1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Hipshot Xtender question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rumblefisher, Apr 19, 2009.


  1. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    This might be a silly idea, but I was thinking of replacing all of the tuners on my bass with Xtender Ultralites. I know, it would be a bit expensive but that's alright. The purpose of this would be to be able to hit some pretty low notes on a 4 string while being able to go back to standard tuning easily if I wanted to.

    1. Can this be done? Or are detuners meant really only for the E string?
    2. Would repeated use of these warp the neck of my bass (maple, ebony fretboard)

    Thanks in advance for the help!
     
  2. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    1. The problem is that, in most cases, you wouldn't be able to fit them all on because there isn't enough space between each tuner to pull it off.
    Check out the headstock on Manring's Zon. Notice how far apart all of the tuners are so that he can use his d-tuners.
    Granted, you're looking at the ultralites, which may be smaller, but the normal ones wont fit.

    2. No more than a tremolo would hurt it. Varying the tuning by a whole step per string wouldn't yield any noticeable neck damage as you aren't changing the tension all that much. I think the strings would bear the bulk of the tension-changing issues.
     
  3. NOVAX

    NOVAX

    Feb 7, 2009
    Kalifornia
    In looking at mine (Fender), the levers would not have enough room for it to happen.
    That being said, necessity is the mother of invention......
     
  4. CapnSev

    CapnSev

    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    Depends on the type of bass, and the type of tuning machines you'd need. I had a Warwick that had the detuners on the E and A strings, and I easily could have done it to all four strings, no problem. Of course, the were Gotoh-style tuners in a 2+2 headstock. On a Fender-type, I think you may have a problem.
     
  5. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Space would not be a problem, at least I don't think it would be. It's a 2+2 headstock with almost 2 inches between the end of one tuner and the beginning of the next.
     
  6. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    I would think it would be more practical to just have a second bass ready tuned down unless you need to shift between tunings during a song. I had an extender on my 4-94 which was cool, but I never switched to drop D on the fly and, while it usually was pretty accurate, I still checked it with a tuner after shifts. Having 4 shifters on one bass would just be a big :confused:. I can manually drop to a D or go back up to an E on any of my basses in just a few seconds and we usually group all of our drop D songs together anyway.
     
  7. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Hi Sufenta, thanks for the reply. This would really be a matter of convenience, to have a situation where I could just flip a lever and go as opposed to plugging in an electronic tuner and fiddling for a bit with the strings. I realize I'd need to check the strings every so often to make sure everything was in tune, but for the duration of jam sessions, practice, etc. I could detune in a second and keep playing. Thanks again!
     
  8. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Since you have a 2+2, buy two left and two right. You might be able to fit them on backwards if need be (so a L/R + L/R instead of the normal L/L + R/R) and it wouldn't be anything more than two tiny holes in the back of the headstock.
     
  9. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    OH/WV
    Is your bass a 4 in a row headstock, or 2+2, or 3+1?

    We need to know to give a legit answer.
     
  10. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    2+2 Jordasch. Should have said that in the OP, said it somewhere later, sorry bout that.
     
  11. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Hipshot used to make levers that would extend outward from the headstock so they could clear other tuners, but I do not believe they still do this.

    Michael Manring's Zon Hyperbass has an enlarged headstock to allow an Xtender on each string. Our very own Bryan R. Tyler did this as well with a custom Elrick with four Xtenders.

    Production basses would not work without severe modification, IMO.
     
  12. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    OH/WV
    2+2 coud be do-able, but not without some work. It wouldnt be a super easy mod.
     
  13. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Thanks for the insights... at least now I know it can be done, but with some difficulty... unless it's on a custom I guess. Thanks again.
     
  14. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    OH/WV
    Here is a video you may enjoy.
     
  15. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Funny enough, I saw this video earlier in the day, as well as the one that preceded it where Mr. Manring explains the thought process behind the 4 detuners. Enjoyed the video a lot, basically helped push me towards going for it!
     
  16. My Hyperbass has 2" between tuners and uses the Gotoh style tuners. There is barely enough room between the tuners and the lever when in the "down" position.

    You may want to purchase 1 and see if it fits with enough room. At the very least if you buy one and it doesn't fit on the A string you could at least use it for the E string ...
     
  17. Once a D-tuner is set up on a E-string it shouldn't need retuning when it's used. Make sure you tune your E-string the way it's described by Hipshot.
    Tune you E-string down flat then slow move it up in increments flicking the d-tuner as you go till you've got the E-string tuned to pitch. Then it will hold the tuning every time you flick it.
     
  18. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I was a bit worried about the neck taking on some issues when I had my Elrick with four Xtenders built. I had the bass built a little shorter (33" scale) with a stiff neck wood (wenge) and a singlecut body to further strengthen the neck. I'd be a bit worried about using a regular maple neck if you were going to use four Xtenders and detune/retune several of them regularly, but the only way to know for sure is to try. It's surprising how hard it is to fit four Xtenders on and get them all to work properly- even if they all fit, once they're all flipped down, the tuners and Xtender arms all take up more room.
     
  19. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Assuming there is enough room on the headstock for this (and I thought you could still get the special levers that are "out of the way" of the next machine head by special order), it may be problematic action-wise.

    On my basses where the action in fairly low, I notice a signicant change in playability if I even tune down half a step. Moving the tuning of the whole bass a step or more with hipshots could exaggerate this. The neck and truss rod count on a certain amount of string tension to keep the neck "straight." Using 4 hipshots to change string tension could cause a bass with low action to get buzzy.

    It does seem, though, that this must not be an issue for Manring. And it sounds like Bryan Tyler designed his neck from the ground up to minimize this issue. On a bass not designed for this, though...
     
  20. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    OK, that is just too much for my puny brain to even start to comprehend.
     

Share This Page