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boogieman145
New
Username: boogieman145

Post Number: 1
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2008 - 11:36 am:   Edit Post

I'm told this incredible custom bass has been out of circulation since the late '70's. Would like to find out more about the provenance and history. When I pulled the cover on the electronics, the back of the plate was signed "Johnson". Is this the craftsman or customer who commissioned the manufacture of this one of a kind beauty?
Mystery Beauty

(Message edited by davehouck on August 26, 2008)
tbrannon
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 870
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2008 - 11:43 am:   Edit Post

Oh my!!

lovely bass there..... just beautiful. Can you tell us about how you stumbled across it?

I'm gobsmacked. Seriously- the carved bits and the omega are insane.

(Message edited by tbrannon on August 17, 2008)
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 3208
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2008 - 12:02 pm:   Edit Post

A curious bass. The serial number doesn't jive with Alembic's system unless this was made in 1912! And "004" doesn't fit in 1977, it would be in '72. This is obviously not a series instrument - again unusual for early 70's I would think. The bridge and string anchors also appear unusual for Alembic and the body looks a little thick and different than the usual Alembic in the Omega. Does this have an Alembic logo on the peghead? Where is the serial number located?

Bill, the guitar one
senmen
Senior Member
Username: senmen

Post Number: 804
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2008 - 12:12 pm:   Edit Post

Simply stunning, but also very unusual.....

Oliver (Spyderman)
elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 532
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2008 - 8:50 pm:   Edit Post

wow...looks like silver plating on the bridge...as bill says; an early one...I know I'm not the only one hoping to see more details...congratulations on your find!!
elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 533
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2008 - 8:58 pm:   Edit Post

Rocky,
Welcome to the discussion board...hope to hear alot more from you...I hope there is some records to unearth regarding your bass...The inlays definitely are very Susan-esque.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 6906
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2008 - 9:23 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Rocky; welcome to the board!

A mystery bass!!

To add to the above discussion, the pickups don't look right. No adjustment screws; unusual shape.

I'm thinking we've seen a similarly shaped omega cut once before.

The bridge looks post '76, except the plating makes it look newer than that.

Conceivably, if it were a Series, the humx could be hidden. There were also, if I remember correctly, a very few Series with no humx. However, this bass only has one switch; so I'm thinking it's probably a stereo/mono switch and that there are no Q switches.

Does it have one truss rod or two?

I'm wondering if it's an employee project.
room037
Advanced Member
Username: room037

Post Number: 233
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2008 - 9:54 pm:   Edit Post

Please show us more details !

In my opinion, it's not Alembic, may be employees work.
I remember such neck laminate on standard shape body with series circuit, but it's not Alembic.
I will check in my archives later.

Eiji
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 426
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 5:57 am:   Edit Post

Hi Rocky,

Welcome to the Alembic forum! What an interesting bass there. Please post more pictures as we would all like to see more. The case looks like an Alembic too but it appears a bit large in the fit.

Play it Healthy!
Art
boogieman145
New
Username: boogieman145

Post Number: 2
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 6:02 am:   Edit Post

Grettings learned ones,
Please pardon my newbeeness and fill me in on some of the terms like humx?
I just looked it has only one truss rod in a very,very thin neck. Action and playabliliy are awesome! Intonation is perfect..Best instument I've ever played in my 40 years of holding down the bottom.
My PC is dead this morning more pictures will follow . Regards,Boogieman145
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 427
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 6:38 am:   Edit Post

A Series instrument usually has several visible features that make it distinct. The humx that Dave refers to is the hum canceling circuitry included in the Series electronics. Part of this hum canceling circuitry usually appears as a smaller surface mounted pickup located between the 2 main pickups. The Series instrumnet uses a 5 pin XLR power supply (the 5 pin cable also carries the audio out instead of the 1/4" phono jack which is still included and is a stereo out from both available output signal paths). I hope that this helps a bit.

Can't wait to see more pictures!

Best,
Art

ps: IMHO, the Series output is superior to anything I have ever heard.

(Message edited by artswork99 on August 18, 2008)
boogieman145
New
Username: boogieman145

Post Number: 3
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 8:16 am:   Edit Post

No XLR. I've sent more photos in to the club via e-mail , they are too big to post. Thanx Art
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 429
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 8:57 am:   Edit Post

Rocky,
If you would like to email me the pictures (my email address is in my profile - click on user name). I will gladly size them for you and either return them or post them into this thread.
Best,
Art
speicky
Advanced Member
Username: speicky

Post Number: 314
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 9:34 am:   Edit Post

good idea, Art... I can vouch for this guy, he did very good photo jobs for other new members in the past.

welcome to the club, Rocky, it's an incredible looking instrument you have there.

all the best, Christian
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 430
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 9:39 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Christian! I think many of us are over anxious to see further pictures of this bass.
speicky
Advanced Member
Username: speicky

Post Number: 315
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 9:42 am:   Edit Post

yeah, right ! I wanted to reply much earlier, but when I first saw this bass, it struck me like lightning... feeling much better today :-)
senmen
Senior Member
Username: senmen

Post Number: 806
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 10:17 am:   Edit Post

Christian,
that kind of fingerboard inlay reminds me so much to the inlays of your Peggy.

Oliver (Spyderman

(Message edited by senmen on August 18, 2008)
boogieman145
New
Username: boogieman145

Post Number: 4
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 11:54 am:   Edit Post

OK gang Art has the ball. Hopefully pics more will be revealed about the "Mystery Bass" today if he has time.
Thanks Art
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 431
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 11:58 am:   Edit Post

You're welcome. Here you go!
overall
neck
body
headstock
cavity
backplate
boogieman145
New
Username: boogieman145

Post Number: 5
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 12:09 pm:   Edit Post

Well Gang what's the verdict?
1) is this an Alembic?
2) is Hyak the master craftsman?
3) Who is Johnson ? the signature looks like it's under the shield paint..
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1084
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 12:15 pm:   Edit Post

The electronics are passive and not active Alembic electronics. The serial does not look like the standard serial number either. I'm thinking either a shop night bass or maybe built by someone who used to work at Alembic.

Keith
speicky
Advanced Member
Username: speicky

Post Number: 316
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 1:04 pm:   Edit Post

wow, there she is ! thanks, Art, great job, and thank you, Rocky, those are great pics of an obviously one-of-a-kind bass.

I tend to go with Keith on the shop night bass or employee project, this beauty also looks quite "Hyak-ish" to me. But then again, I'm far from an expert, but one thing is for sure:

this beauty rocks !

p.s.: Oliver, you're right on with the inlays, they must be brilliant. The photos are very good, but I'm sure they do not do justice the magnificence of the fretboard.
boogieman145
New
Username: boogieman145

Post Number: 6
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 1:33 pm:   Edit Post

Pots say Alembic (I have better macro photos) but it is in deed passive so far as I can tell.
Pickups look like early EMG, again no expert here..

These pics are just as she came out of the case dirty, I mean real dirty, smells like me when I get off the road .. LOL. This sweet old girl has been handled and needs a good cleaning.
Can't wait to see the inlay in all it's glory!
Any Cleaning suggestions?

What tone! She does Rock!!!
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 432
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 1:33 pm:   Edit Post

I have a 79 Hyak scroll bass where the scrolls compare very much like each other (of course a scroll is a scroll - possibly an influence).
Here are several more pictures that Rocky sent along. Check this out...
headstock2
body2
overall2

(Message edited by artswork99 on August 18, 2008)
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 433
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 1:44 pm:   Edit Post

One more close-up of the controls and the bridge.
controls
speicky
Advanced Member
Username: speicky

Post Number: 317
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 2:11 pm:   Edit Post

okay, Speicky, calm down, it's okay, say "Heu-wä-gel-chen, Heu-wä-gel-chen"... time for bed :-)
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1085
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 2:13 pm:   Edit Post

The neck inlay is gorgeous. I was thinking Hyak when I first saw it but the headstock doesn't look like any I have seen. I was also wondering if it might be a Becvar but again I have not seen one with this headstock style. As I recall both were known to buy parts from Alembic. The style of the serial number also looks familiar but I can't remember where I saw it.

Maybe Mike Delacerda will chime in since he's quite familiar with the older Alembic, Hyak and Becvar basses.

Keith
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 434
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 2:22 pm:   Edit Post

Cavity close-up where a lot of the stamped details are available.

(Message edited by artswork99 on August 18, 2008)
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 435
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 2:27 pm:   Edit Post

cavity2new
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 5457
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 3:07 pm:   Edit Post

I just confirmed that this instrument was made by a former employee, Mark Johnson. He's going to look up some of his records, but he thinks it was made between 1977-1979. Depending on when it was made, it might have been made as a shop night instrument or after he left our company.
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 436
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 3:09 pm:   Edit Post

Another from Rocky
neck2
boogieman145
New
Username: boogieman145

Post Number: 7
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 3:25 pm:   Edit Post

Thank you ALL SOOO Much. What a wonderful experience this has been! Mica, you and your family deserve a special thanks for raising the bar of excellence and for nuturing such fine crafstmen as Mr. Johnson. You folks represent the American dream come true.
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 437
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 3:54 pm:   Edit Post

Speculation, maybe the serial # 1277 004 is Dec 1977 and the 4th bass by MJ, hmmmm...

I wonder what the pick-ups are.

Lots of cool questions! How interesting they could be answered if Mark recalls any of the history.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 6909
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 3:59 pm:   Edit Post

My wild guess on the pickups is Hi-A.
boogieman145
New
Username: boogieman145

Post Number: 8
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 6:49 pm:   Edit Post

Hi all, last post for now some time next week I will have her all cleaned up and Deb will take some real cheese cake shots to post ..
Art, good news the pickups do slide out so I can give you the lowdown then. I intend to have a preamp installed if Alembic will addopt this illagitmate child that would be great if not a Bartolini will have to do..
TTFN Boog
dela217
Senior Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 908
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 6:50 pm:   Edit Post

Before Mica responded with a definate, I was thinking Dolan. He made basses back then with no logo, and inspired by Alembic.

My question is how are those pickups mounted? From the rear? Glue? Velcro?
funkyjazzjunky
Intermediate Member
Username: funkyjazzjunky

Post Number: 151
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Wednesday, August 20, 2008 - 8:03 am:   Edit Post

WOW
boogieman145
New
Username: boogieman145

Post Number: 9
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Monday, August 25, 2008 - 7:49 pm:   Edit Post

We here she is, All cleaned up and no strings attached. This Alembic insired master piece needs to be shared. Mica and her family have done so much for the art.
Thank you for your kind ways..
Warmest Regards





(Message edited by davehouck on August 26, 2008)
elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 541
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, August 25, 2008 - 8:43 pm:   Edit Post

Mark makes some fine guitars ...thanks Mica for the link.
Great pics Rocky...it must have been alot of fun cleaning her up...I have a 78 series 1 guitar that when I polish her I swear a genie is going to appear.

what a beauty...wow again!!
:-)
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 441
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 - 5:28 am:   Edit Post

Rocky,
Looks GREAT! Play it Healthy!
Art
daveski
Junior
Username: daveski

Post Number: 22
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 - 7:18 am:   Edit Post

Very Very nice,that really is quite something!!
kimberly
Advanced Member
Username: kimberly

Post Number: 276
Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 - 1:14 pm:   Edit Post

What a great story and amazing bass! :-)

Best Regards,

Kimberly :-)
pauldo
Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 66
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, August 31, 2008 - 4:26 pm:   Edit Post

Pardon my redundancy, but after reading and viewing it's all I can think of.....

WOW
:-D
boogieman145
New
Username: boogieman145

Post Number: 10
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Monday, September 01, 2008 - 6:55 am:   Edit Post

Hi All,
I will be speaking with the master craftsman who fathered this work of art. I strung her this weekend , her action is delightful !
There will be more pictures posted if requested.
A big thank you to the Alembic family is in order.
klinkepeter
Junior
Username: klinkepeter

Post Number: 25
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2008 - 11:02 am:   Edit Post

Can somebody explain to me what is a "shop night instrument"? Does is sell only at midnight?
Rocky, this bass is outstanding!, very beautiful,
my best regards
Peter
boogieman145
Junior
Username: boogieman145

Post Number: 11
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2008 - 11:26 am:   Edit Post

Not sure Peter all I know is the Alembic folks made a good decision to allow their craftsman to hone their skills apparently on their own time in the furtherance of the art form.

Would some one kindly please fill us in further?
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 3234
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2008 - 12:20 pm:   Edit Post

Alembic allows employees to build an instrument on their own time - I think it may be one a year. Here's a "Shop Night" guitar I picked up last year.

Bill, tgo
gtrguy
Intermediate Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 149
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Friday, September 05, 2008 - 9:25 am:   Edit Post

Wow, there are very few instruments that I would describe as stunning, but this is one!
Dave
boogieman145
Junior
Username: boogieman145

Post Number: 12
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2008 - 7:08 pm:   Edit Post

Well Gang,two full weeks after stringing it the Boogieman was afraid of this creation ,sort of like first handling a new born, just couldn't bring my self to play her.

The bridge it a bit extreme so it takes a day or two for the strings to stretch and settle in .

SEE PHOTOS..

After strobe tuning:
The first major 7 triad I hit rang out like a beautiful bell with more layers of harmonics than I thought possible..
Amaiaazing sustain ensued ringing out of the David Eden 2 10 combo on -n- on- well into incredulity.

It Took my breath away...
She will be called MUSE .

Is it OK to Post Links to MPG's?
Have H-2 will travel ...
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 448
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2008 - 7:20 pm:   Edit Post

Yea Rocky post some links to MP3's from that H2.
Lets hear what Muse and you sound like together!
Best, Art
new2alembic
Junior
Username: new2alembic

Post Number: 14
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Friday, September 12, 2008 - 11:49 am:   Edit Post

Rocky what did you use to clean her? She is absolutely gorgeous. Congratulations!
boogieman145
Junior
Username: boogieman145

Post Number: 13
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Friday, September 12, 2008 - 1:02 pm:   Edit Post

A quick misting and I do mean quick misting of a very dilute mixture of simple green and water one segment at a time to clean away the years of grime.

Repeat if necessary..Do Not Let the water soak in.

Then pure lemon oil at least twice a day for weeks till the wood grain absorbed what was needed.
new2alembic
Junior
Username: new2alembic

Post Number: 15
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Friday, September 12, 2008 - 3:30 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks so much.
new2alembic
Junior
Username: new2alembic

Post Number: 16
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Friday, September 12, 2008 - 3:33 pm:   Edit Post

Rocky thanks again. Did you use lemon oil on the entire guitar? I read the threads about the fretboard. Whatever you used, you did a wonderful job.

Carl
boogieman145
Junior
Username: boogieman145

Post Number: 14
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Friday, September 12, 2008 - 11:23 pm:   Edit Post

Yep, Lemon Oil for the entire Ax.. Swab it on with very soft cloth then buff gently..
Repeat daily until all the baby shines and stays that way.
I keep an oiled cloth in a baggy and wipe her down after each use..

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