Steinber / Honher 'stick' basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by arther daily, Dec 15, 2000.

  1. OK, so I knwo they look nasty... but I travel using public transport to and from all practices and my Ray is pretty haevy after carrying it a mile or so!

    What are these basses like, sound, playability, punch etc...

    I was thinking of getting one, just for practices, purely casue they are sooo small and woudl make my travelling a lot easier.

    any input?
  2. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
  3. OK OK, so I was being lazy... you knew what I meant tho, eh?

    Yeah, I checked out the prices on MusicYo... I was going to get one 2nd hand if poss.

    Are there nay massive differences between the Hohner and Steinberg made ones?
  4. Arther,
    Not a stick, but the Hohner Jack pro series (Headless) might be worth a look.
    I picked up one s/h for £60 a few months ago. Very light, active and passive EMG's, lots of tones and very powerful.

    You won't like it as much as our Stingray's, but for the money, not bad.

    [Edited by Spike on 12-15-2000 at 06:58 AM]
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oh yeah. Massive differences.

    The Steinberger is made from a composite material known as Steinberger blend which is a plastic/fiberglass material similar tonally and stability wise to graphite, and it has active EMG humbuckers.

    The Hohners have passive EMG Select pickups and are made of hardwood, maple or somesuch.

    The Hohners are OK, but sound nothing like the Steinbergers.
  6. Spike:....
    It's highly coincedental that you say that as there's one (Hohner Jack) in the 2nd hand music store over the road from my house right now - (You may think I'm lucky to have that store there? wallet doesnt!)

    It's a pretty old one, 1980's at a guess, cool - except that the guy wants £195 for it - and it's no way worth that much!!!

    I'll try and talk him down, but I know damned well he wont have it - he's a real tight buzzard!!!

    [Edited by arther daily on 12-15-2000 at 07:07 AM]
  7. embellisher

    - thanks, i was unaware of that. I may go for the steinberg in the end after all. I suppose the Steinberg has a pretty bright tone then?
  8. Arther,
    They did cost about £350 when new, but like you, I think £195 is way to high, especially getting mine almost mint for £60.
    If the guy in the shop thinks their worth that much he could always buy mine and have a matching pair :D
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Very bright and modern(but of course with active bass control you can dial in plenty of bottomw as well)and kind of compressed sounding.

    They were all the rage in the early 80's.
  10. "They were all the rage in the early 80's."

    >>> 80's new romantic minimalist...THANK GOD those days are over!!!!
  11. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Sorry, but the only Steinbegers you can buy new today are the Korean made Spirit models at and they are EXACTLY like the older Hohners (probably made in the same factory), all wood and passive EMG Select pickups. The current Hohners no longer use the Selects but instead PJ pickups (except for the five strings).

    I own two old US made graphite Steinbergers, these are serious high-end basses. The Spirits are junk by comparison, but for $230 brand new make a decent travel bass.

    Used graphite Steinbergers vary wildly in price, anywhere from about $500 up into the $1500 range. The reason for the wide spread is that despite their rarity (they are no longer made) they are not in high demand, either.

  12. the plot thickens....!

    perhaps i will go for a new steinberg after all... $300 total is about £170 - best check back after Xmas!

    So, any comments on the newly made steinbergs...?
  13. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    Hey Arther,

    I've owned two in the past year - an XT-2 and an XT-25. I'd say they are decent for the price. The construction is pretty solid and the playability is pretty good once you get past the adjustment to it being headless and "riding" in a different position due to the different balance. I thought the B on the XT-25 was great for a 34" scale bass - although I ended up deciding that my hands/wrists don't like fives.

    I personally don't much like the sound. I've not played a bass with EMG selects that I liked so I attribute it to the pickups. I played both of them with my band (at practices) a couple of times and didn't like the sound there much either. If I ever got another and planned on using it for anything other than for practice/backup (what I had them for) I'd replace the pickups with something different.

    I do recommend them as travel basses and wouldn't mind having one but I don't travel that much. I did not have mine for long enough to be able to comment on how they hold up long-term.

    Now here's the reason I don't have one any more. The difference in playability/feel and sound between them and my main bass (a G&L L-2000) was fairly significant. I was using the Steinberger (I only had one at a time) to keep in my office and practice at lunch. That is the bulk of my playing time - I practice 3-5 days at lunch and have band rehearsal once per week. So I was playing the Steinberger 3-5 times as much as my "good" bass and realized I just enjoyed playing/practicing a whole lot more when I was using my main axe. So I sold the Steinberger on ebay (got more than it cost from Musicyo) and bought an older, used G&L as a second/backup bass for a little bit more. Now I keep one of my G&Ls in my office and enjoy my practicing a whole lot more.

    If I were in your shoes I'd find a way to make it easier to transport my Stingray. I'm guessing you are using a hardshell case (that's what I carry my basses around in). Maybe look at gig bags - there are even some with backpack-type straps to distribute the load onto both shoulders. I know I'd prefer playing a Stingray (I owned one for a while) over playing a Steinberger Spirit any day - and the sound and punch are in completely different leagues.
  14. "I'm guessing you are using a hardshell case"

    No, I use a gig bag, but we practice in Brixton, London and I live 50 miles away in Reading. It's 20 mins on the train then up to 40 mins no the tube (that' average!) ...then a 4 hour practice and the same on the way back.

    I guess I'm being lazy, but the Ray is just under 10lbs - quite alot to carry when you're knackered!

    Also, the are we practice in aint too nice... and the Ray is - - knwo what I mean!

    I think I may go for an active 4 string steinberg actually... they must weigh, what 4 or 5 lbs max?
  15. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    I have a fretless 5-string Spirit that I bought for a practice bass. It is actually surprisingly heavy for its size, but is easy to get around. I actually like it more than I thought I would, and have used it on a few gigs. I'm not crazy about the pickups; I think they sound a bit wimpy, but not horrible. I also find it hard to slap, because there is not much space between the end of the fingerboard and the neck pickup (I hate slapping on 24-fret basses).

    I had a big problem with the balance. The bass was very neck heavy and I had to support it with my left hand. I ended up making an extension out of metal shelf brackets and inlaid it on the back of the upper bout. It now hangs just right.

    I would say that a Steinberger Spirit would be great for long train rides.
  16. I think a Steinberger spirit would be GREAT choice for a traveling practice bass. I have stingray 5 and in a hardshell case it's a monster! I also have a Steinberger spirit 5 with the traditional wooden body and the stick style fretless 5. I have only seen them for sale at, and have had great luck and excellent service from them. You can't beat the price for a decent practice bass. I say go for the steinberger, but if you want the stick style in a 5 string, musicyo is currently sold out. I bought mine so I could sling it over my back and ride my motorcycle to practice.
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I have a friend who uses the Hohner Steinberger copy for this very reason. He also has a specially made gig bag, which makes it look more like a fishing rod than a bass! ;)

    I don't particularly like the sound of it, but for portability they can't be beaten - I've seen them new in shops for about £180.

    But the main consideration for a gigging bassist - forget basses/amps etc - you have to have a car! This was one of the reasons I gave up for a while - no transport. If you're going to play anywhere in the UK and even more so in the US I would have thought - the car is an essential!
  18. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    Sorry, my bad on the guess. I think the only active Steinbergers are the original composite ones. One of those would be awesome, but I'm not sure it would be that much less expensive (if at all) than your 'Ray. The Spirits aren't super-light (they are all wood - maple if I remember correctly). They are easy to carry in that they are shorter and somewhat lighter (I think the musicyo site has details which probably include the weight).

    Also I've been told that with their short gig bag they look like a rifle (be careful with it in airports) which might be either a plus or minus depending on whether people thinking you were "carrying" would attract or avoid attention in the area you practice in. I think the Spirits are great "in the price range". You might also want to think about an inexpensive, lightweight "normal" bass like one of the Dano reproductions (talk about a different sound than a Stingray . . . ).
  19. I've got a Hohner B2A (maple body/through-neck,EMG select pickups with switchable active circuit).
    It cost £120 second hand four years ago.
    It's great for rehearsals, and weighs about 6 and a half lbs. I hate the sound of both pickups full on- too hollow, so I back off the bridge pickup.
    as an experiment I put a Kent Armstrong humbucker in front of the bridge pickup, and I can get a surprisingly Stingray-like sound out of it with the active circuit on.
    one thing to watch out for if you buy one second hand is the tuning mechanism- the threaded string end holders are made of aluminium and wear out quite quickly- I had to get a replacement set made in brass (only £20, though).

    getting spares for them is pretty difficult- I found it impossible to track down a D-tuning bridge unit to replace the standard old type on mine.

    compared with a real graphite Steinberger, the tone of the Hohner is duller, and you get dead spots on the neck in odd places- B and C on the E and A strings, and on the open D string.