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 Post subject: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 8th, 2010, 12:17 pm 
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I'm the proud owner of a 1969 LH Comp Mustang Bass, and I'm having problems with my tuners and hope someone can give me some advice. I've got those same tuners that are on Saf's 'stang bass (also on the Wildwood Coronado here), and they are hard to turn and get to stay in tune! A tiny turn takes it from E to F#! (Other strings alike). I've got a show coming up at the end of the month & am wondering if I should try to get a set of cloverleaf's (20:1) that I found, or if there might be a trick to get these ones to act right. I just put on a set of Rotosound medium scale 77s. (E string is a 90) I've had the original strings on her since July, same problems tuning, then put on some D'Addario half-wounds a month ago, but didn't like em so switched to the Rotosounds this week. The prob. with tuning has been consistent throughout string changes... Are those cloverleafs the best bet or ??? I don't want to drill new holes and would like to keep the vintage beauty in tact. Thanks in advance for your help! PS - I've only been playing & had the bass since July, so be easy on this newbie! :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 9th, 2010, 6:16 am 
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Have you tried other basses with similar tuners, and did you encounter the same thing? You said in another thread you're fairly new to playing and this is your first bass, so you may not have much comparison material. Trying out some other basses and their tuners might answer your question if replacing the tuners would be an upgrade and would solve your problem :)

If they're original (rare) lollipop tuners (and true lefty tuners too), don't throw them away when you replace them and make sure you replace them with tuners that don't require any modifications to your headstock. This way you can always restore the bass back in original condition without any trouble if you ever decide to part with it. You have a real rarebird there!

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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 9th, 2010, 12:01 pm 
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Hey, thanks for the reply & ideas! I am new to playing, but my significant other has been a musician (including a touring bass player) for 16 years and basically discovered the problem with the tuners. (He knows his stuff).
Yes, the unicorn is super, super rare... read about the story & see pics here: http://competitionmustang.blogspot.com/ I used to drool over Saf's till she found me! I've been pretty reluctant to even put it out there that I have this unicorn, because she is so rare & special. But I gotta do something about these tuners, and it's sounding like replacement is the way to go. You'll see from the pics there they are the "lollipop" (I had thought they were called kidney bean) tuners and I definitely do not want to drill any holes & wouldn't throw out the originals - no way! :o The ones I found that I'm thinking of getting are from a 70s mustang bass, so they're obviously not the same - they're the cloverleaf type, but I still don't know if those are going to fit in the same holes? I wondered if anyone had changed tuners on a vintage mustang before or had knowledge on comparable tuners from other Fender models that wouldn't require drilling, or other brands that would fit in the same holes. Ideally, someone out there would come up with a way for me to use the tuners that are on there... maybe some trick to get them to turn more easily and stay in tune for more than a song or two! They seem to be at like a 7:1 ratio, vs. the 20:1 I need. This is where I'm unsure - the mechanics of things - maybe replacing the bushings can make a difference? Idk...
Any ideas???

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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 9th, 2010, 2:17 pm 
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Joined: April 28th, 2010, 10:59 am
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Location: Dover, NH
Does this look like the key?

http://store.hipshotproducts.com/cart.p ... tail&p=325

If you have any questions, as Bill at Hipshot. He's a member of this forum.
bill@hipshotproducts.com


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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 9th, 2010, 11:14 pm 
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Hey, thanks for the info about Bill. I'll drop him a line. That link must be missing some info because I couldn't get it to work...?

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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 10th, 2010, 3:51 am 
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LeftyMustangBass wrote:
Hey, thanks for the reply & ideas! I am new to playing, but my significant other has been a musician (including a touring bass player) for 16 years and basically discovered the problem with the tuners. (He knows his stuff).


Wait. Does that mean you're a woman? Then you should really post in this thread, the guys were afraid this was an all-male forum :P
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1890

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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 10th, 2010, 11:02 am 
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Indeed. You will see me & my unicorn in that link to the blog: http://competitionmustang.blogspot.com/
I think I'm going to take the risk & order the cloverleafs... hopefully if they don't fit, I can return them. The guy seems reasonable who's selling 'em. Really wish I could keep the "lollipops" & make em work though... :(

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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 10th, 2010, 11:12 am 
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Jeroen wrote:
LeftyMustangBass wrote:
Hey, thanks for the reply & ideas! I am new to playing, but my significant other has been a musician (including a touring bass player) for 16 years and basically discovered the problem with the tuners. (He knows his stuff).


Wait. Does that mean you're a woman? Then you should really post in this thread, the guys were afraid this was an all-male forum :P
http://www.leftybassist.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1890


If I was a guy I'd probably like it to be an all-male forum, but alas, I am not! Will def be posting more in the future.

@ Pete - do you have that link? I came across some info about replacing cloverleafs on a mustang bass with Hipshot Ultralites. Ick. I don't like them. http://www.theellingsworths.net/millard/hipshot/

Also touched bass with a seller on eBay who has a ton of different tuners & claims to supply all Fender parts, but as some of you might know, lefty reissues haven't come out yet, so no luck finding tuners there. It's all the better that I'll get the vintage cloverleafs instead of a brand-new set, to keep that vintage feel, but still... you gotta love the lollipops!

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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 10th, 2010, 11:14 am 
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Ahahaha! I just caught my own foul-up, but it's a good one! I typed that I
Quote:
touched bass
instead of touched base. Unintentional pun!

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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 10th, 2010, 2:17 pm 
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Joined: February 20th, 2009, 5:44 pm
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Location: Central New York
Hi There!

Thanks Pete!
You can contact me at my work email, which is- bill@hipshotproducts.com
I do not recommend replacing your stock tuners. The problem I have found is that Fender changed their tuner design at some point in time. There are two different types of tuners used on the Mustang, counting the Lollipop key tuners.
There are no direct replacements for the older model Mustang tuner!
The modern Mustang tuners are not even close to being matching tuners as the string post size and hole pattern are completely different.
I highly recommend, removing one tuner at a time, and clean and lube them. They will not be perfect but it should be a little better. Remove them from the bass first so as not to damage the bass. Remove one at a time so as not to harm the neck.
Give me a shout! If I can help anyone reading this in any way shape or form, shoot me an email.
Thanks!

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 10th, 2010, 7:07 pm 
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[quote=
@ Pete - do you have that link? I came across some info about replacing cloverleafs on a mustang bass with Hipshot Ultralites. Ick. I don't like them. http://www.theellingsworths.net/millard/hipshot/

[/quote]

Went to that link, and according to the poster, he went from 5896 grams to 2917 grams. Googled a gram-to-pound converter, and came up with approximately 12 lbs to 6 lbs in weight reduction! What do I do wrong, or, this guy read the scale badly! Maybe he forgot to take his "baggy" off the scale first.... :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 11th, 2010, 5:40 am 
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Thank you so much Bill, - that's great advice! I sent you an e-mail as well with some further q's. Your expertise is greatly appreciated!

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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 11th, 2010, 8:17 am 
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LeftymustangBass, welcome aboard! I hope you find this lil home of ours friendly, entertaining and informative. There is a wealth of information available to you here, I hope you have some spare time to go and look thru some of the old threads.
No question is too big or too small, and please don't feel intimidated to post noob questions. We've all been there before and can offer some (hopefully) valuable advice if you ask for it.


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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 11th, 2010, 8:45 am 
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Welcome aboard, leftymustangbass!

ANOTHER lefty competition blue Mustang?! :shock: Needless to say that is one search I would have considered hopeless, but perseverance "perseveres". I should know, considering it only took me 20 years to find another '72 J with black block inlays, but I had to wait for the advent of something called the internet first. :lol:

I read your blog about the bass. A wonderful story. Mustangs/Musicmasters seem to be fairly popular with female players, I'm guessing due to their great sound in a smaller scale. (I've never personally played or owned one. Some day). Tina Weymouth immediately comes to mind.


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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 11th, 2010, 3:08 pm 
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Thanks so much guys, I was up reading some of the old posts - and stayed up maybe a bit too late doing so - last night and have found some great & interesting info on the forums, as well as some good laughs! I'm sure I will continue to and hopefully add some of my own perspective with experience as well.

@ pjmuck - thanks for reading the story of "the unicorn" - how crazy is that to think it was 10 minutes down the road all this time? Once I first picked up a bass last fall, I knew that it was the start of something great. I've always dug bass without realizing it - being drawn to songs with prominent basslines. I'm ambidextrous (write righty, bat lefty, bowl both, etc...) from breaking my right arm at the tender age of 2 and having to learn to do things (mostly drawing & grabbing stuff! lol), and grew up playing air guitar lefty. lol! After deciding to get serious with bass, being that I'm left-handed and having hands so small that I'm part of the "small hands represent" group (I kid you not), the Fender Mustang Bass seemed like the "right" choice.

I came across Saf's in my search and like I've said, drooled over it for months! Everybody's got a "dream instrument" and mine was (and is!) a 1969 Fender Mustang Bass in Competition Burgundy (later called Blue) with matching headstock & rosewood fretboard. Thus began the search, not knowing just how nearly-impossible this bass would be to find at the time! Then I was inverting it up on that 70s relic with a broken pickup from May-July & toying around with my bf's other basses upside-down before that - a P, a Rick, Viola, Thunderbird... The Viola was the only one that felt "small" enough to work with for me. Now I've seen small women like Melissa van der Auf handling P's with ease, but I also notice that most of these women are playing with the neck tilted almost vertically, like an upright, in order to make it happen. I also guarantee they've got a larger palm spread than I! Lol Tina Weymouth got it right by me! =) In my growing knowledge and appreciation of Fender and the Mustang Bass in particular, I found out it was the last model designed at Fender by Leo Fender, which made it all the greater in my mind - like a "final masterpiece" to Fender. I discovered that I might not ever see a reissue Mustang Bass left-handed, let alone a vintage lefty Mustang Bass, but I kept hope alive! I thought of picking up one of those SX SSB's in lefty since the price was right & it got decent reviews, but held off. And lookah here! I'm still amazed everyday that I have my "dream bass", and how it came to be just seems like it was destiny to me. It was bought as a b-day gift for me - the biggest gift I've ever received, and given to me, but I like to think that she found me. I even played my first gig only a month later at an after-party for the Providence International Film Fest premiere of the movie "Sleather," - (which my bf did the original score for). Check it out - http://www.sleathermovie.com

NOW... if she'd juuust stay in tune! Thanks again Bill for your help, I'm going to hold off on the cloverleafs for now if they'll require hole-drilling (which I liken to giving your son/daughter piercings) and the cleaning & lubing will commence in the next day or two, so I'll let ya know how it goes. =)

One more thing - speaking of holes... there was a tiny pin-hole on the horn opposite the one where the strap button is - could this be part of the Fender "paint" holes? Let me know what you Fender fanatics think!
:D

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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 11th, 2010, 5:24 pm 
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LeftyMustangBass wrote:
One more thing - speaking of holes... there was a tiny pin-hole on the horn opposite the one where the strap button is - could this be part of the Fender "paint" holes? Let me know what you Fender fanatics think!
:D


Sounds like a righty may have routed it for a strap button hole on the opposite horn and may have been partially filled. Does the nut look original, or can you tell if it was replaced? If you can post closeup pix we may be able to better determine.

So how was it you came to discover your bass 10 minutes away? Did the seller post it for sale somewhere?


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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 11th, 2010, 9:28 pm 
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I'll take some pics & post that in the next day or two.

Well, my bf used to work at the local GC & is still friends with some of the fellas there. The owner (2nd owner who's had it since 1974) had taken it in to GC to see how much they'd give him for it, he wasn't using it & was curious. The guy he talked to happened to be on e of my boyfriend's best friends and former bandmate, who'd known about our search for this bass. He shot a pic msg of the unicorn to my bf who responded right away (without my knowledge) asking to please get the guy's #. As it turned out, GC wouldn't buy the unicorn from him (fools!) so he gave out his #, but didn't return my bf's calls for a few days. Finally he did, and then haggled my bf about the price, saying that he might just keep it to give to his grandkids, he was in no rush and maybe he could get this or that price for it... My bf was persistent and set on getting it for me as a b-day present (I was completely unaware!) and gave him an offer "he couldn't refuse." He ended up sacrificing his silver "Slash" Marshall Silver Jubilee 2550 to buy it for me & claims he has no regrets. I'll never forget how much of a shock it was to open the door that had the sign "Step into the Past... and the future!" and see her there waiting in the stand for me. I was in complete shock, I fell to my knees and freaked out for awhile. I even smoked a cigarette - something I have never done my entire life!!! Ha! It was a huge deal for me, as I'd imagine it would be for anyone to find a unicorn right there in their house! I am super grateful, and from this experience, have been made certain of my bf's persistence when he sets his mind to something! Lol I've considered trading it straight up to get him his dream geet. He claims he'd leave me if I ever got rid of the unicorn. I guess it was just meant to be!

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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 12th, 2010, 7:48 am 
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some thing's are just meant to be.


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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 12th, 2010, 11:58 pm 
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Did the cleaning & lubing one by one on the tuners, and it helped out some, not a massive difference, but enough that I was able to tuner her in less than 10 minutes! lol =) Took pics of the process.... Thanks so much Bill @ hipshot for your time, care & great advice!

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 Post subject: Re: 1969 LH Mustang Bass tuners
PostPosted: October 14th, 2010, 4:27 pm 
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Some more pix of the Unicorn & the tuning machine removal, cleaning, lubing, putting back on, can be found here: http://s164.photobucket.com/albums/u35/Shahrazad_photos/unicorn%20dream/ password to view is: UNICORN
Notice my bf tuning/playing righty, then trying lefty! lol
I took some close-ups of the tiny hole in the top of the horn there where I wondered if someone had drilled for the strap button or if it was a paint hole... There was also an extra hole found when removing the D string tuner - believed to be a paint hole....
Check it out!

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