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Korean Bass From Cousin's Storage - Maker? Replacement Tuners?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dragonfly66, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. dragonfly66


    Oct 31, 2009
    IMG_8032.JPG IMG_8033. IMG_8034. IMG_8035. IMG_8036. IMG_8037.

    My cousin had this bass in storage and want to get it into playing condition. There is nothing on the bass itself that says who made it, but it does have a serial number and made in Korea stickers. It is a short scale bass, 30".

    The bass is fairly dirty, but the neck, frets, and and electronics are good to go. Looks like something may be missing from the bridge area as there is a screw on either side of the bridge. The tuners aren't doing so well. One had the key broken off (I removed this one) and another has a missing bushing. I was looking at replacing them, but I am not sure what will fit.

    I was looking at these tuners, Adjustable Tension Bass Tuner Set | stewmac.com The hole in the headstock is smaller than what is used by the stewmac tuners. I can make the hole bigger, but the tuner plate (what the gear is attached to) is too tall for the space on the headstock.

    So then I looked at something that looked more like the original tuners and found these, 4-in-line Import Bass Keys | Allparts.com This seems right, however the description of the measurements are confusing.

    • The Korean bass's base plate (under the cover) width and length are kinda close, width .681 10.896/16 as opposed to 11/16" .6875 length is 1.515" 16.48/32 as opposed to 1.53125" 1 17/32.
    • The Korean bass's hole spacing is not close width spacing .390 6.24/16 as opposed to .4375 and length spacing 1.306" 1 9.792/32 as opposed to 1.53125" 1 17/32
    • The Korean bass's post (where the string wraps around) is 3/8".
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  2. reddesert


    Mar 19, 2015
    The screw holes on either side of the bridge are for the bridge / pickup cover. Most people take these off anyway, so don't worry about it. (They probably get lost and wind up in the garbage, but I have a vision of some thrift store or antique shop somewhere with rows upon rows of chrome vintage "ashtrays.")

    The critical issue with the tuners is the diameter of the holes in the headstock. If the mounting screw holes don't match, you can drill new ones, but if the diameter of the head stock holes is too small, you have to ream out the hole. It's really the ferrule that sets the required diameter. I don't love those enclosed tuners as they have a small gear that I feel is easy to strip. If you have or can ream to 14mm diameter holes you could use something like these: Individual Gotoh Compact Bass Tuner | stewmac.com (I haven't used or ordered these but they should be good).
  3. dragonfly66


    Oct 31, 2009
    I have a reamer so I could enlarge the hole. My cousin would have to live with the extra holes showing on the back though, which isn't going to be pretty.

    I swear my cousin asked me to try to keep it original, she thinks all of her old stuff is worth lots of money. She said she has two guitars and an amp in storage too. Her storage is under the house. That is probably rat/mouse piss on the pickguard.
  4. These tuners are not all that hard to find on various online auction sites. With some patience you might snag a set.
  5. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    See if you can get someone at Allparts to tell you what the outside diameter of the ferrules on those tuners is. I've found them to be pretty helpful in the past with things like that. And yes, the little gears in little tuners are probably not as wonderful as some others (like, say, the big Schallers used on Rickenbackers), but they're perfectly useable. The 42 year old wavy Grovers on my '73 Rick 4001 work just fine; so do the 40-something year old ones on my 3 Japanese Epiphones. Others would be better, no doubt, but if you want it to look as stock as possible, your choices are limited. She's your cousin, not mine; but you might try gently pointing out to her that a) not everything old is valuable, and b) that this especially applies to instruments from places like Korea and China...:)
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  6. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I doubt that one is worth much investment, honestly. It could have originally been marketed under any number of brand names - with these instruments, the brand name generally has nothing to do with the actual manufacturer. It probably had a sticker on the headstock originally that has been removed. The screws on either side of the bridge are for an "ashtray" bridge cover that most people don't want anyway.

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