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Gibson Thunderbird IV Replacement Tuners; Gotoh or Hipshot?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by MicG, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. MicG

    MicG Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    Garden City, Michigan
    I'll preface this by referencing two things:

    A.) I've seen a thread last posted about a month ago that suggests 3/8" Hipshot HB6C work with the new non-reverse 'birds so I'm assuming 3/8 is the magic number for all modern Gibson Thunderbirds (can someone confirm this?). Here's the thread:

    B.) Mike Lull among others seem to use and prefer Hipshot products.

    Alright so NBD is coming:bassist: and I know I'll want to change out black for chrome hardware on my '11 Heritage Cherry 'Bird. I'm going with a Hipshot Supertone bridge but the question is:

    Gotoh Resolite GB 528


    Hipshot HB6C

    I've got Gotoh resolites on both my fenders already and I love 'em, but I feel I should still be considering the Hipshot's. I'm fairly sure the Hipshot's would be a direct replacement for the current Grover tuners in modern Thunderbirds but I'm going off of one thread here on TB. I can't make up my mind!

    Any ideas? Comments?

  2. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    The Hipshot are not drop in. There is a bit of difference that indicates care and attention on installation. The distance from the center of the post to the center of the screw hole is .013" longer on the Hipshot. Be careful and don't force the screws in at an angle if they bind at all. You may find you need to fill and re-drill. This is not a big deal. IMHO the Hipshots look great compared to the Gotoh. Performance wise you won't find much difference. Now if they only came in nickel like the old days instead of chrome...
  3. MicG

    MicG Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    Garden City, Michigan
    96tbird; thx for replying and for sharing your experience - if you don't mind, what is it about the Hipshots that sells it for you?
  4. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    I used Hipshot Ultralites when I pimped my Epi to give it a vintage look. Great units. No plans to use them on my Gibson though since the stock ones suit me just fine.
  5. MicG

    MicG Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    Garden City, Michigan
    Thanks so far everyone! Any other thoughts?
  6. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Ive not used the ultralights personally. I like the Hipshot one screw footprint over the Gotoh two screws. Less drilling and its a closer replacement on the Tbird. But really either are great. I do like the the un chromed aluminum Hipshot chassis like the pics on the site show. I'm not big on chrome, I prefer nickel that tarnishes and aquires a patina over time. New basses will someday look old and the chrome hardware will still look shiny; doesn't fit.

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