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Steinberger vs Zon

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by grooveguru, Feb 9, 2001.

  1. grooveguru


    Sep 14, 2000
    Central PA
    Anyone have experience using both these basses? What are the similarities and the differences in stability, tone, weight and playability. I have an XL-2 that I absolutely love but it's a little tight to slap on. Also the dbl ball strings are a drag to get what you want. Yeah I know about the string adapters (Have one) but I hearing that the string adapters are not the best thing for the bass. Seems that unless you get exactly the right speaking length on the strings the jaws push on the ball end towards the front and can cause premature failure of the jaws. So I'm avoiding using it. I really like the tone of the composite and wondered if the Zon's sounded similar. Thanks in advance!
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Zon's have a pretty "non-composite" sound. Mine sounds more woody than a lot of wooden basses I've tried. I can't think of any similarities between a Zon and a "real" Steinberger like yours...they're both great at what they do, I just think they do two different things.

  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I'll go with Brad on this one.

    I am not that familiar with composite Steinbergers, but I know with the EMGs and the 100% composite construction, they have a reputation for a modern, compressed sound, which is great for some kinds of music.

    I like a more traditional sound, and had tried other composite basses(mostly Modulus') many times, after hearing people talk about how great they were and how stable the neck was. I couldn't get a sound that I liked out of them, even the Genesis series with the wood overlaid necks and wood fingerboards.

    This had pretty much made me feel that a composite neck bass just wasn't for me, until I found a post about a Zon Sonus Custom fretless 5 string. Everybody that I asked about Zons said that they were much warmer sounding than other composite basses. I tried the bass and fell in love with the feel, although I didn't care for the tone it had on the rig I tried it on. But I bought it anyway, took it home, plugged it into my Eden Metro, and fell in love!

    Boy, were they ever right! I can't imagine a warmer, better, woodier fretless tone that I get out of my Sonus Custom.

    So if you are looking for a tone like your Steinberger, Zon may not be the answer. But try them for yourself, and see. Some of the best contructed basses I have ever seen, except for Sadowskys.
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Did someone say "Zon" and "Steinberger"

    I happen to have one of each (a Sonus 4 and a Fretless L-2)

    I think I like my Steinberger better tonewise. It just feels more focused. To my ears, anyway. The Sonus has a very Jazz Bass like tone, to the point that you have to play with both volume pots on "10" or you get 60-cycle hum. it is also warmer than the L-2. I do like the overall feel of the Sonus better though. I find the neck more comfortable to play and to play chordal stuff on, and while the Steinberger's ergonomically balanced, it doesn't feel as good as the Zon's ash body. Again, this is a personal preference thing.

    I'm have no plans to get rid of either, since they're both as close to state of the art as you can get.

    Will C.:cool:

  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Which Sonus do you have, BW?

    The Sonus line is pretty varied (this is just for general info on this thread, I know you know this stuff, BW). The standard Sonus has the wide set J pickups. This setup doesn't seem to have the low mid punch of the other Sonuses. That's neither a good or bad thing, it's a matter as you said for personal preference.

    The next flavor moves the J's closer together and more towards the bridge. This approaches the Legacy tone.

    My favorite Sonus is the Custom, it's basically the Legacy Standard (bolt-on) with a Sonus body. Bartolini soapbars, zippety-doodah preamp, sweet bass. This is the sound I really like. That and $.25 still won't get you a cup of coffee. Just one more opinion.

    There are other Sonus bass, too.

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