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Alembic Club » Owning an Alembic » Troubleshooting » Archive through December 03, 2005 » (x) 78-1180 purpleheart not so purpleheart. « Previous Next »

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Intermediate Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 103
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 4:39 pm:   Edit Post

Here is the info on my bass:

Top and Back : Schedua
Core: Mahogany
Neck: Maple and Purple heart
Fingerboard: Ebony
Veneers: Zebrawood
Tuners: Schaller
Inlays: Mother of Pearl ovals
Scale 34"

Craftsmen: Bob Redins, Phil Nestor, Wayne Burnett, Bob Eldon, Steve Hood,
Larry Robinson, Chet Connick, Jon Day, Rick Turner

This bass was completed on August 20, 1978

I am curious why the purpleheart stringers in the neck don't look very purple. Are there variations in this wood? I had always figured that purpleheart was just a name, but seeing all the basses with very purple wood, it seems like a lot of it is very purple, indeed!

Username: mica

Post Number: 2809
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 6:06 pm:   Edit Post

Since 1978, the polyurethane finish will have yellowed, making the Purpleheart look more brownish. Some suprised customers think we've switched instruments on them after a refinish - fresh sanding and clear paint can dramatically change the colors.

In addition, there are differences in the amount of purple, some are intense violet, and others start off more pale.

One thing you can try is to remove one of the pickups and scrape away some of the finish at the bottom of the routing. Even before scraping, it will probably look more purple under the pickup since it's been protected from UV light.

Of course, the file could be wrong, and the laminates might be a different wood.

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