Alembic Guitar # 1

Re: Alembic Guitar # 1

Postby Pete B. » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:00 am

strumminsix wrote:
Pete B. wrote:Here's an Alembic right up my ally:
http://www.alembic.com/info/fc_7stringthing.html

Really? It's funny, you ask for 1 more and I think could easily do a KEEF! with only 5 for about 98% of the material.


I would NEVER try to do a Jerry G thing without a low E-string.
Hey KEEF!... Kick off Cold Rain and Snow...
Uhh... sorry mate!

I currently have three 7-string guitars (I've had a total of 4), and mostly play with Trios, where the extended range lies beautiffly, but you gotta think outside the box, right?
Wish I had that Alembic 7!

Back to the topic... Any closeups?... What's that big black looking thing on the body of this guitar???
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Re: Alembic Guitar # 1

Postby Staemius » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:17 am

This is Alembic #2 - though it's the first six string guitar. Casady owned #1. Gorgeous.
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Re: Alembic Guitar # 1

Postby strumminsix » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:31 am

Pete B. wrote:
strumminsix wrote:
Pete B. wrote:Here's an Alembic right up my ally:
http://www.alembic.com/info/fc_7stringthing.html

Really? It's funny, you ask for 1 more and I think could easily do a KEEF! with only 5 for about 98% of the material.


I would NEVER try to do a Jerry G thing without a low E-string.
Hey KEEF!... Kick off Cold Rain and Snow...
Uhh... sorry mate!

I said I could do it, not you :D
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Re: Alembic Guitar # 1

Postby tigerstrat » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:44 am

You may embed only 3 quotes within each other.


Keef's Teles are tuned to Open E w/o the low E, while his Strats and 335's have 6 strings in Standard tuning. Weirdly, the studio recording of "Gimme Shelter" is one of his most distinctive uses of 5-string Open E, but to perform the song live he uses an ES 335 in Std tuning.
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: Alembic Guitar # 1

Postby Pete B. » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:53 am

strumminsix wrote:I said I could do it, not you :D


Sorry friend but you left out the word "I". "I think could easily do a KEEF!"
Enough of the Keef! nonsense though, huh? :P

Oh Man I hate the anonomous doner pic things...
Obvioulsly I think they have more pics and more info, but now it's a 3rd party thing.
What's the story behind the body and neck design?
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Re: Alembic Guitar # 1

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:49 pm

strumminsix wrote:I said I could do it, not you :D


You could, but first you'd have to change your name to Strumminfive.
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Re: Alembic Guitar # 1

Postby strumminsix » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:48 pm

Rusty the Scoob wrote:
strumminsix wrote:I said I could do it, not you :D


You could, but first you'd have to change your name to Strumminfive.

LOL! and yes, Pete, I did miss an i. my bad.


Okay, so is this #1 or #2?
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Re: Alembic Guitar # 1

Postby Mandoborg » Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:01 pm

This is the first Alembic GUITAR. As we all know Cassidy had the first bass. Sorry for the confusion but i've always called guitars guitars and bass' bass' !!........... So..... with that , it's the first Alembic guitar and the second Alembic instrument !! :lol:
The Black spot on the front i was just told is a cut-out that goes clear through the body........ your seeing the dirt and sawdust on the ground behind it through the hole !!.......Now Alembic can even lay claim to doing a 'monkey grip' 25 yeas before Ibanez and that Steve Vai fella !!!

Think Frank Fuller and Rick Turner........I mean THANK Rick Turner and Frank Fuller..... :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail:


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Re: Alembic Guitar # 1

Postby Pete B. » Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:28 am

Mandoborg wrote: ...The Black spot on the front i was just told is a cut-out that goes clear through the body...

Thanks for the follow up on that! Was that a tonal decision or cosmetic?... It looks soooo close to the bridge support post.
Is it fair to assume someong was really into Mandolin at that time?.. hence the horn design?
I would love to read a full writeup on what they were thinking when they made this quitar, from top to bottom.
What's the story on the neck inlays?
Why is that top knob so close to the string strumming area?...
etc...
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Re: Alembic Guitar # 1

Postby Rick Turner » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:39 am

First of all, if you're talking who started Alembic, please do not leave out Bear whose idea it was in the first place to gather a technically adept team of creative engineer/craftspeople to create better tools for musicians. Bear founded Alembic, though he chose not to be a part of the original ownership.

This guitar shown was mostly designed by me, and Frank Fuller helped to build it at the Alembic shop on Judah St. in the Sunset District of San Francisco.

The so called "Peanut" guitar was one I put together in New York circa 1967 and '68. It had a Les Paul SG custom neck and three humbuckers plus the rather horrible Gibson "sidewinder" vibrato bar. I got the neck, pickups, wiring harness, and hardware from a friend who managed an apartment building. Some junkie had smashed the guitar, I got the parts and made a mahogany body with back and sides veneered in walnut with a wide marquetry stripe down the back. I put it together on my kitchen table at 13 Bleeker St. and used it wired stereo through a pedal board in my band AutoSalvage (you can find some YouTube stuff of ours) who recorded and album for RCA released in '68.

I modded the guitar for Garcia in '71. I have no idea where that guitar is, though I'd love to have it back.

I also made several pre-Alembic instruments that wound up being kind of blends of pre and Alembic electronics. The first neck-through is "the Pretzel Guitar" which was shown at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art about 10 years ago and which will be featured in a show of American crafts, 1945 to 1970 at the Museum of Art and Design in New York in the fall of 2011.

BTW these early instruments have my hand wound polyester cast pickups that evolved into what Alembic became known for.

I was also doing all the metal work other than tuning gears.
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Re: Alembic Guitar # 1

Postby waldo041 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:51 am

Rick,

as always, THANKS!

there you have it boys straight from the source, and i don't see the name SUSAN in any of the design talk he just laid out.

peace,
waldo
"Tone is in the instruments. Technique in the hands. Do what you will." ~ quote from some guy at the TGP forum
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Re: Alembic Guitar # 1

Postby Rick Turner » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:02 am

Susan was not involved with any guitar or bass design until after I left in the fall of 1978, and Micah was all of about 11 years old at that time, so her knowledge is really mostly second hand.

I designed all of what became known as the Series I and II instruments...wood, metal, and pickups (with Ron's help), and Ron designed the electronic circuitry for them. Frank Fuller was the first luthier we hired on to help in the Judah St. facility, and when we took over Pacific High Recorders at 60 Brady St., we moved the guitar and bass making facility up to Cotati to the infamous chicken ranch where my wife and I also lived. Later, we exited the studio business and Ron and Susan moved to Sebastapol where they put the electronics shop into yet another old barn. Eventually, in 1976, we consolidated operations on Industrial Ave. in Rohnert Park.

The people who really know the back-story are Frank and Larry Robinson who remain good friends to this day. There's much that cannot be told by me; it's too potentially inflammatory, a pun some will get!
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Re: Alembic Guitar # 1

Postby tigerstrat » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:28 am

thanks so much for joining the conversation Rick!

Nice to have confirmation that Jerry's 71 "peanut" guitar was indeed the same salvaged SG that you described in that old interview.

Do you remember him also playing a Guild S100 (SG copy) around 1971? or the flame LP Deluxe?

Did you do the bridge and neck mods on Garcia's natural finish 50's strat? Did it originally have a honey blond finish?
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: Alembic Guitar # 1

Postby jeffm725 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:47 pm

Awesome information Rick! Thanks!
.......................................................have you heard the one about the yellow dog?
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Re: Alembic Guitar # 1

Postby Mandoborg » Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:05 pm

Rick, it's funny seeing you on this forum as i'm usually asking questions over at Mandolin Cafe !! Ever since you told me to use Smiths epoxy for the fingerboards, i haven't had a neck back bow during fingerboard gluing since !! Anyway, i recently had a nice conversation with Frank and he spoke EXTREMELY highly of you and i though that was really cool . Told me about the ealry days and some neat stories from those times.
It's great to know the early pioneers are still friends, not to mention still viable to the hilt !!

Good to see you here.........Many of us have learned so much either directly of indirectly....... :hail:

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