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DaytonaRik

NBD - Steinberger Spirit XT-2DB - with pics!

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As mentioned in my "anticipated arrival" thread - I have the need to for a bass that takes less stage space than a Thunderbird, particularly in smaller venues where there can be 4 of us across the front of the 'stage' with both guitarists' pedal boards in situ, a vocalist and myself singing backing vox so the Steinberger XT-2DB was the obvious choice really, especially as it added the option of the Db bridge.

Out of the box impressions are good - weightier than I had anticipated it is certainly substantial despite it's diminutive stature.  The neck profile is nice and slim - very similar to my Thunderbird if a little chunkier in the hand but not uncomfortably so.  The Db lever isn't too obtrusive when palm-muting but you do know that it's there.  Volume and tone knobs are smooth and crackle free, no sharp edges to any frets and although the action is a little high this is the work of minutes to resolve.  The gloss black finish is deep and flawless

Overall impressions are very positive, and given that you can get these for less than £300 they really are a bit of a steal if you can get on with the visuals.  Not sure how that's going to work in a rock band...guess we'll find out on Sat night!

 

 

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Edited by DaytonaRik
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Sweet!  I always liked those spirits - that's a fine instrument.... let us know what you think!

 

I owned an old XL-2 way back (amazing high end model), and a hohner 5 string fretless and fretted models later on (also great axes, just needed a bit of pickup tweaking or an outboard EQ to really get the tone I wanted).... every one of the steinbergers and licensed copies I've owned in that body shape have been excellent instruments, whether made of wood or composite, USA or import.

 

It's just a great body design!  enjoy!

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Update!!!  There really should be a better manual, or at least a section covering the DB bridge.  There’s a 1.5mm hex grub screw accessed via a port on the E-side edge of the DB bridge which is tightened to hold the knurled D-tune adjuster thumbscrew in place and prevent accidental adjustment when not under tension but no mention of this anywhere.  I spotted it quite by chance and happened to have a 1.5mm hex key to hand.

Additionally,, the fingerboard is made of “engineered hardwood” and the dye is leeching a little...I suspect that given the amount I sweat when I gig that the excess will soon be washed away!!! 🤣

Better photos tomorrow...I’ve been to busy having fun playing it tonight!

Edited by DaytonaRik
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Engineered hardwood - it's..... not real, but it works quite well... not surprised it's color is a dye, though.  Dry it after you sweat on it after every gig/rehearsal and it'll last, and that sucks that it bleeds but I've experienced that on lots of instruments, cheap and expensive, over my career - I wish they'd leave the color alone, but if it's engineered then it's probably very pale without dye.

 

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I had two of these, the 5 string versions though , and still have the normal body version (4 string).  I got mine from Music Yo.

I  seem to be in the minority when i say  I love the EMG select  pups on these basses. I swapped one of mine for the Honer active version but never though that sounded as good. 

Edited by dave_bass5

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2 hours ago, donkelley said:

Engineered hardwood - it's..... not real, but it works quite well... not surprised it's color is a dye, though.  Dry it after you sweat on it after every gig/rehearsal and it'll last, and that sucks that it bleeds but I've experienced that on lots of instruments, cheap and expensive, over my career - I wish they'd leave the color alone, but if it's engineered then it's probably very pale without dye.

 

I've also seen it down as 'Richlite' - resin infused paper which should last forever!  I'll be happy once the dye stops coming out over my fretting hand!

 

8 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

I had two of these, the 5 string versions though , and still have the normal body version (4 string).  I got mine from Music Yo.

I  seem to be in the minority when i say  I love the EMG select  pups on these basses. I swapped one of mine for the Honer active version but never though that sounded as good. 

I think it sounds pretty good - and certainly belies it's price tag.  There's a usable range of tones with the combination of the volumes and tone control for most people.  Eying up a 5 stringer next ;) 

Still having too much fun playing it take to some reasonable photos...tomorrow...I promise!

Edited by DaytonaRik
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I have a late 80's Hohner 5 string version; the 'B2V', and installed active EMG pups in the mid 90's. It plays really well, although I never felt the body and neck had the resonance/tone that I'd experienced when playing a friend's Status. I haven't tried a Steinberger but I've heard that the Hohners are somewhat comparable to them even though they are 'just' licensed copies. The active EMG pups make the best of my Hohner, and I'll keep it for posterity, but it'd be interesting to see side by side comparison with similarly spec'd Status, Hohner and Steinberger models.

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On 21/02/2020 at 15:31, Tomas73 said:

I have a late 80's Hohner 5 string version; the 'B2V', and installed active EMG pups in the mid 90's. It plays really well, although I never felt the body and neck had the resonance/tone that I'd experienced when playing a friend's Status. I haven't tried a Steinberger but I've heard that the Hohners are somewhat comparable to them even though they are 'just' licensed copies. The active EMG pups make the best of my Hohner, and I'll keep it for posterity, but it'd be interesting to see side by side comparison with similarly spec'd Status, Hohner and Steinberger models.

I can tell you from personal experience that the steinberger xl2 I think it was had plenty of body resonance... you could feel it, played great and was very expressive.   But the design in general does really require great pickups to sound good... I don't think there's much unique tone quality in either the real thing or the cheap one..... but the real one doesn't leave you wanting in any way with tone, where the copy is rather dry and uninspiring... even with upgraded pickups.  My hohners were just less touch sensitive to change your tone, somehow... maybe because the wood is a bit of a tone and sustain suck?

Still.... with active emg pickups you're getting 90 percent (I made that number up) of the real instrument's tone and feel and all of the convenience and appearance.... so enjoy it! 

Edited by donkelley
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Congrats!

You shouldn't have too much bother finding strings for it with it being a four.

I had a bit of difficulty with my XT25 when I wanted a simple set of DBE wirewounds.  Ordering from a major outlet in Derby took longer than it took Newtone to make some for me.  When the shop rang to say the strings were in, I had already bedded in a light intermediate set from our local string maker.

I'd consider modding my four string Hohner with the detuner bridge.  I like the build quality and tone of the much older Hohner B2A.  They're both good fun.

Edited by SpondonBassed

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On 21/02/2020 at 23:31, Tomas73 said:

it'd be interesting to see side by side comparison with similarly spec'd Status, Hohner and Steinberger models.

That would make an interesting thread.

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I had the Hohner B2A with 2 band active EMGs. Sounded great in passive mode and I used Pyramid strings I think from Thomann which really helped get a great tone from it. Loved the look and feel of it though you do think you're two frets away from where you really are! I just couldn't get on with the string spacing sadly. Still, it had a few good outings! 

 

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I'm tempted by one of these...

When I'm playing sitting down, I position the bass on my left leg, though.  Do you think this would be a problem?

Also is the drop tuner any good?  Stable?

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3 hours ago, missis sumner said:

I'm tempted by one of these...

When I'm playing sitting down, I position the bass on my left leg, though.  Do you think this would be a problem?

Also is the drop tuner any good?  Stable?

You can play on left leg if you like, some folks do.  It's also I think the standard for classical guitarists?  When I played steinbergers they sat on my right leg, but whatever works for each person!

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3 hours ago, missis sumner said:

I'm tempted by one of these...

When I'm playing sitting down, I position the bass on my left leg, though.  Do you think this would be a problem?

Also is the drop tuner any good?  Stable?

I think that would help offset the whole issue of reach to the neck being deceptive, the "thinking you're two frets away from where you really are" I mentioned in my earlier post. I don't know about drop tuners but what's often said of these type of basses is that they rarely go out of tune. 

 

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17 minutes ago, donkelley said:

You can play on left leg if you like, some folks do.  It's also I think the standard for classical guitarists?  When I played steinbergers they sat on my right leg, but whatever works for each person!

Yes, I meant I will be holding it classical style, and wondered whether the small body, or the shape of the Steinberger would lead to problems.

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3 hours ago, missis sumner said:

When I'm playing sitting down, I position the bass on my left leg, though.  Do you think this would be a problem?

You might find that everything is about three frets to the left... it's like that hanging on the strap though.  I got used to it a few years ago but I've since gone back to more traditionally styled bodies.

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1 hour ago, missis sumner said:

Yes, I meant I will be holding it classical style, and wondered whether the small body, or the shape of the Steinberger would lead to problems.

I guess it'll be up to you.  It does hang slightly more to the left because the left strap pin is on the body behind the neck area, not on an extended upper horn, of course.  So that moves it leftwards when standing. 

 

Now the more I think about it.... when sitting?  It might be hard if it's like an XL2 shape (the classic trapazoidal steinberger body) - I can imagine the tuner section sitting on your right thigh as a stopper while the normal pop out leg rest would sit on your left leg.  While the tuning on these things is rock solid, it might feel uncomfortable, but I couldn't tell ya as I don't have one that is this body shape any more.  My current headless is a precision bass with steinberger bridge/tuners/headstock mount (an old cort model).  Couldn't tell ya how that works since it's leg rest is precision bass body shape, not pop out, and it's body is much bigger/heavier than what you'd be getting.

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Cheers, all.  It looks like Andertons have a decent enough returns policy - if I had to send it back I'd only lose out on the delivery return cost... Good job it's not in stock at the moment - that at least gives me time to think.

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That’s interesting; I didn’t know you could get drop-D tuners on a Spirit. 
 

I’ve just hacked my 5-string to fit a pair of EMG pickups. 

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