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wintoid

Graphite (Steinberger vs Status)

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Only if you're Lionel Ritchie ...

 

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26 minutes ago, merello said:

Not a single pic! It’s like finding a dazzle mag in a bush and it having no pages inside!

Here you go then.

Fretted and fretless L2s

WP_20160920_13_32_37_Pro.thumb.jpg.33d7b1451ef298008326395ed886b232.jpg

 

XL5W

WP_20181120_12_42_05_Pro.jpg

XL2TA

WP_20181120_12_53_02_Pro.jpg 

Status Custom

WP_20181120_12_44_27_Pro.jpg

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7 hours ago, EMG456 said:

Unfortunately I'm in Scotland so a bit far to come but if you're ever around you'd be welcome to try them out.

Thank you, that's incredibly kind of you.  Thanks also for the wealth of information in your post.

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19 hours ago, Lfalex v1.1 said:

Mine also suffered from a collection of issues which began to do more than just niggle, and I couldn't get a sound out of it that I liked (which is something I've never encountered before or since)

Beyond the sound, I'd be interested to hear the sorts of niggles a Streamline might have.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, wintoid said:

Beyond the sound, I'd be interested to hear the sorts of niggles a Streamline might have.

I'll try to remember..

It was TOO light and small for me and bounced around when I played it. It seemed to exaggerate every bodily movement I made and not stop! Spent more effort trying to hold it than play it.

Strings. If you don't want Status' own strings,  you'll have to source other Double ball-end ones or use the clamp above the nut on regular strings. That's fine, but it'll leave sharp protruding ends. I stabbed myself in the hands a couple of times. That's a pain when you're just about to play. Why was I using regular strings? I use coated strings as my sweat attacks strings. No one makes coated DBE strings.

Setting the intonation was a royal faff.

Fretboard (phenolic) started staining and de-laminating from the playing surface downwards. Neither of my other phenolic-boarded basses have exhibited this behaviour. 

Lacquer started to crack around the base of the bridge/tuner assembly. I am religiously careful with my instruments and am fairly sure it wasn't caused by impact damage.

They don't fit in regular hardcases. Maybe a guitar case would work,  or a generic square one and cut your own foam and liner- To Hobbycraft with you!

They don't sit comfortably in stands. Yes, they'll lean against walls, amps etc. while resting on their lower strap buttons, but it'll get damaged eventually. 

Electrics. I specced series/ parallel switching on mine. Seemed like a good idea after my experience with the Stingray 5. The Ray has the outputs from its series and parallel taps buffered down to the level of the single coil setting. No volume jumps when you switch settings. The Streamline didn't  have this (IMO essential) feature. This led to me not using it.

Didn't  like the EQ much, and struggled to get a useable sound I liked from it. Might've been the pickups, but I couldn't get it to sit in a mix. It seemed to lack fundamental output, and the whole sound seemed "thin"

I only bought a 4. Should've been a 5. That was my fault, but it probably spared me an even bigger hit when I sold it on!

They are compact and well-made. They suit some playing styles. 

Mine felt like a product from a well-meaning cottage industry. Initially impressive, but longer term ownership (about 18 months) revealed the issues, and it reached a point where I couldn't bear to look at it. It remains both the most expensive bass I've ever purchased, and arguably the worst. 

Buy one second-hand.

Edit- reminded about the gig bags! It is putting the bass in/ taking it out that leads to the impaled hands when using single ball-end strings.

Mine was also the only bass I've owned in 30 years which the 9v batteries leaked. (And no, the rest weren't all passive!)

Edited by Lfalex v1.1
reminded of further woes
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Very informative post.

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2 hours ago, Lfalex v1.1 said:

I'll try to remember..

It was TOO light and small for me and bounced around when I played it. It seemed to exaggerate every bodily movement I made and not stop! Spent more effort trying to hold it than play it.

Strings. If you don't want Status' own strings,  you'll have to source other Double ball-end ones or use the clamp above the nut on regular strings. That's fine, but it'll leave sharp protruding ends. I stabbed myself in the hands a couple of times. That's a pain when you're just about to play. Why was I using regular strings? I use coated strings as my sweat attacks strings. No one makes coated DBE strings.

Setting the intonation was a royal faff.

Fretboard (phenolic) started staining and de-laminating from the playing surface downwards. Neither of my other phenolic-boarded basses have exhibited this behaviour. 

Lacquer started to crack around the base of the bridge/tuner assembly. I am religiously careful with my instruments and am fairly sure it wasn't caused by impact damage.

They don't fit in regular hardcases. Maybe a guitar case would work,  or a generic square one and cut your own foam and liner- To Hobbycraft with you!

They don't sit comfortably in stands. Yes, they'll lean against walls, amps etc. while resting on their lower strap buttons, but it'll get damaged eventually. 

Electrics. I specced series/ parallel switching on mine. Seemed like a good idea after my experience with the Stingray 5. The Ray has the outputs from its series and parallel taps buffered down to the level of the single coil setting. No volume jumps when you switch settings. The Streamline didn't  have this (IMO essential) feature. This led to me not using it.

Didn't  like the EQ much, and struggled to get a useable sound I liked from it. Might've been the pickups, but I couldn't get it to sit in a mix. It seemed to lack fundamental output, and the whole sound seemed "thin"

I only bought a 4. Should've been a 5. That was my fault, but it probably spared me an even bigger hit when I sold it on!

They are compact and well-made. They suit some playing styles. 

Mine felt like a product from a well-meaning cottage industry. Initially impressive, but longer term ownership (about 18 months) revealed the issues, and it reached a point where I couldn't bear to look at it. It remains both the most expensive bass I've ever purchased, and arguably the worst. 

Buy one second-hand.

Thanks very much.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone else who has had problems with delaminating fretboards or cracking lacquer.  Not just with Streamlines, I guess, but with any Status bass.

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Nothing on my Vigier (no truss rod, dead flat and immovable since 1988). I've asked Patrice Vigier about how the necks are constructed which should be interesting. I wonder what's inside!

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Posted (edited)

I had a Status with a warped neck once. Most of my issues (apart from the personal taste ones, which were insurmountable) were around electronics, which were always crapping out on me. 

Edited by 4000
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I've owned 4 streamlines (including a 5 and a fretless) and one XL2 transitional.  The Streamlines were nice basses - I liked them but didn't love them (some had very expensive options too - I bought second-hand).  I was initially fairly impressed - they're light and compact and the tone is ok/acceptable.  They're very easy to transport as you'd expect.  That said, the Status bags aren't good in my opinion - a bit cheap and nasty.  They also mark the bass - one of my Streamlines was seafoam green and another sonic blue - both ended-up with difficult to remove black marks.  I only re-bought Streamlines because of their portability... then gave up.  For me, they're nothing like the quality of an SII.  Now that's a bass that I love - solid, heavy, fantastic hardware and incredible tone.  I still have the SII.  Onto the Steinberger.  In a different league to the Streamline and an incredible example of superb industrial design.  Solid, heavy, truly innovative in so many ways and biblical tone.  Really, unbelievable power and poke.  I loved the Steinberger but only had it a couple of months.  The balance was awkward for me - really awkward - and it exacerbated back pain.  The neck is solid as others have noted and whilst twists/warps have been reported, these are unusual.  The board is fascinating - really quite flat, and as there's no truss-rod, the relief is built-in as the neck is constructed.  Ned really did re-think the bass from the ground-up with the vision and detail that only the best industrial designers bring to their creations.  I wish I could get that tone out of a short-scale conventional bass.  To address the OP's question, when you have a Steinberger in your hands, you can see/feel why they were so expensive.  To resurrect the original would be horrendously expensive and I suspect that there's a really limited market at present.  

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42 minutes ago, three said:

To address the OP's question, when you have a Steinberger in your hands, you can see/feel why they were so expensive.

I have an L2, and what you've said in that sentence sums it up for me. There's something very special about the instrument. It's not for everyone, especially these days, when the look is pretty dated by current fashions, but it's such a well made, well thought out instrument.

I'm going through a bit of a period of moving things out the door, but whenever I think about the L2, I just can't see myself selling it.

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2 hours ago, ped said:

Nothing on my Vigier (no truss rod, dead flat and immovable since 1988). I've asked Patrice Vigier about how the necks are constructed which should be interesting. I wonder what's inside!

I'll add a "+1" to this. My '96 Vigier Passion S3 may be a different beast to Ped's S2, but it's still rock solid. It's one of the other phenolic fretboards that hasn't had any issues.

And further to three's post; the S2 is the bass I should have bought.

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54 minutes ago, Lfalex v1.1 said:

And further to three's post; the S2 is the bass I should have bought.

A very kind comment, and this is possibly gratuitous, but here's an image of the SII (with a Streamline just visible behind it).  Also, an image of the Steinberger - a truly lovely bassIMG_3720.thumb.jpeg.dd1099613b7bed40bf49476e18bfab5a.jpeg

IMG_0293.jpeg

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3 hours ago, three said:

 To resurrect the original would be horrendously expensive and I suspect that there's a really limited market at present.  

It was horrendously expensive to produce in the 80s and they didn't charge enough for it. There was a limited market for it in the 80s and that market was filled pretty quickly. Those are the two reasons why it ultimately failed. They are still great basses though.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, three said:

A very kind comment, and this is possibly gratuitous, but here's an image of the SII (with a Streamline just visible behind it).  Also, an image of the Steinberger - a truly lovely bass

For a short period (maybe 2-3 years) I owned my L2 alongside an 80s Status Series II. Both amazing basses. The Status was amazing to play, so fast, complete slap monster. But there was something about the sound that seemed very focused, really distinct .... possibly even dated (please don't shoot me!!! :) ). I thought the Steinberger was more versatile, but in the way a Precision is versatile - it doesn't do much, but that thing it does seems to work well in lots of different situations. Having said that, I still regret selling the Status, it was a beautiful example of one.

EDIT: I just remembered something, about the Status sound. The preamp was probably the thing that I remember as being "dated". I had other basses with preamps, in particular a Sadowsky, and it has that sound that a lot of us are familiar with. The Status preamp dates to the 80s, and it was definitely voiced to suit the way people wanted a bass to sound in the 80s. So it's probably unfair to judge the Status on that - they produced a bass that was what people wanted at the time. I assume the voicing of their preamps has changed over the years - I don't really have much experience with later Status basses.

Edited by bassaussie
Additional info
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8 hours ago, wintoid said:

Thanks very much.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone else who has had problems with delaminating fretboards or cracking lacquer.  Not just with Streamlines, I guess, but with any Status bass.

I had a Streamline for about 10 years....only traded it because a Starry Night Stingray came up which I couldn’t resist. 

Regarding the fretboard; no delamination on mine but some discolouration (greying) which I’ve seen before on Status necks, just a cosmetic thing, which could be lessened by cleaning with WD40. No cracking at all on the body, but there was a little around some of the frets on the side of the fretboard, it was very minor and never got any worse in 10 years.

Truss Rod; I set the action when I got it, lowest action on any bass I’ve ever had and never had to touch it again. 

Soundwise, mine was warmer than I expected it to be and the 2 band eq wasn’t excessive (mine was an early one - number 6), never had a problem finding a usable sound.

I will get another at some point should the opportunity arise but at £2k and no gigs, it’ll be a while.

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I'm definitely being swayed towards a Steinberger, but then I've been down the 80s rabbithole the last few days, and found some videos of people playing the Kubicki Ex Factor, which is a bass I always fancied.  Wow that thing has the best sound I've heard.

But yeah, probably an XL2 if one comes up at a good price.

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Always loved the Kubicki Ex Factor. It has a very 'graphite like' sound. Unfortunately all the best examples I've seen have been in the USA.

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Apart from Basschat and eBay, where would people look for a nice XL2 or Kubicki?

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55 minutes ago, wintoid said:

Apart from Basschat and eBay, where would people look for a nice XL2 or Kubicki?

You could try Headless USA for Steinberger. They are in the USA so import duties would have to be factored in but owned by Jeff Babicz who used to work at Steinberger Sound.

https://www.headlessusa.com/repair-restoration

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2 hours ago, wintoid said:

Apart from Basschat and eBay, where would people look for a nice XL2 or Kubicki?

Possibly Talkbass?

And of course Reverb.com

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, ped said:

Always loved the Kubicki Ex Factor. It has a very 'graphite like' sound. Unfortunately all the best examples I've seen have been in the USA.

I always liked pretty much everything about the Kubicki except the sound. I could never get any real depth out of them. 

As before, if I was going graphite I’d get an early Vigier, no contest, although I do like Steinbergers too. 

Edited by 4000
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18 minutes ago, 4000 said:

I always liked pretty much everything about the Kubicki except the sound. I could never get any real depth out of them. 

As before, if I was going graphite I’d get an early Vigier, no contest, although I do like Steinbergers too. 

Annoyingly I haven’t ever played one but always think they sound great recorded.

Also annoyingly I found my ‘88 Vigier’s sister (#709 to my #711) for sale in Spain but the bugger won’t post. May find a helpful Spanish BCer to be a go between! The plan would be to turn it into a fretless to match my fretted. 

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