The Steinberger L series bass was formally introduced in 1980, and in 1983 the Steinberger GL guitar was rolled out. At the same time a slightly revised version of the bass was also introduced and given the name XL to distinguish it from the guitar and the original L bass. Check the above photo of GSTV friend Derek J with his 1986 XL bass: very cool!
The instruments were described as being made from layers of composite materials (carbon fiber and epoxy?) with graphite necks. Apparently this was a labor intensive means of production…..wonder if the new 3D printing technologies would have made things easier?
After the early success of the L’s, Ned Steinberger decided to try and offer a more affordable version of his creation at a price just under $1000. Designated the P series, these new instruments featured bolt-on graphite necks, small wooden bodies and the same hardware. But most sported less costly passive pickups. Although they sold reasonably well, it was difficult at the time to offer all of their features for under the $1000 target price. Because of this the P’s were dropped a couple years after their introduction, and were one of the shortest lived of the Steinberger models.
For more history on these distinctive instruments, click on the related article below: