Any headless fans here?

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sonicwarrior
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Any headless fans here?

Post by sonicwarrior » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:40 am

I started with a Steinberger Synapse SS-2F and grew pretty fond of the headless idea. That's why I have three headless guitars now.

It's a shame the idea got so many haters and there are not that many models to choose from. Steinberger makes only cheap Korean made guitars, Hohner still make their wood only cheap copies and all other headless companies I know are more or less custom shops like Basslab or Strandberg which means they are expensive and it takes at least a some months until you get your guitar (the waiting list for Strandberg is BIG!).

Any other headless fans here?
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dkcg
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Post by dkcg » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:30 pm

I'd get head if I had a choice... :love:

Only tried a headless Steinberger a long time ago in the 80s. It was weird to me, especially tuning on the wrong end of the guitar :hihi:

...probably takes getting used to. I was wondering what was up with the cheap Steinbergers, I remembered them being on the expensive side when I first heard of them.

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sonicwarrior
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Post by sonicwarrior » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:39 am

dkcg wrote:It was weird to me, especially tuning on the wrong end of the guitar :hihi:
I got used to that pretty fast and I find it simpler and faster than the headstock style tuning. My headless guitars also have a better tuning stability although I only have headstock guitars with locking tuners and hardtail bridges.
dkcg wrote:I remembered them being on the expensive side when I first heard of them.
Well, after Steinberger has been bought by Gibson they continued the old (expensive) models a while but then (in the mid 90s) they stopped the production. In 1999 the brand has been revived with the ultra cheap Spirit models. Later the more expensive Synapse models have been added, with EMG 81 and 85 pickups and a build-in spring adapter to be able to use normal strings instead of the double ball strings that were needed for the previous models if you had not installed an optional string adapter. The latest model is the ZT-3 with a new revision of the old Trans-Trem which let's you bend chords in tune and has 5 locking positions (D, D#, E, F, F#) which is better than having a D-Tuner.

I'm using my Synapse mainly as a travel guitar to practice when I go by train as the neck is a bit thick. It's thinner on the ZT-3 that I got last week so playing on that makes more fun but the Synapse is still smaller and cost only half as much so scratches on it are not that bad.
Last edited by sonicwarrior on Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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dkcg
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Post by dkcg » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:13 pm

sonicwarrior wrote:The latest model is the ZT-3 with a new revision of the old Trans-Trem which let's you bend chords in tune and hast 5 locking positions (D, D#, E, F, F#) which is better than having a D-Tuner.
Holy shit! I didn't know any trem could do that. :eek:

Any tuning protection against a string breaking?

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Post by sonicwarrior » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:56 pm

dkcg wrote:Holy shit! I didn't know any trem could do that. :eek:
Here is an official demo video (with poor video effects):

[video][/video]

There is another demo video for an older Trans-Trem version (1 or 2, I don't know):

[video][/video]
dkcg wrote:Any tuning protection against a string breaking?
Only the locking positions as far as I know. But changing the strings with the double-ball strings you'll need for the Trans-Trem to work properly is pretty fast.
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Post by Babaluma » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:01 pm

had a cheap steinberger bass copy once, and loved the design for the most part, but it was built with really cheap parts, and i didn't like the feel of the wide d-shaped neck. would love a "real" steinberger bass one day, but they are pricey.

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Post by sonicwarrior » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:17 pm

A Hohner perhaps?
I've heard that they are a bit like the cheap Spirit line from Steinberger as those also don't have the graphite U-channel and phenolic fingerboards of the Synapse collection.
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Post by Babaluma » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:54 pm

i had the steinberger spirit, and have played the hohner, and a real steinberger bass, and nothing compares to the original. for around the same price you could buy a status brand new, i'd love one, but can't abide their design...

http://www.status-graphite.com/

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Post by sonicwarrior » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:10 pm

Ah, didn't know that company. Do you mean the Streamline model?

Image

I find that one ugly, too.
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Post by Babaluma » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:27 pm

all of them, they're all fugly as fuck!

i love the idea, but not the implementation, (would much rather have an original steiny). am sure the status basses play beautifully, and they are made just down the road from where i went to uni (colchester, essex), but as i said, can't abide that design.

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Post by estragon » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:58 pm

A few years back someone came out with a guitar that tunes at the other end. I’ve never tried one. I guess they sound alright but they look ridiculous and I imagine you’d feel pretty foolish holding one. That would affect your playing. The idea isn’t to feel foolish. The idea is to put a pick in one hand and a guitar in the other and with a tiny movement rule the world.

-David Fair

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Post by sonicwarrior » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:15 pm

What a stupid reason to never even try a headless guitar. :roll: This David Fair should work on his self esteem if his playing depends on the guitar form he is playing. That's the worst contra headless argument I've ever heard. Well, he plays folk music and these guys are not known for their open mindness regarding guitar innovations.

And btw. there are some models that look exactly like headstock guitars without the headstock like the Steinberger ZT-3:

Image

Or a Basslab STD:

Image

Cynic played a ZT-3 live:

[video][/video]

IAMX use headless guitars live:

[video][/video]

The crowd seems pretty happy.
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Post by Christopher Winkels » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:21 pm

Even though I play guitar about as well as Wilhelm II might have I always had a soft spot for Steinbergers. It irks me that fashion plays so much of a role in musicians' choices, because they were a very real and noble attempt to try improving the state of the art in guitars.

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Post by Bendu » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:39 pm

I played a Yamaha BX 1 bass when I was in high school. One of the bands I played in was a punk band and at my first practice with them (I was a replacement) the singer laughed and said that my bass wasn't punk enough. They decided that they didn't need a lead singer after that. :hihi:

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Post by dkcg » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:43 pm

So I've always been curious if the headstock adding/taking away from sustain is in deed an old wives' tale.

Is there anything a lot different about the neck construction or the body construction, or is the bigger heavier headstock adding to sustain a myth?

Some great info in here...I hadn't looked at Steinbergers since about 1990 or so...they were way out of my range then, so I never looked again until I saw the lower end ones on craigslist for a fraction of what I thought they were from memory. I wanted one back then, but the strat was a lot more affordable for a poor college student.

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Post by wyrtti » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:46 am

I've been in love with the Status Graphite headless designs for a long time, but have never bought one. I love the way they look and play. A headless 6-string bass would be soooo nice.
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Post by Babaluma » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:33 am

i LOVE the design of the original steinbergers and lust after them frequently. for me, an instrument has to have visual appeal to me, or i won't pick it up and play it. hence my beautiful spalted maple tele. hence my hatred of "frankensynths", but that's just me. i was inquiring after that status graphite pictured above for a while, but baulked when i found out the price.

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Post by sonicwarrior » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:54 am

dkcg wrote:Is there anything a lot different about the neck construction or the body construction, or is the bigger heavier headstock adding to sustain a myth?
I have to check that at home to be sure. The necks of my headless guitars don't get thinner from the body to the headpiece which may result in the need for some adjustment time to get used to.

The Basslab is completely hollow which makes it super light (around 2 kg) and gives it a semi-acoustic fell. Plus it is possible to practice without using an amp if the ambient noise is low.
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Post by estragon » Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:25 am

sonicwarrior wrote:What a stupid reason to never even try a headless guitar. :roll: This David Fair should work on his self esteem if his playing depends on the guitar form he is playing. That's the worst contra headless argument I've ever heard. Well, he plays folk music and these guys are not known for their open mindness regarding guitar innovations.
The quote was actually from David Fair of the great Half Japanese, excerpted from his guide to playing guitar. The material you posted only solidifies my opinion of headless guitars and the people that play them, but as David says "it's your guitar and you can put whatever you want on it".

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Post by sonicwarrior » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:12 am

sonicwarrior wrote:I have to check that at home to be sure.
I'm sorry, I had a head ache and stomach ache and slept almost instantly when I got home. I hope I'm able to check that today. At least the head ache is gone.
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Post by Chrome Dinette » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:53 pm

I haven't posted here in forever, but I have three headless guitars(Teuffel/Scott French/Ozma) and two cheapo headless basses(Cort/Lotus). I have previously had two other headless guitars(Synsonics/Steinberger) as well.

I was never crazy about the trems on Steinbergers, but I do like hardtail headlesses.

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Post by oozitron » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:15 pm

David Fair is not your typical guitar player. We're distantly related, but are on different planets musically.




Another David (close friend, not relative) makes beautiful custom bass guitars. His instruments (some headless) are beautiful and get high marks from reviews for their sound and feel. Check out the pictures:

http://www.kingbass.com/photo.html

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Post by DonaldCrunk » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:24 pm

i owned the Hohner steinberger copy for a while, as my only guitar in fact - it was fine, but i suspect it had none of the advantages that the _actual_ steinberger had. the trem system threw it out of tune rather easily.

it's a great studio guitar though, very compact and little to catch on when you need to grab it and add a part quickly

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Post by sonicwarrior » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:46 pm

dkcg wrote:So I've always been curious if the headstock adding/taking away from sustain is in deed an old wives' tale.
I've checked that now between ZT-3 and Basslab (headless bolt-on and neck-thru-body) and Framus and Ran custom (headed bolt-on and neck-thru-body) and I barely hear a difference, although it might be very slightly more on the headless models. Hard to say. That's why I say that I'm not the 'compare guy'. :despair:
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Post by Just me » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:57 pm

I had a Steinberger bass when they were new and hip. It had a great sound, a new modern look and was the most difficult to play instrument I've ever owned. I sold it and bought a Music Man. I picked up a noname Japanese guitar shortly after and used it for a few years. It was nice and small and was easy to transport on a motorcycle. Only issue was I kept sliding my hand off the end of the neck.
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