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Anyone have opinions on the steinberger

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lowpro, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    Sans the looks, I was wondering if anyone has soundclips or personal experience with the steinberger. I'm trying to find a bass with a lot of mid crunch, well hell, I want it to have everything to be honest, why gimp myself with one good sound...

    But I digress, im trying to find a double humbucker kinda bass, and I own a Spector NS4CR, figure'd Steinberger's may feel up my alley.

    So yea, experience, personal opinions?
  2. Listen to Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, or Hold Your Fire by Rush. Geddy was using Steinbergers from Signals up until Presto (though some songs have different bass guitars. Try listening to Time Stand Still, or watch the ridiculous video on YouTube, I believe he used a Stein on that one).
  3. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    o_O i didn't know Geddy used a Steinberger.

    Can't say im a slapper at heart, just a guy who enjoys a lotta crunch. It's either this or I save up for a Rick.
  4. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    One thing to consider is whether you want an all-graphite Steinberger L- or XL- series, or just one of the bolt-on wooden ones that have the same shape? In other words, are you interested in them because of the one-piece composite construction, or do you mostly like the shape and electronics?

    The L- and XL-series all-composite basses stopped being made in 1998 IIRC, and can sell for considerably more than the newer XT, Spirit or Synapse models, depending on condition.


    I'll never sell mine. I can get the most fantastic dub tone with it, or modern rock, or whatever.
  5. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    As far as body goes I don't care shapewise unless it's not to ergonomical. Part of me wonders how it aclimates, I live in Alabama, very humid during the summer. Mostly though I'm trying to find a midcrunchy bass, and because I enjoy my Spector a lot, but HATE most of their line other than the NS series, I figure'd the Steinberger may work well for me.
  6. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    The old graphite ones are basically impervious to weather. I used to live in Georgia, and temperature and humidity didn't change a thing. It has no truss rod, nor has ever needed one.

    At least some of the Steinbergers made in the last 10 years or so have graphite channels in the neck which should help stabilize it some. I'm not sure which models have them.

    Anything made of wood will have some humidity issues, though some basses fare better than others in how much they respond. I don't know how the recent ones perform, personally.

    I think the Ric might be more what you're ultimately looking for. The L- and XL- series basses generally sell used for about the same as a new Ric.
  7. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    Yea that's why I specifically wanted to Steinberger, likewise I still want a good middy crunchy sound which can cut well through guitar and drums.

    Lol wanna hear the one reason why i'm hesistant on a Ric? I don't dick anything less than 24 frets, i'm snake bittenw ith em. Had a Fender MIM Jazz, didn't dig it. I never use that octave range but I use up to a 22nd fret.
  8. Earwigger

    Earwigger I'm a Roland man now.

    Aug 23, 2005
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I heard a great blues band the other night with a killer bass tone. I look on stage... BAM, old L-series Steinberger. It looks really underwhelming, but the clarity and tone were just great. I was expecting a Ken Smith or something. Standard Ampeg 8x10 and SVT-2 head w/ the L-series = a nice, meaty tone. Good amount of mids.
  9. Oh, yeah. He used them for a while, mostly because of how ergonomic they are, so he could spin and jump and everything without knocking over the mic stand or hitting the keyboards. He dumped it when they went to Presto (I believe because either it was a little too funky or not funky enough, and didn't offer him a bottom end comparable to his other basses), and began using mostly Wals until Counterparts.

    I've never tried a Rick, and I won't get one unless I start making serious cheese... I'm more than happy with Geddy's signature model. Try listening to Snakes and Arrows - except for Malignant Narcissism, it's all the J (MalNar was a fretless Jaco tribute bass). I would call the J sufficiently "crunchy", if I have my terminology correct.
  10. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    Errr no. It seems you've become a bit mixed up there.

    Geddy used the Steinberger to record all of the bass guitar parts on Grace Under Pressure. He also used it on the Grace Uder Pressure live video.

    However, when Power Windows was being recorded, the producer Peter Collins, who had done a lot of work on the English pop scene (where Wal's were very much in fashion due to the likes of Mick Karn) persuaded Geddy to try recording with his Wal bass. He loved it, citing it's "fruity" bottom sound. After this, he would go on to record the whole album with that one Wal, as well as ordering two more Wal basses.

    IIRC correctly their production was staggered, he received one before he went on tour, and toured at first using the Steinberger and the Wal. During the tour he received his second Wal and the Steinberger was relegated. He used the Wal basses to record Hold Your Fire, and again, toured that album with the Wal basses in tow. This was to be a recurring pattern until 1993.

    In 1993, Kevin "Caveman" Shirley was brought in to engineer, and, given that he favoured hard rock, pushed the band towards a more hard rock sound. It was him who suggested to Geddy the idea of recording with the jazz bass, and thus, the Wal basses were retired. A sad day for Rush fans everywhere!
  11. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    I'll have to chime in on the Steinberger Spirits, at least the XZ series. I have three of them (see avatar).

    When these are setup properly, with quality strings, and have some age and playing time on them, they are a fine, and fun, instrument to play.

    On eBay, you'll see Spirits going for the price of a new one or higher, because they have gotten much harder to buy new.

    I have posted a couple of other threads on TB regarding my experiences with changing out the pickups and electronics. Actually, the stock pickups sound fine on these with the right strings for your playing style.

    An XZ with good strings and a case will be around $400 and will be an excellent way for you to try out the Steinberger design without dropping well over a grand on a graphite model. I'm very pleased with mine, and I've played both the Spirits and the graphite Steinies.
  12. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I want one. :(

    I've played L2-type Riverheads and Hohners and I've found them very uncomfortable since I always rest my forearm on the bass' body and can't do it on those instruments. But if I had a real, all-composite Steinie, I'd practice hard to overcome that problem.
  13. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    The origials are THE basses for hot, humid or extremes of temperatures.

    I wouldn't call tham crunchy, but as others have said, they can go from the deepest dubby tones (I had laBella flats on a very early L2 I owned for a while) to very cutting and clear rock tones, etc. But growl and crunch don't seem to be their forte, though I never spent much time trying to dial those tones in. In the end I miss the character that a wooden body or neck seems to give a bass, but I plan on owning one again as they are the ideal travel bass, and have their own very special vibe and look unlike anything else.

    The early L2s are a LOT warmer sounding than the XL2s that came a bit later, because of their SS PUPs, which EMG is making again. I find the XL2s a bit jarring and sterile, but I like very warm sounding basses and amps so it's a taste thing only.

    I remember seeing Robbie Shakespeare playing one with Sly behind Black Uhuru in the early '80s. At the time the clarity and cleanness of his bass was head and shoulders above anything else I was hearing live at the time, reggae and otherwise. It was quite a revelation when I think back to it, and I'll never forget the sensation of hearing big bass that wasn't thick as well for the first time.
  14. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I have an early production L2, it was owned by Dee Murray of the Elton John Band, and can be heard on the song "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues". I love it, it has a great range of tones.
    And I love my Ric basses too.
  15. ProfGumby


    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    Awesome! ya got a piece of music history in yer hands there!
  16. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    Dude, you are lucky to own that beauty.
  17. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    +1. Nice bass, dude!
  18. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Yes, I am very lucky. I've only had it since January and I still can't believe it. My wife and I built a nice little display shrine for it with lighting. The bass plays/sounds great.
    It came with the original gigbag and strap. Plus a letter of authenticity from his widow.
  19. David Vector

    David Vector Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    Very sweet, indeed - congratulations on the acquisition!

    I have a couple of the current-model Steinberger XQ-2A's (which often seem to get overlooked when Steinies are brought up). They're pretty much the closest you can get to the original with the Steinbergers that are in current production, having the twin EMG HB pickups and an all-graphite neck, not just a graphite U-channel like the Synapses. Like the old L2 models, they also use the ceramic/steel EMG HB's which Steinberger just started using again for these new XQ's.

    You can get a variety of tones out of them, but the one I'm favoring these days is the rounder, more full-bodied tone of plucking over the neck pickup and using either a 50/50 blend of neck/bridge or leaning more to the neck pickup with the highs rolled off some. It can have a nice, throaty growl to it that isn't quite lilke a Jazz or a Precision but has its own character. One of the things I like about them is that they have a very even, consistent tone all over the neck that sits very nicely in a mix. I use a lot of layered bass tracks with chordal parts and such, and their focused sound helps maintain clarity in the mix when you stack up parts.
  20. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    Man, I wish someone would remake the "true" old Steinbergers...IIRC, the Gibsons aren't the real deal!

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