's suggestions. Elwood, if possible, could you post pictures of those parts on the Les Paul? That would certainly help.

Also, ran across this page:

http://www.strat-talk.com/forum/stratocaster-discussion-forum/22659-jerry-garcias-alligator-graham-nash-strat.html

Scroll down to post 6 by tommytele for the exact post. Here's his picture:


[URL=http://img206.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=055513902_1980StarzGuitarsSFbridgebytommytele01_122_364lo.jpg][IMG]http://img206.imagevenue.com/loc364/th_055513902_1980StarzGuitarsSFbridgebytommytele01_122_364lo.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

The bridge is different but the tail piece is almost identical.

Further down in the thread someone named aegert (post 19) suggests:

"3) Bridge was made by Turner at alembic and it is the first Alembic style bridge.. Yes stars made an exact version of this too but sans the Brass block that is press fit into the body of the filled strat."

Does this make sense to any of you?

Again, thank you for any consideration.
mindido
New
Username: mindido

Post Number: 3
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 9:34 am:   Edit Post

cozmik cowboy,

"First, sorry for your loss. The bridge and tailpiece are Gibson or Gibson-style.

Peter"

Thank you. Yeah, it wasn't pretty. Head and throat cancer are pretty horrible.
mindido
New
Username: mindido

Post Number: 4
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 10:19 am:   Edit Post

keith_h,

Thanks for your interest.

"I'm wondering if it is a Japanese import from the 70's that has been modified."

That is still under consideration. To this point I have been unable to find any marks on the body of the guitar other than the logo (?) on the head. I started there and, after doing a google search on processions of the moon, found the Kawai MoonSault, a Japanese guitar definitely made in the 80's and 90's and, possibly, in the 70's (no one is really sure about that). So it appears the MoonSault is this guitars closest relative. But, MoonSaults are very rare in the US which brings up the question of how this guitar wound up in north central Wisconsin. We think we have a reasonable answer for that.

I then contacted two websites which specialize in Japanese guitars. Neither was able to identify this guitar. One of them, Tony at kawaiguitars.com finally sent me to Harmony Central. And they've sent me here. So a Japanese origin is not yet out of the question.

"As a side note I did find a couple of pictures of Gibsons with similar bridges. Here is a link to a Les Paul. There is also a Heritage on the same site with this style."

I did take a look at that but, either because of the quality of the photos or the quality of my eyes (probably the latter), couldn't make a positive id. Need better photos.

"I take it there are no labels or markings inside the body cavity that might help identify it's make?

Keith"

Correct. See above.

For those with an interest here's a link to the discussion at Harmony Central:

http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?2930406-Help-needed-from-guitar-detectives&s=3fadc7e911bfd7e9983a79a1c409b118
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1246
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 11:14 am:   Edit Post

On second look, I notice that the bridge-mount studs are offset - I withdraw my Gibson ID. The tailpiece still looks Gibby to me; what's it made of (brass, aluminum, etc)?


Peter
headless
New
Username: headless

Post Number: 2
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 11:19 am:   Edit Post

keith h,

I looked at both the Les Paul and the Heritgage:

http://www.vintageandrareguitars.com/web/our-catalogue/Other%20Makers/Electric%20Guitars/item/8097

The Les Paul bridge appears to be a fairly conventional Tune-o-Matic, apart from being brass.

The Heritage bridge does bear some resemblance to mindido's guitar, in the shape of the bridge's main (cast?machined?)body structure. But it varies in two ways from our mystery-guitar

-mindido's bridge has staggerd mounting-post holes, which, when mounted on the post of a stock Gibson would allow the bridge to sit parallel to the tailpiece (unlike a stock Gibson, on which the bridge sits at a slight angle)

-midido's bridge has the Alembic style construction of one threaded intonation adjustment machine-screw and one guide-rod, per saddle (sorry, I don't know the Alembic terminology on their bridge saddle structure).

Does anyone know of any other bridge that has this structure, other than Alembic bridges?

Does anyone know who the designer was of the Alembic bridge, and if that designer possibly marketed aftermarket versions?

Thanks, for your help.
mindido
New
Username: mindido

Post Number: 5
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 11:48 am:   Edit Post

cozmik cowboy,

Please let me reiterate that I am pretty much a complete novice at these things. Shoot, a few days ago I barely knew what a "bridge" was. Headless, on the other hand seems to know a lot about these things. I will defer to him on any decisions.

Anyway, I just spent quite a while following up on the Gibson idea. Found a few photos with some detail so I will upload them if you guys wish. But it seems as if that idea has been quashed.

I'll let you guys decide. The photos do look very similar for the tailpiece (from what I can tell) but the bridges are all very different.
mindido
New
Username: mindido

Post Number: 6
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 11:55 am:   Edit Post

cozmik cowboy,

Oops, almost forgot:

"The tailpiece still looks Gibby to me; what's it made of (brass, aluminum, etc)?"

I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure its brass.
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1777
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 12:23 pm:   Edit Post

The thing that makes me think it is not Alembic, although it might have been influence by, is I have never seen a stabilizer that was threaded on an Alembic. I have only seen the stabilizer on the the post channel style bridges. If I recall correctly this occurred somewhere in the late 70's. I also seem to recall the stabilizer not being on the early versions of the post channel bridge design.

Keith
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 7819
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 12:35 pm:   Edit Post

I've seen a guitar with a bridge like that before, it wasn't one that we made, but I do remember it. If my brain cooperates with me and tells me where I saw it before, I'll come back to this thread and share.
headless
New
Username: headless

Post Number: 3
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 12:49 pm:   Edit Post

Keith h,

You make an excellent point about the fact the each saddle rides on two thread rods (in the case of midido's guitar). In fact, I suspect that for one to adjust the into nation of a saddles, both threaded rods would have to be adjusted--first a little on one side of the bridge, then a little on the other side of the bridge (it looks as though there are hex-socket heads on oppossing sides of the bridge).

It makes one wonder if this bridge (and possibly the entire guitar) is part of the wave of Japanese imports who's design was heavily influenced by Alembic, Moonstone and others (I hate to use the word, "copy", but it might apply here).

I'm not so familiar with all the Japanese makers who were doing this, so if any of you fellows are familiar, perhaps you could write a quick list, and I'll do some net research on them.

Thanks in advance
headless
New
Username: headless

Post Number: 4
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 12:53 pm:   Edit Post

mica,

Thank you for your input. I look forward to hearing your recollections.
mindido
New
Username: mindido

Post Number: 7
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 1:35 pm:   Edit Post

mica,

Thanks for any info you could put together.

Keith and headless,

I'll let you guys discuss. You're way over my head.
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1247
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 8:32 pm:   Edit Post

It's hard to say without a pic of the other side of the bridge, but I don't think adjust-one-screw-then-the-other would work; I would expect the saddle to lock from being torqued against the other screw. Seems more likely that the treble-side screws turn freely in the rails as the saddle moves with the intonation screw (of course, if there are allenheads on the neck side of the bridge, I'm full of it).
And before I forget - no excusing needed, Mindido - far from being an interruption, we love this kind of stuff!

Peter

(Message edited by cozmik_cowboy on July 23, 2012)
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1228
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 - 9:57 pm:   Edit Post

And while we're at it, how much for the guitar? :-)

Edwin
PS. Sorry for your loss.
mindido
New
Username: mindido

Post Number: 8
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 12:14 am:   Edit Post

Hey Edwin,

Thank you for the condolences. Kurt was my girlfriends brother. A bit off (but aren't all musicians?) but a good guy. It will be a month in the next day or two.

Anyway, right now we really don't know. We've identified most of the parts on the guitar and, at least from what I understand, they're very good parts (we're still trying to figure out the bridge and tail piece). As far as the body is concerned we think its probably from the 70's but maybe a bit earlier or later. Most of it seems to be pretty well made but it has some quirks. Some people think it was made in Japan while others aren't so sure.

There is only one guy who knows something about what he's talking about who's had it in his hands and he hadn't a clue. There have been a few others with less experience that also gave me that quizzical look.

So I don't know. Its awfully hard to put a value on something that you know little about. And if you do you're often disappointed. I can tell you that, on a preliminary basis, numbers of around $300 to $700 have been kicked around. So maybe its somewhere in there. I kind of doubt the lower number as the parts appear to be worth more but its really hard to say at the moment.
mindido
New
Username: mindido

Post Number: 9
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 12:30 am:   Edit Post

cozmik cowboy,

Jeez, don't know how I missed your post. OK, lets try these pics and see if they will help:

[URL=http://img284.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=982488684_IMG_5593_122_200lo.JPG][IMG]http://img284.imagevenue.com/loc200/th_982488684_IMG_5593_122_200lo.JPG[/IMG][/URL] [URL=http://img150.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=982496755_IMG_5594_122_154lo.JPG][IMG]http://img150.imagevenue.com/loc154/th_982496755_IMG_5594_122_154lo.JPG[/IMG][/URL]


[URL=http://img295.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=112995530_DSCN2564_122_203lo.JPG][IMG]http://img295.imagevenue.com/loc203/th_112995530_DSCN2564_122_203lo.JPG[/IMG][/URL] [URL=http://img31.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=112999390_DSCN2565_122_221lo.JPG][IMG]http://img31.imagevenue.com/loc221/th_112999390_DSCN2565_122_221lo.JPG[/IMG][/URL] [URL=http://img31.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=113003722_DSCN2567_122_74lo.JPG][IMG]http://img31.imagevenue.com/loc74/th_113003722_DSCN2567_122_74lo.JPG[/IMG][/URL]

Hope those help!
mindido
New
Username: mindido

Post Number: 10
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 12:41 am:   Edit Post

Edwin,

If you're really interested, I put a link in the 8th post in the thread to page 1 of the discussion we're having at Harmony Central. At some point, I'm pretty sure I'll be selling the guitar but, at the moment, unless someone makes me an offer I can't refuse, I don't know when nor for how much. If you wish, when we finally know what we're going to do, I may be able to PM you through you here. But I'm not sure if this forum has that capability.

Just let me know. Thanks again for the interest.
headless
New
Username: headless

Post Number: 5
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 7:28 am:   Edit Post

Although I don't know what significance it might have, I'd like to share another guitar I found with the identical bridge of mindido's mystery guitar:

http://guitarsandgear.sweetwater.com/2009/08/mods-setup-les-paul-rebuild-pt-1-2/
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1248
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 11:31 am:   Edit Post

I was hoping for a view of the bridge from the neck end - but I can just ask, too - the side we're looking at has a hex-key head on every other screw; does the other side have heads on the other screws?

Peter
mindido
Junior
Username: mindido

Post Number: 11
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 12:12 pm:   Edit Post

cozmik cowboy,

Does this suit your needs? Or would something even closer help.

[URL=http://img258.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=155180357_IMG_5561_122_120lo.JPG][IMG]http://img258.imagevenue.com/loc120/th_155180357_IMG_5561_122_120lo.JPG[/IMG][/URL]

Just let me know what you need and I'll do my best to get it.
headless
New
Username: headless

Post Number: 6
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 1:00 pm:   Edit Post

cozmik cowboy,

I think that I can answer your question by pointing you to these two images. The first is a view of the bridge, from the side nearest the pickups:

http://img258.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=155180357_IMG_5561_122_120lo.JPG

And the next view is from the tailpiece-sdie:

http://img284.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=982488684_IMG_5593_122_200lo.JPG

As I think you'll see, there are hex-sockets on all 12 of these threaded rods (machine-screws?), six on ones side, and six on the other, with them alternating direction.

Is that how you see it also?
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1249
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 11:43 pm:   Edit Post

Yeah, that what I'm seeing - and what I was thinking wouldn't work. Interesting.

Peter
headless
New
Username: headless

Post Number: 7
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 9:39 am:   Edit Post

mica,

We've had a suggestion from luthier Bruce Bennett that the bridge is a, "Rockinger".

I'm familiar with some on their bridges, but not that one in particular. And I haven't yet found any images to match it.

I was wondering if hearing the name Rockinger might jog your memory?

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