Modding a Hipshot bass extender

May 20, 2023 - By

Recently my longtime friend Matt sent me a gift – a Hipshot extender aka detuner! This replacement machine tuner gives me a switch to change my lowest string from standard E tuning down to D (there are other options, but this is all I use it for).

Why didn’t Matt keep it?! It made his bass incompatible with a wall hanger, which was my gain. Something I hadn’t known: Not all detuners are the same. Matt’s was compatible with American series basses, and my bass is an early 2000s MIM. Don’t quote me on the product numbers, but I believe he sent me a BT1 and my bass is compatible with a BT6 or BT7 – I forget; but mention this in case someone else googles this as I fruitlessly did.

The sensible thing would be to not use it, and buy the correct one. The unsensible thing would be for one to attempt to modify this Hipshot even though they’ve only used a drill 5 times before. Here’s how that went; TLDR: I had no right to expect it to go this well.

Because the holes didn’t perfectly align I decided to make all new holes. One of my requirements is that I wanted this work reversible, to be able to put the original tuner back on without the holes all wrecked.

All in all, I’m very happy with how it turned out. Yeah, the right hardware would look better, but the harrowing experiment paying off makes me like this more. It works perfectly for my purposes.


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This post was written by Arley