Author Topic: Restoring Mark's Custom Series II Bass  (Read 3624 times)

mica

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Restoring Mark's Custom Series II Bass
« on: March 11, 2015, 06:37:11 PM »
So let's start off with a nice "before" picture:  

  At first glance, things don't look too bad here, even the crazing of the finish looks pretty cool. But there are some serious issues to address.   First, we gotta get those Bird's-eye Maple inlays to stay put:  

  and then we need to scrape off the finish that was starting to fall off in chunks:  

 

  and it's pretty well stripped now:  

 

 

  This is one of those oxidization lines I was telling you about on the phone:

  And that nasty business at the bottom (gee, that sounds gross!):

  Inlay looks cool (and the first pass at the bevel):

  One of the inlays might want replacing:

  And you'll be able to see the side dots again:

  Like I mentioned on the phone, we've got to give the wood a week or so to develop the purple color again. There's a few things we meed to discuss further, but all in all, it's looking good!

mica

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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 06:40:48 PM »
This is what the bottom looked like before we stripped it:
 

mavnet

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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2015, 06:54:30 PM »
Wow. I'm glad you called me first  
All in all, not bad for being 38 though...
Anyone reading this - Mica asked if I saw this and just liked it, or asked for this design. Actually, and soooo hard to imagine doing this today, back in 77, after deciding on the long scale with small body, I just asked Rick Turner to make something really cool. I didn't see it until it was done. I worked a little more closely with Ron, though. I told him I wanted a lot of knobs and a lot of control and asked what he'd suggest. It's got one SF-2 filter and one series 2, plus some cool switches that put the filters in and out of series. Hey, I was a kid and I figured they knew what they were doing. And they did. And still do.

David Houck

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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2015, 07:20:10 PM »
It will be really nice to see this one restored!

jazzyvee

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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 03:19:18 AM »
I agree Dave it is a lovely looking bass. I'm sure I've seen another with a similar look but not the same electronics.
The sound of Alembic is medicine for the soul!

moongerm

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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 09:22:58 PM »
Wow this is incredibly unique! Yes, can't wait to see this one restored. In addition I am very curious how it sounds with all of those features? Is it more unique sounding the standard series electronics? I haven't seen a setup like this.

sonicus

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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2015, 03:19:40 AM »
Quite certainly I feel surges of lust for this Bass as well ;  from many different perspectives in fact !  Both sides of my brain simultaneously ,mind , body and soul even ! What is not to love here ? So she is in the salon for a make over , watch out when she steps out ! She will mesmerize everyone with looks , charm and sound .   A Beautiful Rare Bird .

mavnet

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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2015, 08:29:28 AM »
Sounds pretty amazing. Or pretty terrible  there are a LOT of ways to screw the sound up. Usually I get a basic sound I'm happy with with the straight series electronics, then put the SF into bandpass with a relatively high Q and sweep it around looking for some general ranges, then pull the Q back down and check out either low or high pass, depending on what the room/amp needs. The pickup selector also comes into play - options are neck to SF + bridge to Series, reverse, neck to both, or bridge to both. I've only rarely run the elecs in series, never really got the hang of that.

mavnet

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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2015, 08:38:38 AM »
She's got a sister, btw - a fretless, same shape, same electronics. Same core woods, but ebony front and back (and fingerboard). Bone nut. Oil finish. Really, really amazing instrument, tender and expressive. Both of them have the great low fundamental from the long scale, both have a fair amount of neck dive from the lack of balance between the long neck and the small body (i've got 2 of the 7 or so that ever Alembic made in that combo, because of that result). The fretless goes back for an oil change and tune up once this one comes back.

moongerm

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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 02:44:12 PM »
That was great Wolf, ha!  
 
Mark, that is a heavy duty, functional setup! Ron is truly amazing! So if you had a custom build to do all over again would you add in the onboard SF2 like you have here or would you change anything?  
 
A hot sister too! Yeah! Pictures please, lol!

mica

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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2015, 08:31:32 PM »
Just a little more sanding on the body and we're in full wait mode:  

  A little better view of a few of the cracks and the oxidization lines:  

  The cracks will repair nicely, and once we get a coat of sealer on we can see how those oxidization lines wind up looking.

mavnet

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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2015, 10:31:33 AM »
At least on the front, the lines you pointed out are along the grain, so I'm guessing probably won't be so noticeable. Nice to see the wood again!

mavnet

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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2015, 10:46:58 AM »
Brian - 1) yes, Ron is amazing!, and 2) definitely would go with SF again. But i'd go with 2 channels, not just one. The other change i'd make, and maybe i can still make it on this one, is to have notch filtering. My SF channel has hi pass, bandpass,, and lowpass, but not notch.  
 
Mica - is that possible, to add back in the SF notch filtering (would mean a 4 way switch instead of the 3 way toggle, plus whatever magic Ron would have to do to the electronics)? If it helps, I just found the schematics (in your dad's hand) for the electronics.

mica

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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2015, 05:24:26 PM »
I'll ask dad about adding the notch filtering to this bass (and I guess the fretless one too). If it's not too much trouble, please scan and send me what you have - I may or may not have the same documentation.   Here's where we are now. We did the first bit of repairing cracks and have a sealer coat on.   General view:

  Closeup of the cracks and oxidization I posted last Friday:

 There is some more work to do on the central core laminate, but all in all, this is looking good!  Closeup of the nasty business:

 With it so shiny, it's kinda hard to tell what is going on here, but I think you can see how nice the color matching went, especially right next to the neck. Here you can see more of the oxidization lines - I don't find them distracting myself.   I just wanted to show another view of the lovely colors:

 The Cherry core looks sublime. The black border around the inlaid top needed repair all around. There's gobs of black glue and Ebony dust that when sanded away will neaten that sharp line right up.   And that logo you haven't seen like this in a while:

  Things are looking really nice I think.

mavnet

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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2015, 05:43:23 PM »
Wow wow wow wow  That purple heart is amazing. The repairs look like things that if i didn't know about, I wouldn't see.  
Also - wow!