FYI: Steinberger shutdown

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wkargel, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. wkargel


    Aug 14, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    Hey, folks! I tried to find the most logical place to post this, so here goes...Just an FYI, but this may not be good news for Steinberger owners or fans. I have a couple of Spirit basses that have been on back order. I was called today by my contact at the music store saying that these have shipped. That is the good news. The bad news is that it appears that will be the last of Steinbergers produced for the foreseeable future. Steinberger is going to or already has ceased production of ALL of their product lines, produced both here in the USA as well as overseas, indefinitely. Furthermore, there is no real explanation forthcoming from Gibson/Steinberger, per my contact. This does not sound good, and could indicate that Gibson is going to kill Steinberger for good. Anybody else know anything? While the shutdown is not a rumor but a fact, I truly hope that it is not permanent. :(

  2. Hi.

    If that is true, it's a real shame.

    Steinberger is (was ;)) one of the most innovative instrument companies there was and if the final chapter is now being written by a company which contribution of being really innovative was last observed on the introduction of the PAF pickup, it's an even greater shame.

    Now don't get me wrong, I do like Gibson instruments better than any other brand, but the way they buy and bury small companies and at the same time put crappily made instruments with insane price tags onto the hands of musicians, it just makes me sad.

    And no, I don't forget the "modernistic" guitars, nor SG, RD or Thunderbird and Firebird, but for me those were just artistic suicide attempts rather than a sign of being innovative. They nearly succeeded in that as well ;).

  3. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    But wait, they have made ROBOTIC TUNERS! That's an idiotic, overpriced, cumbersome, auto-eject headstock inducing bit of "solution" begging for a problem. Almost as bad as Peaveys "always gonna play in tune" system.
  4. Arnie


    May 14, 2005
    Kingston, NY
    I still think a steinberger isn't a steinberger unless it is made of carbon fiber graphite! ;)
    patshep likes this.
  5. Hi.


    You're not completely alone with that thought.

    In all fairness though, CF construction was only a part of the innovations that Mr. Steinberger and his staff made commercially available for us.

    Boutique- and DIY tinkering will always be able to produce most amazing one off contraptions for us to drool over, but to be able to succesfully (more or less ;)) mass produce something is always worth a tip of a hat.

  6. wkargel


    Aug 14, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    Well, I hope that they haven't done that to Steinberger. Fender killed off Hamer earlier this year after their acquisition of Kaman Music (Hamer's parent company...also has Ovation). Probably the same M.O. :ninja:


  7. Rozeg

    Rozeg Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Ufa, Russia
    L-series was the best designed bass ever made by humans, and it had a potential for even further improvement.

    Steinberger shutdown is the biggest SHAME in the bass history
  8. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Don't forget Guild and DeArmond too. Have Gibson killed off Tobias name yet?
  9. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011

    Right, but those are two separate and wholly unrelated issues. Whatever was being sold recently under the "Steinberger" marque had very little in common with the L-2 or the company that made those fine basses. The real SHAME is the shutdown of the original Steinberger company...and that happened over twenty years ago!

    This latest news is just a (lower-case) shame, another example of Gibson destroying the good name of a previously respected company.
  10. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    but wait, this doesnt include ned steinberger's own company does it? he currently has his own company and makes his own basses separate from gibson right?
  11. Agreed, but I really did like their guitars as well and their locking trems.
  12. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once...

    Feb 24, 2013
    Yes, AFAIK, Gibson bought the name (which now the guy whose name it is can't use it in the industry...) and production rights. Steinberger (the guy) still makes stuff under a different name. I'd like to see him buy it back from Gibson, but I can also see why he'd prefer to not go down that path again, seeing what Gibson have done with it, and what he has been able to accomplish under his own new company name.

    I still like my Steinberger Spirit guitar bought in about 1990, and the Synapse 5-string bass I just bought this year.

    I wonder if we will see the hand-wringing and moaning that seems to be an essential part of the Modulus thread...

    "What will happen to the resale value now?" Donno - I've never sold a bass... If I could successfully predict the resale value of _any_ commodity, I'd quit my day job and start trading in that commodity...
  13. Rozeg

    Rozeg Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Ufa, Russia
    I agree... however those XTs are damn nice, and the latest version of guitar TT is interesting too...

    I keep dreaming of the day when someone somehow gets that glorious Steinberger license and starts production of the XL again. Serial or boutique, doesn't matter
  14. Rozeg

    Rozeg Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Ufa, Russia
    Ned sold his initial Steinberger business because he is a Designer and he wanted to dedicate himself to design, and running the business was very time consuming.

    Yes, you're talking about Ned's NS Design which has nothing to do with Gibson:

    They released a new bass recently, but that's probably off-topic here:
  15. Rozeg

    Rozeg Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Ufa, Russia
  16. If Gibson are wanting to shut production it can only be good news for NS Design, personally I think the new design is the culmination of Ned's years of experience. In saving mode now to get the 4 string when its released.
  17. anominous


    May 6, 2013
    Gibson = Steinberger-lite

    The real thing is still alive and well, over at NS Designs
  18. Wow, Gibson sure has been leaving a bad taste in my mouth the last few years. I saved money for quite a while to start building a Warmoth Explorer bass, suddenly I cannot get ANY Gibson-type body shape from Warmoth due to Gibson aggressively going after Warmoth which caused them to stop offering any Gibson type body shape (guitar or bass).

    It's not like I'm going to buy a Gibson or Epiphone Explorer bass now just because I can't get that body shape from Warmoth .... I'm just not going to build that bass now. So it isn't like Gibson "saved a sale" and redirected my money into their pockets my cutting off Warmoth's ability to offer the Explorer bass body, so in my case it didn't make Gibson any money.

    It just seems like Gibson has been on the negative side of the fence in many issues over the last few years. They seem to be in the news for negative reasons far more than they are for positive reasons of late. And even though the old saying says "there's no such thing as bad publicity" there's got to be a point of diminishing returns within that idiom. I think Gibson is definitely testing that line!
  19. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Not to go too far off the rails, but if you watch the old PBS show about early Steinberger, Ned says that he tried to sell the designs but no one would buy it so he had to start his own business to get them produced.