We have seen lots and lots of Steinbergers over the years and there are some common problems and solutions that we've run into that we'd like to share with you.
First, almost every TransTrem equipped guitar that we've ever seen needs to have it's bearings replaced with a new set of permanently sealed ones. We'd also recommend changing out the TransTrem spring while this work is being done.
It seems that the folks at the Steinberger factory never used the double-sealed bearings that would have extended their lifetime. They installed basic open bearings back then and these just don't hold up well over time.Even guitars that were not played very often typically need the bearings changed, as the lubrication will have "dried-up" over time.
This is a relatively inexpensive job and makes all of the difference in how well the TransTrem will function. In fact, very few TransTrems that we see will work properly until this job is completed. If your guitar tech doesn't know how to install these, or "doesn't feel it is
necessary", just contact us
. We're happy to do this work for you.
We always keep these bearings (and springs) in stock, in case your tech doesn't have them. See our Parts
page for details.
The second main problem that we find on many TransTrem (and "S" trem) guitars that we see are faulty roller saddles. These parts also have the tendency to fail over time. These rollers must spin smoothly and perfectly for the tremolo to function correctly.
This is a very easy replacement that can be done by (virtually) anyone. We carry the beautiful new WNV vintage-reissue roller saddles that are the exact size replacements, are of very high quality and are also quite affordable. Again, these are found on our Parts
Next, we once believed that the Steinberger-blend neck material was "bullet-proof" and would never develop any problems.Well, we were definitely wrong on that one. We've seen LOTS of defective necks over the years. Many of the same issues that can plague a wooden neck can occur on Steinberger guitars and basses. We've seen necks with too much relief, too little relief, and even some with "twisted" necks.There are many possible causes for these issues. Anything from a "bad mix" on the day of manufacture, to an instrument that has been subjected to extreme heat can cause these types of problems. Surprisingly, often-times these problems CAN be remedied.
We have "saved" many a problem neck over the years. This usually entails removing the frets, re-radiusing the fingerboard, and then re-fretting. Not inexpensive, but can totally save a "sick" instrument, and this is certainly less expensive then replacing the entire instrument.
Again, most repair shops don't have experience working on these phenolic fingerboards. And you certainly don't want your local "tech" learning his craft on your vintage Steinberger. We're happy to service these instruments for you. Our rates are reasonable, as are our turn-around times. Just give us a call for price and time-frame info.
Speaking of fingerboards, the Steinberger is definitely a "horse of a different color". Most guitars and basses have the relief (or curvature of the fingerboard) "built into" the neck. Not so on Steinbergers. On a Steinberger guitar or bass neck, the relief is "built into" the fingerboard. Again, when having a fret job done on a Steinberger, you need to have the work done by a person with lots of experience.
We carry all of the popular fret wire choices on the market. Please contact
us for more details and prices.