Steinberger XM-2FD Fretless Reviews 5

Guitar show, $800 with OEM canvas bag, both in flawless condition.

Phenolic fingerboard [plus nylon covered strings] produces a fine whining humming fretless sound. Has two EMG Humbuckers. Stays in tune forever. Headless, so it fits in a guitar case.

Knobs are VVT but I prefer VFT [fader]. Have to special order strings [from Status] if you want nylon covered or 1/2 round. String spacing is slightly closer than most 4 string basses.

Solid graphite neck with 4-bolt joint to wooden double cutaway body. Active EMG humbuckers in elevator mounts, later style Steinberger bridge with the stainless wear inserts in each saddle. Smooth tuning at rear of bridge. Has a drop-D lever but I never use it. Normal double cutaway body plus headless neck means great balance on the strap and normal positions when sitting. Solid neck with no tension rod. Unmarked fingerboard with full side dots: small dots mixed with large dots so every "fret" is marked. Fingerboard feels very flat [not much radius] and neck is rather small in width and thickness. Two-octave length.

Other than being headless, it's a very plain bass. Tone is deep but not boomy, with a decent high end that's not twangy using the nylon covered strings. It does the job, is light, easy to play, and very reliable. The theme here is simplicity. It's like it's hardly there, effortless. I have no hesitation rating it a 5, as I can't imagine someone can build a better bass of this type, and I really like this type of bass.

Golem rated this unit 5 on 2004-01-23.

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