The Steinberger ZT-3 oozes quality and with the innovative Trans Trem pushes the boundaries of guitar design.
As regular readers will know I have a bit of a thing for Steinberger guitars. You can find out more in my recent homage to Steinberger guitars in the article Steinberger GL Series guitars. In my opinion Steinberger guitars are an innovative re-interpretation of what we have all come to expect from an electric guitar. For that if nothing else Steinberger should be commended. In terms of the instruments the Steinberger guitar range can essentially be divided into three groups, the Spirit, Synapse and Z series. For those of you who don’t like the Steinberger “chocolate box” shape the Z series offers all the Steinberger innovations in a more traditional guitar shape and it has to be said that the Steinberger ZT-3 Custom is a pretty amazing looking guitar.
So what can you expect from the Steinberger ZT-3?
Well apart from the headless neck design the Steinberger ZT-3 is a beautiful super strat style guitar. The body is made from maple and can be finished in a see through red, black or blue finish which really sets-off the flame maple top. The neck is the Steinberger CybroSonic neck which features the patented graphite U-channel with adjustable truss rods uniquely crafted into a 3-piece maple neck. The neck is topped with a durable phenolic fingerboard which gives the Steinberger ZT-3 Custom its distinctive tonal clarity, sustain and response as well as giving it incredible stablity.
In terms of electrics the Steinberger ZT-3 Custom comes armed with two humbuckers with coil taps that give you a huge tonal range. By using the push/pull switch on the tone and volume controls you can engage the coil tap giving you the option of creating a single coil pick-up sound without any of the associated noise. Alternatively by disengaging the coil tap you can play them as out and out humbuckers. The various pick-up options and combinations means the Steinberger ZT-3 Custom is an extremely versatile guitar happy with just about any musical genre from jazz and blues to rock and metal.
The Steinberger ZT-3 Custom is equipped with the legendary Steinberger Trans Trem system which allows you to do some pretty amazing things. First off you can easily change the tuning of the guitar. You can tune up from standard E tuning to F or F# or drop the tuning down to Eb or D. This is all accomplished by taking the tremolo arm to the unlocked position and dialing to the key you want to play in and then putting the tremolo arm back to the locked position. The other innovative feature of the Trans Trem is that it allows you to bend chords in pitch a feat that cannot be accomplished with other tremolo systems. And of course the Trans Trem allows you to pull off some amazing whammy bar effects without de-tuning the guitar. Forget your Floyd Rose for me the Trans Trem system is one of the best tremolo innovations that has been introduced to the electric guitar.
Now of course there always has to be a negative to a guitar, some little niggle that makes you think “if only they hadn’t done that”. In all honesty I am struggling to find that niggle with this guitar. But if I was pushed I would have to say that the only thing that I would change about the Steinberger ZT-3 Custom is the rather cheap looking leg rest that holds the guitar in place when you are seated. I think I might be correct in saying that because there is no head to the neck the centre of gravity of the guitar is shifted to the back which means that it will tend to slip backwards if you are seated. To prevent this it has a leg rest. Now I could be wrong in that assumption but if not then unfortunately the leg rest has to stay. But let’s face it this is a rather minor issue and doesn’t really spoil what is an amazing guitar.
If you needed any more convincing about just how good this guitar is then check out the video below of the great Bryan Asprey putting the Steinberger ZT-3 Custom through its paces.
To find out more about the Steinberger ZT-3 Custom and to find a dealer near you then visit the Steinberger website.
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