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Headless Bass - Steinberger vs Hipshot

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Slowgypsy, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    I'm familiar with basses that have the Steinberger bridge, but don't have any experience with the Hipshot offering. Anyone have experience with the Hipshot bridge?
  2. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles

    I have the hipshot system on my Clement custom. I love it. Tuning is very precise, and very stable. I also like that is uses regular strings. The ball end goes in the bridge, and the free end gets trimmed and locked down at the headless end. The saddles are like the A type bridge, with easy adjustability, I especially like the side to side adjustment to fine tune string spacing.

    I have never used a Steinberger, but the hipshot feels every bit as solid and functional as my Kubicki.
  3. I haven't used the Hipshot headless bridge, but it looks like it was based of their A-Series of Bass Bridges, which are my personal favorite out of all I've ever owned or played. Plus, when I called them regarding the installation of a Bass Extender they were super-helpful in getting me the measurements and specs I was in need of... good, professional people.
  4. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Beautiful bass! How do you like the MM pup on Toms instrument? Is it close to a Stingray sound... or something else?
  5. I don't have any experience with the Hipshot system yet, but plan on ordering it soon.

    Only recently have some outside company taken matters into their own hands and made replacement Steinberger parts. I really enjoy my Steinberger guitar, but I'm SOL if a few parts in my TransTrem break.

    I'd probably go with Hipshot because they've been around and should be around a while. They can help ya if needed. You're on your own with Steinberger.
  6. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    It's a Nordstrand MM4.2. When I had the bass built, it was with a Tonestyler low pass filter, all passive. It proved to be a poor choice, (mine, not Tom's). I have since replaced the Tonestyler with a stacked active EMG B/T eq. Overall much better sound, to my ears, and more in the direction of a Musicman.

    I can only compare it to a Ball Family reserve HH Stingray, with a mahogany neck, (not typical), and my recently acquired HH Bongo. I love the sound of my Clement, I just don't think I would ever mistake it for a Musicman in a blind test. It's likely a combination of the Nordstrand's own character, my pup placement, which seems to be in-between a typical MM placement, and a solid walnut body. So it's in the same quadrant as a MM, but still it's own thing....

    I do love me some Tonestyler, they just seem to be very particular in their application. They seem to work best with single coils, and of a specific impedance range, which I have yet to figure out.
  7. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Hmm, looking at the closeup of my string anchor, for the first time I see that these can also accommodate a double ball ended string as well. Nicely done Hipshot.
  8. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Very cool.... thanks for this info.

    My main player is an old fretless Stingray. Beautiful tone with almost no eq effort. I'm thinking about a fretless Clement with traditional woods and a MM pup in the classic position. Just wondering if I'll get a Stingrayish tone, with Toms body and neck profiles added to the mix. Then was pondering the idea of headless, and wondering if there was a tone implication.

    If I could only reach up, take it off the rack, and give it a test drive....
  9. sirmoog


    May 12, 2012
    Sharjah, UAE
    I might be a little late to the party here but I've just had a headless bass made with the Hipshot headless system. My question is that do the strings go in all the way through the head (the wooden part) or do they go in till the thickness of the head piece? As it's a fairly new system for me, I was cursing the builder for not drilling holes all the way through the head but looking at some of the pictures here, I think he's built it correctly. I've wasted a G string trying to string it properly. Once I have the string in place and tuned, it feels really solid though but the string not getting more ground kinda makes me a little nervous.

  10. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    nice----haven't tried one, I have the Steinberger licensed bridge on my Hohner but I also have a string adapter to use regular strings if needed.
    Didn't know Hipshot has a bridge like this, good to know.
  11. MovinTarget

    MovinTarget Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2018
    Maryland, USA
    Sorry for reviving this thread... seriously considering the Hipshot system for a kit conversion as there aren't many 5 string headless kits out there...

    Does the bridge need to mounted at an angle or can it be flat on body?

    If the head is already shaped, it should still be okay for cutting/converting for the headpiece from hipshot?

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