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mjake
New
Username: mjake

Post Number: 3
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Saturday, March 27, 2010 - 10:06 pm:   Edit Post

Hi All-

I just purchased an Alembic Spectrum that was one of Steve Miller's personal guitars. It's a 1993, probably a walnut top, though I won't know for sure until I get the data sheet on it from Mica. I thought it would be extremely cool if anyone had or knew of any pics taken of Steve Miller playing alembics, possibly my spectrum.

Thanks all :-)

Mark

PS - Once I get the guitar back from my local luthier, I'll post a pic of it.
bkbass
Advanced Member
Username: bkbass

Post Number: 232
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - 8:36 am:   Edit Post

Steve has several Alembic models. I was taking the Martin Guitar factory tour when I passed an office vestibule with Steve proudly holding up his Martin xyz with the Great? Great great? Grandson of CFMartin. The picture was taken in Steves studio and on the stands next to him were two baritone Orions. Actually inspired me to order two Orion six string basses. There's gotta be some pix of him. Please share if and when. Some people change socks often,Steve changes guitars...
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 9207
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 6:16 am:   Edit Post

Nice to know that Martin has pics of Alembics on its walls!
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4362
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 7:02 am:   Edit Post

Steve also has (had?) a green California Special that has been on consignment at Guitar Showcase in San Jose. When he played at the Oakland Fox a little while ago as part of the Norton Buffalo Memorial, I got to tour backstage in the afternoon before the show. The high point was a tour of Steve's guitars with his guitar tech. He travels with several huge guitar closets - at least 3 or 4 of them, each with 10 or 12 guitars. He has some very cool ones, indeed.

Bill, tgo
mjake
New
Username: mjake

Post Number: 4
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 2:07 pm:   Edit Post

Ibpesq - I actually had both the Spectrum and the green California Special on hold for the last month, but alas could only afford to buy one, and the spectrum to me seemed to be a much better investment, and better playing guitar than the California Special (which, BTW, was also very nice). My friend who doesn't even play guitar showed some interest in it, but couldn't get his wife on board ;). the Green California Special still resides at Guitar Showcase for the time being.
mjake
New
Username: mjake

Post Number: 5
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2010 - 9:55 pm:   Edit Post

OK, just got my Alembic back from the luthier, who put a clear coat of finish over the Steve Miller autograph. I have also been doing some digging online, and found a YouTube video of Steve, circa '93/'94, performing Wide River. He's playing an Alembic, and it's a Spectrum... but is it this one?? The video is kind of grainy, hard to make out the details of the guitar.... tell me what you think. I've attached pics of my Alembic, and a few screenshots of Steve Miller... let me know what ya think, as I may have found it!

Alembic1
Alembic2
Alembic3

Steve

elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 1034
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2010 - 10:19 pm:   Edit Post

Nice detective work Mark,
Hard to tell for sure without some clear close-ups but it looks like you found a vid with the Spectrum in his hands.
If you ever come across a pic of Steve in '68 with a Sunn 2000S in the background, please let me know.

cheers,
Kris
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 829
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2010 - 10:42 pm:   Edit Post

First ; @ Mjake ____Nice , Congratulations .I am very pleased to see that Mr. Miller had the sense of aesthetics to do a nice autograph on the back of the headstock rather then a scribble across the top of the body.

Second; @ Elwoodblue , I used to play through a Sunn 2000S and a 200S in the early 80's. They are now gone but were reliable when I played through them .

(Message edited by sonicus on April 09, 2010)
crobbins
Senior Member
Username: crobbins

Post Number: 573
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2010 - 10:50 pm:   Edit Post

I don't think it's the same guitar. Looks like different neck laminates to me.. :-)
adriaan
Moderator
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 2458
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2010 - 1:29 pm:   Edit Post

Agreed, IIRC the veneers between the maple laminates were introduced after 1994.
mjake
New
Username: mjake

Post Number: 7
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2010 - 9:19 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Everyone. I do agree that I don't see that middle stripe of different wood in the neck laminate, but thought it might just be that the picture is unclear and a bit washed out with the stage lights.

Adriaan - what is 'IIRC'? I am told that the guitar I have was made in 1993, but won't know for sure until Mica gives me the lineage.

So I guess the general feeling is that this is a different guitar than the one he is playing in those pics.

Does anyone have or can they find any other pics of Steve Miller playing Alembic Spectrums? I do have the provenance locked down by a signed document by his manager, however just think it would be really cool if I could find a pic of him playing this very guitar.

Thanks gang!

Mark
elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 1036
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2010 - 9:30 pm:   Edit Post

Mark,
IIRC is "If I Remember Correctly"
mjake
New
Username: mjake

Post Number: 8
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2010 - 11:49 pm:   Edit Post

DIFS...... That's "Don't I Feel Stupid"

:-)
adriaan
Moderator
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 2459
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 1:08 am:   Edit Post

For the build year, just check the two initial digits on the serial number, on the brass truss rod cover.

DWBI ... Don't worry 'bout it
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4373
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 9:24 am:   Edit Post

WYWTKWTASFJDAGS

(When you want to know what the acronym stands for, just do a google search)

Bill, tgo
poor_nigel
Member
Username: poor_nigel

Post Number: 92
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 9:51 am:   Edit Post

Hey Bill, I Googled and got no results. Does Google hate me, too?!
crobbins
Senior Member
Username: crobbins

Post Number: 574
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 2:49 pm:   Edit Post

Yeah, we need a better picture...


Miller was born in Milwaukee to Dr. George "Sonny" Miller, a pathologist, jazz enthusiast, hat salesman and amateur recording engineer, and his wife Bertha, a jazz-influenced singer. Miller was taught his first guitar chords at age five by his godfather, Les Paul, pioneer of the electric guitar and multitrack recording. Les Paul and his wife Mary Ford were regular visitors at the Miller house and Dr. Miller was best man at their wedding. Paul encouraged young Miller to use his prodigious talents, and much of Miller's success has been attributed to Paul's tutelage. Miller still uses some of the techniques taught to him at that time, and it is no coincidence that Miller was signed to Capitol Records, the same label as Paul.

Source: Wikipedia

[moderator's edit: added attribution to source]

(Message edited by artswork99 on April 11, 2010)
mjake
New
Username: mjake

Post Number: 9
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 5:43 pm:   Edit Post

Serial number starts with '93', so I suppose my sources are correct. I do know that this guitar was in fact used in the studio and a little on the road by Steve during the Wide River years... Als, a pic of him with this in his hands eludes me :-(.

Mark
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 9221
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 7:54 pm:   Edit Post

Beautiful guitar Mark! Do you have a link to the youtube video that you took the screenshots from?
mjake
New
Username: mjake

Post Number: 10
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 8:00 pm:   Edit Post

Just search in YouTube for 'Steve Miller, Wide River' - it will pop up as one of the first vids.
mjake
Junior
Username: mjake

Post Number: 11
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 12:39 pm:   Edit Post

Hi All-

I thought I'd share with the community what I found out. I actually met Steve Miller's Manager yesterday as I purchased another one of Steve's axes from him (a signed 2007 Les Paul R9 which is beautiful!). I brought in my Alembic to get a picture with me and him with the guitar. In asking him about whether this was in fact the Alembic that's seen in the pics I posted above, he confirmed it was not. Steve bought several Spectrums, some of which were baritones. The ones used on the Wide River album and in the video clip on YouTube where these pics were taken from were baritones. He did look at the guitar closely and said he could tell Steve played this one from some of the wear he saw, but alas could not verify if it was used in public or not.

Oh well, I suppose wishful thinking on my part :-) Still an amazing guitar with a great lineage to it and a tri-color Steve Miller autograph to boot! I am thrilled to own it, and can't wait for Mica to get back to me with the serial number info. Steve's manager did say Steve ordered all his Alembics straight from Alembic, not through a dealer - will be interesting to see if Mica's records reflect that.

Thanks Alembic community - you're a great bunch of guys & gals!

Mark
artswork99
Moderator
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 1115
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 2:11 pm:   Edit Post

Mark,
Thanks for the update and sharing the story. Nice! Play em all Healthy!
All the best,
Art

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