Steinberger Basses...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tonto_Goldstein, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. Has anyone ever tried any of the Steinberger basses? I know Buck Dharma from Blue Oyster Cult uses Steinberger guitars, but I have not seen anyone using a Steinberger bass.
  2. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001
    Yes, I?ve owned a Steinberger bass. It was an XL-2, which is the original graphite version. I loved it. They have a great sound and they feel wonderful. The biggest issue with these basses is the most obvious - the look. Some people hate it, some people love it. The reason I sold mine was because I was playing in a hard rock band at the time, and the other guys felt it didn't look right, so I got rid of it. That was one of the dumbest sales I ever made,but you live and learn, hey!

    Anyway, a word of warning. The basses on musicyo are NOT original Steinbergers. They are wooden copies, while the original basses were all graphite. I haven't tried a musicyo Steinberger, but I have tried a number of other wood copies. While they're often okay basses (esp. the Hohner version), they are nowhere near the quality of an original. Do not buy one of these basses expecting to get the results of an original - you won't. And, to be honest, I don't see why you would. I've seen original Steinbergers on Ebay for well under $1000, and I think that, if it's the Steinberger look that you want, you would be much better off buying a good used example than purchasing a wood bodied copy.
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts

    You must have been asleep during high school, because in the mid 80s Steinbgergers were the rage: well known bass users included Sting, Geddy Lee, Tony Levin, Danny Klein (J. Geils Band), the bassist from Loverboy, Jamaldeen Tacuma (Ornette Coleman), Jerome Harris (Sonny Roillins), Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads), Andy West (Dixie Dregs). Oh yeah, one other guy you might have heard of...Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones!!!

    Most of these players have returned to using more traditional basses since then.

    I have two L2 basses from the early 80s and they are well made, good sounding instruments. Despite the look, the bass they most resemble in the feel of the neck and sound is actually the Fender Jazz Bass! The thing that they are most known for is very clear sound in all registers and very solid tuning and intonation.

    The current musicyo Korean made Steinbergers are inexpensive models that have the look of the originals but only one feature in common (the double ball strings and fine tuning bridge).
  4. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    Actually, as far as I'm aware the wooden Spirit series was conceived by Ned himself as an economical Steinie for the masses - they've been around for awhile (pre-MusicYo).

    I have two of the current XT-2 Spirits from MusicYo, and am very happy with their value and performance. No, they're not the equal of the carbon-fiber originals, but they're much better than the price would lead you to believe. I've noticed most people that diss the Spirits either don't own one or own carbon fiber models.
  5. I was too busy with girls back then to pay much attention to anything else. I figured you can never be to old to learn the bass. However, you can be too old to date 15 & 16 yr olds!! I think my priorities where right.
  6. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA

    I currently own an XL-2 with the DB bridge and in fact, used it at rehearsal last night. They are very versatile basses and sound great over many different tones. My only complaint about mine is that it doesn't have 5 strings.

    If you're interested in obtaining one, BassNW has a couple, one white, one black.

    Best Wishes,

  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The Spirits are a post-Ned invention of Gibson. musicyo has some sort of relationship with Gibson because all of the lines they sell (Steinberger, Kramer, Tobias, Slingerland, Maestro, Oberheim) are brands formerly owned by Gibson. If musicyo is not outright owned by Gibson, at least they appear to be licensing the brands from them. They were hardly economical in the pre-musicyo days, with $800 list prices!

    The wooden Steinie copies from Korea like Cort and Hohner that had the "licensed" bridges were just that, Steinberger received a royalty for he use of his patented bridge design after he took a few import builders to court.

    Ned had nothing to do with the actual design of any of the Korean axes.

    Ned did make an "economy" model, the XP bass and GP guitar. They had V shaped wooden bodies and carbon fiber necks.
  8. says that they sell thru musicyo? Are the carbon ones still in production?
  9. 2_loud


    Sep 20, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I owned an original Steinburger...first year of production. The reason I bought it is because it played and sounded better than any bass out there. I took my time looking too. The neck felt broken in despite being a new bass, and the sound is like no other. Also, it never went out of tune and didn't seem to be very concerned about the weather either. Real easy to carry around. Light and fun to play. The only thing I didn't like was the the body style. Other than that it was an outstanding bass. I sold it cheap too....ah...foolish youth.
  10. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    No, the MusicYo Steinbergers are cheap copies with the same body style and name, made of (cheap) wood with cheap electronics. Some of the models make them good travel basses thanks to their size, but quality-wise I think I'm safe to say that they're nothing special.
  11. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    brianrost - thanks for the clarification. I don't remember where I heard that Ned designed the Spirit series, but it makes more sense that Gibson ginned 'em up.

    Oysterman - actually, my two Spirits are super stable! They're made with a three-piece maple neckthrough and maple wings. The fretwork and finish are as good as a MIM Fender. The EMG Selects aren't going to win any awards, but neither will the pickups in a MIM. Have you tried one recently? Don't forget, before the advent of MusicYo the Spirits sold for $500 or so in stores. They're not expensive, but they certainly aren't cheap.
  12. I have a MIM Fender P-bass (which I love :0) . Do you know how that compares to the Steinberger XZ-2DB Standard bass? Fit and Finnish comparable? Neck width thinner or thicker? I know you have the XL-2 model but I figured you might know more about the other models as well.
  13. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    Sorry, dude - I've never handled the bolt-neck Spirit models. My XT-2s are kinda clubby, though...

    I know the Moses replacement necks are thinner than the Spirit necks, so I suspect they're pretty full, too.

    Tell you what - go ahead and buy one. If you don't like it, give it to me! :D

    Where in Chicago are you? I'd be happy to show you one of my XT-2s.
  14. Oak Forest area
  15. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    Well, that's just great - I'm almost in Wisconsin (Elgin area), and you're almost in Indiana!

    The offer stands, anyway...

    I just had an idea! One of the guys at a store in Bolingbrook has a Steinie Spirit doubleneck. Would that do for seeing what the neck feels like?
  16. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    No doubt, the Spirits are not as well-made as the original, but I really like mine. I have a 5-string fretless and it sounds way better than I expected. I bought it for a practice and jam bass, but ended up using it at gigs instead of a bass that cost 4X as much. I've never been enthused about the looks, though...
  17. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
  18. Steve Mosher

    Steve Mosher

    Oct 23, 2001
    I understand that Gibson/Musicyo will introduce new American-made graphite-necked Steinberger 4- and 5-string basses next year. Also, Moses Graphite offers Steinberger bass necks right now. They are acknowledged as being warmer sounding than the other kinds of graphite necks.;)
  19. Yo Steve, welcome to TalkBass! :D

    (For those of y'all that don't know, Steve owns and operates Moses Graphite...the comment about warmth was probably a subtle plug.... ;) )

    Now, I'll put my Zon neck up next to any graphite neck for warmth.... ;)

    You may remember me Steve, we've spoken a few times whilst I was slaving away at my day gig, Bass Central! :)

    I sure hope the Steinies that they're gonna start makin' don't have the 5 squeezed into the 4 neck like the originals did! That was just goofy.

    Steve, do you make a headless neck 5 with a J-taper and spacing?
  20. Steve Mosher

    Steve Mosher

    Oct 23, 2001
    Steve Here:

    Yes guys, I do tend to present graphite as an option worth considering. I have also heard and played some truly fine, high quality, entirely wood basses and tilt my hat to those talented artisans who build them. And Joe Zon makes some really fine finished basses, as we do now also. Still, those basses generally cost a lot more than what most players can afford; whereas it is possible to get an arguably great sounding, durable bass with bolt-on necks we offer for less cost. It is simply a matter of individual taste and servicing of need.

    And yes, we do offer our classic jazz bass neck headless for use with an ABM headpiece tuning system..;)