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Strandberg?

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plexi59

Guest
I’m thinking of thinning down my electric guitar herd to just 2 electrics (6 and 7), and headless stuff looks intriguing, particularly Strandberg. Does anyone here play them? One aspect I’m curious about in particular is their unorthodox neck profile. Does it actually make the neck more comfortable? Looking at it it seems like it would, but there’s no way to try it out. I’m not new to headless stuff, I have a Steinberger, and love the tuning precision and super low action, but hate the lack of upper fret access and mildly dislike the baseball bat style neck. All in all, I’m basically looking for something that’s like Steinberger in terms of balance, tuning precision, and size, but with a more comfortable neck and upper fret access.
 

Project Mayhem

Experienced
I can’t say enough good things about my Strandberg. The neck, IMO, is just a better solution, took me About five minutes to get used to it, way more comfortable and your hand is always in the right position. I play/practice on mine three to four hours daily and I have yet to experience any hand fatigue. By far the guitar I play the most... I’m currently out of town on a work gig and it’s right here in the hotel.

The only negative I can find is that the tuners can be difficult to locate if needed mid song as they are very close together...luckily it stays in tune very well.

I wouldn’t say it’s for everyone, but I would say everyone should at least try one so they have some perspective on how guitar “can” play.
 

goodwill559

Inspired
shipping from northern California shouldn't be too much then

I received a classic 7 fixed bridge in a trade that I would be happy to loan out so you can try a .strandberg*

It's an early production unit that lacks the refinements that enhance the later units, and has a defect to the string locking block for the seventh string.

the hole in which the retaining pin (part 13) sits has deformed to the treble side and is more like an oval than a circle. this slop allows the block to rotate as you tighten which is self-defeating.

bottom line: once you get past a certain torque, you need to awkwardly stabilize the block (part 11) as you crank your hex wrench.

reviews can be useful, but there's no substitute for playing one, so I'm throwing out the offer and you can let me know if you're interested

string block.PNG
 

AZG

Experienced
I've had a Strandberg Classic 6 for about 6 months and I love it overall. It's my first headless guitar and I like the concept enough that I should soon receive a second headless (Kiesel Leia). If I could I would improve or change a few things on the Strandberg's.
  1. Make the neck profile more C shaped between the nut and maybe 5th fret (I find the profile a little awkward and blocky down near the nut).
  2. Improve upper fret access. Surprisingly for an ergonomic guitar, upper fret access is worse than most bolt on neck guitars I've owned or played.
  3. Tuning stability is not as good as some other guitars I have without a locking nut.
  4. Prices get ridiculously high for Indonesian production line guitars with average at best finishes. The Classic line is at the high end of what I'm willing to pay for this quality. I would love to have one of the new neck through Strandberg's if not for the price and finish. At that $3100 price range I can get a mighty nice American made Suhr with a drop dead beautiful finish. The American made Kiesel I ordered has neck through construction, SS frets, custom flamed top (that should be gorgeous based on most Kiesel's I've seen), etc. and was over $1200 less than the equivalent neck through Strandberg.
Overall I really like and recommend the lower end Strandberg's. They are nice and unique for the price. The higher end ones are greatly overpriced IMO. Make sure you buy it from someplace with a good return policy just incase you don't bond with the neck profile or some other aspect.
 
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goodwill559

Inspired
AZG, I completely agree with #2, and when I played the neck-through version, I was surprised to find upper access not very much better
 
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plexi59

Guest
That’s unfortunate, given my dislike of Steinberger’s upper fret access. Is that on a fanned or “straight” fret neck?
 

yeky83

Power User
I’m thinking of thinning down my electric guitar herd to just 2 electrics (6 and 7), and headless stuff looks intriguing, particularly Strandberg. Does anyone here play them? One aspect I’m curious about in particular is their unorthodox neck profile. Does it actually make the neck more comfortable? Looking at it it seems like it would, but there’s no way to try it out. I’m not new to headless stuff, I have a Steinberger, and love the tuning precision and super low action, but hate the lack of upper fret access and mildly dislike the baseball bat style neck. All in all, I’m basically looking for something that’s like Steinberger in terms of balance, tuning precision, and size, but with a more comfortable neck and upper fret access.
I've owned most of their top models, and currently just own the Fusion 6 Neck-Thru.

The EndurNeck is a cool concept and seems to work for many people, but I could do with or without it. I think it's more helpful for folks who play mostly thumb-behind-the-neck...? But I'm mostly thumb-on-top and switching to behind-the-neck as need be, and I don't see how the EndurNeck helps very much with that. If you see Keven Eknes demo Strandbergs, you'll see his thumb kind of just does whatever it wants all over the neck. That's what my thumb does as well. It works fine if I just forget about it and play, but if I start thinking about ergonomics and how "I have to put my thumb on this plane while I play this bit, then switch over to the other plane when I play the other bit," then I start to hate it.

Non neck-thru models' upper fret access is pretty poor, and worse than most other guitars. Strandberg bolt-on's have a massive heel joint that's like twice the size it needs to be.

The body shape is great and ergonomic. I think you'll find it a definite improvement over the Steinberger.

Some extra stuff I don't like...
I don't like the neutral fret angle starting at fret-0 on the 6-string model. It makes no sense and makes it less ergonomic.
The Strandberg hardware causes it to sound unlike any other electric guitar, and the unplugged acoustic sound is pretty unpleasant to me... but plugged in it's fine.
 
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plexi59

Guest
I’ve been moving towards thumb (mostly) behind the fretboard as of late. A switch to 7 strings sort of forced me to play this way, and after some initial difficulty, I find I can now play things I couldn’t play before. For the lack of a better description it sort of feels like my fingers have gotten longer, which is helpful since I have pretty short fingers. So if strandberg forces more of the same, I’m ok with that.

But the bottom line seems to be it has to be neck-through, and I have to figure out where I can play a Strandberg before I consider buying it. Or maybe wait for a crazy good price on CL so I could unload it if I don’t like it.
 

Sleestak

Power User
I have a neck-through Strandberg Boden 6 with trem. It is definitely the best-designed and most responsive guitar I have owned. The neck profile is very comfortable and takes zero playing adjustment time; it just works, and the geometry is perfect for comfort. Same for the fanned frets; it's a really intuitive layout and feels great. The first gig I played with the Strandberg really amazed me. I could get exactly the kind of tones and expression that I wanted, without having to "work" to make the guitar deliver. The upper fret access is great too, and I think that's due to the profile of the neck-through design. I typically am leery of the upper frets, as the tone is often thin and strident. The fanned frets provide a little tension relief on the higher strings, and that definitely makes them speak more clearly.
For what it's worth, I bought mine through Sweetwater, and they have a pretty generous return policy.
 

guitarnerdswe

Fractal Fanatic
I've owned most of their top models, and currently just own the Fusion 6 Neck-Thru.

The EndurNeck is a cool concept and seems to work for many people, but I could do with or without it. I think it's more helpful for folks who play mostly thumb-behind-the-neck...? But I'm mostly thumb-on-top and switching to behind-the-neck as need be, and I don't see how the EndurNeck helps very much with that. If you see Keven Eknes demo Strandbergs, you'll see his thumb kind of just does whatever it wants all over the neck. That's what my thumb does as well. It works fine if I just forget about it and play, but if I start thinking about ergonomics and how "I have to put my thumb on this plane while I play this bit, then switch over to the other plane when I play the other bit," then I start to hate it.

Non neck-thru models' upper fret access is pretty poor, and worse than most other guitars. Strandberg bolt-on's have a massive heel joint that's like twice the size it needs to be.

The body shape is great and ergonomic. I think you'll find it a definite improvement over the Steinberger.

Some extra stuff I don't like...
I don't like the neutral fret angle starting at fret-0 on the 6-string model. It makes no sense and makes it less ergonomic.
The Strandberg hardware causes it to sound unlike any other electric guitar, and the unplugged acoustic sound is pretty unpleasant to me... but plugged in it's fine.
I was just about to ask about the neck. My thumb moves around a lot depending on what I play. Thumb over for Hendrix stuff or just grabbing bass notes of chords, parallel to the neck when doing stretches, moving perpendicular across the neck when going from high to low strings and vice versa etc. Having a fixed position where the thumb has to be makes no sense IMHO. Also, I like V necks.
 

AZG

Experienced
The EndurNeck is a cool concept and seems to work for many people, but I could do with or without it. I think it's more helpful for folks who play mostly thumb-behind-the-neck...?
I completely agree with this statement. I generally love the neck from around the 5th fret and up when my thumb stays mostly behind the neck. But down near the nut I tend to use my thumb to mute the low E and occasionally wrap around for notes. I find it less comfortable than a standard neck for this kind of stuff. When I switch back and forth between the Strandberg and a standard neck I can't say I strongly prefer one over the other. I prefer other aspects of headless and the Strandberg design more than the neck. It's part of the reason I'm trying a Kiesel as my second headless.
 

yeky83

Power User
I was just about to ask about the neck. My thumb moves around a lot depending on what I play. Thumb over for Hendrix stuff or just grabbing bass notes of chords, parallel to the neck when doing stretches, moving perpendicular across the neck when going from high to low strings and vice versa etc. Having a fixed position where the thumb has to be makes no sense IMHO. Also, I like V necks.
Yeah, it works fine if I don't think about it and just use it mindlessly. The changing trapezoid shape probably does guide my hand in a more comfortable position up and down the neck, even if I'm not taking advantage of the planes. And there's less neck material in the area where the index finger meets the palm, just like with V necks.
I completely agree with this statement. I generally love the neck from around the 5th fret and up when my thumb stays mostly behind the neck. But down near the nut I tend to use my thumb to mute the low E and occasionally wrap around for notes. I find it less comfortable than a standard neck for this kind of stuff. When I switch back and forth between the Strandberg and a standard neck I can't say I strongly prefer one over the other. I prefer other aspects of headless and the Strandberg design more than the neck. It's part of the reason I'm trying a Kiesel as my second headless.
I don't prefer the Strandberg neck over other necks either, it's just different. Wraparounds are not ideal but it works fine.

I just got a Kiesel actually. I don't particularly love the neck shape, feels really thin. Maybe they did the thin neck option on this one by mistake cus I can't imagine someone would want it thinner. But it sounds like a regular electric guitar unplugged vs. Strandberg's tinny unplugged sound.
 

randyman

Experienced
A few days ago, I ordered a .strandberg* Prog 6 Neck-Thru Natural. I originally planned to get a Prog 7, but all that empty space where the bolt-on neck would usually connect was just too tempting. (The neck-thru models only come as 6-strings.)

I don’t know exactly when it will arrive; apparently the retailer expects a shipment in about a month, but there’s no guarantee my baby will make that batch. No matter; I’m psyched!

strandberg-boden-prog-trem-neckthru-natural-6-string-headless-guitar-9.jpg
 
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