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About "Music Yo"
"Music Yo" is a company that appears to be a subsidiary of Gibson that was formed to sell product direct to the public.
They make a big deal about selling to you direct and cutting out the
middleman etc. etc.
I have to be careful how I word this paragraph because it seems that Gibson has more Lawyers than they have guitar builders.
Steinbergers, Kramers and other products that they sell at "Music Yo" are not anything even close to the original models. As near as I can figure all the products that "Music Yo" sells are made in Korea, so don't expect to buy the same guitars that I sell at "Music Yo."
Companies like Hamer & Paul Reed Smith that were top shelf high quality companies have completely destroyed their own names by carrying Korean products. These companies are more interested in turning a profit by selling substandard equipment at relatively low prices but with very high markups.
I almost always recommend products and goods that are 100% made in the USA by American Companies who hire American workers and use American or European parts. I have seen some decent quality Korean products on the market but it is usually the exception not the rule.
A few years ago, I ordered a “Spirit by Steinberger” from Music-Yo. This was before I stumbled upon the Ed Roman site. After reading Ed’s rant, I still didn’t feel too badly because I didn’t pay that much for the guitar…I think it cost me about $350 to $450 …can’t quite remember. The guitar was good right out of the box and basically it was just my living room guitar that I would fool around on between TV commercials. In any case, I was happy.
I noticed that Ed took quite a lot of time pointing out that these guitars had almost nothing to do with original Steinberger's other than the name. Again, I didn’t care because the guitar didn’t cost me that much and it was pretty good. Of course, my first clue that it was not a “real” Steinberger was that it cost me only between $350 to $450…of course as I checked around on the guitar, it turns out it is 100% Korean made. But I must tell you, it was a pretty good guitar…action was set up nicely and all the rest of it. So it wasn’t American made. Big deal.
A few months later I noticed a few things. A tiny fret buzz developed. Possibly easily handled if you are not scared to try a truss rod adjustment (wrenches were included). A few twists, very carefully, didn’t seem to do anything. The Korean/English instruction translations were very vague. Oh well.
Next thing I noticed was that the tremolo setup might have been Steinberger in name, but as you went to adjust it, basically it has been made of die cast parts and the rest of it just cheaply machined…which means you can forget about stability or accuracy. But I rationalized it by saying “ya know…it’s ok….it didn’t cost me that much.” But the tremolo was absolute crap compared to an American-made Kahler I had on another guitar. The Kahler is like polished glass in smoothness and dead stable. The Music Yo Steinberger tremolo (“manufactured under license”) is just a third-rate, weakly-machined copy of the real McCoy. My dad used to run a machine shop and I am familiar with quality milling, casting, machining and plating. This guitar has none of it, sadly. But hey…I hardly used the tremolo anyways…less so now that it won’t stay in tune and can’t be blocked anymore.
Finally I had to order some new strings after breaking a few E’s and B’s. Ed says “not even the strings are standard”. I thought this was BS. But I found out, shockingly enough…he was right!!! The only strings that are guaranteed to fit this guitar come from Music Yo!! But guess what? They don’t have any!! They are on backorder from the supplier with no firm delivery date!! I emailed Music Yo and they told me to either wait or try emailing La Bella, D’Addario . Guess what? None of these companies can say for sure that their double ball strings will fit the Spirit guitars! Even when I emailed them the string length!! It was “try a set at your own risk”!
So I find out now that Ed was right…absolutely NOTHING on these guitars, not even the friggin’ strings, can be interchanged with anything including original Steinberger parts! Honestly I could not have believed that unless I found out about it first hand.
For now, I am waiting for Music Yo to import the strings that fit, and who knows when that will be. My other option is to wait until they have the replacement nut assembly that allows you to use regular single ball strings, and then order that.
Ah well. Live and learn. It’s a cool looking guitar with a really nice, balanced body shape…but useless if I can’t get strings for it.
Last time I was in Vegas I purchased two little Escape “Traveller” guitars from Ed that I really like. These are now my “living room” guitars.
Probably shoulda bought an LSR!
Feel free to use this in a rant if you want.
It is a shame that good companies like Steinberger get bought my big corporations like CMI who are also the owners of Baldwin Pianos, Gibson, Epiphone, Garrison, Dobro, Oberheim, Kramer, Tobias and a bunch of other great products that they ruined.
Cest la Vie....
Look at the LSR guitars on my website... You will be glad you did
Here's the Poop on Steinberger Today.
Parts, Sales, Service, Repair, Advice
Steinberger shut down their entire USA manufacturing operation about 10 years ago, They are currently importing low cost, Korean made products that look like the real thing if you stand back about 10 feet. These guitars aren't the worst guitars I have seen. If you are a beginner or someone who just wants a travel guitar to putz around on they are an OK deal. If you are a serious player and you are truly interested in acquiring a fine USA made instrument I suggest you look elsewhere.
LSR Guitar has acquired several hundred thousand dollars of original Steinberger guitars and parts.
LSR has no affiliation with the Gibson Guitar Company that has acquired the trade name Steinberger and LSR is most definitely positively not affiliated in way whatsoever with “Music Yo” which is Gibson’s Sales vehicle to sell the imported product on the uneducated consumer/beginner market.
LSR did at one time offer Gibson $250.000.00 to purchase the Steinberger name and trademarks, This offer was made when the company was completely shut down and not delivering any product at all. Gibson declined the offer at that time.
LSR was only interested in purchasing the American rights, LSR would have not been involved in any importing. Gibson probably did not realize that at the time the offer was made. It is this writers opinion that if Gibson had realized that to be the case they would have probably accepted the offer.
The slick very well done advertisements for “Music Yo” depict all the familiar Steinberger body shapes. Be aware these are very definitely NOT THE ORIGINAL MODELS and as far as we can tell absolutely none of the parts are interchangeable, Not even the strings.
LSR is an American Company, LSR products are all American made and normally LSR has no involvement or interaction with Korean or Asian companies. There are certain situations where it becomes unavoidable and LSR must deal with Asian companies for certain parts but LSR does that strictly as a last resort.
LSR will be manufacturing products to fit the real USA Steinberger guitars as soon as patents expire. LSR has available stop tail piece bridges and several other new items that will fit LSR Guitars and retrofit on Steinberger Guitars.
LSR is dedicated to keeping the original Ned Steinberger guitars alive & well. LSR is planning to try and reduce prices on many of the hard to find parts as soon as possible so that the cost factor will no longer be quite as high.
LSR will be manufacturing over 100 different body styles for LSR Guitars, these body styles will retrofit on all Steinberger’s made in the USA from day one to the last days of production in the 90’s. LSR will offer over 20 different kinds of woods and a multitude of wood combinations on all LSR Guitars and of course these will retrofit on original Steinberger’s also.
This is an Ed Roman American Made