Author Topic: Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation  (Read 1286 times)

andertone

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Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation
« on: September 22, 2017, 07:23:42 AM »
Looks like this bass is going to be meticulously restored.  <FB snip>. The world is now a better place :-)


Rick Turner  OK, it's Alembic #001 which I built for Jack Casady (spelling counts here!); most of the construction was in 1971 at the facility at 360 Judah St., and I finished it off at the infamous Chicken Ranch Alembic shop in Cotati, CA. Ron Wickersham made the electronic circuits; I did the rest...wood work and carvings, bridge, fine tuning tailpiece, fingerboard inlay, pickups, sliding pickup mounting system, LED side dots.  I'm restoring it to it's original electronics concept with modular electronics on brass "console channel strips", and I'll make new bird's eye front plates to match the originals.  I'll save the later Alembic "Series" electronics as a kind of historical record, but use new preamps and filters from John East in England with the original pickups.  This will take a while, and I'll document it carefully.  This bass was really the clincher in establishing the Alembic instrument building style, even though later instruments had the full "hippie sandwich" body construction.  This was not my first neck-through...the Pretzel guitar preceded it in 1969/1970.  This was the second instrument in history with LED side dots, David Crosby's 12 string being the first.   

pauldo

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Re: Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2017, 08:12:52 AM »
mmmmm.  :-D
1984 Distillate Zebrawood

CaseyVancouver

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Re: Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2017, 09:21:02 AM »
Huh? New filters and preamps from England. 

Restore all of Casady's finger scratches, marks and mojo out of it?
Why ...to make it like new?  Once restored it is never original again.

Restored '60s pre basses are worth about 40% less than original.
Restoration has gotta hit this bass's value.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 01:04:43 PM by CaseyVancouver »

hankster

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Re: Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2017, 06:06:30 PM »
Well, this is dreadful.

R.

pauldo

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Re: Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2017, 05:19:26 AM »
I may be mistaken... but I thought 001 was M.I.A. For awhile and when recovered it's condition was of want for a refurb....   :-\
1984 Distillate Zebrawood

edwardofhuncote

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Re: Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2017, 06:21:45 AM »
I'm 100% in favor of restoring an instrument to playing condition so it can be enjoyed and experienced as intended, and 100% against ever having one locked up in a trophy case. The finest Stradivari violins need to be played, and a racehorse has got to run.

I remember feeling the same way a couple years ago when RT had the Osage Orange "Mission Control" bass in for "restoration" and had similar plans for its electronics. It ended up at Gruhn's in Nashville with all the woodwork complete but nothing else (at least nothing apparent) done. Maybe we'll see the next chapter of that one unfold here someday.

First of all on #72-001, what exactly needs restoration? Most accounts I've read suggest that bass was a work-in-progress from day one. The installed electronics in the above picture are configured like more modern Series electronics, and they definitely are not the ones in older pictures of that bass, so the pickguards have already been swapped out at least once. The bridge also appears to be the more modern type. So that bass has already been altered several times, making originality to 1972 specs much less of an issue. It looks to be intact structurally, at least enough to hold strings, though hard to tell specifics without more detailed pictures.  So what needs fixing here?

I wouldn't want to speak out of turn, since whoever has #001 can obviously do what they wish, but it seems to me the folks to restore the preamps and filters are a lot closer to RT than England. It's a shame circumstances are such they can't work together on this one, given the significance. That's about as diplomatic as I can put things, and not open any old wounds.

I remain an interested reader.

[moderator's edit:  corrected dates by request]
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 05:28:03 PM by David Houck »

hammer

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Re: Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2017, 07:26:18 AM »
Very nicely stated Greg. I couldn't agree with you more.

zomnius

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Re: Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2017, 08:36:20 AM »
so awesome!

lbpesq

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Re: Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2017, 09:01:31 AM »
Greg, I was thinking along the same lines, but couldn't have stated it as diplomatically.  When I bought #10 with only half if the original electronics in working order, a trip to Santa Rosa was the only option I ever considered, no offense to our friends across the pond.

Bill, tgo

rv_bass

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Re: Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2017, 09:07:50 AM »
Deleted text since Greg covered the current vs original electronics configuration already.

« Last Edit: September 23, 2017, 09:31:22 AM by rv_bass »

David Houck

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Re: Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2017, 01:26:22 PM »
I may be mistaken... but I thought 001 was M.I.A. for awhile and when recovered it's condition was of want for a refurb....   :-\

Paul; you might be thinking of this bass.

pauldo

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Re: Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2017, 06:26:03 PM »
Yes, that's the one.

Dave you are special!
1984 Distillate Zebrawood

edwin

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Re: Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2017, 09:49:54 AM »


Restore all of Casady's finger scratches, marks and mojo out of it?
Why ...to make it like new?  Once restored it is never original again.

Restored '60s pre basses are worth about 40% less than original.
Restoration has gotta hit this bass's value.

My guess is that Casady's marks on this bass are long gone. But I would check the stash box, just in case.

sonicus

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Re: Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2017, 09:08:34 PM »
When on FB  Mr Turner  made it a guessing contest . I appears the I made the correct guess  really fast . I have just been around for too long , LOL ! Too old  . It s fun to be old and well around these parts :)  I wish that Alembic would  be doing this  work actually on 72-001!  He is talking about installing non Alembic electronics in this historic instrument . That is just WRONG  in my opinion !  I do not like that . ;)


Wolf
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 09:18:16 PM by sonicus »

pauldo

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Re: Alembic #001 Rick Turner rennovation
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2017, 02:57:55 AM »
When on FB  Mr Turner  made it a guessing contest . I appears the I made the correct guess  really fast . I have just been around for too long , LOL ! Too old  . It s fun to be old and well around these parts :)  I wish that Alembic would  be doing this  work actually on 72-001!  He is talking about installing non Alembic electronics in this historic instrument . That is just WRONG  in my opinion !  I do not like that . ;)


Wolf

Well if that is true I am jumping on the other side of the fence. Wrong move there.
1984 Distillate Zebrawood