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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lo end PUNCH, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Hope you guys can help me out. Here goes. Got a Steinberger XZ 25 from Music Yo, its a cool little bass that sounds good, HOWEVER, it's passive :meh: and I would like to convert it to active. Also it has the double ball end string retainer at the tip of the neck that doesnt allow for normal string use. NOW here are my questions;

    1.Can this bass be converted to an active, and if so HOW, its got EMG select pups in it. Could I just add a preamp?

    2. I know Steinberger has headpieces that allow for use of single ball end strings. so can they be ordered, and will they fit my bass which has a narrower string spasing than the Synapse?

    Please share your wisdom.
  2. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    HELP??? is this the wrong forum? :help: I'm pullin' my hair out here :(
  3. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    On the MusicYo site they should have the string retainer thing available for use with regular strings, but double balls are still available.

    As for the pickup swap/active electronics. There's a small amount of space in the control cavity so you would need a compact circuit. I haven't done it, though I have a Bartolini that I can slap into the MusicYo Berger that I have. Get a pickup that will fit may be a little difficult. What I would do is just get a SansAmp BDDI and see how that improves the sound.
  4. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    As mentioned before, MusicYo has the string adapter for the bass


    As for double ball strings, I got Rotosounds for my Steiny from Steve Dude Barr.

    Juststrings.com has the LaBella double ball strings and Status graphite has several varieties of double ball strings available.

    People on Steinbergerworld.com mention that just upgrading the pots in the Steinberger Spirits really improved the sound. Ans as somebody else mentioned, there are several outboard preamps that your could use as well.
  5. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    1 Yes, if there is room for one. Or if you make room for it.
    2 Yes and yes. There was a few suppliers listed on JustStrings last time I checked. The only one I remember form the top of my head is Status Graphite. It the string spacing is >1/4" (ordinary ball diameter), they will all fit. And IIRC, Steinies are somewhat larger than that (8mm, whatever that is in "s).
  6. Good advice in general so far. Here's my take as an XZ-25 owner since 2000.

    About strings: Stay with double-ball strings. Status Graphite is the best way to go. Rob's service is second to none. I've ordered double-ball strings from him several times, and I always get them within a week via airmail and USPS.

    The halfwound strings sound really good on an XZ-25 with the EMG Selects. Don't give up on the Selects until you hear the bass with quality strings. You'll be impressed. I've also tried the Status nylons, flats and rounds, and they are all quality strings.

    I have string adapters for all my XZs, but haven't tried single-ball strings yet. I may try some TI flats sometime, but I'm not in a hurry. The Status strings are all you need. If you don't use double-ball strings, you give up an advantage of the Steinberger design.

    If you do decide to change up the electronics on your XZ-25, start with changing the factory pots to CTS pots, available from Warmoth and other guitar parts suppliers.

    You can also try adding the EMG BTC active bass/treble control; it really wakes up the sound of the Selects. Mainly it changes the output of the bass to low impedence, which matches up better with most bass amps' inputs. It also provides some output level boost.

    Note: the BTC control works with passive pickups, like selects, however, you cannot use the BTC system with passive pickups- you'd need to go with EMG actives.

    If you want to go to active pickups, the best (and priciest) route is to special order the EMG HBCSs. I don't think just any dealer can get them. You'd probably have to get them from Peekamoose.

    The XZ-25 pickup routes are standard guitar humbucker size, therefore, you can also use passive EMG HZs, which are said to sound really good.

    According to the EMG website, the 35 series replaced the original HB line. Therefore, the 35 extended pickups should fit the XZ route, and are worth a look. They would be easier to get than the elite HBCS limited production pickups.

    The downside with EMG active pickups or electronics is that you'll have to either:

    1) Replace the Spirit jack with either the special stereo jack if you want to keep the long barrel jack style; (this is the jack that connects the battery when you plug in) or

    2) Expand the jack hole in the body and use a 'football' style plate with the EMG jack that comes with the pickups and electronics. I've done it both ways with my Spirits.

    Rick Hunt is the tech contact at EMG. You can contact him for more info.

    If you are good with guitar mods, none of the above is difficult. On the other hand, it's a lot easier, and the results will be better generally, if you take the bass to a local guitar/bass tech and have the rewiring or body mods done professionally.
  7. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Tb'rs, I thank you, you're always right on the money. Looks like i got my work cut out for me though. What length strings should I use. I like D'Addario. Does the BTC active bass/treble control actually make the bass active or just boost the output? I'll be ordering the string retainer today. Again, thanks for all the suggestions. I didnt want to have to always lug an outboard preamp around even though I have in the past. I kinda like my basses active onboard just in case I get caught doing a gig without my own equipment, hey, it HAS happened, and for the type of music I do, I need to have that sound. The XZ 25 is portable enough for me to travel with and I visit a lot of "sit in" gigs.
  8. Sadowsky outboard preamp is great and may be an option for you.....that way you would not have to make any mods to the bass but still get a great active sound........Good luck,


  9. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Yeah, it looks like Peekamoose is the guy to go with to do the upgrades but I e-mailed him and still havent gotten a response :(