1. Welcome to TalkBass 2014! If you're new here, we just went through a major site upgrade. Please post all concerns and bugs to the Forum Usage Issues forum. We will be monitoring that forum. Thank you for all of your feedback.

    The TalkBass iphone/android app is NOT WORKING currently. We're working on it. Tapatalk IS working, so if you need to use an app, use Tapatalk. Try using your browser though - TalkBass is now 100% responsive to your phone/tablet screen size ;)

    Please read the TalkBass 2014 FAQ for lots of great info on the new software.

Steinberger - L2 or XL2 - what is the REAL difference?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by markorbit, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. markorbit

    markorbit

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK so I've dig out my old XL2 and I'm starting to think 'wow, what a great bass' BUT it just doesn't quite have the mojo of the old L2 that I used to have and I'm not sure why.

    I know that on the original L2s:-
    - the screws are on the top faceplate
    - the battery compartment is centered
    - the 3 knobs are styled differently
    - the pickups are the orig EMG SS (mine has been retrofitted)
    - the bridge has the knife-edge saddles

    But what else changed? I THINK that the XL2 doesn't sound as Steinie as the L2 did and unless it is my imagination the neck seems a little more chunky but that could just be poppycock.

    Can anyone shed any light on these excellent basses. Are L2s better and if so, why do you think that is?
  2. Rodent

    Rodent

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    IIRC the XL2 also had a different 'nut' system for holding the string balls than the original

    all the best,

    R
  3. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Likes Received:
    3
    The two of you have pretty much nailed it. One other thing was the knee rest on the L2 was detachable, where it just flipped down on the XL2. I owned both for several years, and to tell you the truth, they sounded and felt almost identical.
  4. markorbit

    markorbit

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was under the impression that the mould changed structurally and I wondered if anybody could confirm that and say 'yes, the old ones resonated much better' or something...

    Wonderful basses though. I'm definitely going through a Steinbergers are so cool phase.

    I'm always accidentally rotating the knobs though, wish I could really tighten them up somehow.
  5. Rodent

    Rodent

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I must have had a transition XL2 then, as mine had the removable 'half hoop' leg rest (not the flip down thingy) and XL2 style nut. I really like the original leg rest, and how it would pivit - really made this comfortable to play sitting.

    I don't recall the XL2 having a battery box ... XL2A maybe, but the XL2 was passive all the way.

    FWIW, mine was Ser#1066 IIRC

    all the best,

    R
  6. lowrez

    lowrez no.

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    All XL2s have a battery compartment as the emgs require em. The xl2as also have a active preamp... I think the only passive basses (spare spirits) were The Flying V-ish looking P series.
  7. One Drop

    One Drop Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    There seems to be a bit of confusion here about active versus passive Steinbergers. The EMG pickups in all the L-series basses (Ls and XLs) are active, while the XL-2A also has a Haz Labs preamp (active electronics)

    I've owned a few of each over the years (except for an XL-2A) and I definitely hear the difference between the SS PUPs in the L2 and the later ones used in the XL-2. The L2s sound considerably warmer. I usually had flats on them, as I do on one of the two early L2s I own now.

    The only other difference tonally might be due to the knife-edge bridge, but I can't quantify it. The sustain on all the graphite Steinbergers is insane.

    The necks might have a slightly different profile, but I never noticed a particular difference.

    The pivot plate changed as well with the newer model; they are slightly different in size, and the later one has a mottled matte finish while the one on the L was smooth and glossy.

    The only other relevant issue I've heard about involves some VERY early L2s. Apparently Ned was experimenting with different composites for the bodies, so they weren't identical at first, and thus some might sound a bit different.

    There are a lot of transitional examples out there, with one or the other leg-rest, for example.
  8. A9X

    A9X

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Likes Received:
    0
  9. stacker

    stacker

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Likes Received:
    0
    Have to say I agree - to an extent - with One Drop's comment that L2s sound warmer. I've not long taken delivery of an early '80s model and, compared to my XL2A, it does sound a tad warmer. I'm gonna have to explore this A/B test a bit more, but I doubt it's the pups; possibly the active circuit, even set flat? Unless someone with both an early L2 and and later XL2 (non active circuit) has done a similar comparison? Perhaps they can comment?

Share This Page