Synapse ST-2FPA Custom review by Steinberger

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (29 votes)
Steinberger: Synapse ST-2FPA Custom
5

Price paid: £ 550

Purchased from: GAK

Sound — 9
One of the original complaints with the L series was that the amount of graphite used in it took away from the tone and made it sound sterile, however, the Synapse series uses a substantially larger amount of wood to give it a more conventional tone, I suppose. It still has a fair amount of graphite in the neck to find a good balance of tone. EMGs have become synonymous with metal in recent years, and it gives the guitar a much wider tonal range in comparison with the piezo, which can perfectly emulate Acoustic tones. I find a 50% magnetic/piezo blend using the neck position EMG (the 85) can get a really great clean tone.

Overall Impression — 9
I like to play around with a lot of different genres, but ultimately, I'm a metal player. The EMGs are well suited for the style of music I play, and they can be tuned to a higher output (the piezo can, too). If I could change this guitar in any way, I would replace the HardTail bridge with a Trans-Trem, however, the string spacing is different and it would need some serious routing done to it. As great as this guitar is, if it was stolen or lost I'd save my money and try to find a GM on Ebay, as they're discontinued and is my dream Steinberger. This isn't to say it's not worth replacing, but I don't see the value of getting multiples of the same guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I'm sure this guitar will last a long time. There's a video on YouTube of Ned Steinberger lying the guitar down with the ends on two chairs, checking it's in tune, standing on the guitar and bouncing around a little, then getting down and checking it's still in tune. If this video is anything to go by, I'm sure it'll last a good long time and hold up as a live guitar. I've been carrying it around in the soft case that came with it, and because of the small body and lack of headstock, it's incredibly easy to carry around, despite the Baritone scale length.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
This guitar was set up to be immediately played. The trans-blue paint on the flame maple looks beautiful, and physically this guitar isn't biased towards any one genre. I might lower the action at some point in the future, but it doesn't need any drastic changes. I'm not sure how it comes from the factory as it's been in a shop and handled by the staff, and possibly adjusted. I can't find any flaws with it, though.

Features — 9
This guitar was built in Korea, made with hard maple and a flame maple top with trans-blue paint. It's pretty much the R2-D2 of guitars, it packed with features for such a small guitar. Rather than the traditional Steinberger graphite neck, it has a 3-piece maple neck and a graphite core, with a 24-fret phenolic fingerboard. The pickups are EMG 81/85, and additionally, it has a piezo built into the bridge, controlled by a pot that can go from full magnetic pickups to full piezo. Aside from the master volume and piezo blend control, it has an onboard EQ for treble and bass boost/cut. When playing standing, it has a strap extension which balances the guitar perfectly, which was originally the reason for removing the headstock on the original L series. While playing sitting, it has a fold-out leg rest, and it also has a carved back so it fits against your body incredibly comfortably. To keep the lead out of the way, it has a recessed jack input, and a recessed Tool holder that has some allen keys, so you don't have to carry a little bag of them around with you. One of the biggest innovations of this guitar is the built in capo, which, if set at the 2nd fret, the guitar is a Standard 22-fret 25.5" scale guitar. Set at the zero fret, it is a full Baritone guitar, and the capo can be easily rolled up to the 11th fret. A slight flaw with this design is that there are two large grooves running all the way up the 12th fret, however, these are easy to get used to. Another thing which is a bit hard to get used to is that the fret markers on the fretboard are Standard, with the double mark at the 12th fret, but on the side of the neck they are pushed up two frets to show the frets when the capo is on the 2nd fret. It's not a bad idea, but it's a bit frustrating the first few times you play it.

29 comments sorted by best / new / date

    olpaj
    Good review. Seems like an interesting guitar, gonna search for one in music stores to check it out
    Megalomaniac46
    The user rating is so low cause people look at it and say " That guitar is ugly, Ima give it a one" Idiots -.-
    Way Cool JR.
    I have always wanted a Steinberger ever since I seen Bill and Teds excellent adventure back in the 80's I was like cool Rufus that is one bodacious guitar. Over 20 years later and I still don't have one that's bogus.
    bokma
    I really want to try one but they're not available anywhere in Canada
    beelzybub
    Nice guitar, I own the 22 fret synapse in red. The baritone steins are annoying with the capo indent on the side. The look is something that really grows on you and the neck is the most beautiful thing about it, once you get used to it. This is by far the greatest guitar I have ever played, love it, wouldn't trade it for any other guitar.
    ctfod
    celticstorm84 wrote: Nice review. I own the same guitar, only it's in white. May not be the best looking but it plays easy, sounds good and the variety of sounds is impressive. It's become my "go to" guitar just because it really can handle a lot. I'm surprised you didn't mention anything about adjusting the bridge (awesome bridge) or how you can use either steinberger strings (double ball end) or anything else.
    Did I not mention it? I meant to, but seeing as this guitar is one big box of tricks it's a bit easy to get lost, lol. I always liked the look of the alpine white one, but the blue flame also looks great and I think it'll be harder to notice imperfections in the future.
    CephalidHunter
    I want to get a white one with piezo, but I keep hearing reports of mediocre quality control for the synapses, and even the new spirits. I will have to really try one out before I pay a grand or so for one. Still on my list tho.
    celticstorm84
    Nice review. I own the same guitar, only it's in white. May not be the best looking but it plays easy, sounds good and the variety of sounds is impressive. It's become my "go to" guitar just because it really can handle a lot. I'm surprised you didn't mention anything about adjusting the bridge (awesome bridge) or how you can use either steinberger strings (double ball end) or anything else. Hope it works for you as well as it does for me!
    huevos
    Seref wrote: huevos wrote: GuitarPlayer716 wrote: Terrible review just for the Star Wars reference. But I would love to buy one of these. fellatingsomeguitaristfellatingsomeguitaristfellatingsom eguitarist The shape is not everything. Tone and playability are much more important. The ignorance of this thread makes me wanna burn all your Gibsons and Fenders. Well, apparently none of the fools own a Gibson. Couple of (low grade) LTDs and an Ibanez. All while fellating Hammett. morestupidshitmorestupidshitmorestupidshit So... I missed the part where we all picked up crappy metal guitars and suddenly all grew a taste for turd. I mean metal.
    You're quite full of it boy. Most Steinberger players aren't even in the metal genre. And you clearly see me diss Metallica and it's legion of fanbois. http://www.steinberger.com/artists.html Some of the greatest musicians play them. A very small portion of the play in "metal" bands. Do a little research before you open your mouth. Bluesfag ololol. Shoulda known. I would tell my favorite joke about SRV and the dongcopter, but now is not the time. Anyways, just because great musicians play a cetain instrument, that doesn't mean it should be your only deciding factor.
    IROn 5L1nKY wrote: huevos wrote: GuitarPlayer716 wrote: *Self-Fellating* What the ****, sir, might I ask, crawled up your ass and died this fine crisp morning?
    Funny you ask that; my gerbil seems to have disappear... CTFOD. My sources tell me that the neck is like a strat. Bluesfag up there might enjoy that, but I prefer me a faster neck. I'm playing a guitar, not a goddamn baseball bat!
    p o e wrote: Somehow i imagined Dwight from the Office writing this review. Seems like his sort of guitar too.
    :haha: Too troo...
    ctfod
    The only ones they currently make are the Synapse, Spirits and ZT-3.
    The_lizard_king
    So are all steinbergers discontinued or something? I would love to play one of these but I can't find them anywhere. Good review by the way.
    ctfod
    huevos wrote: I find it funny that everyone shits on CTFOD and his love for Cynic. He contributed some of the best tabs, an excellent guitar review, and still no love from the general populace.
    Probably 'cos I'm an incredible prick or something. But thanks, man.
    IROn 5L1nKY
    huevos wrote: GuitarPlayer716 wrote: Terrible review just for the Star Wars reference. But I would love to buy one of these. Masvidal uses one of these (don't know the specific model). The shape is not everything. Tone and playability are much more important. The ignorance of this thread makes me wanna burn all your Gibsons and Fenders. Well, apparently none of the fools own a Gibson. Couple of (low grade) LTDs and an Ibanez. All while fellating Hammett. Not surprising that you choose physical appearance over sound quality; I guess that comes naturally when praising a shallow hack. I find it funny that everyone shits on CTFOD and his love for Cynic. He contributed some of the best tabs, an excellent guitar review, and still no love from the general populace.
    What the ****, sir, might I ask, crawled up your ass and died this fine crisp morning?
    Seref
    huevos wrote: GuitarPlayer716 wrote: Terrible review just for the Star Wars reference. But I would love to buy one of these. fellatingsomeguitaristfellatingsomeguitaristfellatingsom eguitarist The shape is not everything. Tone and playability are much more important. The ignorance of this thread makes me wanna burn all your Gibsons and Fenders. Well, apparently none of the fools own a Gibson. Couple of (low grade) LTDs and an Ibanez. All while fellating Hammett. morestupidshitmorestupidshitmorestupidshit
    So... I missed the part where we all picked up crappy metal guitars and suddenly all grew a taste for turd. I mean metal.
    Dream Floyd
    GuitarPlayer716 wrote: Awesome review just for the Star Wars reference. But I will probably never buy one of these.
    This
    Tostitos
    I love Steinbergers, now I'm GASing for one Anyways, great review
    bokma
    Nice review, I've actually been wanting to try one. I like the uniqueness
    p o e
    Somehow i imagined Dwight from the Office writing this review. Seems like his sort of guitar too.
    salsawords
    Right when I was starting to overcome my synapse gas you had to write this review. Regardless, good review.
    huevos
    GuitarPlayer716 wrote: Terrible review just for the Star Wars reference. But I would love to buy one of these.
    Masvidal uses one of these (don't know the specific model). The shape is not everything. Tone and playability are much more important. The ignorance of this thread makes me wanna burn all your Gibsons and Fenders. Well, apparently none of the fools own a Gibson. Couple of (low grade) LTDs and an Ibanez. All while fellating Hammett. Not surprising that you choose physical appearance over sound quality; I guess that comes naturally when praising a shallow hack. I find it funny that everyone shits on CTFOD and his love for Cynic. He contributed some of the best tabs, an excellent guitar review, and still no love from the general populace.
    steevo92
    Good rewiew, but this is guitar is ugly, its really it ... i dont care much about the look of a guitar, for me the sound of it makes the shape of it too, but i would never buy this type of shape
    B455GU174R
    B455GU174R wrote: GuitarPlayer716 wrote: Awesome review just for the Star Wars reference. But I will probably never buy one of these. ?? I dont get it ??
    omg yea i just found it sry
    B455GU174R
    GuitarPlayer716 wrote: Awesome review just for the Star Wars reference. But I will probably never buy one of these.
    ?? I dont get it ??
    Ro734
    is it me or r these comments just people shouting at each other?