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SR 5 Tuners do they really suck?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by blipndub, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. Ok, I LOVE my SR5. Sounds and feels great, but whenever I tune I wonder, "wow these feeel flimsy, did they hold back on the hardware?".

    Any thoughts, are they smartly lightweight, or do they just suck?
  2. Hofbrauhaus


    Feb 10, 2002
    Upton, MA
    They're Schallers, German made and one of the best tuners you can buy IMO. I have an SR5 and have no probs with the tuners. If you want to feel flimsy tuners pickup a Warwick (one of the many reasons I sold mine and kept my SR5). Just my 2 cents
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    My sterling stays in tune very well.
  4. basslag13


    Apr 16, 2005

    I assure you sir that warwick tuners do not feel flimsy. Maybe YOUR warwick tuners felt flimsy but not all of them.
  5. Hofbrauhaus


    Feb 10, 2002
    Upton, MA
    All tuners of that design (Gotoh style) have always felt flimsy to me. Did they stay in tune? For the most part yes...but did they feel weak and cheap compared to the larger vintage style Schaller tuners? Yes. Also they're only attached to the headstock by 1 tiny little screw each and will almost always come loose and require tightening. The Schallers on my SR5 are each attached by 4 heavy duty bolts and will never ever come loose even if I was to drop my bass down a flight of stairs. I just know what I like, I'm glad you're happy with the Warwick tuners.
  6. I think the construction of the tuners seems very sturdy, but I have had problems with especially the g-strings slipping off the tuner post nomatter how well I wound it up. Don't know if the tuner post is worn or it was a string problem.
  7. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Actually, the smaller enclosed Gotohs and Schallers are attached to the headstock with the top ferrules (?) which screw through from the front of the headstock into the tuner. The screw is just to keep the tuner from rotating.

  8. Everyone should take a very close look at their "Schaller" tuners - they aren't what they used to be by any stretch of the imagination. :eek: :mad:

    Since I first begain playing back in the mid 70's, I've always been of the opinion that tuners were a very good first indication of the quality of the bass. Back then, it was harder to tell - provided it wasn't a Fender, Gibson, et al - if the bass was up to snuff but the tuners were a good clue. The Schaller tuners used on the early Fenders through the 70's, Musicman's, and others were a good quality tuner. Look at what Schaller passes off now as a Fender replacement tuner and you'll see something disturbing. Early versions had a full, solid baseplate that ran under the worm gear. The worm gear was held in by 2 horseshoe shaped retainers that had tabs passing through the baseplate and were peened tightly in place from the backside. This kept the worm gear tight against the baseplate, giving you that firm feel when you twisted the tuner. Modern versions aren't built this way. Instead, the baseplate is stamped with a square hole under the worm gear with the upper and lower retainers being loops of the baseplate material without anything under them. So how is the worm gear held in place? By a cheap ass rectangular tab of scrap spring steel with a round hole that fits over the end of the post and is held in place against the baseplate when the spur gear is tightened in place. This retainer tab keeps the worm gear from falling out of the assembly and is supposed to provide the friction necessary for the tight feel a quality tuner has. This design is flawed in so many ways that it's pathetic and you've seen the results but probably tossed them off as the result of it being a "cheap" tuner without realizing that it might have been a Schaller tuner all along. First, the metal tab isn't plated so it rusts and gets rust on the headstock in extreme cases. Second, since the tab isn't plated, the friction from the worm gear wears it's surface to the point that it creates a fine, black metal dust that tends to dirty everything in the area. If you can't seem to get the back of the headstock as clean as you used to, this might be the reason. Third, because of the wearing away of the metal tab, the tuner can loose it's tight feel as the worm gear falls away from it's mountings - Just the thing the tab was supposed to prevent in the first place. And finally, loosing a tab when disassembling the tuners for cleaning or maintenence puts you absolutely out-of-luck because there isn't anything that can be used as a substitute. Try punching a hole in spring steel if you doubt me. So, are there ANY benefits to this design? Actually, there is one that I know of and that is that the tuner can be reversed for left hand use easily, using the same parts. That's it!. Want a real let-down? Compare a cheap tuner from a Rondo SX Jazz to an expensive Schaller BML and you'll see the exact same design - but compare that to a tuner from a 70's Fender or Gibson and you'll see the difference. I don't know when the changes were made but it pisses me off that it's been slipped in under our noses without anyone making mention. Now I've mentioned it.

    IMO the finest open gear tuners made today come from Gotoh. They make the full base tuners with the added feature of the allen screw adjustment screw on the bottom of the worm gear to eliminate the loose post problem the Schallers will eventually have. It's a shame but once again, the old standby's have succumbed to "cheaper is better" and we have to pay the price.

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