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thinking about getting a headless bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Flawed, Sep 14, 2008.


  1. Flawed

    Flawed

    May 29, 2008
    does anyone have any experience with either the hohner sor steingberger headlesses? i really dig those guitars but dont want to make a bad purchase? what do you guys think of them, those that have played them. my local guitar center has kind of a ****** bass selection unfortuantely so i dont get to try a lot of different basses before i buy.
     
  2. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I had a headless Hohner jack bass for a while. It was a pretty neat bass and definitely worth it given I got it very cheap. I ended up selling it, but it made me a fan of Hohner basses (I now have an amazing fretless Jazz made by Hohner).
     
  3. Rugaar

    Rugaar

    Apr 11, 2007
    wisconsin
    I bought my Westone Quantum for the novelty factor but it turns out I really like the sound. Nice and full and growly. In fact, I've started looking around for another Westone (or similar old MIJ bass) with a more traditional style.

    It always takes me a couple of songs to get used to playing the headless bass. I'm used to seeing 6-8" of headstock at the end of the fretboard so I tend to grab a couple of frets higher than I want until I get used to playing it again. It balances well, it's super lightweight and I always get lots of comments when I play it. I spent a couple hours jamming with it last night and it was a blast.

    IMG_1194.
     
  4. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Oregon
    I've got a real-deal '87 Steinberger. Not the most vibe-a-licious axe for looks. The graphite neck, maple body and passive EMGs yield a certain sound, not quite "sterile" but definitely not your dad's hollowbody. Was my backup for years and years - I'm starting to play it out more. The thing is as solid as a rock.

    The headless concept is certainly good for traveling, not to mention super close quarter bar gigs.

    I had a Hohner B2AFL, basically a fretless wooden XL-2 copy. The cheaper designed-by-EMG pickups were crap, the preamp was cheesy and the neck eventually developed a real funky twist. I had my fun with it but it definitely wasn't a pro piece (even though it had the word "PROFESSIONAL" silkscreened right up there on the front of the body :p)
     
  5. Swift713

    Swift713

    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I had a Hohner B2SA. It was really nice, all maple which many think sounds better than graphite. I was a bit underwhelmed by the EMG designed humbuckers and the active pre hardly sounded any different from the passive tone. It was solid and reliable but overall not quite my bag. I'm fond of P bass and Stingray types I guess.
    I do miss the headless convenience and balance, they can hang pretty close to vertical, which I like, with no horns in the way.
     
  6. I have a Hohner w/the detuner bridge. My experiences pretty much match up w/Rugaar's. Mine's been considerably butchered; defretted(sloppily but plays well- TONS of mwah), I yanked the neck PU to make it slappable & did a more extreme cutaway for upper-reg access. I think I'll screw a cymbal stand onto the back so I can throw a little fretless part in on a whim w/o really 'switching' basses.
     
  7. Mark4

    Mark4

    Oct 21, 2007
    I like my Hohner B2ADB. The fretwork is great, and the stock pickups sound good to me. Especially in the neck position. Punchy, articulate, and no hum. The active pre helps to dial in a lot of different sounds. The body is as resonant as one would expect an all maple neck-through to be. It's a fun little bass. IMO, I don't think you can go wrong with one of these.
     
  8. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    I've got the Hohner B2A headless licensed by Steinberger with the drop tune switch. I do love to play it. It's got lots of horsepower, good sounds and is lightweight. When I switch to another bass to this one, I have to remember to cut the amp controls back a good bit. That's how much horsepower it has. Like Rugaar said, takes a little adjustment at first. Where I would normally go to on the neck ends up being a few frets higher on the headless. My vote is yes. :cool:
     
  9. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    My Hohner Jack had EMG Select pickups and I thought they were decent enough, and the preamp wasn't that bad, imo!
     
  10. llamalor2112

    llamalor2112 Banned

    Sep 18, 2007
    I've got one of the old 87 white graphite XL-2 Steiny's and one of the wooden Spirit Xt's. I love these basses! The EMG humbuckers have a great warm (even growly) tone. The size is great for travel and the dual-ball strings only need to be tuned like three times before their life is up.
    The only problem I have is with the wooden copy. It is hard to switch to in the middle of a performance after playing, say, a Geddy jazz because it has a reeeally long neck due to the placement of the strap button.
    Still, these are easilly my favorite basses and always will be. :bassist:
     
  11. I started off my headless career back in the late 80's with a Hohner Jack, then got into Status basses in 1990. I've been playing primarily headless ever since & always seem to find headed basses much harder work. The balance is a lot more natural & if you get along with them, you'll never look back!
     
  12. KeithPas

    KeithPas Supporting Member

    May 16, 2000
    Poulsbo,Wa
    I have played headless basses in the past and liked them but had not played one in a while until I got a Washburn Status 1000 and it is a great bass. It is a little heavy but it balances well, looks cool and sounds killer.
     
  13. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I'm thinking of a new Status to replace my old Stealth 6, but I can't decide if I wanted a headed Hellborg model of a graphite Kingbass in 34" scale! :meh:
     
  14. funkifiedsoul

    funkifiedsoul Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    I dig the modern look, but it feels like......well, to quote John Entwhistle "It feels like I'm falling off a cliff".:help:
     
  15. Flawed

    Flawed

    May 29, 2008

    that is some hot **** my friend, nice bass! now if i could get my hands on it .... what's your address again? :ninja:
     
  16. Like Chris2112 i to owned a Hohner Jack bass and they where a very well made bass.I wish now i had of kept it,they still fetch a good price here in the UK.Also like Chris i bought a Hohner J bass Fl again well made,but i would rather have the Jack or the B2A.
     
  17. Rugaar

    Rugaar

    Apr 11, 2007
    wisconsin
    Thanks. (I think?) ;)

    When I saw it I just had to buy it, like I said before, just for the novelty. Rewired the input jack and cleaned it up a bit and it's a nice little player with some killer growly tones. Lots of fun and easy to play. My daughters hated it when I got it but they're starting to come around a bit and dig the kitschy cool factor.
     
  18. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    Understatement Of The Year :)
    It takes a purty darn confident man to rock out on a headless bass in 2008! I love my Steinberger L-2 (got it new in 1982 and never regretted it, fantastic sounding instrument) but I still feel a bit dorky performing with it on indie-rock club gigs.

    ...although for society gigs when I'm wearing a tux it is the ultimate fashion accessory! Seriously.


    Hmm...in addition to my Steinberger I've also played several Hohner Jack basses and that Yamaha headless thing from the mid-80's, and I've never felt that any of them were more balanced than a stock Fender Jazz Bass. Sure, the 'berger with its boomerang mount is perfectly balanced on its center of gravity, and will stay wherever you put it (horizontal, vertical, or anywhere in between), but there's something about the way a standard body with a tummy-cut fits around my torso that makes them lie better and feel more comfortable than any headless bass I've ever played.
     
  19. I have a Steinberger Spirit as my back up. I love it. It used to be my #1. I may get an American made one someday. Most guys who play headless basses now play reggae.
     
  20. sotjian

    sotjian

    Nov 18, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    I have a Hohner B2A that I'm quite fond of. I keep this little guy at work where I use to practice scales and stuff when I'm bored. I has nice EMGs and a decent pre-amp. Only minus is trying to find strings for it.

    I posted a take-apart of the bridge/ tuners on my fickr page (http://flickr.com/photos/mlamoureux/sets/72157606662475071/) because there seemed to be some misconceptions about how hard it was to fix and keep clean. Not at all. Once I had mine all tidy the tuners turned smoothly and stayed in tune.

    Hope this helps.
     

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