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Does anyone else own a Steinberger Synapse?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by psi, May 23, 2005.

  1. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    I feel shaky buying one off of ONE person's (drivenmore's) review. Is there anyone else here that owns one?
  2. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Unless you're wedded to a five-string, I'd look at getting an old Steinberger XL-2 used. They show up all the time on ebay for around $1k. :D 5-string models (narrow or wide spacing) are pretty rare and go for a lot more -- around $1600 or so. :(

    Why get a used XL-2? They are one-piece, graphite neck-through construction. There is no truss rod -- nothing to go wrong. It's virtually indestructable, and impervious to temperature or humidity changes -- the ultimate gigging bass in that respect. Mine stays in tune the entire time I have a set of strings. It's rock solid; feels, plays and sounds the same as the day I bought it. It has ridiculous sustain and a big, fat tone I still love. I'm amazed that anyone would pay $1K for a bolt-on wood version when you can get one of the originals used for the same price.

    The bad part is that it's a HECK of a lot heavier than it looks like it should be. But the pivot plate balance system is ingenious. It can be played virtually like an upright, or horizontal, or anything in between; Since it's perfectly balanced, it will stay at whatever angle you like to play it.

    Seriously, think used XL-2, pre-1989 on ebay. They are amazing instruments, and if Steinberger ever brings the neck-through graphite one-piece model back, it will be REALLY expensive, which is why the Synapse is graphite-reinforced wood.
  3. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    Yeah I've been interested in XL-2's as well as XP-2's. Do you or does anyone else have anything to say about XP-2's?
  4. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    IIRC, the XP's were a cheaper version -- bolt-on graphite neck instead of neck-thru construction, and passive electronics instead of the active EMGs found on the XL-2s. Also, I personally don't like the looks of the more "arrow-like" XP series as much as the XLs, but that's just my taste.

    I'd just get an XL-2 on ebay. Accept no substitutes!!!! :D

    Seriously, the neck-through-body graphite construction of the XL basses gives them a solidity I have never found in any other bass. Other basses may have "better" tone (always subjective), but I don't think many folks here would argue that a XL-2 is one of the most durable, rock-solid basses ever produced. Their durability is the stuff legends are made of. Bolt-on necks can have more problems.

    If they could make the neck-through carbon-fiber construction lighter and more cheaply, they would be everywhere.

    If I ever win the lottery, I'm getting a XL-2 5-string, with wide spacing, and an XL-2 fretless to boot. :D :D :D

    For more info on Steinberger models, go to:
    Steinberger world
    Click on "instruments"
  5. I am very pleased with this bass. You'll especially like it if you prefer to play with the neck elevated into more of a vertical postiion (approaching an upright bass). Tone is excellent, and so is the feel. Got one of the first batch of seven shipped to MF in the Spring. It is now my main bass. You can hear me play it in several MP3s at www.davebuerger.com.
  6. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Find a source for spare parts before going used. Musicyo doesn't carry spare Steiny bass parts anymore, and I'm having to custom make some. I love Steinbergers, but those wonderful bridges have small, specialized parts that break every 10 years or so IME. That's a better record than other companies, but inconvenient when Gibson won't allow people to sell replacements currently :spit:
  7. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    The XP2 was introduced as a lower priced bass in the Steinberger lineup. That said, it still retailed for $1000 when new. The XP2 came with at least 2 different electronincs configurations. the XP2 with passive EMG pickups and passive EQ (identified by the placement of the EMG logo on the pickups, the passive pickups had the logo centered on the right side of the pickup, where the active pickups had the logo in the lower right corner)

    The XP2-A had active EMG pickups with a passive V/V/T control layout. There may have been some XP2 that also had the HAZ Labs EQ/Preamp that came in some XL2's but I have never seen one.

    Some people think that because the XP2 was a graphite neck bolted to a solid maple body, that they sounded better than the XL2's. I can't say, I have never heard an XL2 in person.

    I have an XP2-A, its a very fun bass to play and sounds great.

    And Music Yo does still have a selection of Steinberger parts for sale on their website, but it looked to me like they were missing one of the most important parts, the bass string claws. I bought my XP2 used and it has broken 2 string claws since I have had it (4 years now) Luckily I had bought a pair of aftermarket claws from a guy on Ebay so I had replacements. He does not seem to be on ther anymore, I would like to get more of the string claws he had made for spares, I may just have to get them machined myself.

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