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  • JThomas353 Takes His G&L Into The Shop

    Thunder Row member JThomas353 has done some work on his G&L L2500. Great info about the neck dive problem!!!

    Thanks, John!

    (click images to embiggen)



    Hipshots & Chromes

    by John Thomas

    I decided a couple of months ago to swap out the stock round wound strings on my G&L L2500 with some D’Addario Chromes. I’ve had them on my Ibanez SR500 for quite some time and love them. Well, my daughter asked me what I wanted for my birthday a couple of months ago and the Chromes were at the top of my list (at least in her price range). So she got them for me and they’ve been sitting in a drawer since then. Since the L2500 has the option to string through the body, I got the Chromes ECB81-5SL stings which are the super longs.

    A couple of weeks ago I thought about installing them but I figured since I was going to have the strings off, I might as well take care of the notorious L2500 neck dive problem at the same time. This is a known problem on the L2500 Tribute model; apparently the USA model has lighter tuners and doesn't suffer from neck dive.

    After some research on the web and the Talk Bass forum, I decided to go with the Hipshot Ultralite tuners. Five of the Hipshot tuners weigh about the same as 3 of the stock tuners which is a considerable weight savings. I found them on the web for $21.50 each and had them in a few days.

    I finally got around to installing them and decided to document the process for the good folks at Thunder Row, so here goes.

    First, make sure to order the right size for your bass. There are different tuners depending on the size of the tuner hole in your head stock and key style. Mine took the ˝” size and I was able to order 3 for the bass side and 2 for the treble side. Although the tuners can easily be reconfigured for bass or treble side, it was a nice option to get them pre-configured. To begin, here is a picture of the stock and Hipshot tuners for comparison. From this picture and the next, you can see that the stock tuners are massive.



    I first removed the B string and the tuner, and then installed the new Hipshot. When I tried to install the new Chromes B string, it was too big for the nut slot. After a few strokes with a small round file, being careful to only widen the slot and not make it deeper, the B string fit perfectly. Brought it up to tune and moved on to the next string. I made sure to do one string at a time to maintain string tension on the neck and truss rod. Here’s a pic with the first 3 Hipshot tuners and strings installed.



    As you can see, there are four screw holes for each of the old tuners. The screws actually held the tuners in place as there is only a decorative spacer on the front. The Hipshot requires only one screw on the back to keep it from twisting. I used a small hand drill and marked the drill bit depth with some tape so I didn’t drill the new hole too deeply. The Hipshot is held in place by a decorative nut and washer on the front. Here’s a pic with all 5 Hipshot tuners in place and new Chromes installed and tuned.



    I purchased a small can of Famowood Wood Filler in maple to fill the screw holes, but decided not to. They are very small and not really too noticeable. I may sell or trade my L2500 someday and put the stock tuners back on, so I won’t have to re-drill the holes. If I decide to keep it I can still fill the holes later without having to remove the Hipshot tuners. Here’s a pic of the front side of the headstock with the Hipshot tuners and D’Addario Chromes. In all, it took a little over an hour from start to finish.



    Was it all worth it? Absolutely!

    No more neck dive. The bass is not noticeably lighter as it weighs over 9 pounds, but it is perfectly balanced and I don’t have to continually push or hold the neck up anymore providing for faster and easier finger movement for fretting.

    The Hipshot tuners, with their smaller gearing, provide finer tuning adjustment and seem to stay in tune much better than the stock tuners. As expected, the D’Addario Chromes sound fantastic and I’m still able to dial-in the bright tone of round wound strings due to the hot pickups and numerous settings on the L2500.

    The bass is now a joy to play and sounds fantastic on my new Ampeg Portaflex PF-500 amp and PF-115HE cab; but I’ll save this for another article.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. thunderman's Avatar
      thunderman -
      Great job, JT! Looks like you have a lot of room on your headstock for more tuners! Seriously, though, well-written tutorials like this help the less adventurous of us overcome the intimidation factor. Well done!
    1. Basslad's Avatar
      Basslad -
      Great article, JT! Neck dive, that's what used to annoy me about my Fender Precision. I don't pay attention to it any more, but it's certainly there. Great tip!
    1. jthomas353's Avatar
      jthomas353 -
      Quote Originally Posted by thunderman View Post
      Great job, JT! Looks like you have a lot of room on your headstock for more tuners! Seriously, though, well-written tutorials like this help the less adventurous of us overcome the intimidation factor. Well done!
      I was somewhat reluctant about filing the nut slot, especially since I didn't have any nut files, but all it took was a few swipes with a round file. Other than that there we no gotcha's with the tuners. Doing lots of research on the web beforehand helps to see what other folks have run into so I don't make their same mistakes.
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