New bass with odd tuning system is turning into a major PITA. Please help.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by eukatheude, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. So I've purchased this bass with a Steinberger-y tuning system. It doesn't use double ball strings but has a kind of clamp for each string on the headstock.
    I installed new strings as soon as I've got it, and the damn D strings keeps slipping at the clamping post! So I can't get it to pitch. The strings are D'addario chromes, BTW.
    Being not only the first "headless" bass I have, but also the first flats set I install, I'm afraid I did something wrong.
    What do you think is the issue? I have rehearsals in less than 2 hours and I'd really like to test drive it on the big rig.

    EDIT: Please check my post at the end of page 2 before answering!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  2. As it turns out, I'm an idiot. I overtightened the clamp, breaking the string's outer winding. So the clamp cannot hold onto it effectively any longer. I sacrificed a string from another bass I almost never play for now, hopefully this is the only string that was damaged. Otherwise I'm soon due a 50€ lesson.
  3. Except this one slipped too, dammit!
  4. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Next string, try bending a 90' just past the tuner/clamp before tuning.
    IME, round-core and flat wound strings should be bent, then wound (on standard type tuners) to keep from slipping.
  5. The thing doesn't really allow to do that precisely. I should maybe do so before passing the string through the slot. I'm having lots of buyer's regret... Seriously considering asking the seller for a return (he seemed open to the possibility) and just get a Cort B5FL. Meh.
  6. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    What is the bass? I've used a few different headless/clamp schemes, but don't recognize that one.
  7. pnchad


    Nov 3, 2005
    It may be the flats themselves - I have a Washburn/Status with the same arrangement

    I don't play flats but I can see that the way they are made they don't provide the same density as rounds or 1/2 wounds

    Flats are a core with the wrapped exterior - I can picture the wrap being crushed by the screw without enough meat behind it to grab - my 0.02
    Growlmonkee likes this.
  8. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I did some looking around. Bogart doesn't use this string clamp thing anymore, but I found somebody else saying it was the source of a lot of frustration. I also found a couple comments saying people had success using a ferrule like insert to distribute pressure on the string a little better. I don't think you are the first to have trouble with the clamping screw causing the string's wrap to come loose and the string to slip.

    If you can get to a "happy place" with this issue, it looks like you found a really interesting instrument. Graphite neck. Composite, foam, and soundblock body. Sounds pretty cool to me.
  9. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I do like Bogart basses!
  10. Hmm, what do you mean by that?
    It's odd that it only happens on the D. The other strings are perfectly fine, even if I tightened the clamps A LOT.
    It is an interesting instrument for sure. Pity that in needs so much work, when all I needed these days was something that worked. The neck will need heavy shimming (as per the other thread) and will likely need to shim the nut too. It doesn't have a real nut by the way. There's a plastic guide thingy, but it's lower than the fretboard. It works but there are often lots of acoustic-only buzz and zing coming from between my finger and the headstock.
  11. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Did you fully back out the clamping screw for the D string to see if the end has a sharp ridge on it?
    Maybe you can run a file across the end of the screw to be sure it's smooth and the edges beveled.
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  12. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Bear in mind, I only know what I read on the internet about this. ;)

    I don't know where I found the reference to this, but I believe that they basically encased the string in a small length of metal pipe. This way, the screw deforms the pipe and distributes the pressure across the string more evenly, as opposed to the screw just digging into a small section of the string. I would imagine the "ferrule" would have to be disposable; you would replace it when you replace the string.
    eukatheude likes this.
  13. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Sounds similar to the clamps on Speakon connectors, if you've ever built a Speakon cable or taken one apart. The stripped ends of the wires are each inserted into small tubes made of soft metal, and the screws tightened against the tubes--which deform slightly as they pinch the wire to make good electrical contact.

    In this case, it wouldn't matter if the tubes were conductive, since all you want is a solid grip on the string. Heck, I wonder if a short piece of heat-shrink tubing around the string, under the clamp, might do the trick.
  14. The clamp is a bit worn but it doesn't seem sharp. I understand what you mean by ferrule, it should work fine. I'll try with heat shrink tubing though as it's the next best thing I have handy.
  15. DAMN.

    The tuning knob has a threaded hole. Said hole just got stripped. And I don't even have any idea where or how to find a replacement.
    Great. Like I wasn't feeling like poopie enough already. You might have guessed it but there's more crap going on in my life lately than a fixer-upper bass.
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Time to have a pro look at it.
    Clark Dark likes this.
  17. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    If you can disassemble the parts, post a hi-res pic or two. What actually stripped: the tuner key itself or the threaded pass-thru on the headstock?

  18. Will do, no time now.

    It's still something I can fix myself. Though I don't know if I can do it with a cold mind at the moment.
    Will update the thread with pictures. Will also email Bogart to ask for a replacement part.
    JimmyM and Zooberwerx like this.
  19. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    +1 :cool:

    ...famous last words :rollno:
  20. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    If there's a good solution, you can have someone else do it, or do it yourself...
    If you find a good fix, it may be worthwhile to mod them all the same way.