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Is There a Lightweight Musicman Replacement Tuner???

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by sjb64, Mar 14, 2009.


  1. sjb64

    sjb64

    Aug 2, 2007
    I have a new Musicman Sterling 5 string that I love. The only problem is that it's fairly neck-heavy. The body size (smaller and thinner than a SR5) is the problem; I wish they had gone with a compact type tuner like the Hipshot Ultralite.

    Are there any lightweight replacement tuners avaiable for it made of aluminum or even part plastic (similar to some Fender tuners) out there?
     
  2. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    Good grief, I'm not alone! I just got a Bongo 5 that's just neck-heavy enough for me to consider swapping tuners. I used Hipshot Ultralights on my SR5 for a while, but I much prefer the smooth tuning of the stock tuners to the rigid tuning of the Hipshots. Hopefully there's a nice compromise.
     
  3. sjb64

    sjb64

    Aug 2, 2007
    I'll bet the Hipshot Ultralites didn't work so well on your SR5 with the 11/16" bore on the headstock. Oh well.

    TTT.
     
  4. depalm

    depalm

    Apr 22, 2004
    São Paulo
    I replaced the stock tuning machines on my 93 Sterling for the Hipshot Ultralites.
    This bass is much more comfortable to play now. Huge upgrade!
    I hope MM stop been so stubborn and start using lighter tuning machines on their basses!

    3325123324_59ee86b1dd.


    3325123196_0385dcb42a.
     
  5. sjb64

    sjb64

    Aug 2, 2007
    It's too bad EBMM doesn't just switch to these tuners on their Sterlings. I'm surprised that even some of the 4 string sterlings are neck heavy.

    There has to be an all aluminum exact replacement out there, that will cover up (or use) the original tuner screw holes.
     
  6. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've used G&L tuners on my MMs. They're drop in replacements and use an aluminum post so they're considerably lighter than the OEM tuners.
     
    andrew likes this.
  7. sjb64

    sjb64

    Aug 2, 2007
    I know that Hipshot's BT1 (I think) is a replacement tuner for G&L and Musicman. I was told (by Hipshot) that it has an aluminum post and that a set of five will reduce the weight by the weight of one OEM Musicman tuner. I removed the G string tuner to see how much of a difference it would make and it wasn't as dramatic a improvement as I would have hoped for; the bass was still slightly neck heavy.

    If this is the only option I may end up doing it. Does anyone know if it's possible to just switch out the string post, assuming that Hipshot will sell just the aluminum string post?
     
  8. Hipshot makes them with a 1/2" shaft that fits 11/16" tuner holes. I have used the smaller 3/8" before on a Fender before the 1/2" type was available, just flip the washer upside down to keep the tuner centered. And since the nut tightens the whole assembly to the headstock, there is no problem as compared to push fit bushings.
     
  9. otto B

    otto B Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    Fort Bliss Texas
    I have anyone find a lighter MM tuners that are just direct replacement?
     
  10. tieftonmusiker

    tieftonmusiker Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2004
    Karlsruhe, Germany
  11. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    I've thought of trying the BML Lites on my Music Man StingRay5. It looks like they don't use are screw holes at all so you don't need to drill no ones; however, it also seems like they wouldn't cover the existing holes so if that bothers you it would be a no-go.

    What about Gotoh Res-o-Lite GB640s?
     
  12. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    If you are willing to drill holes there are several. The Hipshot ultra light is one; the Gotoh 640 is another; Gotoh's CBT 01 is a third I know of. If you aren't willing to drill holes, then not so much.
     
  13. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    How about Hipshot HB1s or G&L Ultralites? Those look like they might be true direct replacements.
     
  14. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Also what about Schaller BML Lites? It looks like those require no holes to be drilled at all, although they will leave some empty screw holes behind if they replace the stock tuners.
     
  15. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    The Hipshot HB1 is made of steel, not much weight savings there I think.

    The Schaller BML needs holes drilled. That tuner uses pins behind the worm gear to keep the tuner from twisting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
    selowitch likes this.
  16. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Why would anybody bother with the Hipshot HB1s, then? Do they turn more smoothly or do they contribute to more-stable tuning?
     
  17. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    The G&L and Schaller tuners have a 20:1 ratio, the Hipshot is 27:1; so finer tuning, but I've always found 20:1 to be adequate.
     
  18. five7

    five7 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2009
    Denver
    Which model of Hipshot ultralites do I need for Musicman 5 string, would like to go with the licensed by to save a few bucks.
     
  19. tkonbass

    tkonbass I'm just one of the out-of-focus guys. Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Mobile, Alabama, USA
    I've replaced the stock heavyweight EBMM tuners on both of my SR5 Classics and USA SUB5 with HB6C's. HB6 - 1/2

    I did have to wrap the new bushings with some copper tape to make a snug fit in the peghead holes. The total weight of the original tuners is 17.05 oz the Hipshot tuners are 9.95 oz. A 7.1 oz difference. I managed to shave another 6 ounces of the Classics with a few other fully reversible mods too.

    The Classic 5 in my profile pic now weighs in a couple ounces under 9 lbs.
     
    five7 likes this.
  20. five7

    five7 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2009
    Denver
    Do you mind sharing the other mods.
     

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