replacement tuners for vintage p bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jeremynyc, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. jeremynyc

    jeremynyc Guest

    Jan 21, 2008
    I've got a 67 p bass with pretty annoying neck dive. I was hoping to lighten the weight at the headstock by putting in some smaller tuners, but I'd like to keep the vintage look as well.

    Any recommendations?
  2. The Schaller BML Lights dont rock the clover leaf... the Hipshot BM2s should be a bit lighter
  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Don't turn loose of those tuners - they're worth $$ and the bass is worth more with them installed.
  4. Make sure the tuners you buy use the same holes already drilled. New holes will decrease the value.
  5. jeremynyc

    jeremynyc Guest

    Jan 21, 2008
    yeah, i know i hate to replace the original stuff...its a refin bass so i'm not too concerned with keeping it perfect...also if i ever resell the old tuners can go right back on.

    are there any light tuners that would keep the same holes?
  6. lowtide

    lowtide Commercial User

    Oct 14, 2006
    Bradenton, Florida
    Owner: Buzzard's Bass Shop
    You could also get a different strap or relocate the strap button.
  7. elBandito

    elBandito Guest

    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    Vintage police wouldnt like that very much. :ninja:
  8. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Leave everything alone and get you a wide leather strap with the rough bottom side, and unless you're wearing like a silk shirt, the dive should be mostly eliminated. Even a refin is better left original. :cool:
  9. Cutty


    Jun 25, 2006
    Get a comfort strap,don't mess with the bass,leave it original!
  10. J-NYC,

    DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT change those tuners!!!:ninja:

    A '67 p bass is worth a hefty chunk of change.:D

    If its O-R-I-G-I-N-A-L.:eyebrow:

    My '70 doesn't exhibit any neck dive.

  11. jeremynyc

    jeremynyc Guest

    Jan 21, 2008
    yeah, i know its worth $. i also spend hours and hours playing it every day. a lot of that is sitting down practicing where i have to hold up the neck. i've tried sitting a playing with the strap on which helps. but it would be so much more comfortable if i didn't have to hold up the neck all day.

    i've tried other basses that are more comfortable, but the 67 just has THAT SOUND.
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I'm really surprised that the bass neck dives. My '63 is nicely balanced, and it's a light body. The body on that one must be incredibly light...because P-basses usually balance very well.
  13. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    You should be able to find lightweight tuners that use the same holes. No new holes = no harm = no foul. Just make sure and store the original tuners with some dessicant, or coat them with some light oil, so they don't get all rusty.

    Or you could think creatively - velcro somewhere on the lower body edge and on the leg of your jeans, perhaps? A huge magnet in your shorts that would attract the bridge? ;) Oh yeah! "Is that a magnet in your shorts or are you really attracted to me?" :D
  14. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Here's another thought - if the body is that light, you can probably add some weight to it and not create a problem with the overall weight.

    If you mount a bridge cover on it (and they don't get in the way for most people), you can add adhesive tire weights under the cover - or on its underside - and probably re-balance the bass for $20 for the cover and a couple of bucks for weights. That's a LOT cheaper than lightweight tuners.

    Of course, I happen to really like the look of covers on P-basses, so to me this enhances the look of the instrument as well as balancing it. "It's not a bug, it's a feature!"

    I used this tactic to balance out a Turser '54 P copy, and it worked great. Here are pix of the weights I added under the strings at the bridge, and the underside of the bridge cover. And I added a LOT of weight - 11.4 ounces. You probably wouldn't need nearly that much.


  15. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Wondering....Your neck dive is only when you play sitting?
  16. jeremynyc

    jeremynyc Guest

    Jan 21, 2008
    yes, only when sitting.

    standing is great because the bass is so light!
  17. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Missed that.

    If it doesn't neck-dive when standing, then the problem isn't balance - it's technique. You need to change the way you hold the bass while seated. Tuners won't solve anything.

    Jeremy, it would help if you'd fill out your profile so we can tell something about your experience. I'm betting you're a young player who is somewhat new to bass...and you just need to learn a different posture for holding the bass while seated.
  18. jeremynyc

    jeremynyc Guest

    Jan 21, 2008
    No, I've been playing a while. I don't have this issue with my other p bass, a 76. The 76 has a heavier body and is less prone to neck diving.

    When I balance the 67 p bass on my my right leg while seated the neck dives. Of course I can hold the neck with my left hand, or anchor my arm over the top of the bass with my right arm, but those get exhausting after a few hours. Playing with a pick is a little easier because I can kind of squeeze the body with my right arm and still have total range of motion. But when playing fingerstyle it because more exhausting. Also when I put my right arm over to anchor things (when playing fingerstyle) it lends to a large angle at the wrist which is terrible posture for me (I know a lot of people do that, but some are more prone to injury than others).

    Anyway, I've played lots of well-balanced basses that are less fatiguing to play while seated. I figured lightening the weight at the headstock would help things a bit. For now, playing with the strap while seated is working pretty well.

    I've also tried hanging various objects/weights off the body but that is sort of annoying to me. Although the bike tire weight idea as suggested earlier is kind of intriguing, I don't really want to ADD a pound to the bass.

    Thanks for the tips guys!
  19. matt thompson

    matt thompson Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2005
    Just wanted to bump this - anyone have any idea what the difference in weight between the Hipshot HB2 and an original late 60's tuner is? Worth the switch if neck is diving? I assume the Hipshot would also need new holes drilled:meh:
  20. kurosawa

    kurosawa Guest

    Jan 27, 2001
    York County, Virginia
    A long time ago, I developed the habit of anchoring my forearm to the body's contour. I have no idea whether I did that to counteract neck dive, or to learn to pick by pivoting at the elbow and not the wrist, but it works when sitting. I still don't like "divey" basses when standing, but the use of a very grabby Neotech neoprene strap goes a long way to preventing slow dive. Most basses are only a little unbalanced, so they dive slowly. If you have fast dive, I don't know what to tell you, except to maybe tape a fishing sinker inside the southernmost end of your control rout. And congratulations on ending up with a light one. I love the way they sound.