Excellent condition featuring one piece carbon and glass fiber reinforced plastic neck and body, screwed on faceplate with white printed Steinberger (all caps) logo, headless design with Steinberger nut ball end string retainer, zero fret, small dot fingerboard inlays, two very early low impedance active EMG pickups with black EMG embossed covers, two volume controls and one tone control with black knobs, fully adjustable locking bridge with knurled black metal Steinberger tuning machines, oval battery cover plate on the back with Steinberger Brooklyn address and serial number inside the cavity, adjustable support plate on the back with two metal strap buttons, output jack on the back bass side of the body, black finish, and unoriginal rectangular case (rough condition).
This 1981 Steinberger L2 has serial number 0020 which is documented as being produced 8/7/1981 in Steinberger's Brooklyn manufacturing facility and is one the earliest documented Steinberger instruments. This bass is in excellent cosmetic and playing condition. There are some small dings (see photos) and a few swirls here and there. The adjustable support plate shows some cosmetic swirling from use, but works perfectly and locks into place. The faceplate has a small structurally sound crack in the corner by the screw on the upper treble side. The frets show some signs of play wear but it plays great up and down the neck. The neck is arrow straight. The early EMG pickups still sound fantastic with plenty of low end thump and have a distinct sound paired with the Steinberger body.
This Steinberger was very special to its previous owner. It has been played but has been well cared for over the past 40 years and is ready to be played and enjoyed for many years to come. The Steinberger L2 bass remains a unique and innovative design that captured the hearts and imaginations of musicians in the 1980s and beyond. These early examples are hard to come by and this particular bass has not been for sale since within a decade of when it was made. If you're a bass player or collector, this is a fine addition to any arsenal.
[I was fortunate enough to interview Ned Steinberger about his earliest Steinberger instruments in 2015 for an article I co-wrote with George Gruhn for Vintage Guitar magazine and truly enjoyed getting to know him and his instruments. If you're a fan of Steinberger, it's an interesting read - Sarah / Mom and Dad's Music]