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Synapse bass tuner hardware problem

Rich Steiner

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I have a 5 string Synapse bass.  I have had a set of double ball strings on it, and during the process of changing the strings, I have run into an issue with the G string tuner mechanism.  I don't know if the tuner gear has been stripped or what, but the moving part of the tuner that holds the ball end of the string and moves forward and back doesn't engage unless I push the mechanism into the bridge so far that the ball end holder is covered up by the metal plate of the tuner mechanism.  If I put the ball end of the string in the holder and push it in far enough to engage the tuner, the rest of the string is too short for the ball on the other end of the string to get in its holder at the top of the neck.  It's almost as if the screw mechanism on that piece is either broken or stripped, so that it needs to be pushed into the bridge so far that you can't actually thread a string on it.

Anyone else experience this issue?  Anyone have an idea of what's happening here and/or what the solution is?  I assume that I may need a replacement part of some kind, but I don't even have an idea of what that part is or where to find it.  I sent a support message to Gibson/Steinberger several weeks ago, but have received no response or acknowledgement of my inquiry.



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Jim - 

Thanks for the very helpful reply.  Unfortunately, I contacted them and they said that their bass jaws (grateful I now know the terminology) only work on original USA-built Steinbergers and they have no parts for later foreign models.  So, I think I'm still at square one.  I hope I don't have to buy an entirely new bridge...probably not worth that expense at this time.  I'm thinking that maybe I buy one jaw anyway and see if it fits even though they say it's not made for the later models.

Just as importantly, I hope this doesn't happen to any more tuners.  I have two 5-string Synapses, one fretted and one fretless, and the fretless model is actually my #1 favorite working bass.  If I had to shelve the fretted one, I have a Zon Sonus 5 string that I love...great bass, just not beefy like the Synapse.  But I don't know what I'd do without the fretless Synapse...!

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first you'd need to disassemble the bridge to find out the cause of the problem. If the threaded bolt of one string was actually broken, I'd expect the broken part to still sit in the jaw.  The tuning knob with the threaded rod cannot be inspected unless the bridge is disassembled.

From the Synapse parts list linked by Slowgypsy above, there are two parts which might be of help, depending on the cause of your problem:

  • * Guitar Synapse - Fixed Bridge w/ Piezo Assembly & HW SBR-102 (the designation on the website is wrong, SBR-102 is the 4-string bass bridge)
  • * Bass Synapse String Jaw - Jaw (1) One Fits All SBR-107

The procedure to get replacement parts from Gibson is as follows:

  • Find an authorized Gibson service provider
  • Have this authorized Gibson service provider order the parts for you from Gibson/Epiphone

You cannot order these parts directly from Gibson. And there's no guarantee that these parts are still available, as current stock isn't listed anywhere. However, there actually is a chance, I've recently ordered other parts from that list and received them.

Good luck!


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