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Description

Retrofret Stock # 5283. Alembic Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1974), made in Sonoma County, California, serial # 74-117, 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 clich´┐Ż. 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.

Year Condition Color Case
1974 Excellent natural oil varnish Original Hard

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Retrofret Vintage Guitars
Brooklyn New York, NY
9:22 AM
Monday - Friday 12noon - 7pm Saturday 12noon - 6pm Other times and days often available by appointment. Feel free to contact us.

We accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover directly for phone orders as well as in person. If you would like to pay by credit card online, secure payments can also be made through PayPal (payment email account paypal@retrofret.com). Personal checks are gladly accepted, but must clear our bank before we will send an instrument. Cashiers Checks, Wire Transfers and Money Orders will be proccessed as cash payments with no waiting period.

Retrofret has been shipping instruments throughout the USA and worldwide for nearly 20 years. We have yet to experience a single instance of damage (...I hope this doesn't jinx our perfect record). Retrofret's shipping department can send parcels via UPS, Fedex, USPS, BAX, DHL and DSV Air and Yusen Air Cargo. We ship instruments and other items on a 48 hour approval basis once we received payment in full. Shipping charges and taxes are not included in the prices listed. Mail order shipments within New York are subject to sales tax of 8.875%. Shipments out of state are not subject to NY city and state tax, although the buyer assumes all other tax requirements of their municipality. Before sending payment, please call to confirm the instrument's availability and the cost of shipment.

If you decide not to keep an instrument shipped to you, notify us by telephone, fax or email within 48 hours of receiving it. We'll take note to expect the return. Please ship it in the same carton via UPS, insured for its full value. We will refund the price of the instrument as soon as we receive it, provided it arrives in the condition in which it left the shop. The customer is responsible for all shipping charges.