Merry Adin and her Synapse XS-15FPA Custom


At the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA., a somewhat frantic young women carrying a Steinberger Synapse 5-string bass visited the Steinberger display. We soon came to learn that she was having some problems with her bass. Apparently, it had suddenly stopped working - there was no output. She had contacted Gibson Customer Service and was told that the bass would need to be sent into Steinberger to be repaired. For her, this was an unacceptable solution. She could not be without her beloved Synapse and relied on it solely during her regular performances in Las Vegas. So, she grabbed her bass and took off for Anaheim in hopes of finding someone at Steinberger that could repair it.

Needless to say, the Winter NAMM show is not the place to bring an instrument to have it repaired. As she maneuvered her way through the crowded Steinberger room she went from one person to another trying to find someone that could help her. Her passionate pleas were generally met with the same response. We're very sorry but we don't have the tools nor the capability to diagnose and repair your bass here. You'll need to send it in for repair. She even tracked down Ned Steinberger himself who while sympathetic to her dilemma, could not offer assistance given the circumstances.

As a last resort, she was pointed in my direction. After hearing her story and considering what the problem might be I went and borrowed a tool kit from our Gibson Gear guy and proceeded to remove her active circuit board. I then removed a circuit board from one of the new Synapse basses on display and installed it into her bass. Fortunately, the circuit board features mostly plug in connectors with the exception of the battery wires which I spliced and taped together. I had informed her that this might not be the problem and to not get her hopes up too high. The moment of truth came when she plugged her bass into our amp on display and it worked perfectly. I have rarely seen someone as excited as she was at that moment.

Steinberger recently checked in with Merry Adin to see how she and her bass were holding up.

STEINBERGER: So I assume that your Synapse bass is still working fine?

MERRY: My baby is doing great!! Thank you Jim, and all of the guys at Steinberger for all of your help!!!

STEINBERGER: Tell me about your earliest recollection of music. Do you come from a musical family?

MERRY: My first musical group was the New Penny Singers at 5 years old! Also, my father traveled on the road with a big band & had preformed at Radio City Music Hall waaaay back in the day!! My brother was a drummer (he passed on), and a singer, and my sister was also a singer, who indirectly gave me my start playing in bands Dude calls needing a singer… I informed him that my sister was pregnant (she was) but I was her older sister (lie), who just got off the road, & I would be down there that night!! I snuck into the legendary Del Mar Station in Reno, and the rest is history!!!.... well, present!

STEINBERGER: Who were your major influences when you started playing bass?

MERRY: Geddy Lee, Sting, Kip Winger & Verdeen White… bet no one has ever said those names in one group, huh?? Crazy but true!!

STEINBERGER: Tell me about your musical experience at the University of Nevada. How important do you think music education is for the performing musician?

MERRY: I received a full-ride scholarship for music in ‘87. I had 2 fantastic vocal coaches!! One for classical & one for modern (ya know, ROCK baybee!!). Knowing what you’re playing is very important!!! Sometimes it kinda sucks calling changes to someone who doesn’t have a clue what you are talking about….

STEINBERGER: What Steinberger instruments do you have and use the most?

MERRY: It’s all about the bass, baby!!! My first one was the XL2, one of the original 4-strings (had to sell it….. felt like I was putting my dog down. My second, the 5-string Spirit. Now I have graduated to the ultimate 5-string Synapse, and play it every day while my Spirit is my back-up.

STEINBERGER: What is it you like about the Steinberger basses you use?

MERRY: I love the center of gravity, the weight, the neck (so smooth, baby!!), the size (I’m a chick… I know a big bass looks cool, but my body looks way cooler behind a slick, kick ass bass!!!!), the kick stand, the option the Synapse gives me to use all types of strings, double ball end & regular; though it’s pretty awesome to change a string in about 30 seconds, and be back in tune by the chorus of a song!! “It’s AMAZING!!!”

STEINBERGER: You have had great success as a professional musician. What advice would you give to the player who is trying to move out of the garage phase and onto the professional stage?

MERRY: Always play with something else going on, like a conversation, or a TV (on mute), or something like that. This helps with distractions. Also, and this is a biggie….. PLAY IN FRONT OF A MIRROR!!!! You need to know what you look like, as well as how you sound!! Ever wonder why some players look stooooopid, but shred, & some look sexy and shred?? Oh yeah, ALWAYS keep your eyes AND your ears open!!

STEINBERGER: You are also an amazing vocalist. How has being able to sing helped your career as a musician?

MERRY: I tend to be more indispensable to a band, not to mention more marketable!! BTW… Thank you for the love!!!

STEINBERGER: It's no secret that the rock world is male dominated. What challenges has that brought you?

MERRY: Here’s my favorite…. “She couldn’t possibly be playing for real????” God, I hate tracks!!! Most male musicians feel that the chick should be the “token musician”….. Whatever!!!! Good luck with that one!!

STEINBERGER: At this point in your bass career, how important is practice?

MERRY: VEEEERY!!!! Keeping your chops up keeps you ahead of the game (wait, I should be practicing, not on my computer…. Hahaha!!!), and there is ALWAYS something new and cool to learn!!

STEINBERGER: Before we let you go… Describe a typical day in the life of musician Merry Adin.

MERRY: Well, this is what my weekend is gunna look like: Saturday: be in LA to audition chick drummers with the all female act Bandshe til 3pm… Race back to Vegas to play with recording artist Jared Rogers by 8pm… then be at the Red Hawk bar to do a gig with a band called Rock Candy by 10:30…. Sunday… Be at Bugsy’s showroom to play for recording artist Kennedi, at 3pm, then back to play with Jared at Raj’s by 10pm.. By Monday, I start rehearsals again with the new Vegas show called In-Ten-Si-T…. In other words, Never a dull moment!!

For more info about Merry check her out on-line at

Photos: Andrei Mignea of Dre5 Productions





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