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Steinberger Spirits

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Michael Vee, Sep 10, 2007.


  1. I’ve had this bass for so long and today will be it’s first day getting some killer upgrades. Everything is set up real bad at the moment but I am hoping this bass will get fixed up and ready to be played again. I really miss this instrument being my first instrument that I’ve grown attached to. Anyway, here’s a picture before it makes its departure to my local luthier.

    42673146-30EF-49AA-BBDD-1C7DC5AF0B45. 7EFFE6C1-519F-4273-B9B7-D04ADB9A4FAD.
    View attachment 3261803
     
    Michael Vee and Razman like this.
  2. Razman

    Razman

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    Still waiting for my strings from Status - been about two weeks; every day I go to the mailbox like a little kid waiting for a present to come in the mail. Maybe it will be today, who knows??

    I'm contemplating the addition of counter-sunk straplocks - want to see how the new strings work first. I think there is enough room to do it under the neck joint, what does anyone think? I don't want to drill into the current strap button location as I'm afraid I'll impact the truss rod. Pics of my idea in a moment...

    Raz
     

    Attached Files:

    Michael Vee likes this.
  3. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    This is a later XZ. The pickups have that "Select designed by EMG" logo. Have you done a dating on the serial number? Guessing a 2007-2008.

    A previous owner modded the output jack location! One good thing about that is that it will make the BTC electronics easier to install. Does the bass have some kind of cover over the old output jack hole?

    The intonation is way out, as the bridge saddles are in pretty arbitrary locations - a setup will fix that and will make the bass play much more in tune.

    Don't forget to get the black nylon #10 washers for the tuning screws, if you haven't already gotten those.

    I always liked black Spirits. They are sleek!
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
    AstralBirth likes this.
  4. Oh wow. Thanks for the detailed spec review Michael, I honestly was never educated on the year models of these basses other than knowing what I see. When I took in the Spirit Bass to my luthier, the luthier was skeptic about the output jack placement, saying along the lines that it will be hard to fit the BTC system and the 9V battery which he might relocate the output jack to where it was originally. The bass has a cover for the old output jack and when I took it off the backplate of the bass, the relocated output jack has a shielding box inside it from wire interference.

    The luthier is currently working on my instrument and will give me updated calls on it as I’m hoping he doesn’t have to relocate the output jack.
     
  5. ewarren88

    ewarren88

    Nov 21, 2002
    Medina, OH

    I've also had some ideas regarding a retractable (or easily removable) strap button extender. For example, a threaded insert that replaces the strap button, and then a threaded rod machined to a strap button shape at its end. Seems this never makes it far enough up my to-do list since the Spirit gets minimal play time as my backup. But I'd love to see pics of anything that you decide to try!

    Eric
     
    edro likes this.
  6. Razman

    Razman

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    Dang. No strings yet. So, I spent some time with the Spirit and pulled out pedal board I use in the band to make sure everything still works. And everything still works! I use a MXR Bass DI+ into an Ibanez Phat Hed OD pedal, into my Ampeg B-1r, through a no-name 115 cab at home. It sounds fine for practicing, but I have yet to run it through the Mesa/fridge rig. That's the real test.

    However, I've noticed the XT-25 likes to ring a little in the upper mids/highs so I have to mute the strings more intentionally when playing. That's not necessarily a bad thing IMO. My concern was getting something with a scooped tone like my sixer but I have no worries now. And whilst playing with all the tonal options on the MXR and the Ampeg, I have a lot of flexibility.

    Although passive, the bass it very quiet - boosting mids or even highs doesn't generate an over-abundance of hiss, hardly any at all really. That is nice. And you can't boost frequencies that aren't there, but they're all there in this bass. And I like how it just stays in tune.

    Anyway, peace to all, have a good New Year...

    Raz
     
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  7. Razman

    Razman

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    Finally got my strings - you can read about that here. I'm very pleased with them so far, but haven't really had a chance to try them out yet. I adjusted the pickups to balance the highs and lows better, so we'll see how that translates in a live setting. I hope to find a drill press soon and get to work on adding some counter-sunk straplocks to the back of the body. That's all the Spirit news I have right now.

    Raz
     
  8. Razman

    Razman

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    The new strings are great. The winding around the .135 barely fit, but it did and they sound fantastic.

    The strap locks are mounted and really help position the bass in a more ‘normal’ spot than before. It’s a huge improvement.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    I have not bought Status strings for my Spirits in a few years now, but my experience with their 5-string roundwounds was the same. It took a lot of working into place for the B string on both ends. I recall someone saying that they machined out both ends slightly for a better fit, but i chose not to do that. I was waiting to see if the strings broke prematurely because of the wear, but they did not.

    I was also very impressed with the sound of the Status roundwounds, even with the stock Selects pickups.
     
  10. Razman

    Razman

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    Rob said that they have some .140 B's also; I was going to have them send me a couple but didn't feel like taking a Dremel to my headpiece (although I did just drill two holes in the back of my bass) and wanted matching strings as I already have two .135's. So two more .135 strings are on their way to me.

    I second your assessment of the stock pickups (mine don't say they are Selects) and I'm very pleased with the tone. It is an aggressive sounding bass and meet my needs perfectly. My pots are loose; I may just put in a preamp just to cure that as the cost would be similar to replacing them with quality units, but not for any tone-shaping it needs. Having the option would be nice, but I don't need to change the sound at all at this point.
     
  11. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    The Select pickups had three different phases. The earliest Spirits, and mine where all from that early 2000's period, had Selects with nothing printed on them- straight black cases. The mext period had EMG Select logos printed on them, and the later 2000's basses bad the fancier fonted Select by Steinberger logo. Pictures would very helpful if some of you with the later Spirits would post.

    The current XTs that Gibson is producing are back to the no-logo pickups. I don't know if those are EMG Selects or if Gibson is sourcing those elsewhere. Anybody know?
     
  12. Hi!
    Just picked up a new Spirit XT-2, and have enjoyed working my way through this thread; Tons of really useful info here! I used the serial number lookup tool, and my bass was made in Sept. of 2018, so hopefully the attached picture is a good representation of the pickups that are being used currently. I have no idea what lurks underneath the fancy covers though.
    Thanks!
    B.
    20190223_100221.
     
  13. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Welcome, Baldy! This thread has been around for quite a while now.
    There are more of us Spirit players out there than previously suspected... :)
     
  14. Razman

    Razman

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    The Spirit got its first taste of action tonight! Sounded great.
    B294BB4E-1AB8-4336-9DAE-67879DD16600.
    9487ED4A-F56F-4231-9C57-C8654EB80736.
     
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  15. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Thanks for the pics, Raz! I got a serious 80's flashback looking at a white Steinie backed by Hartke aluminum cones! That is a classic setup (original Steinberger owners would quibble) and it had to sound great, indeed.

    Really glad to hear that the XT performed well for you and you liked the sound. None of us here had any doubt that you would.

    That is a serious amount of gear on stage! Did you use all of it over the course of the gig? My back is aching looking at the cabs and heads, but at the same time I'm rather envious..
     
  16. Razman

    Razman

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    Yo Michael! Right now only the top two 410's are powered by the Mesa. And I have plenty of help moving the stuff around, when required. I'm wore out this morning, but not because we packed everything up last night (which we did :() but Saturday night I might have jumped around a little too much (although much less than normal) and I'm still feeling it. Need to get back into my diet and workout routine, but that's a different thread. ;)

    During our last show (and most prior ones) I was powering the fridge at the bottom with the Mesa and using the power amp for all the Hartke cabs. I wear earplugs - mainly because I'm right next to a lot of cymbals - and we set our stage volume to match "Woodchuck". Despite having my full stack powered, I couldn't hear it that well because I had the volume down so low, even though the overall volume was loud. On the other side of the drums are two full guitar stacks. Not only was this hard to manage via FOH, the front row was bathed in either searing guitar or tons o' bass (why is that bad??) - so we needed to get a handle on things but still hear and feel ourselves, plus all of the stacks look cool...

    Anyway, we thought we'd try plugging into only our top cabs and see how that worked for us - and it was perfect! The sound goes over the crowds heads (we're on an elevated stage) but it's right at ear-level for all of us; I get a nice, loud bass sound I can hear, and our singer can feel everything at the front of the stage (including guitars) without overpowering the house mix. It really worked out great.

    That said, depending on our set-up for an outdoors show, I'd power it all and crank it up. The power amp is driven from the Mesa's DI because it's much too hot for a sound board (I run out of the slave and into a DI box, with the slave level set to 1.5) but it captures all the nuances of the power tubes, including saturation - it's incredible! I don't get to experience that often enough.

    The little Fender on the left is my personal amp - I was trying it through some of the speakers during our practice/set-up earlier in the week, but it made a nice stand for our set list and my phone so I left it there during the show.

    I tuned the Spirit to drop-D and used it on three songs; the rest I played with the six string on the right. That bass is a real sleeper - see the Douglas 6 link in my sig - it sound and plays like something worth ten times as much.

    Eric
     
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  17. Razman

    Razman

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    Vid's of our two sets - I used the Spirit on the last song of the first set, and the first two of the second set. I'm listening to them now (oops, just heard a couple mistakes! :banghead:) My camera is a Sony HDR-MV1; it has an extremely wide-angled lens (need a fix for that - ideas??) but it has fantastic audio quality and I can control the camera remotely (start/stop). Youtube sounds okay but it's awesome through headphones direct from a computer. Also, keep in mind I play in an evangelistic Christian band - enjoy.


     
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  18. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Thanks for posting the vids, Raz. Your band sounds really good - are you playing originals? The Spirit XT sounded tight in the mix and looked great under the various lights on stage. Isn't it fun to play? Very light, you can really move around a lot wearing and playing one.

    Others.. comments?
     
  19. Razman

    Razman

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    Thanks for the compliment - all covers except for one - mostly Disturbed and Five Finger stuff, Papa Roach, Danko Jones, some others (have to look them up), but we change the lyrics. I need some glow-in-the-dark dots for the Spirit (and my other basses - or FretFx) as it was hard to see clearly (our light guy kept us in the dark a lot). And I think having a larger body aids stability - maybe playing it more will help me get used to it?? I like the sustain it has, but if the opportunity came, I might consider trading for the XQ-style bodied one.
     
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  20. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    I've taken on a new regular (paying) church gig for which I am going to break out the XZ-2. I am going to talk to Don Greenburg about a refin on the fretted XZ-25 as well.
     
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