Phil Saam and Tom Lieber have both convinced me to post shots of the bass I just built for myself. I don't know if it's still the same, but in the 70s at Alembic we used to be able to build one instrument for ourselves. I made a guitar when I was there, with the series 1 electronics, which were the standard issue at the time. A friend of mine bought the pickups, harness and power supply for a bass, but never got around to building it. Late last year I talked him into selling it to me and here's the result.
As far as Phil's 5 string, he told me to fill in the rest of the story. After 10 years of waiting, he finally took the unfinished body halves and square neck blank away from Doug and had me make the bass for him. About the only thing that was finished when I got it was the neck inlay. Phil had me glue it all together, make a peghead, carve the neck, make the maple top plates and inlay the dragon on the back, as well as manufacture the hardware and sliding pickup rails, and carve the edges of the purple heart top plates. I remember the whole process taking about three months, including spraying a finish. Years later, Phil had Michael Dolan, another Alembic alumnus, do some more work on it. I don't recall making the gryphon inlay on the left top plate, or the chrome tag below the tailpiece, but I'm sure Phil can supply that information.
Another Alembic bass that used to belong to Phil can be seen at prairiesun.com. Once you're into the site, click on the "Gear" button and scroll down to the "Basses and Amps" section. That puppy weighs about 25 pounds...
- red cedar top and back, 11 piece purple heart and oak veneer neck, monkeypod wood core and polyester finish
- IMG_1478e.jpg (101.81 KiB) Viewed 1277 times
- IMG_1467e.jpg (138.58 KiB) Viewed 1277 times