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Cheap headless bass HW?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by papaschtroumpf, Apr 23, 2021.

  1. papaschtroumpf

    papaschtroumpf Tele-Holic

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    I'm thinking about making a travel bass, a la Steinberger. Given that an XT2 costs $400 brand new, I am trying to stay well under that for my build, and most of the cost is going to be in the headless HW.

    Hipshot is out of the question since it would cost more than buying a Steinberger.

    I heard the "overlord of tone" HW is crap.

    Anyone family with this hardware: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DRHHLF7/?tag=tdpri-20

    61ftdha2jIL._AC_SX425_.jpg

    The alternative is the Nova system which seems to be getting great reviews but is on the spendy side for my budget.

    upload_2018-11-21_3-3-43.png
     
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  2. papaschtroumpf

    papaschtroumpf Tele-Holic

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  3. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    You heard correctly. It can be made to work, sort of, but it's a pain to deal with.

    The one you linked looks similar to the one I'm considering buying for my headless guitar to replace the Overlord bridge. I think it would be better.
     
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  4. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    It's economics. There aren't many options for headless guitar hardware and there is not a very large market. That's not a commentary, just the supply-demand reality. This means nothing in your category will be comparably low cost next to standard bridges/machines/tailpiece, etc. Basically no matter which brand you look at you'll get a specialty item instead of a commodity item.

    FWIW headless is a better design for a skajillion reasons including less weight, better balance, less bending of strings, debatable reduction of dead spots.
    But it doesn't look like what we are used to. And aesthetics is our primary decision driver.

    Please post pics as you go, I'm interested.

    Not to derail but have you looked at Kala or other uke bass? They're pretty portable.
     
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  5. papaschtroumpf

    papaschtroumpf Tele-Holic

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  6. papaschtroumpf

    papaschtroumpf Tele-Holic

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    I own a Hadean uke bass and it's a very good option, but it is more fragile than a Steinberger for travel and i want to be able to practice fingerings for a real bass neck (the Steinberger is 34" for example). And let's face it, i want a new project :)
     
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  7. ctmullins

    ctmullins Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    This one looks intriguing; I may order some just to evaluate. However, if I’m understanding the design correctly, the string goes through the knob, with the ball-end nestled into its end, and turning the knob moves the knob and ball end back. This works in theory, but runs the risk of twisting the string as it’s tuned, which is a Bad Thing. This could be prevented if they use a thrust bearing in the end of the knob, but I’d be surprised if they did.
     
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  8. kodiakblair

    kodiakblair Tele-Meister

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    It's a very heavy unit, instead of neck dive you'll now have an anchor weighing you down.

    Best with lighter gauge strings. I bought those for a 5 string build, returned them when it appeared I'd need to bore them out for some strings.

    They already have the thrust bearing, you can see it in the picture.

    I've found the "Overlord of Music" system to be quite easy to work with.

    One drawback was string spacing, unlike some other systems you have zero control here. The string lock at the headstock end might cause some problems so some sellers include the double ball end version.

    I went with the double ball end fitting, works a treat.
     
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  9. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    The biggest issues I had with the "Overlord" bridge was the fine tuner washers and springs. The washers were brittle and cracked. I had to replace them with a better washers. Some of the springs were bad and also had to be replaced. Adjusting intonation and balancing the trem was a bit of a pain but wasn't too much different than any other complex bridge system. When I replace it, I'll probably go with a hardtail since I'm not much of a trem user.
     
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  10. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    You can make your own hardware if you have the skills to do the woodworking portion of the bass. It will work just as well as anything that is commercially available.

    For the string ball anchors at the 'headstock' end of the neck, that can be as simple as four hardened steel roll pins pressed into the wood at a slight back angle. The string balls slip over them and string tension holds them in place, just like they do on a Bigsby's roller bar. Set the pin depth so they just barely protrude from the ball when the string is installed. Another option is a flat aluminum/brass/steel plate mounted on the end of the neck that has four holes drilled in it. If you have a truss rod adjuster at the head end of the neck, make accommodation for that (a hole in the plate).

    An added plus here is you can use standard single-ball strings (any brand you like). No need to buy double-ball.

    Last year I built a headless guitar and used aluminum bar stock to make the string anchor. The only specialized tool I used was a drill press. Everything else was hacksaw, files, and sandpaper. The truss rod on this guitar adjusts via a spoke wheel at the heel end of the neck.


    Click on the pics to embiggen 'em.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For the tuners, you can use standard bass tuners and get creative with how they're installed on the body.
     
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  11. ctmullins

    ctmullins Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I think you’re looking at the wrong picture. I don’t see a thrust washer here:

    upload_2021-4-24_11-18-12.jpeg
     
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  12. kodiakblair

    kodiakblair Tele-Meister

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    You're 100% correct.

    I was looking at the wrong thing, post #5 not #2.

    Please accept my apologises.

    Headless Bass with trem !

    There's a niche instrument ;)
     
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  13. 2groggy

    2groggy Tele-Meister

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    Piano tuning pegs only cost a buck or two, and there are no moving parts to fail. Of course you need to tune them with a wrench.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

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  14. papaschtroumpf

    papaschtroumpf Tele-Holic

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    I decided to give the one in the top picture a try (the "heavy" one). I'll report here when it comes in (slow boat from China) and likely do a quick build thread.

    I ordered a cheap musician style pickup and plan on making this a single pickup bass but with single/series/parallel wiring of the coils for tonal options.
     
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  15. soggybag

    soggybag Tele-Meister

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    I like the look of this, you could make that 1, 2, and three string bass you’ve always dreamed of making!
     
  16. papaschtroumpf

    papaschtroumpf Tele-Holic

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    Quick concept picture in inscape. That will eventually become a full printable plan, but without the pieces in my hand, I don't quite know how much they overhang at the back of the body, etc...
    I also have not decided if I want to have the control cavities in the back, or on the front with a pickguard to cover them. The latter is slightly easier to build.


    upload_2021-4-28_0-55-21.png
     
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  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I've looked at many of the Chinese tuner assembly parts and keep seeing references to the material being zinc alloy.

    That alone turns me right off those units.
     
  18. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    my Yamaha BX-1 has an ingenious peghead design that does not require double-ball strings

    [​IMG]
     
  19. papaschtroumpf

    papaschtroumpf Tele-Holic

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    The little black piece that comes with this one is used similarly.

    [​IMG]


    the HW I did buy is supposed to not require double-end balls, but TBH I'll have to play with is when I get it
     
  20. Fatcat211

    Fatcat211 Tele-Meister

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