Whats the appeal of a headless bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HalfPlayer, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. HalfPlayer


    Jun 9, 2013
    Just so everybody knows i dont have anything against a headless bass and i have never played one but im just curious why choose one over a "regular" one. Do they sound different? Are they more comfortable? :)
  2. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    Usually lighter, usually better balanced, offers less chance of banging the bass into things, often associated with more modern, ergonomic and/or expensive designs.

    Some players state that without a head/volute in the normal spot, 1st position playing can be weird.
  3. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    Have you looked at the Status website, what's not to like about them?
  4. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Yeah, when I tried one out it felt weird. But I'm fairly sure that's just a psychological thing and one would adjust fairly quickly.

    It's a design that makes sense, and it's intended to eliminate neck dive. I honestly don't care for the aesthetics (somebody's skirting the rules here :smug:) of the Steinberger and its various knockoffs. Now if Carvin came up with a headless bass to go with their new headless Allen Holdsworth sig guitars, that would be something to tempt me with.
  5. Years ago I had a Washburn Bantam headless bass. It was easy to carry around,,small,,very light weight. For me I found that lack of body size resulted in loss of deep bass from the E string there for I sold it.
  6. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    I built a headless bass for travel purposes. Less headstock to be broken off, smaller package to carry. I also made it a 33 inch scale so that helped.
  7. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    Mine makes a nice "Temporary Spare." It doesn't take up much room, either.

  8. kilgoja


    May 26, 2005
    they were popular in the 80's.
  9. gavinspoon


    Feb 11, 2008
    Cardiff UK
    Small size and weight means it's easier to lug about.

    For a few years I had to take a bass into work with me - walking a couple of miles, and getting a train - so I could head straight out to band practice after work (working long hours). For this my steinberger copy was great.

    They do also stay in tune better. My other basses are stable, but tuners inevitably get nocked when you move them about. At one point I actually went several weeks without having to retune the headless - and I was checking the tuning with a stage tuner - it just didn't need adjusting.

    My drummer never liked the look of it, and I could see his point, but used it anyway because of the reasons above.

    Eventually I went back to a more traditional bass, because I quit the job, so the travel thing wasn't an issue anymore, but I've still got the headless and would switch back in similar circumstances.
  10. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    The Kubicki Factor - 100% unique/original sculpted ergo design - made in America - a modern classic

  11. None !!
  12. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    Geddy Lee said in a recent interview that the only reason he played a Steinberger was that it was more compact and helped him from banging his bass into the keys, mic, etc. He wasn't fond of the look or tone.

    Personally, I don't like the look at all, but the Status may be my only exception.
  13. Epidrake


    May 24, 2011
    Curbowkid, that bass is beautiful!!!! I'm in awe of guys like you who could build something like that.
  14. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Well, for one thing, I have yet to find a dead spot on my Yamaha BX-1, the only wood necked instrument I have ever played to be like this. :cool: It is also extremely well balanced on a strap, and compact and super lightweight.
  15. remainthesame


    Sep 24, 2008
    i will never play a headless bass. that being said, i played a steinberger once and i thought it was very comfortable. thing played like butter
  16. tomnomnom91


    Dec 23, 2012
    I think they look awesome, and for me that's their main appeal. The John Edwards Status is one of three dream basses of mine. Especially with the LEDs in the fretboard.


  17. BenWhoPlaysBass


    Jun 7, 2013
    In my experience, there's no neck dive and you're less likely to bang it into something on stage or in your practice room. The tone is... Well, it depends on the bass. The last steinberger I played (wood body model) didn't have too much "thump" to it. It was a bass, that's all I can say. Still, they feel pretty cool to play, IMO. I'd probably buy one just for the "neat" factor.
  18. I don't think they sound any better, nor any worse. I think the main appeal is comfort, but there are other benefits. As others have said:

    Headless designs tend to be lighter.
    They are better balanced, with no tendency for neck-dive.

    Whether they are more comfortable or not is a subjective thing. I think they are not necessarily more or less comfortable than a conventional bass, but if you're used to a conventional bass, then something like a Steinberger L2 will probably feel odd for a while, due to the small body. You get very used to it very quickly though, and come to love it.

    The short length and low weight makes them very easy to move or swing around. If you are used to a headless design and you try a conventional bass, you very quickly find yourself knocking the headstock into things.

    Also, I find that in addition to staying in tune well, they are easier to tune, and much easier (and much quicker) to tune to themselves than conventional designs.
  19. themensch

    themensch 25 years of bass

    Sep 11, 2008
    Wine Country, OR
    My crossbow is just fun to play. It sounds good and I don't bang the nonexistent headstock into things. It's considerably lighter than most of my other basses, too.

    Plus it looks cool and unique. Well, to me.

    [edit:] er, Guild Burnside Crossbow.
  20. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    The appeal is you don't have to announce that your band is an 80's Cover Band, people will know just by looking at your bass.
    lucas303 likes this.

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