Can I flip a headless bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JoeThomas, Mar 10, 2021.

  1. JoeThomas

    JoeThomas

    Jan 15, 2021
    As a result of a recent injury I am now a left handed player.
    My question is that I have access to a right handed Spirit 4 string bass for a great price. Obviously great for travel and tight places.
    Can this be flipped to a lefty?
    I'm aware, and don't care, about the control placement or leg rest. I just want something playable.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Not sure but I don't think you can flip the end piece on the neck to string it lefty. I'll look when I get home. On almost any other bass, you can just flip the nut over but Steinbergers are different.
     
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  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I have a recent (about 3 years old) Spirit and can confirm that it doesn't flip.

    The head-piece can't be physically rotated to work (it's a whole top cap) and I also checked the retainers for you and they're not the same size, so you can't fit the E string where the G string would go.

    IMG_0835.jpg
     
  4. JoeThomas

    JoeThomas

    Jan 15, 2021
    Really appreciate you're response! That was my concern also when I looked at pics.
    Thanks BurningSkies!
     
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  5. JoeThomas

    JoeThomas

    Jan 15, 2021
    Thanks lug.
    Looks like BurningSkies answered that for us.
    Appreciate you!
     
    lug likes this.
  6. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Wow, interesting... Can anyone offer any reason why they might have designed it that way, why that might be preferable to having a uniformly-sized string retainer across all strings (like they did with the original Steinberger L-2)?
     
  7. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Since there is no traditional nut, perhaps the thinking was that this would limit the side to side motion per string, similar to what a traditional bridge saddle does at the other end. Pure speculation on my part.
     
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  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    This would be my guess too. Also, the engineering on the neck cap/string retainer is a bit weak. If you don't insert the ball-end of the string horizontally, it will slip through the gap on mine.
     
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  9. JoeThomas

    JoeThomas

    Jan 15, 2021
    What about the adapters that allow for standard single ball strings?
    Is there still a form of nut to deal with?
     
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  10. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I believe they go on above the existing retainer, so no help there.
     
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  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I just realized you're dealing with a 4 string...I'd tried mine, a 5, by flipping strings...the low B wouldn't fit. So I just retried with the E string instead:

    IMG_0839.jpg

    It's totally functional. Just not with the five string version.
     
  12. A little work with a Dremel and possibly some thin shims on the other end should allow you to flip the strings. I don't know how the bridge end is set up but you might be able to flip the tuning mechanisms around. I'm one of those guys who takes "can't be done" as a challenge.

    Rick B.
     
  13. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    It would be more complicated than just switching the nut, but I imagine a luthier could solve this puzzle for you.
     
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  14. Swampman Cory

    Swampman Cory

    Nov 9, 2009
    Los Angeles / ex-Michigan
    Endorsing Artist: Reunion Blues, 64 Audio, Mesa Engineering, Ernie Ball.
    This thread is exploding
     
  15. kevmac

    kevmac

    Mar 17, 2019
    Rhode Island
    I own a Spirit and love it.You could flip it.A new nut will have to be cut and the bridge saddles look identical.The tuners are in a straight row .So if the tone controls don't matter ( my advice is change them for the smallest available) There's still plenty of plucking room imo.Unless I'm missing something and if it's a good deal do it.Good luck!
     
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  16. You could pull a MonoNeon and just play it fully backwards.
     
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  17. Drzejzi

    Drzejzi

    Aug 6, 2014
    Poland
  18. M0ses

    M0ses

    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Sorry about your injury mate but welcome to the lefty club.

    You mention you can get a "great price" on the Spirit but IMO they are not "great basses" so I'd hesitate to purchase just to have to mod it into something that even works. If all you want is something playable, any j or p bass will do with a quick nut flip which most repairguys won't charge you much for.
    Or pick up a new lefty Squier they're all really good bargains.
    Also check out leftybassist.com they have a small marketplace and good community, there are some guys there with enormous collections who will probably happily set you up with something reasonable.
     
  19. M0ses

    M0ses

    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
  20. equill

    equill

    Nov 25, 2010
    Madrid
    Very confused 4-string Steinberger Spirit owner here: mine has a zero fret, and no nut.
    If you're looking at the same type as I have, there shouldn't be any real problem with stringing it left-handed, though you may need to stick to a light gauge.
    Another option, if you're not wedded to double-ball strings, is an adapter for single-ended strings. They're cheap, and there's no modification involved because it's just held on by string tension. Mine has the same sized hole for each string, so that's another option.
     
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