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1982 Steinberger L2 Fretless Bass (consignment) SOLD






Comments During the mid 1970’s, Ned Steinberger was working as an industrial furniture designer in a woodshop space shared by Stuart Spector, who was making basses. One thing led to another and in 1979, the radically new L2 bass was born. Formally introduced at the 1981 Frankfurt Musik Messe, the bass was a resounding success, rapidly won other major design awards, and by 1982 orders were three times what Steinberger could produce.

Early 1980’s recordings from top acts often feature the Steinberger L2 bass. Tony Levin of King Crimson was an early player, and Sting apparently owned number 430.

This 1982 Steinberger L2 Fretless Bass, number 466, is in great condition, with all the parts. As a fretless, it is not a conversion, but a factory fretless model. It has two EMG active pickups and four controls. It uses double ball end strings, and features the breakthrough bridge and tuner tailpiece.

The Steinberger L2 Bass is made from molded carbon fiber with a phenolic fingerboard and a fiberglass faceplate to support the electronics. Steinberger certainly wasn’t the first to use alternate materials like this; consider the 1929 National Bakelite Neck Trojan model. Famously – if not obscurely – Nicolò Maccaferri produced a plastic archtop Gypsy Jazz model in the early 1950s from his shop in the Bronx.

The Steinberger name and line is now owned by Gibson, and basses and guitars are still produced. Visit the Steinberger website here

Ned Steinberger still produces instruments, but for contractual reasons not under his original Steinberger brand name. Visit Ned Steinberger’s website here

Serial Number 466, built during 1982 (likely during late October) at the Steinberger shop in Brooklyn, New York, USA.
Pricing $2,200.00 Canadian with gig bag.
Neck Innovative Steinberger neck-through-body molded carbon fiber construction with phenolic fingerboard. Full 34 inch scale length.
Frets None – this is a factory fretless model! The fingerboard is smooth with no unexpected humps or dips to interfere with the growl.
Body Carbon fiber body with black fiberglass faceplate holding the electronics. Steinberger decal logo. The strap support screws into the back, and the leg rest is included in the case.
Finish Carbon black. There basically is no finish, because the bass is molded from carbon fiber and has no covering coating.
Hardware/electronics All original with Steinberger custom hardware and EMG pickups. Combination bridge/tuner tailpiece, headstock string anchor – the bass uses double ball end strings. Two EMG active pickups with four controls.
Playability/Action Plays well and cleanly – no fret rattling!
Case Gig bag included.


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