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Archive through July 24, 201381195230 7-24-13  1:14 pm
Archive through November 12, 2013mica30 11-12-13  5:48 pm
Archive through March 29, 2014moonliner30 3-29-14  12:02 pm
Archive through July 08, 2014moonliner30 7-08-14  9:07 pm
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moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 245
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 3:22 pm:   Edit Post

Hey Mica,
Any news on the pickup front?

thanks
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 8219
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 5:29 pm:   Edit Post

Yeah - the company that we bought the mold kits from for thirty years is deciding to be jerky jerks. After they told us they shipped (which I what I told you recently), then we get a "quote" faxed to us today stating their minimum is like 10 times what we would use before it goes bad and nothing had shipped. Oh, I was so mad.

Never fear! I found an a new source (manned by a dude that really knows his silicone!), and they will ship it to me Monday, and we will have it on Wednesday. Then a day to make the mold from the master and then the pickup can be born on Friday next.
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 246
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, August 02, 2014 - 3:21 am:   Edit Post

Grrrr!! I hate it when people do that!
Thanks for finding a solution so quickly.
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 247
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 07, 2014 - 4:43 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Mica,

Did you get a package from the new source by any chance?

Thanks
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 8222
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Thursday, August 07, 2014 - 5:16 pm:   Edit Post

We did - and the mold came out great! Also got a test pickup cast today:

test pickup

Don't worry about the globular part on the left side - this is a successful test. Tony clear up some logistics with this type of casting with Ron today, so I should have 2 shiny new pickups tomorrow for Kris to index the pickup ring off of.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3554
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Thursday, August 07, 2014 - 5:29 pm:   Edit Post

Very Kool ! Trapezoidal pickups like my old Alembic / Starfire .
Glad to see it .
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1812
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, August 07, 2014 - 9:20 pm:   Edit Post

That is a thing of beauty! Good work!
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1758
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, August 07, 2014 - 10:52 pm:   Edit Post

Will the magnets be trapezoidal?

Peter
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 248
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 2:08 am:   Edit Post

That is fantastic Mica!
Thank you so much for this lovely update. The pickup looks beautiful.
Peter, as of now the magnets will be standard shape. Maybe in the future they will be trapezoid shaped. It will be an ongoing experiment :-)
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 249
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 2:13 am:   Edit Post

.... double post ...

(Message edited by Moonliner on August 10, 2014)
serialnumber12
Senior Member
Username: serialnumber12

Post Number: 1082
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 7:54 am:   Edit Post

trap this Zoid 22163.jpg
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3555
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 9:43 am:   Edit Post

Here is my old bass

Wolf's old Bass.jpg

http://alembic.com/club/messages/411/2792.html?1262960781
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3556
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 9:48 am:   Edit Post

I love the Zoids ! If I get a custom built I might want some like my old ones again and go back to my youth _____:-)

(Message edited by sonicus on August 10, 2014)
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1814
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 11:20 am:   Edit Post

So these will be the opposite my pickups. They are rectangular shells with trapezoid magnets! It was kind of a surprise when my local luthier put one of those magnetic viewing strips on it.

IMG_1770exp.jpg
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 250
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 9:52 pm:   Edit Post

Mr 12, I have long admired your bass. It's really a stunning instrument. .... And Sonicus, I've been looking at pictures of your old bass for years. The stuff dreams are made of!
Edwin! I love all the work you did on your Starfire. Very inspiring! Are the magnets positioned like the others with the wide side on the top? Mica and I noticed on the early stages of Phil's bass he had the wider side on the G string side and were thinking of putting my pickups in that position.
Thanks for sharing all the amazing pictures of your basses.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3558
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 10:04 pm:   Edit Post

Keith , Thanks , that is meaningful for me .
Edwin , I must comment __ that you did a fine job when you did the work on that instrument .
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1815
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 10:38 pm:   Edit Post

Well, I can take credit for only so much of it. Matt Bergdahl of Woodsong's Lutherie installed the pickup rings (and took forever making them, cursing me good naturedly the whole time for the amount of effort it took to match the curvature of the top of the bass. The bill for that was higher than the cost of the pickups. If I had it to over again, I'd probably go the swimming pool route (sorry for the pun) and install the humcanceller on the front as well.) He also installed the hardware for me. Interestingly, although he was familiar with Alembic and grew up in the Bay Area, he was completely unfamiliar with the Grateful Dead. I loaned him a few CDs and a month later he was relating minutiae from the different eras of recordings over at Archive.org.

However, I did do all the drilling and installation of the electronics as well as the assembly of the electronics, which were pretty much a random, not quite complete, bag of parts when I got them. It was a fun project, after I got the filter cap values right. Initially they were off by a couple orders of magnitude, which meant I was almost in the megahertz range, but that problem was easily rectified. I'm considering adding a master volume to the horn next to the pickup selector switch.

The pickups are with the wide section over the E string. I flipped the neck pickup around (the bridge pickup is not quite symmetrical as far as the mounting bars go, so it wouldn't fit in the ring in the other orientation) and noticed less of a difference than I would have expected. I switched it back. I would think that I'd want the wide side under the G string to make it more equal the E string because of the difference in string excursion, but it really doesn't seem to make much of a difference at all. I'm sure that Old #12 is similar: not a bad note on the instrument. I'm going to have to put hearing that bass in person in my bucket list. Be prepared for a visit sometime!

Of course, I feel like I'm waiting, biding my time, for the perfect Alembic to show up. It's possible that Jazzyvee might be playing it right now.
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 251
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2014 - 2:03 am:   Edit Post

Hi Mica!

How's the pickup and pickup ring situation?

I have so many questions.... :-)
Fingerboard? Ebony headstock laminate? That beautiful tailpiece you suggested, has that been made yet?
Have you read Galadrielle Allman's book about her father yet? It's really a beautiful read.
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 8234
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2014 - 1:21 pm:   Edit Post


The fixture and test cut success for the pickup ring. Next stop, Bird's-eye Maple :-)



And now with Ebony facing veneer (still needs carving in this pick, but it's very black. In fact, it's a bookmatched front veneer. To get the blackest possible, it need to be narrow. So you'll have to look *very* closely to see it, but it's a bookmatch.
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 252
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2014 - 1:31 pm:   Edit Post

That is so great! Bless you!

I know I was being silly, but Galadrielle's book is really a great read..... If you're into the Allman Brothers.

Thanks again. I so appreciate the pictures.
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 253
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, August 22, 2014 - 4:37 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Mica,

Dare I ask if there is any exciting news this week?
wisconsindead
New
Username: wisconsindead

Post Number: 1
Registered: 8-2014
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 9:07 am:   Edit Post

This is a fun thread to follow.

Moonliner, could you list all of the changes you are making to the bass?
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 255
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 12:57 pm:   Edit Post

Hey WDead!
Let's see.... New headstock (as you can see). Ebony fingerboard with red side LED's. Bridge with brass sustain block. Control cover and pickup ring. Trapezoid pickups, and anniversary electronics. I think that's it for now, but I have other long term plans.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3592
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 1:22 pm:   Edit Post

This looks like it is coming along great ! Will you power the electronics with just battery power or will there be an adaptation to utilize the Alembic 5 PIN system?
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3593
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 1:27 pm:   Edit Post

It is interesting how the " picture gremlin: ran off with #12's ,mine & Edwin's pictures in this thread ! :-)>
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 256
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 2:22 pm:   Edit Post

Yeah, I noticed all the cool pictures disappeared. Odd.

It'll be powered by the little blue box.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3594
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 2:41 pm:   Edit Post

Blue box power is a good idea !
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 257
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, August 29, 2014 - 1:43 pm:   Edit Post

Hello Mica,

Any progress to report this week?
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 258
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, September 05, 2014 - 4:53 pm:   Edit Post

Maybe this week?
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 259
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, September 15, 2014 - 12:23 am:   Edit Post

A little update courtesy of Mica.

The hole has been cut in the front of the bass, the control cover has been roughly fitted, the pickup ring has been made, and the ebony fingerboard is on.
I'm really excited to see all this progress!



edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1832
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, September 15, 2014 - 11:34 am:   Edit Post

So is the control cover contoured to match the original curvature of the top? Carved? Or somehow pressed into the shape? It's quite lovely! The pickup area looks great, too.

Great to see all this progress!
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 260
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, September 15, 2014 - 12:29 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Edwin.
A plaster mold was made from the top of my bass and then the cover was vacu formed to that shape. Hopefully it will all match up nicely.
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 8268
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, September 15, 2014 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for posting those, Keith! I was running all around getting my stuff together for the Gathering last Friday.
wisconsindead
New
Username: wisconsindead

Post Number: 2
Registered: 8-2014
Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - 11:58 am:   Edit Post

Wow. That is so cool. Is the control area the burl maple?

Why did you decide on plastic for the pickup holder?

And will the dummy coil be visible? I personally like the look of a middle "pickup"

Either way, this is a very fun watch
wisconsindead
New
Username: wisconsindead

Post Number: 3
Registered: 8-2014
Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - 12:04 pm:   Edit Post

Oops, mistake. So both the pick up and control areas are wood...?
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1840
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - 3:11 pm:   Edit Post

They look like bird's eye and burl, respectively.
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 266
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - 5:40 pm:   Edit Post

Edwin has it right.
For the time being it will just have the two pickups. I might go series later on.
funkyjazzjunky
Senior Member
Username: funkyjazzjunky

Post Number: 936
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 5:44 pm:   Edit Post

Love the burl for the pick-guard. What is the other type of wood used for the top?

VMG
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 8287
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 6:00 pm:   Edit Post

Gold mother of pearl inlays going in tomorrow, then the frets.
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1841
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 6:29 pm:   Edit Post

I'm wondering how the pickups will be suspended. Will they be screwed to the bottom of the routing with springs or will there be some kind of mounting on the surface to which they will be attached?

VMG, if you mean the rest of the bass (outside the pickup area), it's mahogany. Old Starfires were either mahogany or maple ply. The latter was used mostly for the sunburst models.
zomnius
Junior
Username: zomnius

Post Number: 23
Registered: 9-2013
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 11:42 pm:   Edit Post

what a pièce of art. great to see trapezoid pick-ups.
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 268
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 2:14 am:   Edit Post

Edwin, I don't actually know how the pickups are going to be mounted.

Here's the latest pic.The LED's look amber in this pic, but they are red. Feels like it's getting closer!

moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 269
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 11:44 pm:   Edit Post

Here are some more pics Mica sent. Needless to say, I'm thrilled as can be!

Here's the fingerboard with golden mother of pearl inlays

Fingerboard

Here are the inlaid logo shell bits. This pic has the first bit of oil finish applied.

pre logo

This pic has the logo resting on the headstock for a photo op only. Pre oil finish.
logo
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 270
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2014 - 12:04 am:   Edit Post

I've wanted an inlaid logo with shell on ebony ever since I first laid eyes on one, so this is a long held dream coming to fruition.
When I first discovered Alembic back in 1978, there were many things that caught my attention and fascinated me in a very deep way. One of the things that really struck me was how amazing it was that the company didn't need to have their name on the instrument. Everything you needed to know was right there in that beautifully designed logo. It's really quite exquisite.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3649
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2014 - 12:15 am:   Edit Post

Beautiful ! , I like the mysterious aspect as well !
mtjam
Advanced Member
Username: mtjam

Post Number: 205
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2014 - 5:07 am:   Edit Post

Looks great!
artswork99
Moderator
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 2009
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2014 - 6:22 am:   Edit Post

Yummy, looks great!
wisconsindead
New
Username: wisconsindead

Post Number: 4
Registered: 8-2014
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2014 - 7:44 am:   Edit Post

This is gonna be such a sweet bass when its finished. Love the fretboard. Is that silver for the alembic logo?
moonliner
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 272
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2014 - 3:25 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Wisconsin Dead! It's not the fancy, all silver option…. just the silver finish. Although now you have me thinking!

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