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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Michael Vee, Sep 10, 2007.
Needed these for our next project:
I know it’s been since December when I was last seen here and mentioned about my Spirit XZ bass going under with new EMG pickups. Five months later, my bass has been the most played out of all my other 5 Basses!! I cry a little inside every time I plug my Spirit in and just hear how crisp, clear, and full it sounds (currently strung 40-95 GHS Roundcore Boomers, over the past 4 months were GHS Balanced Nickels 40-101). Two months after the new pickups the bridge finally gave out so I had luckily came up on a new bridge off Reverb thus makes my first spirit bass look much cleaner and new!
When I took a look inside the cavity of my bass I was a bit worried (still am) about the placement of the battery and how much of a pain it would be just to switch one out if it dies during the middle of a gig. So I’m looking into a battery compartment thus would leave me to routing the bass which I will take a professional luthier that knows where exactly to route without causing any damage to the bass.
I now own a second XZ bass I recently saw at GC online and without hesitation bought it cause of the DB tuner functionality. I’m also waiting on a third XZ with a sunburst color I won in a bid off eBay that I’m expecting to arrive this Friday (will definitely post pictures). Might keep the XZ with the DB tuner the way it’s stocked.
Ever since I swapped the pickups on my first XZ bass I am now addicted to do it again this time with Bartolini Pickups and preamp. So I am here again, searching everywhere through TB to find some kind of advice or sound clips of any past spirit owners with bartolini pups/pre to get a better idea of which pre I’m looking for.
It’s hard to find photos since they’re all deleted or with expired links dates back in 2007-2009 so right now I’m kind of in the dark as I’m doing my own research and hopefully making the right choice. With all the reading up on pre’s from bartolini, I am on the fence between NTMBF HR 3.4 pre or XTCT 2.3.
NBD: My third spirit has arrived and love the way it looks in person. This bass will definitely get the Bartolini treatment, of course the stock pickups aren’t very good. Sounded very boxy when taken out of its gig bag and since I don’t have another adaptor laying around I can’t tell if it’s the stock strings that’s giving me that box sound (I’m sure it’s the strings that’s on this bass).
Added the pickups and preamp. Wow, what a difference has the Active/passive switch in case my battery dies out but, the passive control sounds good enough without enabling the activate circuit.
The battery barely fit inside the cavity so eventually I’ll buy a battery box and get better looking bass knobs for the vintage aesthetic look (after really looking at the bass I probably should’ve went for the Bartolini XTCT Pre).
I have not yet compared this to my already modded Steinberger Spirit with EMG’s but I’m really digging the smooth, crisp, and FAT Bass tone out of the Bartolini Pickups and Preamp!
Astral- first of all, congrats on the sunburst XZ-2! That's my old favorite of the three I own. Your grain matching on the three piece body is excellent. It does not look like separate pieces.
I'm glad you are loving the Barts. Bartolinis are wonderful pickups. I have several basses with Barts and more than a few with EMG actives, and I have to say I also like the Bart tonality overall. My first upgrade pickups in 1986 were EMGs, and that was my sound for years. But.. now I like both- they have different personalities. It's very cool that you have two XZs, in different colors, one with EMGs and one with Barts! Perfect! Keep both of them, and string each with the strings you like best with the pickups.
Thank you for sharing so much about your upgrades and sharing so many pictures. It's easy to see that you like the form factor of the XZ-2s. I've been a fan of them for years now, and it's fun to see your excitement with them. They upgrade well, travel easily, and the price of the used instruments + upgrades is still so much less than vintage graphite Steinbergers.
If it weren't for the fact that you are an LA'er, I'd stop by sometime and check both of them out. Congrats again!
Thanks @Michael Vee
This thread really helped enthuse my curiosity for these basses for upgraded pickups and getting close to the original sound of the former 1980’s-90’s Steinbergers. Funny you mentioned to keep both cause that’s what I decided to do while I returned the other black one with the DB tuner to Guitar Center. Hopefully someone will appreciate it as much as I did. Anyway, I’ll be playing the heck out of my Bartolini Spirit Bass since the tech at Guitar Center gave it a good setup and fixed a couple of minor issues the previous owner had done to the bass.
Long story short, we were able to stop the issue before it became a big concern to where it could’ve been unplayable
I didn't realize you returned the black XZ. With the active EMGs, or did you put the Selects back in?
What were the issues with the sunburst XZ?
Yeah, this thread is 12 years old now, but it's still going! It's neat that Gibson decided to reintroduce the XTs last year, and with some colors, too, not just black and white. I keep hoping a player who has one of the color/quilt top models will post here with some pictures.
I bought my fireburst XZ in 2000 and upgraded the electronics that year. I started this thread in 2007, in case anybody else was doing the upgrades as well or wanted to hear about them. I'm not surprised that a lot of the links and pictures are gone in this thread. I was at least able to update the MusicYo links in the original post to point to the Wayback archive pages. It's fun to go back and read those descriptions. "Tune your bass and not have to tune again until you change strings." The basses were all priced around $250!
I need to edit the first post with a mod's help. I'd like to add a link to the Gibson/Steinberger product page for the current Spirits. I'll check into it. -- MV
Gibson is still offering the current XTs in colors, and those are XT-25's in Trans Black, Trans Wine Red, and Trans blue. The XT-2's are Yin Yang, Black, White, Hot Rod Yellow, Hot Rod Red, and Frost Blue.
Availability of these new XTs is pretty spotty. A web search didn't turn up many online retailers with inventory. Sweetwater only has a white XT-25 - that's it. Zzounds.com appears to be the best place to buy these currently, with the XT-2s in stock in all colors, ranging in price from $399 (black, white) to $429 (yellow, red, and blue) to $449 (Yin Yang). (A bit of a price jump from 2000!)
I predict that Gibson will not continue production of these new XTs, and that these XTs will eventually sell out for good.
I still like the XT-2 in Hot Rod Yellow! But the red ain't bad either.
I returned the black XZ that I bought from guitar center with the stocked select pickups. I originally was not going to modify it with new pickups till I realized I’m fine with just the two I have (black XZ I’ve has for years with the newly added EMG’s and my new sunburst XZ which just looks stunning to me).
The issues with the sunburst from the previous owner were of the bridge saddles being heavily corroded. Luckily the luthier oxidized it to clean it up looking pretty again and we had to fix the action as it had been floating for a very long time. 12th Fret was lifting than the other frets which seemed to be an easy fix for the luthier. Overall, the previous owner didn’t take care of that bass so well which made sense considering he had it stored in its cheap gig bag since 2003
After having those markers for a while, how do they feel? Are they any good? I found those on eBay for $10 but I might feel a lot safer looking into the Fretfx for the long run.
Since they are on 'top' I don't really feel them at all when playing, so that's not an issue at all. However, I thought our light guy was going to have more UV light on us than what we're getting, so I haven't really had a chance to try them out.
Once we put all the scenes together for our next event we'll identify sections that have lighting issues and address them at that time - I hope he'll use more UV wash on us (me and the rhythm guitarist share the same spot) as it really makes them glow brightly.
I'm not sure how FretFx is powering their kits now; they were using a CR2032 battery holder that was smaller and might fit on the tip of the neck but it would probably cover up the truss rod access point. It would be a nice system to use on a headless bass if you had a solution for the battery.
As for glow-time length, it's not long enough to be useful. They are mainly good when under UV light, which is why I bought them. However, it's still hard to see the frets, and wish I had little glowing tics I could use to cover up the fret ends and see exactly where they are at when it's really dark.
I went ahead and ordered a FretFX for my headless, I’ll report on that when that comes in. It takes the company a month to make before they ship them out. My theory for the battery holder would be on top of the truss rod point or by my single adaptor. Either or, at least they have a return policy so why not give it a shot.
Did you tell them what bass it was for? I'm interested to see the results.
On their website's FAQ section...
Q. Will FretFX fit on a headless bass like a Steinberger?
A. At this time there is no solution for a lack of headstock mounting space for the battery pack.
Hope it works out but make sure you can get it mounted somehow before you remove the backing on the LED's.
I let them know it was a headless, I ended up ordering a 25” scale one (the one they have listed under telecaster) they also advised the same question about the headless spacing but I let them know about my setup and haven’t heard anything from them after that. Hopefully it’ll work out!
Why would you use a 25" scale?
The shorter the scale, the shorter the wire length that hangs around the battery holder? That’s my assumption, I sent an email again to Roz about my bass situation since I did not get a reply from him last night or today. So I’m in the dark till I get some kind of answer
If it's a 34" scale bass, the lighted dots will not line up at all.