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Help Identifying 1980s Steinberger 5 String Fretless


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Hey guys and gals, we helped one of our local customers sell several Steinberger guitars and basses when their father passed a couple years ago.  I have tried to research this model, and I just can't seem to nail down exactly what it is. What I know (at least I think so) is that it is the 4 string width neck, bolt on neck, wood body, no lined fretless 5 string.  It has a serial number of N5907. I thought it was an XP series, but I'm not really sure.  I really appreciate any insight.  I do have more pictures if needed.





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yes, this is an XP-25, probably made in late 1988 or 1989. They were called "narrow 5-string", as they had the same neck and bridge dimensions as the regular 4-string. This was the standard back then, narrow 5-strings were also available as XL and XM basses. "Wide 5-string" basses were later available as XL25W (very rare and expensive), and as the XQ bass (standard, not so rare).

The XP-25 you're showing above seems to be the version with active EMGs (although I cannot clearly see the logo on the EMGs), but it also has the separate removable part of the pickguard above the bridge for battery access.

Nice 🙂


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Thank you so much! I guess I wasn't as far away identifying this as I thought. I'm a vintage keyboard/percussion guy so this is out of my normal area of expertise.  You are correct, it has a circuit board inside and battery and active pickups. We actually have some spare parts that came with the collection, including a few necks. One of them is the wider 5 string neck. 

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  • 3 months later...

Hello again gang-

It seems that the bridge pickup on this XP-25 is dead. I've tried to research finding a replacement and apparently it's a kind of rare thing to find.  We ordered one pickup that we thought would fit,  but it was slightly larger than the one installed. From what I found, this was a modified pickup done specifically for the Steinberger's that had 5 strings on a four string neck.  (hence the IV-V sticker on the back.)

I was wondering if anybody could help point me in the right direction towards finding one, we'd like to keep this bass stock.

Steinberger EMG Pickup.jpg

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13 hours ago, veedonfleece said:

I was wondering if anybody could help point me in the right direction towards finding one, we'd like to keep this bass stock.


On the SteinbergerWorld website Andy Yakubik says this:


From mid 80's through the early 90's the IV-V's are common on all Steinberger basses. Once Gibson stopped offering the narrow 5 option they just put in straight HB's.  If you are replacing HB's on a narrow 5, be sure to custom order a Steinberger style IV-V HB from EMG.  They do offer this but only as a custom order (this is not mentioned anywhere on their website anywhere).

So you should simply be able to contact EMG and order such a pickup from them. I'd give it a try.

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  • 2 months later...

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