Bass Tuning Machines in Three Distinct Mounting Styles . . .
Individual, French, and Tyrolean. If you are looking for new machines for a new bass, the choice is both aesthetic and practical. If you are looking for new machines to replace older or lower quality machines, you will need to consider several factors.
Individual Style Bass Tuning Machines
The Gear, Peg, Shaft & Grip are on one plate. There are four plates in a set, two for each side of the cheek (peg box). Individual machines are the easiest to replace; frequently you can use the existing peg holes and you can tilt the machines slightly if you need to squeeze onto the existing cheek plate. Individual machines are the most modern looking, especially when made of all metal. The winding peg, or pin, can be metal to match the gear, or they can be made of wood for a much more traditional look. Wooden tuning pegs for bass are pinned into the gear, so you turn them with the grip/gear for faster winding (than cello pegs, for example).
French Style Bass Tuning Machines
The Gear & Peg are on one piece; Shaft & Grip are on a separate plate. There are two pieces for each string, so four pieces for each side of the cheek (peg box). French machines are the most time consuming to install if you are upgrading from Individual or Tyrolean style plates because you must create a peg hole and a separate mortise for the screw/grip plate. French machines do not cover old filled peg holes, screw marks, or other dings on the peg box, so keep in mind what you may need to conceal or repair when choosing a French set. Bass makers like to use French machines because they have a more exacting and difficult placement, making a mark of distinction.
Tyrolean Style Bass Tuning Machines
Gear, Peg, Screw, and Grip are on each plate. There are two plates in a set, one for each side of the cheek (peg box). Tyrolean or single plate style machines hide more of the cheek, old filled holes, and other repairs. They are the most traditional looking of the three styles. When fitting new Tyrolean plates keep in mind you will either need to fit to existing peg holes or you will have to fill and re-drill new peg holes. The new plates may or may not fit the exact size and curve of the cheek; each bass is unique. Pegs pins can be made of the same metal as the gear, or of wood with ebony or rosewood being preferred. Lately, we have taken a real liking to iron forged grips with antique brass.
Machines come in sets for 4-Strings or 5-Strings. If choosing a 5-string set, please specify 3-on-treble or 3-on-bass side. Most sets are 3-on-treble. We sell sets whole and generally do not sell individual pieces. Please phone/email our Customer Service Staff if you have questions about any bass tuning machines we feature.