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Steinberger Synapse TranScale 6-String Guitar Strings Standard Gauge
Overall Rating
Submitted: January 25th, 2009
by Flip-6mmr5
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Sound Quality
I've been playing for 30 years. Currently do a lot of digital recording through a guitar effects processor and a DAW. Also though a guitar effects processor and Fender AMP. Sound: Phenomenal. Good combination of advanced materials and design give you awesome sustain. Very versatile. I can get some amazingly different sounds out of this work of art. It can be very bright and full sounding, warm and sweet, fat and chunky and telecaster treble all in one. The fact it starts at a drop D tuning is important to me since I write a lot in drop D. Makes it easy to switch up between standard E and D. My favorite set up now is bridge pickup, bass and treble up full, 50% on the bridge piezo, volume full, a pinch of hall reverb, some delay, lots of distortion, pitch doubling with a note an octave higher. It gives me a wall of fantastic sound!
As far as reliability & durability - this thing is solid. Very important to me - I wanted a guitar that sounded like a million bucks but that I could bring with me as I travel during the business week overnight. Being made of graphite, phenolic, metal in all load bearing places - this thing is rock solid and extremely light. It is more durable and resistant to changes in temperature etc. It comes with a soft gig bag which I've carried around for two weeks so far. It is a easy to carry along with my overnight bag and laptop bag. Fits in overhead storage bins on planes. Every time I've taken it out, I've merely strummed it to find it in tune.
General Comments
My other guitar is a 1982 Les Paul Standard. A lovely instrument! While it is heavy, I'm quite used to the weight. The Steinberger is the only other axe I needed. If it were stolen or lost - I'd want another one. Reading a few reviews there are a few features of the guitar that others seem not to like. I'd like to give my comment on these features. 1. Some reviewers are complaining about the strap extension thing as not being uncomfortable but rather unnecessary. If you look at the guitar this is a very small subdued black metal bar that is a few inches long at the back/top of the body near the neck. It's hardly visible. I'm 6 foot tall and of average build. For me personally, I view this strap extender as a real blessing. It allows the strap to comfortably balance this light guitar around me perfectly. Where the strap peg would have to be if this bar wasn't there it wouldn't fit nicely. I imagine those reviewers who didn't like it were of smaller than average build and felt like they didn't need it - which is fine by me. Any guitar store can take it off and put a strap peg on the body for you. 2. Some didn't like the the fact that the TranScale starts at a drop D tuning and has the built in capo to pull it up to the E tuning (or for any tuning you want). For me, it is essential to have the drop D and E tuning in one instrument. Its so easy for me to switch tunings with the built in capo - and this thing stays in tune! You can simply pull the capo up for a song in E tuning then bring it back down into it's D tuning for the next. The dots on the side for E tuning always line up with the dots on the fretboard for D tuning except between the 11th-14th frets. Which is the only part where you have to know whether to look at the side or on the fretboard. No big learning curve here for me. Then again - if it bothers the person - they can always return the Synapse TranScale for the regular Synapse. 3. Some reviewers seemed to want more "pizazz for the price". Bottom line, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people like Picasso others Escher. If you think advanced composite materials, phenomenal flexibility in sound, indestructible durability and a beautiful flame maple finish with a minimalist body style is cool you'll be ecstatically happy with the Steinberger TranScale. On the other hand if you want to replace the indestructible phenolic fretboard with normal dots with a rosewood fretboard with little mother of pearl bird inlays, high gloss finish with a custom graphic and a whammy bar - there are plenty of other axes out there. Be happy. To each his own. I'll stick with the Steinberger thanks.
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