Can you help me ID this older Fender D-Tuner?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by sailri, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. sailri


    Nov 16, 2007
    Rhode Island
    I purchased an older non-Fender neck that had this Fender d-tuner / extender tuner on it.

    i've hit Google Image searches pretty hard but I'm not finding anything exactly like it anywhere, so I'm guessing not super common.

    It's obviously very much like a Hipshot BT-1 or BT-2, with the big screwhead in the center. But it's not exactly a match to the current ones. For example the worm gear works through two pieces that don't really match the Hipshots.

    I'm sure it could be a relabeled Hipshot and that they've updated the construction a bit.

    Does anyone know any of these questions.

    1. Is there a difference between a "DTuner" / "Detuner" / "D-Tuner" / "Extender" / "Drop D Tuner -
    2. Are they tuners / tuning machines / tuner keys / tuning keys?
    3. Did Fender ever make their own?
    4. If so - what years?

    and probably the real answer I'm looking for

    5 What year was this made and if I'm searching the internet or Talkbass trying to find a photo of one what do I search on exactly?


    Attached Files:

  2. sailri


    Nov 16, 2007
    Rhode Island
    Has anyone even seen this exact tuner? My online Fender resources are good for instruments - less so for parts like this one.

    Thanks for any help.
  3. I've never seen,or heard of Fender offering those on certain models. With the exception of the Stu Hamm Sig. Bass. Do/did they come with a D-tuner? Seems like at one time they did.
    I'm curious about this myself.
  4. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    IMO, it looks like it was made by Schaller for Fender. drop D tuners are not extremely vintage and i've never seen a Fender bass with one on it that came stock with one, but i would assume that one model must have over the years. that one appears to be the same size as a mustang bass's tuning key. (also the same size as those used on musicman stingrays and G&L basses).
  5. sailri


    Nov 16, 2007
    Rhode Island
    Thanks Millsbass5.

    Your Stu Hamm idea help me a little bit. The Stu Hamm Urge II did have a Hipshot labelled extender but not this one.

    But in trying to find it I did find this:
    Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass® by Fender Bass Guitars (Click on Gallery) and I think that's a good match.

    So at a minimum Fender put this on the Tony Franklin Signature bass, described by Fender as a Hipshot but labeled Fender - and the one on that looks a lot like mine.

    So next is ...... age. And I don't think that's a match.

    Tony Franklin's came out I think around 2006?

    It came to me in 2010 on a G&L L-2000 Series E in mahogany. The original owner had G&L put a new neck on it, but the original neck was fine but worn looking.

    So the date on that second neck is 90s I believe. The patina on the extender at the time looked like the other tuners - I'd be surprised if the owner got it off of someone else's Tony Franklin looking that old, if that model is 2006 or later.\

    So maybe some other 80s or 90s Signature model came with it? I'll keep searching!
  6. sailri


    Nov 16, 2007
    Rhode Island
    Thanks Johnk_10 - I'll check out the Mustangs too.
  7. sailri


    Nov 16, 2007
    Rhode Island
    It's also on the Reggie Hamilton Signature I'm seeing. Has anyone seen this prior to those two Signature models, or available as a separate part?
  8. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    I'll back up what JohnK said. From the design and construction details, it really looks like it was made by Schaller for Fender.
  9. sailri


    Nov 16, 2007
    Rhode Island
    So there's some questions still on this tuner but the educated guess is Schaller made or licensed, and it looks like the more modern ones by Hipshot on the Tony Franklin Sig and Reggie Hamilton Sig models.

    Has anyone see any kind of photos or numbers for this part that give a time frame at Fender when you could buy it separately? I believe the original owner bought new sometime between 1983 and 2000.
  10. Reggie Hamilton

    Reggie Hamilton

    Jan 20, 2010
    Hey All,

    Hipshot has always made the D-Tuner. They would use an existing tuner and modify it. I purchased my first one in the early 80's. There are Schaller, Gotoh, Grover, Sperzel, Fender... and on and on. They make they're own line of tuners which have been featured on the RH CS-V since 2001 and on my American Jazz Deluxe basses from 1995. They're known as the 'Ultralites'.

    Yes, the Hipshot is on the Tony Franklin, the Stu Hamm UrgeII the RH MIM and my RH-CS IV and V.

    I hope this answers your question.

    All the best,

    Reggie Hamilton
  11. sailri


    Nov 16, 2007
    Rhode Island
    Thank you Reggie!

    Thanks for taking the time and clearing things up.

    I had someone also PM me that this was a Hipshot conversion of a Schaller tuner with the Fender Logo as you describe.

    I think everyone on this post was right - they've been installed on some of the MIJ Bullets and Mustangs also. Thanks for clearing things up.

    Mystery solved - thanks to all!