Steinberger XL2A SpaceBass Reviews
I was looking for an XL2A ever since I had
first met one, more as a "lifestyle" solution than for its many other qualities
because it's portable and climate-proof.
I found this one at Daddy's Junky Music for
$900 with no problems, a bit of fret wear,
and OK cosmetics.
Portable and climate-proof, stays in tune
like a piano. Sound is great. Not a huge
range of voicings, but has a full-voiced
"regular" bass voice: thump, growl, pong,
and a touch of high end yowl. Sound is
via my favorite: dual EMG humbuckers. It has good sustain, the right amount for most
playing, as opposed to endless sustain that
keeps a player busy muting strings !
Best ergonomic feature is the famous yoke
that hangs on your strap, with the entire
rest of the instrument pivoted on the yoke
at the center of gravity. Holds any angle.
Equally famous is the swing away "leg rest"
for sit-down playing. It works well.
Strings can be changed in a flash anytime.
It has no rod in the neck and needs none.
That's one less thing to be messing with.
Controls are simple: gain, fader, tone.
The tone control has noticeable effect.
It came with a sorry looking canvas [yep,
canvas, this is "vintage"....] gigbag that
fits like OJ's glove. It also fits any
guitar bag [bass bag is way too big] with
room for an extra sweatshirt as well.
I add two rubber feet at the corners so I can just lean it up against the wall and
don't need a guitar stand.
The output jack is on the BACK side at the
upper corner so a right angle cord is very
important [but not absolute necessity, the
corner is a bit outboard of the player's
torso, at least for me, at most playing
angles]. Zero other complaints.
This is one brick house !!!
There is zero wood content. It weighs almost twice as much as the various wooden
copies, and the copies are Solid while the
Berger is HOLLOW !! The neck and body are
integral and the top, or face, of the body is removeable. Theres a "keel" that sort
of continues the neck thru the hollow. The
keel is integral with the back and is about
half as deep as the body cavity [does not
come near the top panel, leaving space for
the elevators for the humbuckers].
The bridge is massive, double any typical
4 string. Mine has the stainless "wear
inserts" in each saddle. Spacing is just
a bit narrower than typical 4 strings but
wider than a viola bass.
The fretboard is phenolic, and the rest of
the structure is carbon fiber reinforced
resin. The neck is not hollow. The "neck
joint" shape is similar to the old set neck
shape of the wooden basses like Gibsons.
Mine is active [XL2A] but there is also an
XL2 passive version.
This is a great bass for classic bass style
but won't be a favorite for popper snappers,
although it won't really impede them either.
It's a true humbucker bass, with all that
goes along with that. For RnB, electric
jazz, rock or string quartet, it's the king
of the hill. It's about basic tools and
simple approach, however unconventional its
material, hardware, and shape. In a long
historical perspective, I'll bet it's THE
landmark bass after the original P-Bass.
Consider everything that be be done with a
new killer midi keyboard. Then consider a
Jimmy Smith at a Hammond B3. The XL2A is
very much the B3 for the Jimmy Smith that
might be in your thuddwakker soul.
I'm rating it a 5 because there's no button
marked "6+" on the rating scale.Golem
rated this unit