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Shen Tuning Gears

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by ArenW, Oct 21, 2005.


  1. ArenW

    ArenW

    Jan 14, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    Hello all.

    I recently purchased a new Shen SB180. The bass has a good set up, and sounds great (for what it is) but the tuning machines have to go. The D key slips, due to the key not being close enough to the gear. It stays in tune but when tuning down, the key slips. You have to go under pitch, then back up, to avoid rattle.

    I m guessing this is a standard size Tyroleon type tuning machine. I plan on getting new ones soon, but want to make sure the new set interchanges easily. Does anyone have suggestions on sets in the $200-$400 range?

    Any one else suffering from slippery keys?
     
  2. Hello Aren

    Did you purchase the Shen from your local luthier? If you got it from me, or any luthier at Talk Bass for that matter, I would fix or replace the tuner. I know Shen has a commitment to quality.

    If you want to move up to a better tuner would suggest the tuners from International Violin and they are in that price range.
     
  3. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    The Shen Tuners are copies of the KC Strings/Krutz gears.

    If you can go for the money, they are some of the best. On the other hand, I have the Shen tuners on my 5-string Hungarian. I did this to save some money. If you get a bad gear from Shen, KC or anyone else, call them and get a replacement. I think the Shen Gears work OK unless one is bad. The Gears from International are Rubners. Fair at best. I put a set on my Batchelder and the are no better than the Shen gears for my taste.
     
  4. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    I doubt he has the tuners you're talking about on a 180 or under, Ken. He says he's got the tyroleans... From Shen, they are Rubner or Rubner knock-offs... Usually function fine and, as others have mentioned, they'll get you a new set right away. John Sprague from CSC / Shen frequents the board, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's already seen this thread and sent you an email...
     
  5. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    The Shen factory tuner is a Rubner knock-off. I don't like the way they work (it's my only complaint with the Shens)... that's why I replace them with genuine Rubner tuners before I sell the bass. It isn't a lot of work to switch them out, but I wouldn't suggest a player do it themselves.
     
  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    The ones I have on my 5-string, bought from them are copies of the Krutz. I have seen them on many Shens. The Rubner style must be another type they carry as well but not what I have.

    these; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/Mystery2/5str_imgs/m2_pl.JPG
     
  7. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    The 80, 100, 150, and 180 basses have a tyrolean-style tuner. The Willow bass and more expensive models have the tuners just like your 5 string.

    Shen is supposedly working on getting a better tuner for these basses. The Rubner tuners sold through Lemur (for example) retro-fit into the existing pegbox walls with a minimal amount of work.
     
  8. ArenW

    ArenW

    Jan 14, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    Hey guys, thanks for the responses. I like the style of tuners on Ken's bass. Those are what I would like to shoot for, or a similar set. I was hoping to do the work my self, but it sounds like it may not be that simple.

    In the meantime, I should probably call the shop where I bought the bass and see if they would replace the bad tuner. I just bought the bass two months ago so hopefully the guy will work with me.

    Thanks for the input. It sounds like I need do a little searching.
     
  9. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Hi Aren,
    I just found this thread, but it looks like most everything has been said about what they are. :) Please ask your shop to give me a call, and I will get the replacement part out immediately and pay for the shop's labor to install it. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.
    Best,
    John
     
  10. ArenW

    ArenW

    Jan 14, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    Hi John, I sent an email to the shop where I purchased the bass and am waiting to hear back from them. I am curious, before I get the work done, how much it would cost to upgrade to the tuners that you use on the willows and better models. Send me a p.m. if that is an option. Thanks a lot for your help.
     
  11. I just sent you an email to let you know we'll take care of you, no problem. Andy
     
  12. ArenW

    ArenW

    Jan 14, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
  13. What a love-fest!!! I knew Shen and andy would pull through! :)
     
  14. Personally, I never tune down to a note, always up. Even if you're sharp to begin with, tune down below pitch then come back up to it. I think the bass stands a better chance of staying in tune that way.
     
  15. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    I was taught to do that on all string instruments.
     
  16. ArenW

    ArenW

    Jan 14, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have heard both sides of the fence on this. Ive been told "you must!" and Ive been told "its not necessary".

    Personally, when tuning the plank, I have always went under pitch then back up. Since picking up the double bass, however, I have heard conflicting rules on proper tuning. I do agree that going under pitch, then back up gives me a warm fuzzy feeling about things, but every once in a while- on the fly- you just know you are a touch sharp and give it a little bump downwards. These instances are where my problem shows up. It's really just more of a nuisance than a problem.

    But Andy at the Bass Cellar has the cure to my tuning woes(well exept for that whole pitch thing, and I dont think anyone can help me with that :bawl: ).