Gibson bass tuners
Part descriptions for Gibson bass guitars
EB banjo tuners Gibson part number MH-570-P (1965). Sealfast 12 to 1 ratio, as used on 1950s EB/EB1, and EB2 basses and the melody maker style slap body EB0
Kluson 538 'elephant ear' tuners Gibson part number MH-538 (1965), 82536 (1971). The 1960s open gear Klusons were used on most EB0, EB2 and EB3 basses throughout the 1960s. Until 1965 they were plated in nickel, and chrome thereafter, as pictured, with a hole rather than a split post. This tuner had a 3/8" diameter post with a 7/16" hole, and unlike similar from the 1970s did not feature the word Gibson. A one disadvantege (from Gibsons point of view) of this tuner was its requirement for headstock routing. No longer used after 1969.
Kluson 546 'large elephant ear' tuners Gibson part number MH-546 (1965). The 1960s large open gear Klusons were used on the Gibson Thunderbird.
Closed gear Japanese tuners These machine heads were used primarily on Gibsons budget models, the Kalamazoo KB bass, and the Melody Maker bass. They did also find their way onto some EB0 models between late 1965 and 1969
Schaller M-4-C classic, for split headstock Gibson part number 14746 (bass side), 14747 (treble side), 82535 (set). This variant of the M4 has a uniformly cylindrical post with a hole, rather than a split post (see below). With 'Gibson' on the gear cover. 1970-1971
Schaller M-4 Gibson part number 14671 (bass side), 14672 (treble side), 82534 (set). The M4 has been very widely used, from around 1967 and throughout the 1970s, on the Les Paul bass and LP Triumph, SB series the reissued EB1 and occasionally EBO, EB2 and EB3 basses, (particularly around 1969). Usually with 'Gibson' or a 'G' on the gear cover. Towards the end of the 1970s they were used on some of Gibsons newer basses: the earliest RD basses in 1977, and on the Grabber and G3 basses from late 1978 until early 1980.
Schaller M-4-S Gibson part numbers 14575 (bass side), 14576 (treble side), 82510 (set). 1971-73. As used on EB-0, EB-3, EB-4L and SB series. There are no screws attaching this tuner to the headstock, it just screws into place - with two tabs that fit into depressions to prevent it from turning. Post diameter: 1/2"; hole diameter: 11/16"
1973/74 open gear tuning key This tuning key, looks rather like the Kluson 538, or Schaller BM, but is subtley different to both, and neither will work as a replacement. As they are not listed in any Gibson part list or similar literature they remain unidentified. As used on early Gibson Ripper, Grabber and 1973/74 EB0 basses. Possibly other models too. Post width 9/16" (cf Kluson 538 (3/8") and Schaller BM (14mm)). The post hole is 1/16" larger at 5/8". Note the indented footprint. 1973-74.
Schaller BM The seventies (split-post) BM had a 14 mm post; wider than the 60s Kluson tuners and roughly the same as the 1973/74 open gear tuners. The post hole is 17mm. Schaller, being a European company, worked in the metric scale rather than the imperial, so measurements are quoted accordingly. Note also the word 'Gibson' on the base of easch tuner. As used on EB, Grabber, G-3, Ripper, Les Paul Signature, RD series. 1974-80
Early eighties Gotoh tuners part number 14102. Gibson used these on the Victory Standard and Victory Artist basses from 1981, and occasionally the Victory Custom later in 1982. Initially Gibson literature suggested that these keys were for the Victory Standard only, with the Schaller keys (below) for the Artist. In practice the use of both types has been much more mixed. Post diameter 13mm, post hole 17mm.
Early eighties Schaller tuners part number 14110. As used on the Victory Standard, Artist and Custom basses from 1982, though the Gotah keys above were still in use at the same time. Also the Gibson Explorer bass.