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Steinberger Synapse 4-strings - Strings don't fit!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Buhaina123, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Buhaina123


    Jan 29, 2011
    Hi, all-

    I'll spare you the lengthy tale of how I got to this point, but right now, I'm without a bass because the new set of Steinberger brand strings I bought so I could replace a G-string that popped -- strings that are specifically supposed to fit the Synapse -- are too short. Let me amend that: The A-string is fine, the E-string is so tight that it feels like it's going to explode, and the G and D strings are off by about a millimeter, so they won't make it into the ball rest.

    According to the fine folks at Gibson, the Synapse-specific strings aren't being manufactured "for the time being." A Steinberger product manager claims that they'll be back in production "soon," but wouldn't give any specifics. (I was lucky enough to track down three sets at SamAsh.com, but since they don't fit, I don't know how lucky I am, really.) Somebody at Gibson is apparently on the case, but who knows.

    Any thoughts?

  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    That's Gibson customer service for you.
  3. joenoone


    Mar 21, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    On my 5-string Synapse I use Rotosound RDB665LD Swing Bass 66 Stainless Steel Double Ball End 5 String Bass Guitar Strings and they fit fine and sound great. They do make a 4-string set as well. Give 'em a try...
    There are also other double-ball string sets out there as well from other manufacturers. If you are interested in double-ball tape-wound, flat-wound, or half-wound strings you'll need to go order them off of the Status Graphite website. Shipping is more since it comes from the UK so order a few sets from there if you do order from them to cover the additional shipping.
  4. mujari


    Oct 16, 2013
    well, i just got these strings in the mail. and they dont fit mine either,i had the bridge pushed far back so the intonation was perfect on the 12th fret, but there was no way i could get the B string into the jaws of the bridge without moving it forward. i know strings have to stretch, so i tuned it and am leaving it over night to see if it fits better. as of right now, this is what it looks like in the bridge IN TUNE. also, freakin G broke right away so i had to go back to the original G http://tinypic.com/r/2wn6xvt/5
  5. joenoone


    Mar 21, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Strange - I've not had problems for the most part with string length. Yes, the B-string lower ball is revealed but it is under the cover held in place.

    Make sure the small ball of the string is at the top and is settled in as low as it can go. Here's how those strings look on my bass :

    IMG_20131016_091920_103. IMG_20131016_091930_945.

    FYI - notice my "string adapters" are missing - I broke one the first time I tried to use them (just started to tighten it and it broke) so I just removed them instead. They're useless in my opinion. :eyebrow:
  6. mujari


    Oct 16, 2013
    i used them too, for an original swing bass 66 set that was on my jazz bass, they crimped the strings and the strings were almost impossible to get out of the bass. THEN the whole assembly of the adapters started rattling so i glued them down. you're right, they do TECHNICALLY fit, but for the intonation to be right, the saddle had to be pushed far back where yours is. how did you even get the string in place to tune it ?
  7. joenoone


    Mar 21, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    I backed out the saddles as much as I could (just before it comes off the screw), then I made sure on the top the string was as far in there as it could be (see them all mostly facing the same way?) which gave me the slack to get it in on the bridge saddles and it all worked. The side with the small rings goes in the top, the large in the bottom (which it looks like you did) and, as the Brit's say, "Bob's your uncle". The fit was similar for all the Status Graphite sets I've used before although those seemed to be little bit longer and all those adjusted into the bridge when tuned.

    I've never boiled strings before (some do that to reuse / renew / rejuvenate them) but I wonder if maybe that might loosen them up for you that you can get them working for you - just a thought. Either way, let me know how it goes...
  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Contact Jason at Bass Strings Online and he should be able to get what you need. He has lots of Steinberger strings. And of course, ask him about the TB user discount while you're at it :)

  9. mujari


    Oct 16, 2013
    so update to this, i contacted rotosound and la bella about strings fitting the bass. here's what i got
    "Hi Solomon,
    Our double ball sets are to fit the original 1982 Steinberger and only make the one length. There just is`nt the demand to produce other lengths in double ball I`m afraid.
    We do not entertain custom sets as a rule but if we did it would prove expensive with a minimum order quantity and value. If I understand you correctly you have already mentioned the high cost you are paying for La Bella so on that basis would not feel we could offer you something any more competitive, not to mention the cost of postage, tax, etc.
    These sets remain entirely hand- made and are time consuming. Any change to the length would also entail some mods to our jig.
    Incidentally, I have known players with double ball basses to buy normal strings then locate a source for an adjustable ball with a locking grub screw, the idea being you fix the ball first then cut the excess. Doing it the other way round will cause the top wrap to unwind. A friend with machine shop facilities may be able to help? You only need one set made. Obviously, the shape must be compatible with the location point on your bass.
    We thus regret Solomon that other than the idea I have mentioned we cannot help any further on this occasion.
    Warm regards,

    and from la bella

    Hi Solomon,

    Unfortunately we've never made Synapse strings for Steinberger and do not plan to. Our Steinberger strings are only for original construction.

    I believe our competitors have viable solutions though. Sorry we can't be of further assistance.


    well crap
  10. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    So Okay - those two makers have pretty much removed themselves from the supplier list for ALL my future string purchases for ALL my basses. They don't want this part of my business, they're getting none of it...
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    It seems pretty clear what they're saying is that for a few sets of strings it would be cost prohibitive for them to custom wind these. There's nothing inherently bad about that, just honest. They still make a great product, just not for the Synapse.

    I have a couple basses that takes special strings too. I don't get mad because D'Addario or GHS or La Bella aren't going to custom make them for me and a handful of other players.

    Further, one of the responses kindly pointed to a couple other options, something that would make custom sets unnecessary and another that nicely pointed to another maker.
  12. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    So let me ask - how many 'original construction' circa 1982 Steinbergers do you suppose are still in service, as opposed to Synapses? It might be appropriate for them to sunset the originals and start making Synapses. Or do 6-month line changes. Or do anything that indicates they want my business...

    Since they _are_ hand-made and involves only changing a jig indicates it shouldn't be as complicated as retooling an automated process. I don't want them to 'custom wind' anything. I want them to be a standard. They're not interested.

    The Synapse already came with a device that makes custom sets unnecessary (and yes I got that it's problematic as well). And then pointed to another supplier that already said they're not interested either...

    I have a spare set of D'Addario Nickels on my shelf that I've been keeping sealed. This weekend I'll pull out the 'B' and see how well it fits. If it does, I'll have no need for GHS or RotoSound, although I was looking forward to trying RotoSounds on the fretless...

    Now that the Synapses have themselves been sunsetted, the entire discussion may be moot - I don't know how much longer anybody will make strings for an obsolete instrument. But if I find a maker that fits, I'll get them while I can...
  13. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    In that case, you might as well eliminate all other string companies as well.
  14. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    We will see how it goes with the D'Addarios this weekend.

    But we know _somebody_ made strings for the Synapse 'cause they came from the factory with strings... Who made the originals? Do they still have the ultra-special jig?
  15. mujari


    Oct 16, 2013
    that's what i was wondering. also, i may have a fix. IF it's possible to get a replacement head piece for the synapse, i'd want to try to drill the cavity the ball end goes into lower than it is right now, there's PLENTY of space between where the ball sits and the 0 fret. just have to lengthen the cavity.
  16. Mark4


    Oct 21, 2007
    FWIW, I bought a Synapse in August, and the integrated adapters have worked for me so far. From what I gather, the early ones had problems with burrs and whatnot cutting into the strings, but it seems that those problems were addressed. Then again, who knows. If they eventually fail, then I may have the end piece machined so it's flush with the end of the neck, and use one of the aftermarket adapters on eBay, but I doubt it will come to that. One thing I've noticed both here and by googling Synapses, is that despite the problems that some have had with the adapters, many apparently use them without issue. It's fairly common to see Black Beauties on these things, as far as I'm aware they aren't available in double ball sets.

    That said, the double ball set that came with it are still relatively fresh. If necessary, I'll go back to them. I just wanted to try this one with flats. IMO, flats sound great on these.
  17. joenoone


    Mar 21, 2009
    Orlando, FL

    As I mentioned before Status Graphite custom makes their own double-ball strings for their own basses and they seem a bit longer and work well. That is the ONLY place I was able to find flat-wound double-ball strings. They carry the entire range - round-wound, half-wound, tape-wound, and flat-wound. The string sets are reasonably priced, just the shipping is a bit more (I think it was $15 for 3 sets last time I ordered) because it comes from England.

    For a variety of double-ball strings talk to the guys at Just Strings - I believe the Ken Smith double-ball strings are a longer (double check with them on that, I'm not 100% positive).

    I'm surprised by what was said about La Bella strings as I had been told those are what came with the bass. Of course I had my doubts about that since I couldn't find La Bella flat-wound double-ball strings anywhere...
  18. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

  19. joenoone


    Mar 21, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Ahh... They do have the elusive La Bella [4-string] flat-wound double-ball sets (and the additional low B)! But damn, $70 for all that? It's only $34 for a 5 string set of double-ball flat-wound from Status Graphite (plus $6.50 for shipping)...
  20. mujari


    Oct 16, 2013
    i just messaged them to see if they make them the correct 37" length that came with the original bass. hope to hear back soon. any pic with the status graphite strings on the bass. at the bridge?