’89 Steinberger GM4T

The product of a liaison between Genesis’ Mike Rutherford and graphite wizard Ned Steinberger, the Steinberger ‘M’ Series was an early product of Gibson’s investment in the company. The earlier models with flat fronts and bound, sheer edges like this one were made at the Steinberger facility in Newburgh, USA.

‘G’ indicates it’s a guitar, ‘M’ that it’s an ‘M’ series, ‘4’ shows it has one humbucker and two single coil pickups, and ‘’T’ denotes ‘Transtrem’ (lots of useful references like this and many others at Las Vegas’ dealer Ed Roman Guitars’ web site).

Steinberger was quite an engineer – apart from creating graphite necked guitars, he invented this trem which holds each string in relative pitch as it is moved and can be locked at -2, -1, +1 & +1.5 tones. This enables you to trem whole chords or retune without a capo. It’s tricky to set up but rewards the initial effort for as long as you use the same gauge of strings. He also designed a very economical 12-string tailpiece which tunes all 12 strings with a single, sliding knob.

The neck remains true so it plays very easily. With the original EMG pickups, it has a very clinical sound, great for funk licks. And it has a very 80’s look. As someone once commented, ‘the horror of the headless guitar’. Also available in white, red, and I’ve seen blue, yellow and even pink. H’mmm.

10 Responses to ’89 Steinberger GM4T

  1. Henning says:

    The headless design is the most revolutionary invention in the world of electric guitars. The advantages are many : There is no “string-slip” in the saddle as on many instruments of traditional head-design, where some need a “sting-tree” to keep the strings down. It necessitates the use of a 0th fret, which is a great advantage as to intonation and trouble-free tuning, and furthermore it is always in a far better balance and don’t twist the shoulder. Especially the basses are far much better for the lastmentioned advantage. Tuning pegs load your shoulders, the further out the worse!!
    I wonder it took so long time before it was invented.
    I have myself a Steinberger GM4T guitar and a Staus 4 string Bass.

  2. kosit says:

    Hi , I want buy this 89 Steinberger GM4T. It how much?
    and This guitar is Original or re-build because it look like new?
    Neck of guitar is Original steinberger neck or moses neck?

    best regard

  3. Rockbeare says:

    It’s not for sale, I’m afraid. It’s all original, I’ve owned it from new which is why it’s mint.

  4. chris h says:

    yeah- i have 2…one white with black binding, one black with white binding with a pro-guitar playing history

    mine are not mint…and most guitars wouldn’t/shouldn’t be… if they have been played well

    i’ve just invested in a refret…no small decision and especially on a neck of that kind. I found an amazing guitar tech in the UK who took it on and we decided upon gold evo2 wire – its made a significant difference and improved the sound no-end…if that were possible. It has colour, yet still remains the versatility from that ‘clinical’ sound most studio guitarists would love.

    having said that – it is a real pleasure to see a mint one and read of another fan – i love my 2 for the sheer versatility, originality and that they pretty much polarise views of other guitarists and interested folk – in that you either like them or you dont! no grey areas and that’s a guitar that knows where it is therefore 😉


  5. These Steinberger’s look intimidating and even like a novelty at first sight. Well, this was my first experience with the guitar in the studio. Nevertheless, the GM4T turned out not only be this amazing sounding guitar, but by far the most versatile instrument I’ve ever recorded. The tone is thick and clean with no mud, bright and tight without the sizzle or annoying bite in the high end. So impressed, I purchased one for myself to later have it stolen. I’ve had a hole in my heart ever since. In the studio, this guitar gave a fantastic play on heavy modern guitar tones. GM4T + VHT Pitbull + Sure SM7 + Fern Mic Pre + Neve 1084 + a subtle touch of an 1176 = Holy Cow!!!!! I am keeping my eyes open for another one. Seeing one like the one pictured here just tugs at the heart strings!!!! Thanks for the memories!!!!!! -Power Station Rob

  6. Rockbeare says:

    Thanks, Rob, great to get a comment from an established and respected studio! My Christmas present is a simple audio interface, so my seasonal project is learning to record decent quality audio which I can sync with HD video via GarageBand. Then I’ll be ready to record all my instruments, drawing in friends to break up the monotony of my noodling, and post the videos for all to see.

    Watch out for my YouTube channel and happy holidays!

  7. Henning says:

    If someone is interested in my GM4T it is for sale. It is under restoring for new frets. It is black with white bindings, and the neck is an original Ned Steinberger carbon fiber type with phenolic fretboard. It has minor scratches on the back, but none of them deep through the finish. I won’t call it mint, but close to. I consider to grind the fretboard conical for lower and more trouble free action before fretting.
    I live in Denmark.

  8. Henning says:

    No bids yet??

  9. Fran says:

    Hello, this is my Steinberger USA GM4T – Newburgh Guitar (Original pre-Gibson)


  10. Rockbeare says:

    Nice example – good luck with the sale and I hope it goes to a good home!

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