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NikNik

Steinberger L2 on Reverb - no zero fret

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How do the double-ball-end strings match with the hardware?

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2 minutes ago, itu said:

How do the double-ball-end strings match with the hardware?

That's how the old L2s were made. You had the option of using the new (then) double ball-end strings or conventional ones that you snipped off to the length required, inserted the string into the holes visible then inserted a grub-screw to clamp the string in place. Is that what you are asking about?

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-26 at 08.27.28.png

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Posted (edited)

I seem to remember reading an article with Bill Wyman years ago where he said he'd got a Steinberger, but he didn't like it because he wasn't keen on long scale basses, so they modified it by cutting off the first fret (or so - I can't remember how much he said was chopped off). This is from an article probably 30, 35 years ago, I'd guess in Guitar Player magazine, and I hope my memory isn't playing tricks on me!!! :D I never saw a picture of the bass, but going from what he said, the bass you've linked to certainly looks similar to how he described it.

Amazing - I actually found the article here. 83gp-wyman1.jpg

Edited by bassaussie
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6 minutes ago, bassaussie said:

I seem to remember reading an article with Bill Wyman years ago where he said he'd got a Steinberger, but he didn't like it because he wasn't keen on long scale basses, so they modified it by cutting off the first fret (or so - I can't remember how much he said was chopped off). This is from an article probably 30, 35 years ago, I'd guess in Guitar Player magazine, and I hope my memory isn't playing tricks on me!!! :D I never saw a picture of the bass, but going from what he said, the bass you've linked to certainly looks similar to how he described it.

Seriously? I also recall from that time that he did use an L2 that he commissioned, a shorter-scale model, before he moved onto the XM2 model. But this one is odd. 

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13 minutes ago, bassaussie said:

I seem to remember reading an article with Bill Wyman years ago where he said he'd got a Steinberger, but he didn't like it because he wasn't keen on long scale basses, so they modified it by cutting off the first fret (or so - I can't remember how much he said was chopped off). This is from an article probably 30, 35 years ago, I'd guess in Guitar Player magazine, and I hope my memory isn't playing tricks on me!!! :D I never saw a picture of the bass, but going from what he said, the bass you've linked to certainly looks similar to how he described it.

That cutting off is sure to mess with the intonation.

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2 minutes ago, NikNik said:

That cutting off is sure to mess with the intonation.

Do you think? If you remove it from the low end of the neck, you're simply replicating what we do when we fret a note - in a way, it's basically the same idea as what a capo does on a guitar.

I think if you took if from the other end of the neck, then you'd have problems (I think .... ).

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25 minutes ago, bassaussie said:

I seem to remember reading an article with Bill Wyman years ago where he said he'd got a Steinberger, but he didn't like it because he wasn't keen on long scale basses, so they modified it by cutting off the first fret (or so - I can't remember how much he said was chopped off). This is from an article probably 30, 35 years ago, I'd guess in Guitar Player magazine, and I hope my memory isn't playing tricks on me!!! :D I never saw a picture of the bass, but going from what he said, the bass you've linked to certainly looks similar to how he described it.

Amazing - I actually found the article here. 83gp-wyman1.jpg

Excellenté !!

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6 minutes ago, bassaussie said:

Do you think? If you remove it from the low end of the neck, you're simply replicating what we do when we fret a note - in a way, it's basically the same idea as what a capo does on a guitar.

I think if you took if from the other end of the neck, then you'd have problems (I think .... ).

Well, the saddles are quite far forward. That might make your 2nd harmonic be in tune but what about the other frets??

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2 hours ago, NikNik said:

 Is that what you are asking about?

No. I had a bass with d-b-e strings and there were no length choices. Rotosound was the brand at the time, late 80's.

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This is interesting - looks like the Reverb bass actually uses the 1st fret as a zero-fret - the neck's the standard length but fret positioning/spacing's altered to make the scale shorter. It's very noticeable how close the 24th fret is to the end of the fingerboard.

What's interesting is that the Wyman article doesn't say they shortened the neck, it says they'd "just steal two frets' length off a regular bass". I think this is how they did that.

 

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14 minutes ago, Bassassin said:

This is interesting - looks like the Reverb bass actually uses the 1st fret as a zero-fret - the neck's the standard length but fret positioning/spacing's altered to make the scale shorter. It's very noticeable how close the 24th fret is to the end of the fingerboard.

What's interesting is that the Wyman article doesn't say they shortened the neck, it says they'd "just steal two frets' length off a regular bass". I think this is how they did that.

 

Yes, they've obviously measured accurately. I still don't get why the didn't use a zero-fret. The edge of the retainer would barely do the job, no?

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The first fret is the zero-fret, that's how they shortened the scale.

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1 minute ago, Bassassin said:

The first fret is the zero-fret, that's how they shortened the scale.

I get that, but why not put a zero-fret in? So they removed the zero and the first fret? Excuse my eyes if I'm missing it.

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Counting from the 12th, it's 22 frets, likely they just didn't add the extra two on his. Shame the pic's not clearer!

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Just now, NikNik said:

I get that, but why not put a zero-fret in? So they removed the zero and the first fret? Excuse my eyes if I'm missing it.

Because there's no need - they've just shortened the scale length to (presumably) 33-ish, and shunted the whole lot up the neck. 12th fret position moves, so no need to shift the bridge. The physical length of the neck stays the same as the standard bass. Same with Wyman's I'd expect.

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27 minutes ago, Bassassin said:

Because there's no need - they've just shortened the scale length to (presumably) 33-ish, and shunted the whole lot up the neck. 12th fret position moves, so no need to shift the bridge. The physical length of the neck stays the same as the standard bass. Same with Wyman's I'd expect.

Right, I'm seeing it now. No damage and 1st fret is the zero-fret. I was spending to much time at teh retainer end instead of lookign at the bleeding obvious!

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It’s also got 24 frets with markers in the correct places. If it was a damaged neck shortened the markers would be out and definitely wouldn’t have 24 frets.

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9 hours ago, Bassassin said:

Because there's no need - they've just shortened the scale length to (presumably) 33-ish, and shunted the whole lot up the neck. 12th fret position moves, so no need to shift the bridge. The physical length of the neck stays the same as the standard bass. Same with Wyman's I'd expect.

And this is the reason, the d-b-e strings matched. If the neck was any shorter, the strings wouldn't fit. Thank you @Bassassin.

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late to this...

Interesting bass and have to assume that it is indeed a custom factory order and yet... I don't think there's any room for an extra fret at the top of a standard L2 neck/ fingerboard blank? And the neck is standard length as the double ball strings attest.

Also, never seen a genuine Steinberger fingerboard that has the double dot inlay at the 24th fret - always omitted possibly to do with Ned's minimalist tendencies of the time - no need to mark the 24th fret as it's the last one? Spectors which Ned also had a hand in originally don't have it either, I think.

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As an afterthought, fretless Steinbergers didn't have a zero fret- the fingerboard has a ramp at the nut end and the strings rest over that. Consequently the tone between fretted and open strings is about as closely matched as you can get on a fretless instrument.

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