4 Hipshots on a Zon - Possible?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Therminal, Jan 26, 2013.


  1. Therminal

    Therminal

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    Hi everyone. Haven't posted in a long time - good to be back!

    OK so here's the thing - I have a 4-string Zon Sonus Custom, and I was thinking of replacing all 4 stock tuners with Hipshot Ultralight Xtenders plus Double Stop levers on all 4 Xtenders. I know Michael Manring has or has used that setup on his Hyperbass and that there was a definable bridge that he used that has since been discontinued. When I first purchased the custom, I remember something on Zon's website / order form which had a checkbox next to the option of adding a detuner. I cant recall if it was just a single one, and at the time I had no use for them.

    I don't have any problem with the bridge; I dont need that to be detunable so if I can do this whilst keeping stock bridge, that's fine. I need to know as much as I can about this before taking the plunge (they're quite expensive, as least for me they are).

    If this is at all possible in the first place, would I have to physically modify the headstock (tuning peg holes or some other thing) or would it be more of a "drop in" situation, perhaps with minor tweaks being mandatory but as a task, easily manageable for someone like me, who can't do the more "complex" stuff like say, changing all the pickps and electronics (I'm learning though, albeit at a slow pace)

    Also as important - Let's say they can be installed. Will they work well, as intended? Will there be problems like a change in the feel/sustain, things of that nature? This is important because the way my Zon is setup, plus the bass itself, is hands down the most comfortable bass to play, the way I play.

    In regards to the Hipshot Extenders, I don't know exactly which Xtender model would be the one to use; again, should this be possible, so that's another thing I need to know.

    Personally, I've only experienced a single hipshot detuner on the E string of a friends' bass - a Yamaha I think, also a 4-string bass. and That Hipshot was probably an older (discontinued?) model - I'm really not sure - however identical in regards to what it did, and what the new ones do, minus the Double Stop option which I don't remember that particular detuner having. I don't think it was an Ultralite model. This was sometime in 1998/1999.

    Apologies for the long post; my technical vocabulary is quite limited so this is my best attempt at trying to describe this task. If anyone has experience with this, or just anyone who has any information in regards to this, anything would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Yes, it can be done. Typical Hipshot install for each tuner.

    Distance to the nut is unimportant for a Hipshot detuner to function correctly.

    Your post length is fine. More data makes for an easier, more accurate diagnosis.
     
  3. plankspanker13

    plankspanker13

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    Tempe, Arizona, USA
    The irony is that Zon makes the Manring Hyperbass, which features Xtenders on all 4 strings.
     
  4. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

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    Sep 26, 2012
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    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    You may want to snag one Hipshot first and use it as a guide to see if all four will fit on the headstock. My recollection is that Michael Manring's basses have special, custom designed Hipshots, so you may want to see if four standard models will fit. That's the only barrier that I could think of.
     
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  6. Therminal

    Therminal

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    Thanks for the replies. And again apologies for the length of the post. Anyways good info all around. Plankspanker13: yup but I've never and will probably never have the chance to own one where I live, hence why I'm trying to gather info from other sources.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  7. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner at Mo's Shop - Tech at Nordstrand Supporting Member

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    +1

    M
     
  8. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner at Mo's Shop - Tech at Nordstrand Supporting Member

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    I don't see any issues with your project if not only a slight weight increase "issue"

    M
     
  9. Stealth

    Stealth Supporting Member

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    Also, you might want to reconsider your string choice. If I recall right, Manring uses lighter-gauge strings.
     
  10. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002

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    I remember reading that somewhere as well- I didn't think four standard detuners fit on a standard Zon headstock while still having full range of motion (the lower you have the detuner set for, the more swing room it needs on the headstock).
     
  11. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner at Mo's Shop - Tech at Nordstrand Supporting Member

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    with a spread like this, i don't think it should be a problem:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002

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    You'd be surprised. The vertical spread is big, but the horizontal spread is not, and you need it for the tuners to swing, especially when using the E and G at the same time.

    I had an Elrick built with four Xtenders that was wider than the standard Zon headstock, and even then the E and G tuners would bump when both being used simultaneously at more than a half step until I switched out part of the Xtender with a different piece of hardware:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner at Mo's Shop - Tech at Nordstrand Supporting Member

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    interesting… make sense!

    M
     
  14. bobunit

    bobunit I'm here. Now what? Supporting Member

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    It might be possible, but most likely not without modification. You will notice on Michael's bass (I think this is the Sonus) that there is not much real estate to work with.

    [​IMG]

    Here is what you will probably end up with.

    [​IMG]

    From my discussion with Bill @ Hipshot, they provide Zon with stock detuners. I believe your best bet is to call or email Zon and ask them if it will work. Good luck. :)
     
  15. Addison

    Addison This time, I didn't forget the gravy. Supporting Member

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    Graphic Designer, Zon Guitars
    A couple of things to note that I'm aware of...

    • Hipshot makes a Gotoh D-Tuner that will match what is on your bass right now and be a direct replacement with no need for mods.

    • Hipshot Ultralights and Ultralight D-tuners are direct drop-in replacements for the Gotoh tuners that come stock on Zon basses, if you want to go that direction. No mods would be needed.

    • Use the SAME SCREWS that are on your bass right now... they're self-tapping machine screws and they are made to be used in the composite material that is used to make the neck. Hipshots typically come with wood screws and can strip the holes. As always, DO NOT overtighten!

    • The Legacy-style headstock, which is what is on the Hyperbass, is actually longer than the Sonus headstock. This gives more room for the levers.

    • I'm not 100% certain on this, but I also think that the Hyperbass headstock is wider to accomodate two tuners side-by-side. If this isn't the case, then it looks like the tuner holes are drilled closer to the edge of the headstock.

    • The tuners on the Hyperbass are installed at a bit of an angle, to allow for an easier reach and a free rotation of the D-tuner lever.

    All of these things considered, I still didn't answer your direct question... just thought I would add some stuff I know on the subject.

    I'd recommend TWO things...

    1.) Email customerservice@zonguitars.com and ask them if they know first hand if anyone has ever tried it on a stock bass. I think they're getting back to work this week, so, although they still might be a little frazzled from NAMM, they should get back to you in a couple of days.

    2.) Call Hipshot and explain to them what you want to do and see if they'll accept the return if it doesn't work. Those guys are super cool, and as long as the tuners are in like-new resellable condition with all the packaging, etc. I'm guessing that they would take them back.
     
  16. Addison

    Addison This time, I didn't forget the gravy. Supporting Member

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    Here's a huge pic of the back of a Hyperbass headstock... along with that killer picture that bobunit posted, you can see how tight it is.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Therminal

    Therminal

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    You guys are great - thanks for all the info etc. I'll send them an email but they're kind of difficult to contact. Ive emailed them a couple of times in the past with no reply. Not to say anything bad about them, they're probably swamped with work etc; were I not halfway around the world I would just call/talk to them. Maybe I will, somehow. And I know I sound like a broken record but really, thank you for all the help.
     
  18. Angus

    Angus Gold Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    IT DOES NOT FIT ON A STANDARD ZON HEADSTOCK. Capitals just for emphasis. Addison said everthing else worth noting.

    The A/D posts will not be able to swing open, and IIRC the holes are also not wide enough to fit both detuners on the headstock. It won't work in two dimensions.

    So it either has to be ordered from Zon initially that way, or it isn't going to work.

    I'm 100% sure of this.
     
  19. Addison

    Addison This time, I didn't forget the gravy. Supporting Member

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    You're talking about the bolt-on Sonus headstock specifically, right?

    My Sonus Elite has the longer "Legacy-Style" headstock, and I was able to fit two d-tuners on the same side (B and E strings), and they open up with enough room for the arm to swing.

    [​IMG]

    It's a tight fit, but it does work.

    As you said, however, the Sonus headstock is more than likely too short to allow for a d-tuner on the A or D strings.
     
  20. Angus

    Angus Gold Supporting Member

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    It works on the "2" side of a 3+2 5 string (even on my Sonus), but not on a 2+2 4 string.
     
  21. Addison

    Addison This time, I didn't forget the gravy. Supporting Member

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    Not even on one side (E&A or D&G only)?

    I guess I'm confused but that doesn't make sense to me since the distance from the E and the A on a 4-string should be at least as much as it is on the B and E of my 5.
     

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