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Steinberger Bass on Musicyo.com

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Richard Rose, Feb 15, 2000.


  1. Richard Rose

    Richard Rose

    Feb 14, 2000
    Has anyone bought a bass from musicyo.com? I'm thinking about getting another Steinberger and these look great for the price.
     
  2. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    I ordered one of the XT-2s last week and it is scheduled for delivery tomorrow. I'll follow up then with my first impressions.

    All my reading up on these guys led me to think that it would be a reasonable backup/travel bass but not one that I would want as a "primary". The main things was that it is all-wood as opposed to the all-composite original. That's why it's so affordable but it also makes it a lot less rigid. Also it requires double-ball strings (although I plan to find out if the adapters being sold by mighty mite (www.mightymite.com) fit the Spirits). Also the 5-strings (none were available when I ordered mine) have a very tight string spacing.

    I'd been looking at what a used clone would cost (like a cort or hohner one) and they were going for $175+ on ebay so $225 for a brand new spirit was too good to pass up.
     
  3. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    OK, my "boat paddle" showed up yesterday and I had a couple of hours with it to get first impressions.

    It was heavier "in my hand" than I expected but oh so light on a strap. I guess the full-maple construction makes it a solid little chunk. Played without plugging it it was surprisingly bright and lively. My amp is at the drummer's house (where we practice) so I only had my Rockman headphone amp (not great sounding) and here's one place where you can tell it's a cheap bass. The EMG selects just don't sound that great to me. It sounds kind of "generic" and "modern". I know that could be fixed with better pickups but that's probably not my goal for this instrument.

    It hung fairly well on a strap but the position was a little different. Because the neck strap button is behind the spot where the neck attaches to the body (no upper body horn to put it on) the fretboard actually angles slightly away from you in the vertical plane. If you are used to watching your hands and seeing the fretboard that won't happen, at least not easily. It also hung a little differently side-to-side in that I kept grabbing the 3rd fret when I wanted the 5th. Not a big deal - it will just take a little time to adjust to the different position.

    I did try it sitting down (I almost always play standing up - I don't like the wrist angles I get when sitting) and the leg rest, while strange looking, did the job.

    I had to loosen the truss rod a bit to get some relief. I haven't adjusted the bridge at all yet but looking at it's design it may be a challenge to make adjustments. There are set screws for saddle height but the saddles are kept in position by being squeezed together with a set screw from the side. This may make it interesting to get the intonation set since all the bridges will be "free" (although held by the strings) when this screw is loosened.

    Tuning with the knobs on the bridge was great. I felt I had more/finer control that I do with normal tuning keys.

    I really like the zero fret. The open notes have the same sound as fretted notes. I think this is a great feature and wish it was available from more manufacturers.

    All in all based on my initial impressions I'm satisfied with what I got. It's not great sounding (I mostly attribute this to the pickups) but the quality and feel is very good (for what it is - I'd expect more from a more expensive instrument). I'm curious to see how it sounds through my amp at practice Friday.
     
  4. Richard Rose

    Richard Rose

    Feb 14, 2000
    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Hey Craig! Thanks for the detailed account of your Steinberger bass experience. I think I'll get one. As you said, the price is TOO good to pass up. I'll let you know what I think.

    Originally posted by craigb:
    OK, my "boat paddle" showed up yesterday and I had a couple of hours with it to get first impressions.

    It was heavier "in my hand" than I expected but oh so light on a strap. I guess the full-maple construction makes it a solid little chunk. Played without plugging it it was surprisingly bright and lively. My amp is at the drummer's house (where we practice) so I only had my Rockman headphone amp (not great sounding) and here's one place where you can tell it's a cheap bass. The EMG selects just don't sound that great to me. It sounds kind of "generic" and "modern". I know that could be fixed with better pickups but that's probably not my goal for this instrument.

    It hung fairly well on a strap but the position was a little different. Because the neck strap button is behind the spot where the neck attaches to the body (no upper body horn to put it on) the fretboard actually angles slightly away from you in the vertical plane. If you are used to watching your hands and seeing the fretboard that won't happen, at least not easily. It also hung a little differently side-to-side in that I kept grabbing the 3rd fret when I wanted the 5th. Not a big deal - it will just take a little time to adjust to the different position.

    I did try it sitting down (I almost always play standing up - I don't like the wrist angles I get when sitting) and the leg rest, while strange looking, did the job.

    I had to loosen the truss rod a bit to get some relief. I haven't adjusted the bridge at all yet but looking at it's design it may be a challenge to make adjustments. There are set screws for saddle height but the saddles are kept in position by being squeezed together with a set screw from the side. This may make it interesting to get the intonation set since all the bridges will be "free" (although held by the strings) when this screw is loosened.

    Tuning with the knobs on the bridge was great. I felt I had more/finer control that I do with normal tuning keys.

    I really like the zero fret. The open notes have the same sound as fretted notes. I think this is a great feature and wish it was available from more manufacturers.

    All in all based on my initial impressions I'm satisfied with what I got. It's not great sounding (I mostly attribute this to the pickups) but the quality and feel is very good (for what it is - I'd expect more from a more expensive instrument). I'm curious to see how it sounds through my amp at practice Friday.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

     
  5. I had a question about MusicYo, and figured I'd bump this up rather than start a new thread.

    As the previous posters noted, these prices are too good to ignore.

    Does anyone else have any feedback on the Spirit Steinbergers available at MusicYo? I'm looking at the X2-2DB myself.

    Are the pickups really that bad? The only bass I've kept after all these years is my Hohner B2A Steinberger copy, and it has the same pickups, and I've never had a problem.

    What are your views on the composite v. wood debate? All that big a deal?

    Thanks.
     
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    I used to own a 5-string MusicYo Steinberger and I must say It was a quite excellent instrument, considering the price.



    I'm not quite sure Richard is aware of this, but Those Steinbergers are not made of composite materials like the original ones once were. (You say you want another one. Is your original one an older model? Filling out your profile would help us help you better).



    As for Steve, I should mention that I own a pre-Gibson XL-2 fretless. It definitely feels more solid and has a more focused sound than the one from Musicyo, but that doesn't mean it isn't a good instrument. Why do you want to replace a Steinberger copy with another? Just curious.



    Will C.:cool:
     
  7. I think the general concensus is that the Steinberger Spirit and Hohner stick basses are identical- possibly even made in the same factory.

    the main difference with the real graphite Steinberger would be the sustain- no dead spots with graphite
    check out this thread;
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=9263
     
  8. Hmmm...a good point. I had assumed that the Spirits weren't necessarily copies, but Steinbergers made for Gibson. In other words, I assumed Gibson bought Steinberger out, and these were "new" Steinbergers.

    It seems that I may have to get an original Steinberger if I'm looking to step up.

    I currently have a Tobias, and suddenly find it unplayable. I suppose my style may have changed, but, all at once, the neck seems "too wide" for a lot of what I'm doing.

    Thanks.
     
  9. In keeping with my assumption that the Spirit basses *are* Steinbergers, and not just copies, the web site says that composite models will be available in early 2001 (i.e., now).

    Are these really Steinbergers, or are they Gibson-made copies (a la Flatiron mandolins making Gibsons after they were bought out)?
     
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    The Steinberger name and design were bought by Gibson several years back and shortly thereafter US Steinberger production ceased.

    The Spirits are authorized models, made in Korea, and are really Steinbergers in name only, when compared with the original models.

    According to the Gibson website, there will be production composite Steinbergers again sometime this year.

    Assuming that these are made to the original specs, and with EMG active pickups rather than the cheaper passive EMGs, they could be similar to the original Steinberger in stability and tone.

    But if they are indeed similar to the originals in construction and electronics, they will be much more expensive than the Spirit models.

    Composite construction is much more expensive than woodworking, and real(active) EMGs cost 3 or 4 times what the Selects and HZ models cost.

    We'll have to wait and see.
     
  11. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    Maybe Gibson's cease of Steinberger production was just a tactic to increase demand.



    I do hope that they'll bring it back and keep producing it, though. There are too many Fender clones as it is.



    Will C.:cool:
     
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    The problem with them producing them again is that will give me one more bass that I will want to add to my collection!

    Or is that a problem?

    :D
     
  13. sifi76

    sifi76

    Mar 14, 2007
    New Zealand
    I'm an experienced bassist who plays many styles but I tend towards classic rock, hard rock, grunge and metal. I'm looking at getting a XZ-2 due to the ergonomic qualities of the korean steiny's, but does anyone know if they are any good at drop tunings? I'm keen at trying to belt out some sabbath or alice in chains on one. Anyone have any experience with this?
     
  14. H. Bob

    H. Bob

    Dec 22, 2007
    New York
    Would use this as travel bass and also for the small rooms where I tend to hit the drummer just a little too often on the head with my Fender headstock. We play Real Book, Latin, and fusion. I am leaning toward finding a graphite instrument if possible. From what I understand these basses are favored by many reggae players simply for their portability.

    Portability and light weight are is my mantras in gear. I usually play an '80s Japanese Fender J-bass through an original Clarus head (6 lbs) connected to a custom 1 x 10 Flite cabinet (8 lbs, thanks to Eminence Ultra Base speaker) I had built to my spec. I can fit my rig into a small car and carry all my stuff from the car to the venue in one trip. This is much appreciated by us older worker musicians, so I am looking forward to adding a headless bass to the menu.