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1988 Steinberger XL-2 Vintage Headless Bass White w/ EMGs, Kick-Stand, Case


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Up for sale, a 1988 Steinberger XL-2 bass in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with a hardshell case. Crafted during the Newburgh, NY era of Steinberger production, this instantly recognizable bass is quintessential ‘80s, featuring Ned Steinberger’s iconic headless design, reinforced composite blend body and neck, and a pair of EMG low-impedance humbuckers. Steinberger instruments are well-known for their exceptional craftsmanship and eye-catching looks, as seen in the hands of artists including Sting and Mark Knopfler.

The body and neck are crafted from a blend of fiberglass, Kevlar, strandular carbon graphite fiber, and epoxy, designed for stiffness and rigidity, with a phenolic fingerboard. Weighing 8lbs 12oz, this Steinberger dishes out plenty of bold low end punch and highly dynamic treble detail. The low-impedance EMG humbuckers have a warm, rich tone with an exceptionally low noise floor, and the active Tone knob offers a wide sweep. This Steinberger has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 45-105 roundwound strings, easy-playing action, and spot-on intonation.

The composite neck has a substantial C-shaped profile carve with well-rounded shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .890” deep at the 1st fret and .975” at the 12th. The phenolic fretboard has a 12” radius, and the stock medium jumbo fretwire is in fantastic shape, retaining its full factory height with well-rounded crowns and only exhibiting light wear beneath the strings on the crowns of frets 1-3. This bass plays cleanly up the 34” scale with a straight neck, and the neck's composite construction ensures great stability. The fretboard measures 1 1/2“ in width at the zero fret.

All of the electronics function as intended; the pickups are wired to the stock harness with untouched solder joints, featuring independent Volume knobs and an active Master Tone control. The control cavity is dated to March 25th, 1988, the pots are dated to the 47th week of 1987, and the pickup baseplates retain the factory stickers. The patented Double-Ball Micrometer tuning system/bridge is embossed with the Steinberger logo, and the thumbwheels turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The original pivot plate is present too, ensuring the Steinberger XL-2 has a comfortable feel against the body. The pickup covers, original trio of knobs, and fold-out "kick stand" leg rest round things out.

The bright gloss White finish is accented by black “Steinberger” text on the top, with cosmetic wear limited to a handful of minor dings on the body as a whole, largely relegated to the lower half of the body. The finish on the lower 15% of the body presents as a slightly darker, creamer shade. The smooth gloss on the neck profile is nigh-flawless, with a few faint marks along the profile that are imperceptible to the palm.

A Hohner-branded hardshell case is included.