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Custom neck for a Steinberger Spirit?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassrique, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. I bought a black Steinie Spirit from a TBer on the "for sale" forum recently. I've never had a headless bass before and I really like this thing...... but I want a new neck [and pups]. The radius [14"] is too flat for my tastes. I'm thinking about a 9" to 10.5" compound radius quartersawn maple neck with a birdseye board.

    Wouldn't a headless neck be easier to make [no headstock to mess with]? But perhaps not I pause, if the craftsman hasn't done it before I'm thinking. It's safe to say most luthiers haven't made one of these, no?

    And then there's the headpiece. Here's a random pick from ebay to show what I mean [I have a full body, but that makes no difference] :


    Here's another pic from ebay:


    It fits right on top of the neck shape. I want a "rounder" fretboard, so I'll need custom hardware up there, no?

    Ideas? Opinions? Experiences?

  2. I think that second pic looks like that piece is from a more "radiused" neck than that "flatish" first image. The profile looks different as well. Did the original Steinies have a more rounded fretboard and a thicker feel?

    Are the two italic things in quotes actually words?
  3. Anybody?
  4. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Bassrique, since you PM'ed, I'll throw out my 25 cents' worth. I didn't see this thread, or I might have responded.

    Personally, I wouldn't change out the neck on a Spirit. It took me a while to get used to mine, but now I'm there. It could be that if you played your Spirit for a while, you, too, would get accustomed to the feel.

    If you decide you really don't like the Spirit neck profile, my advice to you would be to contact a luthier and find one who'd be willing to do a custom job. I would imagine that very few luthiers have ever been asked to build a replacement wooden neck for a Spirit. It might require that you ship them the neck, as well as being very specific about what you are wanting from the new neck shape. The luthier might also be able to build the neck with the shape you want AND shape the neck so you could reuse the headpiece.

    It would be pricy, however, and you'd have to decide if you would be willing to pay that much for a neck. It could easily be more than what you paid for the bass.

    It's a different story modding a Spirit than modding an SX. There aren't many aftermarket parts that fit Spirits, and there sure aren't any aftermarket necks available. The necks for standard (non-Spirit) Steinbergers don't fit Spirits.

    I'd get a good setup, or do one yourself, good strings, and then learn to love the neck. Or sell the Spirit and go for a Fender clone.
  5. Thanks MichaelVee.

    I bought this bass on a impulse and I'm so glad I did. I was down on wood Steinies [and Gibson in general], but my eyes are now open.

    I really like this headless idea, and won't ever be w/out one. A headstock seems so..... old fashioned to me now. I can fly with this thing so much easier and practicing around the house is a breeze because of the compact design. It stays in tune forever.

    I can see the point, but I'm thinking a neck would be around $300 and Villex pups will be $250. Misc labor and a headpiece ..... $200?

    The body is just fine, and I have no problems with the bridge. This puts me in at about 1k, and the thing will play and sound just as I want it - like a bass that retails for 2k or more.
  6. BassBod


    Aug 18, 2006
    Bristol, UK
    I'd be tempted to get a new "copy" made of the whole bass (something like the Warwick Nobby Meidel). ABM hardware, EMGs and some nice wood....

    Wouldn't be cheap but should produce a nice bass. I've got a Mo Clifton headless 5 string - 36" scale neck on a small body, but fits in a guitar gig bag.
  7. chowlee


    Nov 19, 2007
    I'm just thinking - most machinists can, if they will and if you supply the current headpiece and neck for patterns, fabricate the headpiece for about the cost of the standard headpiece.
  8. The wood on the full bodied spirit [XZ-2] is actually good. It's some kind of Asian hard ash. Al this thing needs to meet my needs is a "rounder" fretboard and pickups that I really dig.

    I didn't know that. Thanks. This may seem like a silly question, but where does one find a machinist that does this stuff? Are we talking about the phone book under "machinist"? That simple?
  9. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    I will throw out that there is a machinist on eBay who is currently making either solid aluminum or brass headpieces for Spirits that accept single ball strings. Pricy- $40 each - but probably worth it. And since MusicYo has stopped selling Spirits and parts, he is probably the only source for these parts.

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