Hipshot XTender - good or bad?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Greenman72, Apr 15, 2024.

  1. Tried it and loved it!

    70 vote(s)
  2. Tried it, and it was okay.

    19 vote(s)
  3. Tried it, and didn't like it.

    5 vote(s)
  4. Never tried it, but now I want to!

    10 vote(s)
  5. Never tried it, don't really care.

    8 vote(s)
  6. Never tried it. Looks like a dumb idea.

    2 vote(s)
  7. Carrots

    1 vote(s)
  1. Greenman72


    May 16, 2023
    BT8 Bass Xtender
    What do you think?

    Long story short - I was debating on investing in my first-ever P Bass. I kinda like the Duff McKagan one, because I grew up a huge Guns N Roses fan. Plus, it has a J pickup, which is always an added bonus.

    The deluxe version has a hipshot extender. The "regular" version does not. Otherwise, these look virtually identical (except the deluxe version has a pickguard and the "regular" one does not). And that's what made me wonder what these little doo-dads are, and what they do, and whether they're worth buying.

    Last edited: Apr 15, 2024
    Wyrdlow likes this.
  2. r_bnks

    r_bnks Supporting Member

    Great and useful.
    newfuture, salcott, Wyrdlow and 4 others like this.
  3. Have them on four of my basses and will definitely install on a few others. If you keep the nut lubricated with graphite powder and the mechanism with some vaseline or grease it works almost perfectly.
    Wyrdlow and FRoss6788 like this.
  4. Do you go into drop D much? If not, then no. If yes, then go for it. They are decent units.
    Wyrdlow likes this.
  5. munnkyboy


    Jul 1, 2005
    East Coast
    I have 12 basses....all have the HIPSHOT Drop D...Won't go without it.
    dabis, chuck65, Element Zero and 3 others like this.
  6. gr8avocado


    Mar 23, 2012
    North Carolina
    Being a huge Duff fan and, him being the reason I started playing, I bought the Deluxe version about a year ago. It took me awhile to warm up to it but now it's the one I pickup the most when I want to jam.

    I tend to play a good bit of songs in drop D so the Xtender is great to have. You do have to keep the nut lubricated with some graphite for them to work well though.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2024
  7. groovaholic

    groovaholic Protect your hearing. Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Mount Prospect, IL
    If you use it properly, a de-tuner is an incredibly handy device.
    "Properly" means you reset the fine tuning every time you remove/replace your E string, and ensure the string doesn't bind over the nut.
  8. RGerhart

    RGerhart Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2021
    Portland, OR
    All but one of my four strings have them installed. Very useful, and really no downside to having them.
    Wyrdlow and FRoss6788 like this.
  9. bajaandy


    Apr 25, 2010
    Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!
    dune, CoughSyrup and Wyrdlow like this.
  10. Does it just conveniently drop the string to D or whatever you set it to? I'm a stickler for intonation and I'm guessing it doesn't have a component to adjust the saddle.
  11. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC/JAM USA: For brand affiliations visit www.kmcmusic.com
    I think they're great. The first time I added one was back in 1986. I put it on my Ken Smith 4 string. Since then, I have one on every 4 string bass I own.
    FRoss6788 likes this.
  12. MultiScaleMale

    MultiScaleMale Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    The only downside I see is that it adds an ounce or two to the headstock. That could kill your shoulder or maybe it could fix a deadspot. I have Bass Extender Keys on all of my four strings. Drop D is used enough in the music I play to make it worthwhile.
    FRoss6788 likes this.
  13. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    It's either a Drop-D, or BEAD tuning, or a 5 string for about 5 of our setlist songs. Yes, a Drop D requires re-learning a few notes on the E string. A BEAD tuning requires playing everything on the G string elsewhere. A 5 string usually adds additional weight, neck width, and more muting issues.

    Drop D adds a few grams depending on what tuners you had, I add lighter tuners in conjunction with a Drop D whenever I can.
    Wyrdlow likes this.
  14. darwin-bass


    Mar 29, 2013
    Salem OR
    I don’t like them. They contribute to neck heaviness and the shifted note positions on the E string trip me up.
    I prefer BEAD, or better yet the X Factor drop D lever.
    shojii and Wyrdlow like this.
  15. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2016
    Tried it for a while, and then switched to 5 string. Not needed anymore.
    RattleSnack likes this.
  16. Discount Bassy

    Discount Bassy Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2020
    Right Here.
    They are tools, which are handy when you need them and effectively non-existent when you don't. I play ERB's exclusively, so I don't need them to reach any notes otherwise inaccessible, but after seeing Michael Manring incorporating several of them as additional tools inside of a song to shift held tones back and forth as part of the composition, I look at them with much more curious eyes, wondering, other than the cost of 6 drop tuners per bass, what might emerge from screwing around. A quick avenue to well equipped poverty.
    Wyrdlow likes this.
  17. bassfiddlesteve

    bassfiddlesteve Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    I guess I'm an outlier as I've tried it twice and didn't like it. No matter what I did the 4th string was always out of tune after using it.

    - Steve
    LowendG and Wyrdlow like this.
  18. I have a Drop D on my J4 and it does what it is supposed to do. I came in handy as my main performing group was always playing in DM and Dm. It is a handy gadget. But in the past 5 years or so I've been doing musical theater and often see written low D's and C's so a 5 string was inevitable. I almost never play 4 string any more. The Drop D tuner will take some getting used to, but if you need it it is a good tool to have. But perhaps it's time to investigate a 5er?
  19. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I love it for the few times I played in drop D (or wanted to grap that low note). One lasted 30+ years before the cam broke, the other is still going fine after 20+ (different basses).

    A great tool.
    Wyrdlow likes this.
  20. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Adding an ounce or two to the neck is a deal-breaker??

    I say this as a 66yo with the usual bs k and shoulder issues for my age….

    I have them on all my basses.

    And they are 5-strings. Yes, low A, ya’ll.

    Yes, it’s useful. And it works well. Just don’t hit it too hard.