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any opinions on Steinberger Synapse?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Swift713, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I've been admiring the design of the Steinberger Synapse, specifically the fretless 5string. Anyone got one of these or have an educated opinion? The 2 reviews at harmony central were not glowing. I used to have a Hohner B2a and I loved it but it wasn't the fattest sound. Thanks...
  2. richnota

    richnota Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    Santa Cruz
    I bought a synapse fretless 5 and returned it. I felt it had no resonance, uneven sound string-to-string, and was far too heavy for its size. The original was a brilliant instrument--i have no idea why this was seen as an improvement.

    I had a hohner and IMO this is too much like it for the price.

    Disappointing, the piezo+mag combo and design looked promising.
  3. Lazyboy


    May 17, 2006
    Wow. Interesting how different opinions can be.

    As for it being "far too heavy for it's size", I'm not sure what the size has to do with it. Would you feel better if it had a big, bulbous body.

    Fact: The Synapse 5 string fretless is between 8 and 8.5 lbs. Extremely light for a 5 string fretless bass with active electronics. It feels even lighter, as it is the most perfectly balanced bass I've ever had. DISCLAIMER: In 40 years of playing bass on the stage, I've never even noticed weight, balance, or neck dive. I never had a talk with another professional that mentioned these things. I first saw them mentioned on this forum. I admit, I've been lifting weights religiously since I was 13, but there must be a lot of really weak sisters on here. ;) The funny thing is, since I've been on here, I now take note of weight, balance etc. when I put on one of my basses. I notice that I wear them differently to adjust for this. None of them is a problem to play all night.

    Uneven sound across strings.

    Fact: There are trimpots for the piezos so that the output can be adjusted across strings. EMG magnetic pickup can be adjusted roughly by mounting screws.

    Lacks resonance.

    If you mean it doesn't have sweet spots and dead spots, I agree. The sound is extremely crisp and accurate.

    I've never had a bass that had so much variety of sound (Well, except for my Roland GR-77 synth bass and my Vbass ;) )

    I can understand disagreement about "tones" or "mojo", but I don't see how we can disagree about measurables and technical parameters. You can just put the damned thing on a scale, for goodness sake. Sounds like you didn't set the bass up properly.

    My beefs about the bass:

    "industrial" styling.
    no attempt to cover wires from piezo in bridge. No signs of great craftsmanship.

    My personal problems with the bass:

    I like short scale four strings. A long scale 5 string is probably not a good bass to START playing a fretless. :)

    The accuracy, clear snappy high end, deep bottom, extreme flexibility of frequency response, and amazing slick phenolic fret board are the highlights.

    Bass player magazine has a good review of the Synapse bass.
  4. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    With all due respect, Bass Player had a "good" review of Wishbass. ;)
  5. richnota

    richnota Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    Santa Cruz
  6. Lazyboy


    May 17, 2006
    Sorry I wasn't more clear. I meant the the review was good, and would be a useful read for the thread starter, not that it was glowingly favorable to the bass.

    Richnota: Yeah, the setup mine came with was totally unplayable. And yes, the tone is dry, almost wholly without character. I like that, because it's a tabula rasa. I like that "child of clay" thing with instruments. As long as all the frequencies are represented, then I can get whatever sound I want with my amplification/recording chain.
  7. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
  8. zadillo


    Nov 20, 2006
    Baltimore, MD
    I'm sort of interested in trying out the 4-string Steinberger Synapse, but haven't been able to find much info on it (I guess it is newer).
  9. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    Excellent instrument. Tried a few fretless versions of the Synapse that I returned as all had setup/string or other defects. Bad luck I guess. But the fretted is very nice. I played XL2s for 15 years...

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