Steinberger Spirit XT series.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Niels Keijzer, Sep 17, 2001.

  1. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    I'm thinking about getting one of these cheaper Steinbergers, mainly for travelling purposes.

    All I have is the information at
    Can anyone here comment on playability, sound, construction, or portability?

  2. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    I don't know too much about these, too long since I touched one, but I can comment on the tuner. This is as good as it gets, no less! Just one backlash: you must use double ball end strings. There is a gadget available to make it possible to use ordinary strings, but it seems rather.....low quality design.:(

    And portability: the best!
    (noone has yet introduced the foldable bass, and other portable basses tend to use shorter scale)
  3. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I have two. One is "original" and soon will have active EMG HB pickups and a BTC, and the other is now fretless. I'm still trying to decide what pickups to put in the fretless, if I replace them at all.

    Playability - very good. Nice straight necks, a truss rod that works and is easily accessed (through the head end). Fairly flat fingerboard radius, which I like. A relatively thick neck.

    Sound - lots of sustain (mucho lots!). The factory EMG Selects aren't bad at all, I just happen to prefer active EMGs.

    Construction - very, very good for the money. I'd have to say it's as good as any Korean bass I've seen. It's a maple through-neck, and has a fairly thick poly-type finish. Neither of mine have any noticeable finish flaws, but you need to look them over carefully for shipping damage. The shipping boxes aren't very good.

    Portability - fantastic! An XT in a gig bag is tiny, and one in a hard case is half the size of a "normal" bass. They aren't light, though. Either should fit well in an overhead storage bin, although one in a gigbag could be kind of exciting at the airports right now - it looks like a rifle! That's the main reason I bought a hard case.

    One thing about these is that they tune up easily and stay in tune. Some people bitch about having to use double-ball strings, but I think that's one of their strengths. I have GHS Pressurewounds on my fretted (I like Pressurewounds) and Status Graphite flats on the fretless.

    Try one, you'll like it!
  4. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I have a steinberger spirit.... I don't like it much. It is good for the money and everything... and its built pretty well.... but it doesn't fit my needs. It doesn't have a wide sound selection... just a flat warm tone which for somethings is great but not for what I play.... I also noticed I had a hard time cutting through the mix with this bass... But It is a decent bass. Nice low action which I do like. straight neck and the finish is good. Maybe it was the pups on the steinberger that made me not like it b/c all i could do was finger style playing, and type of slap was like hitting a fork on a plate..... ohwell though.. Good bass overall.
  5. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    I've had several (two XT-2s, XT-25, XZ-25) over time. I agree that they are fairly well-made Korean basses. The fit-and-finish is decent. The necks are painted on the XT series (looks strange to me but feels OK). I am not a fan of the EMG HZ pickups and would want to change them out before gigging with the bass but never swapped them out on any of the ones I had (because they were travel/backup basses bought for portability). I think they are a good value for the buck and very portable. I may someday get another if I ever start travelling a lot.
  6. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    Hello everyone,

    Thanks for all the useful information...sorry about replying a bit late: I kind of "lost" the thread; needed the search function to trace it back.

    This basses-forum sure is popular.

    I think I'm more or less convinced, and will start saving up far as that being possible for a student.

    One more question (I guess to Heavyduty): In case I don't like the pickups...are they pickups of a normal kind of size, or are they smaller than normal pickups?
    Maybe you can put Dimarzios in them, or barts...but I don't know heck about pickups. Although cutting through a mix would be nice indeed!

  7. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    "Everybody" make pups in EMG sizes.
    Beats me why....:)
  8. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I haven't really looked at pickups beyond replacing the EMG Selects with EMG HB actives, but I've heard that Dimarzio does make at least one that fits.

    They are an unusual size - they're the same overall size as a set of guitar humbuckers.

    Personally, I think the stock EMG Selects aren't bad at all - I just prefer active EMGs! Try them for yourself and decide.

    Also, I've heard it said a rewiring a Spirit with high-quality pots and a different tone cap makes all the difference in the world to some people - but I have no first-hand experience.
  9. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    Okay, thanks.

    I already have an active bass, and I don't mind passive ones, so I guess I'll leave those ones in after I get them.
    Maybe changing those pots will help, but if they already sound fine to you...what's the deal?

    Sound is still subjective, though.
    Wonder how it sounds with flats on it.
  10. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    My defretted one has Status Graphite flats - MAJOR mwahh factor! I never put flats on before I defretted it, though.
  11. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    I have a Spirit fretless 5-string and I love it. I expected to swap out the pickups, but I found them to be fine. I use flats nd they sound great. As I've said before, I really hated the balance of the bass, so I inlaid a metal extension on the upper horn that runs paralel to the neck and it balances perfectly now. I mainly use it as a backup, but I have gigged with it and it sounded fine.