Sam Shen End pin Problems.

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Farin, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. Farin


    Oct 19, 2004
    Akron, Ohio
    I recently bought a Shen bass. I bought the bass less than a year ago, and I'm having some problems with the end pin. It seems that sometimes when I'm playing, the end pin screw becomes loose, and the bass will randomly drop. Needless to say, this isn't good, infact its a little scary, not to mention embarassing when on a gig.
    Now, I bought it from Andy Stetson from the Bass Cellar in Cincinnati. Should I make a trip down there, and ask him if will replace it since I haven't had the bass year yet, or try and find another thumb screw, or just get a new end pin?
    Does anyone know where to get end pin thumb screws (Gold Brass). and, if I bought the ONYX End pin from Lemur (, would I be able to install it my self? What would you do? ;-) Thanks
  2. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    If it is giving you problems, I imagine that the Bass Cellar would replace it.
  3. Farin


    Oct 19, 2004
    Akron, Ohio
  4. Jazzman


    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    The chances of the onyx pin requiring the same size (and taper?) hole that your shen has in it, is very slim. You would probably want to take it to a Luthier to have it installed.
  5. Farrin, Bring the bass down and we'll replace the endpin. We can also upgrade it and only charge you the difference of cost, installation is included. Andy
  6. Farin


    Oct 19, 2004
    Akron, Ohio
    Hey Andy!
    Yeh I knew you'd help me out. I'll be giving you a call soon, I just need to find a time when I have a couple days to drive down (It's a 5 hour drive).
    But Also, I just bought a wheel from lemur, if I upgrade to your endpin would I still be able to use it (its a 10mm).
    Talk to ya soon. And Thanks for the help! :)
  7. The shaft on our endpin is a little larger but we could retro-fit your new wheel. With our system you can use the wheel without taking out the endpin. Check it out on
  8. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I had to replace the endpin on my Shen as well. The factory pin is not the greatest. I went with a KC Strings endpin. They are super nice.
  9. This is all very interesting, because when I got my SB180 set by Jeff B., I asked about upgrading the end pin, and he said that it was a pretty decent one and he wouldn't bother.

    Well, he was right. I found my Shen end pin to be quite sturdy, easy to operate and reliable. I'm glad I didn't spend the money.

    I'm sorry you guys seem to have had a different experience.
  10. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    The endpin itself was fine. The shaft that is. It was the plug that I was unimpressed with. The plug was turned from a decent looking lump of ebony. The whole assembly was simply the ebony plug with a brass plated cap on one end that was bored through the side and tapped to accept the set screw. There were no guides or bushings in it at all.

    First of all, the wall of the plug where it was turned down to allow the cap to fit over it was hardly more than 1/16" thick, and the cap was simply glued onto the ebony plug. The set screw was fine, except that the flattened thumb piece used to grasp it to tighten it was smaller than a dime.

    The screw-on rubber stopper was very small, did little to keep the bass from slipping and had a nasty habit of not staying tightened in the pin.

    If the bass stayed in my house, I could have easily set it and it would have stayed forever. But, I probably pack up and move my bass out of the house 2-5 times a week depending on the season. The first issue was that you had to crank that screw down as tight as you could get it to keep the pin from slipping.

    Secondly, in less than a year, the brass cap loosened from the ebony plug as it isn't easy to attach metal to wood using only glue. So, as the bass was played and it rocked around on the pin, it broke down the very thin ebony wall, making it that much harder to keep it tight, thus more rocking, more decay in the wall, etc. I'm sure the fact that I play with the pin extended about a foot didn't help the matter.

    In no time, it was unusable. It was what you would probably expect from a student bass, but the overall design is simply cheap. It was very much worth it to upgrade to a high quality pin.

    It's kind of like nice tires on a car. It doesn't do much for the performance or value, but you are able to enjoy it every time you use it.

    The KC Strings pin is of very high quality. It's better designed, better made and about 100 times easier to use.

    Now I am experiencing the same thing with the tuners. Three of the four have had the ears loosen on the post and rattle something awful. I have to keep supergluing them to stop it. The machine screws that hold the actual gears to main shaft keep backing out and the gears come apart. I have gotten in the habit of tightening them every time I take the bass out. I thought about glue in the threads, but what if I really wanted to remove them?

    As soon as I have the scratch, I'll replace them with something better. The overall build, playability and sound of the bass make the upgrades well worth it. Although, if I would have added the cost of these upgrades to the front end in the first place, I wonder what I could have gotten?
  11. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Ouch, Chas! I didn't know that you were having these problems. From your description it sounds like you have the previous endpin version, which is no longer used on the 100, 150 and 180. The tuner problem I want to address, but give me til next week to offer a solution.
  12. A couple drops of Loctite on the screw threads will keep the gears in place and at the proper adjustment while still allowing future removal. The blue stuff is less permanent than the red.

    I think you'll find that solder will do a more permanent job of holding the key to the shaft, if you can get the joint clean enough for it to stick. Heat it and add flux a few times before soldering.
  13. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I've owned 4 different endpins and the only one that never gave me a problem was the Gotz. Those things are amazing.

    Even the one Arnold puts on his basses has been giving me issues. If I tighten it so the screw is in one of the notches (in other words as it is usually intended to be used), I get a metallic buzzing coming from it when I play certain notes. No amount of tightening solves this issue. My solution has simply been to tighten it between notches. Thankfully it has never slipped.

    I've thought about replacing my pin, and I am 100% sure I would buy a Gotz if it came to that. The KC Strings ones have a very good rep, but I can personally say that a Gotz pin will last a lifetime without any issues. And the thumb screw is so, so smooth. It's so pleasantly simple to use.

    (I still have a Gotz pin on my cheapo Korean bass... I bought it as an upgrade)
  14. Well that explains it, we must have different hardware, because my shaft is indented and the set screw is ample, I never have to tighten it hard, and it never works loose. (I take the bass out twice a week.)
  15. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I think I have used all 3. The KC on my Morelli, the AES on my 5er and the Goetz on my special 800 Shen (I think it's a goetz). None of them have been a problem at all. The only thing that bothers me with all of them is that as I turn the Bass from time to time, the tip un-screws making the Bass slightly taller. For the Money, I like Arnolds. KC has a nice rounded tip but pricy as compared to the AES and they both work just as well for me. The Goetz seems the simplest of the 3 and I can live with any of them. If the Pin is long and you play low, it could rattle inside the collar/bottom block if you do not trim some of the excess off.

    When buying a less expensive new Bass, you will not get the top fittings unless you request them and pay the up-charges. The KC Gears on most of my Basses run are around $400 in a bag! Don't expect to see them on a 2-3k Bass unless requested by you. That also goes for adjustable bridges and endpins as well. You get what you pay for usually but rarely more...
  16. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    To clarify, I do not make endpins. The pin on Ken's Hungarian is a new Onyx from Lemur. I think those are excellent. The pin on TBeers is an ULSA, from Germany. I've never encountered a problem with that one other than the screw breaking or stripping. TB: If you'd like it replaced, just let me know. The KC endpin is great for using a graphite or other soft rod, as it squeezes the rod in a collar, rather than securing the rod with the tip of a screw (which can damage a softer endpin rod). I also like that it can be adjusted anywhere, notch or no notch. Pricey, though...
  17. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Lol, what's NOT pricey when it comes to the DB ???
  18. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.