I acquired this bass recently after looking for an excellent example for years (I managed to secure it in a trade with one of BC's most upstanding members). My search had focused on an XL2 from 1984, the transitional year in which the basses combined (in my opinion) the best bits from the L2 and some of the improvements that would take the instrument on its future pathway. Again in my opinion (and that of the Industrial Designers Society of America) this is an outstanding piece of industrial design - a re-think of the bass guitar from the bottom-up and some advancements that have taken root in contemporary instrument design and manufacture. For me, Ned is a gifted visionary.
Enough of the hype, I'm not really a fan of this in ads. So, the basics (and I hope that the images will do most of the talking):
Active EMG pickups (but not an active circuit)
vol, vol, tone (the pots swivel turn very freely but are positive and effective)
1.5" nut - this takes DBE strings
Original plug-in rest (hurrah!)
Original pivot plate
Original bag (in good condition but has a slight chemical smell - the bag has been cleaned carefully and is spotless)
The condition of this bass is outstanding - I haven't seen a cleaner one in many years. The bass has been played but clearly treated with care throughout its life. There is some very minor player-wear and the odd very small mark, however, for a bass of its age, this is in superb condition.
The only flaws of which I'm aware are:
The push in battery cover has a repaired crack (this cover appears to be entirely stable)
The top strap pin on the pivot is cracked and a small segment is missing (a new delrin pin would be easily fashioned, so I'm told - I don't have the tools or expertise). I use the pin with a Fender grolsch type rubber washer)
At some point in its life, somebody fitted two strap pins at the bottom of the bass and one behind the heel. These are very stable and whoever did it made a good job of the work. An unfortunate one though. A friend of mine in a high-end body shop offered to remove the pins and fill with epoxy, flatten and re-gel (about £30). To be honest, I didn't go down this route as I find the bass to be more comfortable on the 'new' pins than on the pivot plate.d
The action and playability are legendary on these as is the tone (biblical). The action is currently extremely low (really very low) band the bass is fitted with a new set of Status 30-90 rounds. The tone is incredibly powerful - piano-like clarity as with an Alembic, though a brighter piano than the latter (for me Alembics have a darker piano tone). The stability of the XL2 is also legendary - this is an extremely strong bass and not as lightweight as one might imagine (I'd say around 8.5lbs).
In light of the above, why the sale? Well, I'm struggling with back pain that is exacerbated by working from home. My home office needs a major make-over and this involves a new chair. Really good ergonomic chairs aren't cheap, indeed, neither are stand/sit desks and I need both. Also, though I'd love to keep this bass, it also exacerbates back pain. I moved almost exclusively to short-scale some years ago and the ergnomics of the Steinberger - although brilliantly conceived and executed - tend to push the neck out to the left and this involves a bit of a stretch for me. This is a problem over any kind of extended period. So with serious regret, this bass needs a new home. It was everything I'd dreamed it would be but I can't afford to be sentimental - I really need office furniture more than I need (IMO) the most brilliantly well-designed bass in the world.
I've priced this at £1975 as I think this is probably very reasonable for a bass of this type in this condition - it's pretty special and it's an awful lot cheaper than others (most probably not as desirable) that are around at the moment. I'm not looking for any trades at all thanks, and I'm firm on the price. It's probably a significant bargain and I'm losing on this. There was a card in the pocket of the bag that indicates that the bass was sold for 2500 Euros in Italy in 2009. I'll include UK shipping in the price, though this is without insurance. I have a large box and tons of high-quality bubble wrap. I can ship in the UK and most of Europe (though there'll be a shipping charge - at cost - for the latter). Collection - socially and responsibly distanced - is possible in Manchester. If you need any specific images, or have any questions, please just ask.