Steinberger, Double Neck Guitar, 1989 custom made by Bill DeLap for Allan Holdsworth


Steinberger custom made by Bill DeLap
Doubleneck Guitar 6/12
Serial Number: 
Custom DiMarzio
The Story Behind


About the Builder (from Wikipedia):

Steinberger refers to a series of distinctive electric guitars and bass guitars, designed and originally manufactured by Ned Steinberger. The word Steinberger can be used to refer to either the instruments themselves or the company that produced them. Although the name has been applied to a variety of instruments, it is primarily associated with a minimalist "headless" design of electric basses and electric guitars.

The most famous Steinberger design is the L-series instrument, sometimes described as shaped like a broom, boat oar, or cricket bat. Initially produced as an electric bass and later as a guitar, the instrument was made entirely of the Steinberger Blend, a proprietary graphite and carbon fiber mix in two pieces: the main body and a faceplate. It had no headstock for tuning, tuning instead at a redesigned tailpiece using micrometer-style tuners and special strings with a ball at both ends. This design quickly became known as headless. The rationale for the overall design was the elimination of unnecessary weight, especially the unbalanced headstock, and the use of modern materials, such as graphite, for their advantages over older materials.

The all-synthetic construction gave a very smooth sound and feel, immediate note attack, and very even tonal response. Depending upon the preferences of the listener, this was either a good thing, as it made the instrument sonically clean, or a bad thing, as it made the instrument sound synthetic and unnatural. Steinberger was and still is proud of this dichotomy and one of their slogans was "We don't make 'em like they used to."

Another innovation created by Ned Steinberger for some of these instruments was the TransTrem, a patented transposing tremolo assembly that detuned the strings in tensional parallel, so that the entire tuning of the instrument could be changed immediately with one knob, and chords played during tremolo use (up or down) stayed in perfect tune. Additionally, the TransTrem had a small stepped stop, which allowed the TransTrem to essentially act as a capo. Bass and guitar versions were available.

Several other series were built during the years (P, G, M, K, Q, S and Synapse Guitars).

About the Guitar:

This Steinberger, Double Neck 6/12 Guitar was custom made by Bill DeLap for Allan Holdsworth in 1989.

Alan had the guitar a long time and he used it a real lot. He made numerous changes to it but he had them done profesionally The guitar started out as 2 6 string guitars and finally ended up as a Doubleneck  6/12 Guitar. It was completly refurbished by the original builder Bill DeLap.

Bill DeLap on the guitar:

This was the 1st of 4 double neck guitars I designed and built for Mr. Holdsworth. I built a matching green single neck at the same time.

This one started life with one bridge pickup for each neck. After about a year, Allan asked me to add the other two, with selector switches. Allan used it with one neck tuned standard and the other tuned in fifths; from high E, A, D, G, C, F [up an octave]. He used this guitar a few years and then traded it in for a new design with a 28.6 inch scale for the fifths tuned neck. This allowed the low F to be a fifth below the low C, instead of up an octave. It was an all wood guitar with glued in necks.

All the pickups were custom wound by Steve Blucher at DiMarzio. Steve was very helpful and was sending me lots of stuff for Allan to try at the time.

I have fond memories of this green double neck, since it was the first of my guitars that Allan used on his live tours.
After getting it back from Allan, a good friend of mine bought it and asked me to convert one neck into the 12 string.

It can be seen used by Allan Holdsworth in the following clips:


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