Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Steinberger Bass Problem

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BongBass, Jul 12, 2003.


  1. BongBass

    BongBass

    Jul 12, 2003
    Singapore
    Hi all,

    Has anyone in this forum ever modified a Spirit Steinberger Headless Bass so that it sits more naturally when strapped on like a normal Bass body? If you have, can you help share with me your experience.

    Problems I now face in playing it:
    1. My right plucking arm does not have any rest to rest on (unlike a Bass Guitar's upper curve which acts as a rest), as a result, the entire plucking arm's weight falls onto my thumb.

    2. My left has to extend further beyond the normal reaches (The Bass is unbalanced) of a bass position to play the lowest 'F' note on the open 'E' string, I think this is due to the small body and thus missing the extended horn for the strap unlike a normal bass guitar. (The Spirit models from MusicYo.com does not come with the pivot plate as with the original Steinbergers - these pivot plates solve some of the bass weight unbalance issue)

    The Spirit is a good bass and when it comes to portablity for gigs, it wins handsdown. However, playability is a big problem for it is hard to sustain a 45 min set, without having to practise Yoga! Therefore HELP! :meh:
     
  2. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Hi!

    I'd say spend some time and find a bass that suits your needs better. If you're going to spend valuable time with your instrument, it should feel comfortable in every way. I had an original 'Berger #554 in 1982!! It was fun but I felt the same as you as far as ergonomics go. Best of luck

    Rob
     
  3. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I had a pair of these XT series basses for several years. I managed to get used to it!

    However, I currently have two Steinies - an original XM2A and a XZ-2. Both are bolt on basses with wood bodies. I do find them a lot easier to play!

    Monkey here devised a metal bracket to fix your balance problem:

    [​IMG]

    You may want to drop him a line if you have questions.
     
  4. i just realized why i've never really had a problem with my steinberger.... hour of yoga a day.
     
  5. BongBass

    BongBass

    Jul 12, 2003
    Singapore
    Thanks HeavyDuty,

    After seeing the pic, I went ahead to do my own modification of creating an artificial extension that represents a normal bodied Bass' horn section which Steinbergers originally used to resolve using a Strap Pivot, to give this bass more balance.

    I got a heavy duty steel book shelf bracket ($1), drilled 4 holes and hooked it onto the bass leaving a frontal (Horn) space extension of 17cm (following the Jazz Bass and G&L Basses measurement)and placing the strap button there. This together with a Black spray paint ($1 a can) job sprayed onto this piece of cheap but strong metalic hardware store metal shelf bracket support and voila! problem solved. It now works fantastically. I used it for a 3 forty-five minute set last night, without collapsing from a Fit!

    Had an exchange with Monkey afterwards and we realised we used the same modification techniques and Bracket!

    This Spirit when combined with my Yamaha NE-1 Preamp, works magic.
    :) :bassist:
     
  6. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    Great minds think alike, huh? :D
     
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    True - do you know where we can find any? ;)
     
  8. devilstone

    devilstone Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Torrington, CT
    I know this is an old thread, anyone take the replacement synapse strap hook they sell on MF and try to get it on a Spirit? I searched and did not find.

    much thanks!!!
     
  9. yellow_v_max

    yellow_v_max

    Feb 4, 2008
  10. uglybassplayer

    uglybassplayer

    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    I did this. Not with a Spirit, but with an Hohner B2AV 5 stringer. I find it balances better with the strap hook.


    I didn't bother filing a notch. I used the hole from the original button, positioned the hook to my liking, drilled a second pilot hole for the other screw and that was it. The fact that it doesn't sit flush in the back of the bass doesn't affect the playability.

    - Ugly.
     
  11. abey

    abey

    Nov 8, 2008
    Barcelona, Spain.
    Hi, I bought a Spirit Bass, and i have the same balance problem. Anyone can show a photo of their personal strap extensor?? I dont wanna hurt my instrument......:meh:

    thank you
     
  12. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    Hi, Abey. Attached is a picture of my strap extension that was made from two shelf brackets riveted together and inlaid into the back of the bass. It worked great, and made the bass infinitely easier to play. Unfortunately, my Spirit is in pieces in my workshop, waiting to be modified into something else.
     
  13. abey

    abey

    Nov 8, 2008
    Barcelona, Spain.
    thanks!! :)
     
  14. abey

    abey

    Nov 8, 2008
    Barcelona, Spain.
  15. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    Fully looks like he is playing a "real" Steinberger, instead of a Spirit. The original Steinbergers had a plastic crescent-shaped piece that was attached at the center of gravity of the bass. The strap attached to this piece, so that it was perfectly balanced. I have tried the original Steinberger, and it balanced nicely.

    My band warmed up for Israel Vibration at a festival, and I got to meet Flabba Holt. He was very nice and humble, and asked me about my bass, which I built myself. He has used a Steinberger in the past, but I can't imagine that he performed live without a strap. Also, I'm almost positive that he used an original Steinberger, and not a Spirit. Flabba holds the bass very high and in a horizontal position, which is very different from most players.

    The original Steinberger had a graphite body, and was much different than the Spirit, even though they look the same. I never could get my Spirit to sound like I wanted it to, and I'm in the process of modifying it.
     
  16. abey

    abey

    Nov 8, 2008
    Barcelona, Spain.
    What a nice experience, I am a big Roots Radics (and roots reggae in general) fan! You play inna reggae band?

    Flabba is actually performing with a Steinberger, due to his lightness. Last year I saw a Israel Vibration performing, and he played only the first song without strap. Looks very cool.:cool:

    Today at my band's rehearsal I've tried to play more horizontal, like Flabba, and I feel better in this position. My left hand responsed fine paying the lower notes.
    In comparison to other basses I played, I feel this one very easy to play, and therefore makes smaller the balance problem.


    Regards,
    abey
     
  17. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    Abey, I've been playing reggae since 1985. I'm not doing a lot of gigging since I got married in April, but still perform about once a month.

    When I met Flabba, he didn't bring his own bass! An assistant was scrambling around before the gig to find something for him, and I think he ended up with a Fender Jazz. I don't know if his bass got lost or what.

    I don't play with my bass as high as Flabba. For me, the strings are about belly-button level, and I pluck over the end of the fingerboard. At the festival, Flabba's sound and groove was unbelievable!
     
  18. MoBeach

    MoBeach Guest

    I had an M Series trans trem, the full size body was nice.