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Hipshot Ultra Lites and Dead Notes


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Long time - no post :cool:


I have been experimenting with a Fat Finger

on my Fender-ish basses, and reading a bit about

headstock mass and the effect on dead notes (own

a Kubicki Xfactor which is headless for that

reason or so I read) I was wondering if anyone

here has used the Hipshot Ultra Lite heads and

what - if any effect that had on

creating/removing dead notes on Fender style

necks? As they would drop the mass of a headstock

down quite a bit compared to traditional machine


if it ain't broke don't fix it...

unless you need the overtime.

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That kind of goes with what Phil Kubicki said

in something I read some while ago - that adding

mass was more effective than reducing it - as

long as you have a fender headstock. He talked

about experimenting with clamps as weights and

such, but of course you end up neck heavy!

Then he went the route of losing the headstock

alltogether as in really reducing the mass, which

is why the Factor basses have no headstock(but

then strangly enuf he now makes those Factors with

lil' headstocks and tuning keys up top now...)


Seems to be a bass by bass/case by case thing

what will help, if you have weak notes.


Guess I will leave the Schaller BML's on after


if it ain't broke don't fix it...

unless you need the overtime.

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I've been a user of Hipshot Ultra-Lites for a few years now, and haven't noticed a difference. FWIW, lighter tuners will work better on one bass, but not another. . .


Some say heavier tuners will give you better sustain, etc. I myself haven't seen it. FWIW, my favorite set of tuners right now is a set of Schallers -- the carbon composite/boron composite "ultra-ultra light" ones. They're, IMO, as good as anything else out there. Plus they help keep a bass "balanced".


I can't speak for most other basses, but it seems like "dead spots" are an inherent factor, especially on "vintage style" (i.e. Precision or Jazz) basses. Also, one responds better/worse than another, even if they came off the line minutes apart.


But, I'll put up with it, as I love Jazz Basses. They each have their own little "personality", so to speak. All in all, I think it's more related to the density (etc.) of the wood your bass is made of (body and neck) than the tuners. But, I might be wrong, too. At least to me, that's a "workable" theorem, though. If I build a bass with a light body, I tend to use heavy hardware, and vice versa. I've built several, so I think that's worth something.


In the end, it kinda ends up being a matter of experimentation, as well as "luck of the draw".


Just my opinion, but I am trying to help. Unfortuntely, I'm not a physicist. . .Just a bass player.

"When it comes to havin' a good time, nothing beats 'fun'. . ."


-- Stefan Johnson

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Rooster thanks for the input :D


I recall back in the 70's everybody going nutz

over "heavy-er is more better-er" as in sustain

and I remember guys coming into the store(I

worked in)and hefting every Les Paul to buy the

heaviest one! I have a super heavy shedua body

fretless Fender - still has the dead-ish notes

on the "G" string even with big Schaller heads

a HUGE Fender custom bridge and that silly-ass

heavy body. Go figure...


I guess we gotta experiment with each Fender

style bass from square one and see what shakes.


You are NEVER "just a bass player" my man,

you are LORD OF THE UNDERTONES the musical

Atlas on which all else rests :wave:

if it ain't broke don't fix it...

unless you need the overtime.

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I have a '82 Squire P....no DS

I have a '82 walnut P special.....no DS

I have a Sadowsky PJ5.....no DS

I have a Sadowsky VJ5....no DS

I have a Tobias Classic 5...no DS but MAYBE a sick spot when the strings get old.

I also have a cheap TobyPro 5 with, you guessed it, No DS.


They're out there in all price ranges..you just gotta find 'em.

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