Hohner Steinberger types Reviews 4

Used, various models, none cost over $350.

I now play or formerly played: B2B bolt-on with EMG PJs [upgrade] B2A-FL thru-neck fretless, OEM active B2A-V thru-neck 5-string. All are very compact, have a useful variety of tone, are comfortable and fast to play, and stay in tune come rain or come shine. The Steinberger tuning bridge is a pleasure. The fretless has a phenolic finger board and I really like the sound of it. I've owned other phenolic board FL basses so I know it's the material that is making that sound, a whine like an insect chorus. The B2B is their least expensive and the thru-neck joints on the "better" models are no sleeker than the bolt joint of the B2B. This make the B2B a great platform for the upgraded PJ pickup of your preference. B2A has dual humbuckers and active EQ that I find just right in a vintage sort of way [this is after all a fretless]. The B2A-V 5-string has JJ PUPs and a truly killer EQ and pre-amp. This is the one friends love to borrow. Both OEM active models have a switch for passive that plays even if the 9v system dies. Passive has gain but no tone control. Answer to the BIG Question: Yes I have real Steinberger and yes it sounds even better [but it cost 4X as much]. Our Diva favors it for quiet Bistro venue gigs but even at deafening blues jams I get comments about the sound of the Steinberger. But such comments are always from players [up playing or in audience]. General consumers of entertainment apparently do not notice or care.

The string spacing on the B2A-V 5-string is very narrow; and it has some typical single coil hum. It would be nice if there were tone control available in passive mode, making it more of a tonal option than just a backup mode. There are no major negatives to these basses, in my opinion.

As described, some are thru-neck and some are bolt-on. AFAIK they are all maple throughout. The Steinberger licensed bridges all seem solid smooth and durable. The neck rods work well and are accessed at the tip of the neck, very easy with no peghead there. One must take care opening the control box to access the battery on the B2A-V: The pre-amp is on the back side of the cover and is connected to the rest of the EQ system with fine, but not very long, wires. The overall impression is a solid build that is fully trustworthy for any situation.

These are no-nonsense tools that are easy to pack or carry, light enough to play all night, with enough tonal range for most any player. Whole string sets can be swapped in and out quickly so you can pack flats, both light and heavy roundwounds, and any set can be replaced and in-tune in minutes. If you'd rather play than obsess over fancy wood and signature-edition instruments, the Hohners reward you by delivering reliably and not burdening your back or crowding your vehicle or the stage. If you ride public transit, you'll love them. I'm rating them "4" because the "real-thing" steinberger XL2A is proof that these Hohners can be surpassed within their own genre. If you would argue that the XL2a is in a seperate genre, bump the rating on the Hohners up to 5.

Golem rated this unit 4 on 2003-01-23.

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