NGD: Steinberger ZT3

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Thread: NGD: Steinberger ZT3

  1. #1

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    NGD: Steinberger ZT3

    As some of you probably remember, I had an ad up in the classifieds looking for one of these. I lucked out and found one in pristine shape that fell within budget.

    I've logged ~3 hours on it so far.

    The fit and finish is very nice. This happens to be a fairly highly contrasted piece of flamed maple, with a pretty even trans-stain over the whole thing. The top itself looks to be ~1/4 thick, and the neck and body both look to be 3-pieces each. The finish is very glossy and thick, which looks nice on the top and back, though feels a little plastic-y on the neck.

    The neck and body are both made primarily of rock/hard maple. Typically that would be extremely bright acoustically, and it's fairly medium-to-bright but the body itself is thick and heavy, which seems to give the guitar a 'thicker' than expected sound overall. If I were to pick a term to describe it, tonally, I'd say "balanced".

    It's definitely very 'body heavy'. I haven't gotten it on a scale yet but all the specs I've seen list it about 7lbs. (which sounds about right), compared to my Parkers which are both ~4.5lbs. It's not heavier than any of my other, more traditional guitars but still worth noting. The guitar sits pretty well normally, but the 'kickstand' definitely puts the guitar at the perfect angle; arguably the most convenient positioning of any guitar I own.

    The neck is medium thick and round. My Parkers and Ibanezs are thin and flat, and this reminds me a lot more of a Les Paul or a Telecaster. Kinda chunky. The fretwork is super super clean and even; while I haven't done a setup on it yet (I drop my action LOW), so far, zero flat spots and the action feels very even all over the guitar. It's got thicker strings on it (I typically use .008s), which makes it not as easy to play as my others but those will likely be swapped whenever I can get a shipment of Daddario double-balls.

    The main feature of the guitar is obviously the TransTrem. I can definitely see why they've got such a great reputation, as the action is VERY smooth in both feel and sound as you're using it. I've fiddled with the "transposing" feature quite a bit, and it's super easy to use and MOSTLY accurate, although I'm expecting to have to make a couple adjustments (which are very easy to do and outlined in the manual) to get it dead-on. The trem arm itself is a little difficult to thread into the bridge (small diameter, tight thread) and likewise, the adjustment screw (which decides where the arm sits, angle-wise) is small and hard to adjust while the arm is attached the the guitar, but removing the bar to adjust means you have no idea what angle the bar is going to be at when you screw it back in.

    I've only had very limited time playing it plugged in and even when I did, it was through a modeler. It comes with a Gibson 90R and 91T set and I don't have much experience with stock Gibson pickups, so I can't say much with regard to how they compare to others. My immediate impression was that the tone was a little buzzy/wooly sounding, and a good bit of that can be credited to the modeler but the TZ/AN set in my Parker sound noticeably more natural through the same rig. I'm going to log some time with the ZT3 through a real amp and see how it goes, depending on the results, I might be in the market to replace them.

    I think that covers most of the info. Onto the pics:

    Argbadh - RHLC©

  2. #2

    Join Date: Jul 2011
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    is that trem stable without being even single locking? Much confused.

  3. #3

    Join Date: Sep 2011
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    I like that
    Vag Jackson, Man Of Action

  4. #4

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angrychair View Post
    is that trem stable without being even single locking? Much confused.
    The short answer is witchcraft.

    The range "downward" is limited to <3 steps, so there's never really enough slack put in the string (like if you did a Dimebag 'divebomb' with a Floyd Rose) to allow anything to come unseated; there's a decent amount of tension on the string constantly. Likewise, the saddles remain in contact with the string, which also helps to keep some amount of tension.

  5. #5

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    That thing looks great

  6. #6

    Join Date: Jun 2011
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    Congrats dude! Get them Aldrich Pickups!
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  7. #7

    Join Date: Mar 2012
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    I don't like to admit it when I'm wrong so..............fuck you!

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  8. #8

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