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Playing a Steinberger L2 - Is it too 80s retro?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by richnota, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. richnota

    richnota Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    hudson valley
    I just picked up a very nice Steinberger L2 four string. I'd always wanted one and like the feel and sound. But I have such strong associations with this bass to my 80's new wave roots (hair gel, rolled up blazer sleeves, Simmons Drums)

    Today, I play with a contemporary singer songwriter and don't have to worry about bandleaders or conveying the right metal/alt/country/etc. "image." Depending on the songlist I'll bring an NS electric upright, a Rob Allen Deep 5, EB Stingray, Veillette custom or favorite MIM Fender P.

    What I'm curious about is when you see someone playing a vintage Fender you probably don't read much into it. What is your first thought when you see someone playing a Steinberger (outside of the new wave tribute band)?
  2. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    I usually get my mid '80's Lotustein out and play! It's a Lotus with Steinberger Sound Licensed Bridge. It's nice for coffee-house gigs which don't have much stage space. I'm fifty and fat, I don't worry about image!

    Enjoy it, play music to have fun, not to impress others.

  3. Jammaladeen Tacuma used to play one, and he was way funky cool. If you want to be cool, do want YOU want, and to hell with all the 'finger pointers'.
  4. Bottoms_Up!

    Bottoms_Up! For the record, I don't love Raymond. Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Boston, MA
    First thought is, "This guy's playing a very high-end, state of the art, and incredible instrument and has the sack not to give a rat's a$$ what anyone thinks!"

    I have three XM-2's and wouldn't dream of parting with them. One of these days I will spring for an L2. Those 80's Steinies are the best playing/sounding basses I have ever owned.
    maxl likes this.
  5. Sherwood


    Mar 17, 2006
    Beijing, PRC
    Man, they do look weird today, but I was absolutely floored when i got the chance to play one recently.

    Knock it out of the park and you can do whatever the hell you want. Do be sure to knock it out of the park, though. You kinda have to earn a bass like that.
  6. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
  7. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    Gotta own it!
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Let's say the sprinkler system goes off in a club or a tsunami suddenly engulfs the dance floor. Here's what you do (I learned this in my Special Ops training.....okay, I was in the Explorers):

    Grab the closest subwoofer enclosure (preferably an 18" but a 15" may work depending on your size) and roll it on its back. Pry off the protective grille with a salad fork and with a swift downward kick, dislodge the 18" driver leaving only the cutout. Climb in and, using your Steinberger as a paddle, navigate your way amongst the overturned tables and shorted-out electrical fixtures (you did see "Titanic", didn't you) and out the front door. Even McGyver never thought of this one.

    You'll have the last laugh as you watch the naysayers go down for the third time.

  9. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    The Steinie will double as a hammer in a pinch!
  10. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    Is it too 80's retro? Yeah, I think so. But isn't that part of its charm?

    What kind of set it apart is that, like a Fender, you saw people in all kinds of different bands using them. Probably a good reason for that! They are great instruments.
  11. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    My first thought would be "Oh SWEET a Steinie! I wish I was right handed and could talk that guy into letting me take it for a test drive after the show!"

    Do what you want. Image shouldn't be a concern. If you're holding a bass, especially one as interesting as that, you're gonna look cool.
  12. kjpollo


    Mar 17, 2008
    Recently I was to a local bar/restaurant to pick up a take-out order-they had a full blues band inclusing horns and the bass player was rocking a "Berger!!!!
    You like it, you play it brother!!!

    (BTW-Better hope our luthier Tom C doesnt see this post-you dont mention ANY of his basses in the list of instruments you take to a gig!!! :eek::bag:)
  13. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    My modern rock band loved my XL2. I don't think it occurs to anyone except bass players to see it as "80's retro".

  14. "Enjoy it, play music to have fun, not to impress others."- Exploiter8

    +1 !!!

    Who gives a rat's ass??? I know that I could care less about what people think about what bass I'm playing. IMHO,do the same.
  15. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    +1 again.

    They are GREAT for any gig that one has encountered weather-related tuning issues at AND for travel. The sound guy will love you because the note from EVERY fret has the same tone, fullness, and output. This becomes very clear if you ever use one in a studio.
  16. Jefenator


    Aug 22, 2008
    I used to have a white XP-2, which had a quasi flying-V body. The look always bugged me though I do miss the compact size & that graphite neck.

    AFAIC the L-2 is more visually unobtrusive - I'd feel fine, busting that one of those out wherever.

    And, no, I don't get that "the 1980s called" hit when I see one. I associate it more with one of my Reggae idols, "Fully" Fullwood.

    Just play it out and be cool so people start associating it with you!
  17. cabrego


    Jan 21, 2007
    People in the crowd only notice the bass player if he is also the singer or he puts on a good show. Even then they don't care what bass he is using.
  18. Hell,you may just start a new trend,man. Do it!! I've just been waitin' for an excuse to grow my mullet back!! j/k
  19. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    If you have a gig nowdays...let 'er rip with whatever you got.
  20. ric stave

    ric stave

    May 6, 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    F' anyone who dis'es the bass you play - if it sounds good, and you're not trying to be in a pre-80's tribute act, go with it!

    I played Hohner 4 and 5 string Steiny copies from '87 to now, I've had a 'real' Steinberger 5 string, and a few of the Spirit model versions. They all sounded good to awesum!!

    Now I have a 6 string headless all graphite Status bass. I'll play any show w/it, and if anyone doesn't like it, that's their problem.

    (BTW, any interest in that Face plate? You could paint a fender P-Bass sunburst body on it.... LOL!)