Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by eno50, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. eno50


    Jan 31, 2009
    North of Memphis
    Are headless basses used anymore?
    Was it just a fad or a pain to find double ball strings , just what happens to them?

  2. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    This is a curveball to your real question but the Traveler travel basses are still headless and they use regular strings. There is a metal piece where the head would be to anchor the strings (pretty sure there is a zero fret but I am not looking at them right now to verify) and the tuners are built into the body of the bass. They are pretty much standard tuners. These are medium and short scale basses but they use long scale strings because the strings go over a bridge and then around the tail of the bass and enter the tuners from the back so long scale strings fit. Traveler's reason for this odd but creative arrange ment is simply to eliminate the length of the headstock so the bass fits in overhead bins better.
  3. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    People still use them. It was somewhat of a craze back then - I don't think they're manufactured much these days.
    I have one, pretty decent player- still pick it up every now and then.
    With the strings, there is an adapter you can get so you can use regular bass strings on them- haven't tried it personally as I still have double ball strings on it.
  4. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer
    Roscoe is offering a headless bass now. It is about the same length as a stratocaster, Roscoe also has a small padded bag and best of all it will fit nicely in the overhead bin of an airplane.
  5. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I will be taking delivery within the next week or so on a NS Design Radius Bass. It is headless. One very nice feature, though, is that it is designed to use regular strings.

  6. maestrovert and mark beem like this.
  7. DrDAV14

    DrDAV14 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    I use Steinberger and Status basses, both headless. Have been since 1985.
    I order strings online (Just strings, Big city strings and Status)to save money, so getting double ball strings is no problem at all. I prefer to use double ball strings, much easier to change and my round wounds I soak in denatured alcohol to clean them and keep them fresh. I have every type of double ball strings, flats, black nylon, pressure wound, nickel and stainless, all are available. Depending on the gig, a 3 minute string change and your up and running.
    Stability and ease of use is very worth it to me. I shy away from headless basses that don't allow use of double ball strings.
    maestrovert likes this.
  8. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    I'm having a custom headless 5 string made and have jammed a few times on my friends custom as well. I don't see anyone here locally rocking one but I'm about to change that.
    maestrovert likes this.
  9. eno50


    Jan 31, 2009
    North of Memphis
    I'am thinking about trying a headless bass out a 4 string is what I will look for..
    what do you guys recomend under a grand ,I really don't want to go high end on one ,I should be abe to find one used in my price range....I hope......
    I know some of the steinberger's are expensive ,the total graphite ones..
  10. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    I hope Brubaker is still planning on the headless Brutes. Should be a killer bass for well under $1000.

    Mike Sorr and mark beem like this.
  11. Whoah. A nice sub-$1k headless 5 might be a nice game changer.
    maestrovert likes this.
  12. Wally Malone

    Wally Malone

    Mar 9, 2001
    Boulder Creek, CA
    AFM International Representative Endorsing Artist: Accugroove Cabinets & MJC Ironworks Strings
    Nordstrand made a headless recently and there are still a number playing Kubickis.

  13. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    The Gibson "Steinberger" Synapse is available as a 5er, and up until recently sold for under $1K. They seem to have had a serious price increase recently, alas. They look a lot like the old carbon composite L/XL basses, but are mostly wood (and made in Korea).
  14. bassie12


    Aug 23, 2008
    Still loving my Steinbergers, an L2 and a very early XL2(with lots of L2 features.) Nothing else like them. :)
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I had a headless bass for a while...a really cheap copy of a Steinberger made by a company called Bradley. Turned out to be a pretty decent bass once I got rid of the duff pickups and put in DiMarzio Model J's, but I could never get used to the headless thing.
  16. loopee

    loopee Supporting Member

    May 12, 2009
    Surrey, B.C. Canada
    still using mine after 14 years...comes in handy on small stages
  17. DrDAV14

    DrDAV14 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    I have 3 headless basses, Steinberger XL2, Status Stealth and a Wilkat/Steinberger Custom.
    I rarely play a headed bass anymore, the consistency with tuning and the ergonomics of the headless is what I like.
    No deadspots on the neck, and I like double ball strings, very easy on string changes.
  18. I'd agree that string changes are lightning fast. My Steinberger guitar was perhaps the fastest restring of all time. Calibrating the Trans Trem for transposing is another story. ;)
  19. I picked up a Washburn Bantam in about 1980. It's a wooden Steinberger copy, with Steinberger licensed hardware. Eventually I ditched the pups and put in active EMG's and a BTC pre. It's great for slap. That bass also has absolutely rock solid intonation. I play stuff up past the 12th and it's perfectly in tune.

    I just broke it out last week for some practicing - my Roscoe was in for a tuneup. Neat little bass.
    JimmyM likes this.
  20. xantometapon


    Jan 23, 2011

    My next bass, only that in 32" and lefty.
    Absolute beauty. Takes regular and double ball strings
    maestrovert likes this.