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Username: grd022000

Post Number: 6
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Sunday, July 11, 2010 - 11:05 pm:   Edit Post

I'm in the process of restoring my Koa Mark King Custom's brass hardware and wanted to get feedback from the Alembic community. Will the value of the bass be compromised if I elect to have the brass pieces gold plated? Should I keep the original hardware and purchase new and have that gold plated instead? Thanks for your input.Mark King Custom Koa 5 String
Senior Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 634
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, July 11, 2010 - 11:18 pm:   Edit Post

I paid for my Koa series II 1,150.00 USD at Alembic to plated all the hardware, included logo. The result is really nice, no more oxydation. The price is for the work to clean before the pieces.
I think it's expensive, you could ask in an industrial company who do that in your county.
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2019
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, July 11, 2010 - 11:39 pm:   Edit Post

I believe if it is something you want to enhance your enjoyment of the bass then get it done. Worry about the resale when or if you decide to sell.

That's a very dramatic top wood on that bass it almost looks like energy radiating from the pickups, bridge and saddle.

Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4485
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, July 11, 2010 - 11:50 pm:   Edit Post


WOW!! Gorgeous top! I really don't think gold plating the brass would devalue the bass - if anything it would have the opposite effect. Alembic owners don't tend to be obsessive/compulsive like the folks who get upset if the old Strat doesn't have all it's original screws. I can give one tip to help battle the tarnish. After I polish my brass ( with Flitz) I rub on a tiny amount of Alberto VO5 - an old fashioned hair product that puts a thin coat on the brass which stays shiny longer.

Bill, the guitar one
Senior Member
Username: mike1762

Post Number: 589
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Monday, July 12, 2010 - 5:01 am:   Edit Post

I know it's a different wood, but the top reminds me of Paul TBO's "Bonnie".
Senior Member
Username: funkyjazzjunky

Post Number: 589
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Monday, July 12, 2010 - 6:29 am:   Edit Post

Fantastic piece of Koa! A tribute to the builders at Alembic.
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2489
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, July 12, 2010 - 6:45 am:   Edit Post

I don't think it will significantly increase resale value other than to prevent pitting down the road. I do recall that plating used brass is an issue, though. I believe there was a concern that some bridge pieces may not fit quite right after plating. Run it by Mica.
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1428
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, July 12, 2010 - 10:58 pm:   Edit Post

I danced around gold-parts-or-not when I had my Elan built; ultimately the brass bits were traditional Alembic and I went thataway. The truss rod door, the back plate, and the bird tailpiece are clear coated, so they never have to be Flitz'd.

The brass bridge you'll find will usually have to be completely disassembled (make a diagram first!) every 12 to 18 months to stay as shiny as the coated stuff, along with the nut and the logo-piece, if it's not one of the nice counter-sunk ones. There's any number of polishes that work fine with brass. Afterwards the VO5 is a great coating, and I lube the threaded bits with BreakFree CLP.

I took the cheap way out with the gold look, though: I got gold keys, which look great with the brass parts. Somehow, the chrome keys just did NOT look right to me with the brass bits. If you have chrome keys, you might consider this, I'm sure it's cheaper than having the parts removed, plated, and re-installed.

Alembic's usual practice is to plate the nut and the bridge AFTER set-up, so that the grooves are also plated. This prevents that string to raw metal contact that eats up so many gold bridges on other guitars.


J o e y
Username: grd022000

Post Number: 7
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2010 - 8:55 am:   Edit Post

I appreciate everyoneís input on this one and love Billís humor regarding original screws on a Strat! To be honest, my motivation for querying the community was initiated by my sonís comments regarding the instruments value and integrity if I were to have the brass plated, a true Strat connoisseur. So congratulations Bill, you hit the nail on the head! Long story short, I am preparing to ship the bass back to Alembic for a general look over and gold plating the brass which may take upwards of a couple of months. Iíll post pictures upon its return. Thanks again to all who responded to my query. George
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 9452
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2010 - 6:11 pm:   Edit Post

Beautiful top!!

Personally, I think it's a beautiful bass, and sending this bass back to Alembic and having the brass plated will make it that much more special.

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