Headless bass handmade strap hook (for Steinberger Spirit, Hohner B2, etc..)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by acroce, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. acroce


    Sep 8, 2007
    Central Italy
    I recently bought my second Hohner B2A in a couple of years. I sold the other one at the beginning of this year because, though I liked its lightness and slim neck, I didn't find its sound to be entirely convincing, especially in active mode; but this one was a real bargain and at that price I saw it as an opportunity to have a cheap workhorse to use for a fretless project I had in mind.

    Having had and used a Steinberger Synapse for a couple of months now (and being a very satisfied owner of it, I must add), I find the Hohner to have an unnatural playing position in comparison, with the neck moved to the left and the first frets looking so far. It would be great to have a replacement strap hook like the one used on the Synapse, but these seem to be impossible to find, so I decided to build my own strap hook.
    Here is my solution, for anyone having the same problem with Hohner B2's and Steinberger Spirits (which are virtually identical).

    The first way I found was through an online metal cutting service. I prepared a vector file of the Synapse hook, but when I submitted it to the service, the resulting price (with 6mm steel) was definitely too high for me, around 40 Euros including shipment, so I had to find another method.
    While working at home with an angle grinder I noticed that the pin wrench had a similar shape and metal thickness as the Steinberger strap hook, so I bought one in a DIY store.
    The model I bought is the Bosch #1607950043, here is how it looks:


    This tool is on sale on Amazon, I paid 5 Euros for it though prices may differ.

    With a Dremel with cutting disc I cut off one of the pin sides, made three holes for the screws and the strap button, and here is the result:


    Painted black with matt spray paint after sanding it:


    And here it is on the bass body:




    Of course straplocks buttons can be used. The bracket position doesn't interfere with the hand movement, because it stays at a good distance from the back of the neck.

    As said the total cost is very low and it just took a couple of hours to have the work finished, with no particular skills required, although these tools are made with a very hard metal.
    It would be nice if some guitar accessories producers may put on sale a similar part, in the meantime I hope someone can find this solution helpful.

  2. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Nicely done! Sometimes its better to just make things yourself. Unfortunately not enough demand for a major supplier, but you'd think a motivated home metalworker or small machine shop could turn a profit making these. I have a Steinberger XP-2, but never felt the need for a strap extension, guess it depends on how you like to hold the bass.
    acroce likes this.
  3. SlickaBass


    Jan 4, 2018
    Hola Augusto
    Great work. I just got a Steinberger Sprit XT25. Do you have a template we can use to create similar hook? Bosch part is on order. Regarding painting - would acrylic paint work well (I have white variant and was thinking of using white acrylic for the hook). Until now the Spirit balances perfectly on my thigh. Would be cool to play standing up.
  4. acroce


    Sep 8, 2007
    Central Italy
    Sorry, no template, but I 'm glad you appreciate my solution.
    I used a standard spray matt acrylic paint, which dries quickly, but many coats have to be used to avoid scratches and the metal base has to be carefully sanded so the paint will have a better grip.
    OK for white, but remember that Steinberger only used matt black paint for the original strap hooks, even for non-black instruments!
    SoCal80s and SlickaBass like this.
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    very nice, well thought-out solution! congrats! :thumbsup:
  6. SlickaBass


    Jan 4, 2018
    OK I will see what I can dig up from Google images and experiment with this
  7. SlickaBass


    Jan 4, 2018
    So the Bosch part arrived in post. Took Augusto's pictures then messed with scales etc to get alignment. Seems to me you drill hole where raised cylinder is on mouth of tool. Then two more 20 mm centre to centre with first starting 10 mm from other end (point) of tool. Will try to post my photo.

    Being impatient I made a plywood hack and taped this into place ... Works well. I prefer playing in the sitting position with Steinberger but this cool design of Augusto's works.

    Seems to me the hook end needs to line up with protection of straight edge from body. This would then suggest where to drill 2nd fixing hole in the body

    Attached Files:

  8. jpmcbride


    Aug 31, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Here's another solution for those who don't want to use the extended bracket. I removed one of the strap buttons from the end and moved it to the back of the bass. This shifts the bass position enough to make it a lot easier to reach the end of the neck. I 3D printed a rubber foot to replace the strap button that I removed from the end. Without this, the bass won't sit level.

    BTW, if you noticed the electronics cover, I'm not Paul Maass. Paul was a good friend who taught me a lot about playing bass. He kept trying to sell me this bass to use when I travel. But I wasn't interested. After he died I bought it from his family for the sentimental value. It was missing the cover, so I made one out of a old mint green pickguard I had, then put his name on it to remind me. Its just the kind of DIY hack that Paul would have liked!

    I also replaced the strings with La Bella flats, and this thing has monster thump tone. I'm not kidding. It thumps more than my P Bass with flats!

  9. jpmcbride


    Aug 31, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    I also 3D printed these simple thumb rests. They work great and are hardly noticeable - they blend right in as if they're part of the pickup. They're printed from a rubber material called TPU. They're not perfect, you can see the lines from the printing in them. But from 2 feet away they look great! I love them. If anyone has one of these basses and wants a set of thumbrests, let me know and I'll print you a set.

    Gdeak, alaskaleftybass, skwee and 3 others like this.
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Nice! JOOC, would the business end (pins) of the wrench fit within the confines of the heel?

    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  11. SlickaBass


    Jan 4, 2018
    The heel is the part where the neck and body join right? In which case it doesn't seem the tooling goes near there.

    What I intend to do us use the existing strap pin hole as the mid hole on the strap hook. A new hole then need to be made in body of my Steinberger (wooden Spirit) 20mm away and this is no where near the heel. The new strap pin is connected to the tip of the tool and this seems to sit nice if I line the curved part up with projection of body straight edge. I suspect I can cut the tool with hacksaw (larger one) then a load of filling. Getting the raised cylinder off (mid of each lip of the mouth) might be harder - so perhaps a Dremel (or even a Bosch :) ) tool will help
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  12. acroce


    Sep 8, 2007
    Central Italy
    Yes, you can use the existing strap hole on the bass body and add a second one approx.20mm away towards the bottom of the body. This will be the only modification made to the original instrument. Don't use very long screws to avoid going too deep into the wood (you can find the truss rod there!).
    I used the Dremel to do everything, cutting away one of the wings of the wrench and the original pin (that was where I made the hole for the strap button) with a cutting disc.
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  13. splewis


    Feb 17, 2012
    My public library has a 3D printer and I made a strap hook online with Tinkercad (see link). It cost me $0.25 to print out and took ~35 minutes. You have to drill the holes for the screws once you find your optimal angle. The plastic is 6 mm thick and it works well. So frustrated with Gibson after numerous phone calls to dealers, and others who could not order the Synapse strap hook extension. "Strap Hook 7 | Tinkercad"
  14. mariner


    Feb 18, 2005
    Front Royal, VA
    Well, I just got my Bosch spanner wrench for this mod. I have a lefty XT25 and sitting is awesome with the kickstand but when I'm standing, I use strap-locs and with it being on the back of the bass, it naturally falls away from me and becomes awkward. This mod will allow for better strap positioning and keep the neck angled toward me.
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  15. Mx121dad


    Dec 14, 2018
    I would love a set of thumb rests, [email protected]
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  16. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. In Memoriam

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    I've as of late become interested in a travel bass. A lot of companies are now making travel size basses but they're up to $1,200+. I can find a used Steinberger online for under $400. It's a no brainer. The only thing I didn't like was that the neck pulled too far away from the body. There are two very good solutions here and I'm partial to the "adding another strap button" as the other solution is a bit of an undertaking for me. Thanks everyone for joining in the thread! I appreciate all comments! :thumbsup:
  17. Excellent solution, tried and confirmed that it works very well, without adding brackets, awkward and aesthetically disputable extensions. The best idea to solve the whole question in 3 minutes. Thanks Jpmcbride!
  18. ERIC31


    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    Thanks for this info!!
  19. Snert


    Oct 3, 2021
    I've done this on my B2, but have yet to do it on my XT25. Works great. I just made mine from a scrap if Al I had laying about, but the next one will likely be CF.
  20. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    Think I might try the simple button move. I am very enamored with the tones I get from my Spirit, and having so many frets. Soloing is a breeze. I also like not bumping into stuff while recording and leading my pit band! My Jag may be getting sad, however, since we don't see each other as much any more.

    I only wish I could find double-ball tapewound strings somewhere.