Spirit GT-PRO Deluxe
unregistered, on june 22, 2011 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 399
Purchased from: Sam Ash-Ontario Mills Mall
Features: 24-fret, 25.5" scale neck with Rosewood fingerboard. Steinberger U-channel neck profile. Neck is thinner than a Les Paul, but thicker than an ESP Standard Thin-U profile. Solid-top maple neck-thru-body with maple wings. Solid white gloss finish. Steinberger Tremolo bridge. One volume knob, one tone knob, one 5-way pickup selector. H-S-H pickup configuration. Passive Steinberger brand pickups. Steinberger 40:1 double-ball tuning system. Gig bag, tremolo arm, 10-foot 1/4" instrument cable, 2 Allen wrenches, and instruction manual included. This category would have been rated a 8, if Steinberger didn't apparently discontinue the Spirit series instruction manual. All Steinberger guitars are now shipped with the manual for the Synapse line. // 8
Sound: I play mostly rhythm lines in the style of punk rock and metal, so the relatively thin neck profile makes playing Barre and power chords much easier than on a Les Paul Studio I have previously owned, which I found to have a thicker, less comfortable neck. The 24-fret neck also allows for a full two-octave range, which I prefer over a 22-fret neck simply because of the availability of two full octaves of any musical scale. I usually run it through a Fender Frontman amp and Danelectro Black Coffee Distortion pedal. With the tone rolled off, the Bridge pickup has nice, bright twang, and the neck pickup has a warm, dark tone. The middle pickup logically sounds like a blend of the two sounds, albeit softer, as the middle pickup is a lower-output single coil. Overall, the Steinberger is a very well-rounded instrument, capable of playing any style of music you wish. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: The factory set-up for this guitar was excellent. The action was perfect, and there were no frets that buzzed to any degree. The pickups were also adjusted to an ideal level. The Bridge was set up perfectly as well, but unfortunately, I have no idea how-or even if-I can adjust the single spring that balances the tremolo system. The string spacing and radius is also very comfortable to play on. // 9
Reliability & Durability: The neck-thru body design feels rock solid when you are simply holding the guitar in your hands, and the guitar's sturdy truss rod makes the neck feel very rigid, but not uncomfortably so. This guitar could likely survive being slammed against a stage floor multiple times before sustaining damage significant enough to render it unplayable. The strap buttons hold the strap on the guitar very well under normal playing conditions. Also, with the Bridge locked down, the guitar stays in tune after only one tuning, and will not go out of tune unless the Bridge is released (the pitch tends to go flat when the locked Bridge is unlocked). This guitar is very solid as a guitar tuned to Standard E, and can be drop tuned as low as drop D with no problems. Low frets start to buzz if you attempt anything much lower, however. I would use this guitar without a backup with confidence, but knowing how unpredictable a gig can be, this isn't too bright of an idea to do with any guitar. // 8
Overall Impression: This guitar is a perfect match for any playing style. I am not the most skilled guitarist at this point in time, but I know enough to be able to make the statements that I have. Right now, I own only one electric: this Steinberger. But I own several Acoustic guitars, in various states of repair. If this guitar were stolen, I'd likely kill myself, as I have had this guitar signed by all five members of the Black Veil Brides, a band that inspires me deeply to make music. If I managed to survive this, however, I would definitely purchase another Steinberger. There are no major flaws I can cite about this guitar. It is overall a wonderful instrument. The only thing I wish it didn't have is the middle pickup. I really enjoy the tonal variation that the Steinberger has, but I only ever use the Bridge or neck humbuckers, and almost never the humbucker-single combo settings. I would recommend this guitar to any musician: a young guitarist seeking a beginner's instrument, an experienced player seeking a rock-solid touring guitar, or a traveling musician who seeks a small, light, compact instrument with the features of a full-sized guitar. // 9
Spirit GT-PRO Deluxe
NeXEkho, on october 30, 2012 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 230
Purchased from: Musik Productiv
Features: This is a budget travel guitar, made from maple without a neck joint. (I think it's neck-through) 24 frets, all easy to get to. The bridge is not a trans-trem, (it does not bend in tune) but has the Steinberger locking mechanism so it's stable. The rest position is adjustable with a big knob, while the tuners are small and also feature on the bridge. They're quite stiff and small. I like the white finish, a lot more than I expected to. Almost milky. The kickstand on this thing is ingenious. Makes it possible to play what's essentially a V, comfortably, on your lap. Came with a thin but so far reliable cable, some hex keys for the hardware and a solid, padded gig bag. Lots for the cash. // 10
Sound: I was expecting the guitar to be a little on the nasty tinny side being so small and inexpensive, but was pleasantly surprised, perhaps the result of the neck-through construction. The three pickups (HSH on the Deluxe, HSS on the Standard) are passive all have very distinct sounds. The bridge is good for mostly rocky stuff, the neck is good for thicker solo sounds while the middle pickup was surprising. Very, very good cleans though the output is almost nonexistent compared to the two humbuckers. Sounds unexpectedly good with some reverb and chorus. I'm running this through an ancient Pocket POD, and no problems at all. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: Ah... Now we get to the slightly iffy bit. There were numerous fit and finish problems right out of the box. The screws on the kickstand are slightly bigger than they should be and catch on the kickstand when opened, which has brought the thin black paint off them. The trem lock is slightly too wide meaning the trem has slight play when locked, enough for audible detune. If I leave the whammy bar in, it actually resonates. The fret dots down the side of the neck are sloppy, barely circular, not well aligned and where the white finish ends here is not very straight - it wavers a little.
Having just been flown from mainland Europe, it took a few hours before the guitar settled and it didn't buzz and would stay in tune. However, when it did settle, it became rock solid stable for such a little guitar, often talking a week between tunings with regular travelling. It drifts out of tune with other things but the strings stay perfectly in tune with one another. I had to adjust the intonation, which is a little odd on this guitar. There's a tiny hex screw on the side of the bridge which clamps the bridge down on the bridge pieces. Releasing this makes it possible to push them back and forth fairly easily. Finally, the black paint on the screws is coming off, but not on the hardware. // 4
Reliability & Durability: I wouldn't bet on this guitar lasting forever or even a long time. It clearly had some corners cut to get it out the door at the price of admission, but more than worth it. It's a great guitar for travelling not only because of its tiny size, but in that it's not excessively expensive so you aren't constantly worrying about breaking it. // 7
Overall Impression: I most enjoy improvisation as a way to unwind, and looked into travel guitars to be able to play something during the breaks at university. I don't think I could really ask more of a travel guitar for the price. Certainly all the features are there. The build quality could do with a little refinement. I was also looking at the Hofner Shorty, and found this to be a better alternative due to its lack of a fragile headstock, no annoying volute, and smaller body with more features. Great guitar for the non-serious guitarist.
Spirit GT-PRO Deluxe
Andy949494, on december 13, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 220
Purchased from: dv247
Features: The Steinberger is a small headless guitar with a Steinberger bridge (R Trem) & three pickups (HSH). Whilst some people might buy them for their "80s anti-guitar look" most people will probably buy them because they are a practical and relatively cheap travel Guitar - they have a small body but because the neck is headless they still have quite a good balance either on the strap or on your knee. A fold down lever thing allows it to sit quite comfortably on my knee whilst sitting on a settee for example. Alternatively it can be used whilst standing up easily and for prolonged periods.
They come with a gig bag, allen keys, trem bar and bizarrely a manual for the Synapse (the higher model with a built in capo and better pickups). The manual doesn't say anything about how to use the R-Trem but it is relatively easy if you google it. It has two modes and can be quickly swapped between the two (fixed and floating). The Gig bag is pretty poor - It has one strap and very little padding although better bags are available.
The R-Trem is quite rare and mine was setup in locked position - it took me an internet search to find out how to make it float and to adjust it but actually its really easy. There is a lever at the back that locks the trem and a thumbwheel that adjusts the spring tension (when floating)... The pickups are very basic although do have EMG branding. A five way switch allows the usual combinations. The tuners are small and mounted on the bridge. They are design to be used with an Allen key when they are quite smooth and well geared but can be stiff when adjusted with fingers. Retuning is very easy - I play frequently in a number of tunings and this is easier than a Gibson to re-tune (particularly when the R-Trem is locked). // 8
Sound: The sound is not the main feature of this guitar - its the small size, good balance, and easy carrying. That said it doesn't sound too bad with most Amps, particularly modeling amps or solid state. Having very little body it doesn't make a lot of noise itself which is good when using with headphones late at night! The Single pickup is quite quiet and I don't tend to use it much. The Humbuckers are okay - I can hear the difference vs a Gibson Studio or even a Yamaha 112V with a good amp on clean or without too many effects but its not too bad. The higher models come with Active EMGs which might improve the sound further. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: Steinbergers are made by Gibson at a moderate price and the quality doesn't feel too bad probably better than an Epiphone... The neck is good, the body and neck feel like one piece and it generally feels that it could stand many minor drops etc. The coloured finish is very deep and continuous. There is no sign of fading anywhere which can be common with white... Mine was a returned "B Model" so I got 75 knocked off the price for a minor scratch. I'm happy enough with it. The service in dv247 was good, they checked it over gave me the chance to give it a full test with amp. // 7
Reliability & Durability: The neck is good, the body and neck feel like one piece and it generally feels that it could stand many minor drops etc. They stay in tune very well. They have a single colour which is well finished (white on mine sadly I would prefer the black). The tuners are simple and should be used with an Allen key but can be just turned by hand. The "R Trem" works well when locked down (i.e. not as a trem). When raised its okay for a few minor tweaks and since the strings are well anchored it probably won't go out of tune as easily as some but the tremolo bar isn't screwed in place so can fall out and is very close to the pickups (Actually it can't be anywhere else).
The Gig bag it comes with is very poor - The strap is not removable and is only just big enough so it doesn't lend itself to being used on a motorbike and it doesn't have much padding. Steinbergers usually take special strings which can be easily purchased on the internet but are not frequently stocked by Guitar shops. An adapter is available to take normal strings but I like the stock strings feel. You could use this guitar in a Gig and I would have no additional qualms using one compared to any other guitar (backup is always sensible anyway) except I would make sure I had a spare set of strings. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall its a good travel guitar and unlike cheaper alternatives can be used instead of a regular guitar. If you are only allowed one guitar you can manage quite well with one of these and will barely notice any impediments to playing. For the money you could buy a guitar that will sound slightly better if you have a good Amp but for many it will be good enough. Its also very light and can be used really easily on a strap. For carrying when not playing I bought mine an upgraded Gig Bag which protects it very well but I would still like a proper rucksack style pair of straps for use on a Motorbike. For travelling by air its great and I have never had any problems nor anticipate any with Airlines. I have this and a Gibson Studio and play both even when at home. The Gibson feels slightly nicer and has a slightly less muddy sound whilst the bigger body gives your strumming hand a good position whilst sitting but the difference is only noticeable when directly comparing the two and with a high quality Amp and I can Imagine many people would be happy playing with one these as their only instrument.
I play a wide range of music although prefer humbuckers even on "cleanish" settings and this guitar is fine for playing anything I do. The Trem would probably be limited for severe whammy use and the tone is a little bland but that's the compromise for size. I won't be selling it for a while (unusual for me) and if this was stolen I would consider buying another.
Spirit GT-PRO Deluxe
unregistered, on september 24, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 235
Purchased from: thomann.de
Features: The specs: Korean made, 24 med-jumbo frets, all maple neck-through, gloss finish, Steinberger R-trem, tone/volume knobs, 5 way PU selector, H-S-H pickup configuration. Included gig bag, a cable, a couple of allan keys and the whammy bar. The R-trem can lock with a clip to act as a hardtail. There's also a "master tuning peg" that will raise and lower the pitch of all strings simultaneously, which makes drop tuning very easy. There's a solid flap that folds out to make the guitar rest on your leg nicely, but the angular body really digs into my chest and makes it quite painful and uncomfortable to play while sitting down. I might end up chiseling out a small bay in the body to make it more comfortable.
Changing strings is very quick and easy, but the tuners on the bridge are very stiff and my index finger and thumb are red raw from turning them. It's a bit of a challenge to get them perfectly in tune, and also hard to turn them without turning the ones next to them because they are so stiff and closely spaced. The R-trem is also quite stiff, but responsive. I only make subtle use of the whammy bar these days, so it's not a problem. The gig bag is very nice, smooth and padded inside. // 8
Sound: I play what would probably be called jazz-fusion/avant-garde. I used to dislike headless guitars but eventually warmed up to the design. I've been playing about 4 years, and own an Ibanex RG320DXFM, which has been my main guitar for that time. The guitar is surprisngly very toney for how small it is. I use my PODXT as a preamp and play through a small, cheap Stagg amp. I have two main tones: a rich, chorusy clean tone and a hot, rounded, non-noisy lead tone. This guitar works well with both. The pickups sound decent, the bridge humbucker being quite bright and the neck being quite warm. The output is about right, but I'll probably swap them for some Duncans eventually. I removed the middle pickup because it gets in the way of my picking hand. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The action was set just right. The rosewood fretboard is smooth and dark, all areas are finished perfectly. The pickups are about the right height. No noticeable flaws. I was surprised at the construction quality, it's very solid and very well finished all over, I didn't expect much from a relatively cheap, Korean-made guitar. // 8
Reliability & Durability: Everything seems very solidly constructed, and it's very quick and easy to change strings with the double-ball R-trem. It also stays in tune very well. The strap buttons are solid, but I use 50p plastic Dunlop straploks on all my guitars to completely negate any chance of an instrument hitting the floor. I could definitely gig without a backup. // 8
Overall Impression: I bought this guitar from thomann.de, I was wary at first after reading mixed reviews about them, but it was 70 cheaper than any UK site so I took the plunge. Everything about the transaction was perfect. Originally I wanted the Steinberger Spirit GU which has a normal S-shaped body, but they're discontinued now. Generally, I'm pleased with this guitar. The only caveats are the painful angular body, the stiff tuners and the stiff tremolo. I don't regret buying it, it's very good for the price, and a great travel guitar. // 8