Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #133092  by TI4-1009
 Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:03 pm
I never noticed that before. Anyone know "how hollow?
 #133104  by TI4-1009
 Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:39 pm
 #133109  by waldo041
 Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:30 pm
Andrew Olson confirmed this. It was also confirmed by Frank Fuller as an early Alembic practice not necessarily for it's sonics, although it had to have had some attributes caused by it, but more for weight. Frank stated to me that they would also drill holes in the neck where the wings meet sometimes as well. Too much and the guitar won't be balance correctly. To answer your question, i do not know exactly how much of the wings was hollowed out, but it was.

 #133110  by HeadSpace
 Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:44 pm
Thanks. Never noticed that detail. Interesting.

Only one solution here: We're gonna have to X-Ray it.
 #133111  by TI4-1009
 Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:48 pm
Wow. Thanks waldo.
 #133148  by softmachine72
 Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:03 pm
I usually make a electronics cavity size hole on both sides and then a little pocket up top on both sides . I made the mistake, on an early build ,of hollowing out the whole wing just leaving 1 1/4 in. on the neck side and 1-1/2 on the out side all the way around and the body warped after glue up. That fine mistake is still hanging on my shop wall. If you are going to take any out up top leave plenty of meat (2-3 in.)between upper and lower chambers.
 #133170  by proshy
 Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:27 am

You should check out the 'factory to customer' forum from alembic: (
When i was starting out making guitars, i would often go there to learn from their build process pictures.

Alembic's build process/Irwin's build process could have been different in the seventies from what it is now, but i've seen current pics of the 'further' guitar with hollow wings on the forum. Might give you a better visual representation (speculative correlation) of what the 'wolf' could be like inside.

check this one out (alembic tiger tribute model): ... 1158529132

:-) ,
 #133187  by softmachine72
 Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:29 pm
That is a great shot but, it is not entirely applicable here.On that particular design the the top will meet in the middle, covering the neck section.This will add to structural integrity and prevent any possible warpage. On the wolf the wings are independent unto themselves, and cant be hollowed out that much. (the neck block shows through the top) You could use that basic pattern but leave a 2 in. piece in the center of the cavity to give it strength and brace it from movement.
 #133188  by jalevinemd
 Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:33 pm
Also bear in mind that the Alembic Tribute model is a set neck guitar. IIRC, that's one of the only neck-thru Tributes they've done.
 #133192  by proshy
 Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:54 pm
true..while the tribute's semi hollow cavities are not exactly "applicable" to the wolf's cavities ( i know, completely different guitar) i think the forum as a research tool, to get an idea of how Alembic constructs other neck through semi hollow wings, is very much "applicable"...that is, if we accept the theory that the wolf's construction is similar to other guitars and basses constructed by alembic.

Consider this bass build thread as a more suitable example: ... 1083378953

If were talking in 'exacts', I guess the only way to find out "how hollow" the actual wolf is would be to get it to a x-ray office (interesting idea and i would totally post the pics here first :-) ). They've done it to a stradivari violin, why not wolf :lol: !

:-) ,
 #133213  by softmachine72
 Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:13 pm
I guess I assumed that you were building one. On that point, I was trying to share some of my experience in building the Wolf guitars I've built. That particular Alembic bass build is an example of what has given me trouble in the past. Obviously , proper choice of grain orientation could mitigate a lot of the wood movement issues but, the warp-age can happen, when there is a differential between the wet glued seam and the dry outside of the wing assembly . It only happened once but, for a small builder like myself that is enough after all of that work. I could do it 100 more times and it may never happen again. I"ll ask Micah how may throw-away wings they have or if it ever happens to them. I too would love to see the x-ray's and we could settle this.