James is leveling the fingerboard prior to pressing in the frets. The fingerboard is given a 12 degree radius in the shop before it is attached to the neck. It must still be leveled and sanded to insure that it will be buzz free when you go to play it. James levels pic
James frets pic James is pressing the fret wire tangs into the fingerboard. We use jumbo fret wire on our basses and guitars.

James is making sure that the frets are securely in place. He does this by using a brass tool we made for this purpose and taps across the tool with the ball peen hammer.

James pic
Jon glues pic Jonathan is gluing the ends of the frets in. We take every opportunity to insure that when you purchase an Alembic instrument it will stand up to the rigors of playing. This attention to detail is evident throughout every model we make. We don't claim to be perfect and since there is no perfect material to work from there can be problems but we have given much consideration to how the instruments are manufactured so that should there be problems they are almost always repairable. An Alembic is simply not a throw away instrument, short of it being run over by an eighteen wheeler or falling off a high precipice to rocks below.

We use threaded metal inserts wherever there will be a screw. The wood on its own is too easy to strip out and make it impossible to screw anything in again should a part need to be replaced. This work is done in the set-up room. inserts  pic
Installing tuners pic Gold tuners being installed on an Epic 4-string bass.
Bob measures the distance between the strings to insure that the spacing is the standard that we use on all models unless special ordered to be something different. Bob measures pic
Bob slots pic Bob is slotting the height adjustable nut for the exact string spacing necessary for accurate playability.
The electronics cavity is shielded with pure silver conductive paint. The inside of the cover is painted the same way making a shielded box to prevent RF interference with the electronics. This shielding unlike nickel, carbon or copper shielding will not degrade over time. It will last the entire life of the instrument. We have been doing this for 28 years now and have never had an occasion for the silver shielding to fail. It is expensive and the price fluctuates with the precious metals market. James is installing a modular harness for this Epic Bass. We make all the electronic parts including the pickups with the mini coax cable and gold plated contact plugs. Should you need to have a part replaced, there is no soldering necessary. We can airmail a part and you can exchange it yourself without the added expense of taking it to a repair shop. Cavity pic
James slots pic James is slotting the saddles on the bridge. He does this at the same time that he slots the nut. In this fashion he will achieve an equal alignment of the strings to the edges of the fingerboard. A standard of ours is to have the strings come from the nut down the neck over the bridge saddles and anchor at the tailpiece in alignment. This is not only looks nice but in addition there will be less loss of energy when the string is plucked.
Bob is playing the entire neck to make sure that the frets are dressed properly and the feel of playing the neck is harmonious and smooth to the touch. Bob plays pic
James plays pic James is plugged in and doing the all over playability testing. He is also doing the final intonation of this beautiful Wenge Epic 4-string bass. He checks to make sure there are no buzzes on the neck as well and that there is sufficient adjustment in the truss rods for any forward or back adjusting it might require when it reaches its final destination. This is probably the most fun job here!
Kathy is final inspection before any instrument leaves the factory. She makes sure that all the screws are there. I know you're thinking, "what, check the screws?" Well yes, sometimes in setup they miss a screw on a backplate or some minor thing like that. We would rather we found and corrected it before it leaves the factory so you don't think we don't know what we're doing. Thank you Kathy. Kathy inspects pic
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