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hellotrae
New
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 4:26 am:   Edit Post

This has been in my father's private collection for over 20 years. Can you please help me find out more about the build & the guitar. According to dad he the guitar was custom built by Alembic for Carlos Santana in the early seventies. I have heard him tell a story about purchasing the guitar from Carlos himself in the Bay Area. He wants to sell the guitar & I am trying to authenticate the story. I truly appreciate help with this process! Trae
elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 1108
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 5:32 am:   Edit Post

Welcome Trae,
It sometimes takes a little while for history requests to be processed .

In the mean time it'd be great if you could post some pictures in the Showcase section.
There might be some folks around that could help you with its history.

Mica mentions several built for Santana here

(Message edited by elwoodblue on October 23, 2010)
room037
Advanced Member
Username: room037

Post Number: 338
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 7:41 am:   Edit Post

Hi Trae,
I am very interested eary Alembic's instruments.
Please show us the pictures.

The replica of Santana's guitar is here..
The original Santana's guitar has PF-6 circuit and older square PU's, because I think it was 74' to 75'. (I remember the picture was Alembic's history section.)
Your dad's guitar is another one that I think.
But older instruments were often upgraded. (for ex. PF-5 to PF-6 etc.)

Eiji
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 9754
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 7:54 am:   Edit Post

Hi Tracey, welcome to the board! Would love to see pics of your guitar!

Elwood and Eiji, I just went and read both threads you linked to; great threads, I enjoyed reading them again.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4620
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 10:18 am:   Edit Post

Trae:

I LOVE the old Alembics! Your Dad's sounds sweet. Would love to see some pics. I'd likely be interested in buying the instrument too.

Bill, the guitar one
hellotrae
New
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 2
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 12:40 pm:   Edit Post

Hey Bill! I am new here & having a hard time getting the pics to post...I can email them to you if you want = ) I am gonna try resizing them because it is truly amazing = )I wanna show it off a bit!
elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 1109
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 12:49 pm:   Edit Post

Trae,
I'd be happy to resize/compress them for you...I'm very eager to see #28 as I know others are too.
I've sent you an email you can respond to,
cheers,
hellotrae
New
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 3
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 1:02 pm:   Edit Post

Lets hope this works I am emailing the to Jake = )Pops is totally awesome & plays the guitar like a GOD! He has about 80 others in his collection...I am shocked that he wants to sell this one but it is what he wants. I am seriously trying to get it authenticated because it makes it more valuable...It makes sense that pics of these builds are far & few between. I have been scouring the web for pics of this guitar but there is nothing...It is def custom!!!
elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 1110
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 1:48 pm:   Edit Post

She sure looks like the Santana copy room037 referred to.

I tried compressing them to document size and it was 169kb...so I had to go to email size.
I'll keep trying to see if I can get them under 150kb with sacrificing size.












I see the original pickups have been replaced, does your dad have any original parts in a box somewhere?
Love those inlays on the early Alembics !!
hellotrae
New
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 4
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 2:13 pm:   Edit Post

Thank You for resizing the picks...I will see if he has the original pick ups lying around....What is your general impression of it so far? There was a copy of this one refrences as a Santana replica??? Do tell??
room037
Advanced Member
Username: room037

Post Number: 339
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 6:44 pm:   Edit Post

Wow ! Here It is !
I found this pict. I think it was taken in the factory.


We know Santana's tone as warm, and he usually use wah pedal as filter tone.
Because he didn't want Alembic sounds but wood works that I think.

Eiji
elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 1112
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 6:49 pm:   Edit Post

Cool Eiji,
Trae will enjoy that I bet, I know I am :-)
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4622
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 7:54 pm:   Edit Post

It looks like the guitar has been routed for the tremolo unit that replaced the original Alembic bridge & tailpiece. And I'd love to see a pic of the top with the non-Alembic pick guard removed. I wonder what's under there. It sure is pretty, though.

Bill, tgo
hellotrae
New
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 6
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 8:11 pm:   Edit Post

I took like 55 pics for you earlier & as soon as I got home I had company & they decided they wanted to go out and try to bag a deer so I will send them too you tomorrow k...I got you guys some really awesome pics & took the back plates off and everything :-) even got a pic of the stash box too :-) The guitar was modified prior to dad getting it and he has a power pack adapter that runs the LEDs in the neck! It is truly amazing & def for sale! I am in the market for an appraiser & welcome all suggestion
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 9762
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 11:28 am:   Edit Post

I'm not an appraiser or a collector, just someone who loves Alembic instruments. For what they may be worth, here are a few thoughts.

It's a beautiful guitar! The inlays, body shape and top and back body laminates make for a unique early Alembic.

An interesting dilemma. From a purely Alembic standpoint, I would imagine that some would want to send the guitar back to Santa Rosa and have it restored. But the Santana aspect kinda complicates that. If it was Santana who made the modifications, then there might be some who would want to leave the guitar as it is.

From the Alembic standpoint, I think it will be useful to know whether the electronics inside the control cavity were modified when the pickups were replaced; and whether all the original parts, including bridge and tailpiece, are in the "stash box".

The cost of a restoration would depend significantly on how much of the original parts are missing, especially the electronics, but I'm guessing, would include filling holes and quite possibly doing a complete refinish.

For someone wanting to do a restoration, my guess is that the routing for the tremolo would present a problem. One option might be just to leave the tremolo in place and have the shop make a new back plate. Or even if the tremolo is replaced with an original style bridge and tailpiece, a new plate on the back would probably still be needed.

The routing for the replacement pickups would also present a challenge when mounting original style pickups.

Just focused on the fact that the pickup selector switch has been moved as well.

I'm obviously using the word "restoration" rather loosely. The wood that was removed for the routing can't be returned to its original appearance.

But I'm also thinking that if the guitar in its present condition was put that way by Santana himself, then I'm guessing there will be those who would want to keep the guitar just the way it is.

An interesting dilemma. And it's exciting to see this guitar turn up. Looking forward to the additional pictures, and of course to seeing what happens with 73-28!
hellotrae
New
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 7
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 7:22 pm:   Edit Post

Dave,
Thanks for all of your insight...I am leaning toward keeping it just the way it is. It has not been changed or modified in anyway & has been tucked away and rarely played or handled. I appreciate you taking the time to advise on how to handle #28...I am having a hard time uploading pics & will send them to Kris to post = )
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 9765
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 7:51 pm:   Edit Post

Looking forward to the pics!

I was thinking about it some more this afternoon, and one thing I definitely know nothing about is the value of instruments previously owned by well known musicians. So, it does occur to me that everything I wrote above may actually be of little value in this case.

And I do think that for you, leaving it in its present configuration and letting the buyer decide how they want to proceed is probably the best way to go.
hellotrae
New
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 8
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 9:35 pm:   Edit Post

I think that will be the best way to go too...I really wish we could find a pic of Carlos playing it...I have searched and havent had any luck. Does anyone knoe someone qualified to do an appraisal on it? Thanks Again = )
hellotrae
New
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 9
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 9:48 pm:   Edit Post

I just sent the pics to Kris...Give me your email address & I will send them to you also. = )
hellotrae
New
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 10
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 10:03 pm:   Edit Post

Hey Eiji,
I took a bunch of detailed pics that will be posted soon. I put this pic next to the one you posted & their were def some custom mods done after it was built but the grain in the wood is in my opinion a perfect match! Check it out & let me know if you agree.https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=1mBIjK5WgkPP0Vauu4JecrComFA2yeN1QVDoYmMbUOrnMyklk283KEQMgAgFq&hl=en&authkey=CJyGn_MD
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 9768
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 10:45 pm:   Edit Post

Tracey; if you click on my username, it opens my profile page, where you'll find my email address.
elwoodblue
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 1116
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 11:17 pm:   Edit Post

I posted the pics Trae sent me here
hellotrae
Junior
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 11
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 11:24 pm:   Edit Post

I just sent you them = )
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2196
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 11:30 pm:   Edit Post

Are there any pictures of Santana playing this or any other Alembic guitar?


Jazzyvee
hellotrae
Junior
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 12
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 - 9:35 am:   Edit Post

I have been searching for pics of him with this guitar & so far haven't located any yet but am sure that somewhere out there are snap shots or old concert pics. I am keeping my fingers crossed that some will turn up = )
hellotrae
Junior
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 13
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 6:21 pm:   Edit Post

Can anyone recommend an appraisal service?
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4625
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 8:12 pm:   Edit Post

Trae:

I don't know of anyone more qualified to appraise this instrument than the good folks on this site. Alembics are an extremely rare breed compared to other brands, and guitars are relatively rare Alembics compared to basses. You might try running the numbers I emailed you by the members here and see what they say.

Bill, tgo
hellotrae
Junior
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 14
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 4:27 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Bill = )
hellotrae
Junior
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 15
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 4:30 pm:   Edit Post

I was reading a thread that was sparked due to the modss that were made to this guitar & in defense of my Dad the guitar is exactly as he received it from Santana. He has not changed a thing since he bought it. I would love to hear what Santana has to say about it = )
hellotrae
Junior
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 16
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 4:36 pm:   Edit Post

Okay guys I was approached with an offer yesterday of $2500-3000. I have been doing research & this seems a little low to me. I ran it by dad & he said he would be taking $1000 loss at that price. I appreciate suggestions or input as I would like to come up with a number. I have contacted Sotheby's about putting it up for auction & Saiichi Sugiyama is in the process of writing up a report for me. I dont want to make a mistake & "give" it away.
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 816
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 8:35 pm:   Edit Post

I don't think that's all that low, Tracey; $3500-4500 seems to be roughly the going rate for a used Series instrument. This has had the electronics removed; to upgrade another Alembic to Series I is $6000, and the routing would also lower it, I would think. On the other hand, it is a really early example, and has some pretty spiffy inlays, so the lower end of that offer might be in the ballpark. Of course when I say this, keep in mind that celebrity ownership adds no value to me; there are those who feel differently, & if you connect with one of them you may get a premium if you can find a way to document the Sanatana connection. Good luck with the sale.

Peter
hellotrae
Junior
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 17
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Sunday, October 31, 2010 - 7:36 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Peter = ) Can you please explain what Upgrade another Alembic to Series I means? I dont understand how it factors into the est. value of this guitar? I truly appreciate your help & value your input. Trae
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 789
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 31, 2010 - 10:29 pm:   Edit Post

I think this guitar would have significant value with documentation of Santana's ownership. If there were pictures of him playing it and/or documentation of the sale to him, you'd probably get quite a bit more than a run of the mill ex-Series guitar would fetch. OTOH, the nature of the market is that the value is what someone will actually pay. So, it might be better to hang on to it for a while if you don't get what you want for it now. Once you let it go, it's gone.
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 818
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, November 01, 2010 - 6:59 am:   Edit Post

If you go on the Custom Quote Generator, select, say, a Eupora, and change it to Series I electronics, that raises the price by $6000. Thus Series I is a $6000 upgrade. So you've got a $3500-$4500 instrument that, basically, has been "degraded" by $6000. Of course that's not taking into account the cost of the Europa package over non-Alembic guts.

Peter
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4628
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, November 01, 2010 - 9:14 am:   Edit Post

I've never seen an older Series I guitar (NOT bass) go for much over $3K on eBay. I bought my 1976 Series I medium scale guitar in 2006 and my 1977 Series I long scale 12 string in 2007. Both came off of eBay, both were in excellent condition with cases. The '76 didn't have a power supply and sold in the $2-2.5 range. The 12 string had a blue box power supply and sold in the $2.5-3K range.

The most recent Series guitar that sold on eBay was 74-53, a beautiful long scale guitar with a Fenderish six-in-line peghead that sold about three weeks ago. It had some holes drilled into it from a previous Roland Synth pickup, a headstock repair and a DIY power supply and case. It went for $2730. As previously noted the "Santana" guitar is probably not #28 and, more likely, closer to #53's vintage. I agree that if the guitar came with some provenance of the Santana connection it would increase the value, but without validation it's just a cool story - like the one that I received when I bought #10 that it was made for Jerry Garcia. If anyone wants to pay $4,500 for an older Series I guitar, I'd sell mine.

Bill, tgo
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 821
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, November 01, 2010 - 2:24 pm:   Edit Post

I was going by what I've seen here, which are, indeed, mostly basses; Bill would have a much better idea of the numbers than I.

Peter
hellotrae
Junior
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 18
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2010 - 5:53 pm:   Edit Post

I am waiting to hear back from Mica and if the Guitar was ordered by Santana she should be able to validate the Sanatna Connection. There is a pic in this thread of the guitar before the mods were done, factory pic? dont know for sure if it was taken at the factory or not but the wood grain is a perfect match. I truly appreciate all the feedback & help...you guys rock! Trae
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 7019
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2010 - 6:54 pm:   Edit Post

I know the guitar was ordered by Santana, but I don't think the serial number is right. I have all the original inlay drawings, but they don't reference the serial number since the number is just about the last thing to go on the instrument.

The file i have for #28 is for a short scale bass in Koa, so there's either a duplicate, or it was stamped incorrectly on the base of the fingerboard.

Look on the edge of the peghead for even a faint stamp of the original serial number. The location the number is your pictures is more like for a post 1977 instrument.
hellotrae
Junior
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 19
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2010 - 7:15 pm:   Edit Post

Thank You Mica! This is like putting together a puzzle = ) I will look at it closer and see what I can find.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 9809
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2010 - 8:11 pm:   Edit Post

Tracey; look on the very end of the headstock like the one in this picture. There should be a serial number stamped there.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4637
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2010 - 10:52 pm:   Edit Post

This is really cool. I love a good mystery. Can't wait to see how this one turns out. Regardless, a beautiful & unique instrument.

Bill, tgo
hellotrae
Junior
Username: hellotrae

Post Number: 21
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - 8:39 am:   Edit Post

I received this message this morning from Saiichi Sugiyama he is a very well respected guitar authoritarian & musician. YaY he has located a pic of Santana with the guitar! It is gonna be a long week waiting for the complete report w/photo = ( I am hoping he can fill in some of the blanks & help solve the mystery!

Thanks Bill! I totally agree & am really enjoying the process of putting this puzzle together! In regards to the serial number what does USA that is stamped after the serial number? Their was in fact an alembic logo on the headstock but according to my dad it was not inlayed & over time it came off the instrument. He said it is around & will locate it. Should we have the mother ship reapply it?

Dear Trae
I am so sorry that I am taking longer than I hoped to come back to you. I have been distracted by Eric Clapton's 3rd Crossroads Auction as we are now going to show some of his guitars and amps to go on sale at the Guitar Nation show in London Olympia this weekend. I had to do some urgent last minute research for it over last week. But I now have at hand all the material I need to write your Santana Alembic report and it is a case of setting aside some time putting the pen to the paper (or creating a Word document nowadays). I have a charity gig tomorrow that I am putting together and I am doing Crossroads presentations this weekend at Guitar Nation but I expect to be able to send you the report during the course of next week. I am so sorry about the delay, Trae. And, yes, I have a photo;-) Will be on touch soon. Thank you for your patience.
Best
Saiichi
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 7439
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 - 4:13 pm:   Edit Post

Ever had any luck finding the correct serial number?

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