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Hipshot Xtender Key (D-tuner)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jambassist, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. jambassist


    Sep 1, 2002
    Easton, PA
    I'm in a band that has like 6 songs in drop-D tuning and the rest of the songs are in normal tuning. Been thinking about getting one of these for my Musicman Stingray, but I wonder if it's really worth it. It's not like we drop-D in the middle of the song and then go back to normal tuning. I'm thinking it's just as easy to start in drop-D, play all those songs, then tune back up to E. I did a search and it seems there's pros and cons to using one of these. They work, but there's a lot of setup involved after the initial installation to make them work the way they're supposed to.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this? Thanks in advance.
  2. Gord


    Jan 10, 2004
    BC, Canada
    They seem like a good idea, and I played a yamaha attitude in the store that used one, I didn't think it would work as well as it did, but I was impressed. I don't need it though, I just tune DADG all the time, for my basses it's the lowest it can go with the current setup before sounding sloppy, and if I need an E, I just hit the second fret. I don't know how D-heavy your band is, but for my band I hit that note at least once a song, I tune all my basses that way, but that's just me
    sorry, I just realized that didn't help at all :D
  3. dcr

    dcr Supporting Member

    Personally, I love 'em! If you set them up correctly and tune according to the directions -- a little at a time, flipping the lever and tuning the drop note at same time -- I've never had any problems with the several that I've owned.

    I've put one on most of my EBGs at one time or another. Have one on my FrankenFive currently, had one on my '69 P-Bass, but loaned the key to a buddy and he lost it, had one on my Azola Jazzman I, had one on my Sadowsky Modern for a while but sold the Sad and kept the key (now on Franken5), had one of Am Jazz Std but sold it, had one on a Warmoth Jazz, but sold the bass. I haven't gotten around to putting one on my 535 yet and don't know that I will, since I use the FrankenBass more than the 535 when playing out.

    Follow the directions for installation, set-up and use. You shouldn't have any problems.

  4. Eric Grossman

    Eric Grossman

    Nov 3, 2004
    St. Louis
    Endorsing Artist: Hipshot Products and SIT Strings
    I bought my first Hipshot from David Borisoff, in the early 80's, when he was working out of his garage in Van Nuys, CA. I have had one on every 4-string bass I've ever owned, and will always use them. They have always worked perfectly for me.

    I have used them to drop my tuning, within phrases of lines, as I'm playing, as well as in between songs. that's how precise they are. Once you get used to the initial tuning method, they're a breeze.

    I've always felt that tuning on stage was a bit unprofessional. I would never want to adjust a song list around my tuning needs, either.

    Take is from a crusty old 25 year bass veteran. I HIGHLY recommend Hipshot De-tuners, machines, and bridges.

    "This has been an unpaid endorsement, from a real Hipshot customer"
  5. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I put them on both of my 4 strings. Personaly, I wouldn't own a 4 string bass without one. Way cool.

    It's one of those things that once you have it, you can't figure out how you ever got along without it.

    If you need a low D.
  6. SirPoonga


    Jan 18, 2005
    Is there something that will drop all the strings at once?
  7. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    For those with Hipshots, what do you use for the E/D string? And does it differ from the E string on any standard tuned 4s you have?

    I usually use two basses, one tuned drop D, one in standard. For the drop D I like to put on a heavier "E" string, 110 rather than 105. If I got a Hipshot, should I use 110?
  8. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    With a Hipshot, I usually used 110-85-65-43 (Billy Sheehan gauges) to compensate for tensions. I like to keep a Hipshot on all my fours except fretlesses.
  9. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    The pros have always outweighed the cons for me. The initial installation is about five minutes from start to finish and the tuning, depending on the strings can take up to about ten minutes. It's perfect for months after that. As long as you read the instructions you get from Hipshot, you'll be fine.

    P.S. You'll need a BT-1 for a Stingray... if you order direct from Hipshot, you can request a special shaft for your tuner to match the Ray.
  10. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I am seriously thinking about the the Hipshot, but I just ordered some new strings, 50 - 105. Maybe I should have got 55 - 110 :(
  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Those'll work fine, I used to use 45-105's with it without a problem.

    I just preferred the 110 for my HEAVY playing.
  12. dcr

    dcr Supporting Member

    I've never made any compensation for string gauges with ot without the Hipshot. Normally I use .040-.100, but it just depends on what I've got around at the time.

    Should be no problem, IME.

  13. Hey,

    I have been using one for about 5 years now for the exact same reason as you. It is a Godsend, needs only a little adjustment every couple of string changes. I highly recomend doing the suggested tuning trick everytime you change strings which is to bring the string to pitch, D-Tune, E-Tune, bring to pitch repeat until E-Tuning is in pitch. It is inexpensive, and D-Tuning and then re-E-Tuning during the gig with your tuning machines is a real pain in the neck (no pun intended). Occasionally, it is even fun to flip the switch at the end of a song that ends on a D rooted chord a slap an open low D. Hope this helps.

  14. mwm70


    Oct 27, 2004
    I've had one on my bass for years and it works great. always use .100 string without an issue.
  15. Gord


    Jan 10, 2004
    BC, Canada
    actually, I was just going to ask, how does this effect the neck? When I leave my bass tuned to E, and then bring it down to D for a few days I usually need to make some adjustments to keep it sounding nice, how does it work with the D-Tuner? doesn't dropping tension so fast have a negative effect?
  16. dingwallfanatic


    Jan 11, 2005
    I have used a Hipshot on my Dingwall 4 string Voodoo for about 5 years- wouldn't be without it. I have had no tuning issues at all.
  17. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    I love my Hipshot. I've had it for about a year with no problems once it was installed.

    Before it was installed was another issue entirely. Apparently they had a whole batch go bad, so I had to return it, but they sent me a new one no problem. Pleasent people to deal with too.