Ken's Corner (Bass Forums Sponsored By KSB)

Go Back   Ken's Corner (Bass Forums Sponsored By KSB) > Double Basses > Luthier's Corner

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-19-2011, 03:23 AM
Thomas Erickson's Avatar
Thomas Erickson Thomas Erickson is offline
Senior Posting Member
 
Join Date: 05-23-2010
Location: Pacific NW USA
Posts: 309
Thomas Erickson is on a distinguished road
Question Opinions - best tuning gears?

So - given the choice, what modern (currently available I should say) machines would you have on your bass?


Opinions on what's the best (or how some of the better choices compare)?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-19-2011, 06:14 PM
Adam Linz Adam Linz is offline
Posting Member
 
Join Date: 04-22-2010
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 33
Adam Linz is on a distinguished road
Default

Hey Thomas. I recently put new plates and tuners on my bass and I did a lot of research to see what I could find. I found that Rubners look like the best but had a hard time trying to get what I wanted. After trying to email Rubner directly in Germany I kinda gave up on those. Then it was onto Gallery Strings in London. Their web site makes you believe that they carry about a dozen or so different models, but at the end of the day I was told that they only make their Baker model which is a shame because all of the other models were killin. they were all pretty expensive as well. So after much debate I went with a set of Busans from Kolstein. They were not the easiest to install but if you have a good luthier with some patience they are a good quality for the money. I'm very happy with them and they compliment the plates I had made.
I spent almost $1200 on tuners, plates, and labor but I think they will last for a long time. My bass is a violin shaped Andreas Morelli. Some people thought it was a lot of money to spend on a middle ground bass but I think you should always get what you want when it comes to your bass and it's health. Since I've put my tuners on I've seen some amazing custom gears on several hand made basses. I wish I had an arsenal of basses to put them on. Besides performing well they add something to an instrument that is hard to describe. A personality. Anyways, best of luck in your search . Adam Linz
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-19-2011, 07:21 PM
Arnold Schnitzer Arnold Schnitzer is offline
Senior Posting Member
 
Join Date: 01-22-2007
Location: Putnam County, NY
Posts: 453
Arnold Schnitzer is on a distinguished road
Default

I've been using the Sloanes from Gage. I like them much better since they started making them with the lightweight aluminum shafts. If you like really fast tuning these are not for you.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-20-2011, 01:56 AM
Thomas Erickson's Avatar
Thomas Erickson Thomas Erickson is offline
Senior Posting Member
 
Join Date: 05-23-2010
Location: Pacific NW USA
Posts: 309
Thomas Erickson is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold Schnitzer View Post
I've been using the Sloanes from Gage. I like them much better since they started making them with the lightweight aluminum shafts. If you like really fast tuning these are not for you.
I've wondered about that before, since I haven't seen the aluminum version yet - so is it just the shaft that is aluminum then? I like most aspects of the original Sloanes, including the ratio, but the weight is a bit of a nagging issue. Do you think there's any compromise in feel or durability with the aluminum?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-20-2011, 02:20 PM
Arnold Schnitzer Arnold Schnitzer is offline
Senior Posting Member
 
Join Date: 01-22-2007
Location: Putnam County, NY
Posts: 453
Arnold Schnitzer is on a distinguished road
Default

No compromise. The shafts are anodized to match the brass color. The only thing is, if you mount them all the way through the scroll, the opposite side will be silver. I don't find this objectionable, since it polishes up to a nice sheen that goes well with the stainless steel worm gear. And on new basses, I don't drill through. I think there is about a 25% weight reduction.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-20-2011, 03:11 PM
Ken Smith's Avatar
Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
 
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 4,995
Ken Smith is on a distinguished road
Cool Sloans..

I like the quality of them but I do not like the look of the mounting plates under the gears. Also, I do not like how slow they tune. I too have used Hat Peg gears and there are the fastest to change strings but not the easiest to tune. Two of the very expensive old Italian basses in the Philly Orchestra have old Hat Peg gears on them and the owners/players are fine with it.

Personally, I love the old English gears, the real Bakers and the older versions of them, possibly by other English gear makers of the 19th century. Any copy of these that actually work and turn smoothly are my kind of bass gears. Nothing I have seen beats the Baker's or similar period English gears.

If a Bass is French, it should have French gears on it and repaired to work as well as possible. If English, English gears or something close to it.

For German or Italian; English gears on the Italian if possible and German on the German is my like. Some finer German gears look French but they are German make but French 'style', not French made. I have one old German bass with actual French gears and they will stay on. No great bargain but they work. My Prescott had French gears as well.

As long as they work or can be made to work and they look ok, leave them be.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-20-2011, 11:33 PM
Thomas Erickson's Avatar
Thomas Erickson Thomas Erickson is offline
Senior Posting Member
 
Join Date: 05-23-2010
Location: Pacific NW USA
Posts: 309
Thomas Erickson is on a distinguished road
Default

Nice to know that the Sloane shafts are anodized. Like Ken, I'm not a big fan of the look of the plate - but I do like the high ratio. I don't generally have a need to change strings in a hurry, and I've spent enough time playing (other people's) basses with lurching gears that the slow tuning is kind of nice.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-21-2011, 12:47 AM
Matthew Tucker's Avatar
Matthew Tucker Matthew Tucker is offline
Senior Posting Member
 
Join Date: 02-19-2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 427
Matthew Tucker is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Skype™ to Matthew Tucker
Default

IMO if you're not using the cheap string winder attachment for cordless screwdriver that All Hail sells, you're making string changes a harder job than it needs to be.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-21-2011, 11:12 AM
Arnold Schnitzer Arnold Schnitzer is offline
Senior Posting Member
 
Join Date: 01-22-2007
Location: Putnam County, NY
Posts: 453
Arnold Schnitzer is on a distinguished road
Default

Sloanes now come with a free winder that goes on your drill. I have quite a collection.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-21-2011, 11:29 AM
Ruben E garcia Ruben E garcia is offline
Posting Member
 
Join Date: 10-04-2010
Location: Atlanta GA
Posts: 108
Ruben E garcia is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold Schnitzer View Post
I've been using the Sloanes from Gage. I like them much better since they started making them with the lightweight aluminum shafts. If you like really fast tuning these are not for you.

Are you refering to this:

Irving Sloane Bass Machines By David Gage???


http://www.davidgage.com/store/index...4d999f7d9e3e5e
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-21-2011, 11:30 AM
Ruben E garcia Ruben E garcia is offline
Posting Member
 
Join Date: 10-04-2010
Location: Atlanta GA
Posts: 108
Ruben E garcia is on a distinguished road
Default

Question for you guys... are Ebony ones considered the best ones??? the could be quite expensive...
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-21-2011, 12:17 PM
Ken Smith's Avatar
Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
 
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 4,995
Ken Smith is on a distinguished road
Lightbulb Hatpegs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruben E garcia View Post
Question for you guys... are Ebony ones considered the best ones??? the could be quite expensive...
No, the Rubner HatPegs to me are much less expensive than any of the higher grade Baker type copies or the Sloans. The Ebony is cheap as compared to high grade machining. The Rubners are the same gears as the metal ones but made to house the Ebony or Rosewood shafts. I have had both and they are in my book, medium grade machines. They will only work as good as the 'machined' Gear/Worm parts are. The Ebony shaft just holds the string. Also, the installer has to drill the hole in the wood for the string.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-21-2011, 12:53 PM
Thomas Erickson's Avatar
Thomas Erickson Thomas Erickson is offline
Senior Posting Member
 
Join Date: 05-23-2010
Location: Pacific NW USA
Posts: 309
Thomas Erickson is on a distinguished road
Default

^^^ What he said.

I think the basic Rubners are good simple gears for the money (cheeeeep), but not much more. The hatpeg versions seem rather pointless to me - more money for something that usually looks goofy.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-05-2011, 03:39 AM
Thomas Erickson's Avatar
Thomas Erickson Thomas Erickson is offline
Senior Posting Member
 
Join Date: 05-23-2010
Location: Pacific NW USA
Posts: 309
Thomas Erickson is on a distinguished road
Default

Anybody used both Sloanes and the Krutz gears and want to compare?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-05-2011, 07:42 AM
Ken Smith's Avatar
Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
 
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 4,995
Ken Smith is on a distinguished road
Cool yes..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Erickson View Post
Anybody used both Sloanes and the Krutz gears and want to compare?
I would take the Krutz as they tune easier and quicker. Sometimes you get a slightly sticky gear in the set but that can be adjusted.

I just like them better and also, I think they are slighter cheaper. They are heavier maybe but not that big of a difference.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-05-2011, 03:31 PM
Thomas Erickson's Avatar
Thomas Erickson Thomas Erickson is offline
Senior Posting Member
 
Join Date: 05-23-2010
Location: Pacific NW USA
Posts: 309
Thomas Erickson is on a distinguished road
Default

Having had the sloanes but not Krutz, I would not have guessed the Krutz were so heavy from how they look. Interesting.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-06-2011, 09:46 AM
Arnold Schnitzer Arnold Schnitzer is offline
Senior Posting Member
 
Join Date: 01-22-2007
Location: Putnam County, NY
Posts: 453
Arnold Schnitzer is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Erickson View Post
Anybody used both Sloanes and the Krutz gears and want to compare?
I hate to disagree with our esteemed host, but to me the Sloanes win hands-down over the Krutz gears (which I hear are out of production anyway).
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-06-2011, 10:11 AM
Ken Smith's Avatar
Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
 
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 4,995
Ken Smith is on a distinguished road
Wink lol..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold Schnitzer View Post
I hate to disagree with our esteemed host, but to me the Sloanes win hands-down over the Krutz gears (which I hear are out of production anyway).
It's ok. I know you would say that and yes, the Krutz are gone now from what I hear.

Still, style wise I liked the Krutz gears a lot and put them on several of my basses when I could. I just don't like the look and shape of the Plates that the Sloans are mounted on. They are the smoothest available and tune at 50:1 ratio as opposed to the 40:1 (?) Krutz.

When changing strings by hand it takes much longer with the Sloans and that to me is a royal pain. My first few basses had German Gears, Hatpegs and German made French style gears. I did just fine with those at 20-24:1 ratio (guessing) and didn't have a problem tuning them.

Show me some good looking Baker Gears on or off mounting plates and I will jump on them even if under 40:1 ratio.

Playing in tune is much harder than tuning a bass for me so I go with looks and smoothness of turning.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-19-2012, 10:12 AM
davidseidel's Avatar
davidseidel davidseidel is offline
Posting Member
 
Join Date: 01-22-2007
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 37
davidseidel is on a distinguished road
Default Martyn Bailey English luthier

I'm just back in Australia after the best part of a year spent in UK and during that time I paid a visit to Martyn Bailey - a very highly experienced maker and repairer who certainly has paid his dues.
I played one of his own instruments and found it very impressive in the English tradition.
Thought his tuners might be of interest - seemed ideal to me FWIW....

http://www.mjbl.co.uk/doubl-bass-machines.html
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07-19-2012, 03:14 PM
Ken Smith's Avatar
Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
 
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 4,995
Ken Smith is on a distinguished road
Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidseidel View Post
I'm just back in Australia after the best part of a year spent in UK and during that time I paid a visit to Martyn Bailey - a very highly experienced maker and repairer who certainly has paid his dues.
I played one of his own instruments and found it very impressive in the English tradition.
Thought his tuners might be of interest - seemed ideal to me FWIW....

http://www.mjbl.co.uk/doubl-bass-machines.html
With shipping at today's rates, that's close to $550-600 with shipping to the states, estimated. Most Baker gear models work good. Some great and some not so great but they are a tradition.

I have old/original gears on both my Tarr and Panormo school basses. They look great and work good as well. They just don't make 'em like that anymore.



Arnold, send me some of those extra winders you have. I had you put Sloans on one of my Pollmanns before and never got the winder!
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2007 - Ken Smith Basses, LTD. (All Rights Reserved)