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Rating and Reviews: TransTrem ZT-3 Guitar

The ZT-3 Custom follows Steinberger's tradition of innovation. With the revolutionary TransTrem system, the Steinberger ZT-3 Custom can bend chords in pitch.

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"Steinberger ZT3 review: 2011/11/30" submitted November 30, 2011

By a customer from yahoo.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
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Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: 40+ years. My primary instrument is guitar. Secondary and tertiary instruments include bass and keys. I play semi-professionally
Music Style: Rock, Christian rock, some country and jazz
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: The composite material fingerboard and high quality hard maple wood construction makes for a clear, rich tone that remains highly articulate even when played through heavily overdriven settings. Between the 3-way pickup selector and the push/pull (series/parallel wiring) pots this guitar can produce 8 different tonal settings, all of which are excellent and completely noise-free. I am primarily a rock-oriented player with 30+ years playing guitar, many of them at the semi-professional level. From light to heavy styles this instrument covers all the tonal bases quite nicely. Feature: The TransTrem bridge system is a genius design. It works amazingly well. My only concern is that it takes a little bit to get used to it. The bar functions in 3 positions: regular vibrato, locked (like a hardtail bridge), and the TransTrem position. The TransTrem feature allows you to transpose the entire set of strings up or down an entire step by 1/2 step increments, effectively giving you 5 different available tunings. The double ball strings system is a dream to use, and the 40:1 ratio tuners are rock solid. This instrument also facilitates using regular strings, just in case you do not have or can not get double ball strings. The literature states that if you use regular strings it is possible you may not have quite as much accuracy using the TransTrem system. I do not know personally because so far I have only used the double ball strings. The instrument is made of hard maple and the fretboard is made of composite material. The composite materials are resistant to changes in heat and humidity (a big concern when playing live, especially outdoors), resulting in an extremely stable platform that does not go out of tune at all. I have used this instrument on the stage and in the studio and my tuning has not shifted by more than just a few cents over the course of several hours of continuous playing. In fact, the tuning and intonation are so good that this is quickly becoming my number one instrument for recording. Another great feature is the fold-down leg rest. You wouldn't think it would such a useful thing, but once you use it (for example playing parts while seated in the studio) you realize what a great feature it is. It causes the guitar to rest in the most ergonomic position. I love it! Ease of Use: Absolutely excellent instrument. I only give it a 9 because of the learning curve associated with the TransTrem system. But honestly, I am just being picky. As noted earlier, there are 8 different pickup tonal combinations available and all of them are quite good. The pickups are Gibson Custom Voiced humbuckers (90R neck, 91T bridge). You can get the classic growl and bite associated with Gibson guitars, but also achieve those sweet, shimmering bell-like tones and clarity you'd get from a good Strat or Tele, only without the 60 cycle noise. I play through Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5 (Pro version with Kontrol foot pedal) running either into 2 amps or DI into the house. I have yet to get a bad tone. In fact, the clarity of this instrument keeps me honest, because if I play it, the guitar is going to let you hear it! The instrument's playability is very good. When it first arrived the action was a bit high for my taste, but adjusting it was quite easy. My Ibanez Prestige Series guitar has a slightly faster action, which is great for shredding up high on the neck, but the Steinberger's tuning is more stable, which is critical in recording situations. It's a bit of a tradeoff. This instrument does have pretty good action, it's just that I like my action super-low, which is difficult to achieve on most guitars anyway. Quality: The workmanship is impeccable. I purchased this instrument as a "blemished" product and I still am not sure exactly what or where the blemish is. My impression is this instrument will last practically forever as long as it is properly cared for. I would expect that this instrument will out live me. Value: Without a doubt this guitar is well worth its price. I have seen and/or played various guitars (including Les Pauls and some PRS models) that sold for more and had less to offer in the way of features or ease of use. Manufacturer Support: No opinion. The instrument is of the highest quality and I do not anticipate ever having to contact the company for service-realted issues. The Wow Factor: I LOVE this guitar! And yes, the headless neck has that "cool factor" going for it. Every time I play this instrument in public I get all sorts of positive comments about both it's tone and it's appearance. It is pretty common after a show to have all the guitar players come around and talk about gear, but this instrument draws out the non-musicians as well who just really want to see a headless guitar up close. Overall: I am always on the hunt for more great instruments (my wife jokingly calls me Nigel whenever she steps into my studio), but this is a serious guitar for serious musicians. I expect my satisfaction to remain at a very high level for a very long time. If the instrument were lost or stolen you can bet I would be on the phone with my insurance company in a matter of minutes, demanding a replacement ASAP.
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"No BETTA!" submitted April 9, 2010

By a customer from sbcglobal.net
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Value
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Musical Background: wanna be
Music Style: ALL!
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Sound: VERY versatile sounds. Great CLEAN and loves pedals! Feature: PP pots to single coil modes! QUALITY! Very Fast neck! Ease of Use: Plug and PLAY hard! Quality: Great QUALITY throughout! Value: Come on people! It is a STEINBERGER! Have you ever heard of them losing value? Besides they are a PLAYERS guitar! Manufacturer Support: Called for a part and Gibson sent me extras! The Wow Factor: Um, I own it! Overall: AWESOME!
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