a lever that drops your tuning?? how queer...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by (hed)-less, Mar 27, 2002.

  1. hey, sorry to the admins but i wasnt quite sure were to stick this one...but i spose it involves setup...hmm

    anyway. a while back i saw a guy playing a fender strat (ooo...now thats exciting), yeah, anyway. but the odd thing was he had this lever attatched to the headstock near the machine heads. i asked what it was and he told me it drops the tuning, he just flipped it and the instrument sounded lower. i didnt know whether it went a whole step down or just half a step, and i have no idea how it worked. i just remember asking him if you can get them for basses as well and he said yes. ive never seen another one, ive never seen them on sale and ive never heard of anyone else using them.

    i was wondering if this was a cock and bull story if such a thing really exists and bassists can get them too. if so id be very interested. im just intrigued as to how such a device would work, and wouldnt that mess your intonation up after a while? i would have thaught so.

    thanks to anyone who can shed some light on this
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    It is called the bass extender. Manufactured by Hipshot. They are pretty common and yes, they do work quite well.

    They are basically a lever arm that allows you to rapidly detune the bass to a desired spot. They have a set screw in them that allows you to fine tune that point to make sure it stays in tune.

    As you answer your questions, the intonation of the bass itself shouldn't be altered, since intonation is simply fine-tuning the scale length of each string to match the frets. It doesn't really have anything to do with string tension.

    Although a lower tensions, some strings don't seem to oscilate as well and there is a perceived variance in pitch when a note is played. That would have nothing to do with the extender.

    The Hipshot is no different at all than simply using the regular old tuning key to drop down to D or whatever. Just faster and easier.

    The only negative effect that I can think of is if you used it a great deal, it could shorten the life of that string because of the regular changes in tension.

  3. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Got one on my 79 MusicMan! Works pisser!
  4. Here's a question to ponder:

    The reason why I like 5 strings so much is because they give you easy access to a low D (3rd fret) thus eliminating the need to drop your E to a D (I really hate doing that).
    My question is: would it be cheaper to get a 5 string model of lets say a MIM Jazz, or get a 4 string and slap some hipshots on it?
  5. I think it is more for us that feel that more than 4 is evil.
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    In my case it's just that there's no money to buy a good fiver. :(
  7. detuning is bad 'mkay..
  8. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Well, you only have to buy one key, so you would probably have a little better bass for the money if you went the four-and-a-key route.

    Although it isn't at all fair to compare the two. A five gives you much more than just a low D. You get a step and a half more below, a half step between the D and E and the ability to play lower notes at higher positions on the neck.

    As for detuning, I agree with AllodoX. I can't stand the feel of a detuned E string. It reminds me of a cheap 5 string bass's B string.

  9. 5'er is 1 string and tons of possibilities more :)

    example.. if your guitarist is playing on the High range ( E string, 7'th fret & up ), you can add some whoop-ass lows to it on your B string..
  10. John Entwistle says he owns 5 and 6 string basses, but prefers dropped D tuning- he uses Hipshot D tuners on his Buzzard basses.

    Billy Sheehan likes 'em too.

    other users of D tuning- Simon Gallup (The Cure), Mike Anthony (Van Halen), Cliff Williams (AC/DC).

    it depends on whether you only need the 2 extra notes from D tuning, and want to keep the feel of a 4string bass, or need the full extra range of a B string, and don't like the change in note layout/string tension of the E string due to D tuning.

    I've got Hipshot Detuners on both my P basses- they're great, but I'm considering getting a 5 string for use when Limp Bizkit etc. songs in C# and lower have to be covered.
  11. ok...

    as you probably all know .. i don't give a **** *** ****** *** about what famous bassplayers think.. and so should you :)

    bass is very personal.. if John Entwistle likes detuning.. well good for him.. I don't... and the fact that Billy Sheepman does, doesn't change **** in my opinion.. so...

    what's your point ? :D :p
  12. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Carlsbad, NM
    Actually the Detuner can be set to go down to a C Not just a D.... so a 5 string gives you 1 half step more :p .
  13. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Whatever... a 5 is better but a floppy string can sound good eg. If you Have To Ask - RHCP

    but, well the 5 is better.... I'll have both soon enough I think :) :)
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