Well ok, I'm not sure if it's even possible at this point to fire someone because this probably happened over ten years ago...
But anyways, I'm having problems with this thing:
Actually, nothing wrong with the one above. That's the tuning machine I bought to replace this:
Notice that there are no black "nubs" sticking out from this tuning machine casing, unlike the first one. Where are the nubs, you ask?
How on earth Fender approved such a horrible design is beyond me. And even worse, Fender used these on the American Deluxe basses in the late 90's--their top of the line basses
Well turns out, I did some more research online and this seems to be a common problem with these tuners. So much so that Fender has completely discontinued them and replaced them with the newer version--with bigger nubs. That's great for all the new basses equipped with them, but how about the older basses that need fixing? A couple searches on eBay and Amazon later, I still can't find a proper replacement for the broken one. What about switching the black casings between the old and new versions and keep the chrome hardware?
Well I tried, and looks like Fender was one step ahead of me. They redesigned the casing just enough so that the hardware isn't interchangeable. Looks like I'm back to searching on eBay for this elusive tuner... Or preparing to shell out $100 for an entire new set of tuners.
The black casing is made from "composite" according to Schaller, aka plastic. I'm not against plastic, but the design in this case certainly did not take material limitations into consideration. The shear stress on the black nubs must be enormous! I'm surprised they didn't break sooner!
Ok that's it for my late night soap opera rant. I'm just in disbelief at how this design got passed the designer, supervisors, and the entire R&D department at Fender and Schaller.