Lightweight tuners?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Tupac, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Looking to install some of these on my bass to either fix neck dive or reduce the load I have to hold up. So how big of a difference do they make, and do they have any cons? Like would it lose a tune faster because of the less weight or something?
  2. Tuning stability has little to do with the weight & more to do with the quality of the mechanism.

    Standard Fender tuners have a plate that the mechanism sits in that then is bolted to the body. Mine are made of nickel or steel, I think, and hold tuning well.
    American Fenders tend to use a 1 screw open mechanism tuner that's much lighter and just as, if not more, stable.
    Gotoh style tuners are a closed unit that bolts with 1 screw directly to the body instead of using the 4 screw plate of the Fenders. My Spector Rebop has these & they are standard on most "modern" basses.

    I can't tell the difference between the weight on any of them, tbh.
  3. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    The difference is small but may help the neck dive. Doubt if you'll notice a difference in overall weight. Tuners are very rarely the cause of going out of tune. That's the string changing pitch because of stretching or changes in temperature.


    edit: holeshot by awilkie84
  4. Matt R likes this.
  5. ubnomnar

    ubnomnar Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    So Cal
    Typical "Fender style" tuners weigh 100-110 gms each. Hipshot Ultralights weigh 53gms each. You can save 8 ounces... that's 1/2 pound on the headstock when you replace 4.

    I've done it with a few basses and feel it makes a significant difference in improving the balance.

    Gotoh makes a beautiful set of Fender Pre-CBS style lightweight tuners that are only 67 gms each.

    I'm a believer.
  6. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Awesome, thanks for the responses!

    Any preference on Gotah or Hipshot?
  7. ubnomnar

    ubnomnar Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    So Cal
    I think it depends on what style of tuner you are replacing and whether you care if there are holes visible from the original tuners.

    Ultralites are cheaper... starting at $75 for a set of four at Musicians Friend.
  8. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I've put Hipshot Ultralites on a few basses and each time they have made a very noticeable change (improvement) in balance. They give smoother tuning, too.

    I like Gotoh tuners for guitar, but for lightweight bass tuners IMO Hipshot is the way to go.
  9. I have a pre-CBS Precision.

    The tuners weigh 107 g each. The Gotoh is 67 g that's 40 g weight saving per tuner

    Total weight saving (x 4) = 160 g (0.35 lb).

    Part of me thinks so what. But the bass weighs 3790 g (8.35 lb)

    So the Gotoh tuners would reduce the bass weight to 8.0 lb and reduce neck dive.

    I'm ordering some now ...

  10. micgtr71


    Dec 4, 2012
    I have a 95 fender jazz with the huge enclosed tuners with the f on them. My tech thought me daft for "wasting my money" on something that would make no difference. We weighed them. The f tuners came in at just over a lb and the hipshots under half a lb. that 1/2 lb or so makes a big difference on a bass under 10lbs. My tech agreed when the job was done.

    As for tuning...I tuned up the new strings and stretched them till they settled. Haven't tuned since then except when teaching a tune that calls for Eb or D.
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    It's called leverage. The fulcrum point is the fret side strap button. The head is farther from there than the tail: on a p the distance is equal about to the nut. Any weight past that point exponentially increases the gravitational force. The key is that it is exponential. So a little weight at the g tuner makes a difference ; all four make a noticeable difference. So if you have a perfect balanced bass and add an ounce at the top of the head, it will dive. Take two ounces off and it will rise past balance.
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    me too, my '96 keys were freakin' boat anchors!

    ditching them for some lightweights made all the difference in balance, as the bass itself isn't overly heavy.
  13. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    My favorite is the Gotoh Res-O-Lite 350 tuner. 4 of them weigh about as much as 3 Hipshot Ultralight tuners. I also find the Gotoh to be smoother in operation compared to the Hipshot.
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    +1 on the res-o-lights; pricey, but really nice.

    They're also i believe the only ones that will fit vintage fenders without alteration.
  15. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    Good Lord those are heavy. If you haven't ordered yet, the Hipshot HB-1 style with a 1/2" post (not ultralights) weigh 50.2 grams including the ferule(face ring) and screws, each. The Ultralights weight 36.6 gr. each.

    I just weighed today, as I was swapping out some ultr-light Hipshots for a set of their HB-1s. I don't care about the 2 ounces it gained and this bass (Ibanez ATK805E) still balances just fine. I'll take a 27:1 over 22:1 ratio any day. But that's just me.
  16. micgtr71


    Dec 4, 2012
    Indeed. I was starting to get pain in my rotator cuff because the neck was not only diving down, but back as well. In a sock, those things would have been a formidable weapon.
    Rabidhamster likes this.
  17. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings - DR Strings
    I actually have here a set of Gotoh Res-O-Lite 350 and one of UL Y 3/8, they weight pretty much the same (avg, 44g ea)…

  18. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    My 4 sets of Res-O-Lite 350s are 35 grams for each tuner/nut/washer combination. I bought them when they first came out and now their website says they are 40 grams each. I wonder what they changed?