I have some modifications to post about the description of this instrument.
First of all, Phil Saam passed away last week at the age of 63, from complications of diabetes. He was a good friend and I'd known him since the mid 1970's when I started working at Alembic. Phil was a hell of a bass player and was in the Beach Blanket Babylon production in SF for several years as their bass player in the orchestra. I was pretty sad to hear of his death, but it had been a downward spiral for many years, and he was at the point where he couldn't even feel the strings under his fingers,so he had to give up playing. I hate to say it, but he is probably better off than having to go through more years of misery.
As far as the 5 string bass pictured here, Phil paid Doug Irwin several thousand dollars to make it, probably around 1970-71, and after ten years of no progress he finally took back what had been done with it and paid me to finish it. When I got it there was an uncarved neck blank with a fingerboard attached, but no peghead plate. The fingerboard was inlaid and fretted. It doesn't look like Doug's inlay work, but I'd hazard a guess that he may have paid Bruce BecVar to do it. It's quite nicely done. There were two body halves in the typical Alembic sandwich style, but they hadn't been rounded over or carved and there were no maple plates in them or control access plates in the back. I did all that stuff at my shop in Cotati, including finish and a set of Alembic Series 1 electronics and sliding pickups, finishing around 1981.
Somewhere around 2000 Phil had Michael Dolan work on it, and the electronics were changed out, and the peghead had been broken, so that was replaced along with different tuners and a cheesy inlay that I would rather not be associated with, so the bass is really a Frankenstein, although it plays great and sounds killer.