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jonunders

Advantages/Disadvantages of headless basses

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I'm not a big fan of the looks of headless basses, but that's definitely something to split people's opinions anyway. I've played a few, had a chance to have a quick go on Steve Soar's Status (that's alliteration for you!!) and although it was a lefty and I play right handed, it sounded really great.

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[quote name='lojo' post='1128904' date='Feb 15 2011, 09:00 PM']Sorry cant add to the thread, but just wondering, when this was first popular, was it simply a new take on the way a bass could look, or did they seriously promote the system as an improvement?[/quote]
Oh they were very definitely promoted as an improvement. Steinberger and Status developed their instruments independently but came up with very similar designs (headless and the use of carbon fibre) at about the same time. I can't remember the story exactly who was first - I think one was prototyped first and the other made it to market first. 1982-ish?

Anyone remember the exact details?

Edit: It must have been before '82 as I can remember Bill Wyman playing a Steinberger in that year.

Edited by Musky

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Wow! Marmite anyone? heh heh!! Quite a split in opinions eh!

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[quote name='Musky' post='1128924' date='Feb 15 2011, 09:19 PM']Oh they were very definitely promoted as an improvement. Steinberger and Status developed their instruments independently but came up with very similar designs (headless and the use of carbon fibre) at about the same time. I can't remember the story exactly who was first - I think one was prototyped first and the other made it to market first. 1982-ish?

Anyone remember the exact details?

Edit: It must have been before '82 as I can remember Bill Wyman playing a Steinberger in that year.[/quote]

Dunno about Steinberger but the first Status was 1981, it was called the GMT Strata but the name had to be changed because Fender thought it sounded too much like Stratacaster :)

More info here: [url="http://www.statii.com/status_cats/strata/index.html"]http://www.statii.com/status_cats/strata/index.html[/url]

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I've been trying to find our more about my Hohner headless from the late 80's which  has a jack on the reverse and a strap with a rotating connector so that you can spin the guitar as in ZZ Top style ( but without the fur!).  Does anyone else have this? I can't find out anything about them.

Luckily it has a conventional jack because it's totally impractical but fun anyway

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Almost made it to ten years untouched!

There are many advantages to a headless, the only real potential downside being aesthetic. Some folks just prefer a headstock, and certainly a headless can look very out of place in certain bands, particularly of the 'vintage' variety.

I'm interested to see what the swear filter makes of it, but I'll just star it out for ease of reading; a blues-rock guitarist once delicately put it: "It looks like you're w*nking a c*ck without a h*lmet!"

Such a sweetheart.

  • Haha 3

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It has been a while, hasn't it? I had a Jack 5 then, since then the Jack 5 has gone and I've had a B2V (now gone) and a B2AV (handy backup bass), a Status 2 (now gone), a Sei Original 5 fretless (main gigging bass in the days when there were gigs), and a Sei Flamboyant 5. I do have more headed than headless basses, but I also think that headless basses are lighter, better-balanced, and more convenient than headed basses.

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15 hours ago, Jus Lukin said:

Some folks just prefer a headstock, and certainly a headless can look very out of place in certain bands, particularly of the 'vintage' variety.

Whilst I totally agree with this, it just goes to show what a 'set in our ways' bunch we really are, that a design that was most popular nearly four decades ago is considered too modern. 

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I tried a  Washburn cricket bat just the once and was thrown because the bass hung further to the right than my headed basses and i was playing 1 fret  out.  It wasnt nice to play, but luckily it wasnt mine

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17 hours ago, Lizzy said:

I've been trying to find our more about my Hohner headless from the late 80's which  has a jack on the reverse and a strap with a rotating connector so that you can spin the guitar as in ZZ Top style ( but without the fur!).  Does anyone else have this? I can't find out anything about them.

Luckily it has a conventional jack because it's totally impractical but fun anyway

Would like to see some pics of that. As far as I'm aware the 80s Hohners had a fold-out leg rest & conventional strap buttons, and a standard jack & seperate XLR on the lower body edge. At least, my 1985 first run Hohner B2A does. Is yours definitely a Hohner?

16 hours ago, Slappindabass said:

I think its Beautiful, I am its dad though!

20200925_205733.jpg

In fairness, the Interceptors are ever-so-slightly Marmite, and possibly not the most graceful 80s MIJ interpretation of the headless aesthetic! However they're incredibly rare, so I'd rather like to have one standing in the corner. Possibly behind a bookcase. ;)

In other news, I have a hint of a reason to think that on Tuesday - which is my birthday - I might find myself finally in possession of a slightly more symmetrical, some might say elegant, example of mid '80s Japanese headless luthiery. More news when it becomes available...

  • Haha 1

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19 hours ago, Slappindabass said:

I think its Beautiful, I am its dad though!

20200925_205733.jpg

 

Isn't it a bit awkward having footswitches on the front?

I rather like it. It's certainly distinctive.

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