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Username: ralphl

Post Number: 15
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 12:28 pm:   Edit Post

I have had good luck finding answers to many questions in the forums, but I have not found an answer to this one (user error, no doubt).
I have to re-polish the head stock on my 1980 Series I. I purchased it off an advanced member here and all was well except for the headstock which looked like someone had buffed it with 00 grade steel wool or perhaps a rubbing compound commonly used for buffing down a bad car finish. This scratching was evenly distributed on both the front and back of the headstock.
I'd like to buff the entire headstock to match the shine of the body but the metal logo is an obvious problem.
Can it be safely removed and reattached? If so, how?
Thanks much for any advice!
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 505
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 7:15 am:   Edit Post

The metal logo is glued onto the headstock and it also has locating pins so any removal will destroy it completely.
If you have to remove it and it does end up in the trash then I would contact Mica or Alembic for a new one BUT you must inform them of the serial number and any other history which may be relevant as the logos are not issued out to anyone who requests them(to avoid the many fake Almebics that are on e bay!!)
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 699
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 7:38 am:   Edit Post

All the logo's on my Alembics are easy removable, just get a knife or something under it and gently move the logo up. The (3) pins are where the green arrows are pointing at.
Don't push them out one at a time, the logo will bend. Work your way around them untill all 3 pins are clear.
I don't think Alembic will sell new logo's unless the bass is send back to Santa Rosa ;-)

Username: ralphl

Post Number: 16
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 8:47 am:   Edit Post

One says yes, the other no.
But it looks like a bit of a risk no matter what, eh?
More opinions?
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 742
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 10:01 am:   Edit Post

Alembic doesn't send out logos- if you want a new one, the bass has to go back to Santa Rosa to get one.

I'm not sure about removing the logo- FC refinished that spoiler you see above, so he sounds like he has first hand experience. I'd wait a bit and I'm sure you'll hear from others soon and wouldn't be surprised if Mica chimed in herself (when she has the time).
Username: mica

Post Number: 5309
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 5:08 pm:   Edit Post

From your description, it sounds like the peghead might have the original satin finish and the rest of the bass has been buffed up. Sometimes it will buff from lots of playing, and the peghead is rarely involved in that. Maybe someone wanted to buff it, but ran into the logo issue themselves. Just a thought.

Logos! Ok, first thing is that we only sell logos that we install ourselves, so if you mess up the logo, you'll have to send the bass here to get a new one installed.

Next thing, it's usually possible to clean both the logo and the finish around the logo without removing the logo. There's all sorts of tiny cleaning swabs available:
that can get into tiny nooks and crannies.
When cleaning logos or around logos, be careful of the tip of the cloud. It's not anchored, and if an over-zealous cloth slides underneath, it's possible to bend the logo.

Last thing, if like Russ, you are determined to remove the logo yourself, be aware that even if you are very careful, removing the logo can distort the shape. Here's how we would take off a logo if I haven't been successful in discouraging you to try it:

1. Use something like a razor blade to slide under the logo near one of the anchor pins (highlighted above by Flip). You can also use some heavy paper. The purpose is to protect the finish on the peghead.

2. Using a narrow putty knife (we sand our extra-thin), you can wiggle right under the logo and break the superglue bond. Don't try to take each one out all at once. Flip's advice is good - just a little at a time.

3. When all three pins are free from adhesive, lift the logo straight out.

Here's the back of the logo, so you know how much pin we are talking about:

4. Make sure before you try to install the logo again that you haven't bent it. Lay it flat face-down and see that it's still even. Make your corrections before you mount it with a small bit of superglue in the 3 holes.

Sometimes, even we break a logo when we try to remove it, so do take your time. Here's 10 more more years of our collection of broken logos:

This one shows the most likely place to break:

Good luck to you!
Username: ralphl

Post Number: 17
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 5:43 pm:   Edit Post

Thank you for such a thorough and thoughtful explanation!
The headstock had been clearly scratched by a rubbing compound or steel wool. I should have taken a photo before I started working on it. The body has a satin finish and it is flawless. So, the scratches were very apparent when I first got the bass and I asked the previous owner about it (I just looked at the photos of the bass from the original Ebay auction and there is no closeup of the headstock). He simply said he knew nothing about it. I knew it was an easily solvable issue and so not a deal breaker. I even considered having Alembic refinish the entire bass and talked to Mica about that at length. In fact, we talked about a bunch of small issues and my trepidation about working on such a fine bass myself (I set up all of my other basses, electronics, etc). Mica encouraged me to dig in with thought and safety. I did and with good results.
But a photo of a tray full of busted logos has stopped me right in my tracks. Time for tea and meditation.
Username: ralphl

Post Number: 18
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 9:02 am:   Edit Post


(Message edited by ralphl on May 17, 2008)
Username: ralphl

Post Number: 19
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 9:03 am:   Edit Post

I decided to use a razor with a stiff back, like the type used for scraping paint off of windows. I considered its flexibility to be a small safety factor because a stiffer blade might apply too much force at one time. Over an hour I had 2 of the posts coming out ok, but the third, the bottom post, just would not move.
Worse than a non-perfect finish is breaking an essential original part and then sending the bass all over the country just to get that small part back. I was not going to risk more.
I polished what I could around and under the raised posts, cleaned it up and lightly tapped the logo back down using a scrap of basswood and a tack hammer. The logo is absolutely perfect. The finish around the logo is not quite as good. Good enough? You bet, especially considering I played the bass at a gig a few days ago and got great reviews on my sound and not a single comment about the headstock's finish.
Photos are coming, but I'd like to get the bass just right before I take them.
Many thanks to everyone for your good advice and concern.

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