Gibson Vintage Bass Machine head problem

My vintage Bass has been fine since i baught it about a year ago until the other day when all of a sudden the machinehead went slack and not refuses to tune as it wont take the pressure. i took it out and had alook and a small bit of metal came out which im guessing is off the nut inside. any suggestions as to websites where i could get hold of a new machine head as i'm having trouble. im not sure of the model of the bass but it doesnt look that old :?:
volcano digital

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Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes. are probably the largest site for parts on the web, give them a go.

On a second read, I realized you mean a "Vintage" bass. I always get caught out by this one. a "small v" vintage I take to mean some old Fender, Gibson, Rick from days of yore.

Hokay, Carling - is your Vintage bass a Precision-style copy? If so, it will have "elephant ear" tuners, that I personally think look like a clover leaf. If not, they are likely to be minikeys (more later).

The fender-stylee "elephant ears", from the front of the headstock, have a thick, slotted post and a chrome ring (bush) and then the flat "ears" pop up from the back of the headstock. Flip it over, and you can see the tuner looks like a trapezium plate held onto the neck with four screws. There's a blimmin' great cog held in with a large screw. The tuner "ear" (machinehead) runs down to a threaded post. Theory goes; turn the head, it turns the cog, the post turns, the string tightens.

Like the Fender bass bridge, it's a brilliantly "crap but it works" design that depends on quality hardware. No problem with Fenders because they use Schallers from Germany. Loads of Korean and Chinese basses do what yours does. The steel on the cog is too soft, then it slips on the thread of the key post. Usually when you've just got to ever-so-slightly-flat-of-the-note, it goes "boing" and drops you half an octave. Or, sometimes, just twirls uselessly.

Apart from Allparts, there's David Dyke ( from memory) who sell singles. There's also the eBay route. I do see single tuners on Fleeb which, predictably, sell for nothing. Very occasionally, a full set of Schallers or 1990s Fenders (same thing) go for £20. A lot of dough, but you'll never have the problem again.

If they're sealed-gear minikeys, they'll be far-east copies of Schaller, Grover or Gotoh designs. The fixing screw location varies, so you'd have to come back here with more info in that case.

Actually, "supplies" is normally spelt with a couple of "p"s. Sorry, the ".com" was a mistake too. Leads you to something useless. If you're in Blighty, the useful site is this: It's a rubbish site, because you have to download their catalogue as pdf. Otherwise, just 'phone them for the price of a tuner key.

on the back of the bass head there is 1 screw at the bottom of the machine head if that is what u r refering to. as i said i know nothing about the bass as there is no model written on it and i baught it off a friend who also knew squat. the tuner is a rounded triangle if u know what i mean and the whole thing is black. i did try the allparts website but there was only one that it could have been but the picture wouldn't load so im not sure. and yes it is a sealed machinehead
Honda HSC history

OK, this is all useful. Ignore most of my stuff written above for the old Fender-stylees. You describe rather well the sealed minkeys. Now have a look at the single screwhole at the bottom. Does it point downwards, directly away from the head? This is Schaller style. If it points sideways, this is Grover and Gotoh style.

A picture of the Gotoh GB7 is here:
The Grover looks the same. The Schaller M4 looks similar, but the holding screw is pointing directly downwards. Of the two types, Gotoh/Grover copies are far easier to get hold of. In the US, are good for them, and they ship to the UK by Global Priority for $7. They also list them on eBay (search for customshopparts or 'bass tuners' and click on the 'available to UK' button.

The Schaller is trickier, and they're the most expensive. David Dyke (see above) sells them singly. If you have the Grover type, let me know. I have a set of genuine Grovers, righty, black, no use to me.
this is the tuner keys. where would u suggest we shop for the best buy?
vaaapp vaporizer

It's like the Gotoh GB7, including the screw hole location? That's a relief, the Schaller one is decidedly trickier. There are a lot on eBay, and customshopparts is a good source. You need Paypal though.

OTOH, I have a set of four inline black Grovers for a righthy (your Vintage is all inline, not 2 per side, and you are a righty? This is important because they face different ways). I'd pretty much give them away, but there is a little problem.

There is a threaded nut on the face side, and the post and gears bit is also threaded. I bought them off Fleeb and the nut bit doesn't thread properly onto the tuner (and the seller bummed me). If your nut threaded onto my Grover, there'd be no problem but if it didn't then they'd be no use to you. I could send one to you to try and if it works then send you the rest (I'd recommend replacing them all as Grovers won't 'boing' on you.

Of course, that could be a drag for you so don't feel like I'm pushing them onto you. Have a look at eBay and set up a Paypal account if you don't have one. Then you can pay for stuff worldwide over the net and it doesn't cost you. Paypal charges the seller, not the buyer.

my bass is 2 on each side. if u give me an email address i could try and take a picture of it and post it to u. then maybe u might know what it is
vaporizer questions

Sorry Carling, I didn't click on your URL. OK, if you have the 2-aside, my tuners aren't a huge use to you, at least as a set (mine are 4-inline). If you have Paypal, I think Custom Shop Parts are worth doing @ nearly $2 to the £1. I've had many items sent to me from US sellers by USPS Global Priority Mail. It hits your letterbox about a week later and they haven't lost anything yet.

$7 is no more than the p+p quoted if you buy from Blighty. Also, if the value of the goods doesn't exceed about $35, then you pay no import duty on it. Painless. Bear in mind, these tuners are not genuine Grover or Gotoh, they are made in Korea. If you want Grovers or Gotohs they can be expensive but a set crops up on eBay very often. I got burned once, and slightly simmered another time (what is it with tuners on Fleeb?) so I'd favour the safety of CSP.

Hang on, sorry, I'm getting confused here with Funky's thread about a Vintage bass. Carling, is yours an actual Gibson? If so, I'd be prepared to pay more for better tuners. Not being funny, but the "Vintage" brand doesn't merit splurging money on tuners as the Vintage bass isn't worth much.

On eBay US, there's a trader called Strings and Things who's always selling black Gibson bass tuners for peanuts, here's a link:
but they don't match your description. I'm trying to remember if he ever listed Gibson minikeys but you could drop him an email and ask.

Apols that I'm getting confused :roll: There's no alcohol in the house.

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