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Neck dive is for real! (And so are Res-o-lite tuners)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by tb-player, Aug 8, 2020.

  1. tb-player

    tb-player Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    If you've read the story of my Bluesman Vintage Deville 2T bass (see my profile pic), you know I went through some stuff to get that bass the way I wanted it.

    The original bass was made of alder and weighed in at 10lb 1oz. It sounded great, but my shoulder wasn't about to go down that road again. So I called John, the owner at Bluesman Vintage & told him my frustration. He had me send the bass back (at his expense) and he rebuilt it using a more lightweight swamp cypress (very warm & resonant).

    When I received the bass back, it weighed in at a fit 8lb 1oz. Needless to say, I was ecstatic... until 2 weeks ago when I played out with it. On a strap, the bass was just a bit top-heavy. At 10lb, it was balanced. But at 8lb, I was fighting (drumroll please...) NECK DIVE!!!

    Now, I've never been vocal about it, but I kind of always assumed neck dive was just some bs somebody made up, because I had never heard of it 'til I came to TB. Well, consider me a convert. Even though my neck dive was relatively slight, it was annoying.

    So I came home and started searching for lightweight tuning machines. Almost immediately, I found Gotoh Res-o-lite tuners. I picked up a set on Reverb.

    I weighed them individually and they were a little more than half the weight of the machines on the bass. And with the guidance of John at BMV, I did the whole vinegar thing to age them to match my bass. It worked perfectly.

    This morning, I reassembled the bass. The tuners look great! The bass is balanced perfectly at the neck plate. And it now weighs in at a meager 7lb 9.5oz.

    And to make things even better, John also offered to buy the old tuners back from me to help defray my cost for the upgraded machines. That's customer service!!

    resolite.jpeg bmvweight.jpeg
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    nice resolution to a neck dive problem! :thumbsup:

    i've used hipshot ultralites and gotoh carbon-o-lites to resolve the dive but i've never had the pleasure of using the res-o-lites. the carbon-o-lites helped to give me a 6.2 lb. ax!

    when i was younger (20s-30s) i never had neck dive issues...ever! :wideyed: now i'm 70 and i smell neck dive in the neighboring counties. what happened? :laugh:
    dfatbass123 and 2saddleslab like this.
  3. Fender4Me

    Fender4Me The Undertaker Supporting Member

    When I did a detail strip and clean on my 78 Jazz, I was amazed at how much the tuners weighed! Without the tuners, the neck was as light as feather. Fortunately, I dont have neck dive but, that much weight on the end of the neck has got to affect the sustain or something. Did you notice any tonal difference after changing your tuners?
  4. tb-player

    tb-player Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    Yeah, I made fun of guys who said basses were too heavy a few years ago. Enter a little shoulder pain and now I have a 4” wide strap & I don’t have a bass north of 8.5lb.
  5. tb-player

    tb-player Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    Not at all. The mass/size of the tuning machine plates is identical to the heavier/previous machines. I played for a bit after reassembly and it sounded/played just as good as before.

    I wonder if, say, a Hipshot with a tiny footprint might have had negative effect on the tone or sustain?
  6. Fender4Me

    Fender4Me The Undertaker Supporting Member

    Interesting. I would have thought that lighter tuners would allow the neck to vibrate more, hence, more sustain and growl. If they are anything like the Gotohs that I just installed on my Martin HD-28, they are an upgrade for sure!
  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    everybody makes fun...until they don't! :D

    none. ;)
    the physics of the whole concept would actually suggest the opposite effect...if it actually mattered. all things equal + competent parts + competent setup = everything that matters occurs between the nut and the bridge saddles. ;)
    gebass6 likes this.
  8. tb-player

    tb-player Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    When I played it, I wasn’t really paying attention to that. I’ll be mindful at my next practice. If it is an upgrade, that’s a major bonus, since that bass is already amazing!
  9. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    I changed from Fender-style to Hipshot lightweight paddle tuners - lost .4 lbs and solved neck dive completely. I couldn’t tell any sonic difference.
    tb-player likes this.
  10. LetItGrowTone


    Apr 2, 2019
    @tb-player, is your avatar bass a scpb with thunderbird pickups?
  11. tb-player

    tb-player Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    It’s a Bluesman Vintage Deville with 2 Lollar TBird pickups. Crazy nice bass!
    LetItGrowTone likes this.
  12. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    I use Gotoh & Hipshot and find light weight tuners a must.

    Glad you got that beauty sorted.
  13. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I prefer low-mass machine-heads :smug:
  14. tb-player

    tb-player Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    Yeah, me too. That bass went from really nice to perfect.
    TomB and 2saddleslab like this.
  15. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    In the "every little bit helps" category, I also add a short extension to the top horn strap button which also aids in the balance.
  16. BassPilot

    BassPilot Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2016
    I changed the stock tuners on my 2004 MIJ Geddy Lee to HipShot UltraLites ad lost 1.0 lbs at the headstock. It’s a MUCH more comfortable bass to play now.
    The UltraLites are a completely different footprint (much smaller) but I had to do something about my shoulder and neck! I bought the lollypop version and, although the stems are a little shorter, no one knows it’s been modded unless they look at the back of the headstock. I never thought I’d appreciate 1 lb the way I do now :thumbsup:.
  17. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    Kramer 450B bass.jpg Well, I'm happy for you. Glad you solved your neck dive problem... no, really, I am. But, I have to ask; if you had your bass on a grippy strap, and let go of it; would it try to yank your tucked-in shirt out of your pants, and then pull it off over your head? No? Well, this one (yes, it's mine) can - and has. It's also kinda quick about it, too. And those special order Schaller tuners, at 64 gms each, aren't all that heavy to begin with, either; so even if there were other tuners that would fit the thing, I doubt they would make much difference. Short of hanging a car battery off its butt - or shortening the neck about 9 inches, - it will always dive like a scared U-Boat. I just... live with it. And wear a slippery strap....:whistle:
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
  18. tb-player

    tb-player Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    Yeah, mine was slight. Very easily fixed. I think you may need one of these... :thumbsup:
    GIBrat51 likes this.
  19. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    12 inch Cast Iron Skillet.jpg Nah... I just hold a 12" cast iron skillet out at arms length, 3 times a week, for as long as I can. I try for 3 sets of 10... My right arm kinda looks like Popeye's, but I can hold the stupid thing up for a song or three...:rolleyes:
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 18, 2021

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