Testimonials Pg 4 - Headless Instruments

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Doing business with Don Greenwald is a true pleasure! He obviously cares about
each and every one of his customers. His passion & professionalism is greatly appreciated!
By the way; I received an outstanding GM4T guitar! Thanks also to Jeff Babicz. He's really a true magician!"

Rune Berre
Italy



Don,
I'm so happy with the work that you guys have done on my 1986 Steinberger GL2T. It's amazing to have it be so perfect. The guitar is so beautiful that it looks like new! The TransTrem has never worked as it does now and the action is like velvet. I highly recommend Headless USA. In fact, I just sent my 1989 Steinberger to them for a complete refurbish and anxiously await it's return. Awesome work guys! Attached is a photo of my 86 Steinberger.


Best, Wes Edwards
USA
Hello Don,
I just wanted to thank you so very much for giving me the opportunity to own a mint white Steinberger XL2A from 1987! This wonderful 25 year old bass guitar is everything that you promised..and more. I have been a Steinberger XL series player since I purchased my original black XL2 in 1984. Not too long ago I was heart broken when my baby turned up MIA..Gone. Luckily a friend told me about Don Greenwald and Headless USA. I knew that I could never find a replacement on various re-sale sites due to the fact that I am so terribly meticioulous, especially with my musical gear. I am 57 years young and have been playing professionally since I turned the ripe old age of 20! I immediately called HeadlessUSA and I was greeted by a friendly kind sounding gentleman..Yes it was Don..THE Steinberger expert himself. Don assured me that together we would find a suitable replacement at a fair price. Don sent me various examples of beautiful Steinberger XL2 bass guitars. After a few back and forth emails..There she was!! "The cleanest white XL2A ever seen" "Too Nice to play?" "A museum piece" I knew that this bass had to be mine. Don sent the bass to Jeff Babicz who was also amazed at the condition of this 25 year old Steinberger. After finally securing the funds, by the way Don was so tremendously patient with me..The bass shipped ASAP with a packing job that would pass the test for a space Shuttle part..almost. The day the bass arrived, I could not believe my eyes..and ears! My girl Alexis was with me (see photo), she is also a musician, and at 10 years of age..what a great start. Back to the bass. I was so thrilled that I immediately called Don to give him the biggest thank you that I could think of..I told him "Thank you Dad" LOL. The bass looks to be never played at all. Now, time to plug it in to my SVT..OMG!! My last Stein was passive..This bass had the active eq circuit..what a big difference, as Don promised.

Let me close by stating that this sale has caused me a big problem..Sorry Don..You were right..This unbelievable 25 year old XL2A IS IN FACT TOO NICE TO PLAY!! Very soon Don, it will be time to order another..maybe with at least a flaw or two so I don't feel guilty every time I pick this beauty up. I think that I will have a custom wood and glass case made to hang this bass on my studio wall!

Thank you so much Don, you are a man of your word..and a true gentleman. I love to spend hours on your great web site too! Take care "my friend"

Rick Morse
Central Florida USA
Like many of my guitar collecting friends, I have long been an admirer of Steinberger instruments from the mid 1980’s. I purchased my first black XL2 bass in 1991, and then a few more XL2 basses and GL guitars were added to my humble Steinberger collection over the following 20 years.

Three years ago, I purchased an “unfinished” GL faceplate on eBay for my beloved GL2 hardtail. I had a luthier that I know cut holes to make it into a GL5 pickup configuration (neck: single-slanted / bridge: hum) and he installed a Seymour Duncan APS-2 and a APH-1 on it. I liked the sound very much, but the bare and unfinished surface of the faceplate always bothered me. I also found a “factory rejected” XL2 faceplate, but I left it on the shelf for the same cosmetic reasons. I had given up on the idea of refinishing these faceplates, because I couldn’t find an experienced craftsman who was willing and capable of doing the work.

Then one day, I found that HeadlessUSA.com offers a faceplate restoration service. I e-mailed Don and asked him if they could restore my GL and XL faceplates. What really surprised me at the time was his very prompt response and in-depth communication. He asked me to send close-up photos of the faceplates, so that he could forward them to Mike Frampton and Jeff Babicz. After exchanging a few e-mails, I decided to proceed and shipped the faceplates to the USA for inspection. Upon arrival, Don and Jeff examined the faceplates in detail. Jeff verified that both of them were original Newburgh-era Steinberger faceplates. Don kindly asked me if I wanted Mike to restore the Steinberger logo onto the unfinished GL faceplate. Don also suggested to me that Mike could make the correct size holes for the controls on the XL faceplate (Mike has the templates for the exact location and size for these holes). Yes, the HeadlessUSA team consists of three topnotch specialists.

Two months later (and on schedule as promised) the restored faceplates arrived back here in Japan. The quality of the finishing job was far beyond all of my expectations. I must say that Mike Frampton is a true artist! He did an excellent job with amazing attention to every detail. The glossy black gel coating was simply beautiful and reminded me of the day when I first saw a brand-new Steinberger bass in the front window of my local music shop…

The price quoted for the restoration was very reasonable, even when considering international shipping and custom fees. I felt very comfortable throughout the transaction thanks to the detailed explanations and constant progress reports from Don. For anyone who is interested in faceplate restoration, Don Greenwald at HeadlessUSA is the first and only person to consult!

Best Regards, Satoru
Japan
As an original owner of a rare white Steinberger XL-2 bass, I am delighted to have discovered Don Greenwald and his associate, Jeff Babicz from HeadlessUSA.com. Because of them, my Steinberger has once again brought me back to paradise. Here’s my story....

In the mid-1980s, like so many others, I started seeing Steinberger basses in the hands of some of my favorite players, and I decided, after reading an article about Ned Steinberger’s award-winning design, that I, a budding young player, absolutely had to have one. When I saw a white Steinberger XL2 bass in the display case at E.U. Wurlitzer's music store in Boston, a shop I often haunted (once even smuggling their store copy of the Steinberger catalog out to drool over in private,) I fell in love. Having first seen its snowy beauty in the spring, I put a deposit on it and worked a whole summer waiting tables to pay the balance. I took it home on 8/8/88, and I have owned it ever since. For years it was my only bass, so it got a lot of use, but I kept it in great condition for the first half of its life.

One day in the mid-1990s, the guitarist from my high school rock band told me that he had an offer to play bass for an up-and-coming bar band in Boston, with our former drummer, but he lacked a bass of his own to play. Trying to be a good friend, I lent my Steinberger bass to him. After a year of barroom abuse, it came back to me. The damage was minor, but my baby's imperfections have bothered me ever since. Enter Don Greenwald and Jeff Babicz.

I had seen a bass that was the twin of mine for sale online, and noted that the seller was only an hour away from me, in Poughkeepsie, NY. I contacted him basically to chat Steinberger with someone who seemed to also be an enthusiast, and to ask him if he knew of anyone who worked on Steinbergers. Did he ever! Don met with me, looked over my bass, and delivered it to Jeff. My primary complaints were the assorted dings and scratches and the fact that the bass had never been properly set up, since I had taken it right out of the display case in 1988 and played it without a single tweak ever since. Jeff cleaned up all of the hardware, dressed, crowned, and polished the frets, buffed out the body, and set it up with new strings. The result is that, quite simply, I have fallen in love all over again! The bass had never been as easy to play as my other basses, due to its slightly high action, and it was no longer the belle of the ball in terms of beauty. Now it is both buttery to play and a complete gorgeous knockout on stage.

I cannot thank Don and Jeff enough, not only for the work they have done on my precious Steiney, but also for keeping alive the honor and reputation of these great instruments. I believe that my bass is simply the best bass ever made, and these guys have allowed my bass to live up to its full potential.

Geoffrey Stewart
USA
" IT LIVES!!!!!

I want to thank you personally after receiving a Set of Bass Jaws I ordered a couple weeks ago.

For the first time since picking up a 90's XQ Bass with a DB bridge over 5 years ago I FINALLY got to hear/feel what this Monster can do!

As a guitar player who only dabbles on bass the odd time, I picked up this bass with malfunctioning jaws with the intent of fixing it(who knew it would be so hard to locate OEM parts). As such I put it in it's gig bag in my closet and forgot about it, that is until I acquired a '69 Ampeg B-15N. While searching for a reasonably priced used bass I remembered I had the XQ sitting in my closet, pulled her out and scoured the net for parts once again. That is when I came across your site. I must say that after Finally being able to tune up this bass and play it that no wonder why people look for these things! Even my brother agrees(who is a Bass player and plays mainly Stingrays) that it is a Tonal MONSTER with action/playability next to none other!

Thanks again and I'm glad someone is keeping these things alive!

Keep up the good work!"

Mitch McCann
A true story from a VERY happy customer in Denmark!

First of all, I want to give my highest recommendation to Don Greenwald and his friend and luthier- Jeff Babicz, for giving outstanding “five star” service. Their understanding and craftsmanship when it comes to the repair and restoration of Steinberger guitars is unmatched in the world today. I am thrilled and totally satisfied with my experience dealing with these two gentlemen. With this testimonial, I hope to reach out to anyone reading this letter to let them know that Headlessusa.com is THE ONLY place for Steinberger service. They are the ONLY company that I have found that truly knows and understands everything that there is to know about Steinberger instruments!

How did I choose HeadlessUSA?

As with almost any young guitar player, there is typically a “special” guitar hero and/or a mentor. Mine were Allan Holdsworth and my guitar teacher David Bregnbak. When I saw THAT both of them were using headless instruments, I knew that “I wanted one of those guitars!” Their headless guitars were so different from “regular guitars” and looked so amazingly cool. From that moment on, I decided to have my own headless guitar built. At that time I didn’t realize that Steinberger produced their own guitars and basses, so the guitar that’s sitting in the floor stand in my photo was the work of a very gifted Danish luthier named Kim Gerling. Later, I bought a used black Steinberger GM4T which was very worn, but that was O.K. because I was totally hooked on headless guitars. Sadly, neither of the Trans-Trems on these guitars actually worked, but in those days I didn't actually use the tremolo. It was all about the sound and the “headless look” for me. Some years later I simply stopped playing the GM4T and put it into storage and it remained there for many years without being played. It did not work properly, and if I tried to use the TransTrem, it would not tune or return to pitch. I asked many guitar technicians and so-called “experts”, but none of them could really help. They simply did not understand the complexity of the instrument, and they concluded that it would not be possible for them to make it work. There I was, stuck with two very nice guitars and I didn't know what to do. From that day, I considered the GM4T as an “extra” or a “spare parts” guitar, in case anything broke on my custom made one. If that happened, I could simply take whatever parts I might need and (if necessary) throw the rest in the trash. I had given up and I did not care at all.

In 2009 I stumbled upon a website called Steinbergerworld.com. A detailed description on how to disassemble the Trans-Trem was printed there, so I “manned up” and took apart the TransTrem on my GM4T, and cleaned and lubricated it. But the TransTrem would still not function correctly. I sought out an engineer/guitar tech here in Denmark who advised me to change the bearings, so he ordered a few, but they were not the sealed type, but instead they were the open type that were used in the factory back in the 80’s. I hoped that this would work, but once again the TransTrem would not work. I was still stuck with two TransTrem tremolo units that could not be fixed.

Then one day in 2011, when I was on-line, I found the Headlessusa.com website. I had never heard of them, but just looking at the website put a huge smile on my face. Everything I needed to know, every part that could relate to the issues that I had with my two guitars was there! Detailed information on how to order certain jaws, springs and bearings and more important: why I should change the spring when changing bearings, I simply could not believe it! I placed an order for the bearings and a spring and I managed to make my first custom made Steinberger guitar work again. Simply fantastic! The package that contained my spare parts also included a set of strings, which I had never ordered or paid for. I e-mailed the owner of Headlessusa.com, Don Greenwald, and told him that this must be an error, because these double-ball end strings are expensive here in Denmark. Not $9 as in the USA, but $22 here in Denmark and I certainly did not want to close my eyes and ignore it (I’m too honest I guess). But Don replied that this was just his way of saying “thank you for your business”! I was shocked!

Don answered all of my questions and was very kind and helpful throughout the process. Since I still could not make my GM4T work, we discussed repairing my TransTrem. I assumed that I would simply ship my transtrem to Don, but Don insisted that it would be necessary to ship the entire guitar, rather than just ship the TransTrem alone. Don also spoke very highly of his hard-working luthier Jeff Babicz who is a former Steinberger employee that was awarded a top position after many years of employment at the factory. I thought, if ANY human being on this planet could fix a TransTrem, it must certainly be Jeff Babicz, and that my friends, turned out to be so true! He made it work!!

I really can’t remember how many thousands of dollars I have spent over the years, trying to make my TransTrem work, but one thing is for sure…there is no match for these guys here in Denmark. Jeff Babicz KNOWS his Steinbergers. When it comes to solving the issues related to Steinberger guitars, he is the best that there is. I was amazed that Jeff would inspect the entire guitar and create a complete work-order so the customer is able to choose what he/she would like to be fixed from that document. Most techs that I have visited here in Denmark only fix the problems that are presented to them. They could really learn a lot from Jeff Babicz.

To this day I have never encountered such professionalism and understanding from a service company. Their care for and proper packaging and shipping of my instrument is really a chapter of its own. Headlessusa.com is (in my opinion) the only place in the world for players who are really in need of advice, repair or any assistance needed for Steinberger instruments.

Don and Jeff, Thank you so much!

Best,

Martin Jensen
Denmark
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