Friday, June 22, 2018
New York String Service Musurgia.com
233 Butler Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
- Fri 12noon - 7pm
Sat 12noon - 6pm
online securely with
Alembic Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1974)
Alembic Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1974), made in Sonoma County, California, natural oil varnish finish, zebrawood, maple and walnut laminate body, maple and walnut laminate neck, ebony fingerboard, original black tolex hard shell case.
Alembic were the definitive guitar and bass trendsetters of the early 1970's, virtually creating the concept of the high-end electric bass and guitar custom shop. The small California company built utterly distinctive instruments with elaborate active electronics and striking multilaminate wood bodies that influenced many larger builders worldwide in the 70's and 80's, with a "natural" look that eventually became almost a cliché. The actual 1970's Alembics were always very expensive super-high end instruments, built to order in very limited numbers by a small team of luthiers headed up by Rick Turner. This guitar is extremely rare; most period Alembic instruments were basses, and most of the extant guitars have a 3-on-a-side headstock.
At the time it was made, Alembic was strictly a hand-building operation, and each instrument was custom-crafted to an individual order. This one was likely made for a player who was versed in Stratocasters; the single sided head, scale length and neck contour are all reminiscent of a Fender. We asked Rick Turner about this guitar, and he graciously told us that perhaps only 4-6 of these "Fender" style headstock guitars were built in this era.
This one is faced in particularly striking zebrawood, with a super pronounced swirling grain. The body is not solid, but has a number of internal tone chambers. Electronics are typical for Alembic, with two active pickups, a "dummy" coil in the center and very wide range tone controls, including 3-way the "Q" voicing filter switch for each PU. A really cool and unique 70's guitar, an excellent player and one of the rarest "modern" guitars we have seen.
Overall length is 42 1/2 in. (108 cm.), 15 1/2 in. (39.4 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.). Appears all original and completely unaltered; some very light wear overall but does not appear to have been played extensively since new. There is a small stress crack repaired long ago on the treble side of the headstock, coming off the rear laminate-it looks like the guitar may have bounced around in the case at some point. Still an excellent example of an extremely rare instrument. Includes the original giant rectangular case, also suitable for a bass! Overall Excellent Condition.
Item # 5283
This item has been sold.
Click on a thumbnail above for a detailed view.
All text and photographs © 2003 New York String Service
and may not be reproduced without permission.