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wintoid

Graphite (Steinberger vs Status)

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5 minutes ago, Cuzzie said:

Is that sustainable graphite?

Yes loads of sustain, can you hear it?

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11 minutes ago, ped said:

Yes loads of sustain, can you hear it?

I think you hit that note last year I am hearing

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51 minutes ago, ped said:

Just thought I’d post some pics for no reason. Other than love graphite. Wonderful stuff when used correctly and responsibly. 

57B2347E-3688-449A-BCC8-A046498AE620.jpeg

9BE3769F-D63A-4D5F-A8ED-12F848DE6747.jpeg

Very beautiful!

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On 10/08/2020 at 23:19, BassBus said:

That's not stopped Ned Steinberger patenting an updated version of the original L/XL bass. NS Design also has a larger instrument roster than Steinberger Sound had. When it's released I'll be somewhere near the front of the que for one.

Having owned a couple of mid-eighties XLs (one of them a lovely transitional) I would buy one if it was in the same realm quality wise. Any links to this info? 

I've owned a couple of Zons and they were just a bit light on the low end and had a glassiness to their tone that didn't really win me over. Steinberger XLs just sound incredibly good and have no problems in the trouser flapping department whatsoever ;)

Haven't played a status for many years but my experience with them was that they were super bright (and glassy) tone wise. At the time I wanted the crazy low action and zingy sound to accommodate major thumb abuse so they were definitely aimed at a particular era of bass fashion. I would love one though! Especially an all grey early model with the weave finish.

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7 minutes ago, E sharp said:

No excuses for me posting this graphite beauty again . Delivered 2 days ago .

bogart8.jpg

Is that one of them there Boggarts?

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1 hour ago, Cairobill said:

Having owned a couple of mid-eighties XLs (one of them a lovely transitional) I would buy one if it was in the same realm quality wise. Any links to this info? 
 

I haven't been able to find any info online. There are pictures of Mr. Steinberger holding said instrument in Jim Reilly's biography of the man. There's going to be a new guitar too.

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1 hour ago, E sharp said:

No excuses for me posting this graphite beauty again . Delivered 2 days ago .

bogart8.jpg

Oh that’s a bit special. None more yellow!

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2 hours ago, E sharp said:

No excuses for me posting this graphite beauty again . Delivered 2 days ago .

bogart8.jpg

You're gonna see that coming ...

 

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I  had Status Empathy  headed back in the 1990's and it was very different tone-wise to my Streamline. The sweepable mids were great, but  from memory it was not as gutsy as the Streamline. Also,  to my ears at least, the E string always sounded inconsistent  with the other three strings .  Very strange considering graphite usually make things so consistent from string to string. Very strange. Still, I remember it as a very playable bass. 

As 4000 says, Status are still well worth investigating . Every bass builder, no matter how good their work  will have some negative comments if you look hard enough, and that includes the original Steinbergers. 

If I remember correctly, it was around 1989 when Fender acquired Kubicki. I played a few around that time and they were  great, regardless of who made them. I seem to remember the Fender Custom Shop were involved in their manufacture. A lot of the tone was in the preamp, but it was a good sounding one. John Taylor played one in Duran Duran post- Live Aid era . David Hood, the Muscle Shoals session ace has one and has used it a lot over the years. They used to do a green one that looked great, as did the white one. Very Miami Vice. 

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1 hour ago, Misdee said:

I had Status Empathy headed... to my ears at least, the E string always sounded inconsistent with the other three strings.

I had a MG Quantum 5 SPi Custom and tried to find that B for quite some time. First I thought that it has to be very thick, and started from 130 to 135 and so on. No success. For some reason I happened to try somewhat thinner strings (120 and 125) and the bass started to sing! It is not clear that any string would work with graphite.

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1 hour ago, Misdee said:

I  had Status Empathy  headed back in the 1990's and it was very different tone-wise to my Streamline. The sweepable mids were great, but  from memory it was not as gutsy as the Streamline.

That's easy to explain. The early Status basses had hum cancelling pickups. Essentially only one coil produced sound the other being there to cancel out any hum. Streamlines have full humbuckers with both coils producing tone.

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Were the coils side-by-side or stacked in a single coil case? The first one would be my guess.

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Remember if thinking about an Ex-Factor that it is a 32 inch scale length except for the last two partial frets for the drop D.

Not saying that’s a bad thing- I have a couple of 32s and they’re both great- but just in case you weren’t aware. 

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7 hours ago, itu said:

Were the coils side-by-side or stacked in a single coil case? The first one would be my guess.

If you're referring to the Status pickups the coils were parallel with each other as in a humbucker not as in a split coil.

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13 minutes ago, BassBus said:

If you're referring to the Status pickups the coils were parallel with each other as in a humbucker not as in a split coil.

I tried to mix a Status and a bartolini pickup, but Status' magnets were split: G + D were the opposite to A + E. There was no way to get an in phase sound with that bart through all strings.

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15 hours ago, E sharp said:

No excuses for me posting this graphite beauty again . Delivered 2 days ago .

bogart8.jpg

Just had a look at their website ... impressively badly-designed and non-intuitive.

Great basses, but they really should bring in a decent website guy.

 

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On 09/08/2020 at 07:11, wintoid said:

I've returned to bass playing after decades away, and am using my little Hohner B2A for now.  Of course, I always wanted a Steinberger.  Who didn't?

But proper Steinbergers aren't made any more, not from graphite, and supposedly it would be impossible for Gibson to make money from Ned's design because it's so difficult to manufacture.  So how come Status can make the Streamline and make a profit?

Is there something I'm missing here?  I know the Streamline has a truss rod too, which I don't understand if the neck isn't pliable.

Those Hohners were decent instruments.  They sell for good money these days.

As good as Steinbergers were - I love them - the move by Gibson to more traditional construction wasn't all bad news.  The Spirits are decent instruments in their own right and good value, and dont suffer the age related neck issues that many of the truss rod-less Steinbergers do with the passing of time. Indeed, the contemporary Hohner copy tends to withstand time much better than the original, which could be why prices are on the up.

Fundamentally, the original Steinberger was flawed.  Cracking on 50 years ago when Ned Steinberger started work on these designs he didn't  have the benefit of the modern materials and the understanding of their characteristics that we do today, which is probably why modern firms can make them better and cheaper. 

In the case of Gibson, they followed the profit - theres no physical reason that they couldn't have updated the design using modern materials and composites, but they're a volume seller that tends to rely on high turnover as their business model.  To that end, they've done very well - the Spirit is an ok instrument and a consistent seller, yet probably costs them no more to manufacture than, say, a Harley Benton Jazz Bass, so they're  making good money off it. Fair play to them. Smaller manufacturers target different markets and run different business models, and that's where the likes of Status come in - their operating model would never allow them the growth to Gibson levels of turnover, but the benefit is that they can concentrate on developing smaller volume, higher profit instruments. It's physics, materials science and business, all rolled into one!

Were Ned to release the Steinberger today, it would be a different matter entirely. He was simply born 40 or 50 years too early.

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So @wintoid, are you planning to buy one of each or just see which Wanted ad gets a reply first?

:D

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1 minute ago, Happy Jack said:

So @wintoid, are you planning to buy one of each or just see which Wanted ad gets a reply first?

:D

Haha, yeah the latter.  I've been oogling the Bogart basses too.  I'm not in any hurry, so it's just whatever comes up when.  I treated myself to a £6 strap for my Hohner, and that's keeping me entertained for now :)

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Posted (edited)
On 14/08/2020 at 22:42, BassBus said:

That's easy to explain. The early Status basses had hum cancelling pickups. Essentially only one coil produced sound the other being there to cancel out any hum. Streamlines have full humbuckers with both coils producing tone.

 That  explains the more gutsy sound of the Streamline,  , but the peculiar thing was, the E string  on the Empathy sounded a bit off even when the bass was played acoustically, unplugged. The was a distinct lack of fundamental , leaving the string sounding hollow in comparison to the other three strings. It was subtle, but it drove me mad.  I always suspected the bridge might have been involved in some way. No one seemed to be able to sort it out , so I gave up and sold it. 

I have never encountered anything similar on any other Status bass, it has to be said.  Such a shame as it was a lovely bass otherwise, with a very generic  80's/ early 90's modern kind of sound.  But bear in mind, it was the 1990's, so I couldn't really complain . It's easy to forget nowadays, but there was a time when  that was what most bass players were after in terms of their tone.  By comparison, more recent full-tilt ( i.e not the Streamline)  Status basses I have played and heard sound  have a very extended in the top end, and not sound  dissimilar to an Alembic in some respects. 

Edited by Misdee
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46 minutes ago, Misdee said:

 That  explains the more gutsy sound of the Streamline,  , but the peculiar thing was, the E string  on the Empathy sounded a bit off even when the bass was played acoustically, unplugged. The was a distinct lack of fundamental , leaving the string sounding hollow in comparison to the other three strings. It was subtle, but it drove me mad.  I always suspected the bridge might have been involved in some way. No one seemed to be able to sort it out , so I gave up and sold it. 

I wonder if it was a dead spot. Graphite produces them as well as wood. I have  a dead spot on the open D on my S2. I can understand how that would drive some people crazy but in a way I quite like it.

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I'm still very deeply impressed by the two S2 Classics I bought 3 years ago. My 5-string is my clear favourite at the moment.

 

There's a new player on the graphite neck market that I'm interested in, that will hopefully be released later this year: https://klosguitars.com/pages/electric-bass

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On 15/08/2020 at 10:40, Bassfinger said:

Those Hohners were decent instruments.  They sell for good money these days.

As good as Steinbergers were - I love them - the move by Gibson to more traditional construction wasn't all bad news.  The Spirits are decent instruments in their own right and good value, and dont suffer the age related neck issues that many of the truss rod-less Steinbergers do with the passing of time. Indeed, the contemporary Hohner copy tends to withstand time much better than the original, which could be why prices are on the up.

Fundamentally, the original Steinberger was flawed.  Cracking on 50 years ago when Ned Steinberger started work on these designs he didn't  have the benefit of the modern materials and the understanding of their characteristics that we do today, which is probably why modern firms can make them better and cheaper. 

Were Ned to release the Steinberger today, it would be a different matter entirely. He was simply born 40 or 50 years too early.

Some pretty sweeping statements there.

I’ll agree that the science of carbon fibre construction was less advanced than it is today but there was still a good bit of experience there and NS drew upon external expertise when designing his instrument.  What has happened in the interim is that technologies like carbon fibre have become much more commodified with many able to buy off the peg materials for their projects but they’re still working with carbon fibres and resins.  Also, I would put it to you that a guitar neck made from a bought in carbon weave mat will be a very different thing from one made of a carefully designed lay up which utilises specific fibres and their placement and orientation in the mould. Which “modern companies” are actually doing this better and cheaper?

What are the neck issues that “many” original Steinbergers suffer from? I have heard anecdotally of a few failures but any example I have seen has stood the test of time very well.

It’s fine saying that the Spirits and Hohners are decent instruments- they are- but they are also not in the same league as a graphite Steinberger in terms of sound or stability- remember they were introduced as an affordable entry level instrument for folks who would have liked a “real” Steinberger but couldn’t afford one.

And as far as it being “fundamentally flawed”, it’s an internationally recognised icon of world class design so I don’t understand where you are getting that notion from.

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Regarding any perceived shortcomings in the overall design of the original Steinberger bass, I think it's fair to say that Ned got far more right than he did wrong. The  innovative  thinking involved in creating such a revolutionary design is quite breathtaking when you consider how basses looked and sounded in the late 1970's. It's not really fair to  say that the Steinberger L/XL  isn't worthwhile because it isn't perfect.  NS  added to the palette of tones available to bass players , and  created a bass that was both beautiful and functional. 

Let's face it , Leo Fenders  designs were not without their idiosyncrasies, but they are still superb instruments that in many ( most) ways have never really been bettered. Depending on who you talk to. 

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