Question about tuner replacement

Got a Sire U5 today and love everything about it, except that it has a good bit of neck dive. I’ve read that reducing the tuner weight can have a big impact on this and am looking at replacing.

The lightest ones I’ve found (45g) are:

Hipshot # USA Ultralite® Bass Tuning Machine 1/2" Mini-Clover

According to a guy on some other forums, the stock U5 tuner specs look like this:

Ratio 1:22
Weigh 90 grams each without bushing
Bushing has space for 14 mm shaft
The hole in the headstock is 11/16 inch

I think the important bit here is the 11/16 measurement which coincides with the 1/2" ultralite specs.

This change would effectively be halving the tuner weight. I watched a video of LowEndLobster doing a replacement with these kind of tuners and I realize I’ll need to drill for that single screw slot, but from my reading it seems if I ever bolt the stock tuners back on it would cover those holes.

I was hoping someone could sanity check me before I order these things to see if I’ve missed anything.

Before ordering I plan to take out the D and G tuners to simulate the weight reduction to see how it affects the dive. I’ll also measure the holes at that time to confirm the sparse info I could find online. When it comes to installing, I plan to call around to some local repair shops to see if they would do that, since I’m queasy about doing the drilling.

I thought about contacting Hipshot to confirm they will be a fit, but others online have said they are unresponsive when contacted.

Many thanks!

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I put Hipshot UltraLite USA tuners on my U5. The neck dive wasn’t bad to begin with, but the Hipshots were a definite upgrade overall.

Note that the licensed Hipshots made in Korea are cast and heavier than the USA versions, but they’re also considerably less expensive.


1/2-inch Hipshot UltraLite USA mini clovers on my U5.

Just need to drill one pilot screw hole per tuner. Bottom of tuner plates will cover the holes should you choose to install the originals again.


In addition to being lighter they are also excellent tuning machines. This is a good upgrade.

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I agree, but wouldn’t a good, wide strap solve the neck dive issue in a cheaper fashion?

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I don’t think so. I have a guitar that had significant head dive and I am using a 4 inch padded strap. I tried adding weight to the back end at the strap button and several other suggestions but none seemed to really help. This went on for quite a while then at one jam I was at one of the other musicians said that what he does, to sort out head dive, is to run his strap under his belt at the back end. I tried that and damned if it didn’t work. So now that is what I do for head dive.

This may be a solution for @NoLifeKing and his head dive.

There was a lot of discussion on the forum last year regarding solutions for head dive so doing a search there may result in some other solutions. Always good to do a forum search before starting another thread on the same topic. Just sayin’ :slightly_smiling_face:

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Yep that’s a really good point. I did see those two last night and tracked down the difference. It’s definitely worth the extra money for me to shave off the additional weight I think.

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Hey, I’ve definitely tried the belt thing and also tried hooking a carabiner to my belt, but most of my time is spent practicing while sitting so it’s awkward at best. I think if you were standing or gigging it would be a game changer though.

For reference, the strap I have from Amazon is, “Rinastore Guitar Strap Leather 3 Inch Wide Full Grain Padded Soft Leather Strap for Acoustic, Electric and Bass Guitars”

I wish I had gone with a 4". Any recommendations on preferred strap? I was looking at Moody and Italia leather straps, but they are pretty pricy. Worth it I’m sure. My understanding is that a 4" leather with suede back is the best you can do for comfort / grip to help with dive.

@MikeC - Any recommendations for strings for the U5 that are long enough to be strung through the body. I think I want to stick with either round wound or half wound so that I get good slap tone, but I’m not sure what gauge or length to go with. I’ve read short scale strings are too short to be strung through the body. The stock strings also seem like a really small gauge, but I’m not sure what is normal for a short scale (or in general).

Also, did those tuners fit snug or did you have to wrap the bushings in tape to snug them up?

I was also looking for a chrome strap lock thing to make the horn peg a bit taller to help with the dive. If you know of one that will work and look good with the rest of the chrome hardware lemme know!

Also, I’m assuming it’s the Chrome color that matches, not the shiny Nickel right?

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Does the neck dive effect your playing?
I have basses with neck dive, lots of folks do, and they deal with it.
Of course, if it is really bad and you are on stage performing than maybe its a show stopper, but just because you have neck dive doesn’t mean you have to do something about it.

A ‘clingy’ strap - cloth, etc vs. a slippery material would solve the problem cheaper.
I tend to upgrade tuners when the tuners are terrible, but not for neck dive, just my $0.02.

as an aside, why has no one developed a no-neck dive strap with velour or some other more catchy fabric. Seems like a no brainer.

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It’s just a constant slight annoyance which is enough to frustrate me over a session. It also makes playing while sitting much more of a chore. If I’m standing, the strap negates the dive, but you can still feel it wanting to pull in that top left direction which is distracting. I have the strap set so that things are at the same height sitting or standing so the strap does help while sitting, but it would be great to be able to rest it on my knee without it wanting to dive to the left. Maybe I should pull the trigger on the Moody suede back 4" strap and see if that makes it comfortable enough to not worry over the tuners?

Several things:

  • I don’t find that the Sire U5 has any significant neck dive, but your mileage may vary (I use my fretting hand upper arm to rest on the body, so I can play seated without a strap; try experimenting with this)
  • Chrome Hipshots USA mini clovers are perfect on a U5
  • Levy’s makes padded straps in 4- and 4.5-inch widths (I love the 4.5 and use it for all my basses)
  • I use Schaller S strap locks (makes switching the strap from bass to bass quick and easy)
  • If you want to string through the body, get some medium scale strings, e.g., D’Addario EXL160M or heavier gauge EXL170M (I don’t find any advantage/difference in through-body stringing, and don’t use it)
  • Rounds will slap better than Half Rounds (If slapping is a priority to you, get DR Hi-Beams, or similar; but my experience is the Sire U5 is an inherently bright bass given its pickups, Alder body and Maple fingerboard, so nickel rounds will work)
  • Hipshot UltraLite USA min clover tuners are a premium upgrade that offer outstanding tuning precision and feel

They have, kind of. The neoprene/fabric on my neo really grips my hoodie


The SoloStrap Neo was my first strap. It is very thick and it doesn’t shift. That said, I don’t use it much anymore because I don’t like its bulkiness; I find it uncomfortable over time. YMMV


This is all extremely helpful. Thank you for taking the time to lay out all this info!

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I’ve tried a few different straps @NoLifeKing and the Neo has been the best for me. It’s a little stiff to start with but it softens up after time.

I play 2-4 hours a night and it’s very comfortable for me but I understand we all have different body shapes. I have quite wide shoulders from work / climbing. So maybe if you’re smaller framed / thin then maybe it’s not a good fit. I bought a second one for my other bass because it’s so comfortable. More info on other great options in the strap thread below.


Ya but they are not marketing it specifically for ‘neck dive’.
There is an opportunity here, develop or use some high tech fabric, give it a fancy name, market it as the neck dive killer.
Collent winnings.

Would you recommend the 4-inch or the 4-inch XL with the extra length? I’m 5’11 and the height I like is basically the same as Josh does it where sitting or standing it’s in the same spot.

@NoLifeKing You don’t need the XL. The standard length works fine.

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Leaving this here as it seems on point. Dropped today I believe

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